81. Thin Lizzy- Jailbreak
This feels like the most difficult choice so far. There was no fear over which Thin Lizzy record might be on a usual Top 100. I'm sure none of their output gets any respect, just like the band themselves. It's difficult for me to choose just one. Some of my favorite Lizzy tunes appear on the records before and after "Jailbreak," but I give "Jailbreak" the nod for being the most consistent. Like "All The Young Dudes," I just never tire of "The Boys Are Back In Town," the song that made Thin Lizzy, but also the song that too often breaks Thin Lizzy. Nowhere is their two-guitar attack more perfect than on tracks like "Emerald" and "The Cowboy Song." And on "Running Back," Phil Lynott bares his soul, in the simplest and most heartbreaking way. It's always been a wonder to me, how Thin Lizzy doesn't touch more people.
82. The Rascals-Time/Peace
I believe this is the first compilation I have listed, though I could be wrong. This was another difficult choice. The first five Young Rascals records are some of my most played, but choosing just one leaves me without some true necessities. Prior to the now legendary Hall Of Fame induction speech given by Little Steven Van Zandt, The Rascals were often relegated to "singles band" status. But man, what amazing singles they were! Every one of them stirring up a perfect summertime moment and a reason to sing along. "Time/Peace" is just about perfect. My only complaint is that it was released before "People Got To Be Free" was released. If that song was included, I might just be happy having only this one record with me forever.
83. The Drifters' Golden Hits
What I just said about The Rascals above, can almost apply to The Drifters, except The Drifters records were more uneven, so a compilation is a no-brainer. Talk about perfect singles and summer and memories and singing and....damn! This record might have gotten the most spins of any other record in my household growing up. My grandfather loved it. My father loved it. And now, of course, I love it.
84. Queen II-
Freddie Mercury and the gang might have taken on the world with 1975's "A Night At The Opera," but it was in 1974, where Queen really made their mark. Not one, but two records were released that year, the amazing "Sheer Heart Attack," and before it, the record that contains one of my Top 5 "sides" of all time, "Queen II." When asked, I always cite "Queen II" as my favorite Queen record, though I really believe the three records that followed are better records. It's because of Side Two, or as it's listed, "Side Black" that this record edges the others out ever-so slightly. A side-long suite, if you will, of bombast, pomp and insanity, with everything and kitchen sink. The hooks and riffs are relentless. Freddie's vocals, Brian May's guitar wizardry, John Deacon's rock solid subtleties and Roger Taylor's unique drumming, all define the band right here on one side of music. I don't care if Side White is weak. Side Black makes up for it in spades.
85. Elton John-Tumbleweed Connection
Is it possible Elton John peaked 47 years ago? I always say, Elton John and Rod Stewart released some of the greatest music of all time before 1975 and some of the worst music of all time after 1975, though Elton did have plenty of great songs here and there, right up to the forgotten gem that is 2004's "Peachtree Road." And the reason I love "Peachtree Road" so much is because it reminds of "Tumbleweed Connection." It's rootsy and it's soulful. Elton and Bernie Taupin created a sound on "Tumbleweed" and they never returned. It's a country record in both feel and substance, yet it sounds nothing like any country music record before it. Every song is a classic and none of feels overplayed like so many of EJ's hits. My fave Elton, by far.