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The 897 Greatest Albums of All Time

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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2015, 12:55:11 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

It's funny that you added "Barbara George" at the end, when you meant "Barbara Mason," since Barbara George was yet another Barbara from the early 60s who were mostly remembered for one song. In her case, it was "I Know (You Don't Want Me No More)", which was referenced by Sam Cooke in "Havin' a Party" ("play that one called I Know"). Barbara Mason, Barbara Lewis, Barbara George...Barbs of a feather!


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2015, 10:02:27 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Radiohead's The Bends (#40) on 9.13.12.

Here's the next entry, the second and last from Van Halen, and the 78th overall.

Van Halen--1984 (7)

LIKES: Panama, I'll Wait, Jump, Hot For Teacher

DISLIKES: Drop Dead Legs

A fine album to end the David Lee Roth era, and one that's filled with originals so in a sense better than the previous one I added (Diver Down), even though I gave that a slightly higher rating (8). There was one VH entry on the 897--their debut effort, which I gave a 4.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2015, 9:52:54 AM PDT
Alexis says:
Hi Mark. Good to see you're still posting.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2015, 8:35:18 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Rubber Soul by The Beatles (#16) on 9/12/12.

Up next is the 77th addition to the list I've been compiling. I'm getting close to the end, alphabetically, and I think I've pretty much scoured the possibilities for additions. I'm actually on to another "project," which is reviewing the Hot 100 singles, from the chart's inception on Billboard in August '58 (I'm just about done with the 50s now). So I'm looking forward to wrapping up the album project so I can devote more time to the singles one. Anyway, here's one from Van Halen.


Diver Down (1982) (8)

LIKES: Dancing in the Streets, Intruder/(Oh) Pretty Woman, Where Have All the Good Times Gone?, Big Bad Bill, Happy Trails

I had to think about adding this one, since my "like" list is made up almost entirely of covers, with the exception of the instrumental "Intruder," which is basically an intro to Pretty Woman. The thing is, their covers are inspired reworkings of the originals, especially Dancing in the Streets, which really casts the song in a new light. I barely like the last three on the list (Where Have All the Good Times Gone--either the Kinks original or this one), Big Bad Bill (an interesting selection) and Happy Trails. But it's enough to recommend the album. I'll likely be adding their next album as well.


In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2015, 6:56:35 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of The Beatles' Revolver (#10) on 9.12.12.

Hot on the heels of Toto's album is another four-letter band beginning with T--Trio.


Trio--Trio and Error (1982) (9)

LIKES: Da Da Da (I Don't Love You You Don't Love Me Aha Aha Aha), Boom Boom, Hearts Are Trump, Anna--Letmeinletmeout, Drei Mann im Doppelbett, Ich Lieb den Rock & Roll, Tutti Frutti, Tooralooralooraloo--Is It Old and Is It New

This was my favorite album of '83, when I was DJing on a college radio station (it was presumably released earlier in the band's native Germany). I was crazy about the minimalist style, up to and including the artwork. Only Da Da Da made it big, and can be still heard today as lead-in music to traffic reports and the like, but I don't hear the complete song often anymore (though it was played on commercial radio stations for a time). Boom Boom did make it big on MTV, but faded rather quickly because of the lack of airplay. I like their take on Tutti Frutti--stripped down musically and linguistically. Drei Mann includes a neat break with a cough; Tooralooralooraloo is an odd one--it might be the first and only example of a German band doing a sentimental Irish tune.


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2015, 12:21:54 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of the Beatles' Abbey Road (#3) back on 9.11.12 (yikes, that long ago!).

I am still trudging through my list, adding new favorites, and came to one from a critically-reviled band that I mostly liked.


