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The 897 Greatest Albums of All Time


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Posted on Jun 12, 2012 7:32:38 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
#133 THE CARS - ST

1. Good Times Roll (10)
2. My Best Friend's Girl (10)
3. Just What I Needed (10)
4. I'm In Touch With Your World (10)
5. Don't Cha Stop (9)
6. You're All I've Got Tonight (10)
7. Bye Bye Love (10)
8. Moving in Stereo (10)...I didn't remember this one at all
9. All Mixed Up (10)

OVERALL RATING: 10

DISCUSSION: Again, going back to the whole thing about "originality" and what actually IS original anymore, I may argue that it is an overblown aspect of any new music, i.e., "is it original?", but even for me there are groups/artists whose music SOUNDED original to me at first listen....before I began hearing piece and parts of their influences. The Cars were one of those bands. Their music wasn't thought of as being particularly complex, yet the combination of the lead vocals AND the quirkiness of the songs/arrangements DID sound quite fresh on first listen. Oddly, they still do to me today. I remember feeling the same way about Roxy Music....how the combination of Ferry's voice and the songs (esp. "Virginia Plain") sounded so fresh and new then. As much as I played this album when I first got it, I don't remember the last two songs at all. Odd. I like them a lot.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 7:58:23 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
#132 JACKSON BROWNE - LATE FOR THE SKY

1. Late for the Sky (10)
2. Fountain of Sorrow (9)
3. Farther On (9)
4. The Late Show (9)
5. The Road and the Sky (9)
6. For a Dancer (9)
7. Walking Slow (10)
8. Before the Deluge (9)

OVERALL RATING: 9

DISCUSSION: Yeah, I know. My 10s are many and my 9s sometimes sound as if I'm giving the album a thumbs down. What can I say? I love a lot of music and can't bring myself to grade on a curve. If you give me any hundred albums, you may have 90% 10s or 90% 5s. I'd bet on the 10s though, unless you select some really rotten albums. I keep telling people that I DO OWN a lot of albums that I'd probably give no more than a 5 or 6 to....most of them are NOT on this list, thank God.

So what am I leading up to. Recently, I said that I seldom (or never) think of an album as great only because of it's exemplary lyrics. That revelation was used to give Dylan more credit than he usually gets for melody and musical arrangements. Here, I have an album with songs with lyrics that often break my heart with their poignancy, yet whose overall impact on me is negatively affected by their accompanying melody/tempo/arrangement. I can't explain it. They sound generic to me and when anyone's "signature sound" becomes generic, there's a problem. That problem is not so serious as to make me deem the album or the songs as "listenable but with serious flaws". The songs are still quite good but, for me, could have been better if the melodies/arrangements were as good as the lyrics. I AM, I should admit, wondering about my own sense of Browne and his work. Do I expect EVERY song of his to be a mournful ballad just because the lyrics are introspective? Beats me. I'm just reacting to what I hear and I hear lyrics I embrace but with a limitation connected to the music.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 8:47:15 AM PDT
Timot-Rex says:
If you have the inclination try to see Tribute the Movie. It's a documentary about 4 tribute bands who cover Queen, Judas Priest, KISS and the Monkees exclusively. It's really a hoot. It may be streaming on Netflix if you happen to have that service. Speaking of Netflix and rock n roll movies (documentaries I'm speaking of for the most part) they have a decent number of movies you can stream. A few are not to be missed:
1.) Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?
2.) Scott Walker: 30 Century Man This (and the one above) are endlessly fascinating and entertaining.
3.) There's one about Mission of Burma and another on The Minutemen that were sadly disappointing. (love those bands but the documentaries were a tad amateurish.)
4.) There are a series of "Making of" shorter documentaries that cover the making of "classic" albums. These are NOT like those awful (but sometimes funny) VH1 shows that focus on a bands personal problems. Rather they focus on the music which is refreshing. The ones that I have seen so far that are worth checking out are "Who's Next," Lou Reed's "Transformer," & Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes."

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 11:22:46 AM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your Van Morrison review of 3.20.

