Member Rara Avis
the ass-end of space
look out he's got a disclamier!!
disclaimer: for those who struggled through this, be comforted that i found it harder than i'd expected. the only way i dwindled down to 20, (yeah not 15.. it's not cheating i wanted to do 20 anyway..thpbbllt) was to first select only one album per group. otherwise the beatles could have easily taken another 3 spots along with Floyd and Zeppelin etc. The second was to write a tiny argument for each of them. in reviewing those and smashing my head against the keyboard a few times, i came up with this list which is by no means conclusive..damnit.
1.Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon: So so so hard to choose between this and the Wall. In the end I felt that the Wall lacked the same power. if you listen to the albums sequencially, by the time the Wall came around you knew what Pink Floyd was capable of and expected something spectacular. But nobody knew Floyd was capable of Dark Side. While a well respected touring band, most critics expected them to die off without Barett, instead Floyd drove on and created this gem
2.the Beatles - the Beatles: While technically sgt. pepper's is the better album, most of that lies in George Martin's production. the white album showcases the amazing, but raw, talent of the beatles. something they tried to recapture with let it be (before Spector hacked it). it also showcases the strengths, and weaknesses of each individual as an artist. (sorry ringo)
3.U2 - War:it was a battle(honestly, no pun intended) for me deciding between WAR and the brilliant Joshua Tree. while their first two albums showed promise, and word of mouth of their live sets grew, i don't think anyone expected four kids (they were 23 at the time) could achieve what they did. this is a perfect blend of raw talent and raw passion, especially in singing of 'the troubles' in their native ireland. youth and politics collide, anger and hope rolled into one
4.Tool - Ænima: funny thing is, i'm not a huge metal fan. i like certain acts, despise most others. so when Ænima was released i didn't rush out to buy it. i didn't mind what i'd heard from their debut, i thought their video for sober ranked among the best. but i was never overly impressed, or thought them capable of anything but average rock. on a strange whim i picked up the album a few days after it was released. i was soooo wrong.what i discovered was sheer genius..yeh genius start to finish. Lyrically, musically, even the motion cd cover. it leans more towards progressive rock(Rush, Yes, Floyd) than it does to metal, but without the pretention that can weigh progressive down. the music is rhymic and at times hypnotic, there are also interesting segues and interludes creating more than an album, it's a piece of art. can you tell i like it?
5.Radiohead - OK Computer: How a band can immediately top an album as perfect as the Bends is beyond me. But Thom and the boys managed to follow up with this masterpiece of modern rock.
6.Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II: l*ve em all. but for me, this is the quintessential zeppelin album. the one that engrained them into the collective psyche. before the mysticism, pomp and the ballads, it's zeppelin simply doing what they do best..rock. this would have been higher but after years of repetition i think i've slightly brunt myself out on zep..naaah
7.the Clash- London Calling: their previous albums having, sadly, gone unnoticed in north america, the clash were determined to throw everything they had into their third. the result, an ecclectic mix of reggae, punk, ska and pop on a double album(sold for the price of one). despite the wide range of styles, everything works, fitting seemlessly, though not effortlessly(bandmates, producers struggled not to kill eachother). the album is high on the list, both for it's incredible music, and for using the medium as a means of promoting political awareness.
8.Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street: when you think of the rolling stones you think "how the hell are they still alive?" but if you might also think: raw dirty blues rock. this is the album that best exemplifies it. recorded at keith's french villa the album is essentially a huge house party with guests and band members drifting and out of sessions
9.the Police - Synchronicity: for anyone who'd passed the band off as a novelty act, the album is an excellent FU(can i say that?) looking at the tracklist this is essentially a greatest hits album. and for that alone some might agree. but more importantly this is sting's coming out party. lyrically his absolute best work past or present. it's the most intelligent, personal and jungian of all his work.
10.The Doors - The Doors: this one cut through the british invasion and reminded people where rock and blues were born. a little rock, a little bit blues, just enough psychedelia and a whole lot of Jim. The End, at least to me, is one of the finest achievements in music.
