Today boys and girls, we're going to have an episode of The Musical Exchange Program!
PG's Top 13* Albums of All Time! (or at least this month!)
*because top 10 lists are boring
I present to you, in absolutely no particular order... My take on 13 of the best albums of all time (or at least right now).
This is purely my opinion, which I belligerently stand by :P
These may not be the best bands ever (but most of them are). They're all but guaranteed to not be your
favourites. But that's the grand thing about opinions, ain't it?
My list would likely shift from one week to any other, but you're getting this freeze frame of it right now.
Maybe I should do this once a year (or something) and compare lists after a few. Part of the criteria simply being that it's an album that I can, and often do listen to over and over and over...
Get your rotten fruit gathered up, you'll probably be throwing it at me soon.The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
- Cthulhu Strikes Back
For a good number of years now, this has been my favourite band.
The only hard part was picking one album. Some of the songs I like best aren't even on this album, but I had to pick based on the over all track listing, and if doing so, this is the one. I know I said this list was in no particular order, but this may very well be the best album of all time."Summoned to kill
I ravaged landscapes
Tainted air and sea
A juggernaut of hunger
That is me."
- Straight Outta Compton
This shit came out in 1988.
Fucking nineteen ninety eight. Do you remember the shit that was popular in 1988
This album kicked the teeth out of the music industry. Love it or hate it, nothing was the same after this. This album was made with a shoestring budget, but still sounds great over 20 years later. A lot of people failed to see the humour that some of this subject matter was handled with. These guys really knew what they were doing. "When I'm called off, I got a sawed off
Squeeze the trigger, and bodies are hauled off
You too, boy, if ya fuck with me
The police are gonna hafta come and get me
Off yo ass, that's how I'm goin out
For the punk motherfuckers that's showin out"
This shit ALSO came out in 1988!
Complete other end of the spectrum, but just as important. This album has probably inspired the launch of literally hundreds of thousands of musicians, bands and songs. Not bad for a band that was started by a buncha 17 year olds. This album is amazing because it's just so angry, well written and... smart
. The lyrics on this album have sent countless people to the dictionary going 'WTF was that?!'"I heard them say that the meek shall reign on earth
Phantasmal myriads of sane bucolic birth
I've seen the rapture in a starving baby's eyes
Inchoate beatitude, the Lord of the Flies"
Ahhh what a hotly debated subject!
All the way back to 1982. Some of you weren't even alive back then! This is my favourite Cure album. This entire album is so lyrically awesome. There's not really much I can say about it because everyone has a favourite Cure album and I'm not going to be able to convince anyone of anything. There are songs I dearly love on many of their other albums, but weighing overall album content, this one has my vote."All shadows and deliverance
Under a black flag
A hundred years of blood
The ribbon tightens round my throat
I open my mouth
And my head bursts open
A sound like a tiger thrashing in the water
Thrashing in the water
Over and over
We die one after the other
Over and over"
You may notice this is the newest album on this list.
You may also notice that it is the only album on the list to have come out within the last 5 years.
That says something. Mostly about how picky I am, but also about the modern state of music. I am telling you that this album is one of the very best recordings I have ever heard in my life. The first time I heard this one... I think I listened to it about fourty times back to back, over days and days. I can still put it on and listen to it on repeat for days. It is simply THAT good. There is so much going on with this band musically, I do not have the brain power to correctly describe it. Everything is beautiful and layered and fucking mystical and perfect. The way it builds and flows and falls... It never stops amazing me. They have a new album coming out this year and I am keeping my fingers crossed. I can not encourage you enough to give this one a try. "That's when it turned on me
a motorcade of 'meant to be's'
parade of beauty queens
where soft entwines make kindling
These many detailed things
like broken nails and plastic rings
will win by keeping me
from speaking to my new darling
And there's no way to know
our future foe scenarios
That's when it turned on me -
on bobby pins held angel wings "
- No. 1 Cowboy
I suppose coming from 1979, (with many of the songs dating back to the 50s) this is going to be the oldest entry in our list.
