John vs. Paul

I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while. Who was the best Beatle? There is no doubt that both John and Paul are two of the greatest minds in music history, but who was better? I’m going to list my top 10 Beatles songs by each artist and follow it with my choice. So this is based purely off their work with the Beatles because there is no competition when it comes to solo work. John takes the cake on that one.

Paul’s top 10 Beatles songs:

10. Eleanor Rigby 

9. Lovely Rita 

8. For No One

7. Hey Jude 

6. Let it Be 

5. Good Day Sunshine

4. And I Love Her

3. Here, There, and Everywhere 

2. Abbey Road Medley

1. Yesterday

Honorable mentions: Fixing a Hole, The Long and Winding Road, Penny Lane, The Fool on the Hill, Blackbird

John’s Top 10 Beatles Songs:

10.  Ticket to Ride

9. Strawberry Fields Forever

8. She Said She Said 

7. Norwegian Wood

6. Don’t Let Me Down

5.  I’m Only Sleeping

4. Happiness is a Warm Gun

3. Across The Universe 

2. In My Life

1. Nowhere Man

Honorable mentions: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, I am the Walrus, Revolution, Girl, I Want You (She’s So Heavy)

Uhhhhhhh my favorite is John. I could go on forever, but uhhh fuck that. 

Everything Now thoughts

Arcade Fire’s new album, Everything Now, was just released a couple of days ago. This will be my mediocre review of the album. I didn’t listen to any of the songs released before the full album release so it was all new to me.

Thoughts after first listen: it’s whatever. Not really what I was expecting. No songs really stood out to me in a positive way. Really dissatisfied overall, especially at the two “infinite content” tracks.

Second listen: I like the way the album opens and closes. Creature Comfort and Electric Blue are pretty good too.

Third listen: For the most part it’s a pretty good album. I love Peter Pan and Good God Damn (Although the latter sounds like it belongs on an Artic Monkeys album). Oh yeah and We Don’t Deserve Love. Still not happy with Infinite Content or Infinite_Content (I do like the instrumentation of the second one, but the rest seems lazy to me)

I expect the album to climb the charts of BestEverAlbums quickly and make its way to the top for 2017, surpassing Kendrick’s release. Come on, it’s Arcade Fire, the 7th best artist of all time according to BEA. Naturally, people are going to eat this shit up. I think they’re overrated, but that’s just me. 

It’s probably the best album of 2017 so far. It definitely kicks the ass of Fleet Foxes’ new album that’s for sure. I can’t wait to make a year end ranking of my favorite albums.

Kinky

The kinks have bangers. Can’t believe I never listened to them before. 

The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society 

Arthur (Or the Rise and Fall of the British Empire)

Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround

Lola is my favorite right now because it rocks so hard. That tends to be the feeling when I discover a new group. For some I feel a strong McCartney vibe from the Kinks’ music. But they’re better in their own way. I have really enjoyed dramatically cacophonous vocals as of late. Not like Sex Pistols bad, but Neil Young bad. Like it just works. 

In the works

Currently working on a top 500 favorite songs of all time list and a top 100 favorite albums of all time list. I’ll post 20 a day. It’s something that’s gonna change heavily over time so I wanna finish it quickly then update it later.

More listens

Darklands – The Jesus and Mary Chain (1987)

Automatic – The Jesus and Mary Chain (1989)

Let it Be – The Replacements (1984)

Pleased to Meet Me – The Replacements (1987)

Really liked what I heard from the replacements and these 2 albums are even better. As for The Jesus an Mary Chain, listening to Psychocandy again turned me on to more. Darklands is great. Automatic is pretty alright.

Top 5 Favorite Solo Artists

5. Carole King 

She wrote a dozen of #1 hits for other artists throughout the 60’s before even starting her solo career. Tapestry was the best selling female solo album for decades, and rightfully so. It’s an acoustic masterpiece and my favorite of hers. Her first 3 albums are all beauty’s. Apparently King is one of the gifted musicians with perfect pitch too.

4. Elvis Costello

The revival of the rocker. My favorite album, My Aim is True, is a masterful display of soft punk rock. It’s honest and harsh, yet childish and innocent. I know He always had a backing band like the attractions or the imposters, but seriously Elvis Costello was the face.

3. Van Morrison 

Favorite album: Moondance. Honorable mention for Astral Weeks.

2. Jackson Browne

4 insane albums in Running on Empty, The Pretender, Jackson Browne, and Late for the Sky. The first is my favorite of all and definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. Favorite song: Love Needs a Heart

1. Neil Young

Come on who didn’t see this coming. This is THE man, THE myth, THE LEGEND. So many amazing albums, but my easy favorite is After the Gold Rush. This is the folk rock masterpiece. Top to bottom spotless. It shuffles with Revolver and Pet Sounds as my favorite album of all time. Harvest is great don’t get me wrong, but After the Gold Rush is the one. Tonight’s the Night and On the Beach are also phenomenal albums. I’d make a favorite songs list, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. 

Honorable mentions:

Bob Dylan

Billy Joel

Gordon Lightfoot 

David Bowie

John Lennon (easily had the best solo stuff out of all the former Beatles)

Spontaneous Concert for the great Brian Wilson

Last night I went to see Brian Wilson for the 2nd time. Let it be known that Brian is truly my hero, my favorite musical mind. He is the paragon of musical genius and the mastermind behind one of my favorite albums ever, Pet Sounds. He and his band played all the way through Per Sounds as well as the early Beach Boys pop hits and even some deep cuts that I didn’t hear the first time I saw them.

It was an amazing show. Unfortunately, his voice is done as he’s in his mid 70’s now, so some of my favorite tracks ever like “Don’t talk out your head on my shoulder” and “I just wasn’t made for these times” weren’t the same, but still amazing to see live nonetheless. I hope to see him once more on this final Pet Sounds tour and possibly the last concert of his career.

 Pet Sounds is the magnum opus of The Beach Boys and, objectively speaking, one of the greatest albums of all time. If you want to get into The Beach Boys that is one of the first reccomended listens IMO. Brian still closes every show with Love and Mercy, an amazing song that is sure to bring your eyes to water if you know Brian’s life story and history of debilitating mental illness he has had for a majority of his lifetime. As a self-proclaimed Beach  Boys super fan, I had a great time. 

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!

This Week’s listens

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground (1969)

The Velvet Underground – Loaded (1970)

The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)

I know I know I’m late to the Velvet Underground party. It’s never too late though because they rock. Personally, I prefer The Velvet Underground and Loaded to The Velvet Underground and Nico at the moment. I am starting to realize just how influential they were as it seems they just kind of invent sub genres with each song. 

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.