805 8.4 01. Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
Yeah I know, "but it's the greatest rock album ever!" save it for someone else. Seeing as I don't get enough hate mail from Led Zepp fans (you guys are my favorites for realz) I'm going to tear your dreams apart right now in what I plan on being a mega list that we can just call "Mean Commie Gary Ruins Music For You", and why not start with the king's of plagiarism? Yes you heard me right, Led Zeppelin is guilty as hell for plagiarism and have a long history of lawsuits since Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's pompously huge inflated egos don't like to give credit to old Blues players they consistently covered and stole licks and lyrics from left and right, and that's right, not even Stairway to Heaven was really theirs.
The main guitar line for Stairway to Heaven was taken from the song Taurus by Spirit. Don't believe me? Go find the old relic yourself and listen to it. Even with this aside, you have to admit the song is overkill. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't drag on and on and on. You already want it end before the 2nd goddamn verse, and I haven't even gotten started on the rest of the record. The rampant plagiarism in early Led Zeppelin albums don't stop there, When The Levee Breaks was not their song either. The original was written by an old Blues man by the name of Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie; a husband and wife duo. But seeing as Page and Plant figured no one had any clue of this, they decided to credit themselves and enjoy bragging about how super awesome "their" song is. So fuck you Jimmy Page! These guys were mega rich when making these albums while the old Blues greats they couldn't credit all died broke including Howlin Wolf and Willie Dixon who won their cases. The least they could have done was given them a little credit, but that's obviously too much for Mr. Guitar God.
Overall this is not a bad album. The main flaw is of course Robert Plant's vocals are annoying, the songs drag on too long in times (Specifically Stairway to Heaven and When The Levee Breaks) and the rhythm is mediocre(Led Zeppelin's rhythm section is extremely overrated) which makes it depend even more on Page's guitar skills, but overall it's a decent rock album, but certainly not GWATEST ROK ALBUM EVAR!
630 8.1 02. Let It Be - The Beatles
I have nothing bad to say about the Beatles and I'm not about to waste my time telling you how amazing they were since these guys are the four most over analyzed musicians in the history of music. I love them, as most people do but I don't realize why Let It Be gets on the same level of other albums when the band themselves admitted to not being happy with the album.
This was released after Abbey Road which is arguably the band's finest album (apart from their other important albums like Sgt Peppers and Revolver). As great as the last album was, this can't even hold water to it. To make any sense of it, before Abbey Road the band was trying to make a record called Get Back for "live in the studio". The work was shelved and after the band broke up they talked Phil Spector into coming on and helping them do a "soundtrack". Despite Phil Spector being one of the most memorable and great producers of the 60's, he had never worked with the band before so it was already a disaster waiting to happen.
The album depends largely on leftovers like Across The Universe; I Me Mine, a new version of Hey Jude and One After 909, and when it gets down to the formulaic ballad tracks the band was known for, they are ruined with full scale orchestra and over indulgent female backing vocals. The band couldn't agree on what versions they liked of these songs, and you can't really blame them when you listen to it and realize just how awful it sounds compared to their previous work, and most of that has to do with the horrible production by Phil Spector being the producer. The album also adds audible talking from the studio to pretend that it's a live album even though it's so obviously overdubbed and edited, it comes off as a fake attempt.
To a lighter treatment there is differing versions of the album on the Anthology 3 album that features the Non-Phil Spector produced original versions, and they actually sound better than what's on here and they don't have those annoying talking in the background edited in. Another Beatles collection called Past Masters Volume 3 also contains alternate mixes and a few songs that didn't make it to the record. And finally there is a whole album called Let It Be...Naked of original and sessions versions of the album. I have not listened to that record so I can't tell you for sure if it undoes the damage on here.
1177 8.4 03. The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
Yet another supposed "greatest rock album ever". People go on and on and on about this album and I just can't see why you would want to listen to it over and over. Pink Floyd started as a mediocre prog rock band, and finally got tired of being a joke and went to Abbey Road and produced this carefully crafted product of pop songs blended with lots of overdubs, back up singers, effects, and strange lyrics. The album still sells a lot to this day, and I'm sure someone will not be happy with me giving it only 6 out of 10 (even though that's a positive rating, no fucking shit).
