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The 897 Greatest Albums of All Time


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In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2008 10:58:49 PM PDT
Val H. says:
889. Beck--Sea Change (2002)

I have no knowledge of Beck whatsoever (except for Loser which was on the 897 singles) and it is probably my loss, but I feel no compulsion whatever to discover his music. Very unadventurous I know. He's probably great but I'm going to pass.

0/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 12:06:26 AM PDT
Val H. says:
887. Lynyrd Skynyrd--Second Helping (1974) (#12 Billboard)

(I will come back to Linda Ronstadt but I've been playing Second Helping a bit this week).

Hooray! An album I own! And my CD has 11 tracks, the extra one being the single version of Don't Ask Me No Questions. Again I am a fairly recent convert to southern rock but I find it has a raw energy and honesty that appeals to me. For a 1974 album I reckon this holds up very well. Probably cos I don't live in the U.S. and don't listen to Classic Rock stations, Sweet Home Alabama hasn't suffered from overplay. I still like it, especially the honky-tonk piano which also features on other tracks. The three-guitar line-up gave a great chunky sound to this album and the song-writing is very strong.

8/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 10:53:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2011 8:27:05 AM PST
Mark F. says:
Valerie,

Thanks for your rating!

OK, I rebooted my computer and now I'm able to get into YouTube. Don't know why that happened but there it is. So, on with the review.

886. Rolling Stones--Flowers (1967) (no rating; compilation)

1. Ruby Tuesday (9)
2. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadows? (8)
3. Let's Spend the Night Together (8+)
4. Lady Jane (4+)
5. Out of Time (4)
6. My Girl (?) (6)
7. Back Street Girl (?) (5)
8. Please Go Home (?) (3)
9. Mother's Little Helper (8+)
10. Take It or Leave It (?) (2)
11. Ride On, Baby (?) (2)
12. Sittin' on a Fence (?) (3+)

REVIEW: The track listing shows that a lot of these songs were previously released on Between the Buttons and Aftermath, so as such I believe it's a compilation, and I won't give it a rating. Anyway, the first three tracks are some of the best songs by the Stones IMO, as well as #9 (MLH). The cover of My Girl is tepid; it's no wonder it didn't receive the attention that other Temps covers they did like Ain't Too Proud to Beg and Just My Imagination, which I'd rate almost as closely as the original. I gave their version of My Girl a 6, where the original would get a 9 at least.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 6:25:07 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
891. Lyle Lovett--Live in Texas (1999)

1. Penguins (8)
2. I've Been to Memphis (8)
3. That's Right (You're Not From Texas) (8)
4. Nobody Knows Me (10)
5. If I Had a Boat (10)
6. North Dakota (10)
7. She's No Lady (10)
8. Here I Am (8)
9. What Do You Do? (8)
10. Wild Women Don't Get the Blues (8)
11. M-O-N-E-Y (7)
12. You Can't Resist It (9)
13. Church (8)
14. Closing Time (9)

OVERALL RATING: This could go either 8 or 9. Let's be conservative and give it an "8". I love Lyle's voice and usually like his songwriting, too. Still, it is a bit unexpected, when I sit down and listen to rank, that I prefer his balladry than his clever uptempo stuff. I'll be interested in hearing some of his early albums without the "large band". I think I'll like them more. I LOVE his first album which I have on vinyl.

BTW, I think their should be a contest for "long faces" in rock. I nominate Lyle and Ric Ocasek. I'd have added John Kerry is he ever sang anything.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 7:55:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Feb 13, 2011 9:41:58 AM PST
Mark F. says:
Valerie,

I have a hunch if you heard more Beck you might take a liking to him. I wouldn't base his total output on Loser--he's got stuff that's better than that. I'd recommend Odelay, but you might like Sea Change too.

885. Jefferson Airplane--Bless Its Pointed Little Head (1969, #17) (N/R; Live)

1. Clergy (?) (1)
2. 3/5 of a Mile in Ten Seconds (?) (1)
3. Somebody to Love (7)
4. Fat Angel (2)
5. Rock Me Baby (?) (2)
6. The Other Side of This Life (?) (2)
7. It's No Secret (2)
8. Plastic Fantastic Lover (?) (2)
9. Turn Out the Lights (?) (3)
10. Bear Melt (?) (1)

REVIEW: the only song I like from here is Somebody to Love, but not as much as the studio version.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2008 8:19:28 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Valerie,

Good review!

