100 Greatest Albums: 40-31

40. Nashville Skyline – Bob Dylan 1969

The opening duet with Johnny Cash is, in my opinion, the best song either of them have ever released. It’s raw nostalgia is clear from the first chord of the song.

Essential Track: Girl from the North Country

39. Either/Or – Elliott Smith 1997

Jam-packed with bangers — It’s difficult to narrow down a few tracks that stand out from the rest. Sure to evoke real emotion. Hugely influential. To me it’s the birth of the 21st century singer-songwriter with artists like Conor Oberst, Bon Iver, and Iron & Wine following shortly after.

Essential Tracks: Rose Parade, Angeles, Between the Bars

38. Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies 1968

An album that has since lost its touch to me, but it’s still objectively phenomenal. Forget Time of the Season, the real beauties on this one are the deep cuts. This album is like a funeral on a sunny summer’s day, bolstered by Rod Argent’s keys and surrounding the quintessential track, A Rose for Emily.

Essential Tracks: Care of Cell 44, Brief Candles, A Rose for Emily, This Will Be Our Year

37. A Deeper Understanding – The War on Drugs 2017

Admittedly, this generous ranking stems from slight bias. However, this album really is SMASHING. This one requires patience as every track is at least 6 minutes long, but you won’t be disappointed. The War on Drugs picks up right where they left off with 2014’s Lost in the Dream.

Essential Tracks: Pain, Thinking of a Place

36. Lola Vs Powerman and the Moneygoround – The Kinks 1970

2nd best Kinks album. So many superstar tracks.

Essential Tracks: This Time Tomorrow, Lola, Top of the Pops, Apeman

35. Ian hunter – Ian Hunter 1975

One of the best pure rock and roll albums ever. This one’s for a hard night of drinkin’. the former Mott the Hoople lead absolutely KILLS it in his eponymous debut. The Bowie influence is clear and present throughout and most notably on “Boy”. It’s a feel good album that has unfortunately been long overlooked.

Essential Tracks: Once Bitten Twice Shy, Boy, Lounge Lizard, I Get So Excited

34. Mind Games – John Lennon 1973

Surrealist masterpiece, period.

All tracks are essential.

33. Psychocandy – The Jesus and Mary Chain 1985

I personally prefer Darklands to this one, but speaking objectively this is much better. Far more consistency. The birth of the shoegazing genre and the best of its kind. This is probably one of the weirdest assortments of pop songs you’ll ever hear.

32. Transformer – Lou Reed 1972

Best Lou Reed solo album. Albeit, his best tracks come on subsequent, less notable albums. Bowie’s production is the icing on the cake for this one. I’ll admit, its an acquired taste because his singing voice is shit, but that’s the hallmark of his music and it’s truly remarkable how well he makes it work.

Essential Tracks: Vicious, Andy’s Chest, Satellite of Love, I’m So Free.

31. I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning – Bright Eyes 2005

Like Neutral Milk Hotel, but stripped down and actually good LOL (sorry I just don’t get it with “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”). One of the best Alt-Folk albums.

Essential Tracks: The First Day of My Life, Old Soul Song (For the New World Order), Lua, We are Nowhere and it’s Here

 

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100 Greatest Albums 60-41

60. Hunky Dory – David Bowie 1971

59. Disraeli Gears – Cream 1967

58. A Nod is as Good as a Wink… – Faces 1971

57. Slowhand – Eric Clapton 1977

56. Eli and the Thirteenth Confession – Laura Nyro 1968

Easily one of the greatest pure singers of all time^

Essential track: “Sweet Blindness”

55. LA Woman – The Doors 1971

54. Summerteeth – Wilco 1998

Essential Tracks: “She’s a Jar” and “Via Chicago”

53. White Album – The Beatles 1968

Essential Tracks: “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and “I’m so Tired”

52. Television – Television 1977

51. Harvest – Neil Young 1971

50. Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan 1975

49. Moondance – Van Morrison 1970

48. Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using) – Jackson Browne 1972

Essential Track: “Jamaica Say You Will”

47. Being There – Wilco 1996

46. Rocket to Russia – Ramones 1977

45. Night Moves – Bob Seger 1976

44. Darklands – The Jesus and Mary Chain 1987

Preceded The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ by 2 years and accomplishes much more IMO^^^

43. Funeral – Arcade Fire 2004

42. America – America 1972

Essential Track: “Here”

41. Different Class – Pulp 1995

A truly unique album. I really have never heard anything like it. And I only heard it for the first time less than a week ago. It will probably end up in the top 15 in a month^^^

“You want to live like common people, You want to see what common people see, You want to sleep with common people, You want to  sleep with common people like, But She didn’t understand, She just smiled and held my hand”

Essential Tracks: Really all of them, but if i had to choose then “Common People”, “Sorted for E’s and Wizz”, “Live Bed Show”, “I Spy” and “Bar Italia”

 

