December 27

So here I am… the last five blogs of Marks 365 Days Of Vinyl. If you remember, this was all about a New Years resolution (and also a bit of a midlife crisis).

The idea was to reconnect with the music, and format of music delivery, that I loved so much in my younger years… but had gotten away from.

I figured I could go through my existing record collection, cull out the things that didn’t make any sense or the things that were no longer interesting to me and build this base into a respectable record collection.

I also had intentions of taking some of the excellent pieces of musical equipment I had laying around and build these into a respectable stereo system.

I believe I have succeeded in both of these goals!

But now comes the hard part, looking back, reminiscing, and trying to figure out what I’ve learned. Has this path taken me someplace new? Am I stuck in the same old rut as my 49 year old self? Or… am I back in the groove?

Let’s find out.

I promised myself I would make a 50 Greatest for my 50th year list… sort of like a top 10 list, but I knew there was no way I was going to be able to collect my 50 favorite piece of music on vinyl this year. I also didn’t want to load up on Beatles and Led Zeppelin records so heavily in that the list would be meaningless.

I decided to do my 50 favorite records that I blogged about in this year. They’re not in any particular order (for the most part) but I have categorized them into five different categories of 10 records each; new, used, gifts, thrifts, Big Ten.

Let’s start with new:

These records were either purchased new this year or purchased new in the past and are new to me vinyl:


What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Fantastic album, one of the all time greats. Great on Sunday mornings and on road trips. A truly special album that still resonates today. We hear but we don’t listen I guess.

Highway To Hell/Back in Black – AC/DC

To me, this music sounds like one thing and one thing only… youth! Being a no problems kid with the freedom to rock out to AC/DC at will. OK, two things; youth and freedom. We need to dispatch AC/DC to the middle east post haste!

Buddy Holly/Crickets 20 Golden Greats/Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits

This is where it all began. If you listen at all to BH or CB, or if you read about classic rock and roll, these guys were the flood wave that carried the Beatles up to my musical high water mark. John Lennon said that if they ever had to find a new name for rock and roll, it’d be Chuck Berry. Enough said. My BH is new but my CB is a Taiwanese knock off… I just like to think back on what joy it gave some service member when he bought it new.

Songs In The Key Of Life – Stevie Wonder

I had this new on 8 track as a kid. I stupidly tried to listen to it on a rafting trip. It was my introduction to soul and funk music.

Oh Mercy – Bob Dylan

I’ve always been a fan of Bob, The great American poet. I learned to play guitar by figuring out his sixties protest songs. This period of his music, No Mercy, Under A Red Sky and onward has become my favorite.

Graceland – Paul Simon

Bought brand new on CD at an Air Force Base Exchange, this record really opened up my ears to the different kinds of music that were out in the world. I’m so glad I found it on vinyl!

Making Movies – Dire Straits

My go to record for testing new audio equipment. My foreign copy came out of a discount bin brand new sealed in cellophane from a grocery store in Tacoma.

Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen

I backed into the CD hearing other people do these songs. More than almost any other record, this sounds like America to me.

Kiss Alive! – Kiss

A Christmas present well after initial release. My Kiss Army membership was I filled out and mailed almost immediately.

American Fool – John Cougar Melencamp

John Cougar Mellencamp is my Bruce Springsteen. His earnest and yet soulful music and lyrics really struck home with me… more so than the East Coast-centric Boss’ early records did. I bought my copy (on cassette) while playing hookey from high school on a warm spring afternoon. I still feel those feelings whenever I hear Jack And Dianne!


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