Toto--IV (7)

LIKES: Rosanna, I Won't Hold You Back, Africa, Make Believe

This is the 75th addition to the overall list. It did well at the Grammys but the critics hated it. I found Africa good but a bit sappy lyrically. I still enjoy sappiness sometimes!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2015, 10:55:44 AM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of The Beatles' The White Album (#2) on 9/10/12. It's ironic that you posted that allmusic called the album "ironic," because today I read that George Harrison's tree in LA's Griffith Park had been killed by beetles. :-O

It's been over a month since I added a disc to my personal favorites list, and today I do so because I'm up to George Thorogood in my artist review. He released an album in 1988 that barely qualifies, but I'm adding it here. "Born to Be Bad" stays true to Thorogood's well-worn signature style. There were a couple of songs I mildly like that he penned himself (the title track and You Talk Too Much--not the same song as the earlier Joe Jones hit) as well as four covers of songs I like.


George Thorogood & the Destroyers--Born to Be Bad (6)

LIKES: Born to Be Bad, You Talk Too Much, I'm Movin' On, Smokestack Lightning, You Can't Catch Me, Treat Her Right


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 19, 2015, 7:40:04 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your insightful review of the list's #1 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, way back on 9.10.12. Better late than never, I guess. :-)

I'm still working through my list of personal favorites, and I've reached The Supremes alphabetically. I'm adding one of their albums to the list. They were shut out of the 897 album list (speaking of which, can you believe it's been almost 8 years since that list was released? :-O).


Supremes A'Go-Go (1966, #1) (7)

LIKES: Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart, You Can't Hurry Love, Baby I Need Your Loving, These Boots Are Made For Walking, I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch), Get Ready, Money (That's What I Want), Hang On Sloopy

DISLIKES: This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You), Shake Me Wake Me (When It's Over), Put Yourself in My Place

While this one contains a lot of covers, it does include two Supremes standards (You Can't Hurry Love and Love Is Like an Itching--the former being a certified classic with the latter being a somewhat lesser hit but still part of their canon of familiar songs). As for the covers, I like some and dislike others, but the total comes out to a 7 on the strength of the two favorites plus several solid covers.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2014, 8:59:14 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Have you heard the Moody Blues' early cover of James Brown? I heard it not too long ago and was surprised they covered him--wouldn't have dreamed that they covered him!

Next up is the most recent release that I've added to my personal list--2012's Some Nights by fun.

fun--Some Nights (2012)

LIKES: We Are Young, Some Nights, Carry On

This is only the second album I've added from the 2000s, the other being Songs About Jane by Maroon 5. They've become one of my favorite modern bands--others include Imagine Dragons, Muse, and Kongos.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2014, 8:13:58 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Pink Floyd's The Wall (#29) on 9.10.12. Timely, in that they've just released their final album, The Endless River, which I hear is almost entirely instrumental. Haven't heard it yet.

Got a couple of new additions to my personal list.


Stray Cats--Built for Speed (1982) (6)

LIKES: Stray Cat Strut, Rock This Town, Rumble in Brighton, Runaway Boys

While they were sort of doomed to be flash in the pans by virtue of their being rockabilly imitators, they were all the rage for a couple of years. It was Queen that really kicked off the rockabilly revival with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" a couple of years earlier, but the Stray Cats were really the only band to take off with it as their sole style (though I think Robert Gordon had already been doing it and continued to do produce that type of music for several more years at least, without ever breaking through to the big time). I liked this album, and loved their live concert in Providence shortly after this was released--it was a general admission show and my friends and I were right near the front.


In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2014, 9:43:40 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (#3) on 9.10.12.

It's been quite a while since I found something to add, and this came via a side project I've been doing, which is to review Billboard's Top 10 songs from each week, starting sometime earlier this year and working my way backwards. I'm currently on 2004, so I've reviewed 10 years so far (I listen to the ones I don't know or like enough to listen to again). This hadn't yielded any favorite albums until I reached the last song to chart from Maroon 5's 2002 release, Songs About Jane, which was "She Will Be Loved" which was still in the top 10 in Nov. 2004. I knew that album had quite a bit of material I liked, so I reviewed it and discovered that it made the cut for my personal list. It's the most recent album that I've added so far; before this the most recent was Sarah MacLachlan's 1997 release, Surfacing.


