"I want to see your list of best albums of all time that no one includes."
After a solid 20 text volley, we decided that the best approach was not for me to find 100 records that don't appear on the usual "100 Best Albums Of All Time" lists in Rolling Stone twice a year, or any of the other music rags. That list could end up being an unlistenable collection of oddball selections and ultra-hip choices that quite frankly, wouldn't be any fun at all.
One can assume that most have "Revolver," "Blonde On Blonde," "What's Going On?," etc., in our Top 100. But if fate would actually place us on a desert island with electrical power and a stereo, and a climate controlled storage area to keep these vinyl gems safe, what 100 records, in addition to that first 100, would absolutely need to be there?
I chose my 100 based on one thing. Heavy rotation. I won't claim any of these records are better than the usual Top 100, though some might very well be. For my purposes, these records are just as important, and in many cases, they get played as often, if not more, than anything else in my collection.
I will be sharing them in random groups of 5. I have gushed about many of these before, so forgive me if at some point I am repeating myself.
Again, these are being posted in random groups of 5, which means "Rough mix" is NOT #1 and The Darkness is NOT #5.
Next post will be titled, "The Other 100: 6-10."
1. Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane- Rough Mix
This record barely got made. If I remember correctly, it started out as a Ronnie Lane project and Pete Townshend was asked to help out, along with Eric Clapton. What it finally became, is a near-perfect collaboration of two friends, mixing up Lane's sweet country folk and Pete's legendary power chords and orchestrations. The results are mostly gorgeous.
2. Willie Nelson- Teatro
I am not a fan of Daniel Lanois, but I think he created something truly magical and unique with Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris, who shares vocals with Nelson on many tracks, much like she did on Dylan's "Desire." I couldn't believe my ears when I first heard this record and played it to the point of almost never wanting to hear it again. Time passed, and the love affair has picked up nicely, with no regrets.
3. Black Sabbath- Heaven & Hell
The last two Black Sabbath records with Ozzy Osbourne were a far cry from their first groundbreaking three. The very last, "Never Say Die," is considered to be a mess, and I believe the band, especially Ozzy, had just about disowned it. Truth be told, I really love it, but that's not why I am here. The first with new singer, Ronnie James Dio, sounds nothing at all like the dark, evil riffing of the band before it. Instead, it is a true reinvention, and "Heaven & Hell" remains one of the very best hard rock albums of all time. This is another I played to death when it was first released. My band at the time covered "Neon Knights." And today, it has not lost its sheen. (The album, not my band.)
4. Marshall Crenshaw- Life's Too Short
Many will claim Marshall Crenshaw did not live up to the potential of his critically-acclaimed debut. The sophomore slump had less to do with the material and more to do with Steve Lillywhite's bombastic production. By records three and four, the casual fan had moved on. But, in 1991, Marshall reappeared on a new label and gave us "Life's Too Short." I have no qualms about calling this record better than his debut. The songs are ten years more mature than those two minute pop gems of the debut, the sound has expanded, and though one could argue the production could have been toned down a touch, I don't think it is nearly as bad as "Field Day." This really is my fave MC record.
5. The Darkness- Hot Cakes
During the 70's, I listened to Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Mott The Hoople and T.Rex almost exclusively. The Darkness magically takes the best of all those bands and serves up one hit after another on "Hot Cakes." It may sound like hyperbole, but every song on this record has a riff or chorus to die for. As a matter of fact, I'm going to listen to it now. One of the most played records in my collection since its release.