Saturday, May 28, 2005

Top 100 Albums

I've decided to post a list of my Top 100 Albums of All Time. Why? Because I apparently have far too much time available to sit around on my ass seriously considering whether I prefer Interpol to Galaxie 500, or if it's too soon to tell. Most people wouldn't bother to take more than 1 minute to comtemplate this question. Most people, in fact, would immediately ask "What the fuck is a Galaxie 500" were they ever to contemplate this question.

And just for clarity, this is not the Top 100 Best Albums ever. This is my personal Top 100 Favorite Albums ever. It's not the ones I've listened to the most over my lifetime, or the most influential, or the ones I have the deepest personal connection with. They're just my 100 favorite albums. In roughly the order in which I favor them (though obviously, the rankings would change over time, as I get tired of some albums and discover new things I like about others).

So I'm not going to feel bad if your favorite band didn't make the cut, or for having bands that aren't hip to like that I like anyway. I mean, obviously your favorite band wasn't going to make the list. Because your favorite band sucks.

So, yes, Dave Matthews Band is on there because even though they're extremely cheesy now and no longer have the hipster seal of approval, "Under the Table and Dreaming" is still a kickass record. And no, Frank Zappa isn't on the list, and neither is Captain Beefheart because that shit, for all its audacity and technical brilliance, is basically unlistenable as far as I'm concerned. And Tom Waits and Elvis Costello and Joni Mitchell aren't on there just to piss you off.

It was a really really hard list to compile. Way more hard than I thought it would be when I set out to do it. First off, I came up with WAY more than 100 albums, even though I assumed I'd have to struggle just to make it to 100. Secondly, it's super difficult to choose between two really different bands and albums that you like. I mean, are the Meat Puppets better than Wilco? Does Cream rock harder than Marvin Gaye? This was especially true when two albums wind up next to each other on the list...Can I really say that I prefer Radiohead's "OK Computer" to Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home"? I give the Oxford boys the superior position on the list, but I'm not so sure...

Not to mention that I'm totally sick of some of these albums, and wouldn't want to actually listen to them right now. Even the #1 album on the list has been sort of played out for me at this point...I can go for months between listens. But I wanted to be fair to my overall tastes, and not just what I'm listening to right this moment.

Other self-imposed rules I should mention...There are no soundtracks, or any albums with multiple contributors from that matter (unless they were all in the same band at the same time). There are no best-ofs. There are no live albums, except for the second half of Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps," but even if you left only the first half, it would still be worth including.

And to prevent the thing from getting too repetitive, I will admit to trimming some worthwhile discographies. I have a bunch of Beatles albums, but every Beatles album, at least from "Rubber Soul" on, is better than just about every other album ever, so it wouldn't be as interesting a list. I also kind of feel bad about shortchanging guys like Paul Simon and The Stones and Stevie Wonder, who produced tons of good music but only get one mention on the list. But what can you do?

Oh, and there is no jazz or classical, because I don't listen to that stuff and putting it on the list would be a lame attempt to class up the blog.

Okay, so here we go, in reverse order...

My Favorite 100 Albums of All Time

100. Bad Religion - "Recipie for Hate"
99. Grandaddy - "Under the Western Freeway"
98. Deltron 3030 - "Deltron 3030"
97. The Eels - "Electro-Shock Blues"
96. Dismemberment Plan - "Emergency and I"
95. The Decemberists - "Castaways and Cutouts"
94. Ben Folds Five - "Whatever and Ever Amen"

93. Nirvana - "Nevermind"
92. The Strokes - "Is This It?"
91. Arcade Fire - "Funeral"

90. The Shins - "Chutes Too Narrow"
89. Stereolab - "Emperor Tomato Ketchup"
88. Sebadoh - "Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock"
87. Galaxie 500 - "On Fire"
86. Phish - "Picture of Nectar"
85. Songs: Ohia - "Magnolia Electric Company"
84. Soul Coughing - "Ruby Vroom"
83. The Fiery Furnaces - "Gallowbird's Bark"
82. Sonic Youth - "Daydream Nation"
81. Oingo Boingo - "Dead Man's Party"

80. Love - "Forever Changes"
79. Rusted Root - "When I Woke"
78. The Who - "Tommy"
77. Liz Phair - "Exile in Guyville"
76. Pulp - "Different Class"
75. A Tribe Called Quest - "Low End Theory"
74. Dave Matthews Band - "Under the Table and Dreaming"
73. The Velvet Underground - "VU"
72. Interpol - "Turn On the Bright Lights"
71. Television - "Marquee Moon"

70. Paul Simon - "Graceland"
69. Elliott Smith - "Figure 8"
68. The Rolling Stones - "Let It Bleed"
67. The Ramones - "Rocket to Russia"
66. Talking Heads - "Fear of Music"
65. Radiohead - "Kid A"
64. Frank Black - "Teenager of the Year"
63. Wilco - "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
62. Belle and Sebastian - "If You're Feeling Sinister"
61. Dinosaur Jr. - "You're Living All Over Me"

60. Meat Puppets - "II"
59. Ween - "Chocolate and Cheese"
58. Sebadoh - "Bakesale"
57. Modest Mouse - "The Lonesome Crowded West"
56. Pavement - "Brighten the Corners"
55. Weezer - "Pinkerton"
54. Built to Spill - "Keep It Like a Secret"
53. Blur - "Parklife"
52. Pearl Jam - "Vs."
51. Guided by Voices - "Bee Thousand"

50. The Flaming Lips - "Soft Bulletin"
49. Heatmiser - "Mic City Sons"
48. Olivia Tremor Control - "Dusk at Cubist Castle"
47. Phish - "Rift"
46. Marvin Gaye - "What's Going On"
45. Cream - "Disraeli Gears"
44. Soul Coughing - "Irresistable Bliss"
43. Van Morrison - "Astral Weeks"
42. The Smiths - "The Smiths"
41. Pearl Jam - "Ten"

40. The Pixies - "Surfer Rosa"
39. Neil Young and Crazy Horse - "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere"
38. Beck - "Midnite Vultures"
37. The Doors - "Morrison Hotel"
36. John Lennon - "Plastic Ono Band"
35. Michael Jackson - "Thriller"
34. Led Zeppelin - "III"
33. The Beach Boys - "Pet Sounds"
32. Beastie Boys - "Paul's Boutique"
31. Stevie Wonder - "Talking Book"

30. Grateful Dead - "American Beauty"
29. The Velvet Underground - "The Velvet Underground and Nico"
28. Neutral Milk Hotel - "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
27. The Ramones - "The Ramones"
26. Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"
25. Neil Young - "After the Gold Rush"
24. Pavement - "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain"
23. Radiohead - "The Bends"
22. The Who - "Who's Next"
21. The Pixies - "Doolittle"

20. Neil Young and Crazy Horse - "Rust Never Sleeps"
19. The Velvet Underground - "Loaded"
18. David Bowie - "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust"
17. Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Are You Experienced?"
16. The Beatles - "Magical Mystery Tour"
15. The Smiths - "The Queen is Dead"
14. Led Zeppelin - "IV"
13. Beck - "Odelay"
12. Grateful Dead - "Workingman's Dead"
11. Bob Dylan - "Bringing It All Back Home"

10. Radiohead - "OK Computer"
09. Talking Heads - "Remain in Light"
08. The Beatles - "Revolver"
07. David Bowie - "Hunky Dory"
06. Bob Dylan - "Highway 61 Revisited"
05. David Bowie - "Station to Station"
04. The Beatles - "White Album"
03. Bob Dylan - "Blonde on Blonde"
02. The Beatles - "Abbey Road"

01. Pink Floyd - "Dark Side of the Moon"


Lons' Dad said...