100 Greatest Music Albums: 80-61

Note: I’ll start adding comments/ essential tracks/ best lyrics around #40

80. Unplugged – Eric Clapton 1992

79. A New World Record – ELO 1976

78. Baby I’m a Want You – Bread 1972

77. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek and the Dominos 1970

76. Our Endless Numbered Days – Iron & Wine 2006

75. Tonight’s the Night – Neil Young 1974

74. Master of Reality – Black Sabbath 1971

73. Child is the Father to the Man – Blood, Sweat & Tears 1968

Highly recommended listen^

72. Get the Knack – The Knack 1979

71. The Long Run – Eagles 1979

70. Friends – The Beach Boys 1968

69. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here 1975

68. Who’s Next – The Who 1971

67. The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico 1967

66. Last Exit – Traffic 1969

Criminally underrated^

65. Pretzel Logic – Steely Dan 1974

64. Life’s Rich Pageant – R.E.M. 1986

63. Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones 1971

62. Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones 1969

61. Murmur – R.E.M. 1983

100 Greatest Music Albums: 100-81

This is the first installment of a list that has taken me quite a bit of time to even begin. I feel that I have finally reached a point in my musical journey allowing me to make a rudimentary ranking. This is a highly subjective list as it’s the taste I’ve accumulated thus far. That being said, I attempted to be as objective as possible in acknowledging great albums even if they don’t resonate with me strongly. So here’s the way the news goes.

100. Songs of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen 1967

99.  Help! – The Beatles 1965

98. Let it Be – The Replacements 1984

97. Nevermind – Nirvana 1991

96. Pinkerton – Weezer 1996

95. Band on the Run – Paul McCartney and Wings 1973

94. Astral Weeks – Van Morrison 1968

93. Phenomenon – UFO 1974

92. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot 1974

91. RAM – Paul & Linda McCartney 1971

90. Rumours – Fleetwood Mac 1977

89. The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks 1968

88. The Soft Bulletin – The Flaming Lips 1999

87. Blue – Joni Mitchell 1970

86. Room on Fire – The Strokes 2003

85. Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon 1970

84. The Pretender – Jackson Browne 1976

83. Carrie and Lowell – Sufjan Stevens 2015

82. Doolittle – Pixies 1989

81. At War with the Mystics – The Flaming Lips 2006

 

What I’ve been listening to lately

I’ve taken a brief hiatus from porting here but ready to start again because I have picked up a lot of new music over the past month. So here is all the new stuff I’ve been into.

 

Joanna Newsom

  • Ys (2006)
  • Have One On Me (2010)

Elliott Smith

  • Either/ Or (1997)

The Shins

  • Chutes Too Narrow (2004)
  • Oh, Inverted World (2001)

Death Cab For Cutie

  • Plans (2005)

Franz Ferdinand

  • Franz Ferdinand (2005)

Sarah Records

This one is weird because the artists under this label didn’t often release full length albums, just singles. I’ve listened to a couple compilations and they’re incredible. They don’t vary much from the formula, even among different artists.

Faces

Everything in their discography is gold. Rod Stewart at his best. Check it out. To me it’s late-night bar music, fully stocked with all the emotional eruptions that come a night of heavy drinking.

Joni Mitchell

  • Court and Spark (1974)

Graham Nash

  • Songs For Beginners (1971)

Ian Hunter

  • Ian Hunter (1975)

Iron and Wine

  • Our Endless Numbered Days (2006)

The War on Drugs

  • A Deeper Understanding (2017)

Daniel Caesar

  • Freudian (2017)…surprisingly awesome

Wilco

  • AM (1996)

Eric Dolphy

  • Out to Lunch (1964)… Not very big on jazz, but I’m trying to really get it.

 

Mick Taylor

  • Mick Taylor (1975)

Mott The Hoople

  • All the Young Dudes (1972)…David Bowie produced, and you can tell

Roy Harper

  • Stormcock (1971)

 

That pretty much sums it up. I only included the stuff that I haven’t heard before, but really enjoyed listening to. So no “old stuff” here, although I have been listening to a lot of Arctic Monkeys, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Elvis Costello, and various country.

Top 15 Wilco Songs

I haven’t posted often enough so this is the top 15 songs of one of my new all time favorite bands, who has since replaced the Flaming Lips in my top 5 bands list. This list was actually pretty tough to make because they have so many bangers on every album I’ve listened to so far. I’ll put the song first, followed by the album and year of release.

15. What’s the World got in Store – Begin There 1996

14. War on War – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

13. Either Way – Sky Blue Sky 2007

12. California Stars – Mermaid Avenue 1998

11. How to Fight Lonliness – Summerteeth 1999

10. Red-Eyed and Blue – Begin There 1996

9. Impossible Germany – Sky Blue Sky 2007

8. Via Chicago – Summerteeth 1999

7. Ashes of American Flags – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

6. If I Ever Was a Child – Schmilco 2016

5. Heavy Metal Drummer – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

4. Pot Kettle Black – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

3. I’m the Man Who Loves You – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

2. Jesus, Etc. – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002

1. She’s a Jar – Summerteeth 1999

Current Listens

Crack Up – Fleet Foxes (new release)

Ten – Pearl Jam (1991). Bangin.

