Taking the count up to thirty, the last ten also-rans, again in an alphabetical order:
C.V. Jørgensen – Lediggang agogo
Following the massive success of 1980’s Tidens Tern, Lediggang agogo was considered a commercial failure. It lacked the obvious hit potential of a song like Tidens Tern’s “Costa del Sol” (a caustic attack on Danish ex-pats in Spain complaining about high taxes), the lyrics were rather opaque but mostly about lost souls waiting for something, it had complex guitar-driven textures – and it had “Elisabeth”, arguably the most beautiful Danish song of the 1980s. Intriguingly, C.V. Jørgensen’s mother was called Elisabeth. And the album was released in the late spring of 1983, the year I passed my student exam. That short period in your life when school’s out forever and you don’t really know what is waiting for you in your adult life. If I had edited my original ten, Lediggang agogo would have taken one of the slots.
W.A. Mozart – Symphonies nos. 38 & 39 (Karl Böhm – Berliner Philharmoniker)
I remember buying this and the Tchaikovsky mentioned below at a mid-winter sale in Bånd & Plade Centeret’s original shop in Grønnegade. Actually, I didn’t know at the time that Böhm was considered a specialist in Mozart and Richard Strauss. The recordings were fairly early stereo and not quite up to speed in terms of sound quality. Later editions have been remastered with better sound. Bånd & Plade Centeret was a curious shop meandering through something like two or three 18th century buildings, the premises filled with all sorts of classical LPs. It lost some of its oddball charm when it moved to Vognmagerstræde. Mozart has kept his charm.
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory
To me, Morning Glory is forever linked with the autumn of 1998 (yes, I was a couple of years behind the curve when it came to Brit pop). A semester where I taught political science at the University of Linköping and where, strangely, I couldn’t set a foot wrong. It was a change of air which really did me good. Fond memories which may not have anything to do with the actual songs.
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
I can’t say why Phoenix’s 2009 album has made such an impression on me. It just has.
Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
Another album which I borrowed at Gladsaxe Music Library way back in the early 1980s and copied to a crappy cassette tape. Maybe this is one of those album which should be played on lousy equipment to bring out the true rugged nature of the music. It sounds much too good in digital.
Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water
Another one from my parents’ collection. I have always preferred “So Long, Frank Llyod Wright” and “The Only Living Boy in New York” to the block-buster hits “Bridge over Troubled Water” and “The Boxer”. My favourite Simon and Garfunkel song, though, always was and still is “America”.
Steely Dan – Two Against Nature
Not the Dan’s greatest record, but a more than respectable comeback. Fagen and Becker are older but just as caustic and disillusioned as they were in the 1970s. Just like the Costello-Bacharach album forever linked with my time in Östersund. Åhlen’s wasn’t a bad place to look for CDs.
Peter Tchaikovski – Symphony no. 5 (Karl Böhm – LSO)
Böhm probably wasn’t the ideal Tchaikovsky conductor but it was a cheap deal. I suspect that I have a special affinity for Tchaikovsky’s 5th because we analyzed it in music classes in the Gymnasium and it was my first classical concert. Mstislav Rostopovich’s recording with the London Philharmonic is the one in my current iTunes library. Somebody once noted that the recurrent theme has a curious similarity to the March of the Red Guards (in Danish known as Brødre, Lad Våbnene Lyne). In any event, Tchaikovsky is the closest you get to accepted bad taste in classical music. The music snobs’ frowning is their loss.
TV-2 – De unge år
As C.V. Jørgensen gave up commenting the state of Danish society, TV-2 entered the stage. It is very strange to realise that these classics are 25-30 years old by now. Steffen Brandt didn’t even have grey hair back then. As a compilation album it collects songs that I already knew, but it is still in regular rotation – or whatever mp3-files are.
Weather Report – Tale Spinnin’
Weather Report was one of my gateways to contemporary jazz. (The first album is free, but THEN you will have to pay…). For whatever reason I began with Mr. Gone and worked my way backwards and forwards. Following that, Messrs Zawinul and Shorter led to Miles Davis and the rest is history. Tale Spinnin’ was the last album Zawinul and Shorter made before Jaco Pastorius entered the stage, and it has some wonderful tunes and a sound which is still fresh forty (aaaarrrghhh) years on.
Even breaking the rules and including thirty albums in no way exhausts my list of albums which have stayed with me but I’ll leave it here. Making this list did bring back memories and I now have a list of record shops of times past in my Google Drive. It may form the basis of a blog post.