65. Jimi Hendrix--Axis: Bold As Love (1967) (0)

FAMILIARITY: 3/10

1. EXP (2+)
2. Up From the Skies (?) (3)
3. Spanish Castle Magic (?) (3)
4. Wait Until Tomorrow (?) (3)
5. Ain't No Telling (?) (3)
6. Little Wing (9)
7. If 6 Was 9 (4)
8. You Got Me Floatin' (?) (3)
9. Castles in the Sky (3+)
10. She's So Fine (?) (3)
11. One Rainy Wish (?) (3+)
12. Little Miss Lover (?) (3+)
13. Bold As Love (?) (4)

REVIEW: A couple of amazing (to me) things here: first, that this is only his third entry on this chart (unless we're going to see more to come--I know there's at least one) and second, that both of the ones I rated (one was a live album, so no rating) have come up 0, since I consider him the greatest guitarist ever and like a lot of his music. His first appearance came early on at 840, with Band of Gypsys, which I really wasn't familiar with. Then came a live album way back at #741, Fillmore East. Can it actually have been almost 700 entries since we've seen something from him, other than his appearances on the Woodstock album? Yes it has. This one does contain a favorite, Little Wing, but also a couple I don't care for (Castles Made of Sand and If 6 Was 9). Now, Hendrix had only four studio releases before he died, and I don't think we'll see any of the posthumous releases. We definitely will see one of the other two and maybe both, and both will get a better rating, I promise! This one unfortunately gets a 0.

Mark
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 2:37:33 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your review of The Police of 3.21.

64. Bob Dylan--Bringing It All Back Home (1965; #6) (0)

FAMILIARITY: 5/10

1. Subterranean Homesick Blues (9+)
2. She Belongs to Me (3)
3. Maggie's Farm (5)
4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit (?) (4)
5. Outlaw Blues (?) (4)
6. On the Road Again (?) (3+)
7. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream (?) (5)
8. Mr. Tambourine Man (6)
9. Gates of Eden (?) (3+)
10. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (4+)
11. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (4+)

REVIEW: I can't believe it--two of my all-time favorites, back-to-back icons, and I'm giving them 0s? What's wrong with this picture? This is Dylan's chart-leading 12th entry, and while I love the opening track and like the first song on Side 2 (though I prefer the Byrds' version of that one), there's just enough on here that doesn't quite rise to likeability to bring it down a few notches and back to zero. Really, I think this is a good album--groundbreaking in its influence on rap with the opening track--as well as lyrically complex. I think with some additional listens some of the songs might break through for me, but they're not quite there yet. I've heard Maggie's Farm enough to know it's not going to advance beyond its middling level for me, but things like It's Alright Ma and It's All Over Now, Baby Blue, which I haven't heard for as many years as the others, might eventually make it for me. I could see several of the others rising, so I'm going to say a 0 for now with a good chance to rise.

Mark

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 12:19:20 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
#130 GENESIS - THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY

1. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (9)
2. Fly on a Windshield (10)
3. Broadway Melody of 1974 (10)
4. Cuckoo Cocoon (10)
5. In the Cage (10)
6. The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging (10)
7. Back in NYC (10)
8. Hairless Heart (10)
9. Counting Out Time (10)
10. Carpet Crawlers (10)
11. The Chamber of 32 Doors (10)
12. Lilywhite Lilith (9)
13. The Waiting Room (10)
14. Anyway (10)...often with progressive rock, these "big" songs are a turn off....I grew into this one quite nicely
15. Here Comes the Supernatural Anaesthetist (10)
16. The Lamia (10)
17. Silent Sorrow in Empty Boats (10) a beauty in its own repetition.....
18. The Colony of Slippermen[The Arrival/A Visit to the Doktor/Raven] (10)
19. Ravine (10)
20. The Light Dies Down on Broadway (8)
21. Riding the Scree (10)
22. In The Rapids (10)
23. It (8)

OVERALL RATING: 10

DISCUSSION: Wow! I mean, I'm the guy who's never quite dissed progressive rock as a genre but often made rather snide comments about its intrinsic pretentiousness.....trying too hard to be rock's version of classicism.....of true art. So I listened and collected it haphazardly and enjoyed what part of it I could, often taking pieces and parts of longer thematic works to enjoy and ignoring the rest. Yes, there were a few I enjoyed throughout. I embraced Tull's "Thick as a Brick" from the beginning (I just noticed that Allmusic had given it a whopping 2 stars making it one of their least favorite albums ever). So here I am, in 2012, having owned Genesis' "The Lamb..." for several decades at least and it took this 897 thing of ours to make me sit down and listen to it fully instead of piecemeal. And I loved it!

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 12:47:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2012 1:02:11 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
#128 THE MOODY BLUES - DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED

1. The Day Begins (3) ...I wonder if I got through this opening the first time I heard it
2. Dawn: Dawn is a Feeling (4)
3. The Morning: Another Morning (3)
4. Lunch Break: Peak Hour (4)...at the 15+ minute mark, we're reminded that this is supposed to be rock
5. The Afternoon: Tuesday Afternoon (9)
6. Evening: The Sunset (3)...God, the falsetto stuff kind of scared me....I wasn't ready for it.
7. The Night: Nights and White Satin (10)

OVERALL RATING: 5

DISCUSSION: I KNEW that listening to this again was NOT going to be a "reawakening" like the Genesis album before it. No, this one remains as I last remembered it. Like Heart and a bunch of other bands, I can honestly draw their career from two or three songs...."Go Now", "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights and White Satin". Beyond that, they will remain, for me, "The Muddy Blahs". Ok, maybe if I had a mind to go thru their entire catalog and find some other decent. somewhat listenable tunes, but would it be worth the search? Much of what I don't like here reminds me of a crude attempt at light classics.....or mediocre, original movie soundtrack music.

Wait! Maybe I should dock it a point or two for that narrative ending....here goes:

Breath deep
The gathering gloom
Watch lights fade
From every room
Bedsitter people
Look back and lament
Another day's useless
Energy spent

Impassioned lovers
Wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love
And has none
New mother picks up
And suckles her son
Senior citizens
Wish they were young

Cold hearted orb
That rules the night
Removes the colours
From our sight
Red is gray and
Yellow white
But we decide
Which is right
And
Which is an Illusion

About the only thing I can add to that "heaviness" are these words from Lewis Carroll

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

ed

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 12:48:58 AM PDT
Alexis says:
The Cars ST album was a favourite of mine, I remember. I loved how the end of each track flowed into the beginning of the next. It was one of those albums that I could not listen to one track on it's own. I'd have to play the entire album - not because their was any theme or any reason I should listen to it as a whole. I just liked every track that much.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 12:51:27 AM PDT
Alexis says:
Wow, Mark, you're up to #64! By the time you read this you may have completed the task!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 12:53:32 AM PDT
Alexis says:
I'm sure I have this album as well. I know I have "Wind & Wuthering". Where is that list of vinyls I compiled 4 years ago?

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 1:40:06 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
Lex:

<<Where is that list of vinyls I compiled 4 years ago?>>

I'm sure it's still here or on the other, "what are you listening to" board. If I run across it, I'll give you the date or page number. Wasn't that when you were going thru your boxes of records?

ed.

ps. Not that it has anything to do with Genesis, but I watched "My Week With Marilyn" the other night and really enjoyed it. I thought Michelle Williams did a remarkable job as Monroe, differentiating between Marilyn the person and the "star/icon". I'd always heard the stories about how Laurence Olivier was beside himself during their shooting (and his directing) of "The Prince and the Showgirl". I've always ignored that movie but now feel compelled to at least try to watch it. The story centers around Marilyn's difficulties working with Olivier in a structured setting and her befriending a young "3rd Asst. Director" (i.e., go-fer) who came there to learn about movie making and wound up as Monroe's closest ally offset, especially when her then husband, playwright Arthur Miller, went back home to the US. It's a rather sweet story with both some improbabilities that really happened (Marilyn and the younger man's friendship/relationship...he actually wrote the story that became the movie) and a better understanding of Marilyn the actress/celebrity. I had the timing of the movie all wrong in that the "Prince...." was made BEFORE she made "Some Like It Hot", her classic along with "The Misfits".

