Man, it’s going to be hard to top the last section, I mean Quicksilver Messenger Service!? Oh, that and some album called, So or something? I don’t know. But, let’s make a move on the next section of Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time.
#180 – The Rolling Stones, Now! by The Rolling Stones. I know they’re still in their “infancy” here, but I have to say, I don’t like this era of the Stones. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing that excites me. Then again, the Stones aren’t that high on my list anyway. Give me the Beatles anyday. Speaking of which, Chuck Berry’s “You Can’t Catch Me” (recorded here) features the lyric, “Here come old flat top” just like “Come Together” from Abbey Road. There was some stink about that but it was settled. Some of why I don’t care for this record is the blues aspect. We know how I am about that. I like the more polished late-60s-through-early-90s Stones, if I’m going to listen to them at all. Another thing, twelve songs and only four are written by them. Again, I know it’s still really, really early in their careers, but that perplexes me. I have to say that I do not mind the RS originals but their covers on this, drives me up the wall. Meh.
#179 – The Definitive Collection by ABBA.
#178 – The Anthology 1961 to 1977 by Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions.
#177 – One Nation Under a Groove by Funkadelic. Had to listen to this one on YouTube because it’s apparently not available any other way, any longer. But, you know what? It’s George Clinton, it’s Funkadelic and it’s funktastic! Back when you could write songs about dancing and it not only not be cheesy but be relevant and serious. ‘Cause really, who doesn’t just want to funk out? “Groovallegiance” features a very rare bass solo, but I didn’t find clarification if it’s “Bootsy,” “Boogie” or “Skeet” that’s playing said solo. All three as listed as personnel but nothing is necessarily denoted as who does what where. It’s awesome no matter whom it is. “Who Says a Funk Band Can’t Play Rock?!” is truly a rock song. The whole album is about breaking through to something more. This song proves exactly what the title suggests, wrong. “Promentalshitbackwashpsychosis Enema Squad (The Doo-Doo Chasers)” wins the award for the longest song title on the countdown (at least that I can tell). It’s pretty much saying that the world can be a “shite hole” and there are those that perpetuate that assumption. We’ve all gone in the crapper, if you will. A great (almost) 11 minute song, that. I am pretty certain that “Bootsy” is playing the bass on “Cholly (Funk Getting Ready to Roll)” as he’s a co-writer. All in all this is a great funk/rock album. I have really gotten in to most everything in that genre that I’ve heard in this countdown, thus far. Yay, me and dug!
#176 – Rocks by Aerosmith. Ugh. Dear (enter deity here), I hate Aerosmith. Truly. Not unlike the feeling when I listen to 12-bar blues, either. I don’t mind “Rats in the Cellar” and “Combination.” “Nobody’s Fault” is pretty rocking, too. I would even say I really like that one. The chorus to “Lick and a Promise” is good, the rest of that song is only meh. “Home Tonight” wasn’t bad, either. Overall, it’s still just a meh for me. I found myself asking: “how long until it’s over?”
#175 – Close to You by Carpenters. I don’t care how sappy it may be, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard from the Carpenters. Karen had a great voice and for that, I’m not going to say anything other than she was lost too soon about her being gone. Okay, that’s done. Her voice is so strong here. It’s very early-70s, too. It’s three months and one day older than me. According to the album credits, it’s all Richard and Karen doing all the vocals, lead and backup. Well-written songs, really, even though most of it is covers of others’ music. There are some originals on here. And, for all the good things to say, I really found nothing exciting about it. I certainly don’t dislike it, but I also like vanilla ice cream. It just doesn’t excite me. I’ll give the benefit of a dug, but it’s barely over a meh.
#174 – Desire by Bob Dylan. Dang! “Hurricane” rocks and there’s cursing and the “N” word that somehow wasn’t offensive, at least to this pasty white boy. This isn’t the Dylan I know and that’s a good thing. “Isis,” “Mozambique” are mesmerizing. They are so easy to listen to but strangely complex. “One More Cup of Coffee” which I believe has Emmylou Harris singing backup is sad and beautiful. Although, the story isn’t bad, I don’t really care much about “Joey.” It drags, it’s whiny and it’s eleven minutes long. It seems that one got some negative attention for glorifying gangsters. Yikes! I do like the Mexican-style of “Romance in Durango.” Reminds me of some stuff Ma Père would listen to when I was a child. He’s not Mexican but liked Marty Robbins and such. “Sara” is an almost pleading, directly personal direction of songwriting as it was about his wife. It wasn’t often, at least that I can figure, that he did that. That’s one of my favorite songs on this album. I’d own this album if I could skip “Joey.” Dug!
