My God, is he crazy...IS HE CRAZY!? He's tackling another 1,001 list!? Yep, I am!
So after watching the "Woodstock" doc for THE BOOK, I just couldn't help but take a peek at the "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" list and of course, when I did, I got that old feeling. You know the one - the one that makes you go "I must hear/see all these". Well, I figured, since there are a number of full albums on YouTube and since you can get albums for fairly cheap sometimes through the Amazon MP3 store and through iTunes, why not take a crack at it. I have an iPod, which I take with me to work and listen to on my lunch break, therefore, this, in no way, interferes with the watching of the 1001 Movies.
What you'll get here is a the following: the name of the album (of course), a letter grade, my favorite song from the album and just a sentence or two of random thoughts about it. Trust me, I'm not going to be going into a lot of detail in the thoughts section.
Also, remember, I'm a movie man, not a music man. I grew up with music, as I was born the same year MTV hit the airwaves and because my brother always had an extensive collection of cassettes and CDs, but, while I think I have a good ear for music, I'm in no way a connoisseur of good tunes. So, feel free to leave all the comments you want, but take it easy on me will ya?
This will update at my whim....could be days or even weeks between updates. Just keep checking in. The newest entry will always be at the top. Also, I'll be listening to the albums in alphabetical order, because why not, that's why! Click the link at the top of the page to be redirected to a complete list of all 1001 albums. READ ON...
GUNS N' ROSES - APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION (1987) Grade: C
Best Song: Welcome to the Jungle
GNR have never been my cup of tea, mainly because I have a hard time coping with Axl Rose's voice. This wasn't too bad though, featuring good songs like Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child o' Mine and Mr. Brownstone. Call it right down the middle. Had they snuck a slow song in there to break up all the heavier stuff, I might have been able to add a "+" to that C. Perhaps it's just Rose's voice that makes everything sound grungier and ugly than it really is?
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Welcome to the Jungle
TURBONEGRO - APOCALYPSE DUDES (1998) Grade: C
Best Song: The Age of Pamparius
Well the big con was that almost every song sounded exactly the same - with the good news being that that similar sounding song wasn't half bad. Usually punk rock isn't my bag, but I totally went for this and with a little more variety on the tunes, I could've gone a lot higher on the letter grade. As it is, I'd call it mildly recommended and I wouldn't be completely opposed to hearing another one of their albums.
Playlist Choices: The Age of Pamparius, Get It On
DAVID ACKLES - AMERICAN GOTHIC (1972) Grade: C
Best Song: Love's Enough
Didn't love it, nor hate it. This one kind of reminded me of that Magnetic Fields' album, as both featured tunes that seemed to be heavily inspired by Broadway musicals. I could've done without the ten minute closing song, "Montana Song", but other tunes like "Love's Enough" and "One Night Stand" more than made up for it. This is more along the lines of actual MUSIC, than some of the gibberish that I've listened to lately.
Playlist Choices: "Love's Enough", "One Night Stand", "Oh, California!"
PUBLIC ENEMY - APOCALYPSE '91...THE ENEMY STRIKES BLACK (1991) Grade: D+
Best Song: Lost at Birth
Again...I guess I'm just getting too old for this sort of thing, although I've never been one for rap. Interesting note, however: When it does come to rap, the statistics below show that I'm more into female hip hop artists over males - giving so-so reviews to both Ms. Dynamite and Queen Latifah and blasting artists and groups like Ice Cube and Public Enemy. Anyway....I kinda' hated this one, but a couple of decent tracks raises to a D+.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
VARIOUS ARTISTS, PHIL SPECTOR - A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU (1963) Grade: C
Best Song: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Well...it's a Christmas album, so it's really only relevant for about thirty days out of the year. During those thirty days, it's a fine listen with great renditions of classic Christmas tunes from The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans. Your enjoyment will vary based on how much you like listening to Christmas music. I mildly enjoy Christmas music, hence the C.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
MARILYN MANSON - ANTICHRIST SUPERSTAR (1996) Grade: D
