Space Station 5 – Al Harlow of Prism

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.




[styled_box title=”David Bowie -Scary Monsters” color=”black”][/styled_box]

CS583735-01A-BIGThe 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.




[styled_box title=”The Strypes – I Need To Be Your Only” color=”black”][/styled_box]




3770003441090_600Debussy’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?




[styled_box title=”Claude Debussy- La Mer” color=”black”][/styled_box]




R-4228905-1359142310-9832.jpegSoul 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”.



[styled_box title=”The Soul Stirrers – I’m a Soldier” color=”black”][/styled_box]




capaJobim’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!

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