#TBT #Vinyl Sponge, Rotting Piñata, 1994

Sponge Rotting Piñata

Sponge
Rotting Piñata
WORK Group Records / Sony Music
1994

Sponge was a favorite band of mine in the 90s. My radio station was one of the first to play these guys outside of their native Detroit, so the band’s management and label sent me a gold record when they hit 500,000 units in sales. 

This was my first gold record I ever received from a band and I was thrilled!!!

Then …  I unwrapped it and realized they spelled my name wrong. Oh, well. I still love this album, the band, and the gift. 

 

Sponge Rotting Piñata

Sponge Rotting Piñata

 

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl The Blues Brothers Soundtrack, 1980

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

The Blues Brothers 
Orignal Soundtrack 
Atlantic Records
1980

The greatest soundtrack ever. The greatest movie ever. Filmed in the greatest city ever.  Hit it. 

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

Blues Brothers Soundtrack

#TBT #Vinyl The Who Collection, 1985

The Who Collection

The Who
Collection
Polydor Records
1985

This compilation available only in the UK was the first import record I ever had. Teenaged me: “Wait, records are different in other countries?” Hooked.

It had a cool remix of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and great packaging as you can see here.

 

The Who Collection

The Who Collection

The Who Collection
“The Wasteland” – Etching by Anthony Davies

The Who Collection

 

 

 

 

#TBT #Vinyl Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, 1994

 

Various Artists
Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved
Mercury Records
1994

I generally dislike tribute albums. But this Kiss tribute from 1994 was cool and the red vinyl version was even cooler! It featured some great signature bands of the 90s including Gin Blossoms, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and Lenny Kravitz. 

Garth Brooks’ performance of my favorite Kiss song, “Hard Luck Woman” made me a Garth fan!

Kiss My Ass

Kiss My Ass

 

 

#TBT The Beatles, Free As a Bird, 1995

Beatles Anthology

Free As A Bird
The Beatles
Anthology 1
Apple Records / Capitol Records
1995

 

Free As a Bird was released in 1995 as the first “new” song by all four Beatles in 25 years. It was part of a multi-media blitz of the Anthology CD releases and the Anthology mini-series on ABC television.

Yes kids, in 1995, multi-media meant CDs and a TV show (plus a lot of promotion on something called FM radio).

At the time, Free As a Bird was received as a novelty. It was a publicity stunt as part of the Anthology releases. Most fans watched, listened, and said, “Okay, it’s good, but play something from Rubber Soul or Sgt Pepper again!”

But 23 years later, Free As a Bird is BRILLIANT. If you haven’t heard it in a while, give it a listen again please:

 

How did we get here?

Perhaps our standards just that much lower now. As musicians stopped playing actual musical instruments, did we lower the bar of what constitutes a good song?

In spite of the media’s phony accolades poured upon the likes of Jay-Zee, Beyoncé, and Adam Levine as “geniuses,” the universe hasn’t produced songwriters close to Lennon and McCartney in decades.

Even an unproduced, unfinished scrap song demo from John Lennon is brilliant compared to anything by Kanye West.

 

A True Beatles Song

I’m a huge fan of the Anthology albums and the mini-series. At the time, I had thought of the new songs Free As a Bird and Real Love only as interesting codas. But now I consider them full-fledged Beatles creative achievements.

And unlike Real Love, which is fantastic in its own way, Free As a Bird was not a complete recording. Real Love allowed Paul, George, and Ringo to come in as a backup band to provide backing vocals and a guitar solo to John’s nearly-complete song. But on Free As a Bird, the other three Beatles created 75% of the song that John started.

Also, in writing this, I realize for the first time that Free As a Bird can be abbreviated as FAB. Heh…

 

2018

I’m glad Free a Bird was made back in 1995 and not 2018.  If created in 2018, someone may have convinced the surviving Beatles to use auto-tune. John Lennon auto-tuned. Imagine that…