Best Song: The Beautiful People
Just TOO. FUCKING. LOUD. Even at a meager thirty years old, I just can't do this kind of noise anymore. Now GET OFF MY LAWN!! Still though, The Beautiful People is still a bad ass song and enough to get this one to a solid D, along with other bearable tunes like Tourniquet.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: The Beautiful People
BUZZCOCKS - ANOTHER MUSIC IN A DIFFERENT KITCHEN (1978) Grade: C
Best Song: Moving Away from the Pulse Beat
I could definitely see myself getting into more Buzzcocks. I'm not really a fan of punk music, but if I'd been brought up on it, I'm sure I'd hold the Buzzcocks in as high esteem as I hold The Beatles. Moving Away from the Pulse Beat is a jam band's wet dream and even songs like I Don't Mind and Fast Cars are too catchy to ignore.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: I Don't Mind, Moving Away from the Pulse Beat
JORGE BEN - AFRICA BRASIL (1976) Grade: C+
Best Song: Xica da Silva
Just looked it up and was surprised to see that this was from 1976. I had it pegged for something more recent, as the beats & rhythms seemed to be somewhat ahead of their time. A fine album to return to the project to and an easy listen, for sure!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma), O Plebeu, Xica da Silva
BRIAN ENO - ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (1975) Grade: D+
Best Song: In Dark Trees
Well it was better than the first Brian Eno record, that's for sure. I actually got into a few of these tunes, but ultimately decided that I need vocals with my music and this instrumental stuff just isn't cutting the mustard.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
ANANDA SHANKAR - ANANDA SHANKAR (1970) Grade: D
Best Song: Light My Fire
Whomever thought it would be a good idea to release an album of remakes of Western songs played on the sitar was wrong! Whomever slapped that album in the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book was even wronger! Although this does prove one thing, even on the sitar Light My Fire is a pretty kick ass tune!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
ANTHRAX - AMONG THE LIVING (1987) Grade: D+
Best Song: Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
Sure there were some kick ass guitar solos and songs that fit in perfectly on the Headbanger's Ball, but you're reading a blurb written by the guy who went gaga for Don McLean, so this was never going to set my world on fire either. I tolerated a bit better than I did Ice Cube (which I listened to that same week), but ultimately, this was more noise to me than anything.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
ICE CUBE - AMERIKKKA'S MOST WANTED (1990) Grade: F
Best Song: (none)
Boy oh boy, am I becoming strictly intolerant of excessive cursing in my old age. Add to that the fact that rap just isn't my bag and Ice Cube's 1990 debut album was bound to get an unfavorable rating. I trued REALLY hard to like Queen Latifah (and did to a certain extent), but no matter how hard I tried, this was just rubbish!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
DON MCLEAN - AMERICAN PIE (1971) Grade: B-
Best Song: Empty Chairs
I seriously can't stop listening to Empty Chairs. SUCH A GREAT SONG! Technically this is probably more along the lines of a 'C+', but the merits of Empty Chairs, Vincent and American Pie are able to hoist this one into a whole new level. I really dig McLean's voice and really wouldn't mind hearing more of his work. Easy thumbs up!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: American Pie, Vincent, Empty Chairs
JOHNNY CASH - AMERICAN IV: THE MAN COMES AROUND (2002) Grade: C-
Best Song: Tear Stained Letter
I warmed up to this one upon second listen, but all in all this was a big disappointment. My very first, full Johnny Cash album and I couldn't think of anything else to compare him to but any other old man trying to warble out a tune at seventy years old. Upon second listen, I decided that it was the final songs of a man at the end of his career and ultimately, the end of his life. Still though, some of the songs were just unbearable (his version of Personal Jesus is horrendous!).
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Hurt, Tear Stained Letter
GREEN DAY - AMERICAN IDIOT (2004) Grade: B+
Best Song: Give Me Novacaine
I definitely took to this more on my second listen than I did on my first. On my second listen, I realized that there really wasn't a bad song on the album and in fact, there were quite a few really good ones. I can still remember cruising in my brother's Neon and listening to this, so many years ago. And how bout that Wake Me When September Ends music video - quite the downer...
