RS 500: Part 3
44 7.81. Wheels of Fire - Cream_IV
"Half studio album, half live album, Wheels of Fire not only has the definitive Cream tune - "White Room" - but it is also incontrovertible proof of Eric Clapton's skill. "Crossroads," a live reworking of Robert Johnson's blues classic, features one of the most blazing guitar solos ever recorded."
34 8.42. Dirty Mind - Prince
"A mix of slinky funk, synth-driven rock, jittery pop and sexual innuendo, Dirty Mind hinted where Prince was headed. It includes the world's merriest done-me-wrong song, "When You Were Mine," and the incest ditty, "Sister." "I wasn't being deliberately provocative," Prince said. "I was being deliberately me."
56 7.33. Abraxas - Santana_IV
'"Black Magic Woman," the Top Five hit from Abraxas, is definitive Santana. Afro-Latin grooves with piercing lyrical psychedelic blues guitar. It was a cover of a Fleetwood Mac song written by one of Carlos Santana's guitar heroes, Peter Green. The album's other hit was also a cover: Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va."'
61 8.34. Tea for the Tillerman - Cat Stevens
"With its chamber-pop arrangements, Tea for the Tillerman is one of the British folkie's most ambitious albums. Both the hit single "Wild World" and the bleak ballad "Hard-Headed Woman" find him condemning his ex, Patti D'Arbanville - who later shacked up with Mick Jagger."
603 7.95. Ten - Pearl Jam
"When the debut came out, Pearl Jam were competing with Nirvana in a grunge popularity contest they were bound to lose. Yet Ten is a near-perfect record: Eddie Vedder's shaky, agonized growl and Mike McCready's wailing guitar solos on "Alive" and "Jeremy" push both songs to the brink and back again."
57 86. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Neil Young
"Neil Young and Crazy Horse hadn't been together for more than eight weeks when they cut this album. It has the feel of a jam session conducted by master jammers, especially "Down by the River," "Cinnamon Girl" and "Cowgirl in the Sand."'
755 8.47. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
"The Floyd's follow-up to The Dark Side of the Moon was another essay on everyday lunacy, dominated by the liquid-rock suite "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," a poignant allusion to errant ex-member Syd Barrett. "Have a Cigar" is a searing blast at the music biz, with the classic line, "Which one's Pink?"'
72 8.58. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement
"Pavement's second album made love and rock & roll its great subjects, with bouncy pop songs, epic stretches of lyrical noise and "Range Life," a sweet country ballad that slagged the Smashing Pumpkins, then shifted to poignant longing for the right way to settle down."
42 7.49. Tattoo You - Rolling Stones, The Rolling Stones
"Tattoo You was lean, tough and bluesy - the Stones relying on their strengths, as if they'd matured into the kind of surefire bluesmen they'd idolized as kids. It spent nine weeks at Number One on the strength of "Start Me Up," in which Mick Jagger snuck the line "Girl, you'd make a dead man come" onto the radio."
9 9.310. Proud Mary: The Best of Ike & Tina Turner - Tina Turner, Ike Turner
'"Tina sounded like screaming dirt," the duo's first label boss once said. He meant it as a compliment. On early singles like "Fool in Love," she had wild power and raw vulnerability. Them come the rock & roll covers, the Seventies funk and "River Deep, Mountain High." Amazing."
58 7.811. New York Dolls - New York Dolls,David Johansen,Sylvain Sylvain,Arthur Kane,Jerry Nolan,Johnny Thunders
'"Could you make it with Frankenstein?" they asked, not kidding. Glammed-out punkers the New York Dolls snatched riffs from Chuck Berry and Fats Domino and fattened them with loads of attitude and reverb. Produced by Todd Rundgren, songs like "Personality Crisis" and "Bad Girl" drip with sleaze and style."
5 7.812. Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
"Diddley's influence on rock & rollis inestimable, from the off-kilter rhythmic thump of "Pretty Thing" to his revved-up take on singing the blues. This album - a repackaging of his first two records - has many of his best singles, including "I'm a Man" and "Who Do You Love?"'
