Monday, December 14, 2009

Is it Me?

There are two lists here. First,

The NME Top 50 albums of the decade
1. The Strokes – 'Is This It'
2. The Libertines – 'Up The Bracket'
3. Primal Scream – 'XTRMNTR'
4. Arctic Monkeys – 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 'Fever To Tell'
6. PJ Harvey – 'Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea'
7. Arcade Fire – 'Funeral'
8. Interpol – 'Turn On The Bright Lights'
9. The Streets – 'Original Pirate Material'
10. Radiohead – 'In Rainbows'
11. At The Drive In – 'Relationship Of Command'
12. LCD Soundsystem – 'Sound Of Silver'
13. The Shins – 'Wincing The Night Away'
14. Radiohead – 'Kid A'
15. Queens Of The Stone Age – 'Songs For The Deaf'
16. The Streets – 'A Grand Don't Come For Free'
17. Sufjan Stevens – 'Illinois'
18. The White Stripes – 'Elephant'
19. The White Stripes – 'White Blood Cells'
20. Blur – 'Think Tank'
21. The Coral – 'The Coral'
22. Jay-Z – 'The Blueprint'
23. Klaxons – 'Myths Of The Near Future'
24. The Libertines – 'The Libertines'
25. The Rapture – 'Echoes'
26. Dizzee Rascal – 'Boy in Da Corner'
27. Amy Winehouse – 'Back To Black'
28. Johnny Cash – 'The Man Comes Around'
29. Super Furry Animals – 'Rings Around The World'
30. Elbow – 'Asleep In The Back'
31. Bright Eyes – 'I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning'
32. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 'Show Your Bones'
33. Arcade Fire – 'Neon Bible'
34. Grandaddy – 'The Sophtware Slump'
35. Babyshambles – 'Down In Albion'
36. Spirtualized – 'Let it Come Down'
37. The Knife – 'Silent Shout'
38. Bloc Party – 'Silent Alarm'
39. Crystal Castles – 'Crystal Castles'
40. Ryan Adams – 'Gold'
41. Wild Beasts – 'Two Dancers'
42. Vampire Weekend – 'Vampire Weekend'
43. Wilco – 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot'
44. Outkast – 'Speakerboxxx/The Love Below'
45. Avalanches – 'Since I Left You'
46. The Delgados – 'The Great Eastern'
47. Brendan Benson – 'Lapalco'
48. The Walkmen – 'Bows and Arrows'
49. Muse – 'Absolution'
50. MIA – 'Arular'

Then, there are these bad boys from the seventies.

