My idea for this post came from trying to pick a CD to listen to while I did some chores around the house on Sunday. I know, how old school is listening to CDs, and all the way through! Most of the time, I listen to the CD jukebox on random, or make a play list on my computer (which has a blue tooth connection to my stereo). I have an iPod, but I've never found much use for it. Anyway, sometimes, I just want to listen to one artist, and I want a nice and simple "play all," rather than picking out tunes.
If you've ever done this, you might find that it isn't as easy as you think. Unless you're playing a greatest hits compilation, it's a rare album that is good all the way through. But there are several "go tos" I have that feature no songs that need to be skipped. Here are selections from my favorites:
1. Out of Time by REM (1991) - I picked Shiny Happy People, but every song on this album is a good one, from Radio Song to Losing My Religion to the instrumental End Game.
2. Cosmic Thing by The B-52's (1989) - Roam is one of two big hits (the other being Love Shack), but any track from this album (Junebug, the title track Cosmic Thing and Deadbeat Club) is just as kicky and fun.
3. Xanadu (Soundtrack) by Olivia Newton-John & ELO (1980) - Yes, it's from one of the worst movie musicals of all time (but a guilty pleasure, and hey, they made a Broadway musical out of it!), but I love the soundtrack to this day. The mix of Electric Light Orchestra and ONJ are a nice contrast, and they come together at the end. And did you know that Fee Waybill of The Tubes is the singer of one track?
4. Private Dancer by Tina Turner (1984) - There's not a bum track on this one, which is amazing. Consider that Tina Turner hadn't had a hit in many years, and that--if legend is to be believed--this album was sort of slapped together. It was Tina's big comeback, and she deserved it.
5. Diva by Annie Lennox (1992) - The lead singer of Eurythmics never sounded better than on this solo album. My favorite track--Little Bird--wasn't a hit here, and I can't find a usable version to post. No matter though, because every track is a classic. This one, Why? is one of the biggest hits from the album.
6. Get Nervous by Pat Benatar (1982) - The amazingly talented (and under appreciated Benatar has a lot of good music, and more hit songs than you remember. Get Nervous has a big hit (Shadows of Night), a couple of minor hits (Looking for a Stranger and this one, It's a Little Too Late), not to mention favorites like the title track. Benatar is one of the more deserving singers to have a comeback, in my opinion.
Those are some of my favorite non-"best of" albums to play all the way through. Others include "Once More with Feeling. . ." (Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast soundtrack), Dangerous (Michael Jackson) and Grease (Soundtrack). For best ofs, you can't beat Journey, Blondie, The Bangles, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Mama Cass, and of course ABBA (Gold I & II). And now that you can see what a big, old, gay guy I am, I'll call it quits. Happy Monday!