5 813. Two Steps From The Blues - Bobby Blue Bland
"Bland said he found his falsetto after he had his tonsils out, and his stirring, guttural howl is epitomized by "Little Boy Blue" and "Cry, Cry, Cry," which erase any distinction between blues and soul. "I Pity the Fool" and "Lead Me On" may just be some of the purest, most heart-broken singing you'll ever hear."
356 8.314. The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths
"The original kinds of British mope rock could have earned that title on the basis of this album alone. The Smiths' third set is full of quiet rage ("The Queen Is Dead"), epic sadness ("There Is a Light That Never Goes Out") and strummy social commentary ("Frankly Mr. Shankly")."
255 7.615. Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys
"Recorded when the three New York rappers were barely out of high school, Licensed to Ill remains a revolutionary combination of hip-hop beats, metal riffs and some of the most exuberant, unapologetic smart-aleck rhymes ever made. No wonder it went on to become the best-selling rap album of the Eighties."
3 8.316. Look-Ka Py Py - Rossini,Santi,Marzendorfer,Muti,Brignoli
"The Meters were the house band for New Orleans' genius producer Allen Toussaint and played on Seventies landmarks such as LaBelle's Nightbirds. These instrumentals - sampled by rappers including Nas and Salt-N-Pepa - are funk of the gods, with monster bass and the off-the-beat drumming of Ziggy Modeliste."
223 8.217. Loveless - My Bloody Valentine
"A shoegazer masterpiece, the second My Bloody Valentine album reportedly cost more than $500,000 and bankrupted the British band's label. It was worth every penny: Loveless expanded the possibilities of noise as a form of melody, combining its dizzying guitar drone and Bilinda Butcher's ethereal vocals."
2 1018. New Orleans Piano - Professor Longhair
"There may never have been a funnier, sunnier piano player. His rolling,rumba-tinged style, yodeling vocals and whistling make tracks such as "Tipitina" swinging blasts of joy. New Orleans Piano collects Atlantic singles from 1949 to 1953, including the ultimate party anthem "Mardi Gras in New Orleans."'
280 7.219. War - U2
"U2 were on the cusp of becoming one of the Eighties' most important groups when War came out. It's the band's most overtly political album, with songs about Poland's Solidarity movement ("New Year's Day") and Irish unrest ("Sunday Bloody Sunday") charged with explosive, passionate guitar rock."
4 620. Neil Diamond Collection - Neil Diamond
"This pop-rock star cut some of his best material from 1958 to '73 - the era this anthology documents. His melodramatic delivery is a guilty pleasure that never gets less pleasurable - or less guilty - than when he's belting "Sweet Caroline," "Cherry, Cherry" or "I Am...I Said."'
63 8.121. Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
"Recorded on a four-track in Springsteen's bedroom, Nebraska's songs were stark, spooky acoustic demos that he decided to release "bare." Packed with hard-luck tales of underdogs, this album ends with "Reason to Believe," one of those songs where Springsteen's search for faith inspires faith itself."
271 8.422. Doolittle - Pixies
"Kurt Cobain himself acknowledge the Pixies' influence on the soft/loud dynamic that powered "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Doolittle is a mix of the band's earlier hardcore storms, Black Francis' self-described "stream of consciousness" rants, and the strange melodicism and surf-metal guitar that defined the Pixies."
16 8.123. Paid in Full: The Platinum Edition - Eric B & Rakim
"Ice-grilled, laid-back, diamond-sharp: Rakim is a front-runner in the race for Best Rapper Ever, and this album is a big reason why. Paid in Full was one of the first hip-hop records to fully embrace Seventies funk samples on stone hip-hop classics such as "I Know You Got Soul" and the title track."
110 7.624. Toys in the Attic - Aerosmith
"This is where Aerosmith perfected their raunchy blues-rock sound, with guitarist Joe Perry laying down some of the Seventies' most indelible riffs on "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion," and Steven Tyler stepping up with an album full of unforgettable songs about his favorite topic: sex."
