The Door Was Open and the Wind Appeared
236. Bobby Bland: Call on Me 237. Bobby Bland: Ain't Nothin' You Can Do 238. "The Best of Bobby Bland" 239. Bobby "Blue" Bland: Sweet Vibrations 240. The Blasters 241. Blondie 242. Blondie: Parallel Lines 243. Blondie: Eat to the Beat 244. Blood on the Saddle 245. Bloodstone: Unreal 246. Bloodstone: Train Ride to Hollywood 247. The Bobby Bloom Album 248. Kurtis Blow 249. Kurtis Blow: Back by Popular Demand Mixworthy: "Ain't Nothin' You Can Do," #237; "Hanging on the Telephone," #242; "Shayla," #243; "Outside Woman," #245; "Montego Bay," #247. No Kurtis Blow--as I've written before, the most famous early rap (which for me, like for the great majority of white hip-hop fans, covers everything before Rais- ing Hell and Licensed to Ill) generally goes right past me. It's either stuff like "The Breaks" that just sounds really dated to me, or other stuff I've never heard at all. And if I haven't heard it by now, there's a very good chance that hearing it for the first time won't make a difference. I'm probably one of the few people who believe that hip-hop has had a rather astonishing run of getting better and better all the time. (Let me amend that: I'm one of the few people who write about music who believes that. There are also the ten million teenagers who bought the 50 Cent album who'd agree.) The 97% of it that's useless is as bad right now as the worst generic rock imaginable (and getting worse all the time), but the best hip- hop songs in any given year always strike me as more exciting than the best hip- hop songs from two or five years ago. "99 Problems" seems even more amazing than "Get Ur Freak On," which was more amazing than "Fantastic Voyage," which was more amazing than "It Takes Two," so on and so forth. (I left out "Work It," which was so good it messes with my theory.) But to try to go back to "The Breaks" and mi- raculously reimagine the context that made it so interesting and unusual in the first place--well, I can’t do it. And, as I indicated earlier in connection to the Beastie Boys, this is not a black/white thing, but rather a function of the genre: Licensed to Ill sounds almost as dated to me as "The Breaks." ___________________________________________________________________________ 250. Blow Monkeys: Forbidden Fruit 251. Blow Monkeys & Kym Mazelle: "Wait" 12-inch 252. Blue Jays: Lover's Island 253. Blue Magic 254. Blue Magic: The Magic of the Blue 255. Blue Oyster Cult: Agents of Fortune 256. Blues Magoos: Psychedelic Lollipop 257. Blurt: "White Line Fever" 12-inch 258. Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans: Phil Spector Wall of Sound Vol. 2 259. BoDeans: Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams 260. Bohannon: Insides Out 261. Bohannon: Dance Your Ass Off 262. Bohannon: On My Way 263. Bohannon: Too Hot to Hold Mixworthy: "Lover's Island," #252; "Sideshow," #253; "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," #255; "Queen of My Nights," #256; "My Heart Beats a Little Faster," #258; "Disco Stomp," #260. Despite what I said earlier about not taking the time to recheck individual songs, now and again I cheat--had to refresh my memory on the Blue Jays and Blues Magoos. "Queen of My Nights" is a really pretty "Louie Louie" rip, a garage-band equivalent of Suicide's "Cheree." Garage bands doing ballads are as inherently funny as 50 Cent doing ballads. I once saw Blurt open up for someone at the Concert Hall in the early '80s--likely either New Order or Public Image. They were, to borrow a phrase from either Bangs or Christgau, very, very skronky. "White Line Fever" was either their Jan-Michael Vincent or Ted Nugent tribute, I can't remember which...As great as "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is, it's never the first thing I think of when I hear Blue Oyster Cult mentioned. That would be Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High: "No, I don't have any Blue Oyster Cult. Where were you last week? I was that close to workin' at 7-11..." ____________________________________________________________________________ 264. Gary U.S. Bonds: Dance 'til Quarter to Three With U.S. Bonds 265. Gary U.S. Bonds: U.S. Bonds Greatest Hits 266. Gary U.S. Bonds: Dedication 267. Boney M: Nightflight to Venus 268. Bongos: Numbers With Wings 269. Sean Bonniwell: The Bonniwell Music Machine 270. Bonzo Dog Band: The Best of the Bonzo's 271. Book of Love 272. Book of Love: Lullaby 273. Chuckii Booker: Chuckii 274. Booker T. & the M.G.'s: Greatest Hits 275. Pat Boone: Moonglow 276. Pat Boone: I'll See You in My Dreams 277. 