The best albums, year by year (since 1959)
50 8.9 01. Mingus Ah Um - Charles Mingus
Favourite song: "Fables of Faubus"
Favourite moment: Lots of 'em. The very last chord of "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat", for one.
17 8.6 02. Blues and Roots - Charles Mingus
Favourite song: "Moanin'"
Favourite moment: The absolutely tiny moment at 3:28 in "E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" when the saxophone solo begins.
13 8.2 03. Free Jazz - Ornette Coleman
Favourite song: N/A (it's only one song)
Favourite moment: The last fifteen minutes or so. It suddenly quiets down to only the two bassists and drummers soloing in an AWESOMELY weird sounding manner with the horns making sudden furious attacks on the listener. Oh, and the drum solo. THE DAMN DRUM SOLO. Simple brilliance. One of the coolest album closings EVER.
3 9.5 04. John Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard - John Coltrane
Favourite song: "Spiritual"
Favourite moment: n/a at the moment
52 9.1 05. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady - Charles Mingus
Favourite song: "Solo Dancer (Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!)"
Favourite moment: The above track from about 4:12 onwards. Every instrument is perfectly arranged there but especially Mingus' mad BASS.
70 7.5 06. Another Side of Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
Favourite song: "It Ain't Me, Babe"
Ah, my friends from the prison, they ask unto me,
"How good, how good does it feel to be free?"
And I answer them most mysteriously,
"Are birds free from the chains of the skyway?"
126 8.5 07. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
Favourite song: "Psalm"
Favourite moment: The percussion throughout "Psalm" and the otherworldly feeling in it. Like God actually WAS connected with Coltrane on the album.
246 8.1 08. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
Favourite song: "God Only Knows"
Favourite moment: The coda of "God Only Knows" is just breath-taking, as well as the massive vocal harmonies on "You Still Believe in Me".
74 8.4 09. Songs of Leonard Cohen - Leonard Cohen
Favourite song: "Teachers"
Favourite moment: Those ringing bells in "Sisters of Mercy"
87 8.4 010. Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
Favourite song: "Sweet Thing"
Favourite moment: That "YOUBREATHEIN-YOUBREATHEOUT" thing on "Beside You".
71 8.1 011. Trout Mask Replica - Captain Beefheart
Favourite song: "When Big Joan Sets Up"
Favourite moment: Well this is a 28-track album full of crazy, mostly short songs and passing moments so it's impossible to pick one. Let's say the insane wtf drum solo of "Sugar 'N Spikes" for example.
107 8.5 012. Fun House - The Stooges
Favourite song: "Fun House"
Favourite moment: Any of those Iggy Pop's intense screams. Like the one at the beginning of "T.V. Eye" or the "IFEELALRIGHT!" thing going on in "1970" or the entire title track. Also, the madness unleashed in "L.A. Blues".
54 8.2 013. Songs of Love and Hate - Leonard Cohen
Favourite song: "Famous Blue Raincoat"
Yes, and thanks, for the trouble you took from her eyes
I thought it was there for good so I never tried
it's fucking bitter, man
9 9.3 014. Transa - Caetano Veloso
Favourite song: "Nine Out of Ten"
Favourite moment: Whenever he gets so emotional he bursts singing in his mother tongue.
51 8.6 015. Larks' Tongues in Aspic - King Crimson
Favourite song: "Easy Money"
Favourite moment: The way the main theme comes back in "Easy Money" or the way the band goes crazy in "Larks Tongues in Aspic (Part One)".
69 8.4 016. Red - King Crimson
Favourite song: "Starless"
Favourite moment: The heavenly guitar melody of "Starless" and everything that comes after the one note solo of Robert Fripp on that track. Sublime.
8 8.5 017. Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison - Harmonium
Favourite song: "Dixie"
Favourite moment: The reprise of the theme melody of "Histoires sans paroles".
82 8.4 018. Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
Favourite song: "Another Star"
Favourite moment: The "doo-doo-doo" part in "I Wish" makes me jump like an idiot.
108 8.5 019. Marquee Moon - Television
Favourite song: "Marquee Moon"
Favourite moment: Everything they do with guitars on the title track and "Friction".
1 10 020. Al final de este viaje - Silvio Rodriguez
60 7.7 021. Entertainment! - Gang of Four
Favourite song: "Damaged Goods"
Favourite moment: When "I Found That Essence Rare" or "Contract" kicks off. Mad grooves!
129 8 022. Remain in Light - Talking Heads
Favourite song: "Once in a Lifetime"
Favourite moment: The bleeping solo on whatever instrument on "Born Under Punches".
or "MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!"
49 7.8 023. Computer World - Kraftwerk
Favourite song: "Computer Love"
Favourite moment: The last few minutes of the said track. The closest Kraftwerk ever came to sounding human. One of the most romantic songs ever written.
10 9.6 024. Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981) - Glenn Gould,Johann Sebastian Bach
1982 (recorded in 1981, I gather)
Favourite moment: The first Aria.
104 8.1 025. Swordfishtrombones - Tom Waits
Favourite song: "Shore Leave"
Favourite moment: The verses of "In the Neighborhood" are pure gold. Also the banging percussion on "16 Shells...".
7 8.7 026. Tabula Rasa - Arvo Pärt,Dennis Russell Davies,Keith Jarrett,Gidon Kremer,Stuttgart State Orchestra,Tatiana Grinden
1984 (I think it was originally released then)
Favourite song: "Fratres (for violin and piano)"
Favourite moment: The tension of the magnificent piano chords on "Fratres" and the VIOLIN CLIMAX.
