Audio Lore

A Positive Music Blog

Monday, May 11, 2020

Numbers 19 - 11 of My Top 100 All-Time Favorite Albums

Numbers 19 - 11 of My Top 100 All-Time Favorite Albums

* means I bought the album right when it was released or at the latest a few months

# means I discovered it later

19) Def Leppard - Pyromania (1983, Mercury) -There aren’t too many albums I can sing start

to finish without it playing. When Pyromania came out I could do it by the end of the day. Every song is great. “All killer, no filler”. The previous two albums were good but contained a little filler. The next one Hysteria is also pretty good but some of the songs sound a little too similar. Don't even get me started on Adrenalize.(*)

18) Wire - Pink Flag (1977, Harvest) - Another

album I won't get too into because I wrote about it here. I would like to add that this Wire album, along with their 

next two almost equally as great art/punk albums, Chairs Missing and 154 have been a serious influence on about half the albums this list. Interesting Tibit: In the '80s Wire had more of an electronic sound. When they toured people wanted to hear the old songs too, so Wire had an opening band perform the older songs. The band, the Ex-Lion Tamers, took their name from one of the Pink Flag songs.(#)

17) Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground (1984, Slash) - The songs on the Violent Femmes second album were all
written at the same time as the ones on the self-titled debut. The band decided to start with their more poppy stuff for that album and save the more evil ones for later. And the songs on Hallowed Ground like “Country Death Song” and “Never Tell” really are downright evil sounding. There are also a few religious songs which at first may be taken as satire but lead singer Gordon Gano was a diehard Baptist and meant every catchy word he sang. When I was 11 or 12 and bought this album, my parents were always thought it was slightly weird that I would walk around the house singing “Jesus Walking on the Water” (I'd say I prefer the debut a little more but already wrote about it here) (*)

16) The Pixies -Come on Pilgrim (1987, 4AD) - This may be a little of a cheat since Come on Pilgrim is only 8 songs and 20 minutes, but it is always
referred to as a Mini-Lp and not an Ep. Also Doolittle would probably get an edge but it was already explored here. The eight songs are not only perfect but they are also in the perfect order and demand to be listened too in full every time. From the long lead-in of "Caribou", all the way to the "Levitate Me" at the end the listener is left perfectly satisfied.(#)

15) Black Flag - Damaged (1981, Unicorn/SST) - Right from the beginning guitars of
“Rise Above” the album is right in your face. The urgency is kept up through songs like “Depression”, “Spray Paint”, “Police Story”, “Damaged 2”, and “Padded Cell”. A few things which left me in awe were Chuck Dukowski's bass at the beginning of "No More"  before all hell broke loose and Greg Ginn's machine-gun car crash guitar on "Six Pack" and "Gimme Gimme Gimme", the first Black Flag song I ever heard. All with vocals delivered perfectly by new singer Henry Rollins. The singalong “TV Party” proved the band could be fun too.  (#)

14) The Beatles - Rubber Soul (1965 Capital) - I would say Rubber Soul, Revolver, White Album, and Sgt Pepper are almost equally as great. For me
though, “Here There and Everywhere”, “Wild Honey Pie”, and “Within You Without You” bring the later three down. On Rubber Soul nothing ever gets skipped. Still to this day I don’t know how they got away with the song “Run for Your Life” in 1965. Great song, but, ouch, those lyrics.(#)

13) Jawbreaker - Unfun (1990, Shredder) - I picked this album up at the Record Theater on Liberty Road
having no idea what the band sounded like. I just thought the cat on the cover was cute. Little did I know what was on the recording inside would change my life. Not only is every song great, but all three members played better off each other better than almost any other trio out there. The slightly hollow sound of the bass and echoed ringing guitar on songs like “ Busy” and “Gutless” was perfect. Not too mention singer/guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach's awesomely original scratchy vocals which so many bands would try to copy for years to come. (*)

12) fIREHOSE - Ragin' Full On (1986, SST) - The story goes bassist Mike Watt was not interested in playing any music anytime soon after The Minutemen’s singer/guitarist and Mike’s best friend D Boon was killed in
an accident. But guitarist Ed Crawford kept pestering him until finally they jammed. Things gelled almost immediately. They grabbed Minutemen drummer George Hurley and the rest is history. Their debut album Ragin’ Full On’s songs like “Brave Captain” and “Locked In” really do rage full-on but the band does know when to slows it down a bit in songs like “Another Theory Shot to Shit” and “Candle and the Flame”. Hurley’s jazz-influenced drumming and Watt's all over the place bass really did make them sound like no other band. (*)

11) R.E.M - Lifes Rich Pageant (1986, I.R.S.) - Just like U2 on Unforgettable Fire and The Cure on Head on the Door, Life's Rich Pageant is the penultimate R.E.M. album. This is where they perfected their sound. It was also right when I was introduced to them, when their video for "Fall On Me" was shown on 120 Minutes. Of course, it was only a few weeks before I went out and bought all the previous albums. R.E.M. would stay at this peak for a couple more albums before deciding to take on a more mature sound losing "Just a Touch" of what made them so special. (*)

Next up:

The Top-10

1 comment: