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  • Rich Kassirer

Go Back Jack, Do It Again

This month in Chicago Bruce Springsteen took to the stage to play his classic album “Born to Run” in its entirety from start to finish. This has become quite a trend as more and more artists are bringing back their most-loved albums and playing them in concert. Recently, Steely Dan performed, on separate nights, “Aja,”“The Royal Scam,” and “Gaucho.”Van Morrison embraced his famed “Astral Weeks,’’ and Aerosmith cranked out “Toys in the Attic.” So we asked Modern Acoustic readers “Who would you like to see perform one of their albums in its entirety?” Here are your responses:

I would have liked to see Nick Drake playing his “Five Leaves Left” album – or anything by Sandy Denny – unfortunately neither of these artists are still with us, so I will go for Van Morrison performing “Veedon Fleece.” This album came out in 1974 and despite very good reviews it somehow got overshadowed by his earlier “Astral Weeks” and “Moondance.”

However, I would say that “Veedon Fleece” is a perfect introduction to Van Morrison. Also, anything by Pentangle would still sound great today!

Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo doing the entire “Graceland” album, complete with dance steps!

The Black Crowes, “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion” in its entirety would be cool.. or Joseph Arthur’s “Redemption’s Son.”

First thought is the Who’s “Who’s Next.” It’s impossible, even for the two guys still living. But that’s the greatest rock album ever, imho. Second to mind is U2’s “Achtung Baby.” It might have come in first, but I saw that tour, so I have seen that show, sort of. Of shows I haven’t seen, and would be willing to see despite the advanced ages of those involved (myself included), I’ll say Elton John doing “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” One of the most consistent double albums ever made, with a half-dozen landmark songs.

Oh, there are so many, but here are the first 2 that came to mind: 1) Cat Stevens – “Tea for the Tillerman” or “Foreigner”: the music continues to haunt my imagination. 2) “Abandoned Luncheonette” by Hall & Oates. I’d also love to talk with them about it – because I have it somewhere in vinyl and remember loving Side 1, but finding Side 2 more challenging. Someday, I’d love to ask H & O about that and about their thoughts in creating the tunes. 3) The Beatles – “Meet the Beatles.”

I’d love to see Stevie Wonder perform “Innervisions” (1973) or “Songs in the Key of Life” (1976). Would be incredible.

I’d like to see Levon, Garth and Robbie do the “Brown” album by the Band. Of

course they would have to augment the lineup. That would be cool.

I quickly flipped through my old vinyl and could probably list 20 if I took the time.

James Taylor, “James Taylor.” It’s got great songs, many of which he never performs

and it has string and orchestral interludes that carry it from song to song. This

would be a great one to perform with a full orchestra. Maybe he could get McCartney

to play bass like he did on “Carolina in My Mind.” Fleetwood Mac, “Rumors” Think they could sell out this show? Simon and Garfunkel, “Bookends.” 1968 album that ran about 32 minutes or so if I recall. Every song a classic and the flow from song to song was what it meant to do an “album.” Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, “Nine Tonight.” Double album recorded in 1980. 16 great songs and IMHO, a very underrated songwriter. Dan Fogelberg, “Souvenirs.” OK, this can’t happen, but this is an amazing album with a few classics and some others not so well known. Came out in 1974, produced by Joe Walsh with an all-star cast: Russ Kunkel, Kenny Passarelli, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Graham Nash.

If they were all still alive... who wouldn’t want to hear the Who play the entire

“Tommy” in one sitting. The deaf, dumb and blind kid sure played a mean pinball, and Pete Townsend suuuure could write a rock opera, piecing together 25 or so songs – including an overture! – to tell the tale of the misunderstood, much maligned youth. It rocks, it tugs at your

heart, it makes you laugh, it makes you twirl your right arm in a wide circular motion for no apparent reason...

I can’t wish for the Beatles doing “Abbey Road” or the Allman Bros. doing “Eat a Peach” because of the whole “dead members” thing, right? I would love to see

Soundgarden perform “Superunknown.” Others: Neil Young – “On the Beach”;

Santana – “Abraxas”; Steve Miller – A toughie, because often his concerts are his greatest hits album. But I love the guy so I’ll include him here, but a less obvious album, like “Children of the Future.”

I’d like to see Elvis do “This Year’s Model” – but not without the Attractions. And it

might just be sad. Sadly, two CDs that come to mind feature dead singers and I wouldn’t

go see someone fill in: the Go-Betweens’ “16 Lovers Lane” and Nirvana’s

“Nevermind.” Maybe someday before they’re old and toothless – and I am too –

Outkast will do a “Stankonia” encore. I’d go see that.

Poco’s “Deliverin’ ” with that album’s lineup.

Ryan Adams’s “Heartbreaker.” Or Whiskeytown’s “Strangers Almanac.”

