|The Last 100|
I’m approaching 5000 ratings at which point I’m retiring this account. To make sure my next account is as elite as feasible I’m clearing as much of the RYM top 1000 albums within that last 100 as possible. As luck would have it, if you strip the stuff I don’t count as actual popular music records (classical, soundtracks, goddam Computer game music) there’s little over a couple of hundred left - let’s see (list in progress, ratings will appear in time). This list should also take out the last of the Sput top 200 too, or near enough (except classical, soundtracks, etc etc)
Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Same operatic cheese, same galloping rhythm section (dum-de-dee-dum-de-dee-dum-de-dee-dooo - this will never sound heavy to me, almost like how you could never look the hard man while whistling and skipping through a sunny meadow), only now with added synth lines and prog arrangements. I'd rather listen to one of the better Dream Theatre albums than this, and that's not a good thing to realise. Apologies everyone, I know everyone digs Maiden. I did enjoy portions of some of the proceeding albums so this was still a bit of a shocker for me.
Think I’ve already listened to this, whatever
...and still not sure if I listened to this before. Outkast are alright, that mellow brand of hip hop I can take or leave. 'Wheelz of Steel' was a banger, nothing else sounded too life changing.
The Shape of Jazz to Come
For me the big issue with free jazz isn't actually the lack of structure which is what I presumed would be the deal breaker as to whether I can enjoy it or not, rather it's the tonal palette. If I enjoy every sound, every timber, if they're all honey to my ears then honestly free wheel away to your hearts content. The minute an instrument or vocal enters the mix that I dislike then the whole project collapses like a deck of cards. I like the palette Ornette is working with on this one, quite traditional, well balanced, not too shrill - hence I enjoyed this a mighty good deal.
Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
This was just pure class...even if some of these songs I prefer other cover versions.
Blues & Roots
|6||Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges|
Clube da Esquina
Not at all what I was expecting...thought this would either be more samba/bossa nova (South American tag) or more ethnic-y (the cover art). Instead it's a breezy folk/psychedelic 21 track rock mish-mash that's hard to assess on a first listen other than saying I like it. The second and third listens will be key as to whether it's an album that remains in my listening or not, could end up a classic for me possibly.
Journey in Satchidananda
25% Nirvana, 25% Kyuss and 50% Sabbath, I can definitely see the appeal of this. Does it have a song as good as a 'Symptom Of The Universe', 'Negative Creep' or 'Spaceship Landing'. Ah, you see, that's where I'm not quite so sold on Electric Wizard. I'm not sure this is graced by the presence of song writing genius but - it is fun in a slightly amateurish, loose and raw way. It sounds like a good time, it sounds like it doesn't take itself tooooo seriously, so I won't either. Enjoyable.
|11||The Dave Brubeck Quartet|
Possibly revolutionary/time signatures bla - despite being pleasant enough I found this very lightweight bordering on dull. Yes, including 'Take five' which I'd heard before a few times. It's acceptable hotel lobby music, it sort of swings in a slightly mannered way, it gets a 'low 3' rating.
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
I like The Kinks, a bit more convincingly irreverent and rocking than The Beatles of 1969 - I don’t feel they’re delivering classic song after classic song here though, there are a few more forgettable moments. ‘Shangri-La’ and ‘Churchill’ back to back is an obvious high point.
Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
It’s pretty chill but it’s no ‘Zombie’.
|15||Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young|
Ok, I think Young has a few better albums than this himself but saying that, this is right up there. The only song that absolutely snagged me first listen was 'Almost Cut My Hair' but most everything else was at least solid. One I'll revisit many times and maybe - maybe - purchase.
Seasons in the Abyss
Certain I’ve listened to this but will check
Not sure I had checked this but I remembered most of these songs from the Decade of Aggression live album which was by far my most played Slayer album when I was a kid. Some will say it's their most refined album...I'd say it gets close to being their most recycled album. Still, some good tunes, in particular the title track has one of the best AIC choruses in the year that band released their own debut. In summary, Hell Awaits [3.9] remain my favourite, followed by 'Reign in Blood' [3.7].
Ashes Against the Grain
I liked all the different sounds used here but they only very rarely added together in any real satisfying way - so the atmosphere and songs were both lacking. If metal could ever be accused of being 'wallpaper music' then it's here, Satan's own elevator music. I'm not a huge fan of Ulver but they're more 'grabby' than this. Perhaps a grower and as there's another Agalloch on the list at least I try the band again, and soon.
|19||Sly and The Family Stone|
There's A Riot Goin' On
Something Else by The Kinks
Hvis lyset tar oss
Fucking iron madmen
|26||Van der Graaf Generator|
Dreading these dudes just cos the name
Technically excellent no doubt, but the vocals are the stuff of nightmares and it's just the epitome of widdly woo prog, enjoyment level close to zero. '...is a vampiiiire and it feeds on meeeee' - as OTT as Queen without Freddie's charisma. Possibly mightily influential, etc etc - not for me. There was a good section towards the end of the 25 minute long 'Lighthouse'....followed by a horrifically boring pomp section that closes out the song (naturally). But there was a good section.
