From the first solo album, when the Velvets were not yet savored history and no one was expecting much.
Yes, I was hooked by the initial track, “I Can’t Stand It,” but I was closed by the final track, “Ocean,” it’s the one that made me a Lou Reed fan.
Released in 1972, it’s best if you listen to it in those circumstances, alone, in the dark, preferably on headphones with all your modern digital devices turned off. It doesn’t take much to get it, but if you give it your full attention, let it wash over you, you’ll be fully rewarded.
This is how it used to be, when it was about the album, when we believed our artists put their all into the long player and the…last track was as important as the first.
After Lou got traction, a live Velvet Underground album from 1969 with a version of “Ocean” was released, I’ll include it in the playlist.
And then there’s the demo and…
“Walk On The Ocean”
Toad The Wet Sprocket
I’d say the band never equaled this, but the truth is “Walk On The Ocean” is so stratospherically good, almost no one could.
Meaningful and melodic, it’s pure magic.
“Pacific Ocean Blues”
The best track on an overrated album.
I love Dennis, listen to “Angel Come Home,” from “L.A. (Light Album),” listen to his compositions on “Sunflower,” however, this LP doesn’t live up to the rep.
But this is the song that plays in my head.
“Swimming In The Ocean”
David & David
Mystical and moody, I don’t think anybody under the age of forty knows this album.
But they should.
By today’s standards, this is a hit, because it’s immediately catchy, you get it right away. That’s the standard now, not whether it’s radio-friendly, but whether people will be enamored and share it.
“Welcome To The Boomtown” went gold in the eighties, arguably it would be bigger today, because there are no clunkers, it sounds like nothing else and it’s GREAT!
“Ocean Of War”
From the initial Arista album, that made their rep, before they went indie and were just as good.
A band that was ahead of its time led by a guy with a good voice who had melody at his fingertips.
“Drop In The Ocean”
The closing song from her hit debut, “The Spirit Room.”
She was just a teen and she delivered something that was not only listenable, but evidenced the wisdom of a much older person. If only today’s teen acts were as good.
Unfortunately, she was hobbled by this success.
Then again, she ultimately migrated to country before everybody else and had success with Jessica Harp as the Wreckers.
I’m always ready to hear what Michelle Branch has to say.
Play “Drop In The Ocean” all the way through. It’s not as catchy as some of the other tracks on this playlist, but by the end you’ll get it.
From Arlo’s best album other than “Alice’s Restaurant,” 1976’s “Amigo,” which contains the anthem “Massachusetts.”
Unfortunately, this eminently playable album was ignored then. Unjustly. It still satisfies today.
The last track on “Houses Of The Holy.”
Zeppelin fans know this by heart, the best part is when it breaks down at 2:15 and Robert sings…
I used to love Tori so much, before she lost the plot, before the lyrics became completely incomprehensible. The amazing thing is, even though this is mostly just Tori and her piano, no one else has duplicated this sound. I wish Tori would.
I’m partial to the second album, but this, from “Ghost Stories,” has the signature sound, but was too dark to break through.
“Ocean Of Noise”
Dark and even if you’re not a fan, you’ll get it.
From the very first album, “Boy,” which was my favorite until “Achtung Baby.”
Sure, it had the hit “I Will Follow,” but what appealed to me was the band’s darkness and experimentation, evidenced in this cut.
John Butler Trio
From his very first album/cassette, I’m including the 2010 take from “Live At Red Rocks,” you can hear a recent studio take here:
It seems that Mr. Butler missed his window, he broke up the original trio when he was on the verge of breaking through big time.
Go to one of his shows, you’ll be wowed.
Talk about missing your moment.
Joan cut “Love and Affection,” which goes unheard today, despite its brilliance, and then…never equals it, writes solid material, but no hits, and as a result she’s forgotten.
From the initial album, “Ten.”
From the hit debut.
“Porcelina of the Vast Oceans”
From “Mellon Collie,” when the Pumpkins still mattered, before Billy Corgan’s immense ego collapsed the band.
You can believe you’re great, but that doesn’t mean you have to TELL US!
“Ocean Breathes Salty”
A hit single ten years ago.
“An Ocean In Between The Waves”
The War On Drugs
From everybody’s favorite new act.
“How Deep Is The Ocean”
Composed by Irving Berlin and done by everybody from Bing Crosby to Frank Sinatra to Eric Clapton, if I didn’t include it my inbox would overflow!
“My Bonnie (Lies Over The Ocean)”
With the Beatles!
Released in America after they broke through.
Hear it here: