Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fourth calendar year!
Number 182 (Vol. 4, No. 38). This edition is for the week of September 15--21, 2003.
Upgrades and stuff
|• Computer upgrade underway, please forgive delays this week|
• Johnny Cash and John Ritter, remembered
• More Top 10 Albums of the 1960s
Well, I was hoping it would be done by now, but of course every technological gremlin in the world has delayed and frustrated all attempts so far to upgrade my old Pentium III Win98SE computer system to a screamingly fast WinXP Pentium 4. Not that it's a lost cause, mind you, not at all, just going to take a bit longer to do. When it's done, it'll be a beautiful thing and I'll go into much more detail for all you tech-heads out there who follow this kind of stuff. But for why all the boondoggles, I'll start with a two-word synopsis sure to strike terror into the hearts of anyone who's tried this themselves: driver conflicts. Yeah, nightmares, I know.
So if my computer's in pieces, what am I writing on now? An even older Pentium II 233Mz, Win95 machine I keep around as a spare (fortunately), but it has no PCR files on it! I've had to go online and "steal" my own pages back to modify them for updating. Some articles sent to me last week for publication this week are no longer available online and I'll need them re-sent. I've already notified the writers, so please understand some unavoidable delays this week, I'm doing the best I can.
I'd like to comment on the recent passings of Johnny Cash and John Ritter.
I remember early in my youth I was not a Johnny Cash fan and put him down as just another semi-literate country-singer who'd done time (I was surprised to learn he'd never been in jail, that was just press). Fortunately, I outgrew that notion, mostly due to repeated exposure to his material by friends who were fans of his. I remember liking his songs, but not liking his renditions of them. Funnily, while learning to play guitar I wound up playing lots of Johnny Cash because they were so easy. Eventually, the sound of his voice grew on me. I had to grow to adulthood (or what passes for it) to more fully appreciate the scope of his musical contributions. I guess he was the first (only?) "country Goth", man-in-black. Roy Orbison could be another candidate, but more pop-influenced. In any event, the world lost a valuable talent last week when Johnny Cash died at the age of 71 due to complications from diabetes.
John Ritter, the comedian/actor best known for being the star of the '70s show "Three's Company" died last week at the age of 54 from a heart attack and that's just tragic. He wouldve been 55 this week. Apparently he suffered from a small tear in the aorta, a heart defect notoriously hard to diagnose until, well, something like this happens. He seemed to be such a nice guy with a lot of talent and quite a good resumé. His father, country star Tex Ritter, would've been very proud, I'm sure. John was on the set of his current comedy series when he fell ill and was hospialized. He died several hours later. I think my favorite movie of his was Hero At Large where he played a TV superhero who attempts to be a real-life hero.
(In an earlier edition of this week's PCR, I could not recall the name of this movie. Thanks to Jason Liquori, Robert W. Clark, and Michael Smith for helping stoke my feeble memory!--Nolan)
I have more files on this, but they're all on the other computer, I'm so sorry. For now, here's something a little lighter...
The Top Ten Albums of the 1960s (cont'd from last week)
|To recap: Terence Nuzum, our "Digital Divide" and "Enlightenment" columnist who has taken some time off to work on a new screenplay, issued this latest challenge in last week's issue. Terence previously revealed in The Enlighenment, PCR #177 that he's developed a fascination with music of the '60s, hence this latest challenge to see how much agreement there'd be amongst our wide age-range of readers about what constitutes everyone's favorites. Last week, Terence, Will, Mack, and Mike all sent in theirs. This week, Matt takes a shot at it...|
|THE TOP TEN ALBUMS OF THE 1960s by Matt Drinnenberg|
Apologies to Terence for getting this in past the deadline of the initial run of Top 10s. I don't know why we haven't thought of this one before. Seems a natural, especially when you consider how music has morphed itself from this period, IMO. More so than the decades preceding it, I think. Have to politely disagree with the "Lennon = Poser" assessment, as he's always been one of my favorites, not just my favorite Beatle. A lot of people point to Paul in that regard, but I don't think I'll ever be able to completely forgive him for Obladi-Oblada.
Alright, here goes....
Led Zepplin - Led Zeppelin II: Come on, guys. I can't believe no one...NO ONE...put these guys, or more to the point, this effort, as one of their top 10. Released in October of 1969, this follow-up to their hugely popular debut left nothing to be desired. Whole Lotta Love, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Livin' Lovin' Maid, Lemon Song....I'm really at a loss to understand how it got missed. If you've never heard this than maybe I can excuse it, but you have no excuse now. Go buy this damn thing and learn what you've missed.
