Take Some Time to Get Away
1549. Los Popularos: Born Free 1550. John D. Loudermilk: Language of Love 1551. The Lounge Lizards 1552. Charlie Louvin: Country Souvenirs 1553. Love: Forever Changes 1554. Love/Hate: Blackout in the Red Room 1555. Under the Influence of...Love Unlimited 1556. Lyle Lovett 1557. Lene Lovich: Flex 1558. Andy Fairweather Low: La Booga Rooga 1559. Golden Hour of the Lovin' Spoonful 1560. Lovin' Spoonful: Everything Playing 1561. Nick Lowe: Jesus of Cool 1562. Nick Lowe: Labour of Lust 1563. L'Trimm: Grab It! 1564. The Lucy Show: Mania 1565. Jimmie Lunceford: "Rhythm Is Our Business" • Vol. 1 (1934-1935) Mixworthy: "Do You Believe in Magic" and "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice," #1559; "So It Goes," #1561. Spent: Love/Hate's "Slutsy Tipsy" and "Slave Girl." Just kidding--how could "Slutsy Tipsy" ever lose its appeal? Two more from the basement stash: Forever Changes and Everything Playing. I knew the Lovin' Spoonful when I came across these albums, but not Love, so finding out later that Forever Changes was a "masterful" record "justly regarded as one of the all-time rock classics" in Logan/Woffinden's book, and then seeing it ranked #16 in Gambacci- ni's, was big news. It's an album I never took to, though, and I've tried many times (as with 2001: A Space Odyssey, I go back every few years to see if anything clicks). I don't dislike it, and I thought about listing either "You Set the Scene" or "Alone Again Or." When I try again in 2008, maybe I'll feel the need to come back and fix that...My dad always claimed that Zal Yanovsky used to hang out at the YMCA across from his milk store (College and Dovercourt corner in Toronto) in the early '60s, so that factors into whatever good feelings I have about the Lovin' Spoonful. They seem pretty slight anyway. If I didn't designate "Daydream" or "Summer in the City" (two songs I loved when I first started listening to the radio) as spent, it's only because at a certain point of saturation, you pass into the realm of "uber-spent," a category unto itself...Before going any further, I'd like to wish success and happiness to all bands everywhere. Now move your van. _______________________________________________________________________________ 1566. Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam 1567. Rowland S. Howard/Lydia Lunch: "Some Velvet Morning" 12-inch 1568. Lurkers: God's Lonely Men 1569. The Teenagers 1570. Frankie Lymon: Rock 'N' Roll 1571. Here's Loretta Lynn 1572. Loretta Lynn's Greatest Hits 1573. Loretta Lynn: Back to the Country 1574. Loretta Lynn: Home 1575. Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty: Dynamic Duo 1576. Barbara Lynn: You'll Lose a Good Thing 1577. The World of Vera Lynn Vol. 2 1578. Vera Lynn: Favourite Sacred Songs 1579. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Second Helping 1580. Lynyrd Skynyrd Band: Gold & Platinum Mixworthy: "Out in the Dark," #1568; "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," "ABC's of Love," and "I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent," #1569; "Sweet Home Alabama," #1579; "Tuesday's Gone" and "Comin' Home," #1580. Spent: I'm aware that there's been an obvious disconnect between some of the songs I place in this category and some that I leave out. "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Whole Lot- ta Love" would be at the very top of many people's lists of never-need-to-hear-again songs, the very definition of spent, yet I've included both in the mixworthy group. There's no real explanation as to why I never seem to tire of them in the way that "Satisfaction" and "Purple Haze" have been dead to me for years, or why the opposite might be true for someone else. So really, a quantitative measure of overexposure is not the final arbiter of this category at all; it's as subjective as its partner mix- worthy. I was talking to someone at work just last week about "Sweet Home Alabama," refuting the notion that it was intended as a show of support for George Wallace. I've come across such an interpretation of the song on at least a couple of occasions. Depends on what you make of the first two lines in the third verse: "In Birmingham they love the governor/Now we all did what we could do" To me that seems clear: we didn't vote for the guy but the rest of the state did, so get over it. Coming back with the rejoinder about Nixon and Watergate is brilliant (as is the use of rhetoric in the Muscle Shoals verse), so much so that I always took the bit about "Does your conscience bother you?" at face value, an accusation that it was the rest of the country that was to blame for Nixon's reelection. Checking the appen- dices of The Making of the President 1972, though, I see what should have been obvious all along: Alabama voted overwhelmingly for Nixon, with a 73% level of support that ranked behind only Georgia and Mississippi. So now I'm not really sure what that line means. In any event, I continue to hear "Sweet Home Alabama" as a perfect combination of wisdom, anger, joy, humour, and audacity. That Neil Young had added it to his set- list within a year or two of its appearance isn't surprising; when you're cut down to size that convincingly, all you can really do if you're smart enough, and have a good enough sense of humour yourself, is wave the white flag. _______________________________________________________________________________ 1581. M: New York•London•Paris•Munich 1582. MC Lyte: Eyes on This 1583. Con Machito y sus Afro-Cubanos: Tremendo Cumban 1584. Madhouse: 