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Old 03-22-2009, 01:09 PM   #121 (permalink)
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About time I updated this thing again...

26. The Byrds - Sweetheart Of the Rodeo (1968)

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my favourite ever country album. Though not the first truly influential country rock album, this was nevertheless a very important landmark in popular music. This here is the first example of a major band diving headfirst into a country sound and yielding songs that don't sound at all condescending (Act Naturally, ahem), and naturally brought c&w to a much wider audience. A massively important factor in this shift in direction was the hiring of a certain Gram Parsons as lead guitarist, pianist and occasional vocalist, leading Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman as he did through the c&w sound he'd perfected with his then-band, the International Submarine Band (tellingly, the only original compositions on the album were written by Parsons). What results is a heartfelt and honest country album, uptempo and laid back at the same time, and is in places injected with the energy of the Byrds' earlier works. On top of that (evidently), it's a classic. Put simply, if you can't hack this album then country isn't for you.
The best bits: You Ain't Going Nowhere, Hickory Wind, Life In Prison

25. Baaba Maal - Missing You (Mi Yeewnii) (2001)

One of Africa's finest musical exports presents, on his final album, his finest piece of work and one of the essential products of the African music industry. Having taken on a more commercial sound for his previous album, the decent enough Nomad Soul, here's where Maal decides to strip away the artifice of aiming for a large audience and goes back to his musical roots in traditional apala. At the end of it we have is an uncompromisingly African album which, as with the best of such works, takes your attention away from the language barrier in the lyrics and instead sees the soaring vocals serving as merely another colour alongside the textures of the beautiful acoustic guitar-work and the kora (an instrument which sounds like a cross between a harp and a lute), all set over fascinating Malian rhythmic patterns. As a result, the album seems a bit more like a painting of the West African deserts than a bundle of tunes with the singer in question's face stuck on the cover (and a bloody good one at that).
The best bits: Miyaabele, Jamma/Jenngi, Mamadi

24. Public Image Ltd. - The Flowers Of Romance (1981)

As opposed to the flashes of disco grooves and dub rhythms which made Metal Box the classic it is (which could just as easily have made this list to be honest), Flowers Of Romance has any hint of accessibility ripped out of it and replaced with a heavy emphasis of John Lydon's harrowing wail of a vocal style and, more importantly, Martin Atkins' dry and razor-sharp drumming. Jah Wobble, who'd laid down some of the best bass tracks of all time on Metal Box, was kicked out of PIL prior to recording, which no doubt had an influence on this record as well. Guitarist Keith Levene's on the other hand only actually uses his guitar on one track, the rest of his contributions being the punctuating of the rest of the album with synth. On the whole the album is focused around Lydon's vocals and Atkins' almost tribal percussive contributions, ending up with a pretty creepy finished product, and definitely one of the most experimental and blissfully original products of the 80s. While it lacks the grooves of Metal Box before it, to me Flowers Of Romance delves deeper into avante-garde territory, pushing back the boundaries of music even further than the album which preceded it, being the bizarre, percussion-oriented work it is. It's a tough call, as I love Metal Box as well (if I didn't think of joint entries as cheating I'd do one here), but for its hella-uncompromising nature and harrowing atmosphere, I'd probably go with this one.
The best bits: Four Enclosed Walls, Flowers Of Romance, Banging the Door

23. New Order - Technique (1989)

And here's the big daddy of synth-pop albums, if you could even call it that. As most of us probably know, by 1989 acid house was the elephant in the living room to a lot of the music-listening public (to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge - I was 1 at the time after all), and by the time the kings of synth-pop New Order cottoned on to this, a transformation of their sound ensued which conjured up their finest album. Having booked a hotel slap-bang in the centre of the house music craze (Ibiza), New Order went about injecting their own mix of electronica and rock music with the energy and dynamics of acid house. This is no more obvious than on the killer opener, Fine Time. The song presents a group simply unrecognizable from its origins (try listening to Fine Time and Blue Monday back to back), with synthetic textures and rhythms taking over where once the lads used bass and guitars (which, on this album, are mostly used only for the occasional bridge or solo). A lot of the album though does conjure some of the best alternative pop of the 80s, so this new house-influenced sound doesn't dominate the entire record. Despite this polarisation of sounds, the album functions brilliantly as a unit of synth-pop, acid house and alternative pop, boasting songs you can just lose yourself singing along to alongside tunes which would grace any dance floor even today with their presence. An absolute killer of an album this.
The best bits: Run, Mr. Disco, Vanishing Point

