61. Fairport Convention-Unhalfbricking
I have sung the praises of both Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny many times on these pages. RT, for his otherworldly guitar playing and Miss Denny for having one of the purest voices in music. But it is on "Unhalfbricking" where the entire crew of Fairport Convention rise up for one of the greatest records of all time. The band's version of Dylan's "Percy's Song" is definitive. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a song more beautiful than "Who Knows Where The Time Goes."
62. Al Green- I'm Still In Love With You
Between 1971-1975, the Reverend Al Green was a hit machine, releasing six near-perfect soul records helmed by the master, Willie Mitchell as producer and backed by the amazing Hi Rhythm Section. I can't say for certain if any of these records appear on the usual 100 lists, but in my mind, they do not. As wonderful as these records are, it wasn't difficult to pick a favorite. 1972's "I'm Still In Love With You" is the one. "Let's Stay Together" might be Al Green's signature tune, but if I can't have them all, I want the one with "Love & Happiness" and "For The Good Times," and "Simply Beautiful," which is a stunner," and "Look What You Done For Me" and of course, the title track. Damn! Might have to listen to this right now!
63. World Party- Goodbye Jumbo
Karl Wallinger is a genius, and that may be the problem. Releasing only 5 records in 30 years might also be the problem. As leader of World Party, Wallinger has created a perfect hybrid of his favorite artists- John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Prince, and on 1990's "Goodbye Jumbo," he nailed the recipe. This is a perfect record, with nary a stinker in the lot. Sure, occasionally he's a bit too much like his heroes, making it difficult to separate the brilliance from parody. But if you had to have one, "Goodbye Jumbo" covers all the bases.
64. CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis
About 5 years before my first trip to New Orleans, a CD had been floating around my shop. It was priced, along with hundreds of others that I knew nothing about, and it sat in the used bins for months, until an employee pulled it out and put it on. I was transformed. I truly had never heard anything like this before. It felt like it could be a Rolling Stones record of "Exile" outtakes, but with a distinctive, southern feel. It was CC Adcock. I played that CD non-stop, until I finally made it to New Orleans where I got to see and hear CC in person for the first time. In 2004, CC released his sophomore record and it was even better. "CC Adcock & The Lafayettee Marquis" kicks off with a filthy groove and never lets up. This is Cajun rock, southern soul, swampy R&B, country ballads and dirty-ass rock and roll. It is one of my essential New Orleans records and one still gets heavy rotation 13 years later.
65. Bad Brains- I Against I
The Bad Brains debut might be the greatest hardcore record ever released, though it is much more than that. But it is their 1986 release, "I Against I" that perfects the formula of punk, funk, metal and reggae. Jimmy Page-like riffs played with ferocity. Dub grooves that are so deep, you might lose your shoes. And balls-out energy and passion that will make your speakers sweat. Seeing the Brains live at CBGBs took years off of my life. I still haven't recovered. But if the term "hardcore" scares you, I suggest "I Against I," if you're curious.