This one came out the summer of 1985,
the summer I began my stint as manager of our college radio station, KLC,
and it is one of the first to claim a permanent home in my heart.
In its first track Maria McKee belts forth the question, should I go East
of Eden? The answer is never in doubt.
THE LION AND THE COBRA
You can say what you want about Sinead,
but this, her debut work (quite possibly the finest album name ever) is
nearly perfect. From keening to grooving, Sinead is absolutely committed
to the moment in each track; it's impossible not to follow such passion.
If all you've heard is the controversy and the hype, listen to this album
and then decide.
HEAD ON THE DOOR
Our music director at KLC was walking
the dj's through some of the new releases when he held out a dark album
cover with blue psychedelic swirls on it. "You must play this album", he
intoned, not as a decree (we gave our jocks a lot of room to run in our
format), but as a musical imperative. I haven't stopped playing it since.
I was in a used record shop up the
street (used to be Crocodile Records, with a cool cartoon crocodile groovin'
on a vinyl disk that seemed to be tipping over) and sidled over to their
tiny selection of classical cassettes. I saw the word "motets" and had
to have it. I think it was two bucks. It's awesome. Cecilia will not be
denied as she storms and grieves through some of Vivaldi's least heard
THE VIOLENT FEMMES
I first started out at KLC doing a
Sunday morning classical show. The then program director would arrive,
mostly on time, in shorts and flip-flops (regardless of the weather), to
let me in to the station. As I went to the Cave to pull my albums for the
show, he went into Studio A and threw an album down on the turntable and
cranked it. This nasal voice punctuated with acoustic bass punched out,
"That's one, one, one for my heartache and two, two, two for my headache...".
On that day the hook was set. The Femmes should be standard issue for adolescents
of all ages.
My mate, who for a period of time wore
cowboy boots every day, turned me on to Emmylou. Having already been bit
by the cowpunk bug a while ago with Lone Justice, I was susceptible to
Harris' magic. She travels a wide emotional spectrum from ballads of faith
to songs of heartache. And when she declares she needs a high powered love,
I'm tempted to volunteer. I must have listened to this thing forty times
as I cobbled this site together.
DIESEL & DUST
Well, as you can see, passion is the
common ingredient in the music I love. "Red Sails In the Sunset" was the
1985 album that first made me an Oil fan, but Diesel is spectacular in
its ability to rock while delivering a highly political message. I never
jump ship on a band just because other people start liking them. Musical
jealousy can be such an ugly thing...