Just over a week ago I wrote about being asked to give a fellow worker a musical education. As I wrote, I lent D. a Nightnoise sampler, in the hope that this would make clearer what kind of music she wanted to hear. If that was the goal, then I certainly succeeded, as she returned the disc to me the following day, saying that she wanted something more upbeat with vocals. As Nightnoise tend to play slowish instrumentals, I definitely made a good choice!
So back to the drawing board. What do I have which is upbeat with vocals? That's not particularly the kind of music which I like or buy. At first I was thinking of Crosby, Stills and Nash (the eponymous first album), but that sounds a bit wimpy these days. But stretching my mind a bit further led me to ... The Band, specifically the second (and also eponymous) album. Definitely upbeat, plenty of vocals and one of the best albums in history.
I brought this in to work the next day, but warned D. that she might find it slightly weird listening to at first; even today, The Band still sound somewhat out of place. But by the time the album's over, their sound seems perfectly correct, especially with "Unfaithful servant" and "King Harvest" closing the album (yes, I know that "Jawbone" comes between the two, but that track has less impact than the other two). Just listening to Richard Manuel singing about his factory closing down is enough to bring out the goosepimples, even thirty years from first hearing the song (and I was a late adapter to The Band; for some reason, I never heard them until 1976).
To my surprise, D. told me the next day that she really liked the album. The fact that she's had it for a week with no sign of its return speaks volumes. After the second album, the logical place to continue is "Music From Big Pink", but I'm not sure where to go after that. Their later albums were patchy with some great songs along with some poor ones.