71. The Move-Shazam
Here in the USA, The Move are too often referred to as the band Jeff Lynne played with before forming ELO. They seem to be that odd cousin who is likable enough, but still never gets picked to play on the team, even though they had 9 top 20 singles in the U.K.. I guess releasing only 4 albums, each with a completely different sound than the other, might have something to do with it. But it is still no excuse to cast off four of the most amazing records in music history, as if there was not enough to compete with the heavies. If the coffin was wide enough, all four would come with me when I die. But it is "Shazam" that you will have to physically tear from my arms. Six songs, three of them covers of folk and pop tunes turned into psychedelic epics, "Shazam" is all about the mad genius that is Roy Wood, one of the great voices of all time in Carl Wayne, and a rhythm section that rivaled Jonesy and Bonzo in Rick Price and Bev Bevan. There is not a bad clam in the half dozen. As a matter of fact, "Shazam" is about as perfect as a late 60's, eccentric, psychedelic, pop, metal record gets.
72. Cheap Trick- Cheap Trick
And speaking of The Move, no U.S. band has ever paid tribute to or has recognized the genius of Roy Wood and The Move, as much as Cheap Trick. The band has covered "Brontosaurus," "Down On The Bay" and "California Man," as well as Roy Wood's "Rock & Roll Tonight." I might be missing one or two, if you count live performances. I've been a Cheap Trick fan since their 1977 debut, though I will admit, their hits, especially "I Want You To Want Me," "The Flame," and "If You Want My Love," are my least favorite songs by the band. 40 years later, it is their debut that still continues to do it for me. It feels the most like The Move, with real heavies like their Terry Reid cover or "Taxman, Mr. Thief," and the beauty that is "Mandocello." Throughout, Robin Zander, who might just be the be the greatest rock vocalist still working today, reaches for the stars, and the band never abandons their knack for hooks and melody. This is the one.
73. Sam Cooke- Night Beat
Sam Cooke's 1963 masterpiece, might be on the usual critics list of all time best records, but I'm taking a chance and including it anyway. Sue me. How can you pick one? So many hits and really, no bad records. Even Cooke's early pop records for the Keen label have one amazing thing going for them, Sam Cooke. But it's "Night Beat" that you can really feel in your bones and soul. A late night session that simply smokes. The record works for me on a Sunday morning or on a Saturday night. It's gospel and blues, and it's an artist surrounded by some of the best-- Barney Kessel, Hal Blaine, Billy Preston--in an intimate setting that welcomes anyone who will allow themselves to be taken in.
74. Beastie Boys- Paul's Boutique
And here is where I lose many of you. "I hate rap." "Rap is not music." "It's called the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame." Yeah, yeah! Tell it to the Marines. "Paul's Boutique" is a masterwork. It is a piece of art. It is a party record. It's got a good beat and you can dance to it. And if could find the patience and a little reason, you will hear the genius in the words of Mike Diamond, Adam Horowitz and the late, great Adam Yauch, not to mention the brilliance in their choices of sampling and mashing-up.
75. Sparks- Kimono My House
There are few as odd as the Brothers Mael. For over 40 years, Russell and Ron Mael have been making some of the smartest...and weirdest records as Sparks. Yes, this band is an acquired taste. I won't deny that. You are either in or you're out. I've been in since 1974's "Kimono My House," a masterpiece of glam, that sounds like nothing else before, and not much since. "Kimono My House" is never a bore and it never slows down. "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us," "Amateur Hour," "Talent Is An Asset" and "Falling In Love With Myself Again" have become glam standards. All four of Sparks records for the Island label are essential, but this one comes with me.