Sunday, August 24, 2008

It has a good beat, and you can dance to it - What music defined you?

Tim Abbott from Walking the Berkshires wrote a post a few weeks back entitled, "The Soundtracks of My Salad Days.” Tim talked about the 10 most influential albums during his teenage years that defined the person he became. His last sentence read, “How about you?”


Though I’m a little late to the party, I’d like to nominate my own list, though a mere 10 albums won’t quite do it.


Back in those days, we listened to (horrors!) AM radio, and the one station that everybody was tuned in to was CKLW out of Detroit. I can still remember sun bathing in my backyard, with some Sun In spritzed into my hair, little black goggles on my eyes, baking to the tune of The Archies’s, “Sugar, Sugar.”


Sugar, Oh, Honey, Honey. You are my candy girl, and you got me wanting you.”


No, that wasn’t one of my defining songs, but as they use to say on American Bandstand, “It has a good beat and you can dance to it.”


I hesitate to cop to the following list, for fear it might be used to prove instability in a court of law someday. But what the heck, my children should know which artists and their albums are to blame for the mother’s odd behavior.

Peter, Paul and Mary - "In the Wind" 1963 (Technically this was released before my teenage years, but the song, "Blowin in The Wind" had a big impact on my views of war and I listened to the album, and that song throughout my teenage years.)

Beatles - “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” 1967

Iron Butterfly - “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” 1968


The Association – “Greatest Hits” 1969 (My then boyfriend, very romantically, requested the song "Cherish" be played on the radio as a surprise present for me.)

Blood Sweat and Tears – “Blood Sweat and Tears” 1969

Three Dog Night – “Suitable for Framing” 1969


The Carpenters – “Close to You” 1970 (Okay, I know I lose all credibility with this pick, but the album and falling in love for the first time, happened in the same year.)

James Taylor – “Sweet Baby James” 1970 (Note, Grandson has been indoctrinated with some of these songs.)

Beatles – “Let It Be” (1970) (My all time favorite.)

John Lennon – “Imagine” 1970

Cat Stevens – “Tea for the Tillerman” 1970 (This pick is my college roommate’s fault. She played it so often it became tattooed on my brain.)

Santana – “Abraxas” 1970

Simon and Garfunkel – “Bridge Over Troubled Water” 1970

Chicago – “Chicago II” 1970

James Taylor – “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon” 1971

Carole King – “Tapestry” 1971 (This one is tattooed on my roommate’s brain because I played IT constantly.)

Rod Stewart – “Every Picture Tells a Story” 1971 (Wake up Maggie, I think I got something to say you. It’s late September and I really should be back at school.)

Steely Dan – “Can’t Buy A Thrill” 1972

Helen Reddy – “I Am Woman” 1972

Jim Croce - “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” 1972

For the record, when I was a teenager and they would advertise songs written in the 1950’s and 1940’s on special, one of a kind albums, I thought it was the lamest thing I had ever heard. I couldn’t imagine the point of advertising OLD songs and expecting people to actually BUY THEM. Man, life certainly likes throwing all that youthful arrogance right back in your face.


So, how about you.? What youthful music listening habits shaped you into the person you are today?


Until Next Time – Happy Ancestral Digging.

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