Last week, I was (as is often the case) in the mood to listen to some Wilco, but not just any Wilco because it had to be just the right Wilco. The wrong album at the wrong time can be a disaster, particularly on those days where the songs need to complement the mood rather than set it; I needed music as an enhancer, not an enforcer.
The weather was cool, with the trees in the middle of their colorful autumn reds and golds, so I selected The Whole Love, and the songs in my ears synced in harmony with the sights in my eyes.
Some albums, it seems, are more inclined to be heard in certain seasons. Oh sure, you can listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run at any time and come away a better person, but there’s nothing quite like cranking it as loud as possible in your car as you take a long drive on that first warm, sunny day each spring.
I wonder if some bands think of seasonal listening when they record their records, thinking about how the cooler weather of the fall (along with the sweaters and warm drinks) blends better with acoustic guitars, while dark, introspective lyrics seem to fit the colder winter months. I’m convinced Foo Fighters did this with In Your Honor, with the first disc being an aggressive rock album perfect for summer, with the second disc an acoustic set I crack out every autumn.
So what other albums seem best listened to in certain months? I thought of a few of my favorite albums and/or artists and broke them down this way:
The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (which might very well be the definitive “let’s put on a record and sit on the porch” album), Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
Welcome to the Jungle, Guns n’ Roses
IV, Led Zeppelin
Paul’s Boutique, Beastie Boys
Ill Communication, Beastie Boys
The Chronic, Dr. Dre
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco
The Whole Love, Wilco
A Ghost is Born, Wilco
Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd
III, Led Zeppelin
Love is Hell, Ryan Adams
Obviously, this doesn’t meant these albums can’t be played at other times, but there’s just something about hearing them under the right conditions that makes their strengths even stronger.
I’m curious as to if anyone else feels this way about certain albums and if so, what are the albums, artists and seasons.