From our third Writing 101 assignment participants are asked to free write about the three most important songs in our life.
My first thought “ugh”. Not because I don’t love music but rather because I LOVE MUSIC. In order to complete the assignment without completely losing my mind I’m going to slightly alter it to choose my three favorite albums.
- Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell
- Aqualung by Jethro Tull
- Live at the Troubadour by Carole King and James Taylor
The first two were easy enough since I owned them on LP, cassette, CD and full downloads to my iPod. The third I happened upon quite by accident at my neighborhood Blockbuster check-out counter which featured a CD/DVD pack of a live performance by the incomparable Carole King and James Taylor.
Court and Spark: The brilliance that is Joni Mitchell is never brighter than on this compilation (in my humble opinion). I know the words to every song and they still evoke emotions at age 58 though in a different way than they did when I discovered it in high school. The songs are lyrical, painting musical pictures. Her voice resonates. I have listened to this during happy times but also when nursing a broken heart. It is in a word…..divine.
Aqualung represents the “rock chick” that I was at 16 and still am today. This album was being released at the same time I went to see Jethro Tull in concert. Having already discovered an earlier album by them, I was excited about the new release. I’d never been to a concert but cannot imagine a better performance than what I experienced that night. Ian Anderson, the lead singer and player of the flute, (that is such a defining instrument in their body of work), was electric. I was mesmerized, gob-smacked, mind blown. The songs are stories crafted inside of music that you can’t explain in words. If you made me choose one song from the album, it would be “Locomotive Breath”.
And lucky me, last fall Spence and I traveled to see Jethro Tull in Buffalo, New York. (see my earlier blog post “Flash Back – Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, then and now” for more about that experience and some little known trivia…..intrigued? I hope so.)
Live at the Troubadour is like a gift from the gods. First of all, the life work of James Taylor and Carole King, two of the most gifted singer/songwriters is without equal (again, I’m blogging so I get to state my opinion but sense I’m not alone). Spence and I have listened to this CD (and watched the DVD) so many times it would be impossible to guess. These are songs that are lovely, evocative and so interwoven into our lives and memories that you couldn’t extricate them if you wanted to – and why would you want to? Listening to this music brings tears to my eyes, a smile to my face and an overall sense that everything is right with the world.
So there you have it. Not so hard an assignment once I tweaked it a bit.