Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Let's Dissect Another Meme, Shall We?

This article shows England's Channel Four's opinion of what the 100 Greatest Albums of all time are. Needless to say, I can't resist the opportunity to tear into this one given some of the idiocies present (well, it was the result of a poll, which of course can be manipulated any which way the pollster prefers; I recall having a rather heated argument with a professor who insisted that a random sample of people polled on the corner of Wall Street and Broadway would give a more accurate result than a random sample of phone numbers - his logic being that my insistence on phone numbers disenfranchised those without phones from participating in the poll....)

Anyway, to the list:
1. RADIOHEAD - OK Computer
Dreary, bleep blorp music. I actually liked "The Bends", though.

2. U2 - The Joshua Tree
Yup, a classic. Not #2, but up in the top ten or fifteen all-time classics.

3. NIRVANA - Nevermind
Minor chord melancholy. Way overrated.

Well crafted. Not my cup of tea, but I'll give it it's due. More credit should go to Quincy Jones for his work on this.

5. PINK FLOYD - Dark Side of the Moon

6. OASIS - Definitely Maybe
Ahead of the Beatles??????????

7. THE BEATLES - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Obviously the people they polled just parrot what they hear. Most real Beatles cognoscenti would rate this as their third or fourth best.

8. MADONNA - Like a Prayer
Not my cup of tea at all. Well crafted. Less likable than Thriller.

9. GUNS N' ROSES - Appetite For Destruction
Deserves a top ten or fifteen just for "Sweet Child Of Mine" and "Welcome To The Jungle". The return of the full-out Les Paul through a Marshall sound.

10. THE BEATLES - Revolver
The best album of all time, IMO.

11. R.E.M. - Automatic for the People
I run hot and cold with R.E.M. Too much pretentiousness, but then they go ahead and do something that shows they still know who Roger McGuinn is.

12. THE BEATLES - The White Album
Toward the bottom of the pack of Beatles albums. Desperately in need of editing down to a single killer album.

13. QUEEN - A Night at the Opera
Great stuff.

14. COLDPLAY - Parachutes

15. OASIS - (What's the Story) Morning Glory
It's OK, not a classic.

16. ALANIS MORISSETTE - Jagged Little Pill
Whiny and annoying.

17. LED ZEPPELIN - Led Zeppelin IV
Top Five.

18. THE VERVE - Urban Hymns
Don't know it.

19. JIMI HENDRIX - Are you Experienced
Top Five.

20. THE SMITHS - The Queen Is Dead

21. JOHN LENNON - Imagine
Overrated. Lush sounding, the title track is an instant dial changer for me. Jealous Guy is by far the best song on the album.

22. RADIOHEAD - The Bends
Nice record.

Good stuff, but the vocals can be wearying to listen to.

24. THE STONE ROSES - The Stone Roses
Not bad.

25. SIMON AND GARFUNKEL - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Overrated. Too lush. I liked Bookends and the two previous albums better. Best tracks are "The Boxer" and "Keep The Customer Satisfied".

26. BJORK - Debut
Yumping Yiminy. Yawn.

27. THE DOORS - The Doors
Top Five.

28. ABBA - Arrival
Some of Abba's singles are still OK in my book, but a whole album's worth makes my teeth hurt.

29. MICHAEL JACKSON - Off the Wall
Well crafted. Not my cup of tea. Perhaps a better album than Thriller.


31. SEX PISTOLS - Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the Sex Pistols
Blecch. Dreadful stuff.

32. DAVID BOWIE - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
Top 10.

33. THE BEACH BOYS - Pet Sounds
Top 10.

34. JOY DIVISION - Closer
Thank you for playing, and where are those lovely parting gifts....

I'm running out of Top 5 slots....

36. BLUR - Parklife

Top 10. Pure magic on this record - it's Friday night on the Jersey Shore in less than 40 minutes.

38. BILLIE HOLIDAY - Lady Sings the Blues
I'm more of a Dinah Washington fan personally.

39. THE WHITE STRIPES - Elephant

40. BLACK SABBATH - Paranoid
Goofy stuff, but I like it.

41. THE SPECIALS - Specials
Leaves me cold.

42. THE ROLLING STONES - Exile on Main Street
Top 10. I waffle on whether it should be edited down, but there's a lot of good stuff here.

