This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:

1. Dwight Yoakam – Streets of Bakersfield (Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room, 1988)


Classic country tune including harmonica, being a duet with Yoakam’s musical hero Buck Owens. It was the lead single from his third album (all three reaching #1 on the Billboard Country Albums), and was his first one to become a  #1 country single.

2. The Beatles – Within You Without You (Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)

Harrison’s gem from probably the best known album of all time. Just like Revolver’s ‘Love You To’, it’s characterized by its classic Indian music influences with Harrison being the only Beatle that can be heard on the song. Especially the instrumental middle section sounds magnificent, with Harrison on tambura, Indian musicians on percussion & dilruba and a string section that was added by George Martin. Stephen Stills later carved the lyrics about people hiding behind their illusions on a monument in his garden.

3. Bettie Serveert – Kid’s Allright (Palomine, 1992)


Indie rock album that became a classic in the bands native country (the Netherlands) and obtained some success in the States. Just like their fellow-countrymen from Golden Earring, the band was lucky to have a native English speaking singer, with Carol Van Dyk being raised in Canada. Best guitar song on the album, with a great intro.

4. Bruce Springsteen – Open All Night (Nebraska, 1982)


The electric guitar is replaced by the acoustic one of The Boss (I stand corrected: this is the only song on the album featuring an electric guitar), on this intimate album full of dark lyrics. This album originally just was a collection of demos to be recorded together with the E-Street Band (which actually took place), but Springsteen decided to release it in its stripped-down, original form. Because it resulted in an album which is less obtrusive than other Springsteens, it might be my favorite one. All due respect.

5. Metallica – Leper Messiah (Master of Puppets, 1986)


Twice in a row for Metallica’s Master of Puppets, after last week’s ‘Disposable Heroes’. One of my favorite tracks with that typical guitar-pounding drums combo, about mendacious prophets.

6. Moody Blues – Minstrel’s Song  (A Question of Balance, 1970)


From the purgatory of hell to the vestibule of heaven where the Moody’s are singing to us, bass player John Lodge to be more precisely. Just like Springsteen’s Nebraska, this sixth album was more stripped-down than its predecessors, in order to be able to perform it live. It reached #1 in the UK, where it replaced Bridge Over Troubled Water.

7. Neil Young – This Old Guitar (Prairie Wind, 2005)


Beautiful song about Willie Nelsons guitar, lent by Neil Young for a while. With Emmylou Harris on backing vocals.

8. Tindersticks – Buried Bones (Curtains, 1997)


Over to another duet, by Tindersticks singer Stuart Staples and female vocalist/nightclub performer Ann Magnuson. Good song, but not really into the genre anymore.

9. Eels – Railroad Man (Blinking Lights & Other Revelations, 2005)


Ran into this album before without deciding whether to preserve this or not. Let’s give it another chance, if only for this good song featuring a beautiful outro.

10. Beirut – Postcards From Italy (Gulag Orkestar, 2006)


Another guy that featured last weeks shuffle already. One of the best tracks from the genius debut album (released on the label with the great name ‘Ba Da Bing Records’), which probably remains his best work. One of those few contemporary artists that draw my attention when releasing a new album.

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