Friday, April 20, 2007

Top 100 Albums

I will be maintaining and updating this list regularly with new placements. I will post about any updates to this list at my blog. If you would like to know more about me and/or the list, check out the following links from my regular blog:
Without further ado...
FAVORITE SONGS: Showbiz (6), Muscle Museum (2), Sunburn (1)
ABOUT: Obviously the most contested spot. It'll get recognition for being the very first album listed as I'm doing this bottom up...but it will also be the first album expunged from the list when I make future additions, so enjoy it while you can Showbiz and don't say I didn't warn you...slut. I was going to list a bunch of the closest finishers but I decided not to. The Quicksilver Meatdream by I Mother Earth was neck and neck with Showbiz for #100. I got into this album after I was already into Muse and it was the last album from their disco that I listened to (except Black Holes and Revelations...when that came out I was already a huge fan).
FAVORITE SONGS: Duck and Run (3), Kryptonite (1), Down Poison (8)
ABOUT: Bought this CD back in the summer of 99 after hearing Kryptonite and Loser just about everywhere. Driving around after graduating from high school rocking this album...good times.
FAVORITE SONGS: Turn the Other Way (2), Thick and Thin (11), Forgotten Faces (10)
ABOUT: These guys were just out of high school when they released this debut in 2001 which makes it all the more impressive. With its piano ballads and start/stop mania, this album served as precursor for their masterpiece Waking the Fallen which landed 2 years later in 2003. I got this album in 2004 after I listened to WTF about 1000 times...I've never gotten into it enough to listen to it over and over, but I recognize its awesomeness with this slot on the top 100.
FAVORITE SONGS: Two Angels and a Dream (6), Voyeur (8), From the Inside (7), This Time (1), Silhouette (10)
ABOUT: I was going to see TrustCompany in Feb 03 and Depswa was opening so I sharted (dled henceforth) the album. I was blown away. There are some incredible lyrics on here...they weren't on the internet for a while after the album was released so I actually attempted to transcribe the whole album myself then emailed it to the contact email for the band at their website and within a day they got back to me with the full album lyrics (I still have the document that was sent, but they're all over lyrics engines now so who cares). We talked to the frontman Jeremy Penick after they played and it was, uuh, interesting to say the least. He was talking (preaching?) about faith and believing in yourself...maybe or maybe not god I don't know I kind of zoned out while he was talking. Not knocking anything he was saying, just weird for someone you don't even know to start talking to you like that. A few songs from this album got some radio play on the New Jersey rock stations, but after that they got dropped from their label and haven't released anything other than some demo tracks on the internets since. Hopefully they'll drop some new noise and more people will get to hear their music.
FAVORITE SONGS: So damn many...Mystic Reptile (9), Disney Time (3), The Einstein Crew (11), Leona (6), Mr. Clean (1), House of Blend (7), Take it or Leave it (12)
ABOUT: Thanks to Sean for this band. Went with him to my first show ever when I was 19 (Less Than Jake) and on the way back he put on No Cigar (not from this album...Penguins and Polar Bears), I recognized it from Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and said this song is the shit, he told me the band was Millencolin, and I've loved them ever since. I drove my roommate Joe nuts when I would come back to the room at 4 in the morning, put on the headphones, blast this album and (quietly!) sing along. KICK ME! after 9 6 packs.
FAVORITE SONGS: Faint (7), Figure.09 (8), Easier to Run (6), Somewhere I Belong (3), Numb (13...yes Joe this song is ownage), Don't Stay (2), Lying From You (4)
ABOUT: I became friends with Danny right around the time this album was coming out. It was the first time he got to experience the internet pre-official release date piracy excitement (I'd been hitting that shit raw dog since way back in the days of 2002, mad months prior)...and damn did this album live up to expectations. If not for some of the throwaway tracks on here Meteora would be significantly higher on the list cause there is some serious ownage going on.
FAVORITE SONGS: uhhh let's see how about Atom Heart Mother (1), Summer of '68 (3)
ABOUT: If you want to rip me for having this on the list I won't argue. As a complete album it is not strong. But Atom Heart Mother is 24 minutes of brilliance, and Summer of '68 is a great song so that's a half hour of musical bliss. The other 20 minutes are not great and not bad. There are many more albums that are more complete than this one, but the enjoyment that I get out of those 30 minutes coupled with the not badness of the rest of the album still beats the enjoyment I get out of other more complete albums, therefore Atom Heart Mother is on the list so deal with it. You gotta listen to this song if you've never heard it: set aside a half hour, [smoke a bowl if that's your thing] and just chill on the motherfucker.
FAVORITE SONGS: Send the Pain Below (3), Closure (4), Grab Thy Hand (9), The Red (5), Don't Fake This (7), An Evening with El Diablo (10), Comfortable Liar (2)
ABOUT: First off, for Kumail: ohhhh waaah ohhhhhhhhh. Serious ass kicker of an album. Blew up mad pizzas with soundwaves driving for Domino's BLASTING The Red every fucking day during summer 2002. Given how much I love that song the fact that I ranked it 4th on the album should give you an idea how much I like this album. This was part of the 2002 hard rock triple threat along with TrustCompany and Blindside. I got into this album a second time, more hardcore, than the first round of listens, during summer 03 and I must've listened to it every day I commuted to the city for about a month straight at least. I wonder how many people actually recreated the breaking glass sound at 3:50 of Closure by punching the shit out of something during that part...my lord that is some hardcore business. The one detriment is the last song One Lonely Visitor...that song is such a piece of shit but thankfully it's at the end of the album so I just pretend that it doesn't exist.
FAVORITE SONGS: Hurricane (1), One More Cup of Coffee (4), Isis (2), Black Diamond Bay (8), Romance in Durango (7), Sara (9), Joey (6)
ABOUT: This was one of the toughest albums for me to rank given the majority of hard rock/metal that constitutes my favorite music. I just tried my best to calculate the enjoyment factor and this came in slightly ahead of WWN by Chevelle, but it's basically impossible to compare 2 albums like that tangibly...Chevelle makes me go nuts; Dylan not only relaxes me, but he also takes me on a journey. His music is so good and stories told so well that I feel like I'm watching a movie. There's quite a story behind "Hurricane" just read the wikipedia article rather than have me tell you...and see the movie it's Denzel Washington's best performance IMO.
FAVORITE SONGS: Rearviewmirror (8), Daughter (3), Animal (2), Rats (9), Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town (10...great song, but who at one point in their life wasn't sick of hearing this song on k-rock?), Dissident (5), Go (1)
ABOUT: This is a weird album for me in that it wasn't one which I listened to beginning to end over and over again. There were 6 or 7 radio singles from this album, and I was really into all of them, so at any point in time I would just be really into one or two songs and listen to those over and over rather than listen to the whole thing. I regret having done that because some of the non-singles songs are very good but I will always treat this as a singles album (no pun intended related to the fact that they were in that movie and made one of their best songs for the soundtrack.)
FAVORITE SONGS: Fallen (3), End of the Beginning (9), Buddha for Mary (5), Capricorn (A Brand New Name) (1...my first douvle farentheses encounter), Edge of the Earth (2)
ABOUT: I think Jared Leto is a better musician than actor...and he's a pretty good actor. I got this album during the great album sharting frenzy of 02. I really don't have much to say about it...it's just your standard kick ass rock album. Don't let my lack of words downplay its quality though, go listen to this album if you want 50 minutes of kick ass, at times exploratory rock music.
FAVORITE SONGS: Peace and Love (8), I'm the Ocean (3), Song X (1), Act of Love (2), Downtown (6), Big Green Country (4)
ABOUT: Neil and Pearl Jam just ripping shit up, how can you not like this album. The rocking on here is as pure as the driven snow. Unfortunately this is the only full Neil Young album I really know...I've worn the shit out of the double cd best hits collection Decade, but I need to get into all the albums. I'm sure this isn't his best album, he was making music for close to 30 years before this came out. He's my dad's favorite musician, he used to wear this Neil Young shirt with more holes than any shirt I've ever seen...it was basically a big hole with small pieces of cloth attached to it. He gave me the shirt but I have no idea where it is, I'm gonna need to find it cause I love that hole...shirt, whatever.
FAVORITE SONGS: Sleepwalking (3), Caught a Glimpse (1), Painting (9), Pitiful (2), Morning Star (12), Midnight (10), Cute Boring Love (4)
ABOUT: Silence has a couple of similarities to Wonder What's Next by Chevelle: a killer 2002 radio single that introduced me to the band...and that single not even being in my top 3 songs on the album. Pitiful owned the radio and my car stereo in the summer of 02 along with The Red by Chevelle and Downfall/Running From Me by TrustCompany. Then my last semester of college, fall 02, not many days went by where I didn't listen to this album at least once if not multiple times. Best listen ever was on my way to the Museum of Natural History for one of my psychology classes...I'm pretty sure I was high so that's probably why I remember it and why it was such a great listening experience...plus being at the museum and seeing a lot of cool shit enhanced the day. If you're into modern rock and you haven't heard this album...you know what needs to be done, so get to it.
FAVORITE SONGS: Hey Joe (1), Foxy Lady (7), Purple Haze (3), Highway Chile (6), Are You Experienced (17), Fire (14), I Don't Live Today (12)
ABOUT: So I had this mixed tape I made that I carried around in my walkman all the time in high school. The first two songs on it were All Along the Watchtower and Hey Joe...I don't remember what any of the other songs were on the tape, and I'm pretty sure it's because I never listened to them. I will never ever ever get sick of either of them. I wish All Along the Watchtower had been on this album just to make it the ultimate Hendrix album, cause Are You Experienced has all the Hendrix songs you need to hear except Watchtower. Yes yes there are some great songs on his other albums (Crosstown Traffic, Little Wing, Voodoo Chile, Machine Gun), but we all know this album is where the glory of Hendrix resides. There's no need for a Hendrix greatest hits, this is it...his first fucking album, how awesome is that?
FAVORITE SONGS: Life to Lifeless (5), Just Barely Breathing (6), My Last Serenade (4), The Element of One (9), Self-Revolution (2)
ABOUT: This was an important album for me because it's the one that got me into hardcore. I had heard about Killswitch all the way back in 98-99 when I was in high school, but was completely ignorant to the hardcore genre. Occasionally heard some hardcore stuff on WSOU and didn't like it, but these guys turned me around for good when I finally heard them. I had just heard about them here and there from seeing t-shirts/posters and whathaveyous and I dled it as part of the GDLF (great sharting frenzy) of 2002. The track that got me at first was My Last Serenade...the melodic hardcore that I had never heard before and would quickly grow to become one of my favorite forms of music. Overall this album is not as good as their 2004 release End of Heartache, but the top shit on this album I like more than the top shit on EOH. Hardcore is a tough genre to start listening to when you're not used to it; Killswitch was good enough to finally let me make the jump.
