It turned out that the letter ‘B’ would need smaller parts; the whole package would be too large and cumbersome. So here we go.
The B-52’s first release was their eponymous and, in my opinion, best offering. A flood of good memories came flooding as I listened to this oft-played album—memories of going round and round at the roller skating rink as Rock Lobster blasted out of the speakers. I don’t know who the DJ was, but they knew how to pick good songs.
Bachman Turner Overdrive. I was 18 and had a good-paying job, and a car that I installed a cassette deck in and a frequently played cruiser album was this eponymous offering from BTO.
The other album I have from them is 4 Wheel Drive; while it is a good album, it doesn’t carry the power or the memories that cling to the first album.
Joan Baez. An iconic name in the folk music canon. I don’t have much of her music, just her self-titled album and Joan Baez Vol. 2. I respect her for her contribution to music, and these were two pleasant albums.
Caroll Baker’s 20 Country Classics is next in line. I don’t remember how I came to acquire this album. It’s not a bad album, and it’s just not that good either. She made a small splash in Canadian and western music charts and then faded away.
Long John Baldry
It Ain’t Easy. I should have good memories of this album, but they are fuzzy because I was dead drunk by the time Long John Baldry started his set and not much better by the end. I still enjoy listening to this album and kicking myself for not keeping the original copy and the signed cover that I staggered out with at the end of his show.
Baldry’s Out is a good album, but it is not the same as It Ain’t Easy. This album shows how he didn’t stay in a rut with a sound that didn’t change. He was willing to shake it up and move on with fresh material.
Long John Baldry is yet another good listen but not the same as the other two. Many roads lead to the nirvana of music, and these three show three different and enjoyable ways.
I need to be in a certain mood to listen to Bobby Bare. I vacillate between hating his music and loving every note,I don’t know why but it’s true. I was in a good mood when I heard Bobby Bare on “This I Believe” and “This is Bobby Bare.” “This I Believe” is a gospelish album, not a preachy album, and it is a decent listen as a collection of feel-good music. “This Is Bobby Bare” is a double album best of offering and a good collection of music that showcases his talent. I enjoyed both of these records.
Syd Barrett. The Madcap Laughs. This album was released the same year as Dark Side of the Moon, and that is where the comparison stops. This album sounds very similar to the early Pink Floyd albums. No surprise there, right. I hadn’t listened to this album recently, so it was a pleasant time listening. That is surprisingly good, considering how messed up he was considered by many. Roger Waters and David Gilmour contributed to this record, making it all the more interesting in that it is a Syd Barrett album, not a Pink Floyd album. Or, at the very least, not a contemporary Pink Floyd album. As I stated before, this record certainly has the heritage of early Pink Floyd releases that Syd Barrett was a driving force and a principal player.
Barrett is the next Syd album, but it doesn’t grab hold of me in the same way that The Madcap Laughs did. It is still a good album, although it has a different flavour. David Gilmour contributed to this album as well as Richard Wright. The keyboards of Richard Wright are the high point on this album for me, delicious playing.
An Introduction To Syd Barrett. This album features a series of new remasters and remixes, all overseen by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. The cover art, featuring various images relating to songs contained within the album, was designed and created by long-term Pink Floyd conceptual artist Storm Thorgerson. An Introduction To Syd Barrett was a good overview of his work, and the remixes were splendid.
The Beach Boys
I have three albums from the Beach Boys, “Wow! Great Concert, “Endless Summer” and “1962-1965.” Although I am not a massive fan of them, they can still entertain me. I was fortunate to have seen them live; they are masters of working a crowd with their repertoire.
There we go, part one of the letter B. Stay tuned for part two.