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20 greatest albums everyone should at least listen to or own at one time (myself included) March 19, 2010

Filed under: entertainment,Michael Jackson,music,rock 101: who's who and what's what from mostly the past,Uncategorized — Christina Lynn Hildebrand @ 3:18 AM
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These are in no order whatsoever, but are just numbered. Sorry.

  1. Out of the Blue (1987) – Debbie Gibson. To many fans of the 1980’s, this is a pop gem. Also it must be noted that Gibson was the youngest person to ever help produce a record (the single Foolish Beat) at the tender age of 16.
  2. Victory (1984) – The Jacksons.
  3. Lead Me On (1988) – Amy Grant. This is perhaps the best Contemporary Christian album ever made. It has a timeless mix in both sound and lyric.
  4. Thriller (1984) – Michael Jackson. Probably one of the best R&B/pop/rock albums ever. With such gems as Human Nature, Thriller, Beat It and Wanna Be Starting Somethin’ one cannot go wrong with this classic.
  5. Kilroy Was Here (1983) – Styx. One of the great rock operas of all time. Rarely does a good album tell a moral story, and Styx knocks it out of the ballpark with the ever-popular Mr. Roboto.
  6. Dreamboat Annie (1976) – Heart. One of the most underrated albums and groups of all time. Ann Wilson is one of the greatest rock vocalist of all time. Better yet, she still sounds good even now, despite her age. Nancy is also a talented guitarist. Nancy shows off her chops on the songs Magic Man, Crazy on You, and White Lightning and Wine.
  7. God (1996) Rebecca St. James – Good things come out of Australia and Rebecca St. James is no exception. This album is better than her previous teen-pop album and has a style reminiscent of the grunge scene albeit with a twist: its Christian music. One noteworthy cover St. James does is a reworking of You’re The Voice, a song previously made popular by Heart. Other great songs to check out are God, Abba (Father), and Go and Sin No More.
  8. Boy (1980) – U2. Arguably this band is the greatest Christian rock band. However, this them before they became Christians I believe but either way, they sound great. This is one that I want to add to my collection.
  9. October (1981) – U2. Once again, U2 proves that they are one of the greatest rock bands, or even Christian rock bands, ever to chart. Only Bono, Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. can pull off such songs as Gloria, Rejoice and the hauntingly beautiful title track.
  10. Tragic Kingdom (1996) – No Doubt. This is a great introduction to ska-punk. However, the pièce de résistance is none other than Gwen Stefani’s voice. Best songs to look out for are Spiderwebs, Hey You, Sixteen, Don’t Speak, Excuse Me Mister, and Tragic Kingdom.
  11. Rhythm Nation 1812 (1989) – Janet Jackson. Smoothly produced R&B with a kick and a socially aware message.
  12. Out of the Grey (1992) – Out of the Grey. The Contemporary Christian duo has an incomparable alternative sound which is only highlighted by Christine Dente’s Debbie Harry-style voice and the excellent guitar playing of husband Scott Dente. This album is nothing short of a classic with songs like Remember This, The Dance, The Only Moment, and the duo’s swan song Wishes. Also, the songwriting on this album is not cheesy, unlike some Christian music of the time.
  13. Top Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986) – Various Artists. This is probably one of the greatest action movie soundtracks of all time. It is one action-packed soundtrack filled with such songs as Danger Zone and Playing With the Boys by Kenny Loggins – who shows he has some rock chops. Other great tracks include Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick, Lead Me On by Teena Marie, Hot Summer Nights by Miami Sound Machine and finally, the eponymous Top Gun Anthem.
  14. Raising Sand (2008) – Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. Bluegrass meets hard rock. However, don’t be fooled because this album is more roots-rock with songs such as Gone Gone Gone (Done Me Wrong) and Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson.
  15. Learning to Crawl (1983-1984) – The Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde is one of the greatest female frontwomen in rock music. Here she proves that she is also an accomplished guitar player and harmonicist with a song like Middle of the Road. However, this album only gets better with such songs like Back On the Chain Gang – which spawned a new meaning for the band after James Honeyman-Scott died of a drug overdose at the age of 25.  Every song on the album is one of greatness; including Time the Avenger, My City Was Gone, and Thumbelina.
  16. Here For the Party (2004) – Gretchen Wilson. In 2004, there was this little-known group in Nashville, TN called the Muzik Mafia. However, among them were such members as John Rich, Big Kenny, and Gretchen Wilson. Wilson burst onto the country music scene in 2004 with Redneck Woman, which went straight up to the top of the country charts. The whole album essentially revitalized the southern rock genre with songs like the title track, Homewrecker, and Redneck Woman.
  17. Surfer Girl (1963) – The Beach Boys. Probably one of the greatest surf-rock bands that served to usher in the greatness of the music of California. With songs like In My Room, Surfer Girl, and Little Deuce Coup, you cannot go wrong.
  18. If You Can Believe Your Eyes & Ears (1966) –  The Mamas and the Papas. The lush harmonies of “Mama” Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips are introduced to the world with such songs as Monday Monday and California Dreamin’.
  19. Synchronicity (1983) – The Police. This album is probably the quintessential Police album with songs like Spirits in the Material World, King of Pain, Synchronicity II, and the ever-popular Every Breath You Take.
  20. Are You Experienced (1967) – The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This album is the equivalent of standing on your head musically. It is great with such songs as the title track and All Along the Watchtower.
 

