Sunday, January 22, 2017

Early Music that Influenced Me (and a sailing photo)

I finished this post while watching the Steelers and Patriot’s game.  I’m not happy the outcome.  We’ve had bad thunderstorms since Saturday afternoon and for much of the time we've been under a tornado watch.  However, before the weather turned bad, I was able to enjoy a bit of time yesterday on the water.  The winds were strong (so strong that we decided not to race).  As the wind blew from offshore, it brought in fog. It was exciting to be on the water as the photo illustrates. 

I decided to follow a post by Charles at "Razor Zen.  This "meme" calls for a list of  the top ten albums (from ten bands) that were important to me during my teenage years.   It took me a while to whittle down my list to ten.  I stuck to music that was important during my high school years.  There are others that albums that became important in my waning teen years, but was after I was in high school.  This list of bands would include Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here” came out just after I graduated high school), Steely Dan, Van Morrison, and the Cars.  There were others that were important in high school and would continue to be important, that just didn’t quite make the cut include Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, Heart, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, 3 Dog Night, and the Carpenters (who didn’t love Karen Carpenter’s voice and what American boy didn’t lust over her looks).  Here are my top ten bands with their album and the year it was released:

  • Beatles, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band” (1967).  This is one of the oldest of the albums I remember enjoying in high school.  Although I knew most of the songs on the album, I still remember listening to it in its entirety during my junior year.  By then the Beatles had broken up, but I found myself rediscovering their music. 
  • Yes, “Fragile” (1971),  (Roundabout, Long Distance Runaround,  Heart of Sunrise)  Yes was one of my favorite groups in high school and it was hard to pick an album.  I still enjoy listening to their music that blended rock and roll with the classics. 
  • The Doors, “LA Woman” (1971)   This was the group’s last album with Jim Morrison. The single, "L. A. Woman" was great rock and roll.  I would later appreciate The Doors for their blues (“Waiting for the Sun” is a favorite album), but in high school it was all about rock.  This album also had other hits such as “Riders of the Storm” and “Love Her Madly.” 
  • Moody Blues, “Days of Future Passed” (1967).   I’ve always thought “Nights in White Satin” was one of the most beautiful songs ever.  However, it is hard for me to pick out one album by the Moody Blues, as I enjoyed their first six or seven albums. 
  • Led Zeppelin, “Led Zeppelin IV” (1971).  I was in the seventh grade when Led Zeppelin’s second album was released with the song, “Whole Lotta Love.”  From then on, they became a favorite group.  The group’s fourth album had the classic single “Stairway to Heaven” which was probably the song most played during my high school years.  The album, which featured a peasant man carrying wood on the cover, also included the “Battle for Evermore.”
  • Marshall Tucker Band, “Marshall Tucker Band,” (1973), “Can’t You See” has always reminded me of the possibility of jumping a freight as a way out of a situation.  I remember seeing them in concert in 74 or 75.
  • Chicago, “Chicago” (1971).  Although I really liked Chicago's first album, "CTA," their second album really made the group.  I still remember hearing “25 or 6 to 4” while riding to Atlanta Georgia in 1970.  This album also featured other favorites: “Make Me Smile,” and “Color My World.”
  • Deep Purple, Machine Head 1972 – This album had the classic, "Smoke on the Water" which helped out with my geography as I had to look at a map to discover the location of Lake Geneva (this was before I began studying John Calvin who lived much of his life after fleeing France in Geneva). 
  • The Eagles, “Desperado” (1972).  I always enjoyed The Eagles.   In my 30s, when I was refusing to settle down, many people suggested that “Desperado” could be my theme song.  It could have been worse.  They could have suggested “Tequila Sunrise.” 
  • Rolling Stones, “Goats Head Soup” (1973).  This is the album that featured “Angie,” but there were a number of other great songs including the funky “Coming Down Again” and the fast paced, “Heartbreaker.” 

Although I would continue to enjoy all this, in college I began listening to Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra, Steely Dan, The Cars, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and the early albums by Jefferson Airplane. 


  1. Just a couple of months before Glenn Frey passed I got to see the Eagles in concert. It was in Greenville, South Carolina and I came away wishing I had seen them when I had the chance while station in Colorado. That concert was in Denver and while my ticket would have been free, I just didn't want to risk driving on a snowy interstate at night.

  2. I appreciate all those choices, though for some reason, I'm just not familiar with the Marshall Tucker Band's music.

    I still say Stairway to Heaven is the best rock song of all time. Sadly, my senior year was dominated by AC/DC.

