Thursday, October 19, 2006

List: My 100 Favorite Albums: Part 4 : 40- 21

40.Blues For Allah- Grateful Dead - Um...Yeah, it's a Grateful Dead album, so I really like it...This one has "Crazy Fingers" and "The Music Never Stopped" on it, as well as "Help On The Way->Slipknot!-> Franklin's Tower", which kicked off many a show. An underrated studio album from the "Just Exactly Perfect Brothers Band"

39. Parallel Lines- Blondie: Great Punk/pop band. Debbie Harry is cool and sexy and has a great voice. Great songs on this album. "11:59", "Hanging On The Telephone", "Sunday Girl", "Pretty Baby", hell even the horribly overplayed "Heart Of Glass" is a great song.I always think this album is too short, though.

38.At San Quentin- Johnny Cash: How can you go wrong with the Man In Black ? "San Quentin", "Folsom Prison Blues", "My Name Is Sue". He is one of the all time greats.

37.Rubber Soul- Beatles: One of the Beatles finest moments. Beautiful songs that hint at the fact that the Beatles will delve a little bit deeper. "Drive My Car", "Nowhere Man", "In My Life", "The Word", and one of my all time favorite Beatles tunes, 'You Won't See Me'. And finally, "Norwegian Wood(This Bird Has Flown)', which took me a few listens to realize that he had burned the girls house down.

36.Joe's Garage- Frank Zappa : My first introduction to the genius that is Frank Zappa. This one has a bit of everything, the social commentary(it tells us the cautionary tale of Joe as he deals with censorship and questionable religious groups), musical virtuosity("Watermelon In Easter Hay"), and the gloriously hilarious and profane("Why Does It Hurt When I Pee ?", "Catholic Girls","Fembot In A Wet T-Shirt{AKA Wet T-Shirt Nite}). It's absolute GENIUS.

35.Reckoning- Grateful Dead : Aaaaah, live acoustic Grateful Dead. Beautiful music.Some Dead originals, some traditional tunes, some country music covers.Great, great, great record.Endss with a beautiful rendition of "Ripple", one of their finest songs.Taken from two extended runs at the Warfield Theater in S.F.(9/25/80-10/14/80) and Radio City Music Hall in NYC(10/22/80-10/31/80) that also produced "Dead Set"(Number 72 0n this list) and the concert video "Dead Ahead" which also features Al Franken and Tom Davis.

34.Southern Accents- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Ole TP again. A great, great record. "Don't Come Around Here No More" is one of his best tunes, ever (with a fantastic video to boot). "Rebels" is a great tune, as is the lesser known "Dogs On The Run". The album seems to be a little torn about being proud of being Southern, but conflicted about some of the things that entails. Really a great record, Petty's best.

33.Big Chill Soundtrack : Okay a bit of a copout, but I love Motown,I just own very little of it. This album never fails to put me in a good mood(and unfortunately, often inspires dancing).

32.The Wall- Pink Floyd : Another Floyd album. What can I say, these guys made some really great records. Another one of those rare double albums that doesn'tt have a bunch of songs that shouldn't be on it. Not a lot of filler here. A concept album(from Floyd ? No ! Can't be !) about a musicians descent into fascism and madness really. Some comments on the British school system,and rock stardom as well. A really, really great record. Also a movie, though the best song from the movie,"When The Tigers Broke Free", about Roger Water's dad dying in the war, is not on this album. It was finally included on the re-release of the "Final Cut"(Number 16 on this list), the last "real" Pink Floyd album a few years ago.

31.World Without Tears- Lucinda Williams: Lucinda kicks ass. In fact, as I have said about Lucinda before: Lucinda Williams rips out my heart, uses it for an ashtray, steps on it in cowboy boots and kicks it into a gutter filled with cigarette butts and whiskey vomit..Andd I love her for it..Iss that wrong ? And this album does all of those things. "Those Three Days", "Real Live Bleeding Fingers And Broken Guitar Strings", "Righteously","Minneapolis", "Overtime", I could keep listing. A great, raw album from start to finish.

30.Sparkle & Fade- Everclear:This album always makes me think of Los Angeles. Prolly because we lived there when I first heard it, and mebbe because it has a song called "Santa Monica"(GREAT fucking song) on it. hmmm...Could be. Whatever the reason, it makes me think of Los Angeles, and still I love it. Only kidding. But I do love this record. "Twistinside", "You Make Me Feel Like A Whore","Summerland"...A heavy drug feel to it, lots of drug references, some heavy handed lyrics, but somehow it all works. I love this album.