The main problem with Dark Side of the Moon (and almost any Pink Floyd album in general) is that the music itself does not hold up to repeated hearings. You know an album talks the talk and walks the walk if you can listen to it over and over without getting tired of it and with this record, it becomes boring early on. The songs drag on, but they add almost nothing but simple riffs and rhythm musically, which is always the case with this band. Money is a good song, not a great one and especially considering how much it's run into the ground from overplay. Us And Them is an interesting idea of a ballad but it drags on. Some of the keyboards and synth effects blend rather nicely but I found myself bored with the other tracks. The Great Gig In The Sky is incredibly boring with Gospel like backing vocals, and the whole mellow experience of slow keyboards jams in instrumentals is not something I can listen to over and over.
You could say this about any album Pink Floyd if you wanted to. You can drag your songs to incredible lengths like they did on Animals (and other records) but it still adds almost nothing musically when it's simple riffs and a snooze fest of filler, which is what I find a lot on Dark Side of the Moon. The album has it's strong points with it's singles and the rest is non stop filler that is easy to skip over. It's no where near as close as it's made out to be, and I throw a lot of their "classic albums" in the same category I do Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter's Jazz Fusion records.
271 7.8 04. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pist... - Sex Pistols
The most overrated punk album and most overrated rock band to ever exist. But everyone likes to say they were influenced by them (despite no one actually sounding as horrible as them which forces me to question if they truly were influenced by this group).
The Sex Pistols sucked. Go ahead, get all bent out of shape and mad at me, it's a fact. They couldn't play their instruments to save their lives and Sid Vicious was a joke who's death catapulted him to saint hood and made him some kind of living icon. Don't you just love when shitty musicians die? Everyone treats them like God afterwards, gee I wonder why old Blues players like Bo Diddly and John Lee Hooker don't get the same treatment? They at least knew how to play their instruments unlike these clowns.
I was first introduced to these guys from hearing Megadeth cover Anarchy In The UK on their mediocre So Far, So Good...So What! album. So I tracked down what is arguably one of the greatest albums ever, and you get this; a band that don't know how to play their instruments (but they make it loud!), a singer who's voice makes you cringe, but oh they were so hardcore and so cool! They were anarchy and counterculture! You want to talk counterculture for the 1970's? Buy a goddamn Clash record! They were real rockers and actually knew how to play their fucking instruments! London Calling destroys this album without even trying!
I have never heard another band in my life where every cover sounds a hundred times better than the original. It don't matter who is covering it, they make it sound better than the Sex Pistols ever did.
182 7.9 05. Morrison Hotel - The Doors
I'm not a big Doors fan by any means. The older I get, the less interesting I find them to be. In the decade that we had such legendary rockers like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and The Who; I like to say they were the most overrated band of the 60's all together. Sometimes I'm left clueless at all the praise they get since death rose Morrison to saint hood (they didn't even have a real bass player for crying out loud!) This album is a great example of that, cause before his tragic death, the critics had balls back then to admit they didn't like it, but after he died, it's considered one of the greatest records ever despite it's glaring flaws.
By now, Morrison's body was starting to go out from the rampant drug abuse. The album isn't horrible, as it has it's good songs like Peace Frog (probably the Door's best song all together) and Roadhouse Blues. But the better stuff can easily be found on a 'Best Of' compilation package (and sadly I have yet to see Peace Frog end up on a greatest hits album come to think of it) where this album packs a large amount of filler, as the entire second half of the record is laid back Blues that does not add much momentum to the mix while the first half of the album is quite decent with rockers like Ship of Fools and Waiting For The Sun.
It's an OK album but certainly no where near on the level of the hype it receives. The first two Doors LP's called The Doors and Strange Days are a hell lot better than this. Morrison was already past his prime before his own death, and you can easily see it here besides his already pathetic vocal range on The Soft Parade which is an awful album in itself.