373. John Mellencamp--Crumblin' Down (7+)

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 4:37:31 AM PDT
Alexis says:
889 Beck - Sea Change

I love Beck. He continues to produce quality albums/songs and Sea Change is no exception. I love the Radiohead 'feel' of this album, very reflective and engaging. This is my first perfect score.
10/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 6:44:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 19, 2010 10:30:34 AM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

You know the old joke, "Horse walks into a bar; bartender asks, why the long face?" :-)

884. Erykah Badu--Baduizm (1997; #2) (2)

1. Rimshot (Intro) (5+)
2. On and On (5)
3. Appletree (?) (4)
4. Otherside of the Game (?) (2)
5. Sometimes...[Mix #9] (?) (2)
6. Next Lifetime (?) (2)
7. Afro (?) (3)
8. Certainly (3)
9. 4-Leaf Clover (?) (3)
10. No Love (?) (2)
11. Drama (?) (3)
12. Sometimes... (?) (2)
13. Certainly (Flipped It) (?) (5+)
14. Rimshot (Outro) (?) (5+)

REVIEW:

I always like the sound of Erykah Badu, if not the particular songs. In a way she's like an edgier Sade; her sound is memorable if the individual songs are not. I like a couple of songs here, but overall I give it a 2.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 7:44:25 PM PDT
Val H. says:
Mark - you realise you're keeping us all in suspenders waiting for that elusive vote! I love it! Also like your description of Erykah Badu as "an edgier Sade". Must get back to Linda now.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 9:40:48 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
Mark:

I hadn't thought of Sade, probably because, for unknown reasons, I tend to remember singers, especially female singers, by their vibrato. Sade is absent vibrato, although I love her "smoky voice". Badu, from the first time I heard her, reminded me of Billy Holiday. Hey, regardless of who's "most right", those are some great compliments either way.

I don't have her album in hand, so I'll pass for now.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2008 10:49:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2008 6:14:48 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
Mark:

885. Jefferson Airplane--Bless Its Pointed Little Head (1969)

1. Clergy (0)
2. 3/5 of a Mile in Ten Seconds (9)
3. Somebody to Love (9) (I'd give the original studio version a 10)
4. Fat Angel (8) I'm not thrilled about the vocal on this one but the guitar work is a great spaceout. I'd give Donovan's original version a "10". I always assumed the "fat angel" was a drug toting queen but it turns out the song was written about Cass Elliot who turned someone onto some drugs.
5. Rock Me Baby (9) Allmusic suggests this performance was a kind of "dry run" for the offshoot of JA, Hot Tuna.
6. The Other Side of This Life (9) This is an extended version of folk-rocker Fred Neil's song....didn't we recently talk about Fred somewhere?
7. It's No Secret (8) If I'm not mistakened, this one was sped up a bit in tempo. I didn't like the change. The original gets a 9 or 10.
8. Plastic Fantastic Lover (9) Again, the original version gets a "10".
9. Turn Out the Lights (0)
10. Bear Melt (9) I'm tempted to give this somewhat meandering "psyche out" about ecology and other stuff) a "10" but 9 will do just fine. Gracie does well with this one but it's mostly an instrumental improv.

OVERALL RATING: 9

Allmusic says some things about this album that I tend to agree with. According to them:

"Jefferson Airplane's first live album demonstrated the group's development as concert performers, taking a number of songs that had been performed in concise, pop-oriented versions on their early albums...and rendering them in arrangements that were longer, harder rocking, and more densely textured, especially in terms of the guitar and basslines constructed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. The group's three-part vocal harmonizing and dueling was on display during such songs as a nearly seven-minute version of Fred Neil's folk-blues standard "The Other Side of This Life," here transformed into a swirling rocker. The album emphasized the talents of Kaukonen and singer Marty Balin over the team of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, who had tended to dominate recent records" Jefferson Airplane was still at its best in concise, driving numbers....."

