All-time favorite albums #1. KISS – Alive!

Friday, February 14th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments

No real surprise here. I mean, come on! This is the greatest rock and roll record ever! Of all time!

According to me.

KISS’s Alive! still explodes from my speakers with all the blood, fire and volume it did the first time I heard it. Even the album cover still makes me giddy. I used to come home after a night of rocking and rolling all nite and throw this on my Walkman, and years later, my Discman, and just lay there in the dark and let it take over. The live versions of “Deuce” and “Strutter” still give me goosebumps (as do “C’mon and Love Me,” “Parasite” and “Cold Gin”). I will even sit through Peter Criss’ drum solo (because it rules). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you fancy yourself a connoisseur of rock, you best own this record. Because … say it with me—you wanted the best, and you got the best.

And you wanted the rest, and you got the rest. Behold how uncool and unsophisticated I really am. Read ‘em and weep for me.

The TDoL 50 All-time Favorite Albums

1. KISS – Alive! (1975)

2. Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)

3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)

4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)

5. Old 97’s – Wreck Your Life (1995)

6. Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)

7. Willie Nelson – Phases and Stages (1974)

8. The Saints – Eternally Yours (1978)

9. Nirvana – In Utero (1993)

10. Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)

11. Skid Row – Slave To the Grind (1991)

12. Mother Hips – Later Days (1998)

13. KISS – Destroyer (1976)

14. Old 97’s – Fight Songs (1999)

15. Fleetwood Mac – Tusk (1979)

16. RATT – Out of the Cellar (1984)

17. Far – Water & Solutions (1998)

18. Reigning Sound – Time Bomb High School (2002)

19. Clutch – Clutch (1995)

20. Buzzcocks – Singles Going Steady (1979)

21. John Coltrane – Blue Train (1957)

22. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000)

23. Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground (1969)

24. Kuraia – Illuntasunari Barre (2003)

25. The Stooges – Fun House (1970)

26. The Smiths – Strangeways Here We Come (1987)

27. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (1981)

28. T. Rex – The Slider (1972)

29. Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)

30. KISS – Music From “The Elder” (1981)

31. Dwight Twilley Band – Twilley Don’t Mind (1977)

32. Helmet – Betty (1994)

33. Love – Love (1966)

34. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

35. The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

36. Pantera – Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

37. The Ramones – Ramones (1976)

38. Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970)

39. The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine (2006)

40. Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle (1979)

41. Mötley Crüe – Too Fast For Love (1982)

42. Slayer - Divine Intervention (1994)

43. Iron Maiden – Live After Death (1985)

44. Green Day – Insomniac (1995)

45. Alice Cooper – Love It to Death (1971)

46. Pavement – Brighten the Corners (1997)

47. Weezer – Green Album (2001)

48. Split Enz – True Colours (1980)

49. Madonna – Madonna (1983)

50. L7 – Hungry For Stink (1994)


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All-time favorite albums #2. Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments

My best friend/then-roommate used to play this constantly back when we were young, dumb bucks. Of course, at the time I was probably into metal—and METAL ONLY—so CVB’s debut Telephone Free Landslide Victory was lost on me. I at some point ended up with a burned copy and started playing it … and getting it. I took it with me when I moved to Spain in 2003, and it unofficially became the soundtrack to many a hashish-filled night. Whether it was the punk rock of “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon” and Black Flag’s “Wasted,” or the Eastern European sounds of “Border Ska” and “Yanqui Go Home,” Spaniards, Swedes, Kiwis and Yankees could all find something to like.

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All-time favorite albums #3. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

Thursday, February 13th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments

The Beastie Boys have been one of the few constants in my life, and in my musical evolution. Whether I was digging on metal, country, or whatever garage rock, weirdo shit I was into at the time, the Beasties—and especially this album—were in rotation. Then again, it’s one of those records where you hear something new with each listen. From experience, Paul’s Boutique sounds better on cassette in a beat-up car stereo. Let’s not kid around—the entire thing is a fucking masterpiece. Especially “3-Minute Rule,” which absolutely rules.

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All-time favorite albums #4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments

Nothing odd or sexy about #4 on my all-time list … well, besides the album cover. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours may seem like a ho-hum choice, but I can’t think of another album that’s been so deeply absorbed into my psyche. Sure there’s the nostalgia factor (my parents wore out their 8-track and record in 1977-78). But that only goes so far. As an adult/music fan/music critic, I can look at Rumours as simply a great pop record—one that’s a product of its time, but one that has also aged well. Another thing—I haven’t burned myself out on it by hearing “You Make Loving Fun” and “Don’t Stop” 40 billion times on the radio (I’m more of an “I Don’t Want to Know” guy myself). Besides, one of the things that makes Rumours work is listening to it front to back. It’s a beautiful, moody, coked-out son of a bitch. Just ask Stevie.

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All-time favorite albums #5. Old 97′s – Wreck Your Life

Monday, February 10th, 2014 | musiX | No Comments

Interestingly enough, my first taste of the Old 97′s was Fight Songs, their poppiest, least countrified album. Then came Too Far To Care—perfect, plenty of twang, but also plenty of polish. Song-wise Wreck Your Life probably isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor, but the raw, cowpunk of songs like “W-I-F-E,” “Doreen” and the slow-burning murder ballad “The Other Shoe,” along with the grimy garage-rock jangle, make this record a goddamn scorcher. One of the ’90s’ best-kept secrets. Or, better yet, best albums.

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