Play Through

K and I were driving to and from Chicago a couple of days ago, listening to music, and singing and dancing in the car.  Yes, we do this, and often.  It makes us laugh.  We have a lot of fun together.  While all of that was going on I noticed certain songs, which made me think of certain albums, that always seem to be my go-tos.  I make a lot of playlists, always have.  Before digital I was burning CDs, before CDs I was making cassette tapes.   Music is a passion of mine and so when I find a great album, one that provides more than just one or two songs I enjoy, I tend to go back to it over and over, mining the good stuff for whatever new playlist I’m working on.

During the drive I started making a list in my head of albums that, in my mind, are complete.  Meaning an album that’s worth a listen from beginning to end, the majority of the songs enjoyable.  To me this is actually a rare thing.  One of the reasons I make playlists is because it’s rare to find an album I want to listen to from beginning to end.  Those albums have to have a variety of sound, the songs have to blend well together, and most of the songs on the album have to be good.

So I started listing some albums in my head and thought it would make an interesting experiment, here on the blog, to see how many I could come up with, and what those would be.  I would imagine the list will change, as I remember more and add them, but for now, today, these are the albums I’ve come up with.  Albums that are worth a listen.  And yes, of course, this is subjective.  And yes, of course, there are a few duds on some of these albums.  But, overall, I like them very much.  Feel free to list any others you enjoy in the comments section, and don’t judge my list.  It’s mine.

Here we go….

Crosby, Stills, and Nash – Daylight Again

Dishwalla – Opaline

Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

Michael Tolcher – I Am

Maroon 5 – Songs About Jane

Indigo Girls – Swamp Ophelia

Karla Bonoff – Restless Nights

Melissa Etheridge – Lucky

Eagles – Hotel California

James Taylor – Greatest Hits 1976

Steve Miller Band -Greatest Hits 1974-1978

REO Speedwagon – hi Infidelity

Boston – Don’t Look Back

Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Toward Ecstacy

Dan Fogelberg – Age of Innocence

Billy Joel – Songs in the Attic

Jon McLaughlin – Indiana

Adele – 21

Jim Croce – You Don’t Mess Around With Jim

Van Morrison – Moondance

James Morrison – Songs for You, Truths for Me

Bob Seger – Nine Tonight

Three Dog Night – The Best of Three Dog Night

Survivor – Vital Signs

Rob Thomas – …Something to Be

Andrea Bocelli – Romanza

Moulin Rouge – Soundtrack

Eurythmics – Touch

Genesis – Genesis



Pondering a Playlist

Anyone who knows me knows about my love of music. It’s always been there, and in all likelihood started when I was in the womb. I come by it naturally. It’s in my genes. My dad was what some might call a musical genius. An ability to play any instrument put into his hands he chose the double neck pedal steel guitar because it was the hardest to play… requiring hands, feet, and knees. He loved that guitar, light shining out of him and joy exuding from him every time he sat down at his Emmons. I loved hearing him play it. I loved the smile on his face, his closed eyes, his mastery, his joy. He was a gifted and spectacular musician. But my musical influences just don’t include my dad, they also include my mom as well, and her side of the family. Growing up I remember family gathering after family gathering where music played a part. It didn’t matter what was going on when my mom’s side of my family got tother, music showed up. My mom is one of seven siblings. They sing seven part harmony. It’s very cool. They still do it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard them, and how much I’ve always loved it. My Mom’s dad played piano in a band to earn money when he was a teenager, taking his share of the coins that got thrown up on the stage, and there were always musical instruments around my grandparents house when I was growing up. My Uncle Tom is the youngest of the siblings and only eight years older than I am. My childhood memories of him all include his electric guitar. The seven siblings were all in either bands or choirs of one sort or another, some still play in orchestras and bands to this day. I love that. I love how my life has always been surrounded by music and the love of it. I not only heard people singing and playing, but the phonograph was also going a lot in our house. All sorts of music and musical influences… big band and Jazz from my Mom, country from my dad and step-dad, rock and roll from my sister, Kay, and my Uncle Tom, and the wonderful musical influence my friends throughout my life have brought into it. My honey… she introduced me to the blues and Bryan Ferry. I myself started playing the guitar when I was a kid. I got fairly decent at it. I still have a guitar, and some bongos, and a kazoo.

As I said, my love of music has been with me always, informing most aspects of my life, helping to explain the unexplainable, helping to express things I can’t always find the words for. It’s a huge part of my life, and has always been. Which is why I’m constantly making playlists for road trips and friends and just because. Usually they have a theme, or are inspired by new music I’ve found. Recently we traveled to Florida for a family reunion. And yes, I made a playlist for the flights there and back. I thought, just because it might be fun, I’d include that playlist here, using YouTube.

The playlists I make tend to be more about feel than they are made by design. And in that vein I don’t think I’d ever make the same one twice, which is sort of the cool thing about them. Something I happen to love about them. They are organic, in the moment, and natural. I usually tell people they should be played on shuffle, which isn’t really possible here, but I still like it.

So without further ado… here’s the Florida trip playlist (number 110). Love it, or hate it, that’s up to you. Music is like that, it’s personal. Which is just something else to love about it.

Jason Mraz – Love Someone

Neon Trees – Living in Another World

Sam Smith – Leave Your Lover

Jennifer Nettles – That Girl

David Gray – Back in the World

Civil Wars – Dust to Dust

Marc Broussard – Hurricane Heart

Loggins & Messina – Danny’s Song

The Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There

Aloe Blacc – Can You Do This

Arcade Fire – Afterlife

Shakey Graves – Dearly Departed (feat. Esme Patterson)

Magic! – Rude

Ed Sheeran – All of the Stars

Colbie Caillat – Try

K.D. Lang – Helpless

Johnnyswim – Diamonds

Passenger – Things You’ve Never Done

Jason Isbell – Stockholm

Amos Lee – Listen

Dishwalla – Candleburn

Five For Fighting – Story of Your Life

Kongos – Come With Me Now

Pink Martini – Get Happy/Happy Days (Singers China Forbes and Storm Large)

Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me

James Bay – Let it Go

Imagine Dragons – On Top of the World

Sarah MClachlan – In Your Shoes

Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years

Stevie Wonder – I Believe (When I Fall In Love)

Justin Timberlake – Sexyback

OneRepublic – oves Runs Out