41. Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle- One From The Heart
I don't hate Coppola's film. I don't care how much money it lost, or what the critics had to say. Seeing it opening weekend at the Ziegfield Theatre in NYC was mind-blowing. I fell hard for the visuals, the sound, the love story and of course, the music, courtesy of the unlikely pairing of Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle. This was a match made in bizarro heaven and it paid off in spades. This soundtrack is a heartbreaker, and probably has a better story line than the film itself.
42. John Cale- Paris 1919
John Cale has worn many hats since leaving the Velvet Underground and he has the diverse catalogue to prove it. But, "Paris 1919" is his masterpiece and I don't think critics would disagree. I imagine this baroque pop gem might be on someone's usual 100. I know it will be in my Top 40, but again. it goes here because of the mission statement. Beautiful, melodic and at times, triumphant (like the title track), "Paris 1919" is Cale's most accessible record that still sounds fresh almost 50 years later. It's another one of those timeless records that sounds like nothing before or since.
43. Little Feat- Sailin' Shoes
And speaking of masterpieces, "Sailin' Shoes" was no sophomore slump for Little Feat. A pet peeve of mine is when someone describes their taste in music as "eclectic" and then offers this, "Oh, I like everything. Rap, jazz, funk, techno..." Oh shut up. Little Feat's 1972 release is the epitome of "eclectic," and yet, this album could not be more cohesive. It is the perfect balance of all that this band was before and became after. It is funk, gospel, soul, rock and roll, blues, jazz and psychedelia and best of all, none of those things. It is fucking Little Feat! I've heard bands try to be the Beatles and the Stones, but no band will ever be Lowell George's Little Feat. Every once in a while I will hear a song and I'll say to myself, "Man, I wish I had written this." Man, I wish I had written "Willin'."
44. 10cc- The Original Soundtrack
And speaking of pet peeves, it really twists me when bands are pigeon-holed because of one or two hits. And you know what else? "The Things We Do For Love" is a great, three minutes of pop music. Go ahead! Write a three minute pop hit. I'll wait. (~like walking in the rain and the snow and there's nowhere to go and you...~) Finished? Thought so. The four men that make up 10cc were producers long before America turned "I'm Not In Love" into a smash. Sadly, the single edit of that tune, the one everyone heard on the radio, is a disaster. If you listen to the full 6 minute version, found on "The Original Soundtrack," you will hear what was hamhandedly cut out, one of the most brilliant bridges assembled in a pop song. And just about everything else on 10cc's third release is as brilliant, including the 8 minute opener, "Une Nuit A Paris," where 10cc out-Queens Queen, the McCartney-esque "Flying Junk" and the indescribable "Second Sitting For The Last Supper." Genius, though the last cut "The Film Of My Love" should have been 2 minutes and not 5.
45. The Hollies- Butterfly
If you've been reading Burning Wood for any length of time, you already know how I feel about "Butterfly." I might have taken my love a tad too far, when I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post claiming it was better than "Sgt. Pepper." Over the top and unnecessary, but I felt it at the time. This record was The Hollies' "Sgt. Pepper" and it is their best record, for sure. Released here in the US as "Dear Eloise/King Midas In Reverse," with an alternate track list to cash in on the two hits in the title, the original U.K. tracklist works better. Straight power pop like "Step Inside" and "Dear Eloise," a big Phil Spector ballad like "Would You Believe," and gorgeous acoustic folk like "Wish You A Wish" and "Postcard" all find Clarke-Hicks-Nash at the top of their game. "Butterfly" will not be on anyone's Top 100, usual or bubbling under, but it is one of my faves of all time. Special hat tip to Frank D., for introducing "Butterfly" to me, all those years ago.