Captain EO returns to Disneyland, but will it also return to Epcot? February 24, 2010

Due to the untimely death of Michael Jackson, both Michael Jackson and fans of the Disney movie Captain EO fans have spoken: they want Captain EO to return. Disney executives have honored that wish and has returned to Disneyland’s

Captain EO comes back to change the world at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA

Tomorrowland today. It replaces Honey I Shrunk The Audience.

Among a new generation of Michael Jackson fans, this film has been all but forgotten. Yet, when it premiered, it was a huge event. Many major celebrities of the time including Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Molly Ringwald, Sissy Spacek, Whoopi Goldberg and John Ritter as well as members of the Jackson family including sisters Latoya and Janet as well as Jackson’s mother Katherine attended the grand premiere at Disneyland’s Magic Eye Theater on September 18, 1986. The ride closed at all Disney parks by 1998.

One question still remains: will Captain EO return to Epcot?

It should return to Epcot for many reasons. One of the main reasons is that Michael Jackson appealed to everyone. Disneyworld attracts more people from around the world yearly and most of them would love to see the beloved King of Pop sing and dance once again – as Jackson was later more popular overseas than he was in his native USA.

Also, many of those that are visiting Disneyworld this summer, such as myself, would love to see Captain EO once again at Epcot in all its glory. The movie, though cheesy in acting, is still an excellent film when it comes to special effects. The film alone serves as a foreshadowing of other great special-effects films that were later put out by Walt Disney Pictures including the upcoming Tim Burton movie Alice In Wonderland, Toy Story, and Tron Legacy. Disney has probably updated Captain EO by giving it a restoration in both film and soundtrack.

It would be a glowing tribute to bring back Captain EO to Epcot because everyone was sad when Jackson died and it would be a great tribute to have the film play at both Epcot and Disneyworld.

Read the original examiner.com article here.

history surrounding the ride

 

Some thoughts and memories of Michael Jackson February 20, 2010

Nearly eight months ago the world lost one of its greatest entertainers, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson was the bestselling artist of all time. He died in June 2009.

For me, personally, many things come to mind when I think of Michael Jackson. First of all, a flood of memories come back. I believe the first time I ever  listened to him was when I was a freshman in highschool in 2001. I went to a private religious (lutheran) and the Invincible album came out, along with that television special that he did with his brothers, the Jackson 5 as well as Usher and Chris Tucker. I never watched it until his death when it re-aired on either BET or TVONE.

Also, that year we would have chapel and there was this chemistry teacher who would frequently give the chapel lesson. He would use the moniker of this fake movie called “Cash Money.” “Cash Money” would act like a mafioso – you didn’t pay him back, you would face consequences. Usually when cash money was about to give someone a beat-down, Beat It would be the ambient music.

That year, I got a Squire by Fender black jazz bass guitar for Christmas. One day I found Beat It while looking for bass tabs on the internet, so I printed it and tried it because it looked so easy. I also downloaded the song so I could play along. I think I got okay with the song, but not nearly as good as the bassist on that recording.

Later on, all those allegations about him being inappropriate with a child came out. Call it looking back in remorse or whatever, but it was wrong of me both as a devout Christian and US citizen to prejudge him and continually say that he was guilty when he was not. I looked at the evidence and the evidence does not render a verdict of “guilty.” It is wrong to prejudge ANYONE.

Then he died.

The weird thing is that day, and the days before he died, I remember those days rather clearly.

I was in summer school at the time, and I remember talking to one of my best friends, Briana, at her birthday party. We were at the symphony and were talking about the next big article that I wanted to do. She, being the good friend that she is, told me that I would get another mega-article.

Little did I know that a week later, that mega article would come in the form of the death of the King of Pop unfortunately.

That day is a day that I will never forget. Like I said, I was in summer school when the whole thing happened. That day I was having an interesting day because I was facing a deadline for another article. I got on the internet before class and heard the news about Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett passing away, but there was nothing about Michael Jackson. After that, I got on my facebook page (I used to have one, but no longer do) and saw my friend’s status that read “OMG Michael Jackson died” and then saw a conflicting status that said he was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but that nothing serious had happened. I believed the latter.

By the time I had arrived at a vocal lesson, my voice teacher had the tv on and was apparently watching the news. As usual we traded niceties and she told me about Jackson’s death.  I was rather shocked and it put a damper on the lesson as a whole.

When I got home, it was ALL OVER the news – there were at least 2 Barbara Walters specials about his death and Farrah’s death. Out of curiousity, I did want to watch them but was unable to due to the fact that I had a spanish test the next day.