15 Hits of Pat Boone Mixworthy: "I Touch Roses," #271; "Pretty Boys and Pretty Girls" and "With a Little Love," #272; "Time Is Tight," #274. The Booker T. album covers the late '60s, so no "Green Onions," else I'd list that too. I don't know if Book of Love are under- rated--whenever they are mentioned, it's by someone who thinks highly of them--but they're definitely all but forgotten 20 years later. Sean Bonniwell was in the Music Machine, as you might guess from #269's title. Hard to believe, but I had never heard "Talk Talk" even once until I downloaded a best- of a few months ago. I don't really like it all that much, but they did a great "Cherry, Cherry"...One person reading this will understand what I mean when I say that in another place and at another time, I would have felt pressure to say some- thing about Boney M. I'm very glad that pressure is gone. It was a lot for anyone to handle. Free at last, free at last--God almighty, free at last. ____________________________________________________________________________ 278. Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Lonely Avenue 279. David Bowie: Hunky Dory 280. David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars 281. David Bowie: Pin Ups 282. David Bowie: Station to Station 283. David Bowie: Changesonebowie 284. David Bowie: Low 285. David Bowie: Changestwobowie 286. The Best of the Box Tops 287. Boy George: Sold 288. Boys: Message From the Boys 289. Brains: Electronic Eden 290. Anthony Braxton: For Trio 291. The Best of Bread Mixworthy: "Kooks" and "Queen Bitch," #279; "Hang On to Yourself" and "Suffragette City," #280; "Rebel Rebel" and "Diamond Dogs," #283; "Make It With You" and "Every- thing I Own," #291. I once put the Boys' "Dial My Heart" on a year-end list, but I overrated a lot of bubblegummy dance-pop through the late '80s, as people will some- times do when they've experienced (or think they've experienced) a moment of great clarity--see Black Flag entry. No need for such reevaluation of Bread's simpy early- 70s folk-pop, however, which obviously continues to cast a giant shadow over the pop landscape. The '70s...My convoluted and ever-evolving stance on David Bowie has become a run- ning joke between Scott Woods and myself. It involves me expending a lot of energy explaining why David Bowie is one of the most pompous and laughable people who has ever walked the face of the Earth, and then once every year or so, I experience a moment of great clarity and announce that such-and-such by Bowie is the most sub- lime pop song ever, even though I’ve now realized that he's even more pompous and laughable than I thought he was before. Or something like that--even I'm not sure anymore. We've gone through this with "Kooks," "Hang On to Yourself," and "Rebel Rebel," with "Queen Bitch" added to the list after I saw The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou a couple of weeks ago. I mean, really—-he's awful...The Anthony Braxton cover art is worth the price of admission. I'm hoping I can find an image somewhere on- line to post, but no luck so far. It's like a slightly less cogent version of Matt Damon's blackboard scribblings in Good Will Hunting. Very good teaching aid: frac- tions, plane geometry, abstract art, possibly even Egyptian hieroglyphics as part of the grade 5 Ancient Civilizations unit. ___________________________________________________________________________ 292. Breaking Circus: The Very Long Fuse 293. Here's Teresa Brewer 294. Brides of Funkenstein: Funk or Walk 295. Brides of Funkenstein: Never Buy Texas From a Cowboy 296. The Brigade: The Dividing Line 297. Johnny Bristol: Bristol's Creme 298. Britny Fox 299. The Brood 300. Arthur Brown: The Crazy World of Arthur Brown 301. Bobby Brown: Don't Be Cruel 302. Clifford Brown: The Quintet Vol. 1 303. Clifford Brown and Max Roach: Pure Genius Volume One 304. Dennis Brown: Love Has Found Its Way 305. Foxy Brown: Foxy Mixworthy: I had "Every Little Step" (#301) high on the same year-end as the Boys' "Dial My Heart," and even though the joy and youth and sense of self-discovery that made that record so exciting at the time have probably been, uh, compromised some- what by Bobby Brown's decade-long mutation into Bobby Blake, I'll give it a pass. Beyond that, I'm coming up empty. Britny Fox’s haircuts are worth preserving in some format or another. Great opening in the liner notes for Arthur Brown: "At first--with Arthur Brown being lowered by crane on to the stage--it looked like just another piece of zani- ness. But..." "At first?" "But?" Where could this possibly be headed? Some place that involves the word "fastish." God save the queen, the fastish regime.