5 7.525. Nick Of Time - Bonnie Raitt
"After being dumped by her previous label, blues rocker Raitt exacted revenge with this multiplatinum Grammy-award winner. Producer Don Was helped her sharpen the songs without sacrificing any of her slide-guitar fire. And as Raitt herself pointed out, her tenth try was "my first sober album."'
227 8.526. A Night at the Opera - Queen
'"Queen will be the Cecil B. DeMille of rock," proclaimed singer Freddie Mercury, and this is where the band let its over-the-top tendencies loose, with heavy metal ("Sweet Lady"), pop ("You're My Best Friend") and the most operatic of all rock songs, "Bohemian Rhapsody."'
7 9.327. The Kink Kronikles - The Kinks
"Covering the years 1966 to 1970, this double-disc set anthologizes the second act in the Kinks' venerable career. Observational narratives such as "Waterloo Sunset" reveal Ray Davies to be a master miniaturist. "That's what I write about," Davies remarked, "the immense smallness of life."'
30 8.628. Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds
'"Wow, man, you can even dance to that!" said Bob Dylan when he heard the Byrds' heavily harmonized, electric twelve-string treatments of his material. The Byrds' tender-but-tough debut defined folk rock with Pete Seeger and Dylan covers, Los Angeles studio savvy and punchy, ringing guitars."
42 8.629. Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel
"Paul Simon has said this is "the quintessential Simon and Garfunkel album." It is certainly far-ranging, a mostly dark, beautifully written voyage that includes both the epic "America" and the Graduate theme "Mrs. Robinson," still a pop-radio staple. The duo produced the record themselves, with brilliant restraint."
4 9.330. The Ultimate Collection - Patsy Cline
"Her career was cut short when she died in a plane crash at thirty, but Cline made her mark as one of country's great singers. Country hits "Walkin' After Midnight" and "I Fall to Pieces" also made it to the pop charts. Her version of "Crazy" was a godsend to struggling writer Willie Nelson."
1 031. Mr. Excitement! - Jackie Wilson
"Wilson was an knockout live performer who made R&B that rocked and also sang ballads with a voice, said arranger Dick Jacobs, "like honey on moonbeams." The highlight of this three-disc set is the endless build of "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher)."'
21 7.732. The Who Sings My Generation - The Who
"The Who introduce themselves in maximum-R&B mode: power-chorded reductions of James Brown ballads. But when Pete Townshend was badgered by a manager into beefing up his laid-back demo of "My Generation," the resulting explosion knocked a hole in the future."
1 833. Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf
'"The Rocking Chair Album" features an outrageous set of sex songs written by Willie Dixon, including "Shake for Me," "The Red Rooster" and "Back Door Man." In 1971, on The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions, Wolf finally taught an enraptured Eric Clapton how to play "The Red Rooster."'
138 7.534. Like a Prayer - Madonna
'"I like the challenge of merging art and commerce," Madonna told Rolling Stone. Artistic recognition was won with her most personal set of songs, including "Till Death Do Us Part" and "Oh Father"; commerce with "Express Yourself" and the title track, whose video had the Vatican talking about blasphemy."
25 8.235. Can't Buy a Thrill - Steely Dan
"Working as hired songwriters by day, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker rehearsed this debut in executives' offices by night. "We play rock & roll, but we swing," said Becker. For proof, check the cool lounge-jazz rhythms of "Do It Again" and the hot guitar of "Reelin' in the Years."'
28 8.236. Let It Be - The Replacements
"Copping a Beatles title was cheeky; attaching it to a post-punk masterpiece was a sign of maturity. Said Paul Westerberg, "This was the first time I had songs that we arranged, rather than just banging out riffs." Mixing punk, pop and country with wry lyrics, he wrote "Unsatisfied" for his lagging bandmates."
16 8.137. Run Dmc - Run Dmc
'"It's good to be raw," said Run, and the metallic guitar powering "Rock Box" proved it when the song became the first rap video on MTV. Run-DMC's debut ditches party rhymes to codify B-boy style and make history, from the way they dress to their hard beats to the everyday subject matter of "It's Like That."'
223 8.338. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
"Recorded in a single twelve-hour blurt by a hippie-leaning former blues band, this lumbering debut conjures up a new, sludgy sound: the birth pains of heavy metal. The slide guitar on "Wizard" and the grungy boogie of "Wicked World" would influence not only future metal spawn but even the sound of Nirvana."
