One advantage of being a member of Generation X is that we've seen technology develop above and beyond any other generation. We perhaps are the only generation able to proficiently use everything from vinyl albums to MP3's. I remember playing storybook records as a child, boomboxes, and CD's. That was back in the pre-iPod days when you had to buy an entire album. Oh, singles were around, but they didn't offer much variety. And finding an entire CD that you could listen to all the way through and enjoy every song was a rare and priceless treasure. So in honor of the evolution of music, I'd like to offer you a list of 10 CD's you absolutely can't borrow from me. If you want any of these, you'll have to get your own copy. And now, I shall surely date myself:
Bruce Hornsby and the Range - The Way it Is (1987). I actually picked up this one from the discount bin about 20 years later, but it's a treasure. I remember loving the singles of "Mandolin Rain" and "The Way It Is" when they were released, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the whole CD had good, catchy tunes.
Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987). I know, it's a radical change from Bruce Hornsby, but this one (which I actually had on cassette) was full of great, hair-band rock. You can't beat it.
Metallica Black Album (1991). This is a classic, and Metallica's greatest work. This one came out shortly before my 16th birthday. I remember my brother playing it at my party and telling everyone it was my birthday gift. And the crowd went wild ...
Nirvana - Nevermind (1991). Ah, the birth of grunge, which changed rock forever - and we all know it needed it! The hair bands of the 80's were growing stale, and Nirvana gave us the shot of change that we so desperately needed.
Alice in Chains - Dirt (1992). Grunge at it's finest! Layne Stanley and Jerry Cantrell wrote an entire CD full of edgy, haunting songs that stayed with you.
Pearl Jam - Vs. (1993). A lot of people loved their first album, Ten, and it was great. But in my opinion, Vs. offered up that raw Seattle sound much better. I know they never sought mainstream success but sorry, guys - that's what happens when you're good. I know this CD lived in my CD player through my freshman and sophomore years of college.
Silverchair - Freakshow (1998). As grunge music passed into memory, Silverchair showed how it changed rock. Gone was the glam (thank goodness), to give way to a sound that embraced the best of old rock and new. True, they were a young band, and no doubt I enjoyed their music more in my late teens and early 20's, but it was still good, honest music that spoke to me.
Korn - Follow the Leader (1998). Throw in some rap, and you have a true mixture of all things combined to form something new going into the new millennium. Korn didn't (and still doesn't) mind experimenting with various sounds to express various things - and it works.
Cold - 13 Ways to Bleed On Stage (2000). They harken back to the grunge sound and delve into the darker emotions, but that's alright because it takes guts to go there. Catchy tunes that stick to your head!
As you can tell from this list, I'm a fan of grunge and rock. I've seen it evolve tremendously since my own teen years - but sadly, pop took over and it fell into shadow. I haven't had anything to really impress me - is it a sign of music evolving or me aging? Who knows? But all is not lost, because there's one more on the list and surprisingly, it's fairly recent:
In Flames - Sounds of a Playground Fading (2011). These guys rock! Rick stumbled across this in the past year, and it stuck to my brain fast! How many times have I shared "Where The Dead Ships Dwell?" A lot to be sure, and all of the songs on this one are outstanding and impressive. In Flames is in the studio working on another album now, and I'm looking forward to it.
So there you have it - 10 "Throwback Thursday" goodies to bring back memories. And if you need one more, here's another song that will stick to your brain. Enjoy, and have a great rest of the week!