Thursday, July 26, 2012


The Allman Brothers "At Fillmore East" released in 1971 ranks 
49 among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Last night Dr. H and I went to see The Allman Brothers and Carlos Santana perform together at PNC Bank Arts Center and it.freaking.rocked. We went with my parents, aunt and uncle because they are the original cool kids and because I was raised by the four of them on a steady diet of rock legends. Whether it was playing the "quick who sings this?" game while driving and listening to the radio with Dad (it's amazing how many times you can get your kid to fall for "No. WHO sings this song"!) to seeing Quadrophenia at age 12 (now THAT's a birthday present!) my musical taste includes a whole lot of classic rock. In keeping with the merry meri music playlists and new artists suggestions, here are some legendary album suggestions to introduce you to the greats or to remind you just how great they are.

* The Who - Who's Next
My first rock loves.
Known as much for their incredible rock operas "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia" as their transcendent ability to rock so hard you want to smash something, "Who's Next" is a great place for Who beginners to start their education. You'll no doubt recognize Baba O'Reilly (which you probably thought was called "Teenage Wasteland") but lesser known tracks like Bargain (I used its lyrics as a reading at my wedding!) are just as epic.

* Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II & Led Zeppelin IV
Bell bottoms, flowing locks & 1 serious 'stache
I didn't realize it would be impossible to recommend just ONE Zeppelin album to you until I tried. The fact is, their catalogue of music runs so deep that if you pick "IV" for the iconic Stairway to Heaven you're overlooking the epic Ramble On off of "II" or Dazed and Confused off their first album. Zeppelin's sound is often imitated, but I'd argue never surpassed. (Note: Thank You ("II") was the Father/Daughter dance at my wedding. I told you I've got some serious rock love!)

* The Doors - The Doors
I knew we were a match when my college roommate hung Jim on her wall

I love The Doors. Everything from their haunting lyrics to Jim Morrison's sexy voice just lights my fire (I had to). I think "The Doors", their first, self-titled album is a great place to start for this band because as time goes on, their music gets a bit more experimental. If you aren't fired up by Break on Through or Light my Fire, check your pulse.

* The Allman Brothers - At Fillmore East

The only Allman Brothers I've ever known...
The Allman Brothers are why live concerts were invented. Allman Brother jams are meant to be heard live - a loose, carefree and somehow glowing version of their studio incarnation. Though it's tempting to recommend "Brothers and Sisters" which boasts the iconic hits Jessica and Ramblin' Man, I'm sticking with "At Fillmore East" not just because it's live or  that it contains a 22-minute version of my all-time FAVORITE track Whipping Post, but because it's one of the few Allman albums with both founding brothers Duane and Greg, performing together (Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident at age 24 in 1971, shortly after this album was released). In the past 4 decades the Allman brothers have released more live albums than I can possibly keep track of, so grab one and just listen!

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