Friday, May 21, 2010

FOUR FRIENDS' "FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES" (Part 1 Of 2)

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FOUR FRIENDS’
“FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES”

(Part 1 Of 2)

This is still ‘A McBirdDogg Production’

Last Monday, I posted here at ‘STUFFS’ a list of my fifteen “must-have” Desert Island music albums. This was a Blogland festival which many bloggers participated in, including some friends of mine who are members of the blogging community, namely, Arlee Bird, Mousie Marc, and DiscConnected.

But I had also asked my non-blogging friends to submit a list to me of their ‘Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites’ and four of them did so (one even included album cover photos). Below are the 15 choices that these four BFOS (‘Blogless Friends Of Stephen’) would pack for their one-way cruise to Fantasy Island.

Well, actually, the last of the four BFOS totally rebelled against this project, but more on that later.

Following are the lists in the order in which they were received by me. Some of their commentary was directed toward me, so if you encounter, for instance, the word “you”, know that they ain’t yakkin’ at YOU, dear reader; the “you” they is yakkin’ at is ME:

POOH LYNTH:

[Pooh is a dear old friend whom I met through a mutual friend of ours back in 1978. I can still remember pretty vividly the night we met; we hit it off immediately and stayed up yakkin’ music until the early, early hours. At that time, we shared a strong fondness for the music of the Hard Rock band Thin Lizzy, and I’m sure this represented the first element that tied us together… uhm… strictly in a “John Wayne” kinda way, ya un’erstand! It was Pooh who years later turned me on to Tom Waits by way of his ‘Small Change’ album. For nearly a decade, Pooh and I shared misadventures we’ll never remember, and hangovers we’ll never forget. I still love him dearly… strictly in a “John Wayne” kinda way!]

Pooh sez . . .

(Subject to change without notice) Album Cover - Comments
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1: DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Dad’s, darkness, and Exxon signs. What more can you ask for? Listened to this over and over through the headphones, hating my dad, and my lot in life. And in retrospect, doesn’t the Boss look a little waify here?

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2: BANG MASTERS - VAN MORRISON
Several other VM albums should have made it to this list but I wanted to dazzle you with my diversity. Actually this one is extra special due to the experiences shared listening to it. You know who you are! The Back Room is reminiscent of days and nights spent drinking in my dad’s liquor store. Then there’s Brown-Eyed Girl, TB Sheets, and an early version of Madame George among other great songs.
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3: THE RIVER - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
A good combination of pensive and happy music that came along at a great time in my life. Even waited in line over night for tickets to this tour. You’ve got the brooding The River and up-beat Hungry Heart as the album meanders through dark points and highlights. Always reminds me of good times and good friends!

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4: ONE MORE FROM THE ROAD - LYNYRD SKYNYRD
Get out your lighter and start chanting Freebird! Possibly the best road trip album of all time. What would high school have been without Freebird and Sweet Home Alabama?

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5: ASTRAL WEEKS - VAN MORRISON
One of the best albums of all time. I still don’t understand all of it but it is great and the music is superb.

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6: QUADROPHENIA - THE WHO
Another album where I was in a transition. What better way to explore transitioning from your teens to young adulthood than by splitting yourself into 4 different personalities. Love Reign o’er Me, Dr. Jimmy and the Punk and the Godfather. And of course there’s Townsend’s windmill and Keith Moon’s self-destruction. Who’s Next almost made it to the list.

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7: PET SOUNDS - THE BEACH BOYS
Nothing says Summer to me more (well maybe Vin Scully’s voice on the radio) than the Beach Boys. You get sand between your toes just listening to this.

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8: BAD REPUTATION - THIN LIZZY
A sucker for anything Irish, but this paid off. Nice hard rockin’ stuff mixed with Dancing In The Moonlight… I just wish The Boys Are Back In Town was on this album.

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9: SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND -
THE BEATLES
My brother returned from a Summer in England with this album. It was glossier than the U.S. version and although I didn’t understand much of the lyrics at the time, it was new and different and I liked it.

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10: SMALL CHANGE - TOM WAITS
It was a toss up between this and Rain Dogs. But any album with songs titled Bad Liver And A Broken Heart, The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me) and Pasties And A G-String is in my top 15 no matter what. Great album to make you turn out the lights and get all melancholy like.

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11: BLOOD ON THE TRACKS - BOB DYLAN
One of the best break-up albums of all time. Careful not to get bile on your fingers when you take out the CD.

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12: A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD - COLDPLAY
Another album that got me through a transition. Just a great pop album with some good sounds and lyrics. Clocks, Amsterdam and the Scientist are my favs.

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13: RED LETTER DAYS - THE WALLFLOWERS
Why yes, that is Bobby Dylan’s boy Jakob. Another album that got me to circumvent a broken heart. Bringing Down the Horse and his other albums are pretty good too.