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Holiday, Give Me Novacaine, Wake Me When September Ends, Whatsername
THE GRATEFUL DEAD - AMERICAN BEAUTY (1970) Grade: B-
Best Song: Friend of the Devil
Isn't it great when you really hope to like something and then...YOU DO! Well, that was my experience with The Grateful Dead, who I'd never heard prior to one morning last weekend when I fired up the album on my iPod, at work, and drifted away to the sounds of Jerry Garcia's vocals. Sure, it had it's flaws, as not every song was a Grammy winner, but it definitely made me excited to hear more of their work.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Ripple
GEORGE HARRISON - ALL THINGS MUST PASS (1970) Grade: B-
Best Song: Wah-Wah
Finally, a freakin' B! I should say that I ONLY listened to the eighteen original tracks and none of the Apple Jam stuff, nor the bonus ten tracks that were included on my edition, the 2001 remaster. Of course, he's a Beatle, so this was never going to be bad. Why is it that Side 1/A of an album is always better than the flip side? You'd think they'd wanna spread out that goodness. Side 3 starts good here with Beware of Darkness, but goes downhill fast. Still, a bunch of really solid tracks throughout and definitely worth your time.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: My Sweet Lord, Wah-Wah, Beware of Darkness
BRIAN ENO - AMBIENT 1: MUSIC FOR HOSPITALS (1978) Grade: F
Best Song: (none)
Yikes! This was brutal to listen to once, let alone twice. For the unaware, it's basically just like relaxation melodies, harps and pianos playing the same rhythms over and over, complete with thirty seconds of silence in between each track. I've heard too much great music off of this list to suddenly be forced into a break where I'm subject to just ocean sounds. NEXT!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
U2 - ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND (2000) Grade: C+
Best Song: Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
So this wasn't bad, but in my opinion worse than the other U2 album from this list - Achtung Baby. Is it just me or is everybody else STILL sick to death of the song Beautiful Day? Seriously, I heard that song enough times fifteen years ago to last me two lifetimes! We get it BONO, YOU'RE HAPPY!! I much prefer the U2 that is singing about a equal rights or some sort of cause and being a bunch of downers about it.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, Walk On
THE JAM - ALL MOD CONS (1978) Grade: C+
Best Song: English Rose
I haven't given a 'B' rating since the Stones' album and that seriously needs to change, like soon! Anyway, this was pretty good, just not quite 'B' territory. There really aren't any bad songs, just a bunch that aren't stellar enough to brand this album into my memory. English Rose is a great little tune though, as are Fly, The Place I Love and In the Crowd. I would definitely listen to this again...
PLAYLIST CHOICES: English Rose
SLIPKNOT - ALL HOPE IS GONE (2008) Grade: C-
Best Song: Snuff
Call me a fuddy-duddy, but this was just flat out too noisy for my tastes. I will say, however, that "Snuff" may be ONE OF the best songs I've heard from the 1001 Albums list thus far. Such a great tune and a nice change of pace among the headbanging.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Snuff
QUEEN LATIFAH - ALL HAIL THE QUEEN (1989) Grade: C
Best Song: The Pros
I didn't expect to like this one AT ALL, but surprisingly it wasn't THAT bad. Admittedly, the beats & rhythms were a lot smoother on the ear than the lyrics, but all in all it wasn't anything I had too hard of a time listening to twice.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Dance for Me, The Pros
THE TEMPTATIONS - ALL DIRECTIONS (1972) Grade: D-
Best Song: If I have to choose, I'll go with Love Woke Me Up This Morning
Blech. I just didn't care for this at all. Perhaps I was expecting something different, like R&B or doo-wop tunes, but what we had here was pure funk and it was too funky for this white boy. This was one that I tolerated, especially during the second go around and in the end, was glad to put it behind me. I can't justify an "F" grade, but I can go as low as "D-".