Maroon 5--Songs About Jane (2002)

LIKES: This Love, Sunday Morning, Harder to Breathe, Sweetest Goodbye, She Will Be Loved


In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2014, 11:42:25 AM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde (#30) on 9.10.12.

Here's my next addition to my list, the 69th.


The Spinners--The Spinners (1972) (AM: #1775)

LIKES: Could It Be I'm Falling in Love?, I'll Be Around, One of a Kind (Love Affair)

This one contains three nice singles.


Posted on Apr 3, 2014, 7:10:30 AM PDT
Johnny Cash Folsom Prison..The Beach Boys Holland

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2014, 9:29:03 AM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde (#30) on 9.9.12.

Here's my latest addition.


Smokey Robinson & the Miracles--Going to a Go-Go (1965) (6)

LIKES: Tracks of My Tears (9), Ooo Baby Baby (8), Going to a Go-Go (7+)

Smokey and the Miracles were shut out of the 897, likely because this is the only album that comes close to standout territory. They were a great singles act but not really album-oriented. At any rate, this one contains three of my favorite songs from them.


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2014, 9:10:13 PM PDT
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited (#18) on 9.9.12.

Here's the 67th LP I am adding to my list.


Frank Sinatra--Strangers in the Night (1966) (6)

LIKES: Summer Wind, Strangers in the Night, On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever), Call Me, Downtown

DISLIKES: Yes Sir, That's My Baby

Francis Albert had a couple of entries in the 897--In the Wee Small Hours and Songs For Swingin' Lovers. I'm going to add this one, which came out during his 1966 renaissance. I've been going through his singles catalog starting with his debut with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1939. He peaked in terms of commercial success in the early 40s, but he was far from done, and his work in the '50s and '60s, IMO, surpassed his earlier output as his voice took on the quality we think of as classic Sinatra. With his release of "It was a Very Good Year" in early '65, he would begin a stretch that would rival any period of his prolific career, and that in the face of the British Invasion, the Summer of Love, etc., which would take music in a very different direction through those years. It would include two #1 hits--the title track of this one and the great duet with his daughter, Something Stupid, in 1967, and would be capped off with what could be considered his signature song, "My Way," in '69. He would have another brief revival in the early '80s and another top 40 hit with the Theme From New York, New York. This album, recorded with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, represents his greatest studio output, IMO.


Posted on Feb 28, 2014, 2:00:39 PM PST
Beach boys "Pet Sounds""Today" " Summer days and Summer Nights

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2014, 8:52:31 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks on 9/9/12.

Next up, one I'm quite surprised didn't make the 897.


Paul Simon--Still Crazy After All These Years (1975) (8)

LIKES: Still Crazy After All These Years, My Little Town, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Gone At Last

Wow! What great tunes. Phoebe Snow on Gone at Last, his reunion with Garfunkel on My Little Town, the title track, and the great shuffle and rhyme of 50 Ways...Can't believe it was overlooked by the voters. I'd love to see him with Sting when he comes to town.



In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2014, 11:37:22 AM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Joni Mitchell's Blue (#36, 9.9.12).

Next up is the fourth addition for the producer of this album, and the first for the artist.


Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66--Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 (6)

LIKES: Mais Que Nada, Going Out of My Head, One Note Samba/Spanish Flea, Agua de Beber, Day Tripper

This is the 65th entry to my list (would have been more appropriate to be the next one!). I love the Brazilian samba-pop lounge sound that was popular in the mid-60s, and this one contains my favorite song of theirs, Mais Que Nada. It will likely be his only entry. I saw them a few years back, and though the women singers were replaced by younger ones, they sounded great. This one barely made the cut, with only their definitive version of Mais Que Nada earning two points, and the other four covers--two of Jobim (one of those combined with a Tijuana Brass cover), and the Beatles and Little Anthony and the Imperials--just barely bringing it to a 6 rating.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014, 8:55:50 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of U2's Achtung Baby (#41) on 9.9.12.

Adding another Seger album, this one being my favorite.

