A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
I had discovered so much music in 1987 that at the time, I thought 1988 was a dud by comparison. Over the years, I’ve discovered that is not the case. The Favorite 10 doesn’t change from the original list, but look at that expanded list.
- In Tua Nua, The Long Acre
- Midnight Oil, Diesel and Dust
- Kronos Quartet, Winter Was Hard
- The Sugarcubes, Life’s Too Good
- Enya, Watermark
- Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
- Living Colour, Vivid
- Duran Duran, Big Thing
- Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
- The Dead Milkmen, Beelzebubba
Other favorites from the year:
- Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods
- John Adams, Nixon in China
- Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Savvy Show Stoppers
- Camper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
- Sarah McLachlan, Touch
- Erasure, The Innocents
- Sade, Stronger Than Pride
- The Pogues, If I Should Fall from Grace with God
- The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Blues
- The Godfathers, Birth, School, Work, Death
- Camouflage, Voices & Images
- Ambitious Lovers, Greed
- Iron Path, Iron Path
- Toni Childs, Union
- R.E.M., Green
- Throwing Muses, House Tornado
- Pixies, Surfer Rosa
- N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton
- Information Society, Information Society
- Ofra Haza, Shaday
- The Smiths, Rank
- Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams
I guess I really limited the expanded list 10 years ago so I wouldn’t have to do so much writing. The Pogues, the Waterboys, the Godfathers, Ambitious Lovers, Ofra Haza, the Smiths and Lucinda Williams would not have appeared on that list — I’ve discovered those albums only in the last 6 years.
Tags: ambitious lovers, camouflage, camper van beethoven, duran duran, enya, erasure, favorite edition, in tua nua, information society, iron path, john adams, kronos quartet, living colour, lucinda williams, midnight oil, n.w.a., ofra haza, pixies, r.e.m., rewind, sade, sarah mclachlan, shadowy men on a shadowy planet, sonic youth, stephen sondheim, the dead milkmen, the godfathers, the pogues, the smiths, the sugarcubes, the waterboys, throwing muses, toni childs, tracy chapman
I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.
- Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska
- Bruce Springsteen Tunnel of Love
- Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
- Information Society, Hack
- Joy Division, Substance
- Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile
- Patti Smith, Horses
- Tool, Lateralus
- Throwing Muses, House Tornado / The Fat Skier
- Throwing Muses, In a Doghouse
- Wilco, Being There
- Shiina Ringo, Baisho Ecstacy
Tags: ambitious lovers, bruce springsteen, elvis costello, information society, joy division, nine inch nails, patti smith, purchase log, shiina ringo, throwing muses, tool, wilco
I really did intend to buy Greed when it was first released in the late ’80s.
I was a devoted reader of Pulse! magazine, and the feature it ran about Ambitious Lovers made me think Greed would be something I’d like. I had just gotten into Kronos Quartet and downtown New York jazz, and Arto Lindsay certainly hung around the likes of John Zorn, Bill Frisell and Joey Baron.
But I was on a budget. I had to be strategic about what I acquired.
So Greed got pushed aside for other things — Broadway musicals, Duran Duran, all the stuff that would eventually turn into alternative rock.
I soon convinced myself that in reality, I wasn’t terribly interested in Ambitious Lovers after all. Back then, I couldn’t preview any of the music I was interested in pursuing. Radio and MTV were useless, so I had to rely on the printed word. Up until the era of downloading, press reviews really were my means of discovery.
But reading about music isn’t the same as listening to it. I lucked out a lot with my faith in reviews, but I also ended up getting just as many duds.
In short, the word of mouth around Ambitious Lovers wasn’t strong enough to convince me to plunge.
Now that I have a disposable income, a $4 worn vinyl copy is no imposition at all, so I picked it up to sate my curiosity.
I’m pretty sure I would have kept it in my collection had I bought it back then.
Lindsay sprechstimmes his way through the album, staying approximately in tune long enough to deliver a catchy chorus. The dated rhythm machines and synth bass mix remarkably well with the bursts of noise from Lindsay’s guitar.
Even Zorn doesn’t sound out of sorts on his brief appearance on the album. The quieter moments aren’t as impressive as the funkier, noisier bits.
In short, Greed is a pop album ground to bits by the downtown New York aesthetic. I’m glad I bought it eventually.
Tags: ambitious lovers, vinyl find