The next morning, my friend Jenny called me because she was helping me with the previous article that I was working on. I had it on the local R&B station and they were talking about and playing his music and they were playing either Thriller or Smooth Criminal. I lamented to Jenny about what I had heard about Michael Jackson, how it was a major loss to ALL the music world – not just pop/rock (Jenny likes lots of classical music as well as country and maybe some rock, but mostly her world is classical). I even told her a few memories in regards to the artist in which she responded with her trademark phrase “good times, good times!”

Suprisingly enough, it was not really addressed at school in class. But I knew I was going to write something about Jackson’s death, so I decided to try to write something on facebook, but failed. So instead I decided (and got permission) to write a tribute article concerning Michael Jackson.

So with the editor’s blessing, I conjured up a tribute/career highlights article and, literally, stayed glued to the television the whole weekend. All the news networks, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, as well as all the music channels Mtv, Mtv2, MtvTres, VH1, VH1 Classic, and Fuse had constant videos and/or news concerning his death. Also, someone on youtube posted Captain EO in its entirety. So I watched it.

Then Sunday came and I went to church.  You would think that people would be talking about it after church – mainly those that grew up listening to Jackson’s music. Some did but the conversation was initiated by me, especially when I talked to my friend J., who apparently listened to him as a child. J, being a few years older than I, recalled that she listened to him as a child and that his music brought back childhood memories.

The next few days were rather rushed. I had to publish the article on time – the one about Michael Jackson, and also had another article about UH Concert Chorale going to Wales. Both the Michael Jackson tribute article and the Concert Chorale Wales article were in the same issue of the Daily Cougar!

The memorial service was another entity in itself that week and I ended up covering a celebration of his life at UH. It was a great and memorable celebration.

 

“I Want My Mtv!” January 3, 2010

On August 1, 1980, Mtv launched with the rallying cry “ladies and gentleman, rock and roll!” and made television history with the Buggles Video Killed The Radio Star, followed by You Better Run by Pat Benatar.

Mtv was, at the least, a revolutionary idea. It introduced us to great artists such as The Police, Duran Duran, Madonna, and Billy Idol. The network also broke color and success barriers with the airing of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. Jackson would later go on to have massive success with the music video genre right up until his death in June 2009.

According to the BBC, what Mtv did was allow the record companies “to market and package bands to a much greater degree than before.” “MTV was born partly out a backlash by the music industry in an attempt to boost sales” says pop music lecturer Simon Warner.

This push also enabled record companies to push their bands through videos without relying on live performance, which musicians of the past heavily relied on. It also gave the 80’s a fresh start in music by ushering in acts such as the Eurythmics, U2, and Tears For Fears.

With that said, here is some of the best videos that were ever aired on Mtv.

Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran

Who’s That Girl – Madonna 

White Wedding – Billy Idol 

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police 

You Better Run – Pat Benatar

Sources:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1465495.stm

 

Captain EO returns, but does that mean that other classic rides will follow soon? December 23, 2009

Disney announced that, after 23 years of being absent, Captain Eo, starring the late Michael Jackson, will be returning to Disneyland for a limited engagement in February 2010.

However, does this mean that other classic rides will follow suit and re-emerge? Will we see a reboot of such classics as Cranium CommandMission To MarsThe Timekeeper, or ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter?

cranium command

Cranium Command was an attraction at Epcot that ran from October 19, 1989 through January 4, 2004. The ride starred Jon Lovitz, George Wendt, Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey as various parts of the body.

Alien Encounter opened in June 1995 and closed in 2003. It was a much darker-toned Disney attraction due to the ride's intensity and carried a warning to parents of potential riders.

It would be nice to see these great rides and experiences return

Mission to Mars, an attraction sponsored by Mcdonnell Douglas, opened in 1975 at both Disneyland and Disneyworld. Since the inception of Disneyworld, the attractions that have been housed at the pavillion that housed "Mission To Mars" have been entirely devoted to space exploration.

because it would bring them to a new generation of children and adults alike. However, it must be done right because some of the technology is rather dated.

The Timekeeper opened in France in 1992 but finally came to the US in November 1994. It was one of the few attractions that had to be altered after the events of September 11, 2001 due to images of the World Trade Center in the film. The ride closed in April 2006.

However, some of these rides would be a welcome return, but they must not replace some of the more newer, sophisticated rides such as Mission: Space.

 

Captain EO to launch once again at Disneyland December 22, 2009

Captain EO

Captain EO, starring the late Michael Jackson, originally ran for over 10 years at Disneyland. All incarnations of the ride closed in 1998

LOS ANGELES – “Captain EO” will once again return to Disneyland in February 2010. The theme park said last week that plans have been enacted to bring back the 3-D film starring the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The 17-minute film starred the late King of Pop as a song-and-dance intergalactic space captain. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola with George Lucas serving as executive producer.

In the film, Jackson leads a rag-tag team consisting of an alien and a robot as they battle the evil queen played by a nearly-unrecognizable Anjelica Huston. “Captain EO” originally debuted in 1986 at Disneyland’s Tommorrowland in  and ran for more than a decade. Identical versions later opened at other Disney theme parks. They were all closed by 1998.

Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

Associated Press