Bob Dylan, Buzzcocks, Don Henley, James Brown, Jeff Buckley, John Lee Hooker, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Massive Attack, Muddy Waters, New Order, Nick Drake, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Police, Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums, Roxy Music, Sonic Youth, Talking Heads, The Beatles, The Modern Lovers, The Smiths, The Who, Tom Waits, White Stripes, Wu-Tang Clan
So, we’re down another hundred albums on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time. As the title reads there were hits and misses. I’ll say, though, that there were many more hits than misses. There were good segments, there were great segments and there was one particularly uninspired segment.
Let’s start with that. For the most part the 10 album segments were at least decent; dare I say good? Segment 12, however (nos 390-381) was a wasteland of dirge to me outside the two opening albums, Elephants by White Stripes and End of the Innocence by Don Henley. What else is on there, you may ask? Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by Wu-Tang Clan, Love and Theft by Bob Dylan, A Quick One by The Who, More Songs About Buildings and Food by Talking Heads (which I did give a “dug”), The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers, Smile by The Beach Boys. The award for the weirdest thing I’ve come across on this list is also in this segment. It’s called The Indestructible Beat of Soweto and was by the always vague “Various Artists.” This was a cornucopia of African music, which isn’t a bad thing, just isn’t my thing. And the most perplexing part was why? Why even include that on this list? And if you’re going to include it (and again, why would you?), why put it that high. Put it at #500 if it absolutely must be on this list. It’s not a bad album, just… why?!?
Let’s do my faves and least faves. I will say I left off the obvious, any of the Beatles, The Police, the above mentioned End…Innocence, etc. Basically, the stuff that I already know I loved, I left off this because the point is to be introduced to things that I a) didn’t have a clue existed or b) that I wouldn’t have sought out on my own.
So the least faves first, and these are in no particular order:
*Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (#305). I hated that album. It was her ridiculous over-exaggerated “cuhn-treh” (country) accent, I think.
*Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure (#396). I think I was just expecting more from these guys. It was a major disappointment, especially from the album that was supposed to Ferry’s favorite. Ick.
*Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn (#347). I love Pink Floyd or should I say I love Pink Floyd from Dark Side on. Don’t give me extra weird Floyd.
*Muddy Waters – At Newport 1960 (#348). I. Hate. Traditional. 12-Bar. Blues. Why, if you’re putting this on a list, is it this high?.
*Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (#387). The “N” word for the “N” word’s sake is over done and I am just over it. This was as bad as listening to Raekwon in the first hundred. Ick, again.
*Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (#328). I think this was more like Sonic Noise than Sonic Youth. I don’t know just didn’t dig it.
A pause for compilations. There are six, that I can find skimming on here. As I’ve said, and it seems to be confusing at times, I do like greatest hits and compilation collections. I do. I just don’t want to rate them as albums because I only do live albums (and at first I didn’t want to do that) and studio releases, not record label money-grabs. However, I did rate a few, just not all of them, the compilations are: Sun Records Collection by Various (#311); Ultimate Collection by John Lee Hooker (#377); In the Jungle Groove by James Brown (#329) that I didn’t rate. The three I did rate are: Substance by New Order (#362); Singles Going Steady by Buzzcocks (#360); Louder than Bombs by The Smiths (#369). Okay, they’ve gotten enough time from me.
My faves. Again, this is a truncated list and the ones that I rated “dug” with emphasis (in no particular order):
*Nick Drake – Pink Mooon (#321). Just a beautiful album. There’s not a lot to really even say.
*Lou Reed – Berlin *Bjork – Post (#376). She’s quirky and weird and I like it that way.
*Massive Attack – Blue Lines (#397). Chill music mixed with Soul/R&B. Yes, please.
*Jeff Buckley – Grace (#304). Beautiful from the beginning to the end. Sad a talent like this left the way it did.
*Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (#339). Tom Waits. A hit or miss with me usually but this was a younger, on-key Tom and it tripped my trigger.
*Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (#345). Remember when I said I did review live albums? Well this is one of my favorites from the list thus far.
*Nirvana – Unplugged in New York (#313). Yes. I said that. Nirvana. In my faves. Nirvana! The beauty of this list right here.
There are probably many, many more I could put on here. For the most part I’d say it was (out of a hundred) about 80-85% likes, at least moderately. That’s really a pretty good rating. Even the ones that I really didn’t care for, I could put in the 80-85%. If I just count the ones that I listed above it would be only 6% dislike, but I know there are others and then some of lesser degree. I enjoyed this segment, though, and I think that I was getting into the meat of the list and the same is going to be for the coming segments. Then, theoretically, I’ll be getting into the crème de la crème as the countdown winds down. So read on, Dear Reader, read on! And, if you disagree with me, as I’m sure you do, let me know. Send me your thoughts, one way or the other, I look forward to hearing from you.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“A classic record proves itself over time.” – Joe Levy, Music Editor, Rolling Stone