Friday, September 25, 2009

Entire Albums Played at Concerts: Part 1

Have you noticed lately that quite a few bands are performing seminal records in their entirety? It isn't an entirely new phenomenon. I saw Brian Wilson perform 'Pet Sounds' a decade ago and 'Smile' about five years ago. This concept has worked well for aging performers like Bruce Springsteen ('Born to Run'), Van Morrison ('Astral Weeks'), Love ('Forever Changes', Note: Arthur Lee has since passed away), The Zombies ('Odyssey and Oracle'), Sonic Youth ('Daydream Nation'), Nine Inch Nails ('Downward Spiral') and Todd Rundgren ('A Wizard, A True Star'). It has worked with lesser success, in my opinion, for newbies like The Decemberists ('Hazards of Love') and Saint Etienne ('Foxbase Alpha'). These records need more time to resonate with us.

This fall, there are a few bands trying the album as concert idea that intrigue me. I mentioned Devo the other day, but there are also bands I grew up with, like They Might Be Giants ('Flood') and The Pixies ('Doolittle'), that have been around long enough for such nostalgia. I guess this means I'm officially old.

This movement has me thinking about who else I would like to see on stage to present an album. I have also thought about those no longer with us that should have tried this while they could. We'll discuss that group next time. For now, here is my list of bands I want to see do entire albums as concerts. Some would have to reunite, but the main cogs of the groups are still with us. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section.

My Top 25 Albums at Concerts Wish List
1. Marshall Crenshaw: 'Marshall Crenshaw'
2. The Kinks: 'The Village Green Preservation Society'
3. The Police: 'Zenyatta Mondatta'
4. The Replacements: 'Let It Be'
5. Blur: 'Parklife'
6. Paul Simon: 'Graceland'
7. The Smiths: 'Meat Is Murder'
8. R.E.M. - 'Murmur'
9. The Jam: 'The Gift'
10. Talking Heads: 'More Songs About Buildings and Food'
11. Nick Lowe: 'Pure Pop for Now People'
12. Joe Jackson: 'Look Sharp!'
13. The dB's: 'Stands for Decibels'
14. X: 'Los Angeles'
15. The High Llamas: 'Hawaii'
16. Matthew Sweet: 'Girlfriend'
17. Elvis Costello & The Attractions - 'Get Happy!!'
18. Iggy Pop: 'Lust for Life'
19. Fishbone: 'Truth and Soul'
20. The Housemartins: 'London O Hull 4'
21. David Bowie: 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars'
22. Beck: 'Sea Change'
23. Duran Duran: 'Rio'
24. 10,000 Maniacs: 'In My Tribe'
25. The Cure: 'The Head on the Door'

To set the mood, here are a handful of live songs taken from the albums above.
Marshall Crenshaw - The Usual Thing (mp3)
The Police - Driven to Tears (mp3)
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Temptation (mp3)
Joe Jackson - One More Time (mp3)
The Replacements - Unsatisfied (mp3)
Talking Heads - Found a Job (mp3)

No comments: