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Old 09-03-2008, 12:55 PM   #61 (permalink)
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56. Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs to Make Music To Take Drugs To (1990)

While the Spacemen 3 aren't necessarily a band that has had a huge impact on my life story. They are ranked pretty high due to the fact that I love their music without having to give it a story. True, there is no nostalgia behind them for me... there is no memory or certain time they remind make me recall with a heavy/light heart. But they are a constant. Heard Spacemen 3 first off of some sh!tty compilation I bought for 5 bucks at a local music place. They were the diamond in the rough. The quintessential SM3 album is "Perfect Prescription" which came out in 1987. That album was a concept album that dealt with a person's experience with a drug trip, and ultimately is their best work. However, sometimes I'm not in the mood for a concept album and I can pop this "greatest hits" compilation in and hear the full, eccentric gamut of Spacemen 3's work. You don't feel like you're listening to the same band in any 2 songs back to back. They range from psychedelic, to punk, to pure rock, to drone/shoegaze. With this compilation you get to hear all of the above and more.

Check out: The Sound of Confusion, Come Down Easy, Amen


55. The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs (1999)
Hahahaha. Oh Stephen Merrit wrote "69" - what a joker. So, let me tell you about the story behind the album. This is... a concept album in which Stephen Merrit tries to send up classic pop albums... by writing 3 album and throwing them together. The idea is brilliant, however, when you get an album of this length you have... filler... a lot of filler. But the great songs certainly are great. And there are quirky little songs that play with style a lot "We Are the King of the Boudoir" is a song backed by a harpsichord, and sounds like it came out of the bizzarro Medieval Times. Now... if I thought it would be fair to chop this album down to one CD and put all of my favorite songs on it... chances are it'd be higher on the list. Stephen Merrit has an interesting voice, doesn't sound like he has any particular training (which is not necessarily something a lot of people have) but it's warbling, sometimes delicate, sometimes crass... but always Stephen Merrit. You feel like you might be listening to a mixture of Morrissey and Johnny Cash. There are some clever lyrics, "Busby Berkeley Dreams", is touching and shows that Merrit can forgo the goofyness of the filler songs and truly write if he wanted to. But then you get "songs" like "Experimental Music Love" which is Merrit saying the title and then putting some kind of echo effect on it and letting it go on for about 30 seconds... pretty lame actually. There is a song called "Punk Rock Love" where he sends up bands like Good Charlotte and New Found Glory by singing in a nasally voice and throwing some ska in the background. I could go forever detailing every song and it would all be interesting even if the songs aren't good... or even songs. Give this a listen if you really are music ADD like I am sometime.

Check out: Busby Berkeley Dreams, Papa Was a Rodeo, I Don't Believe in the Sun


54. Stone Temple Pilots - Core (1992)
"I AMMMM SMELLIN' LIKE THE ROSE SOMEONE GAVE ME ON MY BIRTHDAY DEATH BED!" - whhewww what a way to start an album. This is one of those that was standard listening for a kid growing up in the 90's who liked rock. STP was part of the grunge scene yeah and Scott Weiland would go on to front Velvet Revolver, rock supergroup extraordinaire. As my music tastes "grew more refined" or as I started to move on from the hard rock, grunge thing I left STP on my shelf like I did with several groups. And again I was reminded recently due to the advent of games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band reminded of them and went back to listen to what was once a staple of my music collection. This album isn't quite my thing anymore, not that it isn't enjoyable or anything - but just... better remembered like it was, and how much it meant to me as an angsty early-teen. Some great rock tracks came off of this album - "Dead and Bloated", "Sin", "Vasoline", "Creep", and "Plush" are album highlights. This was a great debut album for STP and really opened up some doors for them later in their career.

Check out: ^Those highlights I mentioned, and also No Memory to hear some interesting instrumental noodlings that would be important later in STP's career.


53. Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
As much as I'd like to relay the importance of this kind of cultural cross over, I really can't do it any better than any of the several biographies written about Ray Charles... or even the movie "Ray". I'm from Atlanta, Georgia - which means I have a soft spot in my heart for Ray Charles to begin with... forget the fact that he is one of the greatest artists of the 20th century... but as you may or may not know, "Georgia on My Mind" is Georgia's state song (after we had banned him from performing in the state because he wanted rights and we said, NOOOO). However, that song is not on this album. This album is soulful as hell, you can just feel it inside of you - in my experience it is one of the few albums that really gets a visceral emotional response out of you on the first listen. I can't do Ray any justice with my own words... but the inspiration for so many artist, again the country album coming from a black man in the mid 60's is so important for a desegregation of music type -- kinda like the Run DMC/Aerosmith collaboration of its day. So many black singers after this became wildly popular, and some even prolific. Someone on rateyourmusic mentioned Joe Tex, and I have to say - that among Ray's contemporaries - Joe Tex was among the greatest talents (If you've seen Tarantino's Grindhouse/Death Proof you've heard him). Anyway, back to Ray.

Check out: His entire discography.
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Old 09-16-2008, 03:55 PM   #62 (permalink)
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This post marks the halfway point! HurrAH!


52. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
In a purely biographical sense, this album has done little to shape my life in any form... which would explain it's existence in the back 50. But let me say, had this album come along earlier in my life, things could have been a lot different for my musical future... although I suppose you could say this about any particular album/artist. I have no boring/interesting stories about this one- my roommate in Chicago told me about a Mr. Grieves cover, knowing that the Pixies were on constant spin in my little apartment. Then of course I was aware of these guys when this little ditty caused an eUproar and everyone and their moms were talking about the best album of 2006. I can't help but agree really... with a unique vocalist (you've recognized the trend) and a beautiful congregation of drum loops, heavy distortion and (relatively untalked about) lyrical content that is dark and forbidding. Hell, Wolf Like Me the essential single off of this album is about a nymphomaniac telling a whore about how he is going to teach her new tricks that even SHE hasn't seen yet... but she's a WHORE! So, I mean... look for themes of armageddon, downtrodden youth, unbridled hubris - you'll continue to see them in their back catalogue as well as in Dear Science,.

Check out: Playhouses, Tonight, Wolf Like Me


51. The Four Seasons - Sherry and 11 Others (1962)
In almost a complete turnaround from TV on the Radio's entry, this album had a huge impact on my life while not really giving me any long lasting musical attachment. I used to live in Atlanta, GA - and my grandparents lived in the middle of Illinois... so as a child getting to visit them was quite the occasion. Whenever we'd arrive, my grandparents would always, always be playing some sort of 50's pop, and their favorite album (well, second to Pet Sounds) was Sherry and 11 Others. Walk Like a Man and Sherry are of course the huge singles off of this debut - but every song on this album is imprinted on my brain forever. Peanuts, for example was my favorite song as a dibbun. However, as I got older, this little white Doo wop group didn't really stick and is relegated to the annals of my mind. I still here the singles of course, "OOOOeeeeOOoeeeOOOeee Walk! Walk! Walk!" haha - but you won't find this on my iPod for example. But sure enough, trips to my grandparents' house are sure to include a little Frankie Valli and friends. Aside from the biographical aspect - Valli's falsetto is a thing of beauty and inspired many imitators - everything you want out of a doo-wop group is here (except maybe a little soul from the black doo-wop groups). If anything, respect The Four Seasons' place in music history.

Check out: Peanuts, Walk Like a Man, Lost Lullaby


50. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991)
Let's get something straight before I start here. I know that there are people on this forum who absolutely DESPISE Pearl Jam, I know it to be one of the truest things about this forum is that Pearl Jam gets no respect at all. Well. Just in case you have forgotten, I am a child of the 90s. I will not apologize for liking this album, I f'n love this album. As a rock-loving individual whose taste is developing in the early-mid 90s... it was impossible to escape the Pearl Jamarama. Jeremy is/was one of my favorite songs - the video made me realize that I liked dark songs, really, really dark songs. This song also was sort of a precursor to our school violence in America... this... this album has Eddie Vedder coming off of Temple of the Dog, the pre-Pearl Jam, this has all the makings of one of the best debuts of the 90s, of all time. You talk to any rock loving individual who was born in the mid 80s... you will see stars in their eyes when they speak of this album. Of course I'm being very general - but this... this is a milestone album in my life - and I can't get over how much I've wanted to praise it since my join date in Dec 2005 but never got to. Black... Jeremy... Once... EVEN FLOW - please put away your prejudices and go back and listen to this beauty. Better than Nevermind. Better.... than... Nevermind. Stone me now.