544 8.2 06. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Here they are again, the king's of plagiarism. Ladies and Gentleman I give to you Led Zeppelin again. This is their first album and obviously where you can see that they are a rip off band from day one. Let's be real here; Jimmy Page was the first guitar player to come around and pull off a reasonable Hendrix imitation, and he did that very well. Robert Plant's whiny vocals couldn't sound worse, and I have to wonder just how seriously he took himself in his plastic Blues imitation of singing. The only thing was, no one else played the Blues as hard and fast as these guys at the time except for Jeff Beck's first band (The original lineup of The Jeff Beck Group).
Most of this album is nothing but covers regardless if one wants to believe that or not; Babe I'm Gonna Leave You was written by Anne Bredon. Black Mountain Side is an uncredited cover stolen from Bert Jansch. How Many More Times is an uncredited cover of Howlin' Wolf's How Many More Years (real clever, just change a few words, they'll never figure it out!) and the second half of the song is a cover of Albert King's The Hunter, including some note for note licks straight out of Jeff Beck's Beck's Bolero, Dazed and Confused is an uncredited cover to a Jake Holmes song, and finally You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Babe were written by Willie Dixon (whom sued them multiple times and won).
So when you boil it down, these guys were a bunch of self entitled pricks that couldn't admit to covering these songs so they put "Page/Plant" on the credits to everything to stroke their egos like a bunch of assholes as they truly are. If you buy a Led Zeppelin album from back in the day and one of the remasters today, compare the credits and you see drastic differences. Even with all that said, this isn't a horrible album. It's decent in it's own right even though it steals every great lick from somewhere else, but the main problem is as always; Robert Plant's creepy wailing voice is scrutinizing to listen to. My point is Led Zeppelin should be nailed to the cross and crucified for being the assholes they are during their rise to stardom. If anyone else just happens to sound like somebody else (take Lady Gaga for instance and how people compare her one song to Madonna's Express Yourself) they get slammed and treated like shit, but not Led Zeppelin who stole from old black Blues players that not many people have heard of.
1960 7.9 07. Nevermind - Nirvana
I was young when these guys first came out and I got to experience it first handed. When Kurt Cobain was alive, he was well liked cause well, why couldn't you like him? He gave the finger to the idea of celebrity worship and gave his music everything he had. Isn't it funny when he died and rose to saint hood everyone wanted to call him a guitar god and glamorize him when he hated it to begin with? Death does wonderful things and he became guitar god according to the dumb fucks at Rolling Stones magazine and oh man you cannot say anything bad about this album without hearing a wave of bitch fits aimed at you, but I have thick skin and can handle it so go for it.
Let me start by telling you all that I don't deny that these guys were good musicians. They were good, and they tried their best with what they had. Kurt Cobain had poor vocal range and it's difficult enough trying to decipher what he's saying half the time. His guitar language on the other hand was very reliant on power chords, but I give him the benefit of a doubt cause he knew he wasn't Mr. Guitar God and if he was alive there is no way he would have this super huge cult following of people that think he's the greatest ever because he didn't like that bullshit. He knew his skill was limited, and he did his best to make the music he wanted to make; and therefore, YES Kurt Cobain deserves some credit regardless of all the hype he receives. Krist Novoselic and Drave Grohl were great musicians, and I shouldn't have to tell you about Grohl's talent as he's proved countless times with the Foo Fighers and his side projects that he is a stellar musician. But were these guys the ones who killed Glam Metal and restored Rock and Roll to it's roots? Rock music already was dead by 1979. If anyone killed Rock and killed the Glam Glam, it was the record companies with their great marketing of trends. Grunge just came into the picture in time to replace Glam Metal for them to sell. Record companies marketed the fuck out of the grunge look and sound after this album came out and it became worse in the following years since Nu-Metal came from it, and shitty bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn followed after, but Nirvana is not to blame for the music industry's capitalist approach to destroying music in place for profit.
But with all that said, this is a pretty good Alternative album. Despite how massively overrated it is and Nirvana as a whole is overrated, I give them the benefit of the doubt cause they at least tried to do something, and to their degree it worked. Say what you want about Kurt Cobain, or tell me how much you hate me for what I said about him but the man had his limits and he gave it his best shot, and for that I have a huge respect for him. He didn't like being put on a pedestal and worshiped, which is why I truly believe if he was alive today he would be disgusted with the rock god status they've slapped over him.