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
GUIDED BY VOICES - ALIEN LANES (1995) Grade: D+
Best Song: Game of Pricks
I just couldn't get into this one and ultimately I think it was because the songs were just too short to really have time to find any sort of a groove. Consider this: 28 songs in 41 minutes. Some may be fine with that, but it was just too rushed for my tastes, with songs bleeding into one another and most finishing up in less than a minute. There were a couple of good ones though, but the ratio of good/bad was way off, therefore: D+.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Game of Pricks, Blimps Go 90
DAVID BOWIE - ALADDIN SANE (1973) Grade: D+
Best Song: Watch That Man
Would I be way off base comparing Aladdin Sane to the Todd Rundgren album I recently listened to for the list (A Wizard, A True Star)? Anyway, that's what it reminded me of. Except I liked this one even less and would say that it was just a little too psychedelic and trippy for my tastes and not enough memorable songs. Watch That Man was good and Drive-In Saturday wasn't bad either, but otherwise the tracks were mostly forgettable, if you ask me.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Watch That Man
STEELY DAN - AJA (1977) Grade: C
Best Song: Deacon Blues
This one took me two listens to really sink into, as I wasn't completely sold after just the one spin. I compared the music to something that plays on The Weather Channel during the scrolling of the local forecasts and was prepared to give it something in the D range. However, the second time around both Black Cow and Deacon Blues stuck out as really good tunes and the rest of the album wasn't too shabby either. Thumbs mildly up.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Black Cow, Deacon Blues
SIGUR ROS - AGAETIS BYRJUN (1999) Grade: C
Best Song: Svefn-g-englar
This album is sort of something you have to experience as a whole. Trying to pick out a song here and there is difficult (even though I was able to single out Svefn-g-englar as the best). Not a bad album by any means, just not something I'd ever probably want to listen to again. However, if I did decide to ever take another listen, it would work wonders as a relaxation album.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Svefn-g-englar
THE ROLLING STONES - AFTERMATH (1966) Grade: B+
Best Song: Out of Time
It's worth noting that this is my very first Rolling Stones album ever. Sure, I've heard their songs here and there before and am no stranger to Mick Jagger's girating on the dance floor, but have never heard one of their albums from cover to cover. I'm happy to say that I was pretty impressed. For those playing the home game, Side A kills Side B, with the only noteworthy song on the second side being Out of Time. However, Side A does end wit the ridiculously too long Goin' Home, which probably dragged this from A territory into the B+ that it got. Bring on more Stones!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Lady Jane, Under My Thumb, Out of Time
NEIL YOUNG - AFTER THE GOLD RUSH (1970) Grade: C+
Best Song: Cripple Creek Ferry - I know, I know, it wasn't meant to be the best, but damn was it an unshakable earworm!
I was conflicted with this one. On one hand, I loved the sound. I'm a big folk fan and Neil Young could probably be considered one of the father's of folky music. On the other hand, there really weren't any songs that really grabbed me. A few were pretty decent, but no definitive, memorable songs. I'll look forward to a second Neil Young album in hopes that it will do better in wowing me.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Cripple Creek Ferry
PET SHOP BOYS - ACTUALLY (1987) Grade: D
Best Song: Rent
Dance pop is not my jam and that's that. To be fair, there were a few okay tunes on here, but ultimately this was never going to be my favorite album. A solid D, as opposed to a D- or even an F will reflect those couple of tunes ("Rent" and "King's Cross") that were fine for three - four minutes of being siphoned into your ears, but nothing worth going out of your way to hear and certainly not a MUST LISTEN.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
U2 - ACHTUNG BABY (1991) Grade: C+
Best Song: Hard choice, but I'll go with Ultraviolet (Light My Way), one I hadn't heard before that I really dug!
I was actually really surprised at how much I took to this one, as I've never really been a huge U2 fan. Sure they have the occasional song that I dig and Bono seems like a pretty cool dude, but I'm by no means a fan. The whole album is totally easy to listen to and I wouldn't call any of the songs unlistenable. Solid C+, really close to a B-.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Zoo Station, One, Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
MOTORHEAD - ACE OF SPADES (1980) Grade: D-
Best Song: If I must choose, Ace of Spades
Damn, I got hit by a couple of stinkers right in a row and my ears are suffering the consequences. I just didn't care for this one bit. Lemmy's voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me and the whole sound just isn't up my alley. Perhaps if I was a hog rider or one who frequented pro arm wrestling venues, I could bang my head to this - but I'm not, so no head banging for me.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
SANTANA - ABRAXAS (1970) Grade: D
Best Song: Samba Pa Ti
Yeah, I just couldn't ease into this one even though I really wanted to. This whole thing got started because I watched the Woodstock documentary and there, Santana was one of the acts. However, despite trying hard to like it, I just didn't. Another one that will probably end up slipping my mind in the long run.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: Samba Pa Ti
NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS - ABBATOIR BLUES/THE LYRE OF ORPHEUS (2004) Grade: B-
Best Song: There She Goes, My Beautiful World
Because I couldn't track this one down on YouTube and had to buy it from the Amazon MP3 store, my expectations were pretty low. Usually the hard to find ones are also the hard to listen to ones. Anyway, this one was pretty freaking good and had a handful of really great tracks that I was pleased to listen to twice. Track it down - it's worth it!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: There She Goes, My Beautiful World, Cannibal's Hymn, Abbatoir Blues, Easy Money
THE BEATLES - ABBEY ROAD (1969) Grade: A-
Best Song: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End (three songs, but put together intentionally and there aren't any breaks, so I'm counting it as the best track, collectively.)
