As I listen to Midnight Oil’s Redneck Wonderland album through (chosen to be the background music while I work on a software upgrade… yes, at 9:30pm…) I realize that back when I first picked up the CD, I didn’t actually like it very much. I thought it was too rough, too hard, too different from the Oils’ sound of the previous several albums.
Now, however, I think of it as among their strongest work. It’s still as musically dense as I like things, but it has more vim and vigor than the softer, twangier material they’d been putting out for a while there. Really, if Diesel and Dust is the only Midnight Oil album you own and you’re wondering what else to pick up, you could do far worse than RW. (Uh, avoid Capricornia, though. Subsequent listening sessions have not endeared that record to my ears.)
What other albums sound better now than when I first listened to them?
Duran Duran’s Astronaut, most assuredly. I wrote a pretentious, faint-praise lump of a review back when the album came out (and there’s a reason I don’t do those anymore), and after those initial few full-record sessions I determined that the first four tracks were all that was worthwhile, there.
Oh, how wrong! “Nice,” “Finest Hour,” “Taste the Summer.” I’d put those up against anything Duran Duran have done before or since, never mind those first four cuts (which I still love). Even “Chains” is a fairly decent little piece. Mind you, I’m still not overly fond of “Bedroom Toys” or “Still Breathing,” but to have written off the entire back two-thirds of the album? What the hell was I thinking? What was wrong with my head? Wow.
I only have the one album from Filter but somehow, some time over the last few years Title Of Record went from being “that record with ‘Take A Picture’ on it” to “this is one of the best rock albums I’ve ever heard.” No, I’m not kidding. I don’t love every song unreservedly, but there’s not a track on there that I’ll skip under any circumstances (random playlist action, playing the album through, whatever). “It’s Gonna Kill Me,” “I Will Lead You,” “Skinny,” the nearly eight minutes of “Welcome To The Fold” to start things off… yeah. Great damned album.
So, if anyone’s still with me after all this time: What albums started out “meh” and grew on you to the point of being all-time favorites now?