For the worse, when Nirvana became huge, record companies started asking bands to stop doing guitar solos and start focusing on music that sounded similar. Yet again I like to stress that this is not Nirvana's fault for being successful, it just goes back to show that record companies dictate what the musicians put on albums. That's why the 1980's was so fucking despicable; no one had any room for artistic innovation when it's some jerk telling them "we need something that sounds like what's on the radio!".
Again, I don't hate these guys, nor do I hate this record.
103 8.3 08. Bitches Brew - Miles Davis
This album sucks. There I said it, go ahead and send those emails calling me a jerk and a troll. Miles Davis was one of the most talented musicians to ever walk the face of the earth. He put together arguably the most solid Jazz quintets to the genre's history while at the same time sparking careers for such heavy weights like John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. For such a talented person like Miles Davis, he did not have to throw it all out the window to make garbage albums that spawned before and after this one, just to sell to white people that didn't like Jazz when it actually meant something.
Before Bitches Brew Miles made a few other Jazz Fusion albums, and had little success in crossing over. In A Silent Way was an overkill of a cluttered mess of John McLaughlin struggling to find good riffs, and Herbie Hancock's long organ parts, but that was only a prequel to Bitches Brew. This time around it followed all the same problems from the previous album only it couldn't be more dull and uninspired. Miles at least laid down some nice solos that at least sounded like himself on In A Silent Way where this album turns into a cluster fuck of it's super drawn out songs that are dull and sound down right boring.
This is supposed to be one of the greatest albums ever and sold a fuck ton, but I don't see how. To me it's your average run off the mill Jazz Fusion album of uninspired flat music that blows. The thing is Miles Davis was a true musical genius and he was a lot more talented and gifted to the point he didn't really have to reach a low like this just to sell records to a white audience since the Psychedelic Rock inspired garbage here had become so popular at the time.
17 7.6 09. A Tribute to Jack Johnson - Miles Davis
Yet another "classic" from Miles embarrassing himself after he passed his prime. This came right after Bitches Brew and critics are very quick to defend the album and talk about how super awesome it is. It was supposed to be a soundtrack to a biography made about legendary boxer Jack Johnson who was the first African American to ever win a heavy weight title. I have no clue if this movie even exists, cause I couldn't find it and for a movie to have a music legend like Davis doing the soundtrack, I would like to believe that it would be out there somewhere.
This album is basically two covers. The first track Right Off is an uncredited rip off/cover of Sly Stone's Sing A Simple Song, and the other song is an uncredited/rip off of James Brown's earlier I'm Black And I'm Proud song. In between it's cut and paste between various different solos of Davis on the horn (including parts taken directly from the In A Silent Way album) and the band ripping these two songs off as they go on and on and on and on dragging at 25 minutes each.
I would rather listen to a real R&B band (even a mediocre one) than listen to these bunch of guys herded under a fucking legend past his prime pretending to be Sly and company. it's even worse considering Herbie Hancock who is also a Jazz Legend (and the only one who made a decent Fusion album) wastes his potential on these crap covers. The only reason Miles' Fusion albums get so much godly praise is because the name Miles Davis is on the records. That's the only reason why, cause there is only 2 albums he made that are any good after the Second Great Quintet became history, and this is not one of them by any means. As sad as it is that John Coltrane died at a young age, at least he did not live long enough to embarrass the hell out of himself and his image by selling out and going Fusion like his mentor Davis did after his light started to burn out.
140 8.3 010. Machine Head - Deep Purple
Deep Purple was a one hit wonder metal band of the 70's if there ever was a true one. They started off as prog rockers, but that didn't go so well so they turned to Metal going into the 70's. I like to think of them as a one hit wonder cause the only song anyone can remember by them is Smoke On The Water and that sums up their entire career in a nutshell. I also like to point out that I think Richie Blackmore is the most overrated rock guitarist on the face of the earth. He seems to think he's the shit with how he's consistently shot his mouth off badmouthing Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, but at least those guys had incredible skill and talent and utilized it without relying on old gimmicks like Blackmore has done since he started. Until he can write a song as well as Hendrix or SRV, he should learn to keep his fucking mouth shut, cause he's not even that great of a guitar player to begin with.