I really expected this one to be the first one to gain the coveted A+ grade, but after listening to it twice, I realized that it's definitely not the best Beatles album (Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band come to mind as the two best, Rubber Soul may even be better than Abbey Road). Anyway, it's still the fab four dropping fresh tracks and it doesn't get much better than that. I have to be honest, the song "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" may be one of my least favorite Beatles songs ever - just an overly long song that feels like it's never ending. Definite "must hear" though.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Come Together", "Golden Slumbers", "Carry That Weight", "The End", "You Never Give Me Your Money", "Here Comes the Sun", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
TODD RUNDGREN - A WIZARD, A TRUE STAR (1973) Grade: C
Best Song: I Don't Want to Tie You Down (or the Ooh Baby Baby portion of "Medley")
Well this one was...different, to say the least. During my first listen, I was completely taken off guard and learned quickly what psychedelic rock really was (which is what this is listed under on Wikipedia). I didn't really end up taking to this one completely, but I'll definitely give it brownie points for originality, as the songs ranged from borderline vulgar to covers of old Smokey Robinson and The Miracles tunes. All over the map and a tough nut to crack, this one is! Oh, and dig that cover art! But seriously, give yourself a three minute break and listen to the original "Ooh Baby Baby" by Smokey, it's divine!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "I Don't Want to Tie You Down", "Zen Archer"
THE BLUE NILE - A WALK ACROSS THE ROOFTOPS (1984) Grade: D-
Best Song: If I absolutely have to choose, I'll go with Easter Parade
Yeah, so this was just about as forgettable as it gets. Absolutely nothing about this one stood out as unique or anything special and I bet in a month's time I won't be able to hum one tune that was featured here. And I actually bought this one too!!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
PANTERA - VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER (1992) Grade: C-
Best Song: Walk
Two things: 1) Despite spending my lunch hour every day at work, in the break room, there were a few days I opted to listen to podcasts or do something other than listen to albums, therefore I only managed one album this week and 2) The list has this entered as "A VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER" and the title actually doesn't have an "A" in it, therefore it's out of place. Anyway, this one had a rocky start. I didn't care for it upon first listen and it wasn't until the second listen that a few songs started to jump out at me. Very mild recommendation, but fans of heavier music are probably going to love it. I'm just getting to be a bit of a fuddy duddy and therefore, would have much preferred something more light. I've always enjoyed the song "Walk" for personal reasons.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Mouth for War", "Walk"
THE DIVINE COMEDY - "A SHORT ALBUM ABOUT LOVE" (1997) Grade: C+
Best Song: If I Were You (I'd Be Through With Me)
This was one of those obscure ones from the list that I knew nothing about prior to listening. I hadn't even heard of The Divine Comedy, so I went in completely cold and came out liking what I'd heard. Sure, the grade doesn't reflect someone who really liked it, but that's a knee jerk reaction grade and seriously, I could get into more of Neil Hannon's work. (from what I gather, Neil Hannon is pretty much the mastermind behind The Divine Comedy).
