Sunday, 10 June 2018

Ten Influential Albums - Day 1

Recently, a challenge has been circulated on Social Media platforms - mainly Facebook. In most cases, you discover this challenge because a friend, who is participating in it, nominates you. The message likely reads ...
"I've been nominated by ****** to post 10 all time favourite albums which have had an impact on my life, 1 each day for 10 days. In no particular order, list ten all time favourite albums (1 per day) which really made an impact and are still on your rotation list even if only now and then. Post the album cover and then nominate a person to do the same"
So, the challenge is pretty straightforward and your interpretation of the rules is flexible.Over 10 days, post the pictures of 10 albums which have had an impact on your life. 
  • You don't have to post on concurrent days. 
  • You don't have to nominate anyone else.
  • You don't have to offer an explanation or description. 
  • They do not need to be posted in any order.

I have a Facebook account, but I follow very few people. This is intentional. I had another account (riding its wave of popularity in the late 2K with everyone else). My Grade 8 students would often ask to add me (back when young people cared about the platform). My answer was always the same - "after you are in high school and no longer my student, go ahead". Eventually, I had over 400 "friends" (many of them former students). This created a dilemma because it meant I had to be in professional teacher mode at all times. In other words...
  • I couldn't post or re-post jokes that were even slightly off-colour.
  • I couldn't post or comment on anything political.
  • I needed to be selective when sharing photos of myself, family and friends.
  • I had to reserve judgement on photographs or comments from former students, particularly challenging when they were navigating their teenage years.
  • I sometimes had to "unfriend" students who posted things that I felt were offensive - some noticed and tried to re-friend me (which led to a challenging conversation through direct message). 
Basically, it had become awkward, untenable and unsustainable - and I went through a painstaking cleanse and delete of all evidence of its existence. As an educator of media privacy I realize that nothing on the internet is gone forever, but I did my best - delivering the news with the inclusion of an email address to every "friend" so that all connections would not be lost when I finally signed off for good.

I am now far more active on Twitter, with both a personal and professional profile. I post very little on Facebook, but this challenge really got me thinking. I am passionate about music and like or love almost everything. As I often say to students, the music I like is any that is made with genuine passion and talent - preferably both. I also discourage my students from saying "I hate..."; reminding them that "hate is something we reserve for racism & war."

So, with that fairly long preamble, I will now re-post my Facebook exploration of "Ten Influential Albums that made an impact on my life."

  • I will post chronologically (trying to capture different phases of my life).
  • I will include a brief (OK, sometimes brief) story about the record & my relationship with it.   
  • I will not be nominating anyone else - although I did on Facebook.

Day 1: I knew I needed to pick something from my first decade and I finally settled on the Soundtrack to "Oliver".  This was the first record I "borrowed" (permanently) from of my parent's collection (which I remember having plenty of Nana Mouskouri, Mario Lanza and, for some reason, a Hawaiian Luau disc in it).

"Food, Glorious Food""Consider Yourself" and "I'd do Anything" became the first "real" songs with lyrics I chose to memorize. The album also marked the first time that I learned to lift a needle and place it in the groove in front of the tracks I wanted to hear. I suspect this is about 1973 (Age 8) in St. Catherines, Ontario. My portable record player was awful, and I am sure I did irreparable damage to a lot of discs. However, it was the best technology available to me at the time. 

I think this may have been the record that entrenched my love for records that moved through styles and genres. It has grand orchestral numbers, cheeky, boppy comedic tracks, and tender, heartfelt ballads.

Honorable mentions must go to the records that almost made the cut - also from my parent's collection: "Elvis Golden Greats" "The Fiddler on the Roof" Soundtrack and "Life in a Tin Can" by The Bee Gees.

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