Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Favorite Albums from the 80's

After the recent series looking at Rolling Stone's "Best Albums of the 80's", I got to thinking what were my favorite albums of the 80's.  So I did a little digging, made a list ... In order to do a semi-objective rating, I looked at the average play-count per song on my iTunes library.  This is flawed, as I reset my counters about 2 years ago, but it does give a measure. Regardless, it is a metric, and that's what I used. 

So, over the next little bit, I'll be posting my list of "Favorite Albums Of The 80's".

So, topping my list - J.J. Cale - Shades.

I know, most of you are probably saying "who?".  But the fact is, I'm a big J.J. Cale fan, and have been since I discoved the album "Troubador" back in 1976.  I have almost everything J.J. Cale has released since his 1972 debut.  Often credited with inspiring Eric Clapton's "Tulsa Sound" phase, J.J. Cale is primarily known as a songwriter, penneing such classics as "After Midnight", "Cocaine",   "Call Me The Breeze", "Sensitive Kind" and "Bringing It Back".....  By far my favorite semi-obscure muscian.

J.J. Cale only released 3 albums in the 80's, and all made my "Top 40".

So, what about "Shades"?  This came out in early 1981, during my Junoir year in college. 

I think that Allmusic sums it up nicely:   J.J. Cale's "songs and his overal approach to music are all-encompassing; the seductive and laid-back grooves ... are written into the very fabric of the songs. ... these are songs of simple, sturdy strengths, succinctly written and concisely rendered. There are never any stray notes or decorative filigrees. Friendly and inviting, Shades sounds good in any season and at any time of day."  Of course, they pair that with an editor's rating of 2 stars (out of 5). Tsk, tsk.

J.J. Cale is all about the groove.  And shades is one of his best albums.  Probably one of his more "produced" albums, with a smooth, more polished sound.  All of the songs are great.

A little hard to find J.J. Cale on youtube, but here's a couple:
Pack My Jack (with random visuals), Deep Dark Dungeon, Runaround,  Carry On

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