On the plus side...

Recently, it was brought to my attention that my iPod lacked Paul Simon. Well, to be fair, I had 2 Paul Simon songs on it. That's not very many, considering I'm a huge fan and do actually own at least 2 albums (one of which is Graceland, possibly the greatest album of the 80's - discuss).

Well, this got the ball rolling. You see, as I mentioned in my last post, I've been ill. I'm not one to succumb to boredom easily and ill = bored as far as I'm concerned. Drinking lemsip is fun, but doing it compulsively can lead to liver failure faster than downing pints of Jack Daniel's & Coke for breakfast. So I decided to update my iTunes music library and iPod. I hadn't really done so since upgrading to a new iMac and a 20gb iPod. I had a lot of cds and stuff kicking about that I'd just plain forgot about. More fool me.

Obviously Graceland, The Rhythm of the Saints and Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard went on first as they were fresh in my mind. But this was merely the tip of the iceberg. I found my copies of John Lee Hooker "Mr Lucky" AND his Greatest Hits - bring it on (Mr Lucky is playing as I write this - man was a genius!). Then John Mayall & Eric Clapton Blues Breaker remastered from the original 1966 master tapes. JJ Cale... well, lots more blues...

...then on to Jazz: Duke Ellington's Newport recordings from 1956, Miles Davis Sketches of Spain and Birth of Cool, Herbie Hancock's bizarre but brilliant Sextant, Bird, Mose Allison (who kinda bridges jazz & blues).

Every cd I put in, I'd listen to a couple of tracks and get absolutely blown away, not just by brilliance but by the raw, simple edges on the blues riffs. Guitar strings plucked right down to the bone (John Lee Hooker's Crawlin' Kingsnake), horns that brought tears on tendrils of stale cigar smoke (Miles Davis's Concierto de Aranjuez {Adiago}), the softer riffs of J J Cale - it was like an adventure. So I decided to change tempo a bit...

I'm an old school East Coast Hip Hop fan. From back in the days of Run-DMC, through the Beastie Boys, and, for the sophisticated rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest & De La Soul. Did I have any of these loaded up? Of course not. I'd just forgotten how good they really were. So, starting from the beginning, Ultimate Run-DMC. Run's House hit me like a ton of bricks wielded by some... well, brick-wielding behemoth. It was a combination of nostalgia, rediscovery and the realisation that it was a genuinely awesome tune. More re-discoveries followed - A Tribe Called Quest's Beats, Rhymes & Life is an unjustly overlooked album; the Beastie Boys' Check Your Head & Ill Communications are so good on so many levels (instruments, scratching, lyrics and the ferocity with which they spout them; these guys invented nu-metal/nu-punk and so far no one else has been able to it right). Brilliant but time for a change of pace again...

London Calling... The Clash
Early Days... Led Zeppelin
Anthology 2 disc set... Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Blue... Joni Mitchell
Sea Change... Beck
5... J J Cale
Single 45's and Under... Squeeze
Harvest... Neil Young

There were so many. I feel like I'm in some sort of aural haze but it's brilliant. It doesn't matter if you don't have an iPod or anything like that - just look at your cds and pick a few you haven't listened to in ages. It's great for what ails you. But be warned, it will take time!

I shudder to think what my post will be like when I start to re-read Shakespeare...