That Big Box of Vinyl
I've been participating in a CD mix exchange, off and on, with some old friends for a few months now, and I thought this month's theme was worth sharing. The theme is "music you remember your parents listening to." Now, I grew up with my mother and step-father, and saw my father on weekends. My father listened to CBS FM out of NY pretty much exclusively, and I don't think owned a record player (or, later, CD Player), never mind any records. Ditto my mother--our household's music collection was pretty much all my step-fathers, and he had a big box of vinyl that I would leaf through on occasion. That's the musical environment I grew up in; here's the playlist it yielded.
1. "Feels So Good" - Chuck Mangione
When I first got a CD player, and didn't have many CDs of my own, I would leaf through my step-father's CDs to see if there was anything good. The Chuck Mangione Greatest Hits CD was one he would play around the house, and it's one I would listen to as well. Now, why a somewhat cheesy flugelhornist from the 70s would appeal to me I have no idea. But he did. Does. I mean, come on. This is just awesome.
2. "Deacon Blues" - Steely Dan
My step-father was a Steely Dan fan and had a few of their discs. This is the song that always stood out for me; something in the lyric "They got a name for the winners in the world. I want a name when I lose." That's a great line.
3. "The Logical Song" - Supertramp
Another CD that got heavy rotation in our house was The Best of Supertramp. This is a band that seems pretty forgotten today, but damn they wrote some great melodies, didn't they? Something a bit old-fashioned and structurally sound a bout them. And I'll never stop loving that high note.
4. "Travelin' Prayer" - Billy Joel
My step-father had this album on vinyl, and it was my first real exposure to Billy Joel. I knew "Piano Man: already, but this banjo-and-jew's harp-driven song is the one that just delighted me as a kid. Still does.
5. "Blue Sky" - The Allman Brothers
I'm cheating a bit now, since I really don't remember him playing The Allman Brothers much, but we went to see them at The Beacon a few years back, and it was a good time.
6. "Jesus Is Just All Right" - The Doobie Brothers
Yet another greatest hits album that got a lot of play in our house. I always liked The Doobies, and was always excited to come across their What's Happenin'? episode on TV.
7. "The Wonder of You" - Elvis Presley
This is one for my wife, for this is one I heard through her father, not mine. It's his favorite Elvis Presley song, and one I had never heard until it was played at a wedding we were at for her family. He's right; it's one hell of a song.
8. "Heaven On Their Minds" - Andrew Lloyd Weber
The Jesus Christ Superstar album is another I discovered in that
box of vinyl. I dubbed a copy so I could listen to it on my Walkman, and must have listened to it a hundred times, easy. I still expect to hear skips in a few places when I listen to it.
9. "Tuesday Afternoon" - The Moody Blues
Both my mother and step-father were big Moody Blues fans and we saw them in concert a few times. As a teen I didn't quite see the orchestral titles and grandiosity as closely as I do now, but I still kind of love this stuff.
10. "Colour My World" - Chicago
My mother and father's wedding song. I somehow got a hold of an easy piano version of the sheet music and had fun playing through that piano line.
11. "Can't Help Falling in Love" - Elvis Presley
A staple of those CBS FM car rides with my dad.
12. "Rainbow Connection" - Willie Nelson
The The Muppet Movie soundtrack was another find from that box of vinyl. I couldn't find the awesome Kermit version on iTunes, but this Willie Nelson cover is pretty much the most awesome thing ever so I'm happy to share it. Again.