That is why, regardless of my rather high rating, I tend to prefer most of these songs that had been done before, done in their original studio versions. While I enjoy immensely the guitar/bass psyche-outs, I did not particularly enjoy the vocals as much. Grace was always the pivotal sound of the group to me, regardless of how much I enjoyed Balin's solos on those wonderful ballads of his. On these songs, I did not prefer her attempts at adding "color" to her vocals, preferring the controlled studio versions. Of course, "Bear Melt" WAS, as far as I know, an original here and probably my favorite performance of Gracie's on this album.

There was a time, some years ago, when I was convinced that the Airplane had gotten a royal snub by both critics and fans alike when looking back at the 60's. You'd hear Jimi and Morrison and Janis and the Dead but often the Airplane seemed forgotten. I wonder(ed) if it was because they didn't simply go away but, instead, stuck around thru the "Jefferson Starship" and then the truly odious "Starship". I mean, how many great 60's numbers of their's are wiped out, figuratively speaking, by ONE "We Built this City......". I still love the Airplane, especially "Surrealistic Pillow", "Crown of Creation" (with the chilling "House at Pooneil Corners") and Volunteers. Gracie's impeccible intonation on the studio albums makes a lot of the songs explode for me. She uses "silence" so perfectly as a way to create tension.

This sounded better than I'd remembered.

ed.


Mark, now I don't understand again. Ok, I got the compilation thing, i.e., a compilation of "hits" is not an album in the sense of a cohesive piece of new material. I don't agree that it shouldn't be rated AS an album, but that's what makes life interesting.

So what's the beef with live albums? I've never thought of them as being "compilations" since they are NOT original versions of previously released songs and are usually presented in a different order and often contain songs that have NOT been previously released. Did someone (wiki) actually take the position that ALL live albums are "compilations" or is it simply the way you look at them?

(Ok, I admit it. I LONG for your rating on SOMETHING!)

ed "i'll rate anything" dill

ps. I give your name, Mark, an +++(8). It's a rather strong name, I think. You might want to check with your local numerologist to determine if becoming "Marc" would give you a significant "push" in the cosmic order of things. I'm actually thinking of changing my first name Clyde (0) to yde (++7) and using Eduardo (+++8) instead of Edward (++6).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 12:58:31 AM PDT
Alexis says:
Yeh, I believe compilations and live albums should be judged on their own merits - as an entity in themselves. My method requires I give each song a rating, add the ratings and then divide by the number of tracks to get the average (and maybe give a bonus point or two just for the halibut). Pretty basic - I thought that's how everyone was calculating the album score. I can't see how this cannot be applied to the above. But then, it really doesn't matter - it's not like we're conducting a scientific study or making life altering decisions here.
Marcus, I am curious to find out what album really blows you away!!!! Simon Cowell would be proud!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 10:12:27 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
Mark:

BTW, on a decidedly unmusical note, did I ever mention that I think Erykah Badu is a beautiful woman? I mean, when I first set eyes on her in one of her early videos, I didn't care what she sounded like. Then, when she opened her mouth and began to sing in those, to my ears, quasi-Holiday tones, I was hooked. One thing about her and personalities in general. I've yet to figure out why some performers can cop an attitude when they speak and sound natural and funny and hip and others sound phony and rehearsed and embarassing. Badu does have a certain "attitude" to her persona that sounds hip without being put on. I'm sure that kind of thing (my assessment, that is) is HIGHLY subjective. She used to be married to one of the two main guys from OutKast, Andre 3000 (that CAN'T be his given name, can it?)....the one most responsible for the great song/video "Hey Ya". (I can't believe I never got tired of hearing that song....I mean they played it every 5 seconds somewhere....) Based on the videos they both have made (and Badu's performance in Cider House Rules), they both seem to have a natural instinct for acting.

Ok, back to music.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 1:42:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2010 2:20:43 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Valerie,

Thanks--looking ahead to Ed's comment it might not be an entirely apt analogy, but for me I relate the two because I like the mood the two singers set, and their sound, and their "diva"-type qualities, if there's not too many songs I can say I really like by either of them (there's more by Sade that I like individually).

