I am reminded (h/t Largehearted Boy) that this is twenty years old. The Soft Bulletin Turns 20
This album is precious to me -- very precious indeed. I had always liked those wacky dudes from Oklahoma -- they did stuff that was interesting and funny. Then this came along, it had meisterwerk
written all over it. I played it death initially and because we had a magnificent separates system at the time, I could listen to how packed and layered and dense it all was.
Our last Christmas before we left the UK, my Mum came to stay with us for three days, which turned into over two weeks -- she had a good time. She fell in love with this album -- especially Waitin' for a Superman
. And then we moved to Catalunya.
The following July (the day we moved to els Mussols) she was diagnosed with very aggressive pancreatic cancer and given a short time to live. She essentially forwent treatment and came to see our place instead. She went home and two weeks later my sister rang to say it was time to come back to the UK for her end.
We looked after her at home and she died at home. A couple of days before she died, we had this album on and when Superman came on, she looked at me and wanted me to sing it. I did.
When it came to picking memorial music, we had Queen -- Don't Stop Me Now, Electric Light Orchestra -- Mr Blue Sky and Superman.
The joy and power of music is such that I still can't listen without crying -- I can make a fair argument for it being the most beautiful piece of music ever recorded.