I Mean Even the Ones Who Never Saw Me
87. Stevie B: In My Eyes 88. The B-52's 89. B-52's: Wild Planet 90. B-52's: Whammy! 91. Babyface: Tender Lover 92. Bachman-Turner Overdrive II 93. Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Not Fragile 94. Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Four Wheel Drive 95. Badbob: Now Is Reaction 96. Bad Brains: Rock for Light 97. Bad Brains: I Against I 98. Wally Badarou: Chief Inspector 99. Joan Baez: Diamonds & Rust 100. The Bag: Real Mixworthy: "Hey You," #94; "Rock for Light," #96. I should be listing something from the B-52's, I know. If I had the album with "Roam," I would. I used to like "Hero Worship" (#88) and "Song for a Future Generation" (#90), but I'm almost positive I have never even considered including the B-52's on a mix-tape. I think the Wally Badarou album was one of the first promo copies I got to keep during my time writing for Nerve--the copyright date, '86, would bear that out. I didnít review it (reggae? I forget), so Iím not sure how it fell into my hands, but I grabbed anything and everything that was offered to me in those days. I Against I is a promo too, and that one I did review. I might be the only recipient of promo copies who was dumb enough or crazed enough never to have sold even one, but seeing as most of my spending money went towards buying records anyway at the time, sell- ing two or three of them to buy one didnít make much sense. Besides, I just loved the idea that I was getting records for free. But I realize I'm essentially saying I never once removed one of those pillow tags that say ďDo Not Remove.Ē ____________________________________________________________________________ 101. Mildred Bailey 102. Chet Baker: "Chet Is Back!" 103. Kathi Baker: Feel the Heat 104. LaVern Baker: Her Greatest Recordings 105. Mickey Baker: The Wildest Guitar 106. The Balancing Act: Curtains 107. Hank Ballard and the Midnighters: 20 Hits 108. Bananarama: "Deep Sea Skiving" 109. Bananarama 110. Bananarama: The Greatest Hits Collection 111. The Band 112. The Band: Rock of Ages 113. Band of Susans: Hope Against Hope Mixworthy: "The Twist" and "Teardrops on My Letter," #107; "What a Shambles," #108; "Cruel Summer," "Rough Justice," and "Robert De Niro's Waiting," #109. There are famous songs on the LaVern Baker compilation ("Jim Dandy," "Tweedlee Dee"), but nothing that I can ever see myself including on a compilation for anybody. When Bananarama were great, which wasn't all that often, they were pretty great. The quotation marks around the titles of #102 and #108 appear on both cover and spine, so I've left them in. The Chet Baker title is especially strange--um, he's not really back, he's just back for more drug money and it's starting to get really exasperating?...The Band are the first of my Cavernous Blind Spots: deeply revered artists where I can't name a single song that holds any significance for me whatso- ever. If I get that far, they'll be joined down the road by James Brown, Randy New- man, Parliament/Funkadelic, and Otis Redding; Van Morrison gets a pass only because of a couple of Them songs. I know this sounds wishy-washy, but I'm reluctant to call any of them overrated--they obviously mean a great deal to enough people that I'll accept that there's something there I just don't connect with. (Not completely true; I'm a lot less reluctant to call Parliament/Funkadelic overrated, whose perceived stature I attribute largely to the influence of one very enthusiastic advocate among critics, and to 1980s college-radio trendiness among most everyone else.) If "Up on Cripple Creek" or "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" comes on the radio, some- times I'll let it play, sometimes not. They're good songs, but a kind of hollow recognition that they're good songs is the strongest reaction they summon forth. ____________________________________________________________________________ 114. Bangles 115. Bangles: All Over the Place 116. Bangles: Everything 117. Lester Bangs and the Delinquents: Jook Savages on the Brazos 118. Banjo Barons: The Thoroughly Modern Hits of Today 119. The Banks Brothers and the Greater Harvest Back Home Choir 120. The Barbarians 121. Bobby Bare: The Travelin' Bare 122. Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra: The Great Dance Bands of the '30s & '40s 123. Len Barry: 1-2-3 124. Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock: It Takes Two 125. Rob Base: The Incredible Base 126. Basement 5: 1965-1980 127. Basia: Time and Tide Mixworthy: "Moulty" and "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl," #120; "1-2-3," #123 (wow); "It Takes Two," #124. A couple of Bangles songs, "How Is the Air Up There" (#114) and "Hero Takes a Fall" (#115) are borderline, but the writing credit on "How Is the Air Up There" reminds me that it's a cover of the Electric Prunes or somebody--meaning chances are the original's even better--and I haven't listened to "Hero Takes a Fall" in years. Oh, Susanna... I wonder how many actual copies of the Lester Bangs album exist? 1000? 