This week’s Five For Friday recollects FR’s first CD purchases. As best we can recall. In reverse chronological order.
The Beatles, Past Masters Volume 2
The Beatles were my first musical love untempered by the taste of my parents. Inspired by Anthology, I bought this volume because it had “Hey Jude.” Soon thereafter I fell for “Lady Madonna,” “The Inner Light,” “Get Back,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “The Ballad Of John And Yoko”…
Matthew Sweet, 100% Fun
On my first BMG subscription (of many) I chose this album blindly. I liked the cover. My hunch was dead on. For modern power pop, there’s no better craftsman than Matthew Sweet, and 100% Fun might still be his best album.
Def Leppard, Adrenalize
My family owned both of the previous Def Leppard heavyweight albums, Hysteria and Pyromania, before I could get excited about “the new one,” but with my dad I saw Def Leppard perform, one-armed drummer and all, at the Arena in St. Louis, one of my formative concert experiences. Lasers, explosions, vocal harmonies and all, it’s still better than many of the shows I saw “better” bands perform.
Eagles, Hell Freezes Over/Creedence Clearwater Revival, Creedence Gold
A clear cheat, but I have explicit memories of browsing Prodigy (User ID: AAAD17A) for hours on end while listening to (my parents’ copy of) Hell Freezes Over, and bought Creedence Gold for “The Midnight Special,” with which I became obsessed after seeing Twilight Zone: The Movie at a sleepover.
Carman, Revival In The Land
Some bad Christian music comin’ your way. Carman was obnoxious and cheesy as you can get, but at least he had a sense of humor and showmanship about him. This is a disc that I would be afraid to listen to again.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Live In Europe
This is a bad live album, and with further knowledge I know that Tom Fogerty was no longer in the band when this was made, but this was the CD I bought with my allowance money because I really loved “Born On The Bayou” and a couple other CCR songs. The reason I really loved “Born on the Bayou”? The Van Damme movie Hard Target.
Hootie & The Blowfish, Cracked Rear View
Oh, how I adored this record. The first four tracks still hold up, if you’re into that sort of thing: “Hannah Jane,” “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.” Also, “Time,” a great song in any era. Has any band so unassuming ever experienced such success and such backlash? Fairweather Johnson, their forgotten second album, is a better record than Cracked Rear View. It killed their career. A shame. As mass-appeal radio goes, ain’t Hootie a damn sight better than Matchbox 20/twenty? Haven’t we gotten to the point where everyone can sing “Hold My Hand” at the bar without shame? I hope so. I sure hope so.
Petra, Beyond Belief
Christian rock’s attempt at a hair band is Petra. I don’t remember the music much anymore and I’m afraid to refresh my memory. The cover intrigued me, though. Something about the yellowishness of it combined with airplane propellers and silhouettes of the band…
Black Sabbath, We Sold Our Soul For Rock ‘n’ Roll
This is probably a CD/album anyone who likes rock music should own, with all of the rifftastic Black Sabbath songs anyone might want to hear represented throughout its length, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an embarrassing CD purchase. I bought this one because I had been imitating the riff from “Iron Man” out loud because of Beavis and Butt-head, and my dad knew the song. He also probably got all the Beavis and Butt-head jokes way better than I did.
Sheryl Crow, Tuesday Night Music Club
Good ol’ Sheryl. My affection for this album led to my first concert, at Taft Theatre in Cincinnati. Music Club is Crow’s breakout record, with “All I Wanna Do” and “Strong Enough,” but she would quickly top herself with Sheryl Crow and The Globe Sessions, two of the best albums of the 1990s. We won’t get into what happened after that.
The Eagles, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
My parents got this one for me for Christmas. This is a classic example of Mom and Dad trying to foist their tastes onto their kid. The Eagles are not a bad band, though, and listening to them at a young age probably helped break my prejudice against country music in my late teens.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Whenever I got a CD player my parents bought me two CDs for Christmas, and they were both albums my dad probably would have wanted to own anyway. The first is Blood Sugar Sex Magik by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Once I’d opened the present, my dad put the CD on and started it with “Give it Away,” and by the time we’d gotten to another CD one of us might put on, the album had reached the profoundly filthy “Sir Psycho Sexy.” I definitely did not know what “Creamy beaver hotter than a fever” meant when I was in fifth grade.
“Weird Al” Yankovic, Bad Hair Day
I’d had Alapalooza on cassette. Thus does my purchase of Bad Hair Day mark the official demarcation of society’s evolution to compact disc technology.
Genesis, Live, The Way We Walk 1 – The Shorts
This is the first CD that I remember purchasing with my own money, at a Kmart if my memory serves. I’m not really sure why I picked it either. I think I liked the name and I had heard of them. It turned out to be a decent CD even if it does mostly cover Phil Collins-era stuff.
Arrested Development, 3 Years 5 Months & 2 Days In The Life Of…
This was the other CD I got for Christmas that year. Honestly, this is probably the beginning of unbearable “conscious” rap (aka massively Uncle Tom shit), but for nostalgia reasons, I can’t help but love me some “Tennessee” and “Mr. Wendal.”