I'm still working my way thru the movies of 2011. I'm going to see the "silent" film at the end of June at the library. They were supposed to show it a month or so ago but the studio decided to limit any outside showings of it until late June.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 5:10:12 AM PDT
Timot-Rex says:
Lamb Lies Down ? Hmmm. I still have the vinyl. OK. You've convinced me to pull it out of the cardboard jacket after ..what, 30 years? This will be no easy task as I will have to pull the old turntable out from the basement crawl space (where it's been stored next to the retired Christmas ornaments and other pack-rat accoutrements.)
Last time I listened to Lamb perhaps I just didn't have the attention span. Perhaps this is one of those old timey "headphone experiences" that the baby boomers tell me about. Wait .. born in '61 ... guess I am one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 5:27:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 14, 2012 5:28:38 AM PDT
Timot-Rex says:
Lex, it's easy to forget how great that first Cars record was (along with a many recordings from around that time.) All those songs are fused into our collective consciousness I suppose. It was one of those rare recording that appealed to both the lovers of punk AND those fans still mired in old school FM rock.
What more can you say about the frickin' catchy songs. They're deceptively minimalist confections with an odd retro-futurist vibe; plus they manage to be funny and sexy at the same time! The second one record, CANDY O, while not quite as good, has a handful of indispensable singles too.
The Cars sort of slid into the M.O.R. territory after that but still managed to make some pretty charming tunes.
I've enjoyed their latest one, "Move Like This," as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 10:23:42 AM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thank you for your Grateful Dead review of 3.21.

63. The Smiths--The Queen Is Dead (1986; #70, Gold)

FAMILIARITY: 1/10

1. The Queen Is Dead (?) (3)
2. Frankly, Mr. Shankly (?) (3)
3. I Know It's Over (?) (3)
4. Never Had No One Ever (?) (3)
5. Cemetery Gates (?) (3)
6. Bigmouth Strikes Again (?) (3)
7. The Boy With a Thorn in His Side (?) (2+)
8. Vicar in a Tutu (?) (2+)
9. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (3)
10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (?) (3)

REVIEW: I have to admit this is one I was just looking to get out of the way. Other than the ninth track, which I believe appeared on the songs list, I really didn't know anything from this, and I'm not big on the Smiths to begin with. This is their 6th appearance, so they obviously strike a chord with the listeners, but not with me. Only their Meat Is Murder album got a rating above 0 from me (a 2 because it contains the great How Soon Is Now?). I'm going to say that this is the highest album with no familiar material (I've only heard There Is a Light... a few times, and only through these reviews) if no more appear in the top 62. A 0.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 12:02:08 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your Sugar review of 3.21.

62. Beastie Boys--Paul's Boutique (1989; #14)

FAMILIARITY: 0/10

1. To All the Girls (?) (3+)
2. Shake Your Rump (?) (3)
3. Johnny Ryall (?) (5)
4. Egg Man (?) (5)
5. High Plains Drifter (?) (5+)
6. Sounds of Science (?) (5+)
7. 3-Minute Rule (?) (3)
8. Hey Ladies (?) (5)
9. 5-Piece Chicken Dinner (?) (4)
10. Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun (?) (4)
11. Car Thief (?) (3)
12. What Comes Around (?) (3+)
13. Shadrach (?) (3+)
14. Ask For Janice (?) (3+)
15. B-Boy Bouillabaisse (59 Christie Street, Get on the Mic, Stop That Train, A Year and a Day, Hello Brooklyn, Dropping Names, Lay It on Me, Mike on the Mic, A.W.O.L.) (?) (4)

Bonus Tracks--Japanese CD Release

16. 33% God (?) (3+)
17. Dis Yourself in '89 (Just Do It) (?) (4+)