I haven't looked ahead to the track list, but I'm guessing #882 might be the first to get above a 0! :-)

Speaking of mood music, up next is Mazzy Star.

883. Mazzy Star--So Tonight That I Might See (1993; #44) (2)

1. Fade Into You (8)
2. Bells Ring (?) (3)
3. Mary of Silence (?) (2)
4. Five String Serenade (?) (3)
5. Blue Light (?) (3)
6. She's My Baby (?) (3)
7. Unreflected (?) (2+)
8. Wasted (?) (4)
9. Into Dust (?) (3)
10. So Tonight That I Might See (?) (2)

REVIEW: A gorgeous, downbeat album highlighted by Hope Sandoval's haunting vocals. It's too bad we haven't heard more from them. I only know the first track, so it gets a 2 for now, but I'm sure if I listened to it a hundred or so times it would go up!

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 2:53:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2008 4:22:22 PM PDT
Alexis says:
Hi there Mark!

How 'bout I send you a copy so some night that you might see.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 4:38:59 PM PDT
Alexis says:
Mark, I just noticed that No:883 Mazzy Star was released 15 years ago!!!!!!! Did I just awake from a 15 year old coma? I could've sworn I bought that album yesterday. How are Nirvana doing these days anyway?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 6:34:44 PM PDT
Val H. says:
Ed - I agree with you that some artists just seem to "gel" with one's own tastes. Like you, I never tires of "Hey Ya" or the video clip. It's the sort of music that makes you want to get up and dance. And a lot of it must be down to Andre 3000's infectious personality. Have you checked out the video for "Green Light" with Andre and John Legend? Same story - catchy song and fun clip.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 6:42:36 PM PDT
Val H. says:
888. Linda Ronstadt--Heart Like a Wheel (1974--#1 Billboard)

I found this one really hard to judge. I love Linda - I may have already told you that I want to be Linda in my next life - the hair, the eyes, the smile, but most of all the voice. She can sing anything. I listened to this and thought, I love all the songs, even if Linda's version wouldn't necessarily be my first choice. But hey, this album came out in 1974! Many of these song-writers weren't household names back then, and Hank Williams and classic country were only starting to be appreciated by main-stream music lovers. Like everything Linda does, this album was put together with taste. (Okay, Peter Asher must take a lot of the credit.) For 1974, it is pretty ground-breaking and still sounds good today.

10/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 6:58:06 PM PDT
Val H. says:
886. Rolling Stones--Flowers (1967)

I usually like what I hear by the Stones, but they are not a band I drag out and play very often. This album has some of my favourites on it - "Out Of Time" (although I do like Chris Farlowe's version too) and "Backstreet Girl" ( again I like the cover by Fernando Saunders/Marianne Faithful as well - hey Ed, even Bobby Darin does it!). All up it's a good mix of up-tempo numbers and their slower ballads.

6/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 7:01:19 PM PDT
Val H. says:
884. Erykah Badu--Baduizm (1997; #2)

1997? Sounds like a lot of stuff I was listening to in the early 80s. It's really nice music but maybe I'm getting too old for sultry, late-night smoothness! I can't imagine playing this album even though there was nothing to dislike about it. I guess it just doesn't speak to me.

3/10

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 7:03:55 PM PDT
Val H. says:
Thanks to your vote Alexis, Frank Zappa has jumped to the top of the table in our personal voting.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 7:33:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 23, 2008 5:12:13 AM PDT
Alexis says:
Hi Val, I read your review on Fernando Saunders and have it on my list.

I have been busy spring cleaning which means re-organising (groan!!) and unloading and discovering lost items, changing focus etc. For now I'm in a state of flux (a good thing!) and I know all the hard work will pay off in the end. Before I review anymore 897's I will list another lot of vinyls I have found. BTW, we have a great deal of albums already to review so don't feel you need to rate them - unless, course, you want to.

Vinyls # 4: I'm Back!!!!