FAVORITE SONGS: Gimme Shelter (1), You Can't Always Get What You Want (9), Monkey Man (8...no matter how much trouble it gets me in), Let it Bleed (5), Midnight Rambler (6)
ABOUT: The Stones were always a singles band. They are certainly one of my favorite bands of all time, but they don't have any albums too high in this list because they just weren't about making great albums. Gimme Shelter is one of my favorite songs of all time, so on the strength of that along with some of the other greats on this album it's on the list. I would always listen to this album when I went to bed in high school, and I'd hope to not fall asleep through some of the tracks in the middle because I wanted to hear that amazing last track...if I felt the serotonin getting too strong sometimes I'd just skip ahead to it...I figured you can get what you want if you don't fall asleep first.
FAVORITE SONGS: Intro/Apocalypse Please (1/2), Stockholm Syndrome (5), Hysteria (8), Blackout (9), Time is Running Out (3), Sing for Absolution (4)
ABOUT: This is the end...this iiiiiis the end of the worrrrrrrrrld. Not really. A great album to listen to while doing the sexing (I guess). Those guys over at #altrock are good shits. I was in there one day in 03 and some people were just talking about some albums, someone asked about Muse and a few people said it was kick ass so I dled this album and enter another great band into my life. For those who say they are a Radiohead knockoff: yes Bellamy's vocals bare a similarity (sometimes a very strong one) to Yorke's, but if you listen to the Muse albums they are much different (and IMO much better) than Radiohead's. Absolution has excellent flow and is very enjoyable from start to finish (just like a good sexing).
FAVORITE SONGS: Prison Sex (2), Sober (3), Undertow (7), Swamp Song (6), 4 Degrees (8)
ABOUT: This is not an album I've worn out in my life, but that's because it's Tool. If I want to listen to them why would I listen to this when I could listen to any of their 3 masterpiece albums? I recognize the fact that if someone never heard Tool before and then heard this album, they'd turn into a Tool fan before even hearing the much better stuff in their catalog. I already had heard Aenima and Lateralus a million times before I ever listened to this album, so there was no way it was going to live up to those 2. If you really like Tool's newer stuff but haven't heard the older, get this (their first full length) and Opiate (EP that came out before Undertow). Listen to Opiate then Undertow back to back. Opiate kicks so much ass but it's only an EP and wasn't long enough for me to put it on the list. I consider it connected to Undertow anyway so here're my props to Opiate.
FAVORITE SONGS: Duality (4), Vermillion/Vermillion Pt. 2 (8/11), Three Nil (3), Danger - Keep Away (14), Circle (6), Prelude 3.0 (1)
ABOUT: Go ahead, say Slipknot sold out, that's your right. This is some great fucking music that's all I care about. Corey Taylor has come a long way as a musician. You could see the roots of it in some of Slipknot's older stuff, then he had everyone saying "that song from Spiderman is from the guy from Slipknot?!?!", but this album is his crowning achievement to date. It was actually Stone Sour that got me into Slipknot. That's not to take away from the other members of the band who are very good in their own right (especially the drummer who's ridiculous). But I really think the musical direction Slipknot has taken is a direct result of the growth of Corey.
FAVORITE SONGS: When the Music's Over (10), People Are Strange (7), Moonlight Drive (6), My Eyes Have Seen You (8), Love Me Two Times (3)
ABOUT: As good as this album, it is believed to be the leftovers of their first album. Makes sense that such a tremendous album would have leftovers this good.
FAVORITE SONGS: All Apologies (13), The Man Who Sold the World (4), Where Did You Sleep Last Night (14), Dumb (6), Lake of Fire (12), About a Girl (1)
ABOUT: The good ol days of taping a friend's cd onto a cassette in the early 90s. Nevermind was the album that got me into the "grunge" bands (I hate that label), but this to me is clearly the best music Nirvana put out. I know that almost half of these songs are covers, but they introduced me to songs that I never would have heard otherwise, and they're all very good. Most of the songs on here are better than the studio versions, especially All Apologies which is incredible.
FAVORITE SONGS: Whole Lotta Love (1), Heartbreaker (5), Ramble On (7), Moby Dick (8), Thank You (4), Bring it on Home (9)
ABOUT: I heard almost every song on this album on the radio by the time I listened to it when I was 13 or so. 7/9 songs were hit singles...Zeppelin's not bad at all.
FAVORITE SONGS: Stabbing the Drama (1), Nerve (5), Weapon of Vanity (3), Wherever Thorns May Grow (12), The Crestfallen (4)
ABOUT: On a scale of 1-10 fists, I give this album 29,442 fists. You'll be lucky to not break your neck the first time you listen to it. A staple in the cd changer of my new G6 in the summer of 05. Seriously you better make sure there are no breakable valuables within a 10 foot radius when you listen to this shit.
FAVORITE SONGS: Generator (1), The Answer (8), Too Much to Ask (2), No Direction (3), Fertile Crescent (9)
ABOUT: I heard about Bad Religion forever before I listened to them. I had been seeing people with the patches and stickers and shirts since I was in junior high. The first time I actually heard a BR song was towards the end of high school. We had a project for our english class to bring in and play a song and talk about some of the poetic devices used in the lyrics. This kid Mike Murdock brought in a Bad Religion song...knocked my shit upside out. But even after that, I STILL didn't listen to them for another couple of years until finally Sean brough me around to listening to them. The first song I dled and listened to was Generator, and it's still my favorite BR song to this day. One of my favorite albums in college. This is the best punk album of all time. And even at this time BR was a borderline rock band...now I don't even think they can be classified as punk anymore, they're just an awesome rock band.
FAVORITE SONGS: Amazing (13), Livin' on the Edge (5), Cryin' (9), Eat the Rich (2), Line Up (12), Get a Grip (3)
ABOUT: This album had momentum for years thanks in large part to Alicia Silverstone. Alicia on those skates with the hockey stick in that little school girl outfit in Livin' on the Edge...oh boy. Alicia's hotness aside, this is a great album. It also saw songs on the soundtracks of Wayne's World 2 and Ace Ventura on top of the great music videos. I haven't heard the older albums from the 70s so this may not be their best album, but it certainly is of the ones I've heard.
FAVORITE SONGS: 11AM (5), Just a Phase (4), Mexico (7), Circles (2), Nice to Know You (1), Under My Umbrella (12)
ABOUT: I listened to Morning View for the first time during my last semester in college fall of 02 when I got into Incubus for a second time, this time on my own, and they supplanted their place as one of my favorite bands. I didn't even like Just a Phase at first, then Kumail got me into it in summer 03 and it turned into one of my favorite Incubus songs. Then there was the night at the end of December in 03 when I went on one of my long (and I mean long) Staten Island walks (we're talking from Great Kills to New Dorp and back) and I listened to this album and it was definitely my peak of MV enjoyment. For a year and a half I listened to this album and kept appreciating it more and more. I know I'll never appreciate it again as much as I did that night, but I'm glad I remember that listening experience.
FAVORITE SONGS: Pushit (3), No Quarter (7), You Lied (5), Part of Me (2), Third Eye (1)
ABOUT: I oscillate on this album, mainly because of Merkaba. It's the only (advertised) "new" original Tool song on this predominantly live album, and it's just a waste of 10 minutes. I just enjoy everything else on Salival way too much for it not to make the list. This version of Pushit is amazing, as is the cover of No Quarter. LAMC is pretty funny and the hidden track, Maynard's Dick, also very good.
FAVORITE SONGS: Wait for Sleep/Learning to Live (7/8), Pull Me Under (1), Metropolis Pt. 1: The Miracle and the Sleeper (5), Under a Glass Moon (6), Take the Time (3)
ABOUT: A sampling of the greatness to come in later years. This is the album where Dream Theater really became Dream Theater. One of the last I got around to in their collection, but certainly an important one.
FAVORITE SONGS: The Bringer (6), As We Speak (2), Follow the Hollow (1), Song of the Damned (10), everything else except No More Angels
ABOUT: Sean was all the way clutch on this album. He played a burned cd his friend Tony gave him of this album for me back in 02...holy shit. Great metal album from a great metal band. Couldn't even count how many times I listened to this in my 90 Grand Prix a few years ago. I've seen them twice live, definitely will again. One of the best bands that has ever been directly reco'd to me by someone, so good looks on that Sean.
FAVORITE SONGS: Jamais Vu (10), Bug Eyes (2), Ode to the Sun (1), Sang Real (7), Tanbark (6), Catch Without Arms (3)
ABOUT: One of the few albums in recent years that I eagerly anticipated and listened to immediately upon its release. Lived up to expectations and beyond. Another great album for the sexing, minus Spitshine which is the only song on here I don't like. I saw them open for Coheed and Cambria last year and they were nothing short of spectacular. I highly recommend seeing them live (Coheed too they owned) if you get the chance.
FAVORITE SONGS: Thrown Away (2), Be With Me (4), Turquoise (1), I Need to Say Goodbye (7), Don't Take Your Love Away (3)
ABOUT: I was looking for some new music on altrock and VAST sounded like a good band name so I dled this album. Little did I know the guy has been making professional music since he was 13, and he looks like the lion in the Wizard of Oz. I didn't even listen to this album until summer 04, nearly a year after I dled it. Such a good feeling to stumble upon some random music you dled a while ago and have it be this good. I love the internets. Sounds like U2 at times (in a good way), but this is an album that I think any fan of rock music would like. Yet another good album for the sexing.
FAVORITE SONGS: Bleed the Freak (4), Sea of Sorrow (3), Man in the Box (2), We Die Young (1), Real Thing (12), I Can't Remember (5), Confusion (10)
ABOUT: I wish I could go back to a time in my life before I ever heard an AIC song and have someone play this album for me. The people whose first exposure to AIC was We Die Young and then the rest of Facelift must've been blown away, because I know I would have been. As it is I was into AIC for over 10 years before I ever heard this album (I knew the first 3 tracks as pretty much everyone else does by now I'm sure).
FAVORITE SONGS: When the Lights are Down (2), The Haunting (Somewhere in Time) (3...douvle farens counter = 2), Soul Society (4), March of Mephisto (1), Memento Mori (12)
ABOUT: Big ups to Greg for this one. Always sending me the whatever you call it (power) metal...this is by far the best that I have heard. I'm not huge on labels in music, but I think it's safe to call this power metal. If you're familiar with Dream Theater's first album, When Dream and Day Unite, I would compare this to that except that it's about 89,000 times better and much much more mature. It loses some steam towards the end, other than that just about a perfect (power metal) album. (power metal) one more time for the hell of it.
FAVORITE SONGS: NIB (3), The Wizard (2), Black Sabbath (1), Warning (5), Wicked World (4)
ABOUT: I got this cd with Master of Reality when I was a freshman or soph in high school after already having listened to We Sold Our Soul for Rock N' Roll (greatest hits) hundreds of times. I don't really have a big attachment to this album because The Wizard and Black Sabbath are both on the greatest hits and I knew NIB from the radio already, but still this album is crazy good and Iommi's solo work does not go unappreciated.
