- Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. When I first heard this, I hated it...but, for some reason, I couldn't stop listening to it. There was so much variety, so much unexpected in the album. This disk had to teach me how to listen to it. In doing so, I had to rethink a lot of my conceptions about music. Plus, "Heavy Metal Drummer" still makes me want to dance (which I do not do).
- AC/DC, Powerage. Yes, it has absolutely no hits. Yes, it is the AC/DC album most people are least likely to hear. But this one is their blues album. It is loose, free, and cool. Moreover, it's very pissed off. "Down Payment Blues" alone wins this album a "desert island" slot for its snarky feelings towards poverty, in addition to having the best sounding guitar solo of all time.
- Slobberbone, Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today. Slobberbone is one mighty live band, but this is their shining moment of studio glory. Forget that, because of its mix of country, rawk, Replacements-esque punk, and aggression, you can't really classify in most normal genre terms. It hits hard while being surprisingly intelligent.
- Two Cow Garage, Speaking in Cursive. Two Cow, as most readers know, is my favorite band. This album is good proof why. Lyrically, this album can be summed up as "What happens when you realize you will never be a superstar musician but still can't quit the music game?" As someone who has similar feelings about his chosen career, I can relate.
- Black Sabbath, Volume 4. Of course, Sabbath was gonna be here. This is a wall-to-wall album. Just listen to "Supernaught," which was doing what grunge tried (and failed) to do decades later.
- Frank Zappa, One Size Fits All. This is the perfect mix of humor, virtuosity, and attitude. I'm not sure it gets more beautiful than "Sofa No. 2" or more jaw-dropping than "Po-Jama People." Bonus points for the unexpected heart of "San Ber'dino."
- Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day. DBT is the band which made me rethink southern identity, and this was one of the albums which served as a main soundtrack to my adjunct "years of hell."
- Metallica, ...And Justice For All. It is impossible to explain the impact that Ride the Lightning had on me...it sounded utterly like nothing else I've ever heard. Justice, however, is better...the band at their peak.
- Son Volt, Wide Swing Tremolo. Son Volt came along right at the time where the cliches of heavy metal were getting to me. This album felt somehow more real, more organic.
- The Faces, Ooh La La. Why did it take me so long to discover the awesomeness of this band? There's very few feelings better than riding with my spousal unit, singing "Just Another Honkey" while plowing through the countryside.
- Rainbow, Richie Blackmore's Rainbow. An album of startling depth and variety that is utterly uncontainable by genre labels. Neither Blackmore nor Dio ever showed this much range elsewhere.
- Judas Priest, Sad Wings of Destiny. Beautiful, sprawling, orchestral. This is where heavy metal should've went, instead of the shock value genre it became in the 80s and 90s.
- The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds. The first album I played for my beloved (later to become my spousal unit).
- Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street. It actually took me ages to find this on cd, but when I did, whoooboy. The Stones had more range than anyone suspects. This whole album is a Saturday night party that stretches into Sunday morning hangover...in a good way.
- Green Day, American Idiot. I'm one of those who think Green Day really never did a bad album (except maybe Insomniac), but this is perhaps their most solid effort. Moreover, I was astounded at how much it made my students think and question things they thought they believed. Plus "Letterbomb" is an awesome rock song.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
15 albums in 15 minutes
So, I got tagged in one of those "15 albums in 15 minutes" things. Rather than use a social networking site, however, I decided to post my response here.