This is the greatest collection of oldschool country western / gunfighter songs ever. One of only two solo artists making the cut, Mr. Robbins toyed with various kinds of music over his long carreer, as well as being an actor and a race-car driver. In my opinion, the western and gunfighter ballads were truly his finest moments. You can't go wrong with songs about shoot-outs, revenge, women who done you wrong, but you'd die for them anyhow. Truly, some of the old western and bluegrass gun balad songs are the grandfathers of modern gangster rap :D This is an album I have listened to my entire life, and I imagine I will continue to do so for whatever remains of the rest of my life."And he felt the bullet hit him hard
And before his eyes he saw
His wasted life pass quickly
Ending with this fatal draw."
- Fables of the Reconstruction
We'll have to start with the album title here. It's also called Reconstruction of the Fables
. The album art was done in a way so that depending on which way you were holding it, it could go either way. or even more "Fables of the reconstruction of the fables" or "Reconstruction of the fables of the reconstruction". It could make all sorts of wonderful looping fun. At this point we all should know how much I love words, word-play and the arrangement of words and letters to have more than one meaning, so immediately, you know I absolutely love the way it's set up.
This was the hardest choice for me out of this entire list. I'm not sure it's really their best album, honestly... But it's a little *different* from all the other ones somehow. My brain was telling me to pick either Murmer
, but my gut was saying 'fables' . 'Gut, you're a goddamn moron,' Brain was saying, then they got to arguing and carrying on... So anyhow, 'fables' won out. This, however is the entry I am most torn over. I know a R.E.M. album goes here, but I can't stop arguing with myself over which one."Somewhere near the end it said
'You can't do this'
I said, 'I can too'
Ships sway and rivers shift
Oceans fall and mountains drift
It's a Man Ray kind of sky
Let me show you what I can do with it"
- Famous Monsters
Let me start by saying: I am not a Misfits snob.
I don't care what the line-up is. I don't care who is in the band, who is on what albums. Historically, the band has delivered good, solid material. In my opinion, the current touring lineup is the weakest one they've displayed so far. Just sayin'. Having said that, once you throw away politics, and look at entire albums, and factor in production value and recording quality... Walk Among Us
is by far the best of the albums from the 'old' Misfits, however, albums taken as a whole and going by how much I like most of the songs on there, Famous Monsters
is a hands down winner for me. I've seen several incarnations of 'The Misfits' live at this point, under various names, projects and array, and 95% of the time they just play all the same songs anyhow. Over all, this was a really good lineup. Everything that was pioneered conceptually by the original lineup was brought to perfection on this album. "Cutting with the knife
Blood is spilling everywhere
She will be my wife
Secondary spine, incisions must be accurate
I know just what to do
My hands are trembling
I can't spare to slip up with this knife"
- Personal Journals
All things told, this could be the most important album on this list.
I feel sorry for people who refuse to try something new because they think they "don't like" an entire style of music. You're missing some really great stuff people. You have to understand parallels too. Look at the trash that gets played on "rock stations". Do you REALLY want fucking Nickelback and Staind to represent ALL of 'rock' to casual radio listeners who don't know any better? Of course not, because those bands are complete trash, as are 90% of the bands played on the radio. Well guess what, it's the exact same on rap and hip-hop stations. The worse of the musical style rises to the top of the airwaves and that's all you ever hear as a casual listener. Don't be so ignorant as to stop there and believe that it's all there is to it. There are good, bad, amazing and horrible performers and bands in ALL types and styles of music.