FAVORITE SONGS: Map of the Problematique (4), City of Delusion (9), Assassin (7) Knights of Cydonia (11), Exo Politics (8), Supermassive Black Hole (3), Hoodoo (10), Take a Bow (1)
ABOUT: Lots to say about this album. It's 45 minutes long, and I'm not wild about Starlight or Invincible which combined take 9 minutes (20%). But the rest of the album is just too magnificent to ignore. I mean if they just put 2 more songs on this album that are the quality of my favorite 8 and remove the 2 that are so-so, we're talking about a top 10 album from these guys. The only reason Muse doesn't have anything really high in this list is because they have holes (no pun intended) in their albums. They've yet to make a masterpiece, but I think they will, they are such a great band. As far as personally, this album holds great significance for me in the Atlantic City professional poker playing days. I remember the drive home on the night where I finally went completely broke and knew I would have to get a job and abandon poker for an indefinite amount of time. I played this album and I cranked Map of the Problematique and just listened to it over and over and over again. Just go to 2:10, go absolutely ape shit, and repeat. I got into this album and wore it the fuck out during the days when poker was going horribly and my life was a complete wreck, so it's bittersweet.
FAVORITE SONGS: I don't listen to individual tracks from this album, it really should be listened to straight through. There are numbered movements on here and shit...a true album. Perfect album; there is not one unenjoyable second of music.
ABOUT: I can't believe this album came out in 98. These guys are so good. I dled El Cielo, their 2002 release, during the great dling frenzy of 02. I liked it and I saw people on altrock say Leitmotif, their first release, was way better. They were quite correct. During the summer of 03 I worked for this guy in the east village in Manhattan and I used to always listen to this album...well at the end there's a hidden track with all kinds of crazy cricket noises and god knows what else. Well I'd be talking to him about something and it would have been silent for a good 15 mins because that's the time between the last and hidden tracks, and then out of nowhere would come all these weird noises and it used to spook the shit out of us. Very funny, especially his reactions, but a had to be there moment I'm sure.
FAVORITE SONGS: Easily (7), This Velvet Glove (11...OWNAGE how was this not a single), Californication (6), Parallel Universe (2), Scar Tissue (3), Otherside (4), Savior (12...one of the ones Jamie was into I believe), Around the World (1)
ABOUT: I really got into this album, and RHCP in general, via popular consent. Jamie, and Joe Fiorello in particular. Joe used to have the lyrics to Easily in his profile or away message for a while on AIM so I finally listened to the song and I was blown away...it's my favorite RHCP song. Jamie also used to have RHCP lyrics here and there and she was big into them, so the combination of the two got me to explore RHCP. I'm a big fan of all their albums since and including "Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magick", but Californication is the most complete (note: when this list is done and I start doing future updates, Stadium Arcadium will probably end up on this list ahead of Californication cause I'm all over that album). There are some songs on here that aren't that good or else Californication would be higher on the list. 20 years and better than ever...bless the Chili Peppers.
FAVORITE SONGS: Pigs (Three Different Ones) (3...against the popular consent: everyone else seems to favor Dogs), Dogs (2), Sheep (4), Pigs on the Wing Parts 1 and 2 (1/5)
ABOUT: PF became perhaps my favorite band of all-time back in late 03 when I dled their entire discography and listened to only them and Dream Theater for 2 months straight. At that time I said Animals was their best album. My feelings have changed on it somewhat, I don't really know why can't explain it. It's a great album, but they certainly have better...they are Pink Floyd after all.
FAVORITE SONGS: Like a Rolling Stone (1), Ballad of a Thin Man (5), Queen Jane Approximately (6), Highway 61 Revisited (7), Desolation Row (9)
ABOUT: Just so tough to rank these Dylan albums. If you want to say that Desire is better, I won't argue. I just like the mood and flow of this one more, but they are both great albums. Since I've only listened to 3 of his albums (and 2 made the list), I have a feeling more will be on this list in the future when I get into the rest of his discography.
FAVORITE SONGS: In the End (8), A Place for My Head (9), Pushing Me Away (12), Papercut (1), Crawling (5...aka the first version of Numb), One Step Closer (2)
ABOUT: This is THE defining album of the rap/nu-metal era. I heard One Step Closer on the radio and really liked it...then got sick of it. Then I heard Crawling and loved it...then got sick of it. I read that some kid who shot up his school in 01 was obsessed with In the End, so I dled it and was amazed. I tried turning people onto it, but introducing it as the song this kid who shot up his school was obsessed with wasn't really appealing I guess. Eventually Joe hooked my shit up with the CD and it became the #1 played album in our dorm room for the 2 years we were in there.
FAVORITE SONGS: Can't You Hear Me Knocking (4), Wild Horses (3), Bitch (6), Brown Sugar (1), Sway (2), Sister Morphine (8)
ABOUT: A great collection of songs. I heard the instrumental part to Can't You Hear Me Knocking for years as segues on WFAN radio, and years later finally heard the whole song. I think the first time I heard the full song was actually in the movie Casino. I watched the trailer for Blow over and over again because this was the song on it. Sway is the best Stones song you've probably never heard.
FAVORITE SONGS: The Unforgiven (4), Sad But True (2), Enter Sandman (1), Wherever I May Roam (5), Nothing Else Matters (8), My Friend of Misery (11)
ABOUT: The first Metallica songs I ever heard were the singles from this album, but this was not the first Metallica album I ever heard. The first one I heard was Enter Sandman...it was in some commercial promoting them and Veruca Salt...sponsored by Coors or something around September 91. Amazingly this was the last Metallica album I listened to even though I didn't get into them until after it came out. That was actually a pretty tough thing to do given how popular the black album was.
FAVORITE SONGS: Downfall 24 (11), Rejection Role (1), Overload (2), Brickwalker (8), Distortion Sleep (10)
ABOUT: When I was living in St. George I used to tear ass down Howard Ave all the time listening to this album. This really is a different sound from all the other Soilwork albums, and it's my favorite one. Great listen all the way through.
FAVORITE SONGS: Maggie M'Gill (11), Roadhouse Blues (1), Waiting for the Sun (2), Blue Sunday (5), Peace Frog (4), The Spy (8)
ABOUT: How can I say this in a way that is not contradictory...this album is the ultimate Doors sound. The perfect mix between their first, self-titled album and their last album LA Woman. "The Doors" is overall a better album, but the band never sounded as good as they do on Morrison Hotel. I'm a smoker not a drinker, but this is the one album that I can get fucking hammered to. I feel like I'm drinking with Jim. He's got a way of getting all up in your living room man.
FAVORITE SONGS: Stairway to Heaven (4....I could try to be cool and say it's not but who am I kidding), Four Sticks (6), When the Levee Breaks (8), Black Dog (1), Misty Mountain Hop (5), The Battle of Evermore (3)
ABOUT: This is just about the perfect collage of all of Zeppelin's great sounds: 1) snort coke and fuck for hours; 2) mystical eastern; 3) epic. I'll leave it to you to decide which songs are which. My first remembrance of this song was hearing it in my dad's blue early 1980s grand prix coming home from Shea Stadium when I was 7. I don't even remember the first 5:50 of the song, I just remember when that solo kicked in holy fucking shit all hell broke loose in my brain. I wouldn't get out of the car until it was over. Jimmy Page is not the most skilled guitarist of all time, but goddam if he didn't write the most beautiful solo in history. I'm very open minded when it comes to music and I don't question a person's opinion or personal taste....but if you don't like the solo in Stairway to Heaven, you don't like music and you're probably not human. Oh...and keep your fucking Cadillac Escalades out of my rock n' roll thank you very much.
FAVORITE SONGS: Clocks (5), A Rush of Blood to the Head (10), The Scientist (4), Politik (1), God Put a Smile on Your Face (3)
ABOUT: Hey, I wouldn't have thought I would like Coldplay either, so relax. I was watching videos via Yahoo's music video service and "The Scientist" came on. That video made me get their albums...it's the best music video I've ever seen. Totally chill album from start to finish. This is good for the sexing of Gwyneth Paltrow. I wonder if Chris Martin listens to this while they are sexing...maybe listening to this made her want some of the sexing from him who knows.
FAVORITE SONGS: Shattered/Shattered Acoustic (5/13), Surrounded (7), This Decision (8), Living Inside of Me (1), Supa Hero (3), Wandering Star (11), Unstable (4), ... (12...uhh hit the herb and listen to this, I think that's affirmative)
ABOUT: Unless you know me and I badgered you at one point or another about this band, you most likely have never heard of them. I randomly dled their album on altrock in 03 and boom instant classic. I don't want to compare them to Linkin Park because they really don't sound like them (and I think Level is better), but if you ask what's it like that'd be my answer cause I can't think of anything else. Really unfortunate these guys broke up a couple years ago after only releasing this one great album. The singer went on to be Adema's third singer...he's still a good singer but he just doesn't fit with that band. These guys really really need to reform. Check out a new song they put on on their myspace called Infrared...that's where they were headed and they broke up! WTF guys??
FAVORITE SONGS: The Last Scene (4), The Power of Suggestion (8), What They Mean When They Say (9), All That's Left Behind (2), Sails (6), One in the Same (10), Identity Theft (3), Dead Sentinels (5)
ABOUT: So these guys get signed to Roadrunner and put out their self-titled album in 2002. I dl it randomly on #altrock and it becomes a staple of summer/fall/winter 02. They open for Chevelle and Stone Sour when both of those bands are getting very popular in 02. Sounds like things are looking aces for Sinch. For some reason the album does not blow up on radio when there is a can't miss hit in "Something More" on it. I am baffled as to how they didn't catch on. So then they split with Roadrunner (don't know the details). In 2003 they put out a demo track which was better than anything on "Sinch" that totally blew me away. I listened to this thing called demo1.mp3 or something to that effect tons of times. Finally 2 years later in 2005 they released Clearing the Channel through the Rock Ridge Music label. Maybe it's a good thing that they left Roadrunner because I think it gave them the intensity to write a great album like this. "Sails" is their most direct confrontation of what they've been through in the industry, but you can hear it on other tracks as well. I just wish these guys would tour outside of the Philly area and come back to New York so I could see them...if they played NY that's a can't miss show for me.
FAVORITE SONGS: Bleeding Me (7), The Outlaw Torn (14), King Nothing (5), Until it Sleeps (4), Mama Said (11), Ronnie (13), Ain't My Bitch (1)
ABOUT: Yeah that's right. I suck every testicle in the world except my own because I don't deserve the pleasure. Putting this ahead of the black album and on the list at all, what blasphemy. The only problem with all that is this is a great album and if you get just get over the fact that the old Metallica sound ended on Justice you might actually appreciate Load. I hated Until it Sleeps when it first came out on the radio. There was a huge radio premiere of the song, and after it was over there were riots and people cumming on babies and shit it was awful. My dad said he liked it, I said bullshit. On Load release day the Metallica shirt wearing club of Staten Island Technical High School bought the album and the consensus was that it sucked. Who was I to question the Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Pantera shirt wearing organization of America? These guys are hardcore metal heads, all I know is Metallica and my classic rock/90s alternative rock. Then my dad bought the album when it was cheaper a week or two later. Umm...WTF are these people talking about, this album is GREAT. Who gives a shit that Metallica has a different sound if it's this awesome. That whole situation was a great learning experience for me. I had always been open minded and "about the music" rather than trying to fit in with people on the basis of what music is considered cool in what group of kids...but there's no doubt I was caught up in the Alternica/Metallica sucks now hype. I've never listened to popular opinion about an album since then...I listen and judge for myself.