It's really Lee Well, I apparently have nothing better to do with my time that read your blog. I applaud your list. You have good taste in music and I am proud to have had some influence on your musical likes. By the way, Dark side is probably my favorite of all time as well!

Steve said...

While I was pleased to see two of my three favourite artists of all time make it in (Paul Simon and Neil Young), as well as my fourth favourit artist of all time (Bob Dylan), you forgot to mention Leonard Cohen anywhere. I recommend The Future myself.

Other than that, I applaud your tastes, mostly.

Steve said...

Also, the greatest Dylan album of all time is clearly not Blonde on Blonde, but Blood on the Tracks.

Cory said...

This is an absolutely incredible list. Very interesting choices - I don't agree with everything, obviously (that would be frightening for both of us) but it's certainly closer to my taste than any list Rolling Stone compiles. Nice work.

Steve's right about Dylan, BTW - personally I would put Tracks, Highway 61 and Bringing it all Back Home ahead of Blonde on Blonde. Maybe even Desire...then again, maybe not.

Lons said...

"Blonde on Blonde" was the first Dylan album I got to know intimately well, so maybe I'm biased. But it has always been my favorite of his albums (with BIABH and Highway 61 close behind).

It also contains my fav. Dylan song ("Stuck Inside of Mobile..."). I like it because it's this long, odd, rambling, kind of psychedelic narrative thing, as opposed to his later, more serious albums (like "Blood on the Tracks") or his early folkier material (like the brilliant "John Wesley Harding"). It's the most 60's, if that makes sense.

Catrin said...

Apart from the more obvious choices, I am very pleased to see The Eels(although I probably prefer Beautiful Freak and Shootenanny both to Electroshock Blues) and Dinosaur Jr(Do you ever listen to J Mascis & the fog? I find his voice to be the main ingredient, and he seems to have brought some of the style along). Additionally, you have picked the by far best and often forgotten Weezer album Pinkerton over the much more successful and critically acclaimed Blue Album. I approve. Just don't write any stupid things about Germans any more, ok?

Cory said...

John Wesley Harding came after Blonde on Blonde, but I see your point, and apologize for nitpicking, and am considering deleting this as I type for lack of a desire to nitpick, but now I feel my apology will be accepted, so it's ok.

berns said...

"Station To Station" is a masterpiece! Good call!

berns said...

And hopefully, some of these sentimental college-days choices (Ben Folds, Dave Matthews) will be replaced by a good Elvis Costello and a good Joni Mitchell album. I suggest "This Year's Model" and "Blue"...

berns said...

And there's also NO WAY that (band I never heard of and only "cool" guys have, anyway)'s album is better than "Who's Next"


Lons said...

Who's Next comes in at #22
Tommy comes in at #78

in retrospect, that seems fair to me. Love both the albums, but they're not in my Top Ten favorites.

Konrad said...

What about some more sentimental college days choices: Nick Drake, Brendan Benson, Ben Harper?

Lons said...

Nick Drake might have had a shot if I had listened to more of his complete albums. I like his stuff, but am not well-versed enough to include it in a list of favorites.

Never been a huge Ben Harper fan, although some of the pot songs are fun.

And I'm gonna have to plead ignorance on Brendan there a particular album you recommend?

Konrad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Konrad said...

Brendan Benson, I could recommend his latest album "Alternative to love". That's how I met him.
I think I have forgotten Bright Eyes, Mr. Conor Oberst. What do you think about him? I'm going to his concert on wednesday!!

GimmeDaWatch said...

Superfly, Houses of the Holy (nobody ever puts this best Zepp album up), Mass Romantic (you know u regret this omission), The Wall, and.............. probably left out b/c its assumed #1 "AUTOBIOGRAPHY"!

you obvs havent listened to "Grace" enough, so I wont bitch about that one. Oh wait, I just did. Face.

GimmeDaWatch said...

PPS, Brendan Benson is that dude who's cheesy stick figure video you were bitching about last week.