Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Early Musings On The Album Every Challenge

As most of you area aware, I embarked on The Every Album Challenge this week. I am charged with the challenge of listening to every album owned in my collection (2,053 in total) without repeating or adding any new records until the challenge is complete. While I just kicked off on Monday, I have already made a few observations worth noting.

The first thing that leapt out at me was music selection. I am hesitant to play certain albums because I know that I only get to play them once. Other albums I am saving to listen to before or after the M3 festival. I have been trying to select albums that I almost never listen to first and save the more favored albums for a later date. I’ve skipped over several albums that I want to listen to, because I know that once they are played, that’s it for as long as this challenge takes. That could be 3 years or more.

Of the 12 albums that I have already listened to during this challenge, 2 stand out in particular to me. They would be 4 Non Blondes, Bigger, Better, Faster, More and 38 Special’s Tour De Force. 4 Non Blondes are a band that I loved in college. I played their debut album a lot when it first came out. Then, after 1994, I kind of forgot about the band and that album. I don’t think I’ve listened to it in 8 years or more.

I was very happy to learn that it still sounded as great now as it did back then. I was reveling in “What’s Up,” “Spaceman” and “Morphine And Chocolate.” I even asked myself, why haven’t I listened to this record more? My only guess is that there are too many new albums that get in the way. Remembering how great the 4 Non Blondes were is one of the early rewards reaped from this challenge.

38 Special’s Tour De Force is an album that I picked up at a yard sale with a bunch of other cassettes for a dollar (maybe two). I think walked home with 30 tapes for a total cost of $2.00. That’s nice. I love yard sales! When I got home, I know I played this album once, because I played all of the new tapes to make sure that they worked. Then it got filed away and forgotten. It was one of those albums that I didn’t even remember I owned. So, last night, I put it on the old cassette player and let her rip.

From the opening notes of “If I’d Been The One,” I was hooked. Southern rock and roll done right, that’s the best way to describe Tour De Force. “Back Where You Belong” sounded incredible, probably because I had not heard the song in so long. “One Of The Lonely Ones” was a surprise treat that I thoroughly enjoyed. I even sat and read the lyrics as the song played. When this challenge is over, I am going to need to play this album a few more times. I thought it was amazing and I don’t know why it’s been so neglected. Sometimes albums just got lost in the collection. This challenge should help solve that problem.

Albums Listened To: 12
Albums Remaining: 2,041

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