FAVORITE SONGS: Citizen Erased (6), Micro Cuts (7), Bliss (2), Feeling Good (10), Space Dementia (3), New Born (1), Darkshines (9), Hyper Music (4)
ABOUT: I do not dance, but if I were to it would be to New Born...and let me tell you it would be quite a sight because it would be like no dancing this world has ever seen. Probably not even classifiable as dancing. Led Zeppelin was the most orgasmic band of the prior generation, and I think Muse holds that title for ours. I'm trying to think of more odd random shit I could say here related to Muse. I think I say these things cause listening to their music really makes me feel that way. Feeling Good by Nina Simone is such a fitting cover song for them to do on this album because that's exactly how OOS (object oriented srogramming?) leaves me.
FAVORITE SONGS: Morning Glory (10), Wonderwall (3), Champagne Supernova (12), Don't Look Back in Anger (4), Hello (1), She's Electric (9)
ABOUT: Gotta give the props to Danny on this one. I knew and loved Wonderwall and Champagne Supernova since they first came out, but I never got deep into Oasis. Then Danny gave me the high reco on this album and I got the sick love for Oasis, especially for "Morning Glory". Mad peepage on the live video for that song. Best reco ever from you dude...yeah A7X, but I definitely would've gotten into them eventually without your reco, you just got me a heard start on everyone else. If Champagne Supernova is my 3rd favorite song on the album, it's gotta be pretty fucking good wouldn't you say? Oh, and I played the classic motionless bass in a cover of She's Electric in 04. Much fun even in my stagnance.
FAVORITE SONGS: Vasoline (2), Big Empty (8), Interstate Love Song (4), Lounge Fly (3), Unglued (9), Kitchenware & Candybars (11), Still Remains (5)
ABOUT: My dad bought me this album when we were in Florida back in 94. I was 13, I was pissed about something, I threw it on the floor and cracked it. I was an asshole. So I learned Lounge Fly with skips in it, and what's funny is I think it fits perfectly with the song. I like listening to it more with the skips than clear, just as long as the skips don't completely chop up the album...but random little jumps in that song kick ass. Also can't help but think of Kurt Loder and Tabitha Soren when I hear Lounge Fly because the intro was the background music for MTV News for years. The day that stopped being the music was probably when MTV officially jumped the shark. Tabitha Soren kicked ass. These guys just seemed to know which songs to release as singles, and even in the right order. I wonder if STP had come out now instead of in the early 90s if they would've become as popular as they did. I personally think their music is generation independent and will be enjoyed for decades, but the 90s presented the ideal musical atmosphere for them to blow up in.
FAVORITE SONGS: Your Wall (2), Spin (3), Straight Label Jacket (5), City Beneath (8), Caught in the Rain (1), See Right Through Me (11), Seven (4), Living Rooms (6)
ABOUT: Jesus Christ this is good music. Jesus would definitely rock out to Revis. He'd command POD to sign them to Tooth & Nail records even though they are not Christian rock...and there's also the small matter of fact that they broke up (WTF WTF WTF) a couple years ago. Come on why would a band like this break up. If Justin think he's going to move on to more success in another band he's crazy. Those guys need to sit down and just listen to this album. Why would you want to break up the combination that created this? Even if there's tension and differences in musical direction, there must've been something pretty special between these guys to make this album. It didn't happen by accident. Whatever, I'm done ranting about that, but a Revis reunion would be nothing short of awesomosity. First exposure to them was Caught in the Rain on the Daredevil soundtrack (awesome soundtrack btw). I really liked that song and meant to dl the album, but I was lazy. Then a few people told me they stole the show from Evanescence when they opened for them. After I dled this album and listened the first time, I had no doubt Revis blew Evanescence away every night.
FAVORITE SONGS: Breathe Life (6), The End of Heartache (7), When Darkness Falls (3), World Ablaze (9), A Bid Farewell (1), And Embers Rise (10...I wish this were a longer instrumental), Rose of Sharyn (4), Hope Is... (12)
ABOUT: I can't avoid the unconscious bias I undoubtedly have against Killswitch due to my nose being broken and teeth chipped during their set at Ozzfest 05. They're a sick band I wish that didn't happen. What really sucked was everyone telling me afterwards how great they were and what a set I missed. Fuck pointless mosh pits that I'm not even in that lead to nose breaking and KE missing. If I was gonna get fucked up, couldn't it at least have been during Breathe Life...that's the song you wanna go out to cause it really doesn't get any better. Danny's probably having a shit fit that Rose of Sharyn isn't even in my top 5 songs on this album, and I'm having a laugh thinking about his fitting of shit. We both used to discuss the SF vs. KE issue. I say discuss and not argue because we both felt the same, we couldn't decide who was better. I've given the final nod to SF, but take nothing away from Killswitch they are amazing and this album is nothing short of a standard for great hardcore.
FAVORITE SONGS: Inspiration on Demand (6), The Light that Blinds (1), Act of Contrition (3), The Power of I and I (7), What Drives the Weak (4), Enlightened by the Cold (2), Those Who Cannot Speak (10)
ABOUT: Speaking of Shadows Fall... This is neck and neck with The End of Heartache, you might as well call it a tie for #46. The thing with this album is that the best songs on here are better than the Art of Balance, but there are some songs that aren't great on The War Within unfortunately. Straight up the 6 best songs on this album are right up there at Metallica level ownage. I'm very hopeful that SF is gonna combine the completeness of TAOB with the level of musicianship that's abundant but not all encompassing on TWW and drop the greatest metal album of all time in April (Threads of Life). I know that's a ridiculously high expectation, but I think they can at least come pretty close to Metallica's best stuff that's how much respect I have for SF. I expect nothing short of epic metal SF, so get on that in case what you already finished recording isn't up to snuff. However many fists I gave Stabbing the Drama by Soilwork, just multiply that by 100 for this album. Garden State Parkway fists too. So many GSP fists listening to this album driving to and from Atlantic City. I couldn't be without TWW in my CD changer in the poker days ever.
FAVORITE SONGS: Stan (3), The Way I Am (7), Remember Me? (9), Kim (16), Bitch Please II (15), Amityville (14), The Real Slim Shady (8), Who Knew (5)
ABOUT: This is my least favorite of the first 3 Eminem albums, but that doesn't mean it's not great. To me this album was Eminem's response to his new found fame, the hypocritical media, and the politicians who tried to blame musicians such as Eminem for the failings of this nation's parents, teachers, and politicians.
FAVORITE SONGS: Slither (11), Headspace (7), Fall to Pieces (6), Set Me Free (9), Spectacle (5), Big Machine (3)...every song on this album is very good
ABOUT: This isn't quite as good as Stone Temple Pilots or Guns N' Roses, but it ain't far off either. Nothing but low down and dirty rock n' roll. I feel like sinning when I listen to Contraband which is ironic because this band is about these guys cleaning up their lives. Maybe they're getting their dirty deeds done through the music so they don't have to indulge in life's excesses away from their instruments. Their new album Libertid is dropping on June 5, 2007. Pretty sure I'll be checking that one out the millisecond it's "available" (I think you know what that means by now).
FAVORITE SONGS: Denied (7), Under Zenith (10), Julia (8), Dirty Walls (6), Starseed (3), Hope (4)
ABOUT: This album had a long journey with me. I heard Our Lady Peace way back in Junior High when Starseed was on the radio. Loved that song, but I didn't hear shit from OLP for like 8 years until Sean reintroduced me to them. Sean; You know OLP? Me: Yeah Starseed's awesome heard that years ago, they're from Canada right? Sean: Yeah man Naveed's a great album. Uhh yeah it's a great album holy shit. Right around the same time he introduced me to NBC by Soilwork too.,.what a clusterfuck of sick recos. OLP has made a ton of great music since this album, but Naveed is the most complete in their discography. Apparently their guitarist who wrote a lot of the music left a few years back and the newer stuff has been with a different guy who doesn't write like the old one, but I like all their shit, they have no bad albums. This album, however, is an absolute classic.
FAVORITE SONGS: Make a Move (5), I Don't Know (7), Gothic (8...aka Hello Again), Start Something (1), We Still Kill the Old Way (2), Sway/Instrumental (14/15), Burn Burn (6), Ride (3)...I have an advance version of the album with Start Something as the 1st track and some alternate song names. I actually like the ordering better with Start Something as the leadoff track so I've kept it.
ABOUT: This album is one of the most inspirational I've ever listened to because of it's thesis: start something. Don't talk about doing something...get off your ass and do it. I was resistant to this album at first due to the Metallica - Load stigma. Burn Burn was the first single and it was so much different than anything on The Fake Sound of Progress. I was afraid they had abandoned the sound that made me love them in the first place. When I listened to the album and heard Start Something, Make a Move, I Don't Know etc. I knew their former sound was still alive and well, but mixed with a newer sound. Their is no shortage of greatness in the songs that depart the most from TFSOP like Ride and Burn Burn.
FAVORITE SONGS: Pardon Me (12), The Warmth (4), Consequence (3), Out from Under (13), Clean (9), Nowhere Fast (2), When it Comes (5), Drive (8), Make Yourself (7), Privilege (1)
ABOUT: If Start Something by Lostprophets isn't the most inspirational album I've ever heard, then it's because Make Yourself is. The first time I heard Incubus was one of the first days I was in my dorm at Poly in January 2000 and Pardon Me came on k-rock. Wow. Who the fuck was that band? What was that song? I listened to k-rock that whole semester just waiting for that song to come on (I had no computer so I couldn't dl it). Little did I know there was a huge Incubus contingent at Poly which contained some of the people that would later become my best friends at school. I don't remember exactly when I first heard this album, but I know it was in Mike's car and I was high as fuck. He used to play SCIENCE constantly and Fungus Amongus/Make Yourself often. And since I didn't have access to the internets and no money to buy CDs I really didn't know what I was listening to. But I knew Pardon Me and The Warmth were 2 of the most incredible and inspirational songs I'd ever heard. When I finally got a computer in 2002 (thanks to Freb style) this was one of the first albums I dled. Being able to possess the albums (not own, but they own me) allowed me to learn the song names and the band history and all of that, so that's when I really got into Make Yourself on its merits as an incredible album.
FAVORITE SONGS: Alive (3), Jeremy (6), Why Go (4), Once (1), Porch (8), Even Flow (2), Black (5)
ABOUT: One of the earliest albums that I got into that is on this list. I started listening to Pearl Jam at the same time I got into Nirvana right at the end of elementary school. Initially I was more into Nirvana, but as I grew older and really came to appreciate music it wasn't even close PJ blows Nirvana way. As far as I'm concerned this is the defining album of the 90s. It's not the best from the decade, but it's the best representation of what the great 90s music was all about.
FAVORITE SONGS: The Truth is No Words (4), Take the Long Road and Walk It (2), Too High (10), Disco (9), Turn Out the Light (6), The Dance (1)
ABOUT: Heard about The Music when they were on the bill for a big music festival in Central Park in 2003 with a lineup fronted by Radiohead. This is such an energetic album. I used to do some coding for fun on TopCoder and this album was always what I would listen to while coding.