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14: MADE IN JAPAN - DEEP PURPLE
Schlitz Malt Liquor, Old English 800, Boone’s Farm, Marlboros and Smoke On The Water, nuf said. One of the most recognizable (and simplest) riffs of all time. And then there’s Highway Star. Did anyone listen to side 2?

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15: PARANOID - BLACK SABBATH
Okay, let’s go over this mixture, Ozzy, being a teenager, first beer and pot buzz, and testosterone …need I say more? I AM IRONMAN!...Paraonoid...I will admit I never understood Fairies Wear Boots.

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THE FLYING AARDVARK

[The Flying Aardvark – known as Cinephiliac when I first met her – is truly one of the very nicest persons I have ever met. Ever! She’s so nice, in fact, that it’s a wonder she has anything at all to do with a curmudgeonly cur like me. The stuffs she makes in her kitchen is unbelievably delicious. She really should go into the business of selling baked goods. She makes – hands-down! – the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted, and her rum balls are – (hic!) – to kill or die for.]

The Flyin’ Aard sez . . .

Hey, Stephen:

This was actually kind of a challenge. There aren't that many albums I like in their entirety - 3 or 4 favorite songs on an album is my average. I wondered how I should then apply the criteria to select "favorites." 50/50? 60/40? Should I include soundtracks as they are usually a compilation of various artists? Is the fact that I might buy an album over and over again in different formats a clear indication of it being a favorite?

Do you think I'm being insanely O.C.D. about this? Well, after taking a short break to alphabetize and index my garbage and then color code my sock drawer, I decided to rummage through my albums (such as they are) and just pull out ones I really like, and then narrow those down to 15.

Here they be (some have a short explanation, some don't).
 
1. King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson:

Do you even have to ask?

2. The Best of Ray Charles:

I listened to this album almost nonstop during my college days. Still love Mr. Charles. Saw him in concert at the Hollywood Bowl shortly before he passed.

3. Ry Cooder - The Slide Area:

Quintessential blues. His vocals are thin and reedy but his guitar playing is incendiary. I am sure he signed up at the same crossroads as Mr. Johnson.

4. Robert Cray - Strong Persuader:

Great contemporary blues album.

5. Chris Issacs - Heart Shaped World:

Great Roy Orbison-y tortured vocals and bluesy guitar playing.

6. The Beatles' "White Album":

I know the Beatles were in a weird transitional phase when they recorded this and the songs are all over the place, but that is one of the main reasons I like it so much. Although, back in the day, I am pretty sure I owned every single Beatles LP, I especially love this one as it contains my all-time favorite Beatles song (by my favorite Beatle) - George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' The song still gives me goose bumps when I hear it - even after all these years.

7. The Doors:

Their first album introduced me to something I hadn't experienced before - a melding of classical, early electronica, straight rock and blues music with absolutely gorgeous lyrics that were both mysterious and compelling. Jim Morrison didn't have what I would call a "great" voice, but it was very interesting and it worked perfectly with The Doors' eccentric musical style.

8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Anthology / Through the Years:

Even though I liked a lot of Tom Petty's songs and went to one of his concerts, I didn't consider myself a big fan until I watched the documentary "Running Down A Dream". I just fell in love with his ornery and outspoken personality, and I discovered how much I really liked his music overall. Then when a certain Pal-O-Mine gave me BOTH the documentary and this CD, I was completely hooked. ;-)

9. The Best of the Rolling Stones - Jump Back:

The album may not contain every Rolling Stones song I like, but I like every song on the album.

10. Tom Waits - The Bone Machine:

You never would have believed me if I didn't put this one on the list. ;-)

11. The Best of Nina Simone:

Simone is one of my 2 favorite female vocalists (the other is Ella Fitzgerald). This CD has both "Wild is the Wind” and "See-Line Woman" on it.

12. The Chieftains' Long Black Veil:

I love the Chieftains, plus on this CD they collaborate with everyone from Van Morrison to Tom Jones to Ry Cooder.
 
(3 soundtrack albums. . .)

13. Blink:

I dearly love the mournful ballads and energized Irish dance music supplied by the Chicago rock band (The Drovers) for this film.

14. Crossroads:

Great Ry Cooder tracks and a great sampling of Mississippi blues overall.

15. The Last of the Mohicans:

My brother makes fun of the movie because of the overly melodramatic acting, but I adore the music (I think it won an Oscar for best score that year). I purchased it in multiple formats and listened to it obsessively for several years. Another Irish music influence with sweeping background instrumentals.

~The Aard~


'FOUR FRIENDS'
"FIFTEEN FANTASY ISLAND FAVORITES"
Continued Below . . .