Bob Seger--Against the Wind (10) (11 pts total)

LIKES: Horizontal Bop, Fire Lake, Against the Wind, Her Strut, Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight, You'll Accompany Me, Long Twin Silver Line

DISLIKE: No Man's Land

So, this is my favorite of the ones that missed the 897. It gets 11 total points, and is only the second "10" out of the 64 I've added so far (the other was Chicago VII). Yeah, it's mainstream, cliched rock & roll, but I like it!


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014, 1:27:24 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Bob Marley's Legend (#42, 9/9/12).

In reading through these old posts, I noticed a couple of things I had started to do and forgot about--list the albums on the AM 3,000 list that didn't make the 897, and list the artists who had the most points on my rating of the 897. So, for what it's worth, I'll start that up again until I forget about it!

The next one on the AM 3000 that didn't make the 897 was Pulp's Different Class (#153), which I'm totally unfamiliar with. I am working from their list compiled in 2010, and it seems they update it every year, so these have certainly changed since then. But I'll just continue with this list.

The Clash totalled 20 points across 4 albums for an average rating of 5.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 7, 2014, 1:03:59 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (#43, 9/7/12).

Up next, an artist who was shut out of the 897. He does have three entries in the AM 3,000, this one being the highest at #1,154).


Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band--Night Moves (8)

LIKES: Night Moves, The Fire Down Below, Mainstreet, Rock and Roll Never Forgets, Sunspot Baby
DISLIKES: Come to Poppa, Mary Lou

This is the first of what may turn out to be multiple entries from him.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2014, 7:28:14 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (#44, 9/7/12).

Up next, one that took me by surprise.


Leo Sayer--Endless Flight (6) (1976)

LIKES: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, When I Need You, How Much Love, Reflections

I certainly didn't expect to add anything from Leo Sayer, and this one made it because of a cover of Reflections by the Supremes that I didn't know before giving the album a listen. It certainly doesn't match the Supremes' version, but I like a few other songs on the album (especially the first two I listed). Leo didn't make it onto either the 897 or the AM 3,000, and I only like a few of his songs, but most of them are contained on this album. So here it is!


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2014, 9:43:14 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland (9/6/12, #45).

Up next is an album from a woman who hasn't been heard from much lately since having a great decade in the 90s.


Sarah McLachlan--Surfacing (6) (1997) (AM--#2,736)

LIKES: Building a Mystery, Adia, Sweet Surrender

I'm surprised that this one didn't make the 897, since her earlier Fumbling Toward Ecstasy did, and this one was arguably her biggest album--it certainly was the one that put the Canadian on the map here in the US. It yielded her first four top 40 hits--she would have only one more after this--the live version of "I Will Remember You." I vaguely remember the final instrumental track, Last Dance, and I don't like it, but since I'm not that familiar with it I'm not docking the album a point, which would keep it off my list.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2014, 6:49:53 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Carole King's Tapestry (9.6.12, #46).

It's been awhile, but I've finally unearthed a new addition to my list, which I'm finally winding down with--I've reached the letter S, which will be loaded with stuff to listen to, and then T should be fairly extensive, but after that only W will probably yield a lot of hits (no pun intended).


Sade--Diamond Life (1984) (7) (AM--#1,667)

LIKES: Smooth Operator, Hang on to Your Love, Your Love Is King, Why Can't We Live Together?

This is my 60th entry, and it will no doubt be the only Sade appearance, but this was a killer mid-80s album. She came upon the scene with a beautiful, sultry voice unlike any other at that time. This was one of the best debut albums, but unfortunately her follow-ups never seemed to deliver on the promise of this first one.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2013, 8:34:36 PM PST
Mark F. says:

Thanks for your review of Neil Young's After the Goldrush (#47) on 9.5.12.

Sure enough, Linda Ronstadt has another entry--her next release, 1978's Living in the U.S.A.

Linda Ronstadt--Living in the U.S.A. (1978) (8)

LIKES: Ooh Baby Baby, Just One Look, Back in the USA, Alison, All That You Dream, Love Me Tender

As with her previous entry, I went with this despite all my likes being covers, just because I love her renditions of the songs.

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