I had an interesting chat with an old friend of mine, who like me is a Who fanatic. The conversation got under way after I referred to "Odds & Sods," The Who's collection of stray tracks, as a "killer compilation. He replied with "I don't even like that record, some of my least favorite Who tracks."
Okay, so what?
Well, for one thing, the talk did not become your standard, "cranky old men who proclaim the last good record by the Stones was Sticky Fingers" type of talk. He and I both agreed that the criminally underrated "The Who By Numbers" was one of the band's best, that "quirky" Pete tunes are some of "his" best, and that even the mostly terrible "It's Hard" had its moments. So, it really was just a difference of opinion on that one album, as we both professed our love for this band on their 50th anniversary, but seemed to knock heads over "Faith In Something Bigger."
This got the wood burning.
Unlike Elton John and Rod Stewart, who arguably released some of the best albums in rock and roll prior to 1975 and then some of the worst albums for the next 40 years, is there an artist or band you love and still listen to, with one specific release that you just can't get behind?
First one that comes to my mind is Bob Dylan's "Time Out Of Mind." It's really that trilogy of "comeback" records that everyone seems to think are brilliant that I find average at best, but I will
I may love "Desire" more than others and tolerate Dylan's God years more than others, but the general consensus on most of Dylan's catalogue, I think, has been pretty close one way or the other. But "Time Out Of Mind," which I admit has a handful of brilliant Bob moments, feels bland and samey. That blandness continued with "Love & Theft" and "Modern Times" and then peaked with the awful "Together Through Life."
There is probably one brilliant, "Blonde On Blonde"-caliber record that can be extracted from these four records. Yet, so many go apeshit over "Time Out Of Mind," specifically "Make You Feel My Love," which is now rivaling "Yesterday" in the oft-covered department. And don't get me started on Lanois' production.