Al Harlow: “” Top 5 Albums:
As we board the Space Station with six months’ worth of listening, one might be tempted to smuggle a few more than five albums past security. But the five would include:
David Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)”, though merely one snapshot from his five-decade recording career, Scary Monsters shows Bowie at a creative peak, harsh & edgy yet reflective as an elder statesmen, recalling Major Tom the junkie, lost in space on “Ashes to Ashes.” Perfect theme song for six months on the Space Station. At a time when synth-pop posers were the current craze, Bowie unleashed the abstract rawness of guitarists Carlos Alomar, Robert Fripp and Chuck Hammer. Drenched in soul-wrenching post-Heroes melodies, Scary Monsters seemed somehow carefree in its long-form, self-assuredness of mid-career Bowie. Six months’ worth of listening here.
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The Strypes “Little Victories” has all the life-affirming youthful attitude of stampeding teens, a renewed carrying of the torch for British blues-based guitar music at a hundred miles per hour. It’s what made the early Stones and Yardbirds so refreshing. The Strypes are hopeful, possibly the future of rock; a high-octane tonic while gazing out the porthole of the Space Station.
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Debussy’s “La Mer” for the daytime view of the planet; Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No.2 in Cm” for those dark regal nights. Okay, that’s two recordings, but day becomes night every hour or so in space, right?
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Soul Stirrers’ Greatest Hits: Earthly and Heavenly all at once. Welcome to the Space Station. Honest gospel & spirituals straight from the town halls and churches of the South, I first heard this music while touring through Mississippi on Prism’s tour bus in the middle of the night; the singers knew of where they sang, toes in the soil of the Promised Land. Life-changing, and a fitting soundtrack for “up there”.
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Jobim’s “Urubu” or “Stone Flower”, even the Sinatra collaboration. Antonio Carlos Jobim was more than the “Father of Bossa Nova” – putting jazz-infused Brazilian music on the global map, the youthful Jobim was, in some ways, the David Bowie of Rio – his elusive film soundtracks were as evocative as The Girl From Ipanema. While gazing down at planet Earth, why not zero in the coastline of Brazil?
[styled_box title=”Tom Jobim – Valse” color=”black”][/styled_box]
Was that five albums? Oh, then the stuff we smuggled past the guy at the door: Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde”, the Stones’ “Aftermath”, Kinks’ “Village Green Preservation Society”… Busted!