11.NIN - the Downward Spiral: Aural masterpiece. It's difficult to use samples, sounds, and programming that won't end up sounding cheesy or dated. But this cd still sounds as fresh and haunting as it did 10 years ago. The lyrics and songs blend in with industrial background noise, making this more than just music, its theatre of the mind. Headphones required for full effect the new 5.1 dolby remix prolly wouldn't hurt if you have the means(i don't..sighs)
12.Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness: Change lead singers are get Corgan to tone down the nasal grind he calls a singing voice and this album easily moves up higher. only slightly, outshines siamese dream
13.Fiona Apple - When the Pawn...: don't ask for the full title, we honestly haven't the room. this is album is flawless. vocals and lyrics that can reduce even a numb bastard to tears. amazing piano work and an incredible backing band make this one of my favourite. one of the most sadly underrated artists of our time.
14.Guns n Roses - Use your Illusions ( i & ii): appetite for destruction...not nirvana's nevermind was responsible for the return of rock. lot of people forget just how raw(i like the word) and alive this album sounded stabbing through the hair metal and pop that mired the eighties. this double album is simply amazing. cut it down to one and this one could be right up top. axl's manic lyrics and screeching backed by slash's amazing guitar work assure them a spot among the pantheon of rock gods...er 'cept for that whole implosion thing.
15.Nirvana - Nevermind: in the past few years this album has been included at the top of many lists. while i agree its importance, the album, while excellent, gets a little too much credit for the rebirth of rock in the 90's. one of the best punk(not grunge) albums ever released.
16.Soundgarden - Superunkown: as close as possible, to a perfect album. so why isn't it higher? it wasn't groundbreaking, whereas their influences created their own unique sound, soundgarden simply reintroduced them to us. not without their own unique touch of course. but ultimately, if you already liked zeppelin and sabbath, you had no problem listening getting comfortable with this.
17.Rage Against The Machine - Battle of Los Angeles: che lives! at least his spirit does in the rage of lyricist de la rocha. what better way to protest then blending two of the most revolutionary forms of music. rap and metal? others have tried it since but no has or will ever come close. musically, lyrically and emotionally nothing comes close to rage's power, especially their final album. Morello's guitarwork defies description. de la rocha's lyrics are everything rap should have been, a voice for the voiceless. just barely beats out evil empire, in terms of social commentary both have become more poginant than ever.
18.Pearl Jam - TEN: while i haven't been able to listen to anything after vitalogy, this is simply a fantastic album. like superunknown, it was nothing new and thus the lower spot. but from start to finish there isn't a bad song on the album. and the bonus? as their earilest album, you could at least(well almost) make out what vedder was mumbling!
19.Van Halen - Van Halen: some might be wretching right now. but consider this. glam rock was to the late 70's what hair metal was to the 80's. ok it wasn't that bad, but between glam and disco, some rock/metal fans were reeling. enter van halen. loud, raw, sonic vocals and guitar playing that defied all logic. this album came out of nowhere and and everyone took notice. sadly their reign wasn't without its downside. the band that heralded the end of glam also inadvertantely caused the rise of hair metal. eddie used to play with his back to the crowd so no one could figure out what he was doing. but eventually the billion virtuosos caught on and the race was on to outtap and outspeed eachother. but very few ever achieved what eddie had, restraint. classically trained eddie always remembered that it was music and that made for some great albums. something the other band couldn't do and thus the makeup and the shtick.
20.the Who - Who's Next: personally i don't think the band ever sounded tighter then they were on this album. daltry is at his howling best, townsend at his poetic best, Moon is..well...insane and bassist entwhistle slips in the wedding classic 'my wife. it'd be higher on my list, ive just heard it too many times and it finally lost its luster
there you have it..my favourite albums..at the moment.
Neil Young - Decade
Public Enemy - Apocalpyse '91..The Enemy Strikes Black
Jimi Hendrix - Blues
Yes - 90125
The Stone Roses
Catherine Wheel - Chrome
Bjork - Post
Tricky - Pre-Millenium Tension