29.Velvet Undergound & Nico: Andy Warhol's creation. The first punk band ? Probably. Great, great album. "Femme Fatale", "Heroin", "Waiting For My Man", "There She Goes Again". What can I say that doesn't sound like some pretentious album review ? Oh, too late, you say ? I've laready written 70 of those ? Okay, then. This album explores some dark subject matter that had never been dealt with so plainly or frankly in rock music before. Deviant sex, drug use, mirrors, Europeans,parties, you name it, and the Velvets sang about it, and didn't pull amy punches. And wore cool black shades. And, how can you not love an album with a banana on the cover ?

28.The Last Waltz- The Band:This is the recording of the Band's "Farewell" performance at the Winterland in San Francisco. It has a bunch of special guests(Neil Young, Muddy waters, Dr. John, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and more) and some great, great live music.There's a great version of "The Shape I'm In", and they do "Helpless" with Neil Young(and Joni Mitchell on backing vocals), Bob Dylan does a medley that Includes "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" and foreverr Young". This album also has the definitive version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Great live album, also a great movie directed by Martin Scorcese.

27.Ramones- Ramones : 1...2...3...4...What to say about the Ramones ? "Blitzkrieg Bop", "Beat On The Brat","53rd &3rd","Havana Affair","Judyy Is A PunK", a great cover of "Let's Dance".The Ramones kick major ass. Punk would not exist without them. They cannot be appreciated enough.

26.Steal Your Face- Grateful Dead: A poorly produced, debacle of an album, that I love to pieces. I will again quote Lester Bangs, who said of this album: "Steal Your face ? Ha. Steal your money is more like it!" I know I'm not supposed to love it, but I do. It's one of the first Grateful Dead albums I ever heard, so that has something to do with it. And I just love the murky sound of it. Especially, "Sugaree", "Must Have Been The Roses" and "El Paso". I love this album, and I don't care who knows it.

25.Men Without Women- Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul : Who ? He is a guitarist in Springsteen's E Street Band, and he plays Silvio Dante on the "Sopranos". This is his debut solo album from 1982, and a great, great record. I can't describe the sound. I have heard it called "Jersey soul", which I guess is as good as anything,. It's got great guitar work, some great horns. I can never quite put my finger on why this album hit me so hard, but it did.

24.Excitable Boy- Warren Zevon: I miss Warren. The man was a genius.I like hearing "Lawyers, Guns & Money" as the theme song to "Justice". This is a twisted, sentimental rock record. It has "Werewolves Of London" on it, but this album is so much better than that song. The title song is an uptempo tune about a boy wijt "emotional difficultiess" that has an interesting way to say good night to his date. "Accidentally Like A Martyr" and" Vercaruz" are gorgeous ballads. If you've never heard this album, do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

23.Nebraska- Bruce Springsteen: Brooooce doing brooding and creepy. A great album. An acoustic collection of songs about murderers and lost souls. The title track is about Charles Starkweather's killing spree. "Atlantic City" is about the desperation of those in a dying city. "Used Cars" is about the shame a boy has for his family never owning a new car. Dark, sad, but fantastic record.

22.Electric Warrior- T. Rex : weird, spacey album that is just about perfect. "Bang A Gong(Get It On)" is probably the biggest hit, and maybe the worst song.The spacey ballad "Cosmic Dancer" is my favorite, but "Girl" and "Jeepster" and "Planet Queen" and "Lean Woman Blues" are all fantastic. I guess this is "glam rock", and it kicks ass.

You know, it just occurred to me that I am very uncomfortable with all those types of labels: "soul", "glam rock", "alt country"(Not That it stops me from attempting to use them from time time, damn you convention !!!...I just like the music, man. I like it a lot. If I like it, I think it's good, whatever the category.

21.Moondance- Van Morrison: Van rocks,. Van croons. Van is the man. I love his unique brand of "celtic mellow rockateria music"-okay, that last sentence was ajoke. But what else can I say about Van ? He stones me to my soul.

Holy crap !! That was number 21 ? There's only 20 left ? Buckle your seatbelts, Crimestoppers.

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