Top Ten Albums of All Time: Andrew

I figured with the new year it would be the perfect time to take a look back at the best (at least in my opinion) of the greatest albums of all time.

10. Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (October 1995)

The most recent album on my list and in my opinion the strongest album to come out in the last 20 years.  Once upon a time Oasis was the biggest band in the world thanks to this album which included hits like “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger”.  Sadly while coming out with a solid body of work, they never quite lived up to the promise (and the pressure) of their second album.  Still it is an amazing album both timely and timeless, one that can be listened to 16 years later and still have impact.

9.  Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin IV (November 1971)

Not much to say about this choice, honestly I don’t think Zeppelin really pushed the boundaries with album continuity, but from beginning to end every song is for lack of a better term a masterpiece.  I can’t find a single flaw in any song from “Black Dog” to “When the Levee Breaks”.  Plus it’s Zeppelin doing what they do best, which is better than 99.9% of any other bands in rock history.

8. The Beatles: Let it Be (May 1970)

I might catch a little heat for this choice, after all even the Beatles weren’t happy with the first version, but the final Beatles album (although some will even debate me on that) spawned a solid motion picture and some great hits “Let it Be” and “The Long and Winding Road”.  As an added bonus the final version was created by musical genius and psychopath Phil Spector, so you have some of the greatest minds in music on this album and I think it shows.

7. The Cure: Disintegration (May 1989)

A return to the goth roots for the original goth band, Disintegration is a great album by a band that built a reputation on making great albums.  From  songs to “Lullaby” to “Love Song” this launched the Cure into the world-wide phenomenon that they are today.  It also influenced countless bands to follow, but no one did it better than the Cure.   

6.  Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (May 1966)

Defiantly my favorite Dylan album and for me is Dylan at his finest hour.  It also has the distinction of being the first important double album.   “Visions of Johanna” is right up in my to 5 all time favorite songs, and was an important step in Dylan’s musical evolution.

5. David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (June 1972)

A concept album by the chameleon, David Bowie rose to new heights of fame with his Ziggy Stardust persona, which were both embodied and laid to rest in the Ziggy Stardust album.  Playing both showman and musician David Bowie would later abounded the “Ziggy sound” (a common theme in his career) but there is no denying that Ziggy Stardust was a product of on of the great true artist of our times.  

4. The Beatles: The White Album (November 1968)

Another classic Beatles album and also the Beatles at their most experimental (“Revolution 9” anyone), but as far-reaching as it is, it’s still pretty concise.  They know what they are doing and they execute it flawlessly.  Plus it gave us gems like “Blackbird” and “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”.

3. The Clash: London Calling (December 1979)

For me this is the one of the most important albums in the history of modern music hands downs.  Including a variety of musical elements such as ska, jazz, and soul, this is the definitive punk album and led the way for a musical revolution.  Nobody has incorporated as many musical elements into one album as successfully as the Clash did with London Calling.

2. The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (May 1972)

In my opinion this is the Stones finest work, released as a double LP Exile on Main Street this was a creative high for the Stones.  A rock and blues album more than anything, the Stones goes into uncharted territory for them and it pays of big time for them and helps to establish them as one of the greatest and long-lasting acts in rock and roll. 

1. The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (June 1967)

What more can you say about this album that hasn’t already be said, the greatest rock band in history took a gamble and it paid off and they created the greatest album ever made.  Also “A Day in the Life” is perhaps the perfect ending for any album ever.

Looking back the list probably could have used some Soul, R&B, maybe even some PoP.  Perhaps Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Prince, maybe even Michael Jackson.  Then of course they are the rock greats I am missing, no Clapton, Lennon (solo), Springsteen.  So tell me what do you think?  Miss anything major?

Who Did it Better? ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

9 years after the death of the forgotten genius of the Beatles, George Harrison, I figured for the next edition of “Who Did it Better?” we would look at, in my view, Harrison’s greatest single musical contribution to the Beatles, the song ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ (this is up for debate I know but just go with the premise on this one). This time we have the original and two covers done, by arguably two men who rank in the top ten guitarist category of all times.

First up, the original:

Next up, we got Carlos Santana featuring Indie.Arie & Yo-Yo Ma

Lastly Eric Clapton & Paul McCartney

I am going with the original, but I gotta say Clapton is feeling it during his performance.

Who Did it Better? Happiness is a Warm Gun

In honor of The Beatles finally going on Itunes I figured I would try to see if anyone comes close to matching them, this time I have two good covers, but first up the original:

Next up is a Breeders cover:

Finally a very weird U2 cover:

My heart is defiantly with the original on this one, although I dig The Breeders cover, personally I think U2 missed the point of the song completely, but tell us what you think!

Question of the Week

Now, I know how much all of you love Question of the Week, you know since this segment is always filled to the brim with comments, so I decided to take time out of my somewhat busy day to write up another queston for y’all to ponder. Okay, so you’re given the chance to travel back in time, but the catch is you can only travel to past concerts (I know sounds lame, but go with it). Who would you see? When? Why? My list would be soo damn large. Naturally, I would start off probably in the 60s and see the early British Invasion bands like the Beatles, Kinks, Rolling Stones, etc. I would see all my older favorites in their prime. I would attend my more modern favorites in their early days, i.e. Black Lips in their pee and poop and burn shit loving cocksuckers fad days.