199 8.3 027. Rain Dogs - Tom Waits
Favourite song: "Tango Till They're Sore"
Favourite moment: FULL of them. From the banging sounds of "Big Black Mariah" to the barking vocals of "Singapore", the heavenly accordion intro of the title track and the salvation army band fading out on the last track.
386 8.4 028. The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths
Favourite song: "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"
Favourite moment: The strings on that song, the coda of "The Boy With the Thorn in His Side", etc.
13 8.7 029. Children of God - Swans
Favourite song: "Beautiful Child"
Favourite moment: The crazy, evil trumpets apparently played by Satan on "Like a Drug".
28 8.3 030. Spirit of Eden - Talk Talk
Favourite song: "I Believe in You"
Favourite moment: The harmonica on "The Rainbow" or the percussion of "Desire" or the divine choir type of thing in "I Believe in You"
14 7.2 031. Floating Into The Night - Julee Cruise
Favourite song: "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart"
Favourite moment: The saxophone solo on the said track - such a brief, beautiful and clumsy little moment.
148 7.9 032. Goo - Sonic Youth
Favourite song: "Mote"
Favourite moment: "Mote" evolving into that noise section that lasts for minutes. The awesome guitar work on "Disappearer".
89 8 033. The Low End Theory - Tribe Called Quest
Favourite song: "Scenario"
Favourite moment: Busta Rhymes tearing EVERYTHING up in his verse. "RRRAOWW RRAOWW LIKE A DUNGEON DRAGON!!"
Also, the snare on "Jazz (We've Got)"
98 8.4 034. Bone Machine - Tom Waits
Favourite song: "That Feel"
Favourite moment: The "drunken emperor Nero" vocals on "In the Colosseum", the cool lyrics to "Black Wings", the desperation of "I Don't Wanna Grow Up", the apocalyptic feel on "Earth Dies Screaming"... could pick anything.
142 8.4 035. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
Favourite song: "Bring da Ruckus"
Favourite moment: Oh boy, I could make a list of the best moments on the Wu-Tang debut. Let's say the verses of Inspectah Deck and GZA on "Bring da Ruckus"
71 7.8 036. Ready to Die - The Notorious B.I.G.
Favourite song: "Juicy"
Favourite moment: One of the most badass moments in hip-hop history:
There's gonna be a lot of slow singin, and flower bringin
if my burglar alarm starts ringin'
Off the magnificent "Warning".
5 9.3 037. Muovi antaa periksi - Absoluuttinen Nollapiste
Favourite song: "Sivulla jatkuu"
Favourite moment: The genious melody of the chorus of "Sivulla jatkuu". How melancholy can a song about brushing your teeth sound?
88 7.8 038. Richard D. James Album - Aphex Twin
Favourite song: "Girl/Boy Song"
Favourite moment: The 'drum solos' of the said track, or the gorgeous 'chorus' of "Fingerbib".
1688 8 039. OK Computer - Radiohead
Favourite song: "Let Down"
Favourite moment: "One day I am going to grow wings" is such a heartbreaking line.
264 8.3 040. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Favourite song: "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"
Favourite moment: And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
5 9 041. Suljettu - Absoluuttinen Nollapiste
Favourite song: "Suvannossa ylpeä ilme"
Favourite moment: I love how the story comes together on the last track. The playful mood occasionally present on the album gradually turning into pure MOURN is just amazing. The best Finnish song ever.
No one has talked to me in years
113 8.4 042. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heav... - Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Favourite song: "Antennas to Heaven"
Favourite moment: The priest speech on "Static" or the very last minutes of "Antennas to Heaven" or the beginning of "Storm" or the climax of "Sleep" or
353 8.1 043. Lateralus - Tool
Favourite song: "Reflection"
Favourite moment: The reprise of the "Disposition" guitar melody on "Reflection".
199 8.2 044. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Favourite song: "Jesus, etc."
Favourite moment: When the strings come in on the second verse of the aforementioned song.
12 9.3 045. Mount Eerie - The Microphones
Favourite song: "The Sun"
Favourite moment: This album is basically a continuous favourite moment but I'll just mention the 'scary trumpets' on "The Sun".
10 8.8 046. The Eye of Every Storm - Neurosis
Favourite song: "Bridges"
Favourite moment: The holyshit-heavyasfuck drone guitars which catch you totally off guard on "Bridges"
9 6.8 047. A Piece of Strange - CunninLynguists
Favourite song: "The Gates"
Favourite moment: Tonedeff's delivery on "The Gates".
82 8.2 048. Ys - Joanna Newsom
Favourite song: "Monkey & Bear"
Favourite moment: FULL of absolutely fantastic pieces of lyrics. For example:
though my wrists and my waist seemed so easy to break
still, my dear, I would have walked you to the very edge of the water
and they will recognise all the lines of your face
in the face of the daughter of the daughter of my daughter
39 8.4 049. Untrue - Burial
Favourite song: "Etched Headplate"
Favourite moment: The ending of "Shell of Light" :´O
119 7.9 050. Third - Portishead
Favourite song: "The Rip"
Favourite moment: The agonized vocals of Beth Gibbons near the end of "Threads", holy shit.
And I gotta say: I love it how they were able to craft their best record after a break of 11 years, yet with such a brave change of sound. One of the best comebacks ever.
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