1. What's Going On (1971) - Marvin Gaye
2. Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) - Pink Floyd
3. London Calling (1979) - The Clash
4. Born To Run (1975) - Bruce Springsteen
5. Exile On Main Street (1972) - Rolling Stones
6. Innervisions (1973) - Stevie Wonder
7. Led Zeppelin IV (1971) - Led Zeppelin
8. Who's Next (1971) - The Who
9. Songs In The Key Of Life (1976) - Stevie Wonder
10. Rumours (1977) - Fleetwood Mac
11. Blue (1971) - Joni Mitchell
12. Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars (1972) - David Bowie
13. There's A Riot Goin' On (1971) - Sly And The Family Stone
14. Tapestry (1971) - Carole King
15. Paranoid (1970 )- Black Sabbath
16. The Wall (1979) - Pink Floyd
17. Blood On The Tracks (1975) - Bob Dylan
18. Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (1977) - Sex Pistols
19. Hotel California (1976) - The Eagles
20. Off the Wall (1979) - Michael Jackson
21. Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) - Simon & Garfunkel
22. After The Goldrush (1970) - Neil Young
23. Ramones (1976) - Ramones
24. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) - Elton John
25. The Clash (1977) - The Clash
26. Plastic Ono Band (1970) - John Lennon
27. Talking Book (1972) - Stevie Wonder
28. This Year's Model (1978) - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
29. Sticky Fingers (1971) - Rolling Stones
30. Moondance(1970) - Van Morrison
31. A Night At The Opera (1975) - Queen
32. Van Halen (1978) - Van Halen
33. Horses (1975) - Patti Smith
34. Machine Head (1972) - Deep Purple
35. Harvest (1972) - Neil Young
36. My Aim Is True (1977) - Elvis Costello
37. Live at Leeds (1970) - The Who
38. Marquee Moon (1977) - Television
39. Black Sabbath (1970) - Black Sabbath
40. Unknown Pleasures (1979) - Joy Division
41. Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack (1977) - The Bee Gees
42. DéjàVu (1970) - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
43. Superfly (1972) - Curtis Mayfield
44. Low (1978) - David Bowie
45. Wish You Were Here (1975) - Pink Floyd
46. All Things Must Pass (1970) - George Harrison
47. Quadrophenia (1973) - The Who
48. Live at the Fillmore East (1971) - The Allman Brothers Band
49. Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) - Derek & The Dominos
50. Imagine (1971) - John Lennon
51. Physical Graffiti (1975) - Led Zeppelin
52. Abraxas (1970) - Santana
53. Cosmo's Factory (1970) - Creedence Clearwater Revival
54. Pearl (1971) - Janis Joplin
55. American Beauty (1970) - Grateful Dead
56. Fun House (1970) - Iggy Pop & the Stooges
57. Tumbleweed Connection (1970) - Elton John
58. Hunky Dory (1972) - David Bowie
59. Exodus (1977) - Bob Marley & the Wailers
60. Court and Spark (1974) - Joni Mitchell
61. In Rock (1970) - Deep Purple
62. The Stranger (1977) - Billy Joel
63. Fragile (1971) - Yes
64. Toys In The Attic (1975) - Aerosmith
65. Pronounced Leh'-nerd Skin-'nerd (1973) - Lynyrd Skynyrd
66. Aqualung (1971) - Jethro Tull
67. One Nation Under The Groove (1978) - Funkadelic
68. Let's Get It On (1973) - Marvin Gaye
69. Aja (1977) - Steely Dan
70. Boston (1976) - Boston
71. Call Me (1973) - Al Green
72. Mothership Connection (1976) - Parliament
73. Let It Be (1970) - The Beatles
74. Catch A Fire (1973) - Bob Marley & The Wailers
75. Fullingness First Finale (1974) - Stevie Wonder
76. Heart Like A Wheel (1974) - Linda Ronstadt
77. Rocks (1976) - Aerosmith
78. Every Picture Tells A Story (1971) - Rod Stewart
79. Sweet Baby James (1970) - James Taylor
80. Bat Out Of Hell (1977) - Meat Loaf
81. Frampton Comes Alive (1976) - Peter Frampton
82. Parallel Lines (1979) - Blondie
83. Highway To Hell (1979) - AC/DC
84. Something/Anything (1972) - Todd Rundgren
85. Rocket To Russia (1977) - Ramones
86. Tea For The Tillerman (1971) - Cat Stevens
87. Trans-Europe Express (1977) - Kraftwerk
88. Eat A Peach (1972) - Allman Brothers Band
89. Band On The Run (1973) - Paul McCartney & Wings
90. Dreamboat Annie (1976) - Heart
91. The Cars (1978) - The Cars
92. Electric Warrior (1971) - T-Rex
93. Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978) - Bruce Springsteen
94. Alive! (1975) - KISS
95. New York Dolls (1973) - New York Dolls
96. Running On Empty (1978) - Jackson Browne
97. Fleetwood Mac (1975) - Fleetwood Mac
98. Damn The Torpedoes (1979) - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
99. Rust Never Sleeps (1979) - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
100. Close To You (1970) - The Carpenters

I thought about writing some more, but I don't think I need to.


Gene Oberto said...

I think the title of The Strokes entry sums it up.

steve simels said...

I think Vampire Weekend is the real indicator.

Seriously -- it's the equivalent of somebody posting "Every Mother's Son" in a list of top 50 abums of the 60s.

FD13NYC said...

From the first list I probably have heard of or have listened to 5-8 artists, own maybe 3.

Second list, well, all of them!
Thank God for the second list.

Hey Steve, Come On Down To My Boat was a good little song.

Anonymous said...


should i listen to:

PJ Harvey – 'Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea'

The Streets – 'Original Pirate Material'

The Shins – 'Wincing The Night Away'


Exile on Main St. Dark Side of the Moon or VH


Noam Sane said...

It's a "get off my lawn!" post. In the parlance of our times.

They lost me from go, with that Trust-Fund Rock record. (I thought it was an Ohio Players best-of until I saw the accompanying text).

I like that first Arctic Monkeys's unfortunate that they've morphed into U2-lite on this last album.

But as for the rest, you might get a decent 70-minute mix CD out of it.

Bloc Party? Really?

jamesmcnee said...

Ken Dryden, the great Montreal goalie turned author turned politician, once said that the "golden age" of hockey was when you were 17.

I get a feeling the same is true of Rock and Roll.

Sitting here on the 30th anniversary of the release of London Calling it is pretty tough to even read that whole first list.

Then again, that second list does have The Carpenters!

Sal Nunziato said...

I'll take the Carpenters over 45 of the 50 on the first list.

Ken D said...

Sal, are you planning on compiling a best-of-the- decade list?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sal is the second list yours?

Benjamin Franklin Chase

Anonymous said...

I'm 19 and I love reading this blog to find out more about cool older music from the 70's and 80's! But I think you're giving a bum rap to a lot of the music from this decade. If you were my age and not 30 years older (I think) you'd like alot more of the records on that list. I love Zep and the Beatles but I also love Arctic Monkeys and radiohead and Arcade Fire. If all the people who commented, want to act like old farts and say that music was so much better when they were young, and these kids today all suck, that's too bad. Your missing out on a lot of great new music!

mgiltz said...

The problem is the list more than the decade. I could certainly come up with a far more wide-ranging and interesting list than NMEs, which is heavily UK-centric and banal.Not that it would top or equal the classic albums from the 70s, but at least it would be a lot more respectable.

Sal Nunziato said...

To Anonymous 19 year old,
You make a very good point. But I don't think the old farts are mocking the decade as much as the list itself. See MGILTZ' comment. If you look at the 70s list, you will see a much more diversified group of artists.

I may lean towards the snarky side on this blog, but I would never NOT listen to M.I.A. simply because. THAT is what an old fart will do. I've listened to the majority of what's on this list, like enough of it and own some of it.

But PLEASE....Primal Scream at number 3? At The Drive In? TWO Yeah Yeah Yeahs? If the list ONLY included UK-centric artists, or if it was called 50 Best Rap Records or 50 Best (insert genre) I'd understand. But a 50 Best Of The Decade list? This is comical, at best.

big bad wolf said...

it is a bad list. i think the strokes may have released the most aptly titled album ever. i think the strokes illustrate why some of us older ones dislike this list---it's not that we are closed minded, it's that this list has too many retreads of things done better before. that is, for example, the first three or five or seven times someone did what the strokes did it was more compelling. same with the libertines; i like those records, but i'll take mick jones doing half-lazy carbon/silicone over the libertines take on the clash.

i think a big part of the reason the seventies list justly impresses is that the music was so broad, so confident, so a medium that thought it could reach so many. they were wrong in many ways, but springsteen and the clash and stevie and marvin and maybe even sly really did think they could change the world with music. that sense of grandeur spurred them to overreach in the best way. a lot of this was driven by the idea that there was a possibility of a common culture, a common mode of expression, a way to capture it all, a way not just to reconcile but to triumph. and much of the rest of the great stuff was driven by the antithesis of that---the stones' wounded skepticism, the pistol's real and manufactured anger at promsies of deliverance, joni mitchell's inability to find anyone but herself comprehensible, elvis costello's frustration that you couldn't be literate, odd, and a star all seemed to lash out at the lack of that possibility. now, we are all skeptics and we all think our own little genre is the best one and our own band's recyclings the cleverest. lester bangs nailed it in his essay on elvis's death. and yet, a great pop song can still bring us together momentarily. that's a wonderful thing.

steve, i love you and your blog and i may have learned even more obscure gems from you than from sal, but i gotta disagree a bit about vampire weekend. it ain't great, but i like the way koenig weaves that african guitar into the pop songs. it's not showy, it's just there and yet it elevates the songs above the plain things they would otherwise be.

sal, i'm up to like 10 that i like better than the carpenters :) and for what it's worth, on the nme list, i'd go with the p.j. harvey album as the best and sufjan stevens as the worst.

as always sal, thanks for this place