A lot of folks know that I’ve been battling an age complex since my early 20s, and an extra kick in the stones is that a lot of really bleh music was released on my birthday. No, I couldn't get a couple of classics like Before and After Science or Surfer Rosa or even Zooropa, just a bunch of boo, hiss. Anyway... When is my birthday you ask? Well, I’ll tell you… September 24. Nothing, according to Wiki, came out on the actual day, but below I’ve noted a few that did in subsequent years.
1975 – Roxy Music: Siren – Ok, this here is a good, nay a great, album, and one of Roxy’s best in their early era. I mean Love is the Drug, She Sells, Both Ends Burning, etc are all amazing songs, right? Right! Unfortunately it was the last of Roxy’s early era before a four-year hiatus brought them back with the faux-kitschy, slickly-mature and lounge-elegant Manifesto. And don’t get me wrong, I still listen to that album and Flesh & Blood, and of course Avalon is perfection, but the first five Roxy Music albums are, well, without peer.
1979 – The Eagles: The Long Run – I don’t even have the strength…
1984 – David Bowie: Tonight – In the midst of his creative low/commercial heyday attempt to, well, have a commercial heyday, Bowie came out with a series of clunkers and this one just might be the kingpin. The worst part is the telling, obvious, over the top production, which makes the nostalgic hit Blue Jean tolerable but almost ruins the otherwise worthwhile Loving the Alien. Thank God for Tin Machine, who effectively got him out of this rut.
1991 – Nirvana: Nevermind – Ah, the day I came of age, which explains SO much… I’m not sure where to begin with this one, or where to end once I get started. I’ll concede that it’s not a bad album, even though I pretty much hate all grunge. But what it did to “my music,” I can never forgive. And everyone except my mom knows what I’m saying, that this album effectively exploded alternative music – a moniker I used to love to hang on to the music I listened to, but which now tastes bitter in my mouth (yes, yes, I know, get over it) – into the listening conscious of the general public and thus ruined it forever (ok, not really, but things have never, ever been the same). I’ll also give you that a lot of hard working bands got at least a bit of recompense as a result of this album, but essentially the wave caused by this splash brought on the good, the bad and the pointless in music, the ripple effects of which can still be felt, wincingly, today.
1991 – Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magic – I really only listened to the Peppers because my best friend, Kevin, loved them so much. And I loved him, so there you go. But I couldn’t tolerate this album. I got it as a gift on my 18th birthday, listened to it once, gave it away (sorry, Morgan, I guess you never knew that) and yet still can’t get songs like Suck My Kiss out of my head. Furthermore, Under the Bridge became a blueprint for half a dozen like cash-in hits over the next decade. Bad form, boys. Still, not nearly as bad as One Hot Minute.
1996 – Weezer: Pinkerton – I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I’ll say again that I’ve only heard this album once as well, when JT came over and played it on my 23rd birthday. Once was enough. This is the one that everyone hated ‘cos it wasn’t like the first one, but also liked ‘cos it wasn't like the first one, and then the band disowned it, and then people realized how brilliant it was, so now the band has recently deluxe editioned it and are touring the full album, but who cares, ‘cos I hate Weezer.
2001 – Eels: Souljacker – I’ll admit I’ve never heard this album, but that’s a ridiculous title, so…boo.
2002 – Peter Gabriel: Up – I remember my wife buying this when it came out and I was like “Why…???” We didn’t listen to it much, and it’s not that it’s terrible, it’s just that after Genesis Peter Gabriel has one good album, which came out May 19, 1986 (i.e. not my birthday), and it’s called So. Get that one and be done with it.
2004 – Joni Mitchell: Dreamland – God, I hate Joni Mitchell. Ok, River is a nice song. But other than that…
2007 – PJ Harvey: White Chalk – Finally we have a winner!!! I really, really, really love this album. I think I’ve reviewed it somewhere back there…