What records give you goosebumps?

I could write a long list, but I’ll be brief tonight. I’m working on my database of singles, and I’m going through compilation LPs and listing all of those tracks. A few minutes ago, I rediscovered an amazing record: “Cry Baby” by Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters (1963). I’ve heard this song before, but I never noticed it, I guess. I had to get my wife to come in and listen to it. The people on this record are singing the chorus so in tune at the top volume of their voices that it gave me the involuntary quivers. Damn! What a great, bluesy, soulful performance they gave.

What records do this for you?

The Microphones - “live in japan”- especially the first two songs, “Great Ghosts” and “The Blow pt. 2.” Phil Elverum (who is “The Microphones”) had been living alone in a cabin in the perma-night winter of Norway for months, and had admittedly “gone a little nuts.” The album is acoustic, recorded with him performing in front of what sounds like about 10 people, and words like “intimate” and “confessional” are universe-sized understatements when it comes to describing the shiver-inducing quality of the performance.

Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut (essentially a Roger Waters solo album performed by Pink Floyd).

Roger Waters was so bitter, angry and disappointed at his father’s death, and it really came through. Unfortunately, I first listened to this around Christmas, so in my mind I associate it withe the Holidays. I guess it’s time to pull it out for my annual listening.

Top of head:

Oddly enough, Ryan Adams’ cover of “Wonderwall” does that to me. It sounds like what might have happened if the Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen leaped forward two decades and had access to better demo equipment in his garage. The result: a song to which I had been indifferent suddenly becomes haunting.

For that matter, Springsteen doing “Atlantic City” or Nebraska’s title track. There’s a spooky field-recording vibe about those two songs, between his harmonica and the ambience around the guitar and voice, that never fails to make me perk up my ears.

John Mayall’s “California” from The Turning Point - Dave Matthews Band two decades ahead of schedule.

Freedy Johnston’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” - reminiscent of Ricky Nelson’s “Lonesome Town,” for all the right reasons.