16. Jethro Tull-This Was
I see it this way. There is Jethro Tull's debut and then there are all the other Jethro Tull records. This is not to dismiss all the others. I'm a fan of most, right through "Songs From The Wood." There may be some great ones after 1983, I just haven't heard any of them. But "This Was" is nothing short of masterful. Plus, it's the only record with guitarist Mick Abrahams, who was obviously the secret weapon. His arrangement of "Cat's Squirrel" makes Cream's version sound tame by comparison. "This Was" is another one of those special records that sounds like nothing else, not even any other Tull records. This one, still gets played plenty.
17. Prince- Dirty Mind
"Dirty Mind" is where I entered Prince's world. It was this record and the first time I saw him live at The Ritz in NYC one year later, that made me a believer. "Dirty Mind" is punk. It is funk. It is raw. And it still blows my mind. There is the perfect pop song in "When You Were Mind." Smart disco in "Uptown." And the trifecta of "Head," "Sister," and "Party Up" that still makes my jaw drop with its filthy subject matter and even filthier grooves. This is the one, with all due respect to "Purple Rain."
18. The Hot Rats
How does a 2010 side project of Supergrass featuring all covers, end up on a desert island? Because it's brilliant. This is what a covers record should be. Rarely covered tunes that stay true to the original while becoming individual pieces on their own. Lou Reed, The Kinks, Roxy Music, David Bowie, The Cure and Elvis Costello all get made over. But re-imagining the Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right To Party" as The Who covering "Strange Brew" is absolute genius.
19. Ultravox- S/T
Before John Foxx left Ultravox and Midge Ure took the band on a romantic (read: boring) synth-pop journey to success, they were a 5-piece making music that sounded like Roxy Music meets The Clash. The 1977 debut, produced by Brian Eno pushed every one of my glam rock/punk buttons, and even dabbled a bit in prog, thanks to the violin stylings of band member, Billy Currie. This continues to get heavy rotation in my house, 40 years later.
20. The Merry-Go Round- You're A Very Lovely Woman -Live
This 1967 gem from a 17-year old Emitt Rhodes and friends, is without question, one of my favorite records of all time. His solo debut gets all the accolades and McCartney comparisons, but the material on this record is much stronger. 1967 gave us some legendary recordings, so it's not difficult to understand why something like this could be set aside. Still, 50 years later it should be more than a cult classic. Few pop bands made music this smart and this consistent on their debut, and even the Merry-Go-Round's non-album singles and b-sides shine.