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "If...", "If I Were You (I'd Be Through With Me)"
COLDPLAY - "A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD" (2002) Grade: C
Best Song: The Scientist
I used to love Coldplay, but kind of like Gwyneth Paltrow, I've moved on. I just couldn't settle into this one and by the second listen it became more of a chore than a pleasure to listen to. Still several great songs though, I've just heard them more than enough times.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Clocks", "A Rush of Blood to the Head", "The Scientist"
THE VERVE - "A NORTHERN SOUL" (1995) Grade: D-
Best Song: History
Yeah, I just didn't dig this one in the slightest. I hate to sound like an old man, but this one sounded more like noise to me than actual music. You know, I never did like that song "Bittersweet Symphony" (different album) that everyone went gaga for back in the late 90s and that punk Richard Ashcroft bumping into people on the street! Take a pass on this one.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
THE FACES - "A NOD IS AS GOOD AS A WINK..." (1971) Grade: B-
Best Song: Last Orders Please
I went out to fill up my gas tank, during my lunch break. It was a nice day, so with the windows rolled down and sporting a pair of shades, I blasted this album, rocking to Rod Stewart as he belted out "Stay With Me" and "Last Orders Please", before I arrived back in my parking space at work. In other words, a good album to jam to while riding in the car and a good album overall.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Last Order Please", "Stay With Me", "You're So Rude"
QUEEN - "A NIGHT AT THE OPERA" (1975) Grade: A-
Best Song: Bohemian Rhapsody
As it pertains to the best song - I chose "Bohemian Rhapsody" because I've long thought it as one of the greatest tracks ever produced. However, I've heard it SOOO many times, that I actually enjoyed songs like "39", "Love of My Life" and "Good Company" more this time around. Anyway, this was, as expected, quite good and ONE OF the best albums I've heard thus far. Just a range of sounds from folky type tunes to one song that reminded me of a later Beatles tune ("Good Company") to tons of originality.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "39", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Good Company", "Love of My Life"
JOHN COLTRANE - "A LOVE SUPREME" (1964) Grade: B
Best Song: There's like three tracks and they're all equally good
I expected this to be good and it was. Am I mistaken or have I heard this same jazz in a Spike Lee movie (perhaps "Do the Right Thing")? Anyway, I could listen to this again real easy, as it's easy on the ears, mellow, smooth and polished. Good stuff!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Part 1: Acknowledgment", "Part 2: Resolution"
MS. DYNAMITE - "A LITTLE DEEPER" (2002) Grade: C
Best Song: Dy-Na-Mi-Tee
To be honest, I'm just not the R&B/hip hop type of guy, so this was never gonna' be my favorite album or anything. However, I will say that it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be and there were a few songs that I really did enjoy.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Dy-Na-Mi-Tee", "Sick 'N' Tired"
THE BEATLES - "A HARD DAY'S NIGHT" (1964) Grade: B
Best Song: Anytime At All
In case you didn't know, I love The Beatles. And while this isn't my favorite album of theirs (not even close), it was nice to hear something familiar. It was like being at a party full of strangers and bumping into an old friend. Not really a bad song in the bunch and several really good ones.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Anytime At All", "I Should Have Known Better", "Things We Said Today"
THE STREETS - "A GRAND DON'T COME FOR FREE" (2004) Grade: B-
Best Song: Dry Your Eyes
Again I say thank God that I'm listening to everything twice. I just wasn't too keen on this one after hearing the first half, but it started to grow on me and when I realized that the whole thing was telling a story about the blossom and disintegration of a relationship, I liked it even more. Anyway, once I opened up a little bit, I realized this was a really great song, with some great music.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Could Well Be In", "Dry Your Eyes"
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD - "A GIRL CALLED DUSTY" (1964) Grade: B+
Best Song: You Don't Own Me or Anyone Who Had a Heart
One might consider it abnormal for a full grown, thirty-year-old man to be bopping and jiving along, while a woman sings about female independence and getting her heart broken by boys, but damn it, I don't care! This was just great. I absolutely loved this album and want to hear more Dusty!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Wishin' and Hopin'", "You Don't Own Me"
ERIC CLAPTON - "461 OCEAN BOULEVARD" (1974) Grade: C
Best Song: Willie and the Hand Jive
Okay, technically, "Let It Grow" is probably the best song, but for my personal enjoyment, I got more of a toe tap out of "Willie". Not much to say about this one - perhaps the very definition of me being indifferent on an album. Didn't hate it, didn't love it, just kind of listened to it and that's that. It was mellowing though.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Let It Grow", "Willie and the Hand Jive"
THE EVERLY BROTHERS - "A DATE WITH THE EVERLY BROTHERS" (1960) Grade: C+
Best Song: So How Come (No One Loves Me)
When I tweeted out a YouTube video of an audio recording of "So How Come (No One Loves Me)", my brother bounced back with, "I can dig it - sounds like early Beatles". I had been thinking the same thing while listening and therefore, this one gets an easy pass. All of the songs are at least good. Check this one out and be transported back to a time when sock hops and drive-ins were the thing to do.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Donna Donna", "So How Come (No One Loves Me)"
808 STATE - "NINETY" (1989) Grade: F
Best Song: Donkey Doctor
Thoughts: Ugh, this one just wasn't for me. But, hey, I'm a trooper and someone who plays by the rules (even if they're my own rules) so I STILL listened to it twice. I just can't get into electronica. It has no emotion, is metallic, voiceless and cold. NEXT!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: (none)
PRINCE - "1999" (1982) Grade C-
Best Song: 1999
Thoughts: Man, the first two songs ("1999" and "Little Red Corvette") killed it, but then we get into rough waters. Actually, throw "Delirious" into the mix too, because that was a decent song. My main critique is that the songs just go on WAAAAY too long. If they'd have all been kept to 3 - 4 minute tunes, this could've been a really fun listen. As it is, I'm already over it.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "1999", "Little Red Corvette"
THE GO-BETWEENS - "16 LOVERS LANE" (1988) Grade: D-
Best Song: Love Goes On!
