Tales from the Vinyl Jungle [6 albums that changed my life]

As the 60’s turned into the 70’s I entered High School and as my life changed so did my music. Growing up I had always loved music and the radio was where I got my references from, But in High School I discovered other forms of music such as Jazz,Blues and Folk. The following are my 6 albums that changed the way I looked at and listened to music. They made me expand my mind and track down the other forms of music that was out there. Sure I listened to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Guess Who and other top acts of the era, but there was something else out there and I was determined to find them. So here goes the 6 albums in no particular order.

The Flying Burrito Brothers=Gilded Palace of Sin[1969]

A Girlfriend introduced me to this album in grade 10. Up until then Country music was off limits, but she insisted I hear this new style of Country so grudgingly I did. Next day I went out and bought this one and “Burrito Deluxe” as well. The sound of Country, Folk and rock combined to give a blast of Cosmic Joy. This of course led me on a path to discover Gram Parsons[a founding member as well as an ex-Byrd] and the outlaw movement in Country. Waylon, Hank Jr,Willie and eventually the Man in Black himself. Poco, Little River Band and the Eagles followed. Don’t know where that Girlfriend went but all these bands are in my CD collection.

LOVE=Forever Changes[1967]

At a party one night a friend of mine threw his big brothers album on the turntable and the world sounded different. The guitar work,lyrics and the folk sensibility seemed to call to me. Everybody had heard of the dead and Jefferson Airplane and of course the Doors but LOVE showed me there were other bands that were involved with the California sound. Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, Spirit and Pacific Gas and Electric were just a few of the bands that soon found there way into my record collection.

Miles Davis=Kind of Blue[1959]
What can I say. Music appreciation class, Grade 11. The Teacher brought this album in and threw it on the turntable and said, if you don’t like this you don’t know or like music. John Coltrane soon arrived in my Collection as well.

Velvet Underground=Velvet Underground and Nico[1967]
More commonly called the banana album, this album opened the ears of a generation to a sound that was as raw as it was powerful. Not the slick sounds of the Beatles or led Zeppelin. Not even the ruggedness of Black Sabbath, this was different, this was truly something unique. The NewYork Dolls, NRBQ and the Stooges were later but without this album I may have never found the others.

Eric Andersen=Blue River[1972]
Sure I knew who Bob Dylan was but I really didn’t listen to him as folk music was not my scene,or so I thought. When I first heard this album in early 1972 at Sam the Record Man I was hooked. The lyrics, melody’s and emotions sank into me quickly and made me change my mind about the folk scene. It allowed me to check out and fall in love with not only Andersen and Dylan but also with Tim Buckley, Richard Thompson, Arlo Guthrie and many more.

Frank Sinatra=In the wee Small Hours[1955]
Thats right Sinatra. OK you can laugh as I did when my Dad would play this but in the summer of 1979 the music world sucked and I was looking for something different. So I headed to a record show in Toronto and started to check out the collections available. I got into a discussion with one of the dealers and he grabbed this album and shoved into my hands, told me I could have it for free, but with one request. I had to listen to it honestly. Well I did and before you could say New York New York I bought another Sinatra Album. Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Sammy Davis Jr all entered my collection before the end of the year.

So there you have it. Six albums that changed my life. They may not be the best and only one still sits in my top 25 of all time[LOVE] but I own them all on disc and still play them today. So do yourself a favour and open your listening spirit to allow other forms of music in, You won’t regret it.

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