Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guelph Music Club: Top Albums 1963-1973

 One of the things that I like most about Twitter (and which I find rather amusing) is how quickly a single idea can give way to action and how collaborative that action can become. Music Lives does a great job of demonstrating that process in this terrific blog. As you can see, a single tweet organically evolves into a fun forum for people to talk about music by gradually revealing their five favorite albums from each decade, starting with the 1960s and working their way toward the present.

One of the Bookshelf's best kept secrets is that we have a small but excellent music section. It has been an interesting journey--we love music!

Steph has been curating our music section for the last eight months, and I thought people would get some insight into the music we carry if she put her own picks out there. Here are her first selections for Guelph Music Club's Best Albums of 1963-1973--album choices are posted once a week, and these are for the first two weeks. More will come each week!

- Ben

Let me preface my choices by explaining that while I enjoy a lot of the Beatles' music, I wouldn't deem myself enough of a fan to choose their best album. Thus, I am deliberately leaving the Fab Four out of my selection process (Bob Dylan has been excluded for the same reason). Okay, okay, stop booing. Here are my #4 and #5 pics:

5. What's Going On by Marvin Gaye. This album is not only great, it's important. Sure the songs are excellent ("Mercy Mercy Me" and "Wholly Holy" are personal favourites) but the message is equally powerful. Gaye imagined this concept album around the experiences of a Vietnam Vet returning from duty, and the songs functioned as both an anti-war and civil rights message. A lot of great protest music came out of this era, and What's Going On ranks among the best (Sorry Bob, I guess I just prefer a funk groove to a harmonica, when it gets right down to it).

4) Pearl by Janis Joplin. I love this record; everything about it is perfect. Janis is at the height of her considerable powers--rowdy, sad, seductive, and loud. The pounding beat that begins the opening track, "Move Over," warns you that something very powerful is about to happen, and the album delivers on that promise throughout, with the sweetness of "Me and Bobby McGee" and the pure singalong pleasure of "Mercedes Benz." Incredible.


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