Sunday, March 04, 2007

Songs in the Key of Life

Like most people, I love music. I think in particular, certain songs and/or albums paint a portrait of a particular time span in your life, imprinted in your hearts and minds forever.

But there are SOME albums, that speak for an entire generation; an entire culture. Transitional, breakthrough albums that either put people on the map at that TIME, or created indeliable impressions that, even if you put that album on TO THIS DAY, bring back memories, both good and bad, and words that you thought you had forgotten over time.

I could never, within the scope of a reasonable sized posts, go into all of my favorite albums. Truly, I had a TON of them from the 70's and 80's, but I had to really scale them down. I had to actually struggle to take some of them off, that to which I hope you include in some of your favorites.

So, without further adieu, here are some of all time favorite 'Classic' Albums.

Abraxas - Santana. I love Carlos Santana. His music, his style, and his deference to not only his culture, but to mines. You don't have to know espanol to appreciate the sounds of his music, and to enjoy what blends our cultures together - a love of music. Oye Como Va, Se a Cabo, and the Haunting Black Magic Woman are my favorites on here. VIVA Santana!

Off the Wall - Michael Jackson. BY FAR A SUPERIOR ALBUM TO THRILLER, this is one of those releases that you know EVERY word to EVERY song and enjoy them equally so. Before a commercialized, vitiligo-ized, Michael Jackson came to fruition, this fluid, rhythmic release captures and enraptures the essence of what good music is all about. And, of course, who can forget MJ bawling at the end of "She's Out of My Life?" - or sniffling, whatever you may want to call it. :P

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac. With the powerful leading lady Stevie Nicks (who has one of the most distinguishing, powerful voices of any woman) coupled with a band that, despite personal/professional drama, did nothing but deliver the goods on a release that was spirited, (Go your Own Way) Inspirational (Don't Stop Believing), and Caressing (Dreams), this is more than classic rock. This is just classic.

What's Going On? - Marvin Gaye. I remember seeing this in my home as a child. I enjoyed the music, yes, but I cannot say that I appreciated it until much later. Nor did I realize the social/political climate that this was written/produced/released in. This dynamic release is only eclipsed by the man himself, delivering us songs that are embedded in us, ring true to life even now, and allow us a snapshot into the genius that is Marvin.

Jagged Little Pill - Alanis Morissette. The first thing I heard about her was probably the first thing that EVERYONE HAD HEARD ABOUT - that she was talking about a particular sex act on one of her songs (You oughta know). Me, being me, wanted to hear the song for that very reason. And I decided to listen to all the tracks. This girl has some madd octaves. She can go from screaming like a white banshee to raspy, to sweet. I like her!

The Chronic - Dr. Dre. I don't think I have to get into much detail for this. I remember when this came out. It was smack in the middle of Gangsta Rap Meets MC Hammer Meets C. Delores Tucker Meets Commercialism, meets all things Hip Hop. With samples coming every which way from every music genre imaginable, all that is left to say is "Deez Nuts!"

BloodSugarSexMagik - Red Hot Chili Peppers. My first official foray into what I thought was hard rock, I was hypnotized by their sounds, which to me sounded like rock with an urban flair. I also think I just liked the way the moved around on Give It Away.

My Life -Mary J. Blige. The reason why I chose this one instead of "What's the 411?" (WHICH I LOVE) was for several reasons: One, I think that this was the release that took Mary J. from star to superstar. Two, I remember, I was driving home from work when I heard her on the radio promoting a CD. I promptly went into the nearst record store and purchased it and never regretted it. Three, I think that both her and I was going through many of the same feelings that she is expressing on their at the very same time. Great LP.

Illmatic - Nas. East Coast Rap at it's finest. Pure sounds. Rhythmic. He keeps it gangsta in a philosophicizin kind of way. And he hasn't lost his touch. I was working in a music store at the time this came out and my first thought was "What's up with the lil boy on the cover?" :P But this superior album works because it the subject matters blend, and come from an urban perspective. Nas.Is.The.Man.