8 1585. Madonna 1586. Madonna: Like a Virgin 1587. Madonna: "Angel"/"Into the Groove" 12-inch 1588. Madonna: True Blue 1589. Madonna: I'm Breathless 1590. Taj Mahal and the International Rhythm Band: Live & Direct 1591. Mahavishnu Orchestra: Birds of Fire 1592. Malibooz Rule! 1593. Main Ingredient: Greatest Hits 1594. Mainline: Canada Our Home & Native Land 1595. Maisonettes for Sale 1596. Major Lance: Major's Greatest Hits Mixworthy: "Holiday," #1585; "Shoo-Bee-Doo," #1586; "Get Into the Groove," #1587; "Open Your Heart," #1588; "Get Down To," #1594. My heart's not really into the Madonna picks at this point, but I'll do with her what I did with Hüsker Dü: go with the songs I used to love the most, without bothering to check how any of them hold up right now. I mentioned earlier that we wrote a lot about Michael Jackson in Radio On; take that and triple it, and that's how much there was on Madonna. By the time I reviewed Music a few years later (there's a link to the review elsewhere on this site), I think I'd said everything I'd ever conceivably want to say about Madonna. I'll use her instead as an example of something I've noticed while mak- ing my way through this, something that applied equally to Janet Jackson when I wrote about her, and that will later apply to the Pet Shop Boys and R.E.M.: that it feels odd writing about people who have large, or at least important, parts of their careers on both sides of the vinyl/CD divide. Most of the artists I'm writing about here are (posthumous compilations excluded) strictly vinyl. There are a lot of others who, even though they've continued to record into the CD era, are (to me, anyway) vinyl artists in spirit if not fact. Rod Stewart would be an obvious example, but I'd also include Neil Young, Dylan, and Lou Reed in that group; the only stuff of theirs I care about predates CDs. The flipside of that would be my favorite music of the past 15 years made by people who (without getting overly nitpicky about it) belong strictly to the CD era. That group is much smaller: Imperial Teen, Stereolab, Yo La Tengo, and a cou- ple of others, none of whom I'll be writing about in this context. (Yes, I know, Yo La Tengo dates back to the mid-80s--one of their early albums will be listed here. But all their best music comes later, well after CDs had dislodged vinyl.) And then there are the in-between people like Madonna and R.E.M. I have albums by them--famous ones like True Blue and Murmur, LPs that seem very much part of a vinyl continuum stretching back through Rumours and Sgt. Pepper and The "Chirping" Crickets--but they also put out music I love that may not even exist on vinyl: "Ray of Light," "Beautiful Stranger," Automatic for the People. (I bet there were a few hundred copies pressed of the latter.) There's vinyl-Madonna and there's CD-Madonna, and the continuity between one and the other feels a little strange to me. Does that make sense? I'll have to ask Scott Woods if he's noticing the same thing as he makes his way through his own collection...I have no idea if #1583 is filed cor- rectly or not. All I know for sure is that it belongs with the M's or the C's or the A's. Unless "Tremendo Cumban" is the artist and it belongs with the T's. _______________________________________________________________________________ 1597. Mamas and the Papas: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears 1598. Mama Cass: Dream a Little Dream 1599. Melissa Manchester: Greatest Hits 1600. The Five Faces of Manfred Mann 1601. The Best of Manfred Mann 1602. Manfred Mann's Earth Band 1603. Manhattans: There's No Me Without You 1604. Carl Mann: The Legendary Sun Performers 1605. Shelly Manne & His Men: Vol 1: The West Coast Sound 1606. Marcels: Blue Moon 1607. March Violets: "Deep" 12-inch 1608. Teena Marie: Emerald City 1609. Great American Hymns by the Mariners 1610. Pigmeat Markham: Here Come the Judge 1611. Marley Marl: In Control, Volume 1 1612. Bob Marley & the Wailers: 'Natty Dread' 1613. Mars Mixworthy: "Got a Feelin'," #1597; "Talkin' to Your Toothbrush," #1598; "Midnight Blue," #1599; "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," #1600; "Pretty Flamingo," #1601; "Blue Moon," #1606. I like the Mamas and Papas more than just the single song indicates. "Got a Feelin'" is up there with the Everlys in terms of harmony, and their half-speed cover of "Do You Wanna Dance" is as good in its way as the Ramones' breakneck version (there's a good algebra problem in there: "Let x represent Bobby Freeman..."). "California Dream- in'" and "Monday, Monday" are great, although right now they're in that grey area for me between mixworthy and spent. The grey area is a good place for the former--if the day's dreary enough and "California Dreamin'" comes on the radio, it still has the intended effect. And "Talkin' to Your Toothbrush" from the Mama Cass album, with its dreamy Hawaiian morning-after feel--I'm predicting that Dreamy Hawaiian Morning-After will be the next big thing once grime runs its course--might be better than any of them...I'm surprised to discover that I have a Bob Marley album. I must have got it towards the end of my record-buying days, because for the longest time I was conscious of the fact that I didn't have anything by Marley. I've been trying to get a vinyl copy of Birth of a Legend for some time, after really liking a couple of mid-60s ballads on a tape someone made for me. For the most part, though, I was tired of Marley's two or three FM-radio hits from the '70s before I ever got a start on buying his albums.