21. Fleetwood Mac- Then Play On
I know there are many who think Fleetwood Mac came onto the scene in 1975. But before Buckingham and Nicks and the 12 billion sold copies of "Rumours," there was Peter Green and Danny Kirwan, and the music they made on 1969's "Then Play On" sounds like nothing before it or since. There are songs that stay faithful to the British blues of their two records prior, but mostly this record "plays on" like a psychedelic dream, floating in and out of some of the most gorgeous sounds you will ever hear. For this particular record, I must insist on the original U.K. track list and running order. "Then Play On" might actually be on some of the "usual" lists, but I don't care. I love this so much, I need to play it safe and include it on every list.
22. New Radicals- Maybe, You've Been Brainwashed, Too
After two unsuccessful records under his own name, Gregg Alexander released "Maybe, You've Been Brainwashed, Too" in 1998 under the moniker, New Radicals. "You Get What You Give" was a smash hit. The critics loved it. And that was that! Alexander hated every minute of it and retreated to hide behind the scenes as a songwriter, arranger and producer. "Brainwashed" is monumental! It is a veritable cornucopia of pop and soul that sounds like the dream record of Prince & Daryl Hall produced by Todd Rundgren. As a matter of fact, Hall & Oates went on to cover a track from the record, with Rundgren guesting on vocals, so all involved must have heard something, as well. If all you know is the single, which is a triumphant piece of pop, you must dig in to this one.
23. Steve Earle & The Dukes- The Low Highway
There are many great Steve Earle records, including one that will end up on many lists, "Guitar Town." If you want to go off grid, you might pick "Copperhead Road" as your fave, or maybe still, you've got something else on your mind. But 2013's "The Low Highway," is my favorite, without question. Yes, I love it more than "Guitar Town." Maybe it has something to do with the New Orleans-influence on some of the tracks. I guess Steve picked up a few things while filming "Treme." But track and after track knocks me out, from the rockin' Stones groove of "Calico County" to the beautiful melody and killer harmonies on "After Mardi Gras" to the swing of "Pocket Full Of Rain," this record delivers punch after punch, with hooks that will snag you and not let go.
24. Genesis- A Trick Of The Tail
"Selling England By The Pound" may be my favorite Genesis record, and I imagine if there was any list with a Genesis record on it, "SEBTP" gets the nod. So, I'm going with "A Trick Of The Tail" for two reasons. The first is, this record might actually be better. And B, this band lost its lead singer and front man and created an accessible prog masterpiece with their drummer taking over lead vocals, leading the band to even greater success. For that reason, "ATOTT" gets my vote. Prog Rock scares people away. "A Trick Of The Tail" works to get those people back. Think of melodies you can sing along with, occasional Beatles harmonies, backed by real adventurous arrangements played by four of the greatest musicians in music and you've got "A Trick Of The Tail."
25. Paul McCartney- Chaos & Creation In The Backyard
A few artists have multiple records on my "Other 100." I've yet to decide if I should replace those records with other artists, keeping it one to a customer, or just running with the original 100. McCartney has three and this is the one that stays for sure. When "Chaos & Creation" was released in 2005, I hated it. There was no good reason. I think I hated the prior record, "Driving Rain" so much, I was already prepped to hate anything else Sir Paul was to release.
What the hell did I want from this guy in 2005? I'm sorry. It wasn't you, Paulie. It was me.
In 2017, I couldn't ask for anything better from Paul McCartney than "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard." This is the EXACT record you want from an adult Beatle. I want to thank my friend Bruce Handy for insisting, some years ago, that I give this record another chance. You were right, Bruce. This is a stunning collection of understated songs, with nods to "Rubber Soul," "McCartney," "Band On The Run" and just about anything you love about Sir Paul. This record has grown on me so much, it might be my favorite solo Beatle record. I mean it.