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08.02.09 My 20 Favorite Albums.

My 20 Favorite Albums.

These are the albums that I have enjoyed the most for the first seventeen years of my life. All of these are highly recommended. I have thought long and hard about my selections. I had to omit lots of stuff, however, like Nina Simone, Tiny Tim, Daniel Johnston, and Dead Milkmen.
Duty Now for the Future

Devo strikes a perfect balance between their early guitar sound and their later synths resulting in a
ominous sound. That combined with the cryptic lyrics have made this my favorite album ever.
2Captain Beefheart
Ice Cream for Crow

Beefheart returns in the eighties for his last album. As his last musical project he seems sad and more
contemplative than usual.
3Captain Beefheart
Lick My Decals Off, Baby

The messiness of Trout Mask condensed into one of the most consistently great albums of his career. I
never give two fives to one artist but dammit, Don earned it.

Wall of fear as my friend Evan says. Just really well written ridiculously haunting triphop with Beth
being as icy sounding as ever.
5Elvis Costello
Armed Forces

More eclectic and catchy than his other early records, this album has Elvis at his angry best.
6King Crimson

King Crimson stops dicking around, writes a set of five mean, hard, metallic songs and immediately
up. Good job with that one, Fripp.
7Lou Reed
Magic and Loss

Lou Reed spent the sixties being some boring avant-garde sonic artist loser, the seventies being some
David Bowie ripoff, the eighties being annoyingly happy with that "I Love You, Suzanne" crap. But finally
sometime in the early nineties two of his close friends died. And somehow that inspired him to create
most macabre, woeful experience I have ever heard. Then he went to crap again. So I appreciate this as
I will ever get from him.

Prince being as sappy, catchy, sexual, and awesome as he ever will be, all at the same time.
Double Nickels on the Dime

Hardcore punk's greatest album. And it lasts like two hours.
10Randy Newman
Sail Away

Before Randy sold himself to Disney he was a pissed off singer songwriting who wrote more hilarious
a year than anyone but Zappa.
11Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention
Absolutely Free

Speaking of Zappa, an album of political topics presented as vegetable metaphors can't possibly miss
this list.

Kid A but less focused, more wild and inventive, and with New Orleans sounding brass here and there. If
The National Anthem was on here this would leave Kid A as little more than interesting.
13System of a Down

I hate to have anything in common with assholes that worship this band but nearly every song on here
a really brutal thrashy metal that appeals mostly to my love of punk. Except "Needles" kind of sucks.
Pink Flag

Wire's first three albums beat down 99.9 percent of anything else ever made. And this is the best one.
Lots of thrashy, intellectual punk punctuated by slow moody pieces. "Champs" is the best song ever.
15The Cure
Three Imaginary Boys

The Cure's first record. It sounds like they listened to lots of Wire around then. Then they must have
heard some shitty
Division and thought they should make "Just Like Heaven". Shame.
16The Aquabats
The Fury of the Aquabats

The most consistent set of silly and fun skapunk ever.
17Tom Waits

Fresh from leaving Asylum records, Tom found Captain Beefheart and mixed the Captain's style of
rhythmic noise with his own smooth, jazzy portraits of downtrodden people in bars. He got thumpy
tales of downtrodden people burning down their houses, I guess. Good Job.
18The Clash
Combat Rock

This isn't the Clash selling out like most people say. Take that "Should I Stay or Should I Go" radio hit
nonsense off of here and you have Clash's most creative set of ponderous, discreet, low-key songs.
19Pink Floyd
The Final Cut

This is as much Pink Floyd as those two Gilmour abominations are. Roger Waters wrote some personal
songs and some political songs, made them slow and boring and sang annoyingly. I really can't think of
anything good about it. For some reason I love it though.
20Talking Heads
Fear of Music

Byrne's offsetting lyrics and vocal delivery are finally applied to much more eerie and inventive music.
"Drugs" is probably the best of these.
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