Mini music rant aside. This man is a writer, a poet, and a genius. Plain and simple. He's also one of the nicest guys going, and has a killer bear hug. He has puns, word-play, double (and triple) meaning, enough code and word placement / structure to make MY head spin, and I live for that stuff. You get equal parts bravado, vulnerability, comedy, tragedy, pain and humour, but you're always guaranteed that it'll be delivered with razor-sharp wit. I can never possibly say enough great things about this album. It's another one of those that I've listened to thousands of times over the years, and never gotten tired of. This is one of those artists I've been blabbering on about forever now, and spread to so many people... Hopefully some of you who have not yet, will check this album out."Sun set and sun rise - I'm my own personal light show
Flipping switches, moving from basin bottoms to plateaus
The Earth manipulates itself beneath me
I stand still, stagnate. Can't kill... this lagged state
Life manipulates itself around me, but I'm dead-still
Upright but dead, still
Word is still born I will not stoop to the level of the stoop that y'all chill on
If the building's boarded up and the children of the corn-
-er Liquor Store don't want to kick it no more
'cause holes have filled the wall, sneakers are scuffed & toes have become sore
I saw y'all walk from the hood of tough luck
Yeah, if these walls could talk they wouldn't shut the fuck up"
- Only Theatere of Pain
I'm loathe to link the wiki article here. There is always drama surrounding this band. So-and-so did such-and such. It's one of those things where most likely everyone really feels like they're right from their own point of view, but since there can't be much of a problem anymore since there's no one left to legitimately fight over it, it's best to just let it all go. This album is completely amazing. It was released in 1982, and was quite different from what was going on around that time. To say it was groundbreaking would be an understatement. I think it even holds up among contemporary similar music quite well, nearly 30 years later. This album blazed trails and helped define entire new types of music. This is one of those albums that I've been listening to for over half my life now, and I still love every note of it. If you've never listened to this before, do yourself a favour and give it a try."I can die a thousand times, but I'll always be here
with the powder skull secrets of forgotten years
The hangmans noose is drenched with bloodstained tears
My hands are the killers that confirm my fears
Jesus wont you touch me, come into my heart
Where the Hell are you, when the fire starts?"
- Complete Discography
You might try to claim 'cheater' on me for going with the 'complete discography' but, hear me out.
It's what you can easily get on CD. I'm not going to refference some old EP or tape from the early 80s that would only be of interest to a collector, and hard to find at that. Years from now when the space archaeologists uncover our civilization, the 'complete' CD is what they'll find. This is another band who set the standard and launched something larger than themselves. Even if you've grown to hate where some of their ideas and terminilogy may have lead other people to end up, you have to respect the purity of it at the time. It's a shame that over the past couple of decades if various boneheaded hate-mongers have belittled what they started. This will always be one of those 'angry albums' that helps me get through a bad day."I don't want to hear it
All you do is talk about you
I don't want to hear it
Because I know that none of it's true
I don't want to hear it
Sick and tired of all your lies
I don't want to hear it
When are you gonna realize..."
___The Postal Service
- Give Up
The manner in which this album was crafted (recordings mailed back and forth with bits added in as it went on) perfectly matches it's calm and reflective nature. There's nothing rushed or immediate about any of it. It just ... is
. It exists in and of itself, a perfectly contained little universe of sounds. It does what it likes without too much thought to trying for anything specific. It's like that girl you know who always sort of rolls out of bed in sweats, wanders around in a fog and still manages to be witty, engaging, funny and awesome. This is one of the rare albums that can feel sad when you're sad, hopeful when you are, lost along with you and bound for a precise destination when that's what is called for. There's something to be said for that."I want so badly to believe that there is truth
That love is real
And I want life in every word to the extent
That it's absurd
I know you're wise beyond your years
But do you ever get the fear
That your perfect verse is just a lie
You tell yourself to help you get by"
- Let's Knife
This may be one of the most infectious bands of all time.
They can have the silliest half broken english half japanese lyrics about cookies, insects, cats and bicycles, and have you loving every moment of it. They've been around forever, and lord knows I've seen them live spanning 10 years between shows, and they just never lose that passion and energy. I simply can NOT be in a bad mood listening to these ladies. I am telling you right now that everyone
, young and old needs more Shonen Knife in their lives, and that's all there is to it."Sometime I step into timeless zone
and I lose my way
I don't know where I am.
Sometime I feel like I'm in the Milky Way
and I lose myself.
I don't know who I am!
I discover whiskers of a cat in a timeless zone
and I put them on my face.
In a moment I become a sweet little cat
And I dance on a flying saucer."
Well there you go... lucky 13.
I may do this again eventually as the 13 Best Ever changes into 13 other best evver ;)
That's if you guys liked it and may get some benefit or broadening of your horizons out of it.