52 Movies: Week 52 - About A Boy
Sunday Night Journal: January 1, 2017

52 Albums Claims List

Here it is, Friday, December 30, 2016. Wednesday of next week will be January 4th, and I've been planning to kick off the 52 Albums series then, assuming there is still interest. 

As I discussed in a comment thread a few weeks ago, I want to do this one a bit differently. Rather than having people commit in advance to specific dates, and me maintain a schedule, which quickly falls apart and ceases to be updated, just send me pieces whenever you like. I'll put them in a separate mailbox, so I can see at a glance what's there and what order it was received in, and publish them in that order. If the well is dry, I'll post something. 

I want to keep Wednesday as the standard day for publishing, so sometime Tuesday I'll either grab the next piece from my list or write one myself, and anything received after that will go into the queue. I can't really give you a hard-and-fast time that I'll always adhere to, but in general I won't start preparing the Wednesday entry until Tuesday afternoon or evening.

Formatting etc.: I haven't yet had a problem opening and converting any document anyone has sent me, so I don't think there will be any difficulties there. One thing I've found, though, is that it's easier for me to handle graphics if you just send them to me as separate files, rather than embed them in the documents. I end up having to remove and re-add them anyway. So just send the graphic files as attachments to the email, and put some kind of note in the text telling me what graphic goes where. Something like:

[insert Lennon-McCartney photo here]

Same goes for a video, if you want to include a YouTube version of a song or songs. 

Also, I know one or two people have expressed hesitation about being able to write about music. By no means do you need to have any kind of specialized knowledge about music. Just treat albums as you would a movie or a novel. And it doesn't matter what genre. 

This should be fun. 


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I missed the earlier comment about 52 Albums. I was wandering what it would be 52 of. How will we know what other people have put in the Hopper? Suppose one person sends in Astral Weeks and two days later someone else does?

Hmm, good question. I was assuming nobody else would duplicate my odd and obscure choices and didn't think any further. How about I create a "dibs" list post, and we can use the comments on it to stake our claims? I can put a link to the post in the sidebar so it's always available.

Well, I'm half done with Meet the Beatles.


Might as well make this the dibs post, I guess. So if anybody has picks right now, go ahead and post them.

I'm fairly sure Robert's Beatles picks were later albums. I don't have time to look for that comment right now--very busy today and most of tomorrow. So hold off on any other Beatles picks until somebody finds out what those were.

I'm almost certain I said that before anyone else said anything.


Astral Weeks, Down by the River, and if no one better wants it, Seagent Pepper. Blood on the Tracks

Robert's list:

Rubber Soul
Dark Side of the Moon
The Yes Album
Crosby, Stills, and Nash
Either Harvest or After the Gold Rush


Is that Gotcha or Rob G?

Robert Gotcher.


Thanks for digging that up, Janet.

Grumpy, Down By the River: do you mean the Neil Young album with that song on it? That album's title is Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. At least in the U.S.

John Hiatt - Slow Turning
Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust

Yes everybody knows this is nowhere

I'm looking forward to hearing your view of Astral Weeks. I wouldn't have picked it as being exactly your cup of tea.

I love it. Its my favourite record. Its harder for me to listen to niw, since I played it the night before Stan died

I like yhe 'trilogy' -Astral Weeks, St Dominics Preview, Veedon Fleece. Maybe my favourite three records. I don't think he did any of the records anywhere near as good although there were good songs here and there

One may barely credit it, but at the time when he made those albums Van Morrison didn't have any of the 'Celtic Schtick' which later surrounded him.

I can certainly credit it, because I heard those albums when they were new. I like them a lot, too. Add Moondance and you have the best of Van to my taste, although a lot of other albums have some very good songs. Not that Moondance really fits with those three, being more rock-and-roll.

There's another one I've never owned which is good, called 'Common One'. A student made a cassette of it for me, and I listened to it for years.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that here before, as I generally do when VM's name comes up. It's underrated, I think. I didn't care much for it when it came out but later changed my mind.

Blue Aeroplanes -- 'Swagger'
Doves -- 'Lost Souls'
Blue Nile -- 'Hats'

There'll be others, but I want to do those three for sure.

"at the time when he made those albums Van Morrison didn't have any of the 'Celtic Schtick' which later surrounded him."

I'm a fan of the "Celtic Schtick," but that's probably because my first real exposure to Van was via 1983's Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, which has remained a fave Van record through the ensuing years. Prior to that I had heard only the odd song here and there, as no one in my "set" was a Van fan (although I do remember having seen him do "Wavelength" on SNL and quite liking it.)

