The Beatles finally arrive to adulthood.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #5/100
One of the best adult moments I’ve had is experiencing the music of The Beatles. Consider that I almost made it to 30 before really appreciating the breadth and endless selection from the best band of all time. How did I avoid it for so long?
When I was younger, I was extremely pro African American music. I was the only white 17 year old I knew in the county of Hanover that could list every Stevie Wonder album and owned Marvin Gaye shirts. When driving my friends around, I felt it was my job to introduce them to Ray Charles, The Four Tops, and the like.
Out of spite, I defended it against all potential perpetrators, particularly The Beatles. My main evidence? The early creampuff pop entries that were fueled by Beatlemania and teenage girl hysteria. I didn’t know, or care to find out, about the later albums when the band grew up and began to push music forward in all sorts of ways.
Rubber Soul is the demarcation. After this album, The Beatles were no longer boys singing about wanting to hold your hand. There might still be a lot of relationship talk, but the edginess and experimentation is evident. There was no going back after this.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #5 – Rubber Soul, The Beatles (1965)”
A Tasteful Hard Rock Album.
Tasteful in musical composition, not lyrics of course.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #73/100
Anything that fits under the genre Hard Rock or Heavy Metal is rat poison to me: the crass lyrics screamed at the decibels of chainsaws just doesn’t do it for me. Actually, it makes me shut-down, and like a nuclear reactor that’s about to explode, I begin an emergency protocol to get the hell away from it as quick as possible.
Considering AC/DC hard rock might be a joke to some — I know if you look at the Rock n’ Roll continuum, there is such screaming, hard rock out there that in comparison they can look like a Bach coverband. For me, Back in Black is touching the outer limits of what can be inherently pleasing to me but transcends it by reigning in the “hard/heavy” aspect along with some very good songs.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #73 – Back in Black, AC/DC (1980)”
Now This is Some Driving Music.
Even with being 28 songs, there is so much to enjoy here.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #21/100
Months ago, I took a long trip down to Florida and loaded the phone up with all types of albums. Chuck Berry saved me at just the right time: I hit the country lines of North Carolina and needed something to pep me up. This album is full of old rock n’ roll with many references to automobiles and cruising. It was the perfect antidote.
It also satisfies my self-created rule of what makes a Top 100 album with one killer track (Johnny B. Good) and over half the album being worth-while.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #21 – The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry (1982)”
Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am.
The flair and pomp gets more attention, but the album itself is actually good.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #35/100
I was bracing myself for a let down.
Most of the things you find about this album online are about the extracurricular activities: the hairstyles, alter-egos, and concept. I found more words about David Bowie’s supposed sexuality than attention to the music itself. No worries needed here thankfully. There are a handful of great songs that can easily be enjoyed whether you think David’s gay or not.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #35 – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, David Bowie (1972)”
What Can Jimi Not Do?
A debut album that show cases the wide range of Hendrix’s talents — guitar riffs, thoughtful lyrics, original compensations.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #15/100
Another example of me listening to the original album when I knew the greatest hits, “Are You Experienced” is a reminder that there is plenty hidden in the full record.
I had previously listened to Ray Charles’ Atlantic R&B Collection and Little Richard’s Eponymous album, and I can’t help but see the continuation of what was becoming a 20 year project: taking the foundations of music and twisting in ways never done before.
Jimi Hendrix’s use of guitar sends you to an incorporeal place, being left in awe of his mastery of the instrument. His interpretation of R&B, gospel, jazz, rock, and soul might be the best attempt yet. Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #15 – Are you Experienced, Jimi Hendrix (1967)”
Little Richard screams, wails and whoops his way through this juke-box-jam of a debut album.
Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #50/100
I have no idea what the onomatopoeia should be for the Little Richard wail he does in every song. It deserves to have it’s own spelling — it’s infectious and oozes with energy. This whole album is rockin’, making you want to Bop and Jitterbug your night away.
Continue reading “Top 100 Album Review: #50 – Here’s Little Richard, Little Richard (1957)”