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Doing the iPod shuffle

As I’ve indicated before, because my musical formative years were when vinyl LPs were the mainstay, I believe musicians put songs on an album in a particular order for a reason. As a result, I rarely use the shuffle feature on my iPod. But last month my kids convinced me it was at least worth trying while walking the track at the local gym.

As a result, I’ve used the shuffle feature more in the last four weeks than in the prior two years. One of the things it has brought home is how varied or eclectic my musical tastes are. Here’s the tunes it produced the last time:

  1. “Flying (Part 2),” Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and Jack Dejohnette, Setting Standards. Excellent jazz and a good way to start a walk but, clocking in at just under 15 minutes, a tad long for exercise purposes.
  2. “A Six Pack To Go,” Leon Russell, Hank Wilson’s Back. A fun chance of pace, although a drastic shift in genre. For some reason, iPod classifes Russell’s 1973 release consisting entirely of country music covers as “Pop.”
  3. “Make You Feel Better,” Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium. Nothing wrong with a transition to decent, recent rock — even if it is another rather rapid shift in genres.
  4. “Son Of Orange County,” Frank Zappa, Roxy & Elsewhere. Not a bad transition at all but a selection that proves my point. The track cuts off just as Zappa and the band are segueing “More Trouble Every Day” and the two tunes really belong together on this live recording.
  5. “The Wrestler,” Bruce Springsteen, Working on a Dream. Nothing wrong with a switch to new Springsteen.
  6. “Cody, Cody,” The Flying Burrito Brothers, Sin City: The Very Best of the Flying Burrito Brothers. Springsteen’s tune is actually a good transition into this song from the second LP of this early — and often overlooked — country rock band (with emphasis on “country”).
  7. “Hear Me Lord,” George Harrison, All Things Must Pass. While this might be another transition too quick, I never complain about hearing a tune off this album.
  8. “Baba O’Riley,” The Who, Who’s Next. With a classic rock roll here, this cut off The Who’s best album is also an excellent tune for the gym.
  9. “Tired Of Waiting,” The Flock, The Flock. This cover of The Kinks’ tune surpasses the original and is one of the highlights of the first eponymous LP by this far too ignored progressive/jazz rock band out of Chicago.
  10. “Cinnamon Girl,” Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere . More classic rock but this tune — a favorite of mine — fits in well with the flavor Leon Russell and the Burrito Brothers gave this set.
  11. “Apple Scruffs,” George Harrison, All Things Must Pass. The only artist and album that’s repeated, I repeat: I never complain about hearing a tune off this album.
  12. “Blue In Green (Take 1),” Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz. Having opened with jazz, this seems a perfect wind down, especially since it comes from the Keepnews Collection edition.

There you have it. As might be expected, a lot of what is now called “classic rock,” but which was the music that was the seed bed of my musical tastes. The touch of country rock and jazz reflects changes in and the evolution of my tastes in my late teens and early 20s. While I’d still rather hear an album in the order the musician(s) intended, I must say this was an interesting journey around the track at the gym.


It’s only teenage wasteland.

“Baba O’Riley,” The Who, Who’s Next

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