FAVORITE SONGS: Phantom of the Opera (5), Strange World (7), Prowler (1), Remember Tomorrow (3), Charlotte the Harlot (8), Transylvania (6), Iron Maiden (9)
ABOUT: I was always a big fan of the radio hits from Maiden, but it wasn't until I got their discography, and listened to this album, that I really became a fan. I know most people will argue that they are a lot better with Dickinson than Di'Anno, and that may be so, but their first album was their best.
FAVORITE SONGS: Cicatriz (7), Son Et Lumiere/Inertiatic ESP (1/2), Eriatarka (6), Roulette Dares (This is the Haunt) (3), Televators (9), Drunkship of Lanterns (5)
ABOUT: All props under the sun to Bryan for TMV. He told me their shit was off the wall goodness, and however it was that he described them to me it didn't even do them justice. They are one of the best bands in the world. They feel like a very strange combination of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, but they are always The Mars Volta.
FAVORITE SONGS: Angel's Punishment (12)...I can't even rate the rest, they're all so good but Angel's Punishment really stands out
ABOUT: I'm not positive, but pretty sure my first exposure to Lacuna Coil was hearing Heaven's a Lie on WSOU. I had recently gotten into Evanescence, then I heard this album and stopped listening to Evanescence, not because I don't like them, but because Lacuna Coil is far superior. Perfect album.
FAVORITE SONGS: The Fake Sound of Progress (2), ...And She Told Me to Leave (4), Still Laughing (8), Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja (1), Five is a Four Letter Word (3), Ode to Summer (11), A Thousand Apologies (7)
ABOUT: I heard Shinobi vs. Dragon Ninja on k-rock in late 2001, and I thought there was a lyric in which he sang "11th of September". I only heard it a few more times on k-rock before it went out of rotation. Then about a year later I would revisit this album in Mike's car. Irv set me straight on the lyric being "laugh until September", which makes a lot more sense within the context of the song. After hearing some of the album that night I immediately dled it when I got home and was hooked for a long time. The interludes do so much to enhance this album. I'm pretty sure the one after the title track is Tommy Chong from Cheech and Chong, but I don't know what movie or source it's from. Great album for blunting.
FAVORITE SONGS: Dead Cell (4), Blood Brothers (6), Tightrope (11...hidden track after Thrown Away), Between Angels and Insects (5), Broken Home (3), Infest (1), Last Resort (1), Snakes (8)
ABOUT: Papa Roach follows a very similar pattern to Linkin Park for me. I loved their first single, Last Resort, but got sick of it after hearing it 100 times on k-rock...same with One Step Closer by LP. Then I heard the second single, Broken Home, and thought it was great...same with Crawling by LP. Then Joe hooked my CD player up with Infest. My CD player didn't want to let go...same with Hybrid Theory. The soundtrack to Domino's delivery in the summer of 01 courtesy of k-rock was Between Angels and Insects along with Schism by Tool and Chop Suey by System of a Down, and I used to crank it every time it came on. Most people I know do not like Papa Roach. I do. I waited 3 hours in the freezing cold in Old Bridge, New Jersey in March 03 with Joe and Mike Roberts to see them because the show was overbooked...and it was the best show I've ever been to. Their music since this album has been pretty good, but they have nowhere near the intensity level present on Infest anymore. What was interesting to note at the show was there were a lot of punk kids there, and I don't think of them as a punk band at all. But I think they appeal to the punkers because of their wild energy. Bad Religion has as much crossover appeal with the rock fans as they do with the punk fans, and on this album Papa Roach accomplished the same. Blood Brothers was the only song that I ever really went crazy listening to at a show. Jacoby banging the mic into his head, the energy of that song, the band playing it, and everyone there listening to it was just too much to resist.
FAVORITE SONGS: With a Thousand Words to Say But One (1), Sound the Surrender (4), Convalescence (2), Tranquil (11), These Fevered Times (9), Paradise (10), This Will Outlive Us (3), Pathos (5), Ethos (7)
ABOUT: An absurd, unquantifiable amount of fists. Danny had With 1K Words...on his myspace and I loved it immediately. I liked Tranquil and Sound the Surrender a lot when I first heard the album, but other than that I wasn't into it. It took me a few listens in the future after my initial listen to get really into this, but when I did Darkest Hour quickly became one of my favorite metal bands of all time. This album is only 37 minutes long, and there are 1 or 2 tracks that I'm not wild about, but the strength of the best shit on Undoing Ruin is impossible to ignore. It's epic material. Their upcoming 2007 album, "Deliver Us", dropping July 10th is one of the most anticipated albums ever for me. They have incredible skill and songwriting potential, and even more important they are still getting better. They have been progressing musically for years. "Deliver Us" I'm hoping will be the culmination of that and will be one of the greatest albums (overall, not just metal) of all time.
FAVORITE SONGS: Fade to Black (4), The Call of Ktulu (8), Creeping Death (7), Ride the Lightning (2), Fight Fire With Fire (1), For Whom the Bell Tolls (3)
ABOUT: Wore the shit out of the maxell 120 tape I copied this album on from my friend Larry's brother's CD. The only albums I listened to more than this one in high school were probably Master of Puppets and ...Justice. Fade to Black was the first song I ever really learned on guitar. I took weekly guitar lessons, which went ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE, for about 6 months when I was 15. I had little interest and was just doing it to get music credit so i could graduate high school. This didn't mean I didn't love music and wouldn't want to learn to play guitar, but learning via private lessons with a teacher and practicing weekly for those lessons was just not my thing. Right before I stopped taking lessons I started getting tabs off the internet and printing them out. I remember sitting on my bed with my black Ibanez RG270 (which is still my guitar today) and my meager 15W Gorilla amp and flipping through the printed out pages of Fade to Black for weeks learning it...sans the outro solo. When I was done with that song, I was a guitar player and there was no looking back. Fade to Black is one of the most significant songs in my life for what it meant to me as a musician, as a person, and as a fan of music. A classic that will be listened to for many generations long after we're gone. Oh, and a bunch of those other songs on Ride the Lightning aren't too shitty either.
FAVORITE SONGS: Wake Up (7), Killing in the Name (2), Bullet in the Head (5), Know Your Enemy (6), Bombtrack (1), Freedom (1), Township Rebellion (9), Take the Power Back (3)
ABOUT: Say what you want about Run DMC/Aerosmith or the Chili Peppers or anyone else...this album is where the rap/rock fusion really came to life, and it has never been better. This is right up there with the best Metallica albums as the best album about rebellion, doing what's right, and thinking for yourself that I've ever heard. The first Rage song I ever heard was Killing in the Name. Unfortunately it was on k-rock and they bleeped the "fuck" you I won't do what you tell me. I first heard that part unfettered as a .wav attached to this AOL hacker program in the mid-90s called FateX. Those reading this who remember that are probably laughing right now at its mention. I bought the CD and it was good and that was that. I didn't get it till right around my last year in high school and I was thinking "where have you been all my life album that expresses the core ideals that I'm all about in such an in your face manner?"
FAVORITE SONGS: Predisposed (8), Liar (6), Unreal (3), If You Still Hate Me (2), What Comes Around (5)
ABOUT: I was going to see 3rd Strike open for ill Niño in my first ever hardcore show in 2002. I was going for 3rd Strike and had never heard IN before so I dled some of their stuff. Listened to a handful of songs a few times and was very impressed. But seeing them live turned me into a huge fan and made me listen to Revolution Revolución immediately and as often as possible. Definitely up there as one of the best shows I've ever been to; their energy was incredible. These guys are the reigning kings of melodic hardcore.
FAVORITE SONGS: Running From Me (4), Drop to Zero (9), Downfall (1), Finally (10), Deeper Into You (8), Figure 8 (6), Falling Apart (2), Slipping Away (5), Take it All (11), Hover (3)
ABOUT: These guys took a pretty simple formula for making kick ass rock songs and turned it into one of the best hard rock albums of all time. They were the leaders of the summer 2002 pedal to the metal radio blasters. I walked a couple of miles to and from Eltingville on New Year's Day 2003 and listened to this album twice and it was incredible. And as alive as that made me feel, seeing them a month later at Birch HIll in New Jersey was an invigorating live music experience second only to Papa Roach one month following that. What I remember vividly more than anything about the show was that they closed with Downfall, and after that first symbol crash I got thrown about 20 feet across the room along with everyone else as the place absolutely exploded like I've never seen at one moment before.
FAVORITE SONGS: N‡ Batter‡ [New Batteries] (5), Intro/Svefn-G-Englar [Sleepwalkers] (1/2), Flugufrelsarinn [The Fly's Saviour] (4), Starálfur [Staring Elf] (3), Hjarta_ hamast (bamm bamm bamm) [The Heart Pounds (Boom Boom Boom)] (6), Olsen Olsen (8), Avalon (10)
ABOUT: I first heard about Sigur Rós in the summer of 2003 when they were playing some big music festival in Central Park that was headlined by Radiohead. As soon as I heard it I knew it was to be my new official sleeping music. In fact, other than hearing Mike blasting it in his room, there were so few times that I listened to this album while not in bed...until I made this list of course. I saw them live with John and Mike at Beacon Theater in 2005, and I'd definitely see them again. The majority of this album is sublime.
FAVORITE SONGS: Terrorist (2), To Kill a Priest (1), Recon (11), Ventrilaquist (5), A Red Gone Blue (9), Hopi Elders (4), Bondage (8), Propaganda (3), Jack Nicholson (10)
ABOUT: I dled their first album, In Lake 'Ch, in 2003 because I liked the name of the band. It became a staple of summer 03 along with De-loused in the Comatorium by TMV and it definitely would've had a place on this list if there weren't a few weak tracks on it. I didn't listen to them for a while, then busted out In Lake 'Ch again in 05 and found out that they had a new album out called 44. I was pumped. I couldn't find it online. I was sad. I found out it was sold pretty cheaply online at cdbaby.com, and that I could get it together with Tired of Being Away From Here by Before Braille (which I'll be getting to a bit later) for like $12 combined after tax and shipping so I was like fuck yeah I'll take that with extra cheese. Listening to 44 makes me feel how I felt when I listened to Pearl Jam in their heyday. This album is just filled with rock and spiritual energy. Terrorist is high on my list of favorite all time songs. I can't stress enough how much any fan of rock music needs to hear this album. This is one half of the best $12 I ever spent.
FAVORITE SONGS: Rooster (6), Down in a Hole (4), Rain When I Die (3), Would (13), Dirt (8), Them Bones (1), Angry Chair (12), Junkhead (7), Sickman (5)
ABOUT: I was already a big AIC fan from the radio singles off Facelift and Jar of Flies as well as Rooster, but they became one of my favorite bands for a long time when I heard this album which I taped off my friend Larry's CD. There was just so much content on this album that spoke to me when I was in high school that I listened to it as much as the FFMA (first four Metallica albums). I don't think the feelings of someone who is feeling suicidal because of being disenchanted with the rest of the world has ever been expressed as well as in the song Dirt. It's not my favorite song on this album anymore, but it's the one I listened to the most when I was really into this album and I still think it's one of the most powerful songs ever written.
