Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Music Question: is there an album or recording that simply doesn't hold up for you?

Who Charted? the podcast asked their guest this week that question, in choosing the question among those submitted from their listeners.

I'm not sure that there's a record I genuinely loved that I don't much care for any more, at least anything I've discovered for myself since about age ten. Even the likes of "Smokin' in the Boys' Room" by the Brownsville Station, the first 45 rpm single I bought for myself, while it strikes me as energetic and sophomoric (by every intent) now, struck me as energetic and goofy then (hey, I was as ready for punk rock as anyone, I guess--I certainly never could take KISS nor Sweet seriously, nor Led Zep nor Queen, which last at least didn't take themselves Too seriously...which didn't make them, nor, say, Meat Loaf, any more exciting).

Perhaps as close as I get would be my somewhat lesser affection for the Tijuana Brass and such imitators as The Brass Hat compared to how I felt in 1974, but I don't actually dislike their cheerful kitsch even now (I might even find the more adventurous records by the likes of Enoch Light--particularly with percussionist Terry Snyder--slightly better now).

Anything you've found you've utterly or at least somewhat outgrown?


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Todd, I don't know how to put this but in answer to your question, I'd single out Neil Diamond (whose songs I used to like a lot), Cliff Richards, Tina Charles, A-ha, Baltimora, Alphaville, The Carpenters, Perry Como, Trini Lopez, Alma Cogan, Jim Reeves, Boney M (though I still like Abba), and Lipps Inc. ("Funkytown" was breakfast), to name a few that come to mind.

While I like many of their songs, like "Big in Japan" by Alphaville, "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora, and "Take On Me" by A-ha (all from my teens years), I have outgrown them.

I still like Elvis, Foreigner, Engelbert, Dire Straits, Jefferson Starship, Lee Hazlewood ("Summerwine"), Frank Sinatra, Tears for Fear, Peter Frampton, Michael Jackson (for "Billy Jean"), BeeGees, Modern Talking, and Righteous Brothers.

Bill Crider said...

My problem is that I never outgrow anything. I still like "Bat out of Hell" (the song, not the whole album), ABBA, Elvis, on and on. I also still like "Smokin' in the Boy's Room," for that matter. I have very low taste in music.

Charlie Ricci said...

Except for "Won't Get Fooled Again" and Baba O'Reilly I find anything to do with The Who grating but I didn't always feel that way.

I'm also the World's biggest Beatles fan and I used to love Sgt. Pepper. However, Except for "A Day In The Life" I no longer rank this classic as my favorite Beatles album. In fact it's probably only #5. IT's the songwriting. The album is a master of production and technique but the songwriting is lacking.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Prashant, it's a good day, apparently, to have outgrown (and kept one's distance from) Cliff Richard. I've long thought Foreigner was the best of their breed of 1970s AOR (adult-oriented radio/album-oriented rock music), and certainly prefer them to the likes of Styx or Journey, without ever needing to buy a Foreigner record (I did buy the single of Kansas's "Carry On, Wayward Son" as an example of that sort of thing that doesn't quite deserve the passion the band invested in it, but it was certainly catchy...I think it's how much it seemed to mean to them that put it over, as well as being better than anything else I've heard from them).

Bill, it might well be that you simply find the gold or at least the durable brass and stick with it...not liking any whole album by Meat Loaf demonstrates a certain useful discrimination.

Charlie, it's hard to argue that many of the PEPPER songs either aren't quite what other Beatles songs are, or could use another draft. "Good Morning" is halfway to being a very good song, and admits it's giving up, so it's merely a good song. "Fun is the one thing money can't buy"? Um, well,'re kidding, eh? (or just very weary millionaires?)...perhaps that sort of thing might've been better left to Ray Davies, who seemed to have a better knack for it. Hell, Brian Wilson probably wouldn't've left "She's Leaving Home" in that as final form. The Who's songwriting, likewise, was usually the problem there...they could play, but curdled whimsy only gets you so far (even if they were doing better financially than the Kinks, their great models as much as the Stones padded along behind the Beatles while there were such to imitate more Dirtily).

Richard said...

OUT TO LUNCH by Eric Dolphy. At the time I was amazed by how far he had taken the medium, how he turned things on their head and headed in such a new direction (it seemed to me). Now it just sounds like he was showing off. I find it pretty much unlistenable.

Ron Scheer said...

i find myself LIKING more music from the past that did not resonate with me much at the time.

Kelly Robinson said...

I can't believe I'm admitting this, but at age ten or eleven I was flat-out obsessed with the Bay City Rollers. I bought a CD for nostalgia purposes, and it's just not listenable. I had no taste.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Kelly, they were Non-Threatening Boys at the time. I imagine the music might not've been the most attractive aspect of them, eh?

Ron, the more we hear, often the more we're ready to hear.

Richard, I don't think it's his best album, either. Even of the largely free recordings. But, then, KIND OF BLUE isn't the best jazz album ever recorded, even by any of its principals, but go tell the half-educated.

Charlie Ricci said...

Todd: Do you have an email address? If you're willing to give it to me you can reach me @

Jeff said...

I'm a perpetual adolescent - haven't outgrown anything, though I do hear many things differently. A singer like Olivia Newton-John, for example, takes me back to my early teens. (I no longer lust after her, just my youth.) And Neil Diamond - my parents enjoyed his music in the early '70s, so a lot of his songs from that era take me back to my childhood.