Concert Review: 1964 The Tribute

: 1964 The Tribute
Date: August 12, 2010
Location: Merchantsauto Stadium

Comments: YEAH YEAH YEAH! The Beatles, London’s answer to Elvis, the hip, new Rock and Roll band leading the British Invasion is here!-well perhaps that’s how I would start a review of the real Beatles forty-six years ago. But, these guys are the closest thing we have to seeing the original line up in their classic form. The 1964 Tribute tries to recreate this initial invasion, albeit with better sound quality (well sorta) and mid-career numbers thrown in the mix. In terms of sounding just like the Beatles, they were truly terrific. I was standing in line waiting for my chicken tenders and fries and thend suddenly it was announced that The Beatles were hitting the stage. They rocked right into “I Saw Her Standing There,” if I had not been informed that it was showtime, then I simply would have thought they were playing the song on the radio. They were that accurate! The harmonies were perfect and they had all the energy and quick wit of the Fab Four. The show was split up into two sets with a brief intermission in between. The first set conisted of mostly 1964 tracks, with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” and “I Should Have Known Better,” particularly standing out. The second set mostly contained post-64 tunes, which in terms of authenticity, this was a undeniable flaw. I know, I sound like a whining geezer of the Cavern Club era, but nonetheless I am a man of authenticity. It’s nice to throw in some later tunes, but when most of the second set features numbers you would not catch suit and tie era Beatles perform, that’s stretching it a bit much. Plus, there was plenty of better 64 and earlier hits they could have unleashed such as “And I Love Her,” “If I Fell,” “Misery,” “Anna (Go to Him),” “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You,” and others. Then again, to totally contradict that, I still highly enjoyed those later songs because I prefer that aspect of The Beatles catalog. A few other gripes (to needle drop an Anthony Fantano line) of mine were 1) the sound- not nearly loud enough. Now, don’t misconstrue me here. They sounded fantastic as The Beatles as stated before and I could hear their music fine. It wasn’t a problem of not being able to hear them, which was quite a factor in the actual Beatles shows. Instead, here the audio simply was not loud enough! I could hold a conversation with my mates and we could hear each other perfectly; this should never be the case. And since it was not loud enough, the music did not hit me as hard as it should have and therefore I could not get into the performance as much. In other words, head bobs and foot tapping sufficed. 2) We were in a baseball park and the stage was set at the mound and everyone was naturally in the stands. I was seated as close as one could be, but still I wish I was wayyy closer. At the same time, it wasn’t the nosebleeds, but it would have been far more exciting if we attendees could stand in the field. 3) The group’s interaction with the audience, while sometimes comical and perhaps accurate, more often than not got in the way of the show and well just was annoying. I also couldn’t hear what they were saying a few of the times. I will say, however, they did a decent acting job with each of their respected performances as the individual Brit musicians.

Grade: B+, I had more negative things to say then I usually do for a B+ concert, but the positives largely outweighed the negatives and I had a fab time re-living a 1960s Beatles gig, if only just a little bit.

Classic CD Review: Revolver

Band: The Beatles
Release: 1966
Label: Apple

1. “Taxman” – A+
2. “Eleanor Rigby” – A
3. “I’m Only Sleeping” – A+
4. “Love You To” – B-
5. “Here, There and Everywhere” – B
6. “Yellow Submarine” – B
7. “She Said She Said” – A-
8. “Good Day Sunshine” – B+
9. “And Your Bird Can Sing” – B-
10. “For No One” – B+
11. “Doctor Robert” – B-
12. “I Want to Tell You” – B-
13. “Got to Get You into My Life” – A-
14. “Tomorrow Never Knows” – B+

Comments: “Start!” oh wait not really. “Taxman” !!! I was very confused at first. Funny little story first. I was listening to a Jam live record before I listened to this and coincidentally the last song played was “Start!” so when this first played I thought what the fuck! It’s an amazing song. I’m not going to make excuses. “Eleanor Rigby” is a pretty sweet ditty with a nice little violin and melody. It’s not something I’m going to constantly listen to for the rest of my life, but it’s already a classic worthy of replay. I like the psychedelia involved in “I’m Only Sleeping,” which is why I gave it such a high mark. “Love You To” is weird and doesn’t excite me. Sorry, “Here” doesn’t do anything for me. It’s too slow. Not a bad song, but definitely not a favorite. “Yellow Submarine” has been noted in many musical circles as a fine song. A fine song, indeed. Just not “Juvenile” or “O Katrina.” “She Said” is rocking and catchy. “Doctor Robert” is funny, but boring. “Got to” is like King Khan and the Shrines! Good stuff! Overall, I like a lot of the tracks on here. I’m not going to say it’s a great record through and through, but it makes for some fun times.

Grade: B+ (87)