Soundtrack/ The Rocky Horror Show - Australian
Danny O'Keefe/ American Roulette
Telex/ Looking for St Tropez
Canned Heat/ Human Condition
Fischer-Z /Going Deaf for a Living
Jesse Winchester/ Learn to Love it
Bruce Springsteen /Wild, Innocent & E St Shuffle
Bruce Springsteen /Born to Run
Bob Seger/ Beautiful Loser
Danny O'Keefe/ The Global Blues
Richard Torrance & Eureka/ Belle of the Ball
Terry Reid/ Move Over For......
Richard & Linda Thompson/ I want to see the bright lights tonight
The Angels/ The Angels Greatest
Compilation/ Do it Now
The Eagles/ One of these nights
Ozark Mountain Daredevils/ It'll shine when it shines
Spy Vs Spy/ Meet us inside
Pearls Before Swine/ The use of Ashes
Icehouse /Flowers
Icehouse /Primitive Man
Amazing Rhythm Aces/ Toucan do it too
Vangelis /Spiral
Dire Straits/ Self Titled (Import)
Soundtrack/ The Rocky Horror Show - American

Not very many this time.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 8:34:42 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

You're right, Badu has a more "distinguished" voice than Sade, who's as smooth as silk. I was thinking more of the style, both of which are jazz-based, with Sade firmly in the "smooth" jazz camp and Badu in the "modern" category, I guess; and both are, for me, mood music makers.

372. Jimi Hendrix--The Wind Cries Mary (#297)
371. Billy Squier--Everybody Wants You (7) (I thought this was a lot better than the one that got more play, The Stroke)

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 8:50:13 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
Mark:

I thought it might be worthwhile for my own sensbilities to review where I am with the albums reviewed to date:

#896 - Laughing Stock - Still patiently awaiting a copy from the library. I'm really looking forward to this one. I thought of Talk Talk as an ok new wave band and actually have a couple of their albums on tape including a retrospective that predates LS but show them going in another direction. LS sounds quite appealing to me. We shall see.

RS - Flowers - Will review tonight
EB - Baduizm - Will review tonight....ok, early tomorrow morning since I've only got 19 minutes left of Monday....

Mazzy Star - Hmm. I don't seem to have this one on cd. I KNOW I have it which means its on a cassette in a box somewhere and I've decided to get the cd from the library instead. It's on order. I like her (Hope S). She also did at least one album under her own name which I DO have on cd.

I also looked ahead a bit to see what else I don't have or can't find so I can be ready. I ordered two others for the immediate future.....the Subdudes Behind the Levee and Al Stewart's Famous Last Words. Since I DO have my vinyl albums cataloged, I can't figure out what happened to my Stewart/Year of the Cat album. It seems to be missing in action.

I also had an irritating thing happen to me while doing some ripping and burning. I had ripped a 3 disc set from the library of Gram Parsons. It consists of GP, Grievious Angel AND a 3rd disc of other Reprise material. When I ripped it, my connection to the internet went kaput so it ripped it as an unkown album. Unfortunately, it put it with 2 or 3 other unknown albums and it became a project of patience to sort out which songs went to which albums. (I had also ripped a multi-disc Bryan Ferry retrospective which was in the mix). So, it would show 5 or 6 "song 1"'s, etc. and I got so p.o.'ed trying to move the right songs to a burn list that I gave up and decided to get it again and rip it when my internet connection is working so I won't have this problem. Does any of this make sense to anyone? Did I put you all to sleep?

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 22, 2008 8:56:50 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for the name compliment! I like the K--it seems a stronger, more emphatic ending than the wimpier "c." That's why it's "K" for "strikeout" right? :-) Speaking of baseball, I went to Camden Yards tonight as the Rays beat the Orioles tonight to just about wrap up the AL East....quite a story, huh?

As for the live albums, it's the way I look at them. For the most part, the songs are not original and are derived from some previous part of the particular artist's discography. Granted, the songs take on a different cast done live (sometimes improved upon, but IMO usually not), but still, I'm looking for original studio albums. Just my thing, I guess. And BTW, I checked the track listing for tomorrow's review, and I'm afraid there's no breakthrough on the rating front coming. :-0

370. The Cars--Bye Bye Love (7+)

Mark
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Initial post:  Sep 9, 2008
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