The debut issue of Playboy, from what I understand, had very little original material in it. The Marilyn Monroe pictorial was a set of photographs that had been taken a few years earlier, the one fiction selection was a Sherlock Holmes story that had fallen into public domain. It was a primitive start to what would become among the slickest of the slicks. It’s a wonder Hugh Hefner didn’t have the thing printed on a hand-cranked mimeograph machine.

Not that you’ll find acres of cheesecake dollbabies in this blog, but I’m going to do something similar here. Just so I can have some regular content until I can find something more worthy to say, I’m going to republish a few things from my old, unvisited blog from last year. The first of these was to have been the start of my Underappreciated Album Project – By Decade. It was originally called the Underrated Album Project. I changed it because there’s lots of music that we consider underrated. My focus is going to be on music that I think has withstood datedness, that hasn’t been consigned to nostalgia or iconocized to where it is seems to be sealed in a glass tomb like Lenin, where one crack in the glass or one beam of sunlight will cause it to explode into dust.

So here, from August, 2006, my introduction to the Underappreciated Album Project.

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I’m a fan of the movie High Fidelity, the one where John Cusak’s character Rob plays a guy who owns a record store that sells only vinyl (albums, that is). Throughout it, he and his co-workers (one played with restrained zaniness by Jack Black, who does a few inappropriate things to customers he doesn’t like: stuff those of us who worked, or still work, in retail fantasized about doing) make lists of songs: The Top 10 First Tracks, The Top 10 Breakup Songs, or the Top Five Albums Recorded in 1965 Where at Least One Song Sounds Like it Was Written by a Stalker.

One of my items in that last list would be “I Sit Alone in My Car with a Rubber Glove and a Box of Tissues While Staring at the Glow from Your Window, My Dearest.” It was a minor hit for the Whistle Britches. Spent less than 10 minutes on the charts.

Making lists involving specific topics is something guys like to do. It’s how we organize. Don’t tell us to make a list of stuff we need from Target. Ask us instead to list “The Top 10 Cleaning Products for Kitchen and Bath Used in 1970s Cop Shows,” or “The 10 Highest-Rated Toilet Papers used in the NFL,” then set us loose in the store. We’ll not only come back with the goods, but also tell why Michael Ontkean’s character used Windex to wipe down the hubcaps of his squad car in the first season of The Rookies.

We compare our lists with each other, ridicule some of the choices, nod in silent agreement with others. It’s also how we get around schwantz-length anxiety: you can always make fun of or be impressed with a guy’s list without being naked.

So, naked or not, I’m going to make a short list of the Underappreciated Albums each decade, from the 1960s through the 1990s. Yes, I know that’s a short span of time. Regretfully, besides a copy of Kind of Blue, I don’t have much in my collection from the 1950s. And, yes, that also means I’m choosing only four albums. For one, that will keep the project focused. For two, I don’t want to glop up my blog with lengthy lists and boring-assed essays (I do that enough in my work for Louisville Music News). One per decade keeps it cleaner.

Plus to keep you on the edge of your computer chair, I’m not going to put them in chronological order. Living on the Edge: that’s how we get it done here at Gottafang!

Look for the first one to come soon.

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