Rating My CD’s: Hot Rocks

Rolling_stones_-_hot_rocks56. The Rolling Stones — Hot Rocks 1964-1971

This is where it all began for me.

I became a fan of the Rolling Stones about halfway through college, at the end of a late night viewing of Full Metal Jacket in a friend’s appartment. We were both of us familiar with the movie but had not seen it all the way through, and had some kind of odd theory that Gomer Pyle and Animal Mother were the same dude (probably my theory, given how wrong it was). I was pulled in by the perversity of the flick and smacked in the face by the end, when the survivor of Tet march lockstep through the ruins of Hue, Vietnam singing the Mickey Mouse Club theme song. And as the credits came up out of the fade, “Paint it Black”

It was perfect. I got it. I was a fan.

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Rating My CD’s: New Adventures in Hi-Fi

52. R.E.M. — New Adventures in Hi-Fi

Critics like to give bands certain arcs, and those arcs tend to conform with the rise-and-fall of tragedy. The Beatles “fell apart” due to success, the Stones jumped the shark in the 70’s, briefly re-grouped for Some Girls, and then coasted along ever since. And according to overwhelming critical assessment, R.E.M. put out their last good album in 1996. Continue reading “Rating My CD’s: New Adventures in Hi-Fi”

Rating My CD’s: Automatic for the People

52. REM — Automatic for the People

In January 1999, I was on assignment for my first job at Nabisco Headquarters in New Jersey. I was driving a 1986 Lincoln Mk VII that I’d purchased for a song the previous August. I used to drive up from my Philadelphia apartment early Monday Morning and drive back Friday evening. One Friday that month a blizzard struck. All my colleagues advised against trying to get home, but I was 22 and stupid, so I went anyway. Somewhere in the 130’s of the Garden State Parkway, I tried to pass a snowplow, fishtailed, panicked, over-corrected, and smacked into the Jersey wall. My Lincoln was totalled and I spent eight hours getting home.

The song on the stereo when I crashed? “Everybody Hurts” by REM.

You can laugh, it’s funny.

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