My friend Amanda Rousseau Miller posted something on my Facebook page almost a month ago that intrigued me.
But I was too lazy to do what the posting requested when she asked at the time, so I am doing it now. Here is what Mandy asked me to do: "Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes..."
The list shows my musical tastes are rather all over the place. But the list is about what "will always stick with you" and not necessarily what is the best music ever. So here goes...
The first album popping into my mind was "Off the Wall" by Michael Jackson. That album was the soundtrack to my senior year of college and I remember dancing at the C&P Lounge in Negaunee to "Rock with You" and "Don't Stop til You Get Enough" with some of the best friends I've ever known. Awesome memories.
The next album on the list is "Deja Vu" by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. My brother Eric got that for me Christmas 1970. It was my first non-bubblegum album and "Our House" was my favorite track.
"Jagged Little Pill" was the third album to pop into my head for the list. Alanis Morissette's work on this is unforgettable. "You Oughta Know" is still one of the most influential songs ever.
Carole King's "Tapestry" crossed my mind next. I literally wore out my first vinyl copy of that and it was one of the first CDs I bought when that form of recording became popular. It was my sing-along record through high school. OK. I still sing-along with it to this day. Bliss.
There's a reason I have cats named Simon and Garfunkel. "Sounds of Silence" by that duo is on the list. The title track is memorable but "Kathy's Song" is a number I wished someone had written for me.
Bon Jovi and "Slippery When Wet" recalls good friends, good times and a LOT of hairspray. So far, I have seen Jon and Co. in concert three times and am looking forward to concert four.
Poison's "Open Up and Say Ah" is from the same era and makes me smile every time I listen to it.
"Abbey Road" by The Beatles was an album I saved up to buy and it played so much on the little stereo in my room that my Dad begged me to "turn that off already." Ditto for The Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed." Whenever I hear the haunting start to "Gimme Shelter" I think of Dad and how my incessant musical obsessions must have made him a bit nuts.
"Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen: That one reminds me of my former co-worker Bruce Heisel. The day he joined me as an Ishpeming office reporter, he put a Springsteen poster from that album on the wall and I knew it was the start of a lifelong friendship.
The next album that joined my "don't think too much" list was "Blood Sugar Sex Majik" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That's from the era when my then-teenaged nephew's friends hung out at my house and I think they were surprised an old lady like me (I had just turned 33!) would purchase that. But I love RHCP.
Two albums on my list should be on everyone's list in my humble opinion: Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Led Zeppelin IV."
"Moondance" by Van Morrison is on the list because "Moondance," "Crazy Love" and "Into the Mystic" are on that one. Enough said.
Finally, I surprised myself with this one: "John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together." Goofy, maybe, but it reminds me of the last two Christmases before my Mom died. We'd play that album and bake cookies and talk. The music from that sweet recording takes me back to those happy times. That's why that album will always stick with me.
Music has such power... to incite, to inspire, to invoke ... What's on YOUR list?
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.