Love and War – Brad Paisley (2017). this one has some crazy features on it, most notably Mick Jagger and John Fogerty. The title track is my favorite thus far.

My Aim Is True – Elvis Costello (1977). Not a new one for me, but this album is so damn good I’m hooked all over again.

Closer – Joy Division (1980). I couldn’t get with Joy Division before, but I’m giving it another chance.

Automatic for the People – R.E.M. (1992)

Murmur – R.E.M. (1983). My favorite R.E.M. Album at the moment.

Current Favorite All Time Bands

I think it’s about time I make a personal list. Also I mean bands so I’m excluding solo artists for this lists, which doesn’t mean they wouldn’t otherwise make the top 5

5. The Velvet Underground 

I’m very new to the Velvet Underground, but they have undoubtedly blown my mind to pieces. I finally realize just how influential they were and just how many artists whose sounds I can track back to the Velvet Underground. Loaded, Te Velvet Underground, and The Velvet Underground and Nico will all be new additions to my favorite albums ever list. What really makes them special is the fact that they really weren’t doing anything special: they didn’t use any really experimental studio techniques like the most recognized artists of the time. They just created great, wholesome music and that is what I truly admire.

Loaded and The Velvet Underground are my favorite albums 

4. The Flaming Lips

I’m new to this one too. Something about Wayne Coyne’s repulsively whiny vocals just gets me. I love the heavy use of synthesizers and random electronic sounds that somehow come together to produce great songs. I think they write phenomenal lyrics that are really dark in contrast to the upbeat music. I hope to see them this year while they’re on tour. 

The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots are my favorite albums (the latter is one of my all time favs)

3. The Rolling Stones

There is no straight up rock band better. The Rolling Stones are the kings. Is there another group whose music is more apt for a night of partying?

Exile on Main St. is, in my opinion, the greatest pure rock and roll album ever.

2. The Beatles

Admittedly, The Beatles are the chosen ones. The masters. The group that could do literally anything and it sounded better than anything else anyone could do. There is no better collection of heart wrenching music, rock and roll, psychedelia, and R&B. In all honesty I feel the beauty more with John’s music than with Paul’s. John was the aggressive, honest visionary. Sgt. Pepper’s may have been Paul’s concept, but it was championed by John. 

Favorite albums: Rubber Soul and Revolver 

1. The Beach Boys

Now these guys really get me. Brian Wilson, the mastermind, contrived the most sonically appealing sounds I’ve ever heard. Arguably the best singing group of all time. Their discography is massive so there is a lot of subpar crap in there, but an overwhelming majority of their music in the decade after Pet Sounds is insane. Beautiful instrumentation matched with embarrassingly cheesy lyrics is basically the hallmark of The Beach Boys. I’ll have to make a comprehensive ranking of their albums in the future. For now it goes like this:

5. Wild Honey

4. Friends

3. The Beach Boys Today!

2. Surf’s Up

1. Pet Sounds

1, 2, and 3 are all interchangeable sometimes. However, Pet Sounds is the undeniable Magnum Opus and reigns supreme. # 4 and 5 may not be palatable to most, so I reccomend trying out # 3 first then moving to # 2 and 1. I’ll also make a list of my top 50 or so Beach Boys songs. 

IF YOU FUCK WITH THE BEACH BOYS YOU FUCK WITH ME!

Top 10 Billy Joel Songs (5/13/17)

I’m going to try to make personal rankings/lists more often just to see where I stand at the moment and I can update them in the future when my opinions change (because they always do). It’s just something fun to motivate me to post more often.

Starting with Billy Joel since I am going his concert tonight after all.

10. My life

9. She’s Got a Way

8.  Vienna

7.  Tomorrow is Today

From what I’ve heard so far of Billy Joel’s first studio album, Cold Spring Harbor, I have really enjoyed. I might do a post about this whole album in the future.

6. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant

I’m a really big fan of storytelling in songs. That’s what attracts me to country music.

5. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)

4. The Stranger

3. Piano Man

Who doesn’t love this shit

2. Only the Good Die Young

I may be totally sick of hearing this song, but still undeniably one of the best and still one of my favorites. I just have to listen to it sparingly- the same way I feel about pretty much anything from Fleetwood Mac.

1. Just the Way You Are

The first time I heard this song I was bored immediately. The simple lyrics were tiring and only reaffirmed my prior belief that Billy Joel was nothing but a bubblegum songwriter. A couple more listens and I am totally hooked man I absolutely love this song. It’s so beautiful and simple. When he said “I don’t want clever conversation, I never want to work that hard,” that was all I needed. Great song.

 

I’ll try to update this post in the future some time. This list is 100% likely to change.