The Yes Album
Some real excellence here - two instant classics in the form of 'Hallogallo' and particularly 'Negativland'. I'm not ruling out a future .5 bump. What a stunner for 1972!
The Sound of Perseverance
Don’t judge me
Heaven and Hell
Ronny James Dio is an insurmountable cheese wheel. That is all.
Also the riffs are quite commercial/boring. Doesn't really 'sabbath' at all.
Sad Wings of Destiny
Musically I think I much prefer early Priest...vocally, lol Halford, he's great at what he does but this comes across almost as a comedy album with his style. Far too OTT and theatrical for my tastes, sort of like a more cheeseball Axl Rose on the ballad sections. Yikes. Saying that, 'Tyrant' is a great great tune I thought.
In the Nightside Eclipse
I come from ye olde generation where people didn’t listen or have instant access to every genre...which is to say I feel bad coming to this from checking out Santana. This is meant to be extreme, you are supposed to be a card carrying extreme metalhead to listen to this imo, a face paint and all black’er. But no, I’ve been acclimatised to this sort of music a long time now to the point this album doesn’t even feel all that extreme - it’s quite cosy even. I also feel bad that back in ‘94 if you were into black metal and ONLY listened to black metal as you’d do, then this would be one of the major classics you’d have to clutch to your bosom for five years or whatever. I’m listening to this among loads of other stuff and as much as it might be an ‘Ok Computer’ of symphonic black metal I’m just judging it against Santana...and Pink Floyd...and everything else. It feels a bit wrong, but I’m of that generation - I shouldn’t really be listening to this. Not really. It’s good though
Stress: The Extinction Agenda
A little teeny tiny bit too funky fresh for Doof hip hop tastes but still enjoyable, though as much as I keep wanting to like it as much as the previous year's '36 Chamber' from Wu-Tang...I just can't.
Altars of Madness
Rhythmically really really great, very raw production also which I think suits the intensity. Strange but even the solos seem there more for rhythmic/tempo diversity rather than being overly melodic/progressive. I'm putting a 3.5 up for now but I'll revisit this to see what sticks. Overall I prefer a little more atmosphere I'm thinking.
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Individual Thought Patterns
Don’t judge me
Not the absolute most boring artist of all time but definitely in the top 1. My dad loves this dude and so Mr Sultana was a big part of my childhood. Now, well, it’s Nandos music. Music to eat spicy chicken by. Etc. Harmless ethno jammy friendly mildly progressive hippy-bliss bollocks. I’ve shaken my knob to get rid of the last drips of urine in restaurant lavatories to ‘Oye Como Va’ more than any other tune on this planet - it’s good for that purpose. Maybe I’ll get that song to play on repeat in my home lavatory? Or perhaps I’ll try to never listen to this willingly again?
Moment of Truth
Hot Buttered Soul
Storm of the Light's Bane
|45||The Mothers of Invention|
Don't Break the Oath
On the Corner
In the Land of Grey and Pink
This was going to land a big flat [3.0] until I dot to the medley on Side B...the songs on Side A land JUST the right side of insufferably twee, they have an addictive and daydreamy quality to them though. The second half of the album amplifies the dreaminess and it's the very best sort of jam track, rhythmically it just keeps motoring, can see it being something addictive I reach for. Intriguing stuff.
Like food you can get stuffed on too much of the same thing, his shtick wears a little thin with me after 25 minutes (yes, inc Madvillainy, another 3.5). This is great in short doses but taken as a whole that’s a lot of comedy skit and a lot of mellow backing tracks.
Somewhere in Time
Get Up with It
Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk
Another smooth Stevie album, think I marginally prefer 'Innervisions' but there's not too much in it. This one gets a bit sappy taken as a whole.
Screaming for Vengeance
Abandoned listening to this before hopefully because I wasn’t in the mood. Otherwise it sucks.
I'm marking this down as a potential grower and a half, first impressions weren't amazing, but the final run of songs was excellent and I see the whole thing putting the hooks in on my second or third try. For now it gets the 3.5 holder treatment. Sometimes you really how much of a Reed fan Dan Bejar must be listening to this one.