FAVORITE SONGS: Creep (7), Wicked Garden (3), Dead & Bloated (1), Crackerman (11), Sex Type Thing (2), Naked Sunday (6), Piece of Pie (8), Plush (9)
ABOUT: I'm still trying to figure out how these guys are Pearl Jam rip-offs. I've tried unsuccessfully for the last 15 years to understand. STP was quite possibly the best rock band of the 90s, and this album kicks an absurd amount of ass. They continued to make great music for the rest of the decade, but nothing ever measured up to this album in total again. Purple came close, but it lacked a certain intensity that they only fully brought to life on Core.
FAVORITE SONGS: War Pigs (1), Fairies Wear Boots (8), Iron Man (4), Paranoid (2), Hand of Doom (6), Electric Funeral (5)
ABOUT: I knew almost every song on this album before I ever heard it. Most of them are on the greatest hits collection We Sold Our Soul for Rock N' Roll which I listened to all through high school. And I heard almost every other song on Paranoid that wasn't on the greatest hits on the radio. My interest in Black Sabbath has certainly weaned over the years, but this album still stands as an epic in metal/hard rock history.
FAVORITE SONGS: Strength of the World (9), M.I.A (11), The Wicked End (8), Beast and the Harlot (1), Trashed and Scattered (5), Sidewinder (7), Betrayed (10), Blinded in Chains (3), Burn it Down (2), Bat Country (4)
ABOUT: Very few metal bands get enormous global commercial success. It took Metallica 10 years to finally do it with "Metallica" (The Black Album), and A7X got it done in a little less than half the time with City of Evil. I am really hoping that this album has the effect that The Black Album had in the 90s in terms of getting people who never listened to heavy music before to appreciate the genre and become fans. I know a lot of people who will disagree with this statement, but I think City of Evil is one of the most important albums in history. I was only into classic and alt. rock before I heard Metallica, and even after Metallica was my favorite band it took quite a few years before I greatly expanded my knowledge of the metal/hardcore genre and it became my favorite type of music. It was knowing Metallica's greatness that allowed me to be open to listening to heavy music when the time finally came; if not for them, I may never have given it a chance. While it may be a bad thing that A7X's marketing of this album led to huge commercial success on MTV and a bunch of teenage girls going to their shows, I think it is for the greater good of heavy music because a lot of people who never gave heavy music a chance will give metal a shot and realize how great it is because they've been exposed to A7X via the mainstream.
FAVORITE SONGS: Rock Bottom (14), Just Don't Give a Fuck (15), Guilty Conscience (3), Brain Damage (4), If I Had (6), Role Model (9), As the World Turns (17), Still Don't Give a Fuck (20), Bad Meets Evil (19), My Fault (11)
ABOUT: This is certainly one of the most important albums in history. How many white kids that used to shun rap and hip-hop heard this album and thought: "holy shit this is really fucking good"? I know the answer is at least one because I was one of them. I saw the video for "My Name Is" and thought this song is kind of silly, but the video is really cool. Then about a month before I was going to graduate from high school in 99 this kid brought a boombox to the handball courts and played the whole album. What's funny is I almost got into a fight with him because I smashed him in the face with the ball right after he intentionally forearmed me in the face. That aside, he was responsible for one of the most important musical experiences of my life. I was blown away as I listened to this album for the first time. I was tempted to stop playing and just listen to it it was so good. Dr. Dre, Wu-Tang Clan, Tupac, Ice Cube, DMX, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli etc...I never would've listened to any of them if not for Eminem. There's still a large contingent of people that rag on rap/hip-hop and make fun of the ignorance of the people that listen to it, but I'm now of the opinion that those are the people who are ignorant. Some of these guys are the best lyricists/poets of our time. The words are not in the king's english, but at their best they are as deep, caustic, and incisive as anything from any other realm of modern literature. And of all that I've heard, with the possible exception of Dr. Dre, Mr. Mathers is the best.
FAVORITE SONGS: The Four Horsemen (2), No Remorse (8), Seek and Destroy (9), Whiplash (6), Motorbreath (3), Hit the Lights (1), Phantom Lord (7), Metal Militia (10), (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth (5)
ABOUT: The historical significance of Metallica's first album goes without saying. For me it was just another in their great collection because it was the last of the FFMA (first 4 Metallica albums) that I listened to and they were well one their way to being my favorite band. 18 year old kids tearing it up from start to finish; that's the only thing I need to say about this album. Oh, and my acoustic performance of 4H in the "talent show" or whatever that was at Poly in 2003 was nothing less than "demonic" according to most onlookers. I'd want it no other way.
FAVORITE SONGS: Echoes (6), One of These Days (1), A Pillow of Winds (2), San Tropez (4), Fearless (3)
ABOUT: I feel like this album was Pink Floyd's warm up for Dark Side of the Moon. They took the 20+ minute epic in a slightly different direction with Echoes than they did with Atom Heart Mother, which featured a full orchestra. The rest of Meddle that surrounds Echoes is also excellent, especially One of These Days, so I think it is fully deserving of such a high spot in the top 100. Echoes is right at the top of my favorite Pink Floyd songs, making it quite high all time as well...it might be #1 who knows. I first heard Echoes in a car at one of Larry's birthday parties in Brooklyn back in 2000 or so, and I liked it a lot but I didn't make note of it. It wasn't till late in 2003 when I got into PF's entire discography that Echoes became a part of the rest of my life. If PF took Echoes and turned it into an album rather than just a really long song, it might even have been better than Dark Side. But they didn't, so we'll never know.
FAVORITE SONGS: Prelude - Secret No. 7 (1), Unfit (15), Jaws of Life (6), Goodnight Quiet Noise (7), The Spanish Dagger (2), A Cinema Spine (3), Low End of Luxury (12), When the Feeling Fades (10), Miracle Mile (4), Split Lip Envy (8)
ABOUT: I dled this album in the great dling frenzy of 02. I listened to it maybe once a few months after I got it, and after that it was relegated to the list of albums that I have but never listen to. I was looking for something new during the summer of 05...hey I think I remember liking Before Braille and that's a pretty cool band name lemme check that out. What the fuck did I just listen to, where did my mind disappear to for the last hour. Incredible. Before Braille is easily the best band that not nearly enough people have heard of. They're from Mesa, Az. which is the same hometown as Jimmy Eat World, and they opened for JEW on a tour a few years ago, but other than that they've had no other exposure except word of mouth because they're a DIY band. Well here's word of mouth: go get this album. I'm a big fan of Jimmy Eat World (not saying JEW again...oh wait...fuck it) but BB blows them out of the water; it's not even close. This was one of the first and most frequently played albums in my car when I moved down to Bloomingdale. I get a special feeling whenever I listen to it because the first 6 months or so I lived down there was one of the best times of my life; poker was going really well, I was getting high and listening to music all the time, and this album was really the soundtrack to the best of times. There was a lot of great music I could've chosen to listen to at the time, but it was usually this album I went with. Just listen to it and you'll understand.
FAVORITE SONGS: Octavarium (8), Sacrificed Sons (7), Panic Attack (5), Root of All Evil (1), Never Enough (6), These Walls (3), I Walk Beside You (4), Answer Lies Within (2)
ABOUT: It took me a few listens and some months to get into this album, but eventually I became logical again and fell in love with it. I think what did it was listening on the way to/from Atlantic City in my car. Listening to Dream Theater on a great sound system vs. headphones or computer speakers or whatever makes more of a difference than any other band. I saw them at Radio City Music Hall in April 06 touring in support of Octavarium and they played the whole thing except 1 or 2 songs. It was incredible and I can't wait to see them again. What I love about this album is that it shows that after 20 years DT is still evolving. I have no doubt that their next album, coming out July 2007, will be just as good if not better than Octavarium.
FAVORITE SONGS: Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song) (9), Vitamin (2), Nebula (10), New Skin (3), Deep Inside (11), Favorite Things (8), A Certain Shade of Green (7), Magic Medicine (6), Redefine (1), Calgone (12), Glass (5), Idiot Box (4)
ABOUT: Two words: "Mike's car". Two more: "Hit it". And finally: "Pass it." Seriously I can't help but associate this album with fun. My sophomore year of college when we were smoking in Mike's car and listening to Incubus all the time was probably the best time of my life. This is the album of life. It's all about being young, having fun, challenging conventions, and most importantly producing the most positive possible with this life we are given. What does this album NOT have? It's got heavy songs, soft songs, fast songs, slow songs, brilliant songs, stupid songs...the common thread tying them together is fun. There are a lot of serious themes dealt with quite brilliantly by Brandon Boyd on SCIENCE, but it never creates tension. It manages to avoid changing the mood to anger when the music gets heavy as led. The only exception to mood changing might be Anti-Gravity which is just such a beautiful song; it's kind of hard to not pause for a few minutes and listen in appreciation. The thing is these guys are (or at least were) THE 420 band, so I kind of feel like they purposely placed this song at the perfect time of the album when if you've been smoking you can just chill out for a few minutes (and make out with your gf or bf), and then get back to the insanity when Nebula comes on. Songs 9-11, to me, represent three different situations of being high: 9) Anti-Gravity is when it's just oh so good, especially if you're with the right person; 10) Nebula is when you're fucked up acting crazy and having a really good time...this is more a factor of personality than weed and not all people get this way, but I'd be willing to bet Incubus did back in the day; 11) Deep Inside is about one of those nights where you are just so stoned and driving around and have no clue where you are or what the fuck is going on...at the time it's kind of scary, but it's also very exciting and afterwards it's funny as hell to look back on. I don't know if that was part of their intention for these songs, but it works perfectly the way I see it. I could go on forever about SCIENCE there's just so much happening and it's so significant for me, but I'll stop here.
FAVORITE SONGS: I Won't See You Tonight Pt. 1 (9), Clairvoyant Disease (11), Chapter Four (3), And All Things Will End (12), Second Heartbeat (7), I Won't See You Tonight Pt. 2 (10), Radiant Eclipse (8), Remenissions (4), Eternal Rest (6), Unholy Confessions (2)
ABOUT: The best direct recommendation I've ever received thanks to Danny. Direct meaning a band I never heard of and someone telling me "listen to this album before I smack you...douche." This album played as the soundtrack to staying late during the summer of 2004 every fucking night at A&E working for peanuts to go absolutely nowhere. I wish I could say more about it, but I never really studied the lyrics or looked for much meaning in the songs. I just love listening to the music period
FAVORITE SONGS: Forty Six & 2 (5), Eulogy (2), Ænema (13), Pushit (11), Jimmy (9), Stinkfist (1), Hooker with a Penis (7), Third Eye (15), H. (3)
ABOUT: I have a hard time being passionate about this album because I learned it in pieces over the course of many years rather than at once, however that's not stopping me from being objective and putting it so high on the list because it is a classic. Back in the mid 90s my first exposure to Tool came courtesy of k-rock in the forms of 46 & 2, Ænema, and Sober (off Undertow). Ænema was one of about 5 mp3s I had on my Pentium 133MHz PC, and I listened to it constantly. Then Mike was really into Eulogy in what had to be 2000-01 because it was definitely before Lateralus came out. He got me, as well as a bunch of other people at Poly, really into that song. Eulogy was the song that made me realize I absolutely had to get my lazy ass listening to Tool. But I still didn't have Ænima. Mike played it in his car a couple times, but really all I ever remembered was Eulogy and the title track (I'm sick of typing the fucking character code for that shit already). Then Sham got me into Stinkfist. Still didn't have this album. WTF right? It wasn't till 2002 when I finally had my own computer that I dled this album (I bought Lateralus and 10k Days so chill). But I was already into the best songs, and I realized that I also knew H. from back in the day on k-rock, so it wasn't that awesome "new album listen" feel. It sucks. I wish I heard this whole album before I knew those 4 or 5 individual songs. Now I can only listen to it as a collection of singles. I want to erase knowledge of the whole thing from my brain, then listen from scratch. This album's ridiculous, but if you're reading this list you probably know that first hand, so I'll move on.