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed: Yes, this to me is the mack-daddy of the '60s scene. Major league kudos to the "one of tirade" for having this on his list. Beggers Banquet gave us Street Fightin' Man, but it was Let It Bleed that really gave us an idea of what was to come from the Stones in what many believe to be their greatest decade...the 70's. Gimme Shelter, Love in Vain, Let it Bleed (title song), Midnight Rambler, You Can't Always Get What You Want....if I had to sum this up in one word, I guess it would be "WOW".
Beatles - Rubber Soul: This damn near reads like a greatest hits effort. If it wasn't for the filler tunes that make up part of the 14 tracks, it would be. Even those are fun. Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, You Won't See Me, Nowhere Man, The Word, Michelle, In My Life, If I Needed Someone...and no stupid songs like Obladi-Oblada. I'll say I always felt And Your Bird Can Sing (Revolver) should have been on this album. Seems like a natural fit. I mention that partially so I can spare Terence a 3rd Beatle album.
Rolling Stones - Flowers: My brother Mark and I played this so often I think I remember hearing side 2 in flipped reverse while playing side 1. Have You Seen your Mother Baby, Out of Time, Back Street Girl, Ruby Tuesday, Mother's Little Helper. I can only imagine this didn't make Terence's list because he either has never heard it, or didn't want 2 albums from the same artist. The perfect anti-Beatle album. Why? Because when they were singing tunes like "I wanna hold your hand", the Stones were proclaiming "Let's Spend the Night Together", solidifying at the time their bad boy image.
Crosby, Stills, & Nash: I'm always ammused when someone speaks of this bands beginnings by calling them CSN&Young, when all literate music appreciatists understand it began the way it ended...with 3, not 4. And while I think Deja Vu (recorded '69/released '70) is probably their most recognized effort, it is their first entry that does it for me. Helplessly Hoping, Marrakesh Express, Wooden Ships and Suite: Judy Blue Eyes say it all. Also, IMO, one of the most well-executed productions of it's day.
Beatles - White Album: I was really thinking of sticking with just one album per band, but when I thought about it, this album is hell and gone from the days of Rubber Soul. Back in the USSR, Helter Skelter, Birthday, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Yer Blues, Revolution #1....I could go on and on. Perhaps Terence runs into problems with this band for tunes such as the aformentioned Obladi-Oblada (which is stupid and deserves my disgust), but I can overlook it because of Lennon's harder influence, and Harrison's most impressive offerings. I saw a documentary where Harrison said he wished they'd have cut off half of these songs and come out with a single LP with the cream of the crop, but it's the "connective songs", a la Honey Pie and Piggies, that fully make this iconic and legendary.
Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed: I would imagine the only offerings most people would recognize from this classic are Tuesday Afternoon and Nights in White Satin, but the real strengths of this album are it's psychedelic overtones by way of the London Festival Orchestra. This ingenious mixture of classical and rock has never been one-upped. Even though this followed Sgt. Peppers (which I do enjoy immensely), I feel this is the perfect example of how it should be done.
The Doors: What can you say about Jim Morrison and the boys. His vocals are both pleading and forceful. Quite simply a monumental debut, with Light My Fire, Break on Thru, and one of my personal fave's...Soul Kitchen. Easily making this list and it should be on everyones. As with other legendary bands like the Stones, Zeppelin, and the Beatles, these guys (The Doors) were made for each other, and this album shows they were meant to be.
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced: While I like Electric Ladyland, I have to give the nod to this effort. Purple Haze, Foxy Lady, The Wind Cries Mary, Manic Depression, Hey Joe, and the wild instrumental Third Stone from the Sun....just to name a few. Heck, do I really need to say anything else? Simply awe-inspiring.
Monkees - Headquarters: To say I played this album often would be a huge understatement. This was their first effort without the restraints of Don Kirshner, and the results were wonderful. You Told Me, For Pete's Sake, Randy Scouse Git, No Time......this was just the beginning, as following this we had Peisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, which didn't make this list, but has Pleasant Valley Sunday and She Hangs Out, which I have to mention.
There you have it. Not in any particular order, although I did try to place them by way of the "this kinda goes here" mentality.
Again, very suprised some of these are missing from some of your lists, but hey, one of the great things about Top 10s is listening to what you other guys like, which only helps us all expand our horizons.