Thoughts: Man, and I actually paid for this one too! Oh well - you win some, you lose some. I'll reserve the grade of F, because I'm sure there's worse albums to come, but this one really sucked the meat missile. This one will turn out being one of the most forgettable too, I'm sure. The tunes had a way of just playing and making me feel absolutely nothing - in one ear, out the other. On a positive note, Love Goes On! was a solid tune. However, the bad news is that it opens up the album, giving you a false hope for the other nine tracks.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Love Goes On!"
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS - "69 LOVE SONGS" (1999) Grade: B-
Best Song: A Chicken with It's Head Cut Off or Nothing Matters When We're Dancing
Thoughts: This one really grew on me over the course of the two weeks I spent listening to it. I only did the two listen thing, but since I really only spin these albums on days when I stay at work for lunch, it took me a while to get through two listens for each of the three volumes. Thank God for two listens too, because when I first put it on, I kinda hated it. But it was infectious and the songs ranged from funny & silly to sweet & unique and it was all harmless. Stephin Merritt's vocals were quite something too, weren't they?
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Busby Berkeley Dreams", "Chicken with It's Head Cut Off", "My Only Friend", "Nothing Matters When We're Dancing"
THE ISELY BROTHERS - "3 + 3" (1973) Grade: C
Best Song: Listen to the Music
Thoughts: Definitely something that I wouldn't condemn the list for making me listen to; not one I absolutely loved either. Kind of right there in the middle. However, as much as I've always enjoyed The Doobie Brothers' song "Listen to the Music", I'd have to say I think the Isely's did it a bit better.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "(Who's) That Lady", "Listen to the Music"
RUSH - "2112" (1976) Grade: B-
Best Song: Tears
Thoughts: Thank God I'm giving each album two listens, because I didn't care for this after my first listen. The second time around I warmed up to it though and found the entire 2112 suite to be excellent and Tears to be a moving love song. Looking forward to more Rush!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "2112 - Overture/The Temple of Syrinx", "Tears"
ADELE - "21" (2011) Grade: C-
Best Song: Rolling In the Deep
Thoughts: One reviewer said that the songs were generic and masked only by Adele's stunning pipes - I'd agree. Her voice is lovely, but the songs are very *meh*.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Turning Tables", "Rolling In the Deep"
VAN HALEN - "1984" (1984) Grade: D
Best Song: Jump
Thoughts: Yeah, this just wasn't for me. David Lee Roth's voice didn't do my ears any favors, however, I have to admit Jump still kicks ass!
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Jump"
ASH - "1977" (1996) Grade: B
Best Song: Girl from Mars
Thoughts: Hadn't heard of this band AT ALL, prior to listening. Honestly, the first listen was a nice introduction and the second hammered home that this really was a must hear album! Good stuff, all songs are AT LEAST good.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Angel Interceptor", "Girl from Mars", "Goldfinger"
OASIS - "(WHAT'S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?" (1995) Grade: A-
Best Song: Don't Look Back in Anger
Thoughts: Honestly, there's not a bad song on the CD. This was an old favorite of mine that I was happy to get reacquainted with for the start of this project.
PLAYLIST CHOICES: "Don't Look Back In Anger", "Wonderwall"