Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A look back...

Some of the music blogs I read have been reviewing assorted albums released in 1969 (and thus celebrating their 40th anniversary this year) and discussing the impact these albums have had on their lives. Despite personally having a younger vintage than these albums some of them did have a rather strong impact on me.

Some of the better albums released that year:

The Beatles Abbey Road
Chicago Transit Authority s/t
The Sons of Champlin Loosen Up Naturally
King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
Led Zeppelin II
Yes s/t
Quicksilver Messenger Service Happy Trails (live)
Doors The Soft Parade
The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed
Blood Sweat & Tears s/t
The Who Tommy
Boz Scaggs s/t (incidentally this one makes the list largely due to the Duane Allman guitar solo on Loan Me a Dime)

I've only reviewed 2 from the list (follow the links if interested) but those 2 albums have a lot in common:

Both the Sons of Champlin & Chicago:
had guitarists named Terry (Kath in Chicago, Haggerty in the Sons of Champlin)
had 7 members
had a 3 piece horn section
had double LP debut albums
had debut albums released on the exact same day
at one point or other in their history featured Bill Champlin on lead vocals, keyboards, and sometimes guitar.
and... admittedly this last one is a bit of a stretch. The last song on Chicago's debut is the 14+ minute Liberation. The last song on the Sons of Champlin's debut is the 14+ minute Freedom.

As a teenager I listened to both of their debut albums incessantly. I just couldn't get enough. The music was and still is excellent. And it never fails, I'm always able to hear something "new" that I didn't notice on previous listens.

It was the musical adventurousness, innovation, and overall inventiveness of these bands that opened my ears, heart, and mind to a lot of other great music of the same era.


Kevin Moriarity said...

Just a few weeks ago I purchased 3 QMS songs off iTunes. I don't know many people who still remember them, much less like their music!

Perplexio said...

I got into them via The Sons of Champlin.

There was a 2CD set of The Last Days of the Fillmore featuring performances by the Sons of Champlin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Tower of Power, The Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Taj Mahal, Hot Tuna, It's a Beautiful Day, and a handful of others.

I bought the set largely because of the 1 song by the Sons of Champlin, Poppa Can Play. But I came away from it enjoying Quicksilver Messenger Service just as much... if not more.

The late John Cipollina was quite a guitarist. It's his playing that really captured and held my interest in QMS.