FAVORITE SONGS: Thoughts WIthout Words (2), Prelude to Disaster/A Fire in Babylon (9/10), The Art of Balance (6), Welcome to the Machine (11), Mystery of One Spirit (7), Idle Hands (1), Destroyer of Senses (3), Casting Shade (4), Stepping Outside the Circle (5), Idiot Box (8)
ABOUT: On a scale of 1-10 fists, this album gets a googolplex of fists. Thankfully we have physical limits, because if we didn't I think a lot of peoples' arms and heads would have fallen off after rocking out to The Art of Balance. SF is the best pure metal band in the world as far as I'm concerned...at least until Darkest Hour most likely takes over in July when they release their new album. There are a lot of bands out there with more technical skill than SF, and that's to take nothing away from the musical abilities of SF, but no one in this decade has written a metal album that matches The Art of Balance. I don't consider Dream Theater a metal band, but if you want to consider Train of Thought a metal album, then fine that's the best metal album of the decade. I don't think anyone in particular told me about Shadows Fall, but I could be wrong. I remember back in late 02 wanting to get into some heavier stuff and I somehow came across Shadows Fall. I dled a few songs, and the one I remember vividly is Crushing Belial which blew me away (and is not on this album although it should be). I got TAOB and I thought it was awesome, but it didn't become one of "those" albums at first. A big part of the reason I think was music overload; I was getting into so much new awesome shit at the same time I heard this album, so I just didn't have time to fully digest it. What really got me into this album was the release of The War Within in 2004. At that point Danny and I had been discussing (not arguing) the Killswitch Engage vs. Shadows Fall issue for what seemed like forever. And I really didn't know who I liked more. I thought SF was great, but I had listened to KSE so much more. Both bands released great albums in 2004, but the very first time I listened to TWW I knew the debate was forever settled in my mind: Shadows Fall for life. Listening to that album everyday eventually got me to listen to it back to back with TAOB, and I came to realize that TAOB is an absolute classic. The last minute of Thoughts Without Words is the official soundtrack to conquering the world. Threads of Life is one of the most anticipated albums of my life...but I don't think it will top TAOB.
FAVORITE SONGS: Light My Fire (6), The End (11), The Crystal Ship (3), Break on Through (1), End of the Night (9), Take it as it Comes (10), Soul Kitchen (2), Back Door Man (7), Twentieth Century Fox (4), Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) (5)
ABOUT: My dad turned me onto The Doors when I was about 10. They were my favorite band, and this my favorite album, for years until Metallica came along. I was pretty young when I shunned the concept of idolization, but if there was ever someone who was my idol in my teen years, it was Jim Morrison. He's one of the greatest lyricists in music history, and also one of the most complex figures. I read his biography, saw Oliver Stone's movie "The Doors", and have studied many of Morrison's lyrics, but I still can't figure out his motivations or intentions. When I look at his life outside of music, it pains me to say I think he never fully matured. But it seems almost paradoxical to make that statement because how can an immature man write such brilliant lyrics that transcend time and space and capture the human condition so marvelously? This is why he was the closest thing I had to an idol. I felt the same way about myself. I had great ability, but hadn't developed the maturity to deal with the rest of the world. I have tried to use Mr. Mojo Risin' as both an inspirational force for my creative endeavors, as well as an example of the flaws in myself that I see mirrored in his life that I want to correct. "The Doors", their very first album, was where their creative brilliance was most fully realized. If you listen to their albums in chronological succession, and even look at the respective album covers, you can clearly see the turn for the worse Morrison took which eventually led to his demise. Now there is no doubt that Morrison's misery and despair produced some of his most profound lyrics and this band's best songs in their later years, but if he could've stayed away from substances they might've improved on this album and become a band as great if not greater than Pink Floyd. However, they may have also sputtered. Morrison needed to confront his inner demons to do away with his substance abuse...but those demons may have also been the source of his inspiration. If only he could've learned to channel it toward the creative side of his personality and away from the destructive.
FAVORITE SONGS: Ideas vs. Protocol vs. Molotov (7), New Vein/Proventil (1/2), Fight or Flight (10), Welcome Away (11), The French Quarter Does Not Add Up (8), Well as Well (3), Losing Feeling (6), We're not Paying for Anything Anymore (5), The Case is Out (4)
ABOUT: Second half of the best $12 I ever spent. Read the description of "The Rumor" if you're interested in how I got into Before Braille. So naturally I checked their website, as I do any new band that I get really into, and they had all the songs from Cattle Punching on a Jack Rabbit available for listening. I was blown away by those songs, then saw they were all on their most recent full length album which at this point I knew I must have immediately. Couldn't find it anywhere for sharting. As luck would have it, cdbaby.com was carrying TONBAFH as well as 44 by The Mayan Factor. Worked out perfectly as I got the 2 of them for $12 total. In the year and a half since I bought it I don't think this CD has been out of the 6 CD changer in my car. It must be in there at all times. I can listen to this album anytime and I don't think I'm ever going to get sick of it. Mike...if you're waiting to get sick of this album before you listen to "The Rumor", I think you might die first, so just listen to The Rumor already.
FAVORITE SONGS: Sing for the Moment (12), Square Dance (5), Hailie's Song (14), Till I Collapse (18), White America (2), Business (3), Cleanin' Out My Closet (4), My Dad's Gone Crazy (19), When the Music Stops (16), Without Me (10), Superman (13), Soldier (7)
ABOUT: Before I heard this album Eminem was the guy who got me to appreciate rap/hip-hop; after I heard it, he was one of my favorite artists of all time. Other than hearing The Slim Shady LP on the handball court one time at the end of high school, I never heard an Eminem album in full until The Eminem Show. Of the enormous amount of new music I got into in 2002, this was the best. I remember doing a delivery for Domino's and there were these girls, couldn't've been more than 13 years old, and they were having a party. When they answered the door, they were listening to WIthout Me and singing along and I couldn't help but laugh. I didn't laugh because it was cute; I laughed at the absurdity of 13 year old girls listening to Eminem. But who knows, maybe they stuck with him and now that they are older they can fully understand the rest of his songs. I think it's pretty funny though that the biggest reason Eminem was such a lynchpin in the "fight" against music corrupting America's youth, or whatever you want to call it, is that he made songs that appealed to such a wide range of people...particularly the very young. If it weren't for songs like "Without Me" and "My Name Is", I don't think he would have been given so much shit because little kids wouldn't listen to him. But the same kids who are listening to Without Me are also listening to the "little boy and girl groups" that he lambastes in the song. They're not really into his message, but the song has such a pop tone that it is catchy for little kids. Those aren't even close to his best songs, but they are the songs that made him popular and brought him into the public eye. Believe me I think all of this is a good thing; the popularity he got from the "poppy" songs brought him into the public eye, which in turn led to him being used as a symbol of America's problems, which then led to him hitting back so hard with so much truth that it made me glad to know there was someone out there who saw things the way they are and was never afraid to speak his mind, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
FAVORITE SONGS: Wings for Marie (Part 1)/10,000 Days (Wings Part 2) (3/4), Intension/Right in Two (9/10), Vicarious (1), The Pot (5), Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)/Rosetta Stoned (7/8), Jambi (2), Lipan Conjuring (6)
ABOUT: I avoided hearing anything from this album before it was released like the plague. I went to Best Buy the day it came out and bought it. Drove to a nice spot, parked my car, packed a bowl, and threw it on. I sent a text message to Danny when Vicarious was about half over and said this album is gonna be epic. That song was so good that I was tempted to listen to it again right away, but I really wanted to hear the whole album first. Instant classic. My line of thought about 10,000 Days never changed. When I first heard Tool was making a new album I thought it was gonna be tremendous...thought it the entire time I anticipated it, and every step of the way when I first listened to it. Perfect album. The only thing that sucks is this came out when poker was falling apart and I was going broke. I listened to it a bunch in A/C, but I'm sure I would've been able to enjoy it a lot more if I didn't constantly have to think about how little money I had and how the fuck I was gonna pay my bills. There's a whole bunch of shit about 10k Days that I haven't even read about, but if you look at the wikipedia article there's a ton of info. Tracks designed to be listened to in Fibonacci sequence order for example. When I get into this album again I'm definitely gonna read all about it.
FAVORITE SONGS: Cassandra Gemini (5), Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus (1), Miranda that Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore (4), The Widow (2), L'Via Viaquez (3)
ABOUT: There's a lot of confusion concerning the tracks on Frances the Mute. You can read all about it at the Wikipedia article (if you're into TMV I highly recommend it, it's very interesting), but I'll break it down real short here: This album originally was supposed to have 6 songs. The title track was removed because it would've been 90+ minutes and thus a double album, and the record company was having none of that. Shart that song it's great. Now, the other 5 tracks are the 5 I have listed as the favorite songs. However, there's some bullshit with the record company where if you release an album with less than 8 songs it's considered an EP. So if TMV released this with only 5 tracks, even though it's 75 minutes, they were only going to get paid for an EP rather than an LP. So they chopped Cassandra Gemini up into 8 different tracks. That's pretty much the deal, but there's more detail at the Wiki article so read that if you care. I didn't believe they were gonna be able to top on De-loused, but they did...and by a wide margin. Frances the Mute is amazing, and it's a real shame that the title track is not a part of it. There are some parts of Cassandra Gemini that are nothing short of pure musical mania. Tarantism (4:45 into Gemini) is the track you want to look to for uncontrollable body twitching.
FAVORITE SONGS: Shine on You crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (1), Welcome to the Machine (2), Have a Cigar (3), Wish You Were Here (4), Shine on You crazy Diamond (Parts VI - IX)
ABOUT: You Floyd fans really think I was gonna forget about this one? I get a little bored during the end of SoYcD VI-IX or this album would be a few spots higher. I'm not sure which songs I heard first on the radio or what, but I first heard the album when my dad told me to listen to the tape when I was 11 or 12. Smoke and chill for 45 minutes. The Floyd is good.