5000? How- ever many there are, take the square root and subtract 7, and that's how many people bought The Incredible Base, Rob Base's follow-up to It Takes Two. D.J. E-Z Rock gets a prominent thank-you in the credits, but judging from his complete non- participation on the album proper, that was obviously meant to smooth over some grim, Corleone-style parting-of-the-ways beforehand: "That's it, E-Z Rock--you're out." ____________________________________________________________________________ 128. Count Basie: Super Chief 129. Count Basie and His Orchestra: The Best of Count Basie 130. Count Basie and His Orchestra: Good Morning Blues 131. Count Basie/Jimmy Witherspoon: Vol. 2 132. Count Basie and His Orchestra: 1945/1946 133. Count Basie: Air Shots Birdland 134. Count Basie and His Orchestra: The Best of Basie 135. Toni Basil: Word of Mouth 136. Toni Basil 137. Shirley Bassey: The Best of Bassey 138. The Wonderful Shirley Bassey 139. The Fabulous Shirley Bassey 140. Stiv Bators: Disconnected 141. Bay City Rollers Mixworthy: "Saturday Night," #141--not as good as "Rock and Roll Love Letter," but close enough. I don't often put any jazz on the tapes or CDs I make for friends. It just doesn't fit--I've included Miles Davis's "It Never Entered My Mind" and Bill Evans' "Some Other Time" on a number of mushy ballad compilations (most of which were doomed attempts dating back to the late '80s to let some girl know how sensitive I was), also Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" or John Coltrane in other contexts, but gen- erally jazz exists separately for me from my main obsessions (Coltrane being the one significant exception). So when I list seven Count Basie LPs and don't single out anything as "mixworthy," it's not a comment on the music, which I like fine, just on how I use it and where I'm coming from. There's Count Basie and there's "Saturday Night," and for better or worse, my internal wiring is more connected to the Bay City Rollers side of the divide, and has been for a long time...#138 and #139 are both on the Music For Pleasure label. I hope the guy who was in charge of thinking up their titles was handsomely rewarded for his efforts. ____________________________________________________________________________ 142. Beach Boys: Surfer Girl 143. Beach Boys: All Summer Long 144. The Beach Boys' Christmas Album 145. The Beach Boys Today! 146. Beach Boys: Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) 147. Beach Boys' Party! 148. Beach Boys: Endless Summeer 149. Beach Boys: Pet Sounds 150. Beach Boys: Wild Honey 151. Beach Boys: Surf's Up 152. Beach Boys: Holland 152. Beach Boys: Holland 153. Good Vibrations: Best of the Beach Boys 154. The Beach Boys Love You 155. Beastie Boys: "Cooky Puss" 12-inch 156. Beastie Boys: "Rock Hard" 12-inch 157. Beastie Boys: "She's On It" 12-inch 158. Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill 159. Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique Mixworthy: I don't really know where to begin with the Beach Boys, a problem that will come up again with the Beatles, Dylan, the Rolling Stones, and Neil Young. The difficulty is in separating great songs I'm sick of from great songs that still have some life in them (for me, a tougher call with the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones--and Motown--than with the others just mentioned). If I arbitrarily limit myself to six, I guess I'd go with "All Summer Long" (#143), "Kiss Me, Baby" (#145), "Girl Don't Tell Me" (#146), "God Only Knows" (#149), "Surf's Up" (#151), and "Good Vibrations" (#153); the one album I'd keep if I could only keep one would be either The Beach Boys Today! or Pet Sounds. The Beastie Boys I'm pretty much sick of at this point--I find "You've Got to Fight" on the radio about as electrifying as the Irish Rovers' "Wasn't That a Party" as of late--so I'll bypass them altogether. I think the stuff on the two albums that followed Paul's Boutique would sound better right now. Speaking of which, I remember Sam's had a huge overrun of Paul's Boutique selling for $1.99 or $2.99 during the waning days of LPs. Even though I never cared much for the album, I should have bought a few and put them away; it really has one of the great gatefold covers of all time...All I seem to be doing now is talking about what I don't like, or don't like enough. Smile left me cold last year. I thought it made for an amazing story, like if at the end of the road Welles and Capote and everyone else who'd ever been identified with a long-rumored masterwork all finally got them finished and out there exactly in the form they'd envisioned, and Brian Wilson is one guy whom I wouldn't begrudge a bit his rediscovery and final flurry of adula- tion. But the record itself was so bizarrely anomalous and antiseptic. It reminded me of what I hated about Todd Haynes' Far From Heaven: "What universe does this be- long to?" I think Pet Sounds has always had something of a reputation for being overly precious and fussy, but next to Smile it's practically Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash. Smile is the life's work of a genius (not a word I use often) and Far From Heaven a dumb stunt, but they had the same effect on me.