REVIEW: Well, for one thing, this eliminates the previous entry for being the highest on the chart that I was totally unfamiliar with. I *thought* I knew Hey Ladies, but I think that's a line from one of their songs on Licensed to Ill (or perhaps another one). I've always heard about this one as being critically acclaimed, and now that I finally got around to listening to it, I don't know why that it at least didn't receive more commercial attention than it did. This has some of the most masterful drops and samples that I've heard, along with clever lyrics. Two became instant likes for me--Sounds of Science and High Plains Drifter. This is their second appearance in the top 100, and 6th overall, so the listeners are certainly giving them their due. I'll give this one a 2 for now, with a definite chance to rise.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 3:21:36 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your Billy Joel review of 3.23 (and you were right, it DID take me a long time to respond!). It's amazing, sometimes, how divergent our tastes can be. There's a guy I know who's a few years younger than you and has very particular taste in music. Our favorite artists often overlap, but the songs we like are often quite different. For example, I told him about how Axis: Bold As Love appeared at #64 here, and that I didn't like the songs If 6 Were 9 and Castles Made of Sand--for him, those are his favorites!

Up next, one that I have on vinyl somewhere, but can't find now, so onto Spotify.

61. The Who--Quadrophenia (1973; #2, platinum) (7)

FAMILIARITY: 7/10

1. I Am the Sea (6)
2. The Real Me (7+)
3. Quadrophenia (6)
4. Cut My Hair (?) (3)
5. The Punk and the Godfather (2+)
6. I'm One (?) (3+)
7. The Dirty Jobs (?) (3+)
8. Helpless Dancer (Roger's Theme) (6)
9. Is It in My Head? (?) (3)
10. I've Had Enough (5)
11. 5:15 (9+)
12. Sea and Sand (?) (3+)
13. Drowned (5)
14. Bell Boy (2+)
15. Doctor Jimmy (containing "Is It Me?") (John's Theme) (3)
16. The Rock (6)
17. Love, Reign o'er Me (Pete's Theme) (9+)

REVIEW: This one's a bit difficult to rate given that the same themes run through some of the instrumentals, and they all appeal to me (The Rock, I Am the Sea, Quadrophenia). It could go as low as a 5 if you consider those as one tune, but I'm considering them as separate units, and I like the way they lead into the songs that follow them. This is, surprisingly, only the fourth entry on the list so far for The Who (though I know there's at least one to follow). It's certainly my favorite of those; one was a live entry with no rating, and I gave a 1 and two 0's to the other. This one contains some favorites of mine, particularly 5:15 and Love Reign o'er Me. So, this one gets a solid 7--the best for me on the list since #73, Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. We hit a bit of a rough patch in the past half-dozen reviews, with 4 of them getting a 0 and only one rising to a high score (Aqualung with a 6). But this surpasses that one.

Mark

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 11:01:58 PM PDT
Alexis says:
Good thinking Ed. I'll try and locate it. I had entered the list on my computer (the pc which is now in parts in the garage). I had printed it, of course, but locating a few pieces of paper might be harder than going through these posts.

Haven't seen "My Week With Marilyn" yet but am interested in doing so. Have you seen Ryan Gosling's "Drive" yet? There's a fair bit of violence but is also balanced with a great deal of sensitivity and Ryan's flawless acting.

Jamie has me addicted to the series Breaking Bad and I'm half way through the 4th series.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 5:27:01 AM PDT
Timot-Rex says:
Lex I am interested in your opinion of the music in Drive. I think it was an unusual soundtrack and collection of songs for this sort of movie but it worked for me. And how about the opening scene of the bank robbery getaway: the car "chase"? Great acting yes, but quite creatively directed.
Speaking of movies, while I am mildly amused at the promos for "Rock of Ages" I don't think I have what it takes to sit through 2 hours of 80s hair-spray metal-pop even if they are poking fun at it.
I hope it is OK with the regular posters of this thread that we've meandered off the path a bit here. I regularly read the posts on this one and find it interesting. (as opposed to, say, the various Define Your Musical Tastes in 5 Albums threads. Why would I want to confine myself like that I ask you?)

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 7:23:05 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012 7:26:39 AM PDT
E. Dill says:
Lex/Rex:

Haven't seen Drive yet (or listened to its music). Will check it out. I'm a real Gosling fan. I still can't help but wonder what kind of mindset I was in when I first saw Notebook in the movie theatre and didn't remember Gosling or Rachel McAdams but did remember Garner and Rowlands. (Later, in watching it with my daughter, I was taken by both Gosling and McAdams' performances and began renting everything of Gosling's I'd missed. I guess the first movie of his I remembered was Murder By Numbers with Sandra Bullock and Ryan as a youthful murderer. Then Half Nelson (a somewhat drugged high school teacher), The Believer (a Jewish neo-Nazi), and Lars and the Real Girl (a man and his doll) among others. As for Gosling's acting, I was looking something up and came across a reader review of one of his movies where it was said that Ryan had that "same annoying smirk". I wonder if anyone ever complained about Paul Newman's?

Actually, compared to the "Name 5 bands that were better than xxxx?", I found the "define your musical tastes in 5 albums" to be one of the more thought provoking....at least for me. Maybe I took it too seriously. I guess that topic had hundreds of posts before I ventured my own opinion and, when I did, someone came back and criticised me for not being briefer. (ME?). I actually WANTED explainations from others. I DO feel confined when someone asks a question like "name your favorite album ever or of the 70's or even last year.....usually, I ignore any number constraints and sometimes get criticized for doing so. But, for some reason, the "musical taste" thing had me going. What ARE/WERE those traits in music that most enamour me? Oddly, dissonance is one of them (Thelonious Monk) as was a sense of freedom in structure (The Band sounded tight and loose at the same time to me)....

I guess it's like our taste in music itself. Mark and I both, separately, have talked about how we can have friends who seem to like the same artists we like and we still find that we favor completely different songs. So, even if Mark likes Billy Joel and I don't, we can both share a love of Jimi Hendrix's music and yet still like completely different aspects of his music. And we can try to analyze the reasons for that difference and probably never explain it. It's in our wiring.

ed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 10:01:53 AM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your reply of 3.25. I've been thinking of large numbers a lot recently, after having watched a video that discussed the size of the universe (276 sextillion miles across, which, if you drove constantly at 60 mph, would take you 532 quadrillion years to cross). These are incomprehensible numbers; really, the human mind is incapable of really grasping them. I think we're capable of grasping the concept of 1 million; but I think 1 billion and higher is out of our reach for the most part (perhaps there are some savants that can conceive of it). If you were to count each numeral at the rate of 4 per second (point them out, or assign them all one-syllable names), it would take you about 8 years of nonstop counting to reach 1 billion. A trillion would take 8,000 years--in other words, you'd have been counting nonstop, 4 numbers per second, since the birth of the earliest civilizations, just to get to 1 trillion. A quadrillion? That would take you 8 million years, just to count one unit. So it would take you over 4 billion years just to count the number of years it would take to drive across the universe, or about as long as the earth itself is estimated to have been in existence. And remember, that's counting the years at a rate of 4 per second, nonstop. That's why numbers like that are really beyond comprehension. Why am I discussing this? Well, our little project is nothing on the scale of those astronomical numbers, but on a human scale, your mentioning that we'd have at least 25,000 albums to review got me to thinking about how long that would take us...it would take us about 100 years! We started this "exercise" 4 years ago this September (and I'm targeting getting it done by the 4th anniversary of it, since it now seems within reach). Let's say we could have easily reviewed 1,000 during that time frame, had we applied ourselves a little more (not that we didn't, but we could have surely squeezed in another 103 reviews in that span of time). So, now we'd have to multiply that by 25, and we'd get 100. I'd like to think I'd live that long, but I sure hope I don't find a list of 25,000 albums to review LOL.

Anyway, since we're nearing the end of this whole thing, I am looking forward to what to do afterward. The first thing will be to list my own personal top 100 from the 897. I'll probably break down the list in various ways (favorite artists, artists with most appearances ranked, etc.). But I'm really excited about going through my own collection and reviewing all those I think should have made the list--I'm thinking I'll limit it to those I would have given a 5 or higher (for me, a 5 is a pretty good album; 6 is solid; 7 is getting into classic range; 8-10 are the cream of the crop).

Mark

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 10:16:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 15, 2012 10:41:22 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
#127 GEORGE HARRISON - ALL THINGS MUST PASS

1. I'd Have You Anytime (10)
2. My Sweet Lord (10)
3. Wah-Wah (10)
4. Isn't It a Pity (10)
5. What is Life (10)
6. If Not for You (10)
7. Behind That Locked Door (9)
8. Let It Down (10)
9. Run of the Mill (10)
10. Beware of Darkness (10)
11. Apple Scruffs (10)
12. Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll) (9)
13. Awaiting on You All (9)
14. All Things Must Pass (10)
15. I Dig Love (9)
16. Art of Dying (9)
17. Here Me Lord (9)
18. It's Johnny's Birthday (-)
19. Plug Me In (10)
20. I Remember Jeep (10)
21. Thanks for the Pepperoni (10)
22. Out of the Blue (10)

OVERALL RATING: 10

DISCUSSION: This album is, for me, the culmination of George's unused talents during his stay as a Beatle....mostly as a guitarist and sometimes singer/songwriter. This album has, it seems, gone thru an evolution or two in the minds of both critics and listeners. Initially it was a shock to many and thought of as the crowning achievement of a Beatle gone solo, Then, as time went on, both McCartney/Wings and Lennon's solo albums grew in stature and you'd even see ATMP sometimes listed as the "most overrated album", etc. While I don't keep up with such things, I'm guessing ATMP has come back, if it needed to come back, in stature. To me, it sounds as great as it ever did and, frankly, I can no longer say for certain, that I prefer Lennon's solo work, even if I compare only his Plastic Ono Band and Imagine albums to this one. (McCartney, for me, never exceeded his simple yet effective first self titled album. I was never a big Wings fan and the song "Band on the Run" is literally a song that will chase me away.)

ed.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 11:11:56 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
#105 ROLLING STONES - BEGGARS BANQUET

1. Sympathy for the Devil (10)
2. No Expectations (10)
3. Dear Doctor (10)
4. Parachute Woman (10)
5. Jigsaw Puzzle (8)
6. Street Fighting Man (10)
7. Prodigal Son (10)
8. Stray Cat Blues (10)
9. Factory Girl (10)
10. Salt of the Earth (9)...I like the lyric more than the song

OVERALL RATING: 10

DISCUSSION: A great album. I must say I consider "No Expectations" on of the more underated songs in the Stones catalogue.

Posted on Jun 15, 2012 11:25:56 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
#108 ELVIS COSTELLO - THIS YEAR'S GIRL

1. No Action (10)
2. This Year's Girl (10)
3. The Beat (9)
4. Pump it Up (10)
5. Little Triggers (10)
6. You Belong to Me (9)
7. Hand to Hand (9)
8. (I Don't Want to Go To) Chelsea (9)
9. Lip Service (10)
10. Living in Paradise (9)
11. Lipstick Vogue (9)
12. Night Rally (9)
13. Radio Radio (9)

OVERALL RATING: 9

DISCUSSION: I've always thought of this album as Elvis' best. I realize it had much to do with the inclusion of my favorite song of his, "Pump it Up".

The fact is, at this listen, it's his voice and the sometimes use of the organ that brings these songs up to the 10 or 9 mark. Frankly, I think a lot of them are missing a truly memorable tune/melody. In a way, it's a tribute to the effectiveness of his voice since, regardless of voice and lyric, usually melody is a determining factor in whether I like a song or not (ok, with some types of music, great rhythm can substitute)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 2:19:00 PM PDT
Mark F. says:
Ed,

Thanks for your Joe Jackson review of 3.28.

Up next, one from my vinyl collection.

