Monday, April 17, 2006

In Praise Of Albums Which Contain More Than Four Hit Songs

Eclectic Nashville gadfly Holly Gleason emails:
"Albums (v. hits)... It's so easy to get caught up in the songs we know… the ones that have been played on the radio so much, they ARE our subconscious, the very fiber of our being… that it's easy to forget how powerful albums are. Whole works, that hold together as a piece or a comment on a state of living. The collection of songs and they dialogue they have with each other: Born To Run, Exile on Main Street, Running On Empty, Harvest, Blue. Or even just collections of songs that hold together -- and expand what the “hits” are like Back In Black, Sticky Fingers, Big City, Heart Like A Wheel, Dixie Chicken, even Live at the Filmore
Sometimes it's so much more than a song or a moment, sometimes it's something from the core -- a larger truth, a reason to believe or cry or elevate. When I pull out a full-length work, I am often surprised by what I feel, remember, learn about myself all over again. There is magic in the music, no doubt… but there's also truths between the grooves if we'll just let the record keep playing."

What a clever come-on to plug something off the beaten track: The Pilgrim: A Tribute To Kris Kristofferon - Various ! She writes...
"He has led a life writ large: Rhodes Scholar, movie star, helicopter pilot, wildcatter, activist and especially songwriter. Here on this American Roots Publishing tribute, the man who gave romance to redneck living and dignity to cracked hippie reason is feted with bruised and heart-racing renditions of some of his best loved songs: Gretche Wilson's “Sunday Morning Coming Down” as real and raw as anything out there, while Rosanne Cash's “Loving Him Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again” is elegant and silken even as its stained with equal parts regret and wow -- and Brian McKnight's “Me and Bobby McGee” pushes the roadweary classic into an easy soul lament. Versatility and veracity mark Kristofferson's work -- and this survey of who Kristofferson is to the roots acts that matter is a fitting witness. Emmylou Harris, Todd Snider, Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin, Shooter Jennings, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Randy Scruggs, Lloyd Cole and Jill Sobule, Willie Nelson and a code of Kristoffersons's 1970 demo of “Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends.” Brilliantly cast, better executed, a wonder to search out."

“Art is when you put everything in, then remove everything but the truth. “It's brave, but it's the only way.” -- Barbara Arrowsmith

What concept LPs from your collection do you especially enjoy?

No comments: