Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Top 5 Records of All Time

Top 5.....? Very hard this was too but I got it down to these musical gems, so for an insight of sorts into my life and mind read on people.....

The last official Doors studio album, L.A. Woman was still high on the charts when, like the "actor out on loan" of its closing track, "Riders on the Storm," Jim Morrison died in a Paris bathtub in the summer of 1971. Via such tracks as "The Changeling," "Crawling King Snake," and the frothy, rollicking title track, the collection leaned heavily toward the blues--in particular, Morrison's boastful "Lizard King" brand of it. It also holds another entry in the band's ever-adventurous tone poems in the ever-underrated mythical tale of American music and culture, "WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)."

A blend of dramatic strings, swaggering saxophones, jagged guitars, and theatrical arrangements, the album's darker rock numbers like "It Ain't Easy," "Moonage Daydream," "Ziggy Stardust," and the irresistible "Suffragette City," still serve as solid excursions into the future (then and now) of rock. The buoyant "Hang on to Yourself" and the dreamy "Star" offer hints of optimism in Ziggy's bleak world. The dramatic "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" and the image-heavy "Star Man" ("he'd like to come and meet us but thinks he'd blow our minds!") no doubt provided plenty of stage-worthy moments when Ziggy toured in the '70s, but years later they still thrill. Bowie blew our minds!

Few albums are as fueled by hope, possibility, and the lure of the open road as Born to Run, a virtual concept album about small-town Jerseyites in search of a better life via hot-rodding out on the turnpike, scoring some small-time hustle, or blowing out of town altogether, either across the river to New York City or west for parts unknown. Songs like "Jungleland," "Thunder Road," "Backstreets," and the title track are epic productions, both sonically and lyrically. When Born to Run was released in 1975, it earned then-unknown Springsteen the rare honor of simultaneous covers on both Time and Newsweek. The attention was warranted then, and it still is now.

If you only ever buy one Bob Dylan album, this should be the one.
"Bringing It All Back Home" is not a better record than "Blood On The Tracks", but it is the one where everything comes together for Bob Dylan, creating an incredible blend of folk, blues, and blistering rock n' roll, and it is the one which best represents the depth and versatility of his talent.

Several of the very best songs in Dylan's catalogue are from "Bringing It All Back Home", including the acoustic numbers "Mr Tambourine Man", "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", and the gritty hard rock of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Maggie's Farm".
"Bringing It All Back Home" is one of a handful of truly remarkable rock records.

Known as the "rune" album, Led Zep IV or Zoso because of the medieval symbols adorning the inner sleeve, Led Zeppelin's fourth album, released in 1971, turned them from mere superstars into giant behemoths of the rock world. On tracks like "Black Dog," "Misty Mountain Hop," and "Rock and Roll," the combination of Robert Plant's banshee wails and Jimmy Page's frenetic guitar playing forever altered the stylistic bent of hard rock music. And the foreboding "When the Levee Breaks" demonstrated that Zeppelin could indeed play the blues fairly straight if they so desired. Still, everything here ultimately took a back seat to the album's (and, ultimately, the band's) magnum opus--the expertly constructed and deftly executed classic, "Stairway to Heaven."

Well, there you have it, my all time top 5 albums of all time. I suppose it has not changed much over the years. I guess it never will, which in a way is both comforting and sad.

Anyway, enough already, check out these LP covers that qualify for the 10 worst album covers of all time. Quality.


Anonymous said...

Those album covers cracked me up! Thank you so much!

Jin said...

Brilliant choice! I'm now going to spend the rest of the day warbling some of the greatest tracks of music ever created.

Axonsax said...

thanks for the feedback Jin, yes me too couldn't get LA Woman outa my head yesterday!