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30 "Interesting and Significant" Albums for 30 Years.
This list consists of the albums featured as a part of Mixed Bag during April
2003, as part of WVIA-FM's 30th anniversary month. WVIA-FM first signed on
April 23, 1973. George Graham, who turned on the transmitter for the first time
that day, compiled a series of 30 interesting and signficant albums, one from
each year of WVIA-FM's existence, and played a track from each on the program
during the month.
The albums are selected on the basis of their musical qualities, from among the
styles featured on Mixed Bag, which itself dates back to June 1973. Some of the
crteria: commercial hits avoided (What's the point of playing the same old
albums again?), and no artist or group is repeated.
(c) Copyright 2003 George D. Graham. All rights reseved.
1973: John Prine: Sweet Revenge. A great 60-70s generation singer-songwriter at
- 1974: Frank Zappa: Apostrophe'. Zappa combines both his humorous, quirky
outlook, more approachable sound and great musicianship.
- 1975: Ambrosia: Ambrosia. Outstanding American Art-Rock band produced by Alan
- 1976: Joni Mitchell: Hejira. My favorite Joni Mitchell album. Stark and
introspective, as well as musically interesting.
- 1977: Happy the Man: Happy the Man. Superb art rock group from Washington, DC
area. Non-pariel musicianship as well as impressive compositions.
- 1978: Pat Metheny Group: Pat Metheny Group. Debut of the most Grammy-winning
fusion artist's Group. Defined an entirely new electric jazz-rock sound.
- 1979: David Grisman: Hot Dawg. The album that started the New Acoustic music
scene, combining the instrumentation of bluegrass with the musical complexity
- 1980: Steely Dan: Gaucho. The last before the band broke up for almost 20
years. Typically great writing and stellar musicianship.
- 1981: King Crimson: Discipline. Fascinating incarnation of venerable British
Art Rock band, with lineup including guitarist Adrian Belew and bassist Tony
- 1982: XTC: English Settlement. Probaby the finest from the venerable and always
creative British band.
- 1983: Chris Caswell/Danny Carnahan: Borderlands. Fine acoustic/Celtic/folk
album with outstanding songwriting.
- 1984: Laurie Anderson: Mister Heartbreak. Very creative early use of sampling,
and interesting musical narratives.
- 1985: Suzanne Vega. Debut by an artist who three years later would help to
revive the singer-songwriter scene.
- 1986: Paul Simon: Graceland. Creative blend of American and World music. Was a
catalyist for the still popular World Music scene in the US.
- 1987: John Hiatt: Bring the Family. An all-around great rock & roll
songwriter album. Still the best by the veteran performer.
- 1988: Tracy Chapman. One of the few "hit" albums on this list, its place is
well-deserved. Impressive debut by another artist who helped to revive the
- 1989: Strength In Numbers. All-star New Acoustic "summit," with Bela Fleck,
Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Mark O'Connor and Russ Barenberg. Probably some of
the finest "picking" in recorded history.
- 1990: Rob Mounsey & Flying Monkey Orchestra: Dig. One of the most creative
electronic music albums ever. Excellent compositions, sound design and some
- 1991: Merchants of Venus. Only known recording by one of the best pop-rock
bands since the Beatles. One of the most nearly perfect albums combining great
songwriting, superb production, and a rare combination of the tasteful and
- 1992: Lyle Lovett: Joshua Judges Ruth. Lovett could be on this list several
years, but this his is definitive recording, combining his witty songwriting,
ecelctic blend of jazz and country, and outstanding musicinship. This CD is
also an audiophile masterpiece.
- 1993: Freddie Jones Band: Waiting for the Night. Impressive studio album by one
of the best jam bands of the 1990s.
- 1994: Jeff Buckley: Grace. Impressive recording by an artist, whose career,
like that of his father Tim Buckley, was cut short by a premature death. The
younger Buckley has his father's vocal abilities and wide ranging musical
- 1995: Neal Casal: Fade Away Diamond Time. Outstanding debut by talented rock
singer-songwriter who later would appear on Homegrown Music series.
- 1996: Naked to the World: Pilgrim's Kiss. Fine California folk-rock group with
- 1997: Scott Henderson: Tore Town House. Virtuosic electric guitar in blues,
rock, fusion with some humorous moments.
- 1998: The String Cheese Incident: A String Cheese Incident. Amazing live album
by arguably the best rock jam band of all time.
- 1999: Kelly Joe Phelps: Shine Eyed Mister Zen. Remarkable blend of bluesy slide
acoustic guitar with very interesting songwriting.
- 2000: Nickel Creek. National debut by one of the finest young bluegrass bands
to emerge from the second generation of New Acoustic musicians.
- 2001: Duncan Sheik: Phantom Moon. Pop star creates wonderfully brooding album
heavily influenced by Nick Drake.
- 2002: Cassandra Wilson: Belly of the Sun. Jazz singer does remarkably eclectic
set of folk, blues, and classic rock songs, all in striking versions.
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