Songwriter Poets in Search of Vinyl Classics

By chance, I had two young poets who are also songwriters in my MFA seminar this past semester, and their interests in the work of other songwriters whose lyrics at the very least overlap with poetry, if not in fact constitute a part of the contemporary canon of poetry, led me to offer them a chance to peruse my personal collection of recordings on vinyl. Shortly after the semester ended, I invited them over to the front porch of the house Linda and I rent and gave them a chance to pick out which records they would most like to own. I haven’t yet decided how many of their choices I will actually be able to bestow on them, but we had a lively, memorable conversation about music and our favorite songwriters.

I hope their choices as well as the list of the records they had to pass on because of budgetary limits serves as a reference tool for other young poet-songwriters. “Put Your Ears On!”

Jacob Belkin (left); John Mroc (right)


Pat Methney / Ornette Coleman – Song X

Arthur Blythe – Basic

Memphis Minne – I Ain’t No Bad Girl — $21.00

Holst – The Planets

Sonny Rollins (Featuring Jim Hall) – Quartets

Kenny Neal – Big News From Baton Rouge $60 – $75

Ahmad Jamal – Live at the Montreatl Jazz Featival. — $25.00

The Beatles at Hollywood Bowl

Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet; Exile on Main Street

David Bowie – Scary Monsters

David Bowe – Double Album (LIVE)

David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust

Dire Straits – “Down to the Waterline”

Simon & Garfunkel – Bookends

XTC – Drums and Wires

Aretha’s Greatest Hits

Harry James – Vol. 2

Pioneers of the New Age


The Roots of Rock n Roll – Rockabilly

Round Midnight – Various Artists

Sugarcubes – Life’s Too Good

Joni Mitchell – Miles of Aisles

Cream – Wheels of Fire

Elmore James – Oriinal Folk Blues

Leonard Cohen – The Best Of

John Prine – Sweet Revenge

Pere Ubu – Dub Housing

Talking Heads – Three Albums

The Clash – London Calling

The Clash – Give Em Enough Rope

The Minutemen – Double Nickle on the Dime

Tom Waits – Nighthawsks at the Diner (Douhle Live)

The Blasters

Rolling Stones – Got Live If You Want It! (LIVE)

Sonny Rollins – Way Out West

Patti Smith – Horses

Devo – Are We Not Men

The Zombies

X – Los Angeles

R.E.M./ — Fall on Me

Brian Eno – Ambient 3

Oingo Boing – Dead Man’s Party

The Fall – Telephone Thing

Stevie Rauy Vaugh – A Double Trouble

Bob Dylan – Infidel

X – Live Double Album at the Whiskey

The Screaming Blue Messiashs – Totally Religious

The New Percussion Group of Amserdam

Billy Bragg – Help Save the Youth of America

Green on Red – Down There


Morton Gould – Billy the Kid/ Rodeo

The Teddy Charles Tentet

The Allan Botschinsky Quintet – The Night

PUBLIC ENEMY – What Kind of Power We Got

Danny Gotlieb – Whirlwind

John Kilzer – Memory in the Making

Frank Morgan – Mood Indigo

Hayden – Symphonies No. 88 and 100

Psychedelic Furs – All of This and Nothing

Psychedelic Furs – Should God Forget

Lyle Mays – Highland Aire

Deborah Harry – I Want That Man

Fine Young Cannibals – Suspicious Minds

Was/Not Was – “Walk the Dinosaur”

Herbie Hancock – Vibe Alive

Xymox – Blind Hearts

Witchcraft — The Book of Love

Tiny Lights – Hazel’s Wreath

Anything Box – Living in Oblivion

Brad Eisenberg – Songs that Nice People Won’t Sing

Figures on a Beach – Accidentally Fourth Street

Patti Smith – Easter; Wave

David Sylvan –Holger Cukay – Plight Premonition

Jean-Loup Lognon and His New York Orchestra

Oingo Boingo – Out of Control

Bangles – Different Light

Steve Earle – Three Song EP

Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E.’s In Love

Joni Mitchell – For the Roses

Rolling Stones – Hollywood RCA Sessions

Phyllis Nelson – 1986 – I LIKE YOU

Judy Tenuta (November 7, 1949 – October 6, 2022)

Laura Nyro –(in concert) Season of Lights

EUGENE CHABOURNE – The President He Is Insane

Stan Ridgeway — Camouflage

Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

Jill Sobule – Things Here Are Different

Cheryl Wheeler – Half a Book

Devo – Fredom of Choice

Revenge of the Killer B’s

John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow

Dave Samuels – Living Colors

Lions and Ghosts – Mary Goes Round

George Winston – Winter into Spring

Joan Armatrading – The Shouting Stage

John Welsey Harding – God Made Me Do It

Prefab Sprouts – Two Wheels Good

SPK – Machine Age Voodoo

The Creaturees – Standing There

Stephen Sills – Stephen Stills

Boz Scaggs – Moments

Jon Stewart – Punch the Big Guy

Neil Young – Neil Young

Kim Kashkashian and Robert Levin – Elegies

Timbuk Three – Greetings from Timbuk3

Deborah Iyall — Strange Language

John Hiatt – All of a Sudden

John Hiatt – Two Bit Monsters

Talking Heads – Fear of Music

Talking Heads – Little Creatures

Los Lobos – La Pistola y la corazon

Michael Hedges – Aerial Boundaries; Strings of Steel; Watching My Life Go By; Live on the Double Planet

Breakfast in the Field

WALL OF VOODOO — Dark Continent; Call of the West

Wim Mertens – Maximizing the Audience

Wim Mertens – Struggle for Pleasure

Biko Drum

Arthur Brown – The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; Glactic Zoo Dosier

Keith Richards – Talk Is Cheap

Devo – Duty Now For the Future

B-52s – Wild Planet

It Bites – The Wild Lad in the Winill

Warren Zevon – Bad Luck streak in Dancing School

Red Kross – Teen Babes from Monsanto

Phil Woods Quartet – Warm Woods

Joni Mitchell – Dog Eat Dog

Patti Smith – Dreeam of Life

Laura Nyro – The First Songs

Bob Dylan – Sam Shepard – Brownvsville Girl

Tim Buckley – Blue Afternoon

Gordon Lightfoot – Don Quixote

Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown

Bruce Springateen – Darkness on the Edge of Town; The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle;
Born to Run’ Greetings from Asbury Park; Tunnel of Love; The River

X – Ain’t Love Grand

Brian Eno – Music for Films III

The Alley Cats

John Hiatt – Slow Turning

XTC – Black Sea; White Music; English Settlement

K.D. Lang – Shadowland

K.D. Lang – Angel with a Lariat

The Pretenders

The Steelye Span Story

Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All these Years

Elvis Costello – Trust; Get Happy; Taking Liberties; Imperial Bedroom

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