I don't know about you, but there are certain songs and albums that I always associate with particular seasons. One of those albums is Emerson, Lake & Palmer's progressive rock masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery. On a gloomy, chilly October day like today in New Jersey my mind often drifts to the gloomy imagery and sounds of the album. While most fans would probably point to the 30-minute "Karn Evil 9" suite as the high point of the album, I tend to go for "Toccata," the group's adaptation of the Fourth Movement of Alberto Ginastera's 1st Piano Concert. It's a muscular and moody instrumental workout, the type that ELP excelled at in their prime. It's also one of their best classical music interpretations. Keith Emerson steals the show with his ridiculous arrangement and keyboards, b
If there's one thing the internet lacks, it's pointless music lists. So to fill that void, here's a sampling of my favorite albums from some random year. Let's say, 1972. Fleetwood Mac, Bare Trees -- Oh sure, I love Rumours as much as the next person. But there's something about this particular, pre-Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band that speaks to me. Bare Trees is a bit uneven in spots but I keep coming back to it just the same. That said, the original version of Bob Welch's "Sentimental Lady" found on this record is far superior to the 1977 hit single version. Steely Dan, Can't Buy a Thrill -- I don't care if Donald Fagen and Walter Becker want to disown this record, I love it and I know a ton of Dan fans love it. Like all classic Steely Dan records, the hits are only part o...
At long last, I present the conclusion of my list of 20 albums that have had the most impact on me and my love of music. For a brief refresher, you can check the back half of the top 20 here. But for your convenience, here's the list: #20 — Queen, The Game #19 — Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze #18 — Kiss, Creatures of the Night #17 — Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast #16 — Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell #15 — Kiss, Alive! #14 — Rush, A Farewell to Kings #13 — Miles Davis, Kind of Blue #12 — Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pictures at an Exhibition #11 — various artists, Jazz Master Files OK, now that we're all caught up, let's finish this thing already. As a reminder, this is no particular order but I know people love countdowns so there you go. #10 — Genesis, Duke If Rus
OK kids, I'll be pretty busy this week so to pass the time I'm going to throw out more lyrics for you. It's simple: name the song and the band, and win nothing! And no cheating please, there's enough dishonesty in the world today. 1. "In the thirteen months I've spent here / with my manuscript and rhymes / I've paid in case for foolish pleasures / mother dear you'd call them crimes" 2. "Like a gangster / on the run / you will stagger homeward / to your precious one" 3. "Don't give us none of your aggravation / We had it with your discipline" - Elton John, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" (via Facebook comment) 4. "Fifteen years in the academy / he was like no cadet they'd ever seen" - Anthrax, "I Am the Law" (Raiden2332) 5. "Don't be afraid / I didn't mean to scar
Music is - or at least used to be - at once a very shared and a very personal thing. And truth be told the only thing I've spent more time doing in my life than listening to music is sleeping. Music has informed my life since I was a kid and continues to do so, although to a lesser degree now that I'm a family man. So it's time for me to give credit where credit is due, and list the 20 albums that had a bigger impact on me than any others. Some of these records opened my eyes to a new style of music. Some of them resonated on a deep, emotional level. Some were just too good to be ignored. Some are wrapped in nostalgia now and nothing more. But they are all critical to my development as a music lover in one way or another. #20 - Queen, The Game Memory is a tricky thing, espe
Before today I had never even heard of Craig Powerplay, but would've guessed he was a legendary hockey player. In fact, it's the name for a line of automotive stereo equipment produced by (you guessed it) Craig. Back around 1977/78 Craig ran an ad campaign for its Powerplay products featuring a rather diverse group of musicians - Ray Charles, the Beach Boys, and Billy Preston to name a few. This one calls upon the star power of prog rock giants Emerson, Lake & Palmer. You probably don't recognize the group without capes or satin kimonos, but that's them alright.