This Nation's Saving Grace
This will probably annoy Butch no end but this is my favourite Fall so far, sneaking ahead of 'Language' (that'd be a 4.2 rating though, not far behind). A basic pick perhaps, but this is their most immediate sounding album of those I've tried so far.
Power, Corruption and Lies
I liked this a lot more than I expected to, for as wet as it is at times, it has this underlying Kraftwerk sort of metronome heartbeat of cool, quite hypnotic. Massively influenced AND massively influential - one of those. Parts remind me of the Mark Renner comp I got into this year, some other parts you can trace all the way up to the latest Hot Chip song etc. The songs that open each 'side' are the best two.
I left the correct Beatles albums resting on the shelf I’m thinking. This is ok, a sunshine-y Beatles. Love/hate relationship with the title track...actually it’s hate most of the time. Damn.
Jukebox favourites but as jukebox hits go ‘The Boys are Back...’ only scores a 7 or 8 out of 10 for me - and its the best tune here. The guitar playing has that usual style you associate with TL but it lacks power in places and the whole album comes across a bit polite. That’s not good for an album that’s supposed to be rebellious and raucous. Decent enough.
A Blaze in the Northern Sky
|67||Van der Graaf Generator|
H to He, Who Am the Only One
These better be godly
Neoclassical - will leave this in for now
Thar's some magic in this here album, possibly has 4.5 to 5 potential - only time will tell...
I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You
A Hard Day's Night
Not thinking this will be a Beatles fave of mine, a few good tunes we’re all familiar with, rest sounds like the band were starting to progress into something slightly less pop and towards rock.
Let My Children Hear Music
Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous
Didn't finish as far behind 'Illmatic' (a Doof 4.2) as I expected. Technically strong...missing something in the charisma stakes to be a real great? Probably his style just has to grow on me.
Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
Ram fucking man
One of the big surprises this rating significantly higher than the two Beatles albums on the list. I can take or leave some of the more obvious Beach Boys harmony tracks but when this gets strange in the fashion of Dr. John ('Monkberry') or a proto Animal Collective ('Uncle Albert') it's really appealing.
De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
|77||Bob Marley and The Wailers|
Catch A Fire
I know some of his stuff is protest music, or political, or spiritual...but sorry Bob, this is 'superior background listening' for me and always will be. Nice stuff, best 600 of all time? No chance.
Harmony in Ultraviolet
Think I might prefer this to Rave, gives good ambient fuzz. One of the greatest 600 albums of all time? Nah.
|80||Edge of Sanity|
Liege & Lief
Some great musicianship but not a vocal delivery that transmits anything beyond the technical. I get more emotion from something like this year’s Stick in the Wheel. I wanted to enjoy this more, will revisit and check some of their other albums - sure they’ll have one I’ll connect with better.
Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
A little more mainstream/conventional but she still has her quirks for sure. I liked this, not sure quite how much, seemed to get stronger as it progressed so not sure if that's genuinely how the quality is spread here or it's just a case I warmed up to the album as it went on. Saying this, I still doubt this one will end up my favourite PJ.
Let's Get It On
Listened to most of this before, what ever
Similar to 'Electric Warrior' this sounds cool but it just blends and lacks consistent song writing genius - if we agree Ziggy is a 5/5 (and we do) then unless something VERY iffy is going on with your rating scale how can you justify awarding over a 3.5 for this? There's an awful lot of rewriting the same songs from EW imo, which is why it lands a little below that album's [3.5] Doof rating. Nowhere near a top 600 album. Not even close.
Visions of The Country
Yes, American primitivism is my sort of thing and I can certainly enjoy this mellow album of mostly acoustic guitar with the occasional Tim Buckley-eque vocal reverie. Looks hard to track down a physical CD copy or a download so that may harm its chances of going anywhere higher that a 4 - we'll see what I can do.
'Round About Midnight
Close to a World Below
Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
Can never find a stream of this damn buggaloo - ok, not sure why I couldn’t!
Actually enjoyed this, I don’t know much about them except they’re the archetypal southern rock band and had beef with Neil Young. Scrapes a 4 because I’ve actually never got sick of ‘Free Bird’
Music for the Masses
Music for molasses
My Arms, Your Hearse
At the Heart of Winter
|97||Belle and Sebastian|
Defenders of the Faith
Sure I’ve listened to this shit
Takes me down to no. 601, that’ll do
Lo-fi black metal, sounds like it was recorded in a toilet. The title track was interesting...then with every passing song it became less interesting. Black metal is a genre that needs crisp or atmospheric production for me, the performance can be raw but not the sound quality because then it just sounds like murk with never ending tin can drums. Tinny tinny tinny. Still, I like the spirit, and in small doses it sounds almost revolutionary.