2 9.539. All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology - Jerry Lee Lewis
"Lewis is best known for his frenzied, piano-pumping Sun sides cut in the late Fifties, yet his career as a country hitmaker lasted decades. Listen to "What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)" and you might agree with the Killer that "Elvis was the greatest, but I'm the best."'
67 7.940. Freak Out! - Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention
"A master guitarist and provocateur, Frank Zappa made more than sixty albums, but the first was perhaps the most groundbreaking. The double-disc Freak Out! declares the arrival of a visionary weirdo who dabbles in doo-wop, pop-song parody, protest tunes, art rock and avant-garde classical."
19 8.341. Live / Dead - Grateful Dead
"After two expensive studio albums put the Dead $100,000 in debt, this live set was more than just cheap, it was pivotal. For the Dead, the magic happened on-stage, as demonstrated by the glorious twenty-three-minute jam-outs on "Dark Star" and a cover of Bobby Bland's "(Turn On Your) Lovelight."'
84 8.442. Bryter Layter - Nick Drake
"Compared to the British folkie's other records, Nick Drake's second album could almost be called upbeat. Almost. With John Cale, Richard Thompson and other members of Fairport Convention assisting him, Drake jazzes up the arrangements on songs such as "Poor Boy" but leaves his voice stark and fragile."
13 7.943. The Shape of Jazz to Come - Ornette Coleman
"Coleman's sound was so out-there, one audience at an early gig threw his tenor sax over a cliff. He switched to alto and pioneered free jazz: no chords, no harmony, any player can take the lead. Here, his music can be just as lyrical as it is demanding, particularly on the haunting "Lonely Woman."'
409 7.544. Automatic for the People - R.E.M.
'"It doesn't sound a whole lot like us," warned guitarist Peter Buck, but that was the point of R.E.M.'s ninth album. Largely acoustic, and with string parts arranged by Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, this musical left turn finds a haunted beauty in songs like "Everybody Hurts" and "Drive."'
33 8.145. Reasonable Doubt - Jay-Z
'"The studio was like a psychiatrist's couch for me," Jay-Z told Rolling Stone, and his debut is full of a hustler's dreams and laments. It established Jay as the premier freestyle rapper of his generation and includes a filthy guest appearance from a sixteen-year-old Foxy Brown on "Ain't No Nigga."'
208 7.946. Low - David Bowie
"Moving to Berlin to kick cocaine, Bowie hooked up with producer Brian Eno. Low was the first of the trilogy of albums they made, full of electronic instrumentals and quirky funk like "Sound and Vision." The same year, Bowie also produced Iggy Pop's Lust for Life and The Idiot, both recorded in Berlin."
39 847. The River - Bruce Springsteen
"Springsteen said it took him five albums to being writing about real relationships, about "people tryin' to find some sort of consolation, some sort of comfort in each other." The River balances those stories of heartbreak with E Street romps through bar-band R&B, rockabilly and their own brand of epic rock."
5 948. The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul : Comple... - Otis Redding
'"Try a Little Tenderness" was a Bing Crosby hit from the Thirties until Redding turned it into pure Memphis soul. On Dictionary, he does the same with "Tennessee Waltz" and the Beatles' "Day Tripper," as well as his own ballads "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" and "My Lover's Prayers."'
847 7.849. Metallica - Metallica
"Bon Jovi producer Bob Rock helped create one of the best-selling metal albums of all time, led by "Enter Sandman" and the ballad "Nothing Else Matters." "It's scary to look out and see couples hugging during that songs," frontman James Hetfield said. "'Oh, fuck, I thought this was a Metallic show'."
86 7.750. Trans-Europe Express - Kraftwerk
"This German group's sound sought to eliminate the distinction between men and machine. Kraftwerk's robot-synthesizer grooves influenced electrodisco hitmakers, experimental geniuses such as Brian Eno and rappers including Afrika Bambaataa, who lifted the title track for "Planet Rock."'
People who voted for this also voted for