2006 in Review: CD’s I Bought or Downloaded This Year

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Time for a little retrospective on the year that was 2006.  First installment is my list of CD’s I purchased either at the store or online via iTunes this year.  In the next day or two, I’ll go through movies I saw, gear I bought (i.e. music, camera and computer) and, finally, my “what the hell did I do this year?” list.

Keep in mind that this is NOT a list of CD’s that came out this year.  This is just what I bought.  Like NBC used to say about reruns, “If you haven’t seen (heard) it, it’s new to you!”  While some of these were released in previous years – for some, previous meaning decades ago – they were all things I liked enough to buy.  Listed in order by purchase date:

Duncan Sheik – White Limousine

My first purchase of the year from one of my favorite artists.  While White Limo is not number one on my list of Sheik’s recordings, it is a terrific CD and worth plenty of listens.

Coldplay – “Talk” & “Sparks”

I heard the song “Sparks” in the movie Wedding Crashers and liked it enough to go look for it online.  Just a really pretty, quiet little song.  While I was there, I downloaded “Talk,” which is one I also liked.  I’m not a big Coldplay fan, but I like some of their stuff.

Dashboard Confessional – A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar

A friend suggested if I wanted to listen to DC (I had never gotten one of their CD’s), I should get this first.  In general, I liked it.  It’s not one of my favorite things ever, but it is a fun listen.

The Fray – How to Save a Life

Yeah, it’s pretty boring.  Yeah, the drummer could’ve been a drum machine and no one would notice.  But, it had some of the most memorable hooks of the year.  Hard for me to knock something that can get stuck in my head so easily and not make me want to rip it out with a butter knife.

Death Cab for Cutie – Plans

This is a fantastic CD.  The song “Your Heart is an Empty Room” has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.  You can tell they thought a lot about the choices on this record, both musical and sonic.  It’s just a terrific recording top to bottom.

Kansas – select from Monolith, Point of No Return and Leftoverture

Ever since I was in high school, I liked Kansas.  It’s most definitely a guilty pleasure.

Jude – No One is Really Beautiful

K recommended this to me and we even saw him perform a solo acoustic set at Continental Club this year.  Very talented songwriter and singer.  I vividly remember hearing “Rick James” on the radio in the 90’s.

Queen – various songs

I didn’t have any Queen in iTunes and it was time to change that.  From “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Fat Bottomed Girls,” it was so worth the money.

U2 – “Like a Song” and “Two Hearts Beat as One”

I had War on album years ago and always loved “Like a Song.”  That would make a great cover.

James Blunt – Back to Bedlam

I must confess that I’m not a huge Blunt fan.  I like the music a LOT on this record, but I tend to get tired of hearing his voice.  K really likes him and I’ll admit the songs are very catchy and, as I said, the music if fantastic.  I just wish he didn’t sing like that.

U2 – various singles and songs from The Joshua Tree

More U2 (probably on the same night as the last songs).  A lot of this (like the Kansas) represents replacing my old vinyl with songs that are more portable.  I saw U2 on the Joshua Tree tour in 1987 in Austin and it still is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Holly Brook – Like Blood Like Honey

Just heard this on iTunes and gave it a shot.  Very beautiful piano music and voice a la Sarah McLachlan.  Young singer/songwriter who is still learning, but this is an impressive recording for someone this young.

Albert Collins – “Cold Cuts” from Frozen Alive

Johnny B. Gayden is one of my all-time favorite bass players and his solo on this (including the Popeye theme) is terrific.

John Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee

I’m not a big Cougar Mellencamp fan, but I love this bittersweet sounding record. How the guy went from this to “This is our county,” I’ll never know.

Stevie Wonder – “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”

For some reason, I never had a copy of this song.  What the hell was I thinking?

Rage Against the Machine – “Wake Up”

Maybe the Matrix was on TNT that night.  Great angry song.

Gomez – How We Operate

My first forray into Gomez stuff happened when I heard the title track on a commercial for some television network’s upcoming season.  I was instantly hooked and found it as quickly as possible.  These guys are awesome!

The Twilight Singers – Powder Burns

A recommendation from “The X” and a very good one.  “There’s Been an Accident” is a fantastic song.  Really interesting CD.

Ali Lohan – Lohan Holiday

Before you say “WTF???” this was downloaded to prove something to someone.  Point was made and I’m out the $10.  I really need to delete this from iTunes…ah, better.

Yes – “I’ve Seen All Good People”

Mr. Deeds was on TNT and I heard this song, which I’ve always loved.  I really need to go download Fragile.

ELO – various songs including “Do Ya,” “I’m Alive” and “It’s a Livin Thing”

At the end of this year, I’ve been really stuck on Beatles-y pop music like ELO, Jellyfish and others.  I went on a binge and downloaded a bunch of great ELO after thinking about the movie Xanadu, which explains…

Olivia Newton-John & Andy Gibb – “Suddenly”

Like I said, I was thinking about Xanadu.

Jellyfish – live bootlegs

Jellyfish is one of my favorite bands most people have never heard of.  Finding them doing covers of “Hush” and “Elanor Rigby” along with the “who sounds the most like Dennis DeYoung” live singing contest was like finding gold.  I still need to find a good copy of them doing “The Logical Song” and “Live and Let Die.”

Styx – “Come Sail Away” & “Grand Illusion”

See “who sounds the most like Dennis DeYoung” live singing contest in the post above.

Burt Bacharach – songs including “Walk on By,” “This Guy’s in Love with You” and “The Look of Love”

Amazing how many incredible songs this guy has written.  I saw him with the Houston Symphony a few years back and the conductor said we’d all walk out saying at least once, “I didn’t know he wrote that.”  I said it probably 3 or 4 times.

Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach – “God Give Me Strength”

Great pairing!

ELO – “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”

More need for the pop candy sweetness.

Olivia Newton-John – “Magic”

See Xanadu above.

The Beatles – Love

The only CD I purchased in real physical format this year might be my favorite.  I’d heard other mash-ups of their stuff, but nothing beats what you get from George Martin.  The combination of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Within You Without You” is incredible as is the demo version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with just a string section and acoustic guitar.  A must-get for any Beatles fan.

There it is – my list of music gets this year.  Some cool.  Some embarrassing.  Some whatever.  Typical year for me.

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