September 26: Emmylou Harris released Wrecking Ball in 1995

wrecking ball

“Wrecking Ball is a leftfield masterpiece, the most wide-ranging, innovative, and daring record in a career built on such notions. Rich in atmosphere and haunting in its dark complexity…The fixed point remains Harris’ voice, which leaps into each and every one of these diverse compositions — culled from the pens of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, and others — with utter fearlessness, as if this were the album she’d been waiting her entire life to make. Maybe it is.”
– Jason Ankeny (Allmusic)

Wrecking Ball is the eighteenth studio album by Emmylou Harris, released on September 26, 1995 throughElektra Records. Moving away from the traditional acoustic sound for which she had become known, Harris collaborated with rock producer Daniel Lanois and engineer Mark Howard. The album has been noted for atmospheric feel, and featured guest performances by Steve Earle, Larry Mullen, Jr., Lucinda Williams and Neil Young, who wrote the title song.

I saw Emmylou Harris live for the first time this summer, it made me go back and listen to all her albums again, with added interest and new-found love of her music. Not that I had ever lost it, but it felt fresh and deeper after the show in Oslo.

Wrecking Ball is my favourite Harris album, and I rank it among the 30 best albums ever made.

Emmylou Harris talks about Sweet Old World and sings the song with Neil Young:

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September 25: Ryan Adams released Gold in 2001

Ryan-Adams-Gold

“All the songs had to work completely and honestly by themselves on acoustic guitar or on piano. If they didn’t, they weren’t worth putting on the record.”
~Ryan Adams (about ‘Gold’)

“[Gold is] me not buying my own bullshit for two seconds.”
~Ryan Adams

New York, New York:

From Wikipedia:

Released September 25, 2001
Recorded The Sound Factory
(Hollywood, California)
Genre Rock, alternative country
Length 70:26
Label Lost Highway
Producer Ethan Johns

 

Gold is the second studio album by Ryan Adams, released September 25, 2001 on Lost Highway Records. The album remains Adams’ best-selling album, certifying gold in the UK and going on to sell 364,000 copies in the U.S. and 812,000 worldwide. Adams noted that “with Gold, I was trying to prove something to myself. I wanted to invent a modern classic.”

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September 24: Nirvana released Nevermind in 1991

nirvana nevermind

After years of hair-flailing sludge that achieved occasional songform on singles no normal person ever heard, Seattle finally produces some proper postpunk, aptly described by resident genius Kurt Cobain: “Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bad solo.” This is hard rock as the term was understood before metal moved in–the kind of loud, slovenly, tuneful music you think no one will ever work a change on again until the next time it happens, whereupon you wonder why there isn’t loads more. It seems so simple.
~Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)

Nevermind was never meant to change the world, but you can never predict when the Zeitgeist will hit, and Nirvana’s second album turned out to be the place where alternative rock crashed into the mainstream.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Smells Like A Teen Spirit:

Nirvana – Nevermind – Classic Album – documentary (youtube playlist):

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September 24: Steve Earle released Jerusalem in 2002 – Great album!

Steve_Earle-Jerusalem-Frontal

“I woke up this mornin’ and none of the news was good 
And death machines were rumblin’ ‘cross the ground where Jesus stood 
And the man on my TV told me that it had always been that way 
And there was nothin’ anyone could do or say

And I almost listened to him 
Yeah, I almost lost my mind 
Then I regained my senses again 
And looked into my heart to find

That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham 
Will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem”
– Steve Earle (Jerusalem)

Steve Earle released this “protest album” post 9/11, but contrary to widespread belief it is not a concept album about the tragic events on that date. Yes, there are some songs relating to it, but only three out of eleven (maybe four). There were som controversy when it came out, especially the song John Walker’s Blues were widely discussed and often slated in right wing media. It is not a song that takes sides, it is a song that tells us that an ordinary American kid fell in with the wrong crowd (in this case, the Taliban). Earle make us look at this boy, and he does not say that he is innocent, but he says that he should be treated like a human being despite his faults and despite his guilt. It is a fantastic song.

“…Earle has crafted a vision of America thrown into chaos, where the falling of the World Trade Center towers is just another symbol of a larger malaise which surrounds us. Before its release,Jerusalem already generated no small controversy over the song “John Walker’s Blues,” which tells the tale of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh as seen through his own eyes. While “John Walker’s Blues” is no more an endorsement of Lindh’s actions than Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” was a tribute to mass-murderer Charles Starkweather, even though it’s one of the album’s strongest songs, if anything, it doesn’t go quite far enough.”
– Mark Demming (allmusic.com)

Photo AllDylan
Photo AllDylan

Steve Earle made a “state of the nation” album, and he is confused and he doesn’t come up with the answers, but he asks the important questions!

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September 21: I Second that emotion by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles was recorded in 1967

second-1

I Second That Emotion” is a 1967 song written by Smokey Robinson and Al Cleveland. First charting as a hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles on the Tamla/Motownlabel in 1967.

“I second that motion” is a common phrase heard at meetings in America where policy is being determined. It’s what Motown producer Al Cleveland meant to say when he was on a shopping trip with Smokey Robinson. As Robinson recalls in his 1989 autobiography, he and Cleveland went to a Detroit department store called Hudson’s to do Christmas shopping in December, 1967. Smokey’s wife, Claudette, had recently given birth to twins that didn’t survive the premature birth, and he was looking to get her a gift. At the jewelry counter, Smokey picked out some pearls and asked Robinson what he thought. “I second that emotion” was his reply, and later that afternoon the pair wrote a song around the misspoken phrase. Robinson and Cleveland produced the song, and it was released in October, 1968, entering the US Top 40 in December, about a year after it was written. The song was also a #1 R&B hit. (Songfacts)
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September 20: Everyday/Peggy Sue the single was released by Buddy Holly in 1957

peggy_sue_nor_va_jak_1957

Peggy Sue” is a rock and roll song written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty, recorded and released as a single by Holly in early July of 1957. The Crickets are not mentioned on label of the single (Coral 9-61885), but band members Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) played on the recording. This recording was also released on Holly’s eponymous 1958 album.

The song went to number 3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1957.

In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included “Peggy Sue” on the NPR 100, a list of the “100 most important American musical works of the 20th century”. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Acclaimed Music ranked it as the 106th greatest song of all time and the third best song of 1957. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 197 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2010.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum placed the song on its list of the “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”.

Peggy Sue (tv performance from Dec. 1957):
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