Now where do I start with this abomination, first off it's not as bad as their other albums. The other Deep Purple albums are pretty shitty and I refuse to review them (for now), but this album is no special treat. I pretty much get it, that Heavy Metal is not really taken seriously since cheesy and/or satanic lyrics and fast and heavy loud guitars only appeal to teenagers, but these guys remind you how much better you had it listening to Black Sabbath records while trying to enjoy this. You can only do the same old palm muting and fast hammer ons over and over until it sounds fucking boring like 90% Heavy Metal does, and that's why the only Metal I can tolerate tends to be Industrial Metal where there aren't many guitars.
The album has a very uneven mix of prog rock with metal and it works better than their previous albums but it's still nothing special besides that one hit that they are known for. Next time VH1 is going through One Hit Wonders with shitty washed up comedians, these guys should rank pretty high on the list.
22 7.3 011. The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East - Allman Brothers
The Allman Brothers Band were the first band to come straight of the south and totally win over an audience with their country inspired blues rock. Now don't get me wrong, these guys are the real deal. The original lineup is one of the most solid lineups in Rock history. These guys knew their instruments inside and out and you can't say that about a lot of rockers after the 60's ended.
But this is supposed to be the band's bestest album ever! It's supposed to be one of the greatest live albums ever! I'm not going to deny that it's entertaining. For a Blues album, it packs a very powerful punch with classics like Statesboro Blues and possibly the greatest cover of Stormy Monday that has ever existed.
The only problem is the album is super super long. The band's main songs drag on almost for eternity. Whipping Post goes from a short 4 minute song all the way to a spiraling 26 minute epic. You Don't Love Me starts as a cover of the Junior Wells version of the song and goes totally out of control to 19 minutes of lengthy jamming. The only song on here that even works being drawn out has to be In Memory of Elizabeth Reed and that's due to the fact that Duane Allman and Dickey Betts back and forth soloing don't drive off into overkill and it still sounds like a song and not a jam session.
I have to hand it to these guys, they really were an amazing band especially in their prime but this is also the problem with Eat A Peach which arguably is their best record. The song Mountain Jam lasts for 35 fucking minutes long. That's enough space to take up the entire side of an LP! When it's all said and done, it's still a really good album but I wouldn't go as far as saying it's the greatest live album ever.
244 8.4 012. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
If I wanted to, I could list half of this band's entire discography on here and it would fit in, but the debut is good enough until I review their entire discography. Black Sabbath started Heavy Metal with the use of loud guitars and music inspired by Hendrix and Cream, behind Satanic lyrics. The problem is, unless you're teenager, it's hard to get into the satanic shit and same riffs run into the ground over and over. Before calling me a hater, I went through that 'I want to piss my parents off' stage in life too, and the older I became, the less interesting shit like this became.
This album defines Black Sabbath in a nutshell. There really is nothing special on this album besides a few cool guitar licks run into the ground, and then some really interesting lyrics about a wizard and devils. After that the album is incredibly boring with super long drawn out songs. I know no one wants to admit the obvious but Ozzy's voice isn't the most impressive, and it says a lot since this was before the decades of drug use. Tony Iommi can play fast but his technique is very limited, and the band already limits themselves enough relying on the gimmicks of Satanic lyrics.
Despite their obvious flaws, they did manage to put out some pretty good records after this and they did improve their sound in ways and truly tried to make things work, and when you listen to other Metal bands from the early 70's you begin to appreciate Black Sabbath a whole lot more than you did before.
66 8 013. Diary of a Madman - Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy's solo stuff has never been a favorite in my ears yet I find it somehow a guilty pleasure in times. He made one solid album(Blizzard of Ozz) and that became his entire solo career in a retrospective since he's always relied on that one album's huge success as his record sales started decreasing with each passing album. Dairy of a Madman is supposed to be the other great album by Ozzy that he made with Randy Rhoads, but I find it to be mediocre on comparison as it does not live up to the height of the first album.