60. Sex Pistols--Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977; #106, Platinum) (4)

FAMILIARITY: 3/10

1. Holidays in the Sun (?) (3)
2. Bodies (?) (2)
3. No Feelings (?) (3)
4. Liar (?) (2+)
5. Problems (?) (2+)
6. God Save the Queen (7+)
7. Seventeen (?) (3)
8. Anarchy in the U.K. (7+)
9. Submission (?) (3)
10. Pretty Vacant (6)
11. New York (?) (3)
12. EMI (2+)

REVIEW: First things first--this might be the highest entry for a single-appearance artist on the list (in this case, from a band that had only one proper release), and it's the one I've been alluding to in past entries where the artist was making their first appearance. We'll see if that holds up. Also, it comes at an appropriate spot, following the Who's Quadrophenia, which is a precursor of sorts to this, in describing the social scene in the U.K. on the eve of the punk revolution. There were the Mods represented by the main character on that album, Jimmy. Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that the punk scene sort of evolved from that social milieu (a quick check of the history of punk at Wiki does confirm that the Mods were the forerunners of punk, or at least one of them). It would be all the more appropriate if the Who's album, Who Are You?, followed this one, with the band's lament that punk had sort of left them in the dust (title track) and espousing traditional rock forms (Long Live Rock). But a quick scan of the top 59 albums does reveal two more Who titles, and, astonishingly to me, neither of them are Who Are You?, since that means the album didn't make the 897. Anyway, getting back to this one. No question, a landmark album. It has been named #1 on other lists, notably at least one of the Rolling Stone Top 500 lists. It's now been downgraded on the most current of that list to #41, which I think shows that some perspective is creeping in. Here, it's ranking at #60 acknowledges its groundbreaking nature while not overrating its content. My first memories of the Sex Pistols were of seeing these grotesque images of guys with spiked, dyed hair spitting on their audience (and being spat upon), and I was turned off. I still AM turned off by the latter. :-) By the early '80s, I began to get into the music to a certain degree, and I ended up liking this album, if not everything about the punk scene. The music still jumps out at you, after all these years. I give it a 4 based on musical enjoyability, while recognizing that the rating doesn't properly acknowledge its influence.

Mark

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 6:10:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2012 6:13:55 PM PDT
E. Dill says:
#117 CAT STEVENS - TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN

1. Where Do the Children Play (10)
2. Hard Headed Woman (10)
3. Wild World (10)
4. Sad Lisa (10)
5. Miles from Nowhere (10)
6. But I Might Die Tonight (10)
7. Longer Boats (9)
8. Into the White (10)
9. On the Road to Find Out (9)
10. Father and Son (10)
11. Tea for the Tillerman (9)

OVERALL RATING: 10

DISCUSSION: Often music is defined or at least remembered by a specific time and place. This one is linked to my 2 years in Alaska (Fairbanks) while in the US Army, circa 1970-1. There was a time, before my then Korean wife rejoined me in a second attempt at living in America, when I rented an apartment downtown and began having gatherings (parties?) with my circle of friends. At first it was mostly fellow soldiers and the gatherings involved great music, great dope and great snacks. One of the most frequent albums played was this one. Oh, we had others, i.e., Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Santana, etc. but we all seemed quite mesmerized by Cat's voice, his songs and the arrangements. Later, the guys' wives came to Alaska to join them and the parties continued with Tea for the Tillerman one of the most played albums (and I already had a lot of them.). Unfortunately, when my Korean wife finally DID come to Alaska to try to adjust to American life (Alaskan-style), we halted the gatherings but it didn't help much. Before leaving Alaska, Yong Hui went back to Korea and I finished our "do it yourself" divorce without her. Perhaps the entire Alaskan experience was bittersweet, but those gatherings with Cat one of the more prominent musical features is with me still. I simply love the album and Cat's voice. His expressiveness sounded, sometimes, almost like a cry....in someways, the same feeling I got from the voice of Otis Redding and the very young Loudon Wainwright....three quite different voices singing quite different songs, yet expressing emotion so openly without sounding maudlin. This is another one of those personal favorites of mine that hasn't lost one ounce of it's appeal over the past decades.
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