Check out: Black, Jeremy, Once, Even Flow, ALIVE!!!


49. The Damned - Damned Damned Damned (1977)
Hello pioneers of punk and welcome to the front 50. The Damned debuted with this cleverly titled album - and usually this gem plays second fiddle to their punk masterpiece "Machine Gun Etiquette", as well it should musically. But let's discuss the importance of this album that at its time only had 2 other contemporaries - The Ramones and Blondie's debut releases. Some people call this one of the best punk records ever - are they wrong? Look for really, really catchy - fast, fun punk songs that leave you not in want for anything more than MORE DAMNED. They don't try to fool you with delusions of technical grandeur - this is before punk became a style, before it became jaded, before it became an elitist club... and really, what else can you say? Biographically this was introduced to me well after I had been listening to bands like The Clash, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols and newer "punks" like Stiff Little Fingers, Social Distortion and Green Day. So I can't say that this album started anything new, but more lead me to appreciate what I'd already been listening to - saw the grass roots origins of this crass, controversial genre.

Check out: Fan Club, Born to Kill, 1 of the 2
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:58 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Mad props for TVOTR and The Four Seasons.

Can't say I'm too happy with Ten; I've heard far too much Pearl Jam to be anything less than indifferent to them.
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:12 PM   #64 (permalink)
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I think you've got balls for posting 10. I'm one of those who likes the hits from that album, but there are sheep here who “smelt cred in the water” (to mix a metaphor) and savage this band to no end. I happen to think Vs. is better, but stick to your guns. I’ve always been a fan of Crowe, even if I wasn’t a fan of his choices.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:16 PM   #65 (permalink)
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A note from the author,

As we move into the top 45, my choices will be getting more commercial in the sense that - in my formative years these were the big things that got me into the lesser known things. That being said, some of the musical quality of these bands are sure to dip, and I am well aware.

This also allows a good point to introduce what I call the "Milestone Album" which will appear at every multiple of 10 and of course 1 being the ultimate Milestone Album. These are albums that radically changed my view of music, life or shaped my musical horizons in such a way that I would not be the same without them. You will notice a correlation in my Milestone Albums that have appeared before in the list and the albums that appear after them. Again, there will be exceptions to both of these statements. But as a general idea, these come into play.

Hopefully this inspires you to look back at your own, storied, music biography, and instead of cringing at somethings, and celebrating others... you embrace all of it as a whole. After all, the music from your past has made you into who you are today, and the music from today will make you into what you are going to become.

Enjoy,
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:21 PM   #66 (permalink)
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48. Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth (2003)
As if to reiterate my previous note. This is going to be the part where some of you start to lose faith in the list. "Has Crowe really just put this C&C album above such classics like 'Horses', 'Pearl', '1984', Ray f'n Charles??" That's right. And if you think you're surprised now, wait until you get to my number 1. So, what is it that earns this long titled album it's place in the top 50? Simply this. C&C plays with two of my favorite things - the concept album, and an epic sci-fi story and sets it to some pretty excellent progressive music. Some people have called CC emo, which was just them being in the wrong place at the wrong time - when emo started to become a household word their singles (Blood Red Summer, Favor House Atlantic) were on the cusp of that sound, that lyrical content - and so they were put under the umbrella of that word, and the fools who rely on genre description to guide their love or hate used this to feast on our CC boys. I love the story line - albeit confusing - of the Amory Wars and I love reading the lyrics - and it made me think of the story outside of the medium of music and really captured my imagination when these guys came around. Match that up with some pretty cool vocals which are a source of much disdain and love, and some great technical playing and you have a pretty sweet band. This album specifically due to Light and the Glass, one of my favorite C&C songs.