FAVORITE SONGS: Welcome to the Jungle (1)/Nightrain (3)/Sweet Child O' Mine (9): Listed in track order...I can't fucking pick between these songs that's a whole other list itself, Paradise City (6), It's So Easy (2), Rocket Queen (12), My Michelle (7), Mr. Brownstone (5), You're Crazy (10), Out Ta Get Me (4)
ABOUT: This is where it all started for me. My dad bought the tape back in 87 because he liked Sweet Child O' Mine, but he didn't like the rest of it because of the cursing so he gave the tape to me. Picture a kid in first grade listening to this album everyday...that was me. In my art class we each got a day to bring in music...I really don't remember what anyone else brought, but needless to say none of it was quite like Welcome to the Jungle. The other tapes I had back then: Pump by Aerosmith, TMNT soundtrack, Batman soundtrack, and New Kids on The Block. And I had 2 NKOTB tapes...whatever their first album was, and the Christmas album. Based on this list I think you can figure out what stuck and what didn't. The TMNT soundtrack actually had a couple of great rap songs (T-U-R-T-L-E Power anybody?), but let me get back to Appetite for Destruction. AFD and Master of Puppets threw mad fists on this list. I agonized over which to put over the other for days (I know I know I need to use my time more effectively). One of the best side effects of doing this list was I listened to this album for the first time in close to 20 years. And with all the musical knowledge I've amassed in that time and how my tastes have changed...this album is even better now than it was when I was in grade school. Despite the greatness of this album, GNR is one of the most disappointing stories in music history. It was obvious that they came around at a time that was optimal for them to own the music world. Everyone was sick of the glam shit coming out of California, and these guys brought it with skill and the world recognized that. Drugs and egos destroyed a band that had the potential to be one of the best of all time. If you take the best songs on each half of Use Your Illusion, you have an album that would be in the top 5 of this list. Other than that and AFD, they made almost no other original music. I'm not getting into the band history...I read an unauthorized biography by Paul Stenning which had a lot of good information about Axl Rose, but if you just want to know the band's story go to the Wikipedia article. Danny Sugarman also wrote a GNR biography which I'd like to read; he wrote the one I read about Jim Morrison. Dammit, I am still fucking pissed that these guys didn't make more great music. What a waste.
FAVORITE SONGS: Orion (7), Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (4), Disposable Heroes (5), Battery (1), Master of Puppets (2), Damage Inc. (8), The Thing That Should Not Be (3)
ABOUT: This is widely considered THE standard for metal, and I wouldn't argue. The decision between this and Appetite for Destruction was basically impossible. I put this one over AFD because of the complexity of the songs on MOP vs AFD, and also because Orion is the best song on both albums. I consider it a tie, but I didn't want to pussy out so I made the choice. This was the 3rd Metallica album I got into, and the first Metallica CD that I bought. Back then I actually liked Ride the Lightning more than MOP, but over time as my ear for music has become refined I think this is clearly better than RTL. It's amazing how heavy this album was for its time. Kill 'Em All is perfectly described as thrash, and RTL is a progression of that thrash as well as a preview of the song writing complexity Metallica would later explore. MOP further progressed from these albums and became the blueprint for truly "heavy" music. I don't proclaim that my knowledge of music is such that I can declare this as absolute truth, but from what I've heard MOP is clearly the beginning of "heavy" music. The two major factors on this album that differ from the first two Metallica albums are: 1) the tone and 2) James' voice. The structure, music, and lyrics of Battery and Fight Fire With Fire (track #1 on RTL) are very similar, but what immediately strikes me is how much heavier Battery sounds and how much more powerful James' voice is on Battery. Just listen to an awesome modern metal band named Mastodon and you can hear how much influence the MOP tone has on them. They've certainly carved out their own niche sound in the metal world, but I doubt they'd deny how much influence MOP had on them.
FAVORITE SONGS: This Dying Soul (2), Honor Thy Father (4), In the Name of God (7), Endless Sacrifice (3), Stream of Consciousness (6), As I Am (1), Vacant (5)
ABOUT: Mike don't worry your props for DT are coming, but not for this album. In late 03 I couldn't seem to turn a corner without hearing something about Dream Theater. I had to see what these dudes were bringing to the table, so I sharted their newest album, Train of Thought, on #altrock. After I listened to it I thought my head was gonna explode because the people in #altrock were saying this sucked compared to their older stuff. Now here's an album and a band that I just listened for the first time, and I immediately thought it was one of the best albums I'd ever heard...and these people are saying their older stuff is way better. How the fuck is this even possible. Well...as far as I'm concerned it's not. Also, I knew nothing of their range of styles over the years. So really what these people meant was: this is their heaviest album, and we like their progressive stuff more. And I completely respect that. But don't say this sucks compared to their other stuff...just say it's a lot different. Anyway, I didn't care what people were saying about this album, I didn't even want to hear any of their other albums because I just wanted to listen to this one over and over. Mike kept telling me to listen to Scenes From a Memory and Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, but I was having none of it because Train of Thought was too good to pull myself away from. The only song he initially got me into was The Glass Prison off of Six Degrees, and that's probably because that song fits perfectly on Train of Thought...and as a matter of fact This Dying Soul is an extension of The Glass Prison. The top 5 in this list is the top 5 for a reason. Train of Thought could definitely be labeled the best album of all time, but there are 4 albums that I like more. Lyrics, theme, and mood are the factors that put the other 4 albums above Train of Thought. I really can't believe that this album isn't higher than 5. It's so perfect. Musical domination.
FAVORITE SONGS: To Live is to Die (8), One (4), Eye of the Beholder (3), Dyers Eve (9), Blackened (1), ...And Justice for All (2), The Frayed Ends of Sanity (7), Harvester of Sorrow (6), The Shortest Straw (5)
ABOUT: This was the first Metallica album I ever listened to, and you have to understand how significant that fact is for me. It will always be a special album because of that. I also think To Live is to Die is the most beautiful piece of music I've ever heard, and that opinion is definitely influenced by the fact that it's a tribute to Cliff Burton. The bass is almost inaudible throughout the album; call me crazy, but the tone of this album is actually one of my favorite things about it. As sick as the tone of MOP is, I like the ...Justice tone more. I could probably live without one or two of Hammett's thrash solos, but that's the only thing close to a flaw I can find on ...Justice. This album dominates the world. When I call them Fuckin' Metallica, it's always in reference to this album. Blackened...come on you know you punched something really hard back in the day when you got into this because I sure as hell did. And you know you punched something (like a drawer sticking out from your bed perhaps?) REALLY hard during the machine gun guitar/kick drum part of One...so hard that you sprained your hand and the side of it was all purple for a month and you couldn't even take notes in school...yeah so that happened. "What happened to your hand?" "Metallica." - That's fuckin' metal. That's probably when I decided to stop taking notes for the most part in school in general; not a bad thing at all. The lyrical content and overall theme of this album are both my favorite of any album. It's about examining our own lives and the system we live in and questioning everything. Metallica stops at answering those questions; what to do with those answers is up to the listener. It's a brilliant strategy...provide people with the truth and an avenue for free thought, and they will take care of the rest. I say after we've exposed the truth, we do everything we can to tear down the things that get in the way of true freedom and justice. I felt that way when I first heard this album, and that hasn't changed. Then we tell people to stop sharting our music on Napster. Why Lars, why why why did you have to do that shit? Couldn't you just let the Metallica legacy live for those of us who lived and breathed your music for years and decades and eventually lifetimes? The credit belongs to you, but the music belongs to us. That's what true art is. The knowledge that their work has changed lives and has a place in the hearts of others (in your case millions upon millions throughout the world) is the ultimate honor for an artist. I believe when you saw the passion Metallica fans had back in the 80s for your music you had to feel this way, but the commercial success you experienced in the 90s took your focus away from that and towards securing your financial future. Everyone has the right to make sure they can feed and shelter their family...but you have more than enough, just let the world enjoy your music as it's intended. Metallica made music that will live on throughout humanity along with Pink Floyd, Tool, Beethoven, Sinatra and others for centuries and possibly millenia...pretty much however long human beings are listening to music. Isn't that enough? Why do anything that could ruin the spirit that accompanies your music? I don't know how this turned into a rant against Metallica's anti-piracy stance. I just wish I didn't have to have any negative thoughts associated with the band; I really don't want any. There was a time in my life where they were perfect. They had no songs less than awesome (I've erased Jump in the Fire from my brain), and there was nothing about them that didn't kick ass. I have nothing against St. Anger, but I've heard them live recently and James sounds awful...I'm dreading the new album. I'm afraid to hear Metallica suck. ...And Justice For All is the best album of all time, except for 3 others.
FAVORITE SONGS: Lateralus (9), The Grudge (1), Parabol/Parabola (6/7), Ticks & Leeches (8), Eon Blue Apocalypse/The Patient (2/3), Schism (5), Disposition/Reflection (10/11), Triad (12)
ABOUT: To my friends who have never listened to this album: I put Lateralus ahead of ...And Justice For All which is my favorite Metallica album, so it's gotta be pretty fucking good. Listen to it...a couple hundred times. While Metallica is the band that got me passionate about playing guitar, Tool, and Lateralus in particular, shaped my style like nothing else. My dad bought this CD for me a week after it came out back in 2001 from The Wiz when it was still open by the SI Mall. BMG Music Service, which is what we used to get deals like 7 CDs for the price of 1, didn't have CDs for sale until they'd been out for a few months. I was getting really into Tool and I wanted Lateralus when it came out, but BMG didn't have it yet so that's why he bought it. And now that I think back on it my birthday was right around that time too so I guess it coincided with that as well. I never really get presents for my birthday, but I'd say this was an exception well worth it. This is one of the shittiest write-ups I think I've done in this entire list. I don't really think of this as a theme album, but the people who are even more into Tool than me really analyze all this stuff and I've read that there is plenty of thematic business going on with this album. I'm probably just going to take a week and read as much about Tool as I can, including everything about Lateralus. Knowing the title track was misspelled as Lateralis on the album jacket is not nearly enough knowledge for me. Anyway...the reason why I bring all this up is because I was going to say Lateralus is the best non-theme album of all time. But it does have a theme, I just don't know about it yet, so I just look foolish making that statement unless I cop to my ignorance alongside it. Copping complete.
FAVORITE SONGS: Not a cop out from ranking songs, but I really only listen to this album in full. Fatal Tragedy (5), Finally Free (12), and Home (8) are my favorites if I have to pick.
ABOUT: Yes Mike, you endlessly reco'd my #2 favorite album of all time, so unfortunately I'm forced to hold you in high esteem for the reco of eternity (you better get that pun, it's your favorite song on here). Scenes From a Memory has an unfair advantage: not only do you get incredible Dream Theater music, but you also have the plotline of an excellent movie (which I hear is very similar to the 1991 movie Dead Again with Kenneth Branaugh). It's the mix of the story with the great music that makes this album what it is. Solely on the merits of the music, Lateralus, ...And Justice For All and Train of Thought would all be ahead of Scenes. I don't want to give the impression that the music is anything less than perfect, but I'm just pointing out how the plotline adds so much more to it. Read the Wikipedia article on Scenes From a Memory there's a ton of great info on the album there...BUT DON'T READ THE SPOILERS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. If you've never heard this album before don't read the rest of this section because I'm going to give my take on what happens at the end. SPOILER: Of all the varying points of view about the ending I've read in different forums, the one that I've taken is the one from the Wikipedia article: Nicholas wakes up and the psychiatrist, who is the reincarnation of Edward (The Miracle), murders him. The scene definitely takes place in 1999, and the person they're talking about on the news is JFK Jr. after he died in that plane crash. END SPOILER
FAVORITE SONGS: Time (3) is the only song I ever listen to outside the context of the entire album. The whole is much greater than its parts.
ABOUT: Just listen.