You may remember one of my birthday month objectives was to listen to 31 new albums in 31 days. I’m pleased to report that no less than four albums have been enjoyed so far. The key is making sure I knock over at least one per day so I don’t fall behind. The artists I have listened to at this stage are all musicians I am keen on but have yet to enjoy the pleasures of these particular albums. I began with Springsteen on Saturday before moving onto Kate Nash, Doves and The National. A jolly good start I must say. I tried to also have a crack at Beyonce’s “Lemonade” LP but alas, Spotify says no! Anyway, here are the first four off the ranks. 27 to go!
Bruce Springsteen – Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J
Released: 5th Janaury 1973
Highest Chart Position: 60
As far as debut albums go, there are none finer than this absolute gem from “The Boss”. My only disappointment is that I didn’t discover “Greetings” sooner. I’ve heard other Springsteen LP’s but none have sounded this good to my ears. Essentially, what you get is a man who had been fine tuning his sound on the live circuit before heading into the low budget 914 Sound Studios during mid 1972 where the finished product was put together. Dspite only reaching number 60 on the Billboard charts in 1973 and with both singles flopping, “Greeting From Asbury Park, N.J” has gone on to become one of the greatest albums in history. It was a beautiful start to this challenge and I now have an album I shall be returning to again and again.
Kate Nash – Made Of Bricks
Released: 6th August 2007
Highest Chart Position: 1
Kate Nash is one of those singers that is known for her songs. On the other hand, and if, you are anything like me, you will learn to realize her albums are simply things of beauty. This album is another fine debut effort but it does reek a little of Lilly Allen and is prone to fall away in the middle leading one to urges of hitting the stop button. However, I persevered and am glad I did. It’s by no means a world beater but as far as glossy pop albums go, you can’t get much better. From here, I plan to dive head first in the rest of Kate’s back catalogue and dislodge her happily from that “artist with a few good songs” category.
Doves – Kingdom Of Rust
Released: 6th April 2009
Highest Chart Position: 2
What more can you say about Doves? In early 2009, they released this seminal album that was indeed a highlight as far as releases go that year. They’re a funny band though. Despite having significant success around the world with album sales, they have never really made a mark with single releases. It’s a shame really because their body of work possesses some of the finest songs released in decades. I actually own a copy of this album on compact disc but never managed to get around to listening to it. More fool me! This is the fourth album from Doves and it showed signs of a band that was only due to get better yet. Sadly, this was their final release. A great shame because I’m sure they could have carried on and released at least a further three of four albums. Masterful!
The National – Trouble Will Find Me
Released: 17th May 2013
Highest Chart Position: 3
Back in May 2013, I was so preoccupied by Bowie’s first LP in ten years that I forgot to keep track of other new releases and “Trouble Will Find Me” falls straight into that zone. It’s quite sad that it has since taken me over four years to find this beautiful release. It’s the kind of record that you really should put on late at night when the weather is a little frosty outside. Oh, burn some candles too if you have them near by. It’s one of those records, perfectly suited to such a situation. What’s interesting to note is that the recording process began a full two years before the record appeared. The band were playing live shows to support the impending release as far back as 2011. I’ve still not seen them live but “Trouble Will Find Me” has inspired me to find The National when they next hit the road in my neck of the woods. Yet another fine album.