Check out: Light and the Glass, The Crowing, 21:13


47. Sam Cooke - The Man and His Music (1986, compilation)
Note: This is not the cover for "The Man and His Music" released in 1986. I was moved to love Sam Cooke when I took a Rock and Soul on the Radio class early in my college career and I heard the song "A Change Is Gonna Come". Before this event, I rarely took music as a political commentary very seriously at all. Sure, I was aware of its use as such - I could cite you artists, songs, eras etc... but I never really felt it like I did when I first listened to this particular song. Well, great Crowe - you are using an entire song to bring this album to 47? No. After hearing "A Change is Gonna Come", and realizing later that it would turn into one of my favorite songs of all time, I would go on to listen to the critically acclaimed "Night Beat" - but realized that I DID miss the poppy hits of Mr. Cooke. I hate using compilations on my list - but hey, this has it all from the so-called inventor of soul. While this won't be the Milestone Album that will be coming up - it certainly was THE precursor to the album that would draw me out of my rock/subgenres of rock world, you'll read about that album soon. I imagine if there was a full blown Sam Cooke album that I loved that wasn't a compilation (blasphemous to some, call me a shallow pop whore) then it might have been a little higher.

Check out: Twistin' the Night Away, A Change is Gonna Come, Only Sixteen, Cupid, Chain Gang


46. Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life(1976)
Um. I don't really know what to say about one of the most celebrated albums in music history that hasn't been said before by people exponentially more eloquent. Personally, this was one of those albums on constant spin at my grandparents' house as a child and I never fully appreciated it, again after that class, until now. The singles are well known and of course the cultural importance of reaching audiences of all races is well documented... I just can't add anything new to the mix. I had a hard time picking between this and Innervisions. The music moves me in a way that can only be done by these soul singers coming out of the 60s-70s. Like many - I feel the downfall of this album is the double disc, the second disc faltering a little behind the first one - however a reissue recently trimmed this sucker down.

Check out: Village Ghetto Land, Knocks Me Off My Feet, Sir Duke


45. Love - Forever Changes(1967)
Hey - finally here. What can you say about Forever Changes that is somehow more insightful than one of the thousands of rave reviews about it online? Not much I suppose... but I will attempt to describe this full, full beauty that Forever Changes IS. You start off with Alone Again Or - which, as far as I can tell, is one of the most complete recordings that have ever graced this young man's ears. Layered vocals? Check. "flamenco" style guitar playing? You got it... it's a soft song that will not have you (well, not me anyway) drooling on the first listen, hell - maybe even not the second listen. You gotta go back and listen to it! But then again you can't go looking for the beauty - ack, I am ruining it for you! Go! The second track A House is Not a Motel - is well psychedelic to be sure (and yeah, many call this the quintessential psychedelic album - I'd say it's one of them - and maybe just for this track alone!) - you have some absolutely crazy guitar/drum breakdowns, think 60's version Mars Volta if I had to make a very crude, probably ineffective comparison. Andmoreagain, the next track, is a pretty haunting track - the warbling vocals of Arthur Lee slow the album down a little. And on and on - album highlights are hard to pick. You sin by picking one and not the other, and you sin by not picking any at all. This would have been much higher on my list had I found it earlier in my life, I imagine. I can't say how this might or might not have affected me growing up...

Check out: Alone Again Or, The Red Telephone, A House is Not a Motel, Bummer in the Summer
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:05 PM   #67 (permalink)
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I swear I will finish this soon.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:09 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Don't sweat it Crowe. Doing a "top 100" list with any real thought behind it is like a four-year term in the White House: your hair will gray and start to fall out unless you take it easy.

I personally like what you have so far. Especially good calls on The Monks and Spaceman 3, though I haven't listened to the former of the two as much as I should. Oh well...
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:48 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anteater View Post
Don't sweat it Crowe. Doing a "top 100" list with any real thought behind it is like a four-year term in the White House: your hair will gray and start to fall out unless you take it easy.

I personally like what you have so far. Especially good calls on The Monks and Spaceman 3, though I haven't listened to the former of the two as much as I should. Oh well...
haha, They only have the two albums - I bet you can catch up
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:14 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Stave it off one, two, three, and now you can count to three.
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