About Austin KruegerAustin works as a cost analyst for TDS Telecom in the Government and Regulatory Affairs team. He has a marketing degree from UW-Whitewater and has worked in various departments including marketing, sales and network services since joining TDS in 2004. He is a huge sports fan – if he’s not at work, odds are you can find him at Miller Park, Lambeau Field, Camp Randall or the Kohl Center watching the game. In his spare time, he’s chairman of a local non-profit, avid music fan, rec sports MVP and an early adopter when it comes to most new technologies.
Pearl Jam exemplifies the Seattle grunge movement. Some may argue Nirvana was the poster child for the era, but Pearl Jam certainly was essential in their own right. Pearl Jam has sold nearly 25 million albums since their debut, with today’s album, Vs., coming in at over 6 million sold.
This album just so happens to literally be the best-selling album ever with over SIXTY FIVE MILLION copies sold worldwide. Jackson worked with Quincy Jones on this record in Los Angeles, California. The production budget was large, over $750k. Paul McCartney was involved, as were several of the members of the band Toto for recording and production purposes. Jackson wrote four of the tracks but he did so in an odd fashion. Right now, you can score this gem for only $5.
Today’s $5 album has so many songs you heard on the radio and would get stuck in your head—one you were proud to sing out loud (well, maybe just in the car with no one else in it).
I wanted to piggyback on an article I saw on the TDS Business Blog. Fellow blogger Kris wrote this article about to trying new things in the New Year. That got my thinking—maybe I should introduce you all to something new as well; something that probably has never crossed your ear waves.
Some of the most talented singers, songwriters, guitarists over the years put out some amazing music, but when the day is said and done, they just don’t have “it”. In today’s pop world, it seems the less talent, but better look you have, the more likely you are to get pushed to the top. While it may be hard to admit for some, today’s featured artist is the exact opposite of that trend. He’s not only immensely popular, but also potentially one of the most talented guys in show business.
Imagine an artist that makes every album so drastically different, you can put every album release into an entirely different musical category. Today’s featured artist has a very assorted catalog, and the album I’ll highlight fits perfectly in the sea of diversity.
Once in a great while you hear a new artist—and instantly you know they’re going to be a success. Sometimes you can’t put a finger on why; maybe they have a great voice, unparalleled songwriting or maybe a sound totally unique to the era. I’ve seen many up-and-coming bands never quite reach the top, but that certainly isn’t the case for today’s featured artist as I’m not sure you’ll find a better vocalist out there.
I’m not sure there are many folks out there who haven’t already heard this album, or at least a few tracks off it. The title track still sees radio play today, as well as ‘Bennie and the Jets’. I’m not sure I detect much of a theme from my few listens recently, other than it listens like a movie. It’s like a nostalgic reflection of the times and told in the signature theatrical Elton John style. This is priced out .99 cents higher than my normal albums, but even at $5.99—it’s worth the price of admission.
The Beach Boys are still active to this day, and they have sold a ton of records. I won’t go into all the acclaim Pet Sounds has out there, but would encourage you to look it up someday. The accolades for this album’s production and how it changed the face of popular music is staggering. I think on first listen, you might think it's an album that’s just sort of background music. But if you sit down and really listen to what was accomplished on this record, I completely understand the praise.
Damien Rice's music is a sound that is very uncommon these days. It’s sort of a throwback to the folk singers of the 50s and 60s—but modernized with the accompanying background sound. Rice heavily uses violin, bass, cello in his music, and even clarinet and a Wurlitzer organ. The attention to detail with in production is second to none. Combine that with his outstanding vocal abilities, and you have some amazing potential to make music.
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