#173 – Something/Anything? by Todd Rundgren. Rundgren’s third release and it was a whopper! A double album in which for the first three sides it’s all him: instruments, vocals, everything. It’s quite the pop album. “I Saw the Light” is the first song and was the first single. I have that on a Time-Life compilation, which I’m sure is Sounds of the 70s. You can hear the imperfections in the drumming and other instruments, but I think that adds to the uniqueness. At the beginning of side two, he gives a small tour of studio sounds like hum and hiss. It was odd hearing it. “Marlene” has xylophones and such on it and at one point sounds just like that new chime that Facebook uses for it’s Instant Messenger and I kept thinking someone was messaging me. Side four is comprised of songs that were done with full ensembles. Musicians include Mark Klingman, Rick Derringer, Vicki Sue Robinson and Edward James Olmos (yes, that Edward James Olmos, vox). The third released single was “Hello It’s Me” which is a side four song. The second was “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” and the fourth was “Wolfman Jack” which is probably the worst song on the album and it was released TWO years after “Hello It’s Me.” There was another album released before “Wolfman Jack” came out. I don’t understand that. Anywhat! Overall I thought the album was fantastic, but really, Rundgren could have cut that down to about eleven songs and left it as an LP. Most of it was filler, some of which sounded very much like other songs on the album and could have been done away with or released two separate albums. It was too much. But, because I liked the material, I’m still going with a “dug” here.
#172 – Every Picture Tells a Story by Rod Stewart. The boogie blues version of Rod Stewart. Some of it I like. Some of it I don’t really care about. I like the title track, pretty well. Although I’m not really a fan of “That’s All Right,” I do like the arrangement of “Amazing Grace” at the end of it. The Dylan song “Tomorrow is a Long Time” is done beautifully here, violins and all. The “Henry” part of “Maggie May” is a nice Celtic-sounding classical guitar piece. And “Maggie May,” while not a bad song, has never been a favorite of mine. I can’t tell you why, either; it seems right up my alley. Now, I do like “(I Know) I’m Losing You.” Something about the dirty sound makes it groovy. That’s my fave on this album. Then, probably, would be “Reason to Believe.” Overall, the hits are good, the Dylan song is a welcome listen but overall, I just don’t see the big deal. Okay, it’s a decent album and perhaps does need to be on here, but why is it this high on the list. I dig it but it’s over listed, in my opinion and hey it’s my countdown, eh?
#171 – The Notorious Byrd Brothers by The Byrds. I’m putting the daisy behind my ear and I’m going to drop that funny square of paper and dance in the high weeds, barefoot in my bell-bottomed pants, silk shirt and cowhide vest. Dance, dance, dance. Spin. Spin. Spin. Okay, dude, wake up! Sorry about that. Some well-executed tunes on here. I’ve listened to The Byrds more and more lately, I like their stuff. This, however, doesn’t really move me, but, like I said, there’s some well-written stuff here. Very short songs, I have few moments to spare between songs going through. Of the “official” 11 songs on the original release, the longest songs is 3:52 but most are around two and a half. To the point, so I can get behind that. It seems that David Crosby was fired during the production. I wonder why (that’s sarcasm)? Like I said, I liked it okay. I don’t know, though, that I’d really want to listen to this one again. But, it was decent so I will give it a “dug.”
Wow, a very disappointing segment, to me. Even though several of them received a “dug” from me, for the most part, they were barely passing that line. Aerosuck was a true downer and two compilations. The only true shining lights in this segment were Dylan and Funkadelic. Rundgren would have made it had the album been about 6-8 songs shorter. Well, here’s hoping that the next batch is very much better.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Your breath is sweet. Your eyes are like two jewels in the sky. Your back is straight, your hair is smooth on the pillow where you lie. But, I don’t sense affection. No gratitude or love. Your loyalty is not to me but to the stars above. One more cup of coffee for the road. One more cup of coffee ‘fore I go.” – “One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)” (Dylan)