I am also a more mid-Van guy myself. Has to do with age and those albums coming out when I was in high school and buying them. You can like music a lot that is released before your time, but can you ever really be attached to it in the same way?

Stu, its a good point. I got Astral Weeks in my mid teens, about 8 years aftee it came out

Yep, with the odd exception I agree with you, Stu.

Yes, that's an interesting question--how much effect one's age and circumstances at first exposure matter. I was in my early 20s when I first heard Astral Weeks, and although I'm certain that if I heard it for the first time tomorrow I would like it, I probably wouldn't be blown away by it as I was then.

You two (Stu and Rob) really ought to check out Common One, if you don't already know it. It's in some ways between the two periods you mention. There are some slightly silly things in the lyrics...well, more than slightly. But I can ignore those. It's mostly meditative, but perhaps in a jazzier way than those later albums (I'm not real familiar with them). And there's one irresistible slow-groove funky tune, "Satisfied."

I'm also certain that I would like Moondance if I heard it for the first time tomorrow. Would like it a lot. It's some of the catchiest and yet substantial rock ever recorded.

Yes, I love that cassette of Common One the kids made for me, but it always seemed appropriate for me to listen to it on a cassette given to me by some hippy students rather than buy it. Its where the 'Celtic Schtick' is becoming much more evident. Its like as if Van Morrison started to do Van Morrison. My mother once came in the room when we were looking at the Rolling Stones on TV in the mid 1980s, and she said, 'they are all pale imitations of the Rolling Stones'.


Jagger said when he was young that he didn't want to look like a fool doing his stuff at 40. Now he's 3/4 of the way through his second 40 and still at it.

"I was in my early 20s when I first heard Astral Weeks, and although I'm certain that if I heard it for the first time tomorrow I would like it, I probably wouldn't be blown away by it as I was then."

Substitute Inarticulate Speech... for Astral Weeks and I could have written that sentence.

I've purchased Common One based on your recommendation years ago, Mac. Although I have put it on a few times I've never really sat down to enjoy it. One day soon.

You may be the biggest proponent of that album that Van has! :)

I also like Common One, though I don't think it's in the same league as the trilogy of records that Grumpy praised earlier. It's got only 6 songs on it, I think, though a couple of them ("Summertime in England") are really long. I think of it as an experimental record, and a partly successful one.

It's also true of me that the records I came to love in my late teens and early 20s are still among my favourite records, but in my case they were generally not records of that time (the early 1990s), but from the 1960s and 1970s -- Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, especially.

Yeah, you are either proof that the Law of Youthful Impression does not exist, or an exception to it.

"an experimental record, and a partly successful one" Yes, good assessment.

Stu, I've seen it referred to by other people as "underrated", etc. In my case I think somewhere between 15 and 20 years, maybe a little more, went by between my initial "mmm, it's ok" and later appreciation. I think I was initially put off by the lyrics I described above as "silly" but might just as accurately be called "dumb." Can't remember what caused me to go back to it.

There's now a link to this post in the "Here" sidebar: "52 Albums Claims List". Just name your title(s) in a comment here if you want to claim something.

I'd like to claim a couple of Dylan albums.

"John Wesley Harding"
"Blonde on Blonde"

I'm thinking Hair and Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Y'all need to quit discussing music on this thread or we will never be able to find who's writing about what.



Also God of Life by John Michael Talbot.

I could do Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" or The Waterboys' "This is the Sea"

Two good choices, Michael!

Indeed. I was considering both of those myself. Take your choice, or do both if you like. Thanks.

I've been listening to Hounds of Love the past several days so I'm glad others are into it. What a great record/album/LP ....

In a startling move away from the LAW I imposed on all of you I would like to add the Ray Charles album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music to my list, recorded four years before my birth.

I've started on Blue Aeroplanes' Swagger but am not likely to have it done until early Feb.

And we need more music by women. So far only SHEL, I think. I am discerning writing about k.d. lang, Neko Case, Lucinda Williams - will probably begin with Lucinda Williams "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road". Well, the album not just the song, I'm too lazy to deal with however you do italics here.

That's all for the best. You never have to worry about making a mistakes and finding the next six comments in italics.


Yes, I came to that conclusion a while back, too, although I'm compulsive enough that it still bothers me not to use them.

I probably wouldn't have picked any of those, Stu, so as far as I'm concerned you're welcome to them. Not that I don't think they're worthy--they are.

I vote for Neko Case. (That is, I vote for Stu to write about Neko Case.)


Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Rd

Whenever I get to them, but they're both worth writing about and we need some women!

I'll probably do an Innocence Mission album, and Karen Peris seems to be the main writer as well as singer in that group. Maybe also Kate Bush.

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