Tuesday, March 03, 2009

List Day: Five Notable First CDs

Don't forget to submit your Name That Tune entries by TOMORROW at noon! Blink tags are for weenies.

These may not have been the very first CDs I ever owned, and there were certainly plenty of cassette tapes and comedy records beforehand, but these were the earliest CDs I can remember listening to continuously in junior high school and high school. Whether it was in the CD player that plugged into the tape deck of the 1994 Dodge Spirit, or through my headphones on the back of the Crew bus to some random river in another state, these CDs became so familiar to me that I can remember almost every single beat and flourish even today.

  • The Tonight Show Band, Volume II with Doc Severinsen:
    This was the CD that taught my brain how a tight jazz ensemble should sound, how jazz should be arranged, and how cleanly a lead trumpet should be playing. Later, I bought Volume I, but also liked II better.

  • Red Hot Jazz by the Canadian Brass:
    Our house was filled with quintet music, and this CD was one of the earliest that broke me away from classical quintet arrangements and into jazz, even though it was the whitest sounding jazz you could possibly record.

  • Then and Now... The Best of the Monkees:
    I'm not exactly sure how I got on a Monkees kick, but knew all the lyrics to these songs, including the horrible 80s pop songs stuck on the end from when they tried to make a comeback.

  • Soundtrack from Dances With Wolves, not by Jim Barry:
    We watched this movie on a class field trip in seventh grade for American History, back when the Skyline Mall theatre still existed (They fast forwarded through the naked sexy parts but left Kevin Costner's bare ass on the screen). I may have listened to this soundtrack for three years straight.

  • Live in Osaka, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble:
    This was one of the few classical CDs I listened to with any regularity -- my dad had a massive collection of wind band music but little to no orchestral recordings (which may be why I write so little music for strings). I remember always skipping the Joseph Schwantner piece because I thought it was lame. Then I went to music school and learned that that's how you compose if you want people to think you're artistic.
  • Your turn! What was your most memorable first CD? Share in the comments section.

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