86. Todd Rundgren-Faithful
Off all the gin joints...that's right. Todd's 1975 collection of half covers and half originals is a personal favorite. Oddly, it's one of his most consistent, too. The covers are note perfect soundalikes. Two by The Beatles, Jimi, The Yardbirds, Dylan and the single, Todd's minor hit, a mind-blowing take on "Good Vibrations." So, why? Because it's great music. But also, the originals happen to be some of his best, including my single favorite Rundgren tune, "The Verb To Love." This is accessible Todd. Todd the soul singer. Todd the pop genius. Todd the guitar god. All on one record.
87. The Turtles- The Battle Of The Bands
I've loved this record since I was a kid, and there is no way in hell I am going anywhere without "Elenore!" But, as silly as the premise sounds--The Turtles taking on various disguises and bands---most of it works. The hillbilly harmonies on "Too Much Heartsick Feeling" are to die for. "The Last Thing I Remember" has become a psych classic. McGuinn-Clark's "You Showed Me" is another gorgeous gem. And the under two minute classic, "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea" is irresistible.
88. David Bowie- Station To Station
It's hard to say whether "Station To Station" would be on the usual Top 100 lists. It is without a doubt one of my five favorite Bowie records, and on certain days, it is absolutely my favorite. But my gut feeling says, most critics are choosing others. 6 songs and all of them are brilliant. While some may not be a fan of Bowie's "crooning," it's hard to argue that both ballads, "Word On A Wing" and the 50's hit "Wild Is The Wind" are as good as Bowie's crooning has ever been. The two hits, "Golden Years" and "TVC 15" have become standards. But it's the epic title track and Earl Slick's tour de force, "Stay" that knock this baby out of the park!
89. The Mavericks- Trampoline
Raul Malo's voice is a wonder of the world and the countrypolitan sounds of The Mavericks have been consistent since their very first LP. But it's 1998's "Trampoline" where they nail it and nail it good. This record plays like a tour of 1970's AM radio, and I say that in the best possible way. Every song will conjure up some hit or another. The arrangements are huge, but never overblown. It's a party. It's a heartbreaker. It's the band's best. "Tell Me Why," "Someone Should Tell Her," I Hope You Want Me Too," "Fool # 1" "I've Got This Feeling," every song better than the one before it.
90. XTC- Wasp Star
Another controversial XTC pick, I'm sure, but I can't help it. I play "Nonsuch" and "Wasp Star" more than any other XTC records. I wrote about "Nonsuch" in post 46-50. Now, I feel I can say the same things. Lyrically, Andy Partridge is on top his game. "Stupidly Happy," "We're All Light," "You & The Clouds" and "Church Of Women" are some of the most beautiful lyrics and melodies ever written. I dedicated a whole post some years back on the arrangement of "Stupidly Happy."
One of Andy's very best guitar solos is right there in the middle of "Church Of Women." Colin's "Standing In For Joe" may sound like Steely Dan's "Barrytown" but that doesn't make it any less infectious. "Wasp Star" should get a lot more praise than it does. It's brill, as they say.