April 5, 2019:
Houses of the Holy was not Christmas, but high school parties. It was their best-selling record, everyone had one. I remember making-out to it with lights off several different times and places.
Physical Graffiti was also not Christmas. At FedMart its price was mislabeled, I bought it for $1.01, a steal for a double album. Holy moly what a sound. The LZ record I play most frequently.
Exile on Main Street was not Christmas. I bought it the day of its release, with much anticipation. "Rocks Off" and "Rip This Joint" blew me away, the rest took a while. That sound. Such a pure record: raw honesty, without obvious hits. By contrast Goat's Head Soup, also the day of its release with much anticipation, such an enormous let-down. I remember, song after song, thinking WTF is this shit? Utterly devoid.
Quadropenia was not Christmas. There was a copy in the Independent Study bungalow at school, I played it there all the time and was jaw-dropped by the brilliance of its lyrics. I bought it at Tower by the Sports Arena after riding there on my bicycle for that purpose.
In that period the expectation seemed natural: Rock and Roll meant a brilliant guitarist, a virtuoso drummer, a singer with charisma, stunning lyrics, aggression and passion and truth.
Much later I learned that 2" 16-track through a Helios console is probably a good thing, too.