Last edited by Bulldog; 03-22-2009 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:13 AM   #122 (permalink)
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top 10 guesses (cause' I'm bored )

Costello
Nick Cave
David Bowie
(I'm not sure of the other 7...maybe a few surprises?)
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:41 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Demonoid View Post
top 10 guesses (cause' I'm bored )

Costello
Nick Cave
David Bowie
(I'm not sure of the other 7...maybe a few surprises?)
Good guesses None of them are in my top 5 though. I think my favourite album of all time will surprise a few folks as well.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:01 AM   #124 (permalink)
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I need to check out more Byrds I think. I only have Mr. Tambourine Man. Country aint my thing either, so may be an interesting experiment.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:11 AM   #125 (permalink)
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You'll probably be surprised at that Byrds album. I know I was - I used to hate country music before I heard it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:16 AM   #126 (permalink)
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I hate country so much. I just find it so hard to find what the appeal is!
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Well as I said country music isnt exactly my thing. The closest I probably got looking through my music collection would be Johnny Cash. My dad likes country music and whatever I have heard I never liked, but im sure theres country music out there I DO like, its just a case of finding it.

I'll check the Byrds album out
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
23. New Order - Technique (1989)

And here's the big daddy of synth-pop albums, if you could even call it that. As most of us probably know, by 1989 acid house was the elephant in the living room to a lot of the music-listening public (to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge - I was 1 at the time after all), and by the time the kings of synth-pop New Order cottoned on to this, a transformation of their sound ensued which conjured up their finest album. Having booked a hotel slap-bang in the centre of the house music craze (Ibiza), New Order went about injecting their own mix of electronica and rock music with the energy and dynamics of acid house. This is no more obvious than on the killer opener, Fine Time. The song presents a group simply unrecognizable from its origins (try listening to Fine Time and Blue Monday back to back), with synthetic textures and rhythms taking over where once the lads used bass and guitars (which, on this album, are mostly used only for the occasional bridge or solo). A lot of the album though does conjure some of the best alternative pop of the 80s, so this new house-influenced sound doesn't dominate the entire record. Despite this polarisation of sounds, the album functions brilliantly as a unit of synth-pop, acid house and alternative pop, boasting songs you can just lose yourself singing along to alongside tunes which would grace any dance floor even today with their presence. An absolute killer of an album this.
The best bits: Run, Mr. Disco, Vanishing Point
Not my favourite New Order album (Low Life gets my vote) but Fine Time and Vanishing Point are big, brash dance tunes that don't sound dated in the slightest. Nice to see another NO fan on the boards.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:06 PM   #129 (permalink)
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I hate country so much. I just find it so hard to find what the appeal is!
If it's not your thing it's not your thing I suppose. The trouble is though that you're viewing it as one genre. Country music's probably been kicking about as long as rock 'n' roll, if not longer. Like jazz and blues there are so many fusions and sub-genres which have popped up in the many decades it's been around - there's much much more to it than line-dancing to Achey Breaky Heart and Dolly Parton bemoaning lost love, and that's how it appeals to me.

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Originally Posted by mojopinuk View Post
Well as I said country music isnt exactly my thing. The closest I probably got looking through my music collection would be Johnny Cash. My dad likes country music and whatever I have heard I never liked, but im sure theres country music out there I DO like, its just a case of finding it.

I'll check the Byrds album out
Good man I can hook you up with a link if you have any trouble finding it (should be easy though - it's a very popular album).

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Not my favourite New Order album (Low Life gets my vote) but Fine Time and Vanishing Point are big, brash dance tunes that don't sound dated in the slightest. Nice to see another NO fan on the boards.
Low Life is a fantastic album, as are Power Corruption and Lies and Republic. I'm a big fan of Get Ready too. Great band, even if their last album was full of shite - shame they don't seem to get much attention around here.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:08 PM   #130 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
If it's not your thing it's not your thing I suppose. The trouble is though that you're viewing it as one genre. Country music's probably been kicking about as long as rock 'n' roll, if not longer. Like jazz and blues there are so many fusions and sub-genres which have popped up in the many decades it's been around - there's much much more to it than line-dancing to Achey Breaky Heart and Dolly Parton bemoaning lost love, and that's how it appeals to me.
Yeah, it's been around much longer than rock n roll. I think it dates back at least to the 1930s and its roots stretch back much, much further into the 1800s.
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