Welcome back for yet another installment of Tune In Tuesday.
Music’s connectivity varies by person but I believe that there is some resonating emotional cord that is struck when we are truly touched by the music. While I appreciate the complexity of the instrumentation, I tend to gravitate to the lyrical aspect of music. While this is not always etched in granite, it holds about 90% of the time.
Today I am going to go back a few years and highlight some albums that are indelibly etched in my fabric for various and sundry reasons.
Under the Table and Dreaming
Dave Matthews Band
This was the first studio album from Dave and the band and was a really musically liberating sound. The combination of guitar, bass, violin, saxophone and drums just sounded so fresh in the early 90’s. The vibe from the music was so upbeat that you couldn’t help but move while listening to it.
This album was in heavy rotation during college and began a twenty year relationship with the band. I’ve seen them live several times and own all their studio albums as well as the majority of the live albums.
Key Tracks: The Best of What’s Around, Typical Situation, Jimi Thing, Ants Marching, What Would You Say
This is the best soundtrack to come out in the 90’s and may very well be the greatest soundtrack of all times. I realize that is a really bold claim and I’m ok with that. I’m a rebel!
This album captured Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins on one album before they reached the collective conscience of the country. The album went platinum and really caught the buzz of the Seattle grunge scene. In addition to the great songs from the soon to be huge bands, there were several key tracks from stalwart Seattle bands such as Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone.
Key Tracks: Drown, Chloe Dance/Crown of Thorns, State of Love and Trust, Breath, Birth Ritual, Would
And Justice for All
This was my heavy metal musical baptism and bible in the latter part of my high school years. I was really into classic rock and when this album came out I could not get enough. The guttural growls of James Hetfield, the relentless drumming of Lars, and just the all out anger of the sound was so intoxicating. As a recalcitrant teen, this was my anthem. As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to appreciate the level of skill that they possess as a band of musician and how they helped define the genre.
Key Tracks: Dyers Eve, One, The Shortest Straw, Blackened
Green was R.E.M.’s sixth album but was their major label debut. This album was also the debut of Peter Buck’s mandolin which would help define the band’s sound on subsequent albums. The album had such a different sound from their previous albums. Stipe’s singing is more deliberate and clear and the lyrics run a range of emotions.
Key Tracks: Stand, You Are the Everything, World Leader Pretend, Orange Crush, I Remember California
Full Moon fever
This was Petty’s first venture into solo territory even though he had collaborations with his Heartbreakers and a Wilbury or two. The album has a cleaner almost crisp sound compared to some of the earlier Heartbreakers albums. Helmed by Jeff Lynne (Traveling Wilbury’s, Electric Light Orchestra) the album is solid with no real weak tracks.
Key Tracks: Runnin Down a Dream, Free Fallin’, Love Is a Long Road, I Won’t Back Down,
This is my all time favorite U2 album. They had not quite blown up into the biggest rock band in the world but were well on their way. Each track is unyielding in musical bliss and twenty plus years later, it plays like a greatest hits album. The album is sonically heavier than their previous albums and is their foray into the influence of the blues.
Key Tracks: With Or Without You, Running To Stand Still, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Trip Through Your Wires
Great music awaits!