The previous album relied on jams and made it's impression ever lasting with Rhoads carefully crafted musicianship around a stellar set of musicians Ozzy's voice excelled in the ballad tracks. The main problem with this album is I find it to be over produced. Yes it has it's jams like Over the Mountain and Flying High Again, but the majority of it sounds like left overs from the Blizzard sessions and then totally overproduced. The ballad Tonight is hard to listen to without cringing, and S.A.T.O. is a clear example of what I mean from over production. The title track has great guitar work but don't exactly add up to anything.
Basically the album is Blizzard reloaded but less entertaining and fun and I don't really enjoy it as much as I did the last album, which is never easy with Ozzy albums since it's usually a mixed bag all together. On the bright side, it's not a bad album (it's pretty good) and I still take it over everything Black Sabbath did after Ozzy was kicked to the curb.
335 8.3 014. Violator - Depeche Mode
Depeche Mode was one of the better things of the 80's that we got in the time of darkness. The 80's was a time for shitty music, shitty movies, shitty clothes and extremely shitty politics. I will even argue that the decade begin a new "dark age" to the world but let's move on with Depeche Mode; a band that went from poppy synth to edgy dark goth as they progressed with each album. Every record became darker from the last one, and this is supposed to be their peak but is it really?
It's easily the band's most well known album and has their biggest song (Personal Jesus) which is pretty sad cause I do not think it's their best record, for it has some glaring flaws. Black Celebration was easily the band at their best in my opinion and that album had all the strengths Violator is missing. Despite it's matured sound, and new direction, the keyboards are no where near as edgy as they once where. The beauty of those 80's albums the band made that no one listens to is the edge. Black Celeberation and Some Great Reward excelled in creating a dark atmosphere without relying on lyrics, but small things, and unlike Violator the keyboards were a big role player on those records with catchy riffs and solid rhythms, where on here it takes a back seat while the singing is the main thing.
I really like this album despite it's problems. It has great songs; Waiting For the Night and Enjoy The Silence are two of my favorite tunes by them, but I just don't get so hyped on the album as most people seem to, and I prefer Black Celebration since that entire album is on par with the singles, where an album like Violator mostly has to rely on singles, much like some of the band's other less finer work.
9 7.6 015. Here My Dear - Marvin Gaye
Following a very ugly divorce with his wife, Marvin Gaye was court ordered to pay his wife royalties for his next album. He decided to make things very personal with this release as he tries to justify his out the studio character by using his music as a means of doing that, and it simply does not work whatsoever. Marvin Gaye was one of the best singers of all time, and I'm not about to deny all the great music he made that still sounds remarkable to this day, but this record? This is another case of critics just slapping 4 and 5 stars on it for the sake of a big name being there.
Personal recordings like this trying to justify out of studio character never works out well. It's more like an autobiography, only with a soundtrack and that's how this record comes off sounding. Ever since Let's Get It On Marvin was sold as the mega sex symbol of Motown. Every album after that followed the same formula of Bedroom R&B, but this record is slightly different thanks to it's heart breaking atmosphere and edgy tunes, but it just doesn't work. The best song on here is When Did You Stop and he reprises it, while the rest of the album relies on the same formula of one or two chords, a chorus based song and sometimes he literally sounded doped out of this world.
Don't get me wrong, it's Marvin Gaye. His voice still sounds beautiful on this record, but it's on where near as thought out and well made as previous albums and it's easy to say it's one of his worst albums ever made if you've listened to all of his stuff. I have no idea what the critics were smoking when they ranked this high when it was first released, the album turned out to be a failure and his last on Motown and he immediately went back to Bedroom Funk R&B sounds afterwards, cause that's what sold the most for him.
14 8.7 016. Green Onions - Booker T. & The MG's
These guys were amazing in their own right. Booker T and the MG's is arguably the most famous backing band of the entire 60's period. They were on the Stax-Volt label and backed up many legends such as Otis Redding and Albert King. Their top of the line rhythms have been echoing in the ears of Rock and R&B fans for decades and they made a lot of those great Stax albums true classics thanks to their input.
So what happens when you take Booker T and his boys away from backing legends? You get this album. It's nothing but instrumentals and the song Green Onions itself has been on more soundtracks than you can think of. You probably heard it in The Sand Lot if you were a 90's kid. But the album in general sounds very dull besides this one great tune. A lot of the album relies on uninspired covers of Ray Charles and early Isley Brothers material like I Got A Woman and Twist And Shout. The only other great song on here besides the title track is Stranger On The Shore.