  3. Yes to Yes. Loved a lot of that Fragile album. Roundabout was a staple for us. I'd almost forgotten. Machine Head was another early favorite for me but I heard most of it only after I'd heard Stormbringer, from my list

  4. You remind me of how much I loved the Moody Blues when I was in college. I think I wore out the needle on my turntable playing their music.

  5. Nice song choices. I feel like have a concert now.

  6. I already knew I loved reading your blog, but now you've won me over completely. Even though I mostly listen to jazz these days, the majority of what you've listed here was a staple in my musical life.

    Yes is my all-time favorite group and Close to the Edge my favorite of their albums. So much good stuff here!!

  7. I'm with Kelly -- which is not surprising since we are lifelong friends and high school classmates (and,until she married, shared the same last name!). I am familiar with all of these, although not all are favorites. I appreciate the talent of Yes and can even hum a few lines of Close to the Edge, but never was a huge fan. I'm right there with you re Karen Carpenter and her one of a kind voice. Saw the Eagles as they started the Hotel California tour a looooong time ago and became an instant fan. Chicago, Led Zeppelin -- both favorites, and Color My World and Stairway to Heaven are old slow dance memories. Other favorites were, and still are, James Taylor and Carole King.

  8. Wait doesn't the weather generally blow from the landward side?

    Not a bad list of music, though it is bare of the best which would be The Who. I have seen about half of your list live, Yes was good, Moody Blues was awful and the rest middlin'. The Stones--the last live show I ever saw and that was nearly 40 years ago. Jagger was still able to climb the tower of speakers and not worry about breaking his hip.

    1. Not always. We often get ocean breezes when the land is warmer than the ocean, or depending on the type of front moving through also affects the way the wind blows.

      I don't remember getting into The Who much until college. The movie, Tommy, came out right as I was finishing up my senior year in high school, but I think it was after graduation that I saw it.

  9. I heard south Georgia got nailed by bad weather. We just had a little thunder shower in Atlanta. No big deal. Sorry your team didn't win their game. But Atlanta did! Go Falcons!

  10. The picture of the boat against the incoming fog was exciting. I can see why you chose not to race. Sunny days are the best. Interesting playlist you pulled together. A blast from the 70's!

  11. Great photo! It does look intense on the water there. Your list of albums bring back a lot of memories. There was so much great music made in the 70's.

  12. Well, I may have to steal this as well. Perhaps then I can manage more than six posts this year. I love music, and therefore, pretty much any post associated with music.

    I did not realize Yes was around then. I have "Owner of a Lonely Heart" on my iTunes, but need to delve into their older stuff. "Can't You See" is a great song. "Heard It in a Love Song," too.

    I could never get into Pink Floyd. Probably should give them another try.

  13. I don't listen to any of those bands except for Chicago and Moody Blues. The only reason I even now of Moody Blues is because my husband loves them and used to play their CD's all the time.

  14. You have a fair amount of sail up, I bet changing tacks was fun. I'd agree with most of your choices, might add Allman Bros, and another Southern group 'Cowboy', Boyer and Talton.

  15. My favorite Moody Blues album was (and is) Seventh Sojourn - I've listened to it a zillion times.

    And Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here is one of my favorite songs.

  16. I love Led Zepelin and Chicago one of my favorites.
    A time I had all of Chicago !

  17. Some good choices there specially the Moody Blues and the Eagles

  18. Interesting to see your choices.
    We are so blessed to have so many wonderful choices. Something for every occasion and every mood.

    I was so fortunate to see The Eagles in concert (years back now) but I remember it so well.

    All the best Jan

  19. Although I was not in high school during that time frame, I have more than half of those albums and have probably listened to (and enjoyed) the rest at some point in my life. I probably would have replaced The Doors with Jim Croce though!

  20. Your list brought back many memories for me. I think if I checked my vinyl collection I'd find at least seven of these albums. Your sail looked exhilarating! Hope your weather improves!

  21. What a great list! I don't know the Marshall Tucker Band and I only knew Chicago's singles, but all the others were on rotation at my house too! Alongside all the 90s British bands I loved :-)

  22. Oh yes, this is fabulous, music plays quite a major part in my life too. We have much the same taste here I see too!

  23. You and I like a lot of the same music. In fact, I just listen to Fragile last weekend. Two of my favorite songs (back in the day) are on that album. Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround.

    My all time favorite band was Spirit. Not the 20th regurgitation of Spirit, but the original. Jay Ferguson, Randy California, and so on.

  24. Great list of albums.. many of which would be mine as well.