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
(who's continuing below also)

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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9 comments:

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Read part two before part one, wow what alot of hard work going to two non blogging friends to submit their top 15 albums. you have my admiration.

Yvonne

arlee bird said...

Mostly fine albums--none that are really bad, but some that might not be my regular listening. And maybe one too many Springsteen albums in the same list, not that either is bad or anything.

I can listen to all of these.

Lee
Tossing It Out

FFF-F #VI said...

Pooh -

Your list, of all those who created lists, is stuff I really like. I love Springsteen, and in fact I waited in line TWICE to see two different shows on the same River tour. I still have old tour shirts... though they don't fit as well as before (the dryer musta shrunk 'em). I have all of his US authorized vinyl, many imports, and probably 40 - a'hem - "unauthorized" albums. He has gotten so political lately, however, that it is just too much. I don't buy his new stuff.

I like ALL your choices very much, except Tom Waits. I realize that this admission is probably enough for both you and Stephen to put snakes in the mail for me, like Synanon. What little Waits I've heard I was put off by his voice. I cannot get past it, heralded songwriting or not. Keep in mind I'm an opera lover, and it's a huge jump for me to love Tom Petty and Bob Dylan - which I do. But liking Waits is just too big a gulf to bridge.

Flyin Aardvark ~

Lots of blues on your list. I told Stephen recently that I love the blues because you can always trust it. You can, more than any other genre, in my book. If you buy a blues album but you've never heard of the guy... chances are good you'll like it anyway.

I was happy to see the Chieftains represented on someone's list. I've seen them in concert and love the music and musicianship. They are GREAT.

One squawk I have is your choosing the Doors. I know most people love 'em, but I've always wanted to slap some energy into Morrison. But, since it is your list, I won't. Plus, he is dead, so slapping would be superfluous at this point.

And, of course: Tom Waits. See above. As Mick Jagger says: "Tom Waits for No One."

Mr. Paulboy

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. PAULBOY ~
Let's see... first of all, I saw the comment you left over at DiscConnected's joint and, believe me or not, TRUTH be told, the remark about placing the B-List Traveling Wilbury's over the A-List Bob Dylan was not at all a reference to your Wilbury choice. I am nearly entirely certain that I hadn't even taken a look at your list yet, at that point. (Remember how I said it took me a couple of days before I found the time to examine your choices?) So, that was just an odd coincidence.

I hear ya about Tom's voice, but have you heard his first two albums - "Closing Time" and "The Heart Of Saturday Night"? He didn't start wearing that "fake voice" until his third album, and he has never taken it off since then. But his voice on the first two albums does not sound any more harsh than any Springsteen album (and I'd say even smoother than Bruuuce), and the songwriting is just brilliant.

"Closing Time" is more Folk-like and a bit more mellow than "Heart Of Saturday Night", which is more Blues-based. I seriously doubt you will find anything at all objectionable about his voice on those first two recordings.

I once had tickets to a Chieftains concert but didn't even go because I was in a bad mood about having performed poorly earlier that day on the baseball diamond.

Favorite Doors song: "Peace Frog". No lack of energy in Morrison on that tune!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

...AND POOH...
#2. Bang Masters: Oh yeah, man. I still have that one and it always makes me think of "the Seamus Back Room" and Laughlin/Bullhead City. A bloody mary in a styrofoam cup, a decrepit water fountain, "Beer, Bile & Zinc". And I still think... think... but not sure... think, I have a vague memory of falling into some woman's lap on the Colorado River casino ferry.

#3. The River: "Yeah, you heard me, punk. I said deliver the pizzas to the guys on the couch at the corner of 4th and Colorado."

#4. One More From The Road: Ah, yes, I still remember us driving old Route 66, and singing along: "Woman made a fool out of me." You'd sing "me" and point at yourself, and I'd sing "him" and point at you, too. Ha! (Couldn't you have gotten a proper hat?)

#5: Astral Weeks: When y'all saw my bedroom door closed and heard Astral Weeks seeping out from underneath it, ya knew it was time to just leave intense moodyboy alone. ;o)

#7. The Beach Boys: You nailed it, Bro!

#10. Small Change: "You can't find your waitress with a Geiger counter. And she hates you and your friends and you just can't get served without her." ZUCKY'S!!!

#11. Blood On The Tracks: Ha!-Ha! Someday I really must write that poem-in-waiting, "Beer, Bile And Zinc".

#14. Deep Purple: Funny commentary, Brotherman. But Boone's Farm? Really? Did you ever stoop so low? Heck, if it wasn't Night Train or Thunderbird, 24-hours fresh from Modesto, I wouldn't touch the stuffs.

Ahh, good memories...
those that we can 'member anyways.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

FLYIN' AARD ~
Thanks again for playin'!