I'm not taking away from the talent of these guys, they made a lot of those classic Stax-Volt albums what they are and they deserve respect for that, but this album itself is only memorable for one song being plastered on so many soundtracks in the past generation and when you finally get your hands on the album it's an incredible disappointment that is only praised for that one song only.
144 7.5 017. Dangerous - Michael Jackson
What? No Thriller? Yeah I know. Multiple people have told me how I should rip into Michael's overrated albums, but my problem with this is I don't see where his albums are truly overrated. Sure you can argue that he sold well, but so did Chicago and Bruce Springsteen. Selling does not equal with being hoisted onto the pedestal of musical geniuses. To Michael's defense, many, and I mean many people copied that disco pop sound on Thriller produced by Quincy Jones. Many people still to this day are mimicking Quincy Jones' production! The man knew what the hell he was doing when it came to music, and not just with Michael, but with everything he produced (one day I will do a Quincy Jones tribute list showcasing some of the gems he produced that are under the radar). And besides, Thriller was a pretty good record, yes I said it.
Michael figured that in order to stay on the pop charts, he needed someone besides Quincy Jones to produce his new album cause the sound from Bad was dated in the early 90's, and in return we get a mix of Hip Hop, R&B, Dance, Heavy Metal and Pop in a blender. There is a song on here for everyone, and it does have some pretty good rockers like Give In To Me and the title track itself. i also like Why You Want To Trip On Me, but the album has some of Michael's weakest ballads like the horrible Heal The World and Will You Be There (like I didn't hate Free Willy enough), even the pop single In The Closet is weak on here.
It's not Michael's worst album (save that title for Invincible), but it's clearly a huge step backwards from the previous ones where Quincy Jones was in charge, but like I said, there is a song on here for everybody. You can't hate the record for that even though critics think anything with a big name like Michael Jackson or Miles Davis is solid gold.
15 7.1 018. Can't Slow Down - Lionel Richie
Back in the 70's there was a Motown group by the name of the Commodores. They were a funky R&B band and one of the better ones during the late 70's, right up there with the Ohio Players and The Isley Brothers. They had many great albums, and Lionel Richie was one of the big stars but somewhere down the road going into those dark years of the 1980's, they released a really bad record (Nightshift) and they became history as Richie's pop career took the spotlight and has absorbed the image of the band ever since.
Lionel Richie is a solid musician. Most of all, he knows how to write great lyrics and that's something rare with artists in the 80's. But his solo records can't hold a candle to the Commodores' prime, and sadly this album is more well known than any of theirs. I've heard it compared to Thriller many times, and I guess that's arguable considering the height of it's success. The title track itself sounds a lot like Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' anyway!
Like most of the records on here,this is not a bad record. It's easily Richie's best solo album and has a lot of really good songs on here, specifically the ballads. All Night Long, Penny Lover, Hello and Love Will Find A Way are all great numbers but it's a shame that this one album is more popular than the Commodores material cause while this is a solid album despite having filler, it just is no where near as fun as the Commodores 70's records when they were in their prime.
83 8.4 019. Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
This is a great album and I really hate to say anything bad about it. Stevie Wonder is one of those very few musicians that is an all around genius. We love to throw the word "genius" around but it truly should only apply to someone of his caliber. Despite being blind, he has proven himself on countless instruments and has a high hand in production and song writing.
But my only beef with this album is the fact that Stevie made many great albums during this era that do not get the same credit as this one. Sure, this album is a masterpiece, but almost everything from his prime was a masterpiece. The man is a true genius in music, if I were to do a "best Motown albums" list, his records would take up over half of the list and rank in the top 20 constantly. In this era of Stevie's music you had Innvervisions and Talking Book two of his best records that are always standing in the shadow of this one when it comes to critics. Another one that was really good was Fulfillingness' First Finale and even the Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta production album is amazing (yet sadly hard to find and rare).
I have nothing against this album and I can't even badmouth it despite the fact that it is slightly overrated. One day I plan on reviewing Stevie Wonder's entire discography and then I will break it down.
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