With everything that’s going on out there these days on top of it being my least favorite time of year, to refer to them as dog days is an insult to dogs everywhere. But the music plays on. If I haven’t said so in the past, these end of the month wrap up posts aren’t simply what I deem to be “leftovers” not worthy of dedicated posts. In many instances they’re an acknowledgement of my ignorance. In other words, I know what I know, but there’s so much music I haven’t absorbed in my 49.5 years, yet I continue to play catch up.
Three cheers to the first person to correctly name the band in that rather nondescript featured image at the top…
7/7/70: Parliament – Osmium
See, this is what I’m talking about. I could spend a year in a Parliament and Funkadelic 101 course and barely scratch the surface. Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain (1971) and Eddie Hazel’s Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs (1977) are in my rotation, but that still leaves, what, thirty or so albums? Anyway, Osmium was Parliament’s debut album, released 50 years ago this month. Osmium is the chemical element of atomic number 76. Duh.
7/8/70: Beck Hansen born
Beck released his first album about 27 years ago, and he’s been doing things his own way ever since. He’s one of the more innovative musicians out there, and is certainly one of my favorite contemporary artists. I tend to gravitate toward albums like Sea Change and Morning Phase. He turned 50 earlier this month. Seems like yesterday that the McCartneys and Jaggers of the world hit the half-century mark.
7/14/70: Supertramp – Supertramp
Supertramp’s eponymous debut album was released 50 years ago. It (as well as their second album, Indelibly Stamped) is an album I “should” be more familiar with than a couple of YouTube listens. It’s a bit more on the prog side of life than what they came to be known for, which is why I never heard the album as a kid. I’m a fan of the Roger Hodgson/Rick Davies combo, and I love every release within their five album stretch from 1974’s Crime of the Century to 1980’s live Paris. 1982’s …Famous Last Words has its moments as well. It’s inevitable that I’ll absorb this and its follow up a bit more, probably in the near future.
7/20/70: The Doors – Absolutely Live
This was the first live Doors album, and it contains performances from mid-1969 to spring of ’70. It received rather poor reviews, but with the Doors one never knows what personal ax a writer might have had to grind with that band. The Doors were a group that people either seem to like or dislike without middle ground. Maybe it was the Celebration of the Lizard that sealed this album’s status among Rolling Stone writers and their ilk. Live at the Hollywood Bowl was my live Doors listening experience during my formative years. Come to think of it, that might be the show they got the Absolutely Live album cover photo from. It’s certainly not representative of the bearded and slightly bloated Jim of 1970. I’m still a fan.
July 1970: Fairport Convention – Full House
Fairport Convention is a band that I’ve raved about, and in a way I’ve patted myself on the back for having discovered them for myself despite my rural Midwest American 1970’s-80’s upbringing. But the reality is I only know and love the albums they did with Sandy Denny, which comprise three of the first four Fairport albums. Full House was their fifth. This was Richard Thompson’s last appearance with the band, and it’s apparently a very good album which follows in the vein of Liege & Lief but without Sandy, who had moved on to form Fotheringay. I just haven’t heard it. Perhaps you can see the dilemma I face when trying to decide what direction to take with my music education: Funkadelic or post-Denny Fairport Convention? Have I reached a point where there’s just not enough time to devote to all the sounds I’ve yet to explore?