43. FRANK SINATRA - Songs for Swingin' Lovers!
Great stuff.

44. THE CLASH - London Calling
Much, much better than the Sex Pistols.

45. THE PRODIGY - The Fat of the Land
Don't know the record.

46. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - The Velvet Underground and Nico
I prefer "Loaded", but it's good to see that the Velvets cracked the Top 50 on this cockamamie list.

47. DIRE STRAITS - Brothers in Arms
Great stuff.

48. PIXIES - Doolittle

49. ARETHA FRANKLIN - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Great stuff.

50. THE LIBERTINES - The Libertines
Don't know it.

51. HAPPY MONDAYS - Pills 'N' Thrills and Bellyaches

52. PATTI SMITH - Horses
I run hot and cold with Patti Smith, so it's probably a bit highly ranked for me at the moment.

53. THE WHO - Tommy
Over "Who's Next"???????

54. LOU REED - Transformer
About right.

55. BOB DYLAN - Blood on the Tracks
Over "Blonde on Blonde" and "Highway 61"?????

56. PRINCE - Sign 'o' the Times
About right.

57. DIDO - No Angel

58. AIR - Moon Safari

59. ELTON JOHN - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Great stuff. I haven't listened to it in a while - I'll have to pull it out and take a listen.

60. THE JAM - All Mod Cons
Not bad, but it would be much lower down on the list for me. Still, anyone who uses Rickenbackers through Vox amps is OK in my book.

61. JEFF BUCKLEY - Grace
Does the name Phil Ochs ring a bell?

62. FLEETWOOD MAC - Rumours
About right. Overplayed. I still like "Go Your Own Way", though....

63. MOBY - Play

64. RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
I'm really just starting to listen deeply to the Chili Peppers now, so I can't comment on which of their albums grabs me. Some of their stuff is pretty cool, some of the rest is nasty.

65. THE POLICE - Synchronicity
Good stuff, but overplayed.


67. CURTIS MAYFIELD - Superfly
Where's "People Get Ready"?

68. ELVIS PRESLEY - The Sun Sessions

69. OUTKAST - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

70. PULP - Different Class
Dunno it.

71. KRAFTWERK - Trans-Europe Express
Bleep blorp.

72. MASSIVE ATTACK - Blue Lines

73. BECK - Odelay

74. STEVIE WONDER - Songs in the Key of Life
A classic. It was overplayed back in the day, but it's a cool listen now.

75. KATE BUSH - Hounds of Love

76. TALKING HEADS - Fear of Music
Great stuff.

77. EMINEM - The Marshall Mathers LP
No. A thousand times no.

78. MARVIN GAYE - What's Going On
Top 10, easily. Always in heavy rotation with me.


80. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER - The Original Movie Soundtrack
It's grown on me over the years. About right in the rankings, IMO.

81. PRIMAL SCREAM - Screamadelica

82. JOHN COLTRANE - A Love Supreme
Coltrane is an intense listen, and I really have to be in the mood for him.

83. LOVE - Forever Changes
Great stuff. Top 15.

84. PAUL SIMON - Graceland

85. NICK DRAKE - Five Leaves Left

86. MEAT LOAF - Bat Out of Hell
I love the Bruce meets Phil bombast of this record. Personal favorite "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth"

87. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD - Dusty in Memphis
Great stuff.

88. DE LA SOUL - 3 Feet High and Rising

89. THE STROKES - Is this It

90. MADNESS - One Step Beyond...

91. ROBBIE WILLIAMS - I've Been Expecting You
Saying "ditto" again would be merely boring and declasse.

92. NEIL YOUNG - After the Gold Rush
Great stuff.

93. PUBLIC ENEMY - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Not my speed.

94. BLONDIE - Parallel Lines
Good stuff. Saw them back in '78 or so at Belmont Racetrack - good show. I always cracked up at their cover of Randy and The Rainbows "Denise".

95. THE EAGLES - Hotel California

96. JAMES BROWN - Sex Machine
Should be higher in the rankings.

97. THE STREETS - A Grand Don't Come for Free

98. DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS - Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
"Come On Eileen". And what else?

99. ROD STEWART - Every Picture Tells a Story
The Faces, man. great stuff.

100. The HUMAN LEAGUE - Dare!
Oh for crying out loud.....


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