Best of Sade - Sade. Okay. I know this is a compilation CD and I am cheat-en, but hell, I just couldn't leave Sade off. You know what she sings, and you know most of her favorites are on here. Had to be said, enough said. Bssides a had a VERY memorable valentines day with this CD playing in the background (or foreground, depending on what position you want to put me in). :P

The Songstress - Anita Baker. The first time I saw Anita Baker was on Soul Train and I was around ten years old. She had on a peach dress and she was swaying back and forth singing "No More Tears". I remember my friend's mother having this album and we played it over and over, swaying back and forth like we were here. Although I love all of Anita Baker's music, I think this one, and the limited songs that are on there, (but powerful, nonetheless), are packed full of pain, love, joy, and redemption. Furthermore, I don't know the skinny behind these songs, but I know you will NEVER hear her perform them in person, and for that reason, I appreciate them on this release more than ever.

Love Jones Soundtrack - Various Artists. See, I wasn't going to put this on here, because I know this post is already long in the tooth. . .But there are so many different artists on here (Coltrane, Maxewll, Xscape, Trina Broussard, Amel Larrieux, etc.) that I just couldn't pass by. I truly love this CD, from start to finish, not to mention the first 'song' is the spoken word that Darius drops on Nina, and the last one is what Nina drops on Darius. It's almost ten years old, but if you can find it it's worth your money.

There are so many more: The Mothership Connection, New Moon Daughter, All Eyez on Me, Appetite for Destruction, That's the Way of the World, At Last, Bitches Brew - Ooh on the TLC Tip. I could go on and on. But now it's your turn.

What are some of your favorite releases of all time?


Miz JJ said...

Definitely the Love Jones Soundtrack. I love it. I love the version of Sumthin' by Maxwell on it.

Alanis was big up here too for obvious reasons.

I would probably add Rhythym Nation by Janet Jackson. I loved that CD. It was a toss between that CD and Janet by Janet Jackson. How could I forget Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston. It was one of the first tapes my parents ever bought me.

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...
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The Best [ Ghostface ] said...
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P said...

LMAO @ Miss JJ for Whitney Houston (and the tape, you thought you was hot with your little tape, huh?) I remember that one. I forgot all about that one and that is why y'all are here to keep me honest.

Girl, I had the nerve to play "Hold me in Your Arms" by Whitney Houston and Teddy Pendergrass to some fool I have a crush on. . .What I know bout that song and I'm 14, hmm?

smoothie said...


Welcome Back...You stole my thunder with Off the Wall..To this day P.Y.T. is one of my top favorite songs EVER

That white girl could cut a rug back in his day...Oh and Working day and Night, man forget it....

Hot tracks..All of them..

Let me add one to your list though, 2 Pac All Eyez On Me
You already know why..I Aint Mad at Cha, Do ya thang girl.....e

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...
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Peach said...



Peach said...

ATLiens...u knew what I meant LMAO

I really have to get this spelling illness checked out.

African girl, American world said...

Because of my babydaddy (stuck in the 70s musically), my babies who are 5 and 7 love Off The Wall!
Pretty cool.
I cosign Tupac but for me it is Me Against the World.
And Love Jones? Lawd have mercy!!! Darius starting things off talking bout I'm digging you like a grave and f**k your man I ain't worried bout him..... and Nina ending it with the best line ever...I AM REMEMBERING LOVE....
Love it!

The Mistress said...

I love Marvin Gaye soooo much! I have read tons of books about him, his songs fill up my iPod, and he is just the most passionate singer...ahhh I LOVE HIM!

But other than him, Mariah is the ultimate for me...and Raheem DeVaughn!

Just Me ! said...

hey hey stranger !

The Phoenix aka ThatGirlTam said...

Talking Book by Stevie Wonder is a CLASSIC! My favorite cut off of that ALBUM (hehehe) is Maybe Your Baby - it's Stevie on ROCK mode. I LOVE IT!

Love Supreme by Chante Moore (her second CD) - THE BOMB! Well, I own everything she's ever done, but her 2nd CD is the best by far...

Faithful by Faith Evans (her last CD with Bad Boy Records) - CLASSIC R&B! I truly believe she's under-rated...and I truly believe her first CD project AWAY from Bad Boy was BOOTY!

The Return by Ruben Studdard - I loved his first CD, but 3 times a charm! This CD has QUICKLY become one of my favorites and is currently in heavy rotation.

To The East, Blackwards by X-Clan - Nuff said...SISSYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Oh yeah, I can't leave out "Treat Her Like a Lady" by the Temptations! HAHAHAHAHA (yo, P can't STAND that song!), "Happy" by Rick James and Teena Marie, "I Do Love You" by G.Q., "Stormy" by Santana and "So Fine" by Howard Johnson. WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT??