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There's nothing like finding the right album to set the mood

in this 99-cent download world, there is something to be said for seeing the musical forest for the trees by listening to albums in their entirety.

By Susan Sliwicki

It can be very easy to slip into a rut where you listen to nothing but a limited set of tried-and-true music. In high school, I was all about Billy Joel, Glenn Miller and Huey Lewis and The News. (Don’t judge.)

College opened new doors, musically speaking, including one I really didn’t want to go through. In the radio station newsroom where I worked on weekends, I used to switch the monitor over to the Muzak feed rather than listen to the country music pumped out by our FM station.

When I worked at my last newspaper, my go-to choice for deadline was Steely Dan. Thanks to good headphones, I could crank it just loud enough to drown out the newsroom’s police scanner, TV, phone calls and the one dude with no volume control whatsover so I could get down to business without going deaf or crazy.

A move to book publishing brought out a lot of soundtrack music — which was fine — and Eminem — which, honestly, even I can’t explain. And when I first joined Goldmine, I listened to the Doors, Stones, Queen, Zeppelin, Who, Beatles and Pink Floyd in heavy rotation. Hey, “Dark Side of the Moon,” is my musical vallium. But I still felt I was sliding into a rut.

(RELATED ARTICLE: Spend time on 'The Dark Side of the Moon' with the album's producer, Alan Parsons)

So I decided that with each issue of Goldmine, I would revisit (or in some cases, visit for the first time) the catalogs of the featured artists. Before the April 2013 issue of Goldmine, the only Yes album that I could reliably identify was “90125.”

Goldmine April 2013

And while I remembered Alan Parsons from “Eye in the Sky,” I previously hadn’t made the connection to “Sirius,” “Games People Play,” “Don’t Answer Me” and “I Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You” — all songs I remembered fondly from my youth.

(RELATED ARTICLE: Actor, engineer, producer, musician — Alan Parsons does it all)

Speaking of that, in the April 2013 issue of Goldmine, Justin Hayward and Ricky Byrd both talk about the music and artists who influenced their current solo projects. And when Simon Townshend started talking about performing “Quadrophenia” on tour with his big brother Pete (yeah, THAT Pete) in a Goldmine interview, what could I do but listen to that album, too?

And that’s has brought its own reward: the reminder that in this 99-cent download world, there is something to be said for savoring an album and seeing the musical forest for the trees. I can hardly wait for the next issue! GM


Want to order a back issue of Goldmine? Call Missy Fenn at 1-800-726-9966, Ext. 13369, or e-mail her at