Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 30

Oops, I think I missed last week. Oh well. Our previous selection, the Footloose Soundtrack, remains one of my favorite albums of all time. Yes, it is pure 1980s pop – mostly of the over-the-top, cheesy variety. But it is the best of that genre with non-stop, back-to-back catchy pop hits. Kenny Loggin’s title track in particular is one of the most irresistibly infectious, gotta-dance pop songs ever recorded. Other highlights are Moving Pictures’ “Never” (the song to which Kevin Bacon does his infamous barn dance routine), Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero,” Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around” and the Mike Reno and Ann Wilson power ballad duet “Almost Paradise.”

This week’s classic album is…Kristin Hersh: Strange Angels.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 29

Granted, Van Halen’s 1984 has more nostalgic value than timeless artistic merit as the band’s heavy use of synths keeps the music firmly dated in the early 1980s. Yet despite all the electro-80s flourishes, 1984 is still a mostly solid rock album. And pop-rock hits “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher” are just as catchy and enjoyable now as when I first heard them. Now for one of my all-time favorite soundtracks…

This week’s classic album is…Footloose Soundtrack.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 28

Last week’s pick, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run, is a classic in the truest sense of the word. Other than “Born to Run” – one of the greatest rock songs of all time, in my opinion – none of the tracks really stand out as individuals, but flow smoothly together as a cohesive whole. There’s a reason so many young artists and bands aspire to sound like Springsteen, the same reason he’s called The Boss, because he has always recorded the most authentic and brilliant of rock songs. Now for some ear candy…

This week’s classic album is…Van Halen: 1984.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 27

Last week’s selection, Rufus Wainwright: Poses, is so good I wrote a proper review of it rather than my usual classic album “listening experience” blurb. You can read the album review by clicking here.

Poses will be included in its entirety in the forthcoming 19-disc House of Rufus boxset – set for release by Universal Music on July 20th. I hope to have my review of the boxset complete before the release date, but it’s a deliciously, ridiculously large amount of music to make my way through. Until then…

This week’s classic album is…Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Rufus Wainwright: Poses

Rufus Wainwright’s 2001 album, Poses, was last week’s selection for Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club. I enjoyed listening to it again so much, however, that I was compelled to write a proper album review. Though it was a favorite of mine when it was first released in 2001, I hadn’t listened to Poses in several years. What a wonderful, unusual, consistently brilliant piece of art it is. I think it sounds even better today than it did when it was a newborn.

The opener of Poses, “Cigarattes & Chocolate Milk,” is still a charmer with its lyrical list of various vices and irresistable indulgences all wrapped up in a jaunty piano tune.

Despite its title, “Greek Song” has more of an Oriental style with lush piano snaking through the intricate, exotic arrangement beneath Rufus’ warm voice. The song was on nearly every mix CD I made in 2001 and remains my favorite on the album.

The title track dances in elegant circles, while the sensual downtempo beat of “Shadows” gently rises and falls with Rufus’ graceful falsetto.

Catchy, quirky “California” rattles, clinks, bounces and purrs a perfect pop melody replete with backing “oohs.”

Rufus’ melodic, wistful “Grey Gardens” predated the renewed interest in the reclusive Beale family stirred up by Drew Barrymore’s recent film. The song begins with a short audio clip from the 1975 documentary that inspired the film.

A gentle jazz pluck and rhythm floats through the slinky piano number “Rebel Prince,” and the sinister edge of “Evil Angel” is softened by lovely classical horns and strings.

“In A Graveyard” is a pure, pretty piano ballad that probably earned Rufus all those soundtrack covers that followed.

Poses will be included in its entirety in the forthcoming 19-disc House of Rufus boxset – set for release by Universal Music on July 20th. I hope to have my review of the boxset complete before the release date, but it’s a deliciously, ridiculously large amount of music to make my way through. Until then, check out Poses if you haven’t already.

Buy Poses @ Amazon

Pre-order House of Rufus @ Amazon

Rufus Wainwright Official Site