I would love to hear Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Of

course that would be impossible now with the original artists, but it would have made

a hell of a concert. “The White Album” – the Beatles. Do I really have to explain?

I’m stuck between two choices: Patty Loveless – “Mountain Soul” and Brandi Carlile – “The Story.”

Old 97’s “Too Far to Care,” is strong from start to finish. ...

Not a bad tune in the bunch from a foursome who defy pigeon-holing. If this disc doesn’t have you off the couch, screaming along and dancing like a white guy... then you need to check your pulse.

Dylan doing “Modern Times” – I love that piece of work. I love what Chris Shaw did

sonically, I love the songs on that album, I love the way the band sounds... Maybe Tom

Petty could give us “Wildflowers,” Neil Young doing “Harvest,” Joni Mitchell performing

“Blue” – if she still can have that sweet sweet soprano voice.

Tom Waits, “Swordfishtrombones”

1. “Revolver” – the Beatles. By far, my alltime favorite album. The Beatles break-away album in which they become a “studio band.” 2. “Southern Rock Opera” – Drive-by Truckers. I’ve seen these guys many times, but just once, I’d like to see them perform this album from start to finish. The album that defined their songwriting and sound for years to come. Not a bad song on this album. 3. “Alive & Wired” – Old 97’s. Kind of a cheat, huh? Well... at the time of its release it had all my favorites and gave me a taste of what these guys can be like live.

Blue Rodeo – “5 Days in July” and “Outskirts.” With Cleave Anderson ondrums and Bobby Wiseman on keyboards. The Beatles – “Abbey Road.” Imagine witnessing that three-way guitar duel near the end.

Freedy Johnston's “This Perfect World.” I don't know how many readers will choose this

one, but it's a favorite of mine. The thought did cross my mind that it would be cool to see him perform “This Perfect World” in its entirety. It's not a sexy pick, but it is an album filled with great songs that follow a sort of theme throughout.

I'd love to see Dylan perform any of his albums in their entirety ... mainly because there are gems on all of his records that never get played live. But I would especially love “Time Out Of Mind” live from the more recent era ... and maybe “Blood on the Tracks” or “Highway 61 Revisited” from earlier on.

Bright Eyes – “I'm Wide Awake It's Morning”; Elliott Smith – “XO”; Uncle Tupelo – “Still Feel Gone” with “Sauget Wind’’ as an encore.

“Raising Sand’’ I can't get enough of these guys [Alison Krauss and Robert Plant] together. Their vocals are “heaven.’’

The Jayhawks, “Rainy Day Music’’

“Zaireeka’’ – played by the Flaming Lips in all four corners of the venue simultaneously.

Neil Young – “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”; the Byrds – “Sweethearts of the Rodeo’’; Alejandro Escovedo – “A Man Under the Influence”; Greg Trooper – “Floating”

Wilco – “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” I'm seeing a full-on aural and visual experience complete with “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” footage beamed on a giant screen behind the band.

Patty Griffin's “Living With Ghosts.” My desert island album. In particular, starting halfway through the album – with the songs “Poor Man's House Forgiveness,” “You Never Get What You Want,” “Sweet Lorraine” and “Not Alone” – is one of the most perfect string of songs I know.

1. “Innervisions” – Stevie Wonder; 2. “Axis: Bold as Love” – Jimi Hendrix;

3. “Tennessee Fire” – My Morning Jacket; 4. “Quadrophenia” – the Who; 5. “Europe ’72” – Grateful Dead; 6.“I Am What I Am” – George Jones. Damn that is harder than I thought...

Beth Orton – “Central Reservations”; The Clash – “Sandinista”; Camper Van Beethoven – their version of “Tusk”; Jackson Browne’ “Everyman”

Tough call. Got to go with three:1. Son Volt – “Trace”; 2. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

“Cold Roses”; 3. The Jayhawks (Olson and Louris together ofcourse) – “Blue Earth”

Tom Waits – "Rain Dogs” (one of my favorite records, never seenhim live, wide range of emotions and sounds, would be awesome to hear this one).

It's gotta be “August & Everything After” by Counting Crows. I can picture the lights coming up slowly as the opening notes of “Round Here”

build and the band “steps out the front door like a ghost in the fog...” Even after 15 years, I never get tired of this disc. I never hit shuffle, I never skip a song. To me, it’s the perfect set list: start slow, build up tempo, bring it back down again, and finish strong.

How about “Night & Day” from Joe Jackson and/or “American Idiot” from Green Day (love that album – it's my Clash past coming back to haunt me).

“Red Headed Stranger” And yes I mean the full version not the abbreviated one Willie

plays in concert.

Dire Straits – “Communique” While “Brothers in Arms” was the one that hooked

me, from start to finish,“Communique” accomplishes what a great album should, and it was the moment in my life when I started appreciating good music.

Bruce Springsteen – “Nebraska” – Just him at Club Passim...

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