#1. King of the Delta Blues Singers: "Do you even have to ask?"
Nope. I get it. Still kinda prefer slightly the Volume 2, but I gets it. Loved it back in the daze, and loves it still.

#3. Ry Cooder: "I am sure he signed up at the same crossroads as Mr. Johnson."
Ha! Yeah, protly did.

#6. The Beatles' "White Album":
Actually, I'm with ya here, DearAard. If I were taking a Beatles album, this would be the one. Yeah, there's some filler like number nine... number nine... number nine... But based on the strength of Side Two - the soundtrack for "The Hangover Waltz" - I would take the "White Album", even over "Abbey Road", which would be my strong second choice. Yes, "...Gently Weeps" is indeed a great song. My favorite though is just a tad goofier: "Rocky Raccoon". [Damn. I can't even type it without feeling suddenly hungover.]

#7. The Doors:
They were a massive favorite at one time but I kinda lost interest in them after my musical tastes changed. Although I still dig some of their songs like "Peace Frog", "Texas Radio And The Big Beat", "Roadhouse Blues", "Riders On The Storm", and of course, "L.A. Woman" - which is what you be!

#8. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Anthology / Through the Years:
Who? Never heard of 'em.

#10. Tom Waits - The Bone Machine:
Yer even weirder than I am. "How does it FEEEeeeel?"

#14. Crossroads:
Did I ever tell ya? I won tickets from a radio station promotional campaign to see the movie premiere at the Hollywood Chinese Theatre. Used to have the soundtrack on "licorice pizza" and still own the movie on DVD.

Some real good selections there, Aard. Thanks for taking the time and going to the trouble for me!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

The following was submitted by THE FLYING AARDVARK on May 24, 2010 at 1:07 PM:

Mr. Paulboy:

When I saw your list, I knew I should have included one of my classical favorites, Carmina Burana, instead of The Doors album - but it was such a close call. I am not all that familiar with most opera - unless you include light opera – like Gilbert and Sullivan. I only know Glenn Gould through the “32 Short Films About …” DVD. I will admit that I have enjoyed the operas I have seen on PBS where they have closed-captioning on the screen so I can understand what is going on as the whole “foreign language” thing presents a problem for me. (The operas I have seen could give Shakespeare a run for his money in the tragedy, murder and mayhem department.) My other classical music favorites seem to tie in more with my love for the ballet. If you are going to have stories that I need to have explained to me or understand by pouring over the theater program, then I want to see some muscular dancing. Was lucky enough to see Nureyev dance (twice) as well as Baryshnikov (once).

You: >>And, of course: Tom Waits. See above. As Mick Jagger says: "Tom Waits for No One."<<

Did he really say that? Hilarious! Well, I’ll admit that Waits is not for everyone. I know Stephen doesn’t even care for his newer stuff. I personally like his gravelly voice and musical “experimentation,” but then I doubt I have your refined ear.

You: >>~ Blink 182 – “Enema of the State”.~ Blink 182 – “Enema of the State”<<

I don’t think I am familiar with Blink 182, but I do like the title of their album. (Very low brow, but funny).

~The Flying Aardvark~

mr. Paulboy #VI said...

Dear Flying Aard ~

ME: >>And, of course: Tom Waits. See above. As Mick Jagger says: "Tom Waits for No One."<<

YOU:>>Did he really say that? Hilarious! Well, I’ll admit that Waits is not for everyone. I know Stephen doesn’t even care for his newer stuff. I personally like his gravelly voice and musical “experimentation,” but then I doubt I have your refined ear.<<

Actually, I just just being a smart-aleck. Mick wrote the song "Time Waits for no one", and I just altered it to suit me!

My ear isn't so refined! I have some rough voices on my list: Roger Daltry, Louie Prima, The Killers, Green Day, and Tom Petty/Bob Dylan from the Wilburys... none are what you'd call songbirds. I hope I didn't come off high brow, because I am not. I just was raised around an opera singer so I came to love it.

Conversely, you love ballet yet it leaves me a bit cold. The nice thing about most operas is that they usually have at least two dance portions in them, often with ballet-like routines.

The desert list was just that: what must I have if I can never hear the rest again. That dictated that I'd have to include something of each genre I love. If we took what I am enjoying listening to right now, frankly, none of the classical would be on the list. I love classical, but am on to newer stuff, mostly.

And Blink 182 is INDEED very low brow. All of it, from the title to the lyrics. See, that proves I am not a high brow guy!

Paul

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

FLYIN' AARD ~
I'll vouch for Mr. Paulboy 6. He AIN'T highbrow! Nobody who would maintain a friendship with ME is "highbrow". I mean, heck, I have Roger Miller on my list, and Tiny Tim actually had a legitimate shot at it, too.

Associate with Stephen T. McCarthy while claiming to be highbrow and it's sure to raise an eyebrow.

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McLowbrow