Born Today: December's Children
Welcome to the Born Today series, where each month I highlight the most significant album releases of said month, with a little help from the Rolling Stone 500. Where info is available, the most recent and highest fidelity versions (not always the same thing) are listed. Since it's 2012, we'll be celebrating the records that came out on the second year of each decade. It's a good excuse to bust out that 180-gram slab of vinyl you haven't even opened yet.
NOTE: To test drive any of these albums I recommend using the MOG streaming service, which has the highest bit rate of any online music service at 320 kbps. MOG also allows unlimited downloads to any Apple or Android device.
The Anthology: 1961-1977, Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions (December 8, 1992)
Strength, courage, pride, comfort, hope. These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of the marvel that is Curtis Mayfield's voice. All of these qualities can be heard in his greatest song with the Impressions, "People Get Ready", but this anthology, which covers themes from prayer to violence on the streets, shows just how deep his soul goes. The compilation was released as a double-CD set.
The Chronic, Dr. Dre (December 15, 1992)
In the distant future, there will be a city made of concrete that stretches from one horizon to the other and is lit by lights in the sky and buildings on fire. It will be a lawless city, where no one trusts the nobles, so every peasant will brandish their own weapons, which they will call "Glocks, AKs, Uzis, and Nines". The people will call the finest-bred horses "Six-Fo' Impalas" with chariots that have wheels called "D's". You see, everything in their language will include abbreviations or numerals. For example, loot will still include gold, silver and diamonds, but it will also include things called "VCRs". Murder will be called a "187", but to be totally honest, some of these people will deserve to get 187-ed, including some of the nobles. Getting "funky on the mic like an old batch of collard greens" will be considered a good thing, and will be proven to be so. I know none of this sounds possible, but it will happen. Trust me. The city will be called "South Central Los Angeles" and the year "Nine Duece". A medical expert called "Dre" will rule this futuristic jungle, but he will make expensive headphones that suck. A deluxe version called Re-lit & From the Vault was released in 2009.