...cos it's my blog and I can. This is a list of my own personal favorites, not an objective piece of journalism. Bosco is in charge of that stuff. I'm old, but not quite as old as this list might make you think; I came to several of these after the fact.
1. New York Tendaberry--Laura Nyro. Pure poetry, purely original, and full of a striking passion. As soon as I discovered her, I wanted to be her. There is something of Laura Nyro in almost everything I write. She showed me what was possible. Plus, she lived with a female partner later on, and that just endeared her to me even more. She is missed.
2. Red Dirt Girl/Wrecking Ball--Emmylou Harris. I put these together because they were issued consecutively, and I love them both more than I can say. I bought Wrecking Ball right when it came out. I did the same with Red Dirt Girl, then it sat in my cd carousel for a decade before i got it out and discovered what I had been missing.
3. Song For Seagull--Joni Mitchell. I think this was her first major release, and it is still my favorite. It's the folkie Joni, and full of soul, longing, and spirit. "My gentle relations/ have names they must call me/ for loving the freedom/ of all flying things". Oh, do I relate to that.
4. Famous Blue Raincoat--Jennifer Warnes. Here, Jennifer Warnes lends her voice--which is everything Leonard Cohen's is not--to the songs of Leonard Cohen. The combination is astonishing.
5. Cheap Thrills--Big Brother & The Holding Company. It's Janis. Need I say more?
6. It's A Beautiful Day--It's A Beautiful Day. Why wasn't I in San Francisco during the Summer of Love? Maybe because I was in grade school in Michigan. I was introduced to this music, which includes "White Bird", one rainy Sunday afternoon in the late 70s, at a friend's house. I left with borrowed copies of this, and Joni Mitchell's "For The Roses." That was a good day!
7. Wild Heart--Stevie Nicks. The Gypsy in me just loves Stevie Nicks, whose cool voice and rock n roll love songs captured my imagination and still do.
8. Fit To Be Tied--Joan Jett. This is a "best of" collection, and it really is. Joan isn't complicated. She just f*cking rocks. I love rock n roll...especially when Joan sings it. Oh, and she's "family", too.
9. It Ain't Easy--John Baldry. Long John Baldry was a big tall Englishman given to wearing big hats, making him seem like a giant. He was never a giant in terms of sales, but he helped Rod Stewart and Elton John (who takes the "John" part of his name from John Baldry) to get started, and he could belt out Brit Blues like nobody's business. This was out of print for many years, but has finally been reissued on cd.
10. Revolver--The Beatles. My favorite Beatles album. Issued just before Sgt. Pepper, you can see it coming, here. The reissue includes some cool songs like "Dr. Robert" and "And Your Bird Can Sing."
11. Person To Person--Tim Hardin. Tim Hardin was a drug-addicted, vain, impossible nutjob who hated performing publicly, or having anyone else perform his songs. He was also, for a short while, one of the most gifted and unique singer/songwriters ever. He wrote "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Reason To Believe."
12. Mosaique--The Gypsy Kings. I can't understand a word, but I play the snot out of this cd, all the time. It combines Latin and Gypsy music with a pop sensibility, and has energy to spare.
That's my list. What's yours?