A few weeks ago, I wrote a post over on Elephants about a few books that I felt I had misjudged when I initially read them. A friend then suggested that I do one for music, so here it is.
Music is a bit different, though. The thing about an album is that it’s easier to listen to it half a dozen times than it is to read a book half a dozen times, so those kinds of gross misjudgment are, I think, a little bit harder. That said, there are a few names I can come up with and here they are:
Paul Simon – Until a few years ago, if you’d asked me what I thought of Paul Simon as a solo artist, I would have told you I thought he was fine. I knew a bit of his stuff, but not a ton of it. I liked Simon & Garfunkel, but as a solo artist, he seemed very ’80s. Sure, “Call Me Al” is fun, but you know, it’s one song and it’s kind of silly.
But Cate liked Paul Simon and we, at some point, started listening more, and boy, he’s a genius. Graceland is a perfect pop album and his most recent recordings are masterful, especially for someone who’s getting up there. Paul Simon gets played around our house a lot now, and it’s a good thing.
Bruce Springsteen – For a long time, I hated Bruce Springsteen. Hated him. I was a kid when Born in the USA came out and that album was everywhere (it produced 7 top-10 singles). And, to me, that was what Springsteen was for a long time. Eventually, someone introduced me to his wider catalog and I saw how spectacular much of his stuff is, especially from the first decade of his career. He’s a fantastic songwriter, and it’s just a bad coincidence that one of my least favorite Springsteen albums is the one that was the most successful.
In the other direction, I will admit that for a long time, I overrated a lot of Eric Clapton. Clapton’s music is what really set me off on the guitar playing path and for a long time he could do no wrong. However, having grown up a bit and widened my palate, it’s easy to see that he has a lot of weak periods, especially the 1980s.
Otherwise, it’s hard to pick out much. I mean, there was absolutely some stuff I listened to as a teenager that I think is terrible now, but that’s true for most everyone, I think.