Waxing Nostalgic [music]

Music is a big deal where I work at and I hear a lot of it on their radio that I don’t like. No matter how well I try to appreciate music after the 1980s, “I like that old-time rock ‘n’ roll” best. Of course, my definition of old-time rock ‘n’ roll differs from some of my older friends who grew up listening to singers like Elvis, Pat Boone, and Little Richard.

The music I grew up listening to is the background soundtrack of my life right now. It’s what I play when I’m writing, making art, driving, or just kicking back and being cool, daddio. (Sorry. I’m too young to have been a beatnik, but I couldn’t resist throwing daddio out there. My generation would have said “man,” which lacks poetic finesse.)

My life’s soundtrack takes me back to the 1960s and 70s. The albums listed below are off the top of my head and ones I still listen to. (I kept the list at 10, which omitted many other albums that are part of my background soundtrack.) They all packed a punch to my heart and soul when I put needle to their black and shiny vinyl those many years ago.

Here they are, chronologically.

The Beatles – Revolver, Capital Records version, released in 1966

Revolver was the first Beatles album I owned because my Beatle Fan cousin didn’t like it. What? How is that possible? Anyway, my dad was not a fan of the band, so I had to keep it under lock and key and listen to it with headphones on. The music blew me away. Got To Get You Into My Life was my theme song for many years.

Side 1
Eleanor Rigby
Love You To
Here, There And Everywhere
Yellow Submarine
She Said She Said

Side 2
Good Day Sunshine
For No One
I Want To Tell You
Got To Get You Into My Life
Tomorrow Never Knows

Steppenwolf – Steppenwolf 7, released in 1970

In 1969, I became a paperboy in my little hometown and delivered the “big city” newspaper trucked in from the shores of Lake Erie, so I could suddenly afford $5 albums instead of the usual 25-cent 45s. My first Steppenwolf album was the band’s fifth studio album for Dunhill Records. None of the songs made the top 40. But all were instant hits to me. They still are.

Side 1
Ball Crusher
Forty Days And Forty Nights
Fat Jack

Side 2
Foggy Mental Breakdown
Snowblind Friend
Who Needs Ya’
Hippo Stomp

Sugarloaf – Sugarloaf, released in 1970

Yes, I played Green-Eyed Lady to death when it became my favorite go-to song when I was feeling down. I was 13; nuff said. The rest of the album has great rock rhythms and riffs to perk up your day.

Side 1
Green-Eyed Lady
The Train Kept A-Rollin’ (Stroll On)
Medley: Bach Doors Man / Chest Fever

Side 2
West Of Tomorrow
Gold And The Blues
Things Are Gonna Change Some

Yes – Fragile, Released in 1971

Although I thought The Yes Album, which came before this one, was the greatest progressive rock album ever, Fragile blew me away. So did the following album, Close To The Edge, which gets an honorable mention. In fact, I can go weeks just listening to these three albums and nothing else.

Side 1
Cans And Brahms
We Have Heaven
South Side Of The Sky

Side 2
Five Per Cent For Nothing
Long Distance Runaround
The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)
Mood For A Day
Heart Of The Sunrise

The Who – Who’s Next, Released in 1971

I had the 45-rpm I Can See For Miles by The Who that I played to death, and I had heard their Tommy album a few times at school in my English and creative studies classes before I bought the Who’s Next album in 1971. A few months later, I bought their compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy and wore out several needles playing the two albums. But Who’s Next is my favorite—a classic!

Side 1
Baba O’Riley
Love Ain’t For Keeping
My Wife
The Song Is Over

Side 2
Getting In Tune
Going Mobile
Behind Blue Eyes
Won’t Get Fooled Again

Deep Purple – Machine Head, Released in 1972

Deep Purple’s most successful album. I never tire of Space Truckin’, Highway Star, and, of course, Smoke On The Water.

Side 1
Highway Star
Maybe I’m A Leo
Pictures Of Home
Never Before

Side 2
Smoke On the Water
Space Truckin’

Uriah Heep – The Magician’s Birthday, Released in 1972

I had a “hard rock, acid rock” friend who was a fan of Ken Hensley from a band called The Gods. When he found out that Hensley was with a new group called Uriah Heep, he bought their albums. One of our favorite albums was Salisbury, and we played Side 1 until we wore it out. I still love those songs: High Priestess, The Park, Time To Live, and Lady In Black. When Mercury Records released The Magician’s Birthday by Uriah Heep, I bought it immediately and never regretted it. This is probably Heep’s greatest album—great stuff for heavy rock fans, though Hensley pens some nice gentle songs too.

Side 1
Spider Woman
Blind Eye
Echoes In The Dark

Side 2
Sweet Lorraine
The Magician’s Birthday

Moody Blues – This Is The Moody Blues, Released in 1974

I had many 45s by the Moody Blues that I liked before I bought this compilation album and wore it out. It has been my go-to album for many years.

Side 1
The Actor
The Word
Eyes Of A Child
Dear Diary
Legend Of A Mind

Side 2
In The Beginning
Lovely To See You
Never Comes the Day
Isn’t Life Strange
The Dream
Have You Heard (Part 1)
The Voyage
Have You Heard (Part 2)

Side 3
Ride My See-Saw
Tuesday Afternoon
And The Tide Rushes In
New Horizons
A Simple Game
Watching And Waiting

Side 4
I’m Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)
For My Lady
The Story In Your Eyes
Melancholy Man
Nights In White Satin
Late Lament

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here, Released in 1975

Everyone loved Dark Side Of The Moon, including me. But Wish You Were Here was my go-to album for many years.

Side 1
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I–V)
Welcome To The Machine

Side 2
Have A Cigar
Wish You Were Here
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI–IX)

Queen – A Night At The Opera, released 1975

I had graduated high school in May before this album came out in November. This is Queen’s first album and IMHO, their best.

Side 1
Death On Two Legs (Dedicated to…)
Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
I’m In Love With My Car
You’re My Best Friend
Sweet Lady
Seaside Rendezvous

Side 2
The Prophet’s Song
Love Of My Life
Good Company
Bohemian Rhapsody
God Save The Queen

One thought on “Waxing Nostalgic [music]

  1. badfinger20

    Sugarloaf… I was 8 in 1975 and I remember the song “Don’t Call Us We’ll Call You”…loved that song.
    Revolver – It doesn’t get better…Great choices

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