Another episode of the magic of the album rock staples of 19
Rykre | Carson City, Nevada | 07/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The year 1975, was the year I woke up and discovered the beauty and the power of progressive and album rock. My aunt introduced me to album rock while I was still listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40. That changed my life (nearly) forever when I suddenly discovered ELO, ELP, Robin Trower, Aerosmith, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, and the such. I stopped buying 45's and I started buying 8-track tapes, and then vinyl LP's. Albums of the Immortal Gods of Rock Music.
WDRQ FM 93 in Detroit played a great mix of current Top 40 music, mixed with pop from the late sixties to the current time of the summer of 1975. I could never imagine that radio could ever be better. Then when I started listening to WRIF and WABX, I heard more than just songs from artists that I heard the hits of, I started to hear other tracks from these artists that were simply just extra songs from their current new album, and from some previously released albums.
I could give you many examples from so many great albums from 1975, but I'll just stick to how this album "Face the Music" from ELO moved me. Earlier in the year of 1975, WDRQ started playing ELO's "Can't Get it Out of My Head", a Top Ten single. As the song became more popular, WDRQ started to expand on the song, and so they started playing the "Eldorado Overture" and "Can't Get It Out of My Head" together. That "Eldorado Overture" was like magic! It wasn't a song, it was an introductory passage before the hit song. I got goosebumps because I never heard something so beautiful. At this time, I still never put it to my mind that if I wanted to own that whole song, I had to buy the whole album. I've never bought a whole album before (well, except "Elton John's Greatest Hits), and after a while, the song disappeared from the radio format as newer songs were entering the Top 40 through the summer of 1975.
Then, suddenly, I hear "Evil Woman" play on the radio. I asked my favorite aunt (just two years older than myself) if she's ever heard of ELO, and then she asks me; "Where have you been?" She owned the albums of "ELO II" and even "Eldorado". When I saw the album of "Eldorado" by her stereo console, I got a hard-on! I asked her if I could listen to it. So, she put it on for me, and she had a pretty nice stereo (something I never heard before either). Then, I heard the "Eldorado Overture" once again, but now with a wash of glorious amplified stereo emphasis. My eyes teared up at the beauty of what I was hearing. I listened to the whole album. I wasn't familiar with anything else that was on the album, but I loved every song nonetheless, and how they all ran together like classical music with lyrics. So, for my love for music at 14 years of age, I knew that I had to get out there and start cutting peoples grass, washing people's cars, and what ever little odd jobs I could get for myself so that I can get myself a real stereo. My little Panasonic AM radio just wasn't enough for me anymore. I had to get my own stereo. Plus, I got myself a real job. I started washing dishes in an Italian restaurant and as time went on, by first snow, I was taught how to make pizza. This got me to make more money, and got me to buy my first stereo just before Christmas. My parents would never buy me a stereo. I always knew that.
When I got my first stereo, it had an FM band. So, I started to listen to FM stereo in my room on my days off after school. And about this time, I started hearing hits and non-hits from ELO, ELP, Robin Trower, Aerosmith, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, and the such. My life changed forever! About this time, I heard ELO's "Evil Woman" on the radio and in stereo, but wait. I started hearing other songs from their new album "Face the Music." WRIF started playing "Nightrider", "Poker", and even "Fire On High" and the DJ explained what artist it was and which album it came from. FM DJ's talked differently than AM radio DJ's did. They were more personal about the music. And more relaxed and mature. I loved that! While heading into 1976, with my new stereo (unfortunately it had an 8-track deck, and not a turntable), I got more work to do, shoveling snow for cash on days I didn't work at the restaurant, and I kept buying vinyl LP's, and I eventually made enough money to buy a turntable.
I know this review was more about a reminiscence of the era of when this album was released, but I wonder if other people had a similar experience as a kid who discovered album rock in this way. I'd really like to read your story. You can read more about my experiences of the introduction of progressive and album rock if you read my reviews on the Yes albums "Close To The Edge" and "The Yes Album". These albums were also part of my transition to the love of the Immortal Gods of Rock."