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Added by Andreh on 17 Apr 2017 04:54
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1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

I'm on a quest to listen to all the albums from all editions of the famous book. I'll make this little "reviews" along the way more to remind myself of what I think of every album.
Let's see how that goes.
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People who added this item 55 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
The album has a somewhat sad atmosphere, and, perhaps precisely because of it, very beautiful.
Frankie boy is very inspired in his vocals, reaching some notes that I did not know that he was able to and loaded with emotion.
The instrumental is wonderful, at times you think you are listening to classical music.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 20 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.8 IMDB Rating 0
Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley
In his first album Elvis already shows why he will be called 'The King' one day.
A work very sober and unilateral, but with that "raw" emotion for which the Rock genre was going to become famous for years later.
Blue Suede Shoes, Tutti Frutti and Blue Moon are grear success to this day still, which only proves the quality of the album.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Tragic Songs of Life - The Louvin Brothers
In this album the American Country takes its first steps.
It's not my kind of music, but it's undeniably better (and more genuine) than the current Country we have nowadays.
The album is written by two brothers, who spend the whole time telling you sad stories to the sounds of repetitive guitar phrases and those strident voices characteristic of the style.
The end the album improves a lot towards the end, since you are getting more accustomed with the ambiance and the development of the songs, which is very different from what we are used to these days.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Wildest - Louis Prima,Keely Smith
The first "jazz" album on the list.
I put this jazz in parenthesis because Frank Sinatra's first album, In the Wee Small Hours, can already be considered jazz, but it's not that distinctive jazz, with striking rhythm and repetitive phrases. But The Wildest! is a class on traditional jazz.
It's a mix of rock and roll and jazz, actually making the sounding look pretty much like the jump blues of yesteryear.
It's a fantastic album, I caught myself headbanging on the bus several times. The album time is flawless, the vocals are excellent.
Speaking of vocals, Louis Prima, in addition to singing a lot, plays the trumpet as a devil, it's a beautiful thing to hear.
One song in particular, The Lip, made my jaw drop.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
This is Fats - Fats Domino
Fats Domino I already knew. His style is based on blues (R & B) slightly tempered with more Rock and roll elements, but still keeping it well within the traditional New Orleans blues.
The greatest merit of this album is to masterfully mix elements of traditional blues with metals and piano, something that was repeated to exhaustion in the 60's and was the inspiration for many musicians of the time.
With this album Fats Domino not only brought a style of blues to light, but also took that style, marinating in metalic riff sauce, stuffed with piano up-beat, and turned into something totally innovative for the time.
If someone described this album as "the link between R & B and Rock and Roll," that person would be 100% correct.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (10 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Ellington at Newport - Duke Ellington
The epitome of improv jazz.
I do not like it that much, but the technical ability of the musicians is undeniable, as well as the quality of the recording of the show, which is considered one of the most important in jazz history.
It's a very different show than we're used to. In the breaks between the songs you do not hear a peep from the audience, Ellington is always explaining where the songs came from and why they are how they are, all the invited artists are presented to the audience with a little speech, from the show's presenter.
It's a totally different show experience.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 40 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Songs for Swingin' Lovers! - Frank Sinatra
Sinatra's second album of the list, and totally different from the first "In the Wee Small Hours".
It was by this style of jazz that Sinatra became known, songs with the classic positive and romantic atmosphere and without many firsts in the musical phrases.
Album very simple but very well produced.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
The "Chirping" Crickets - Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Buddy Holly
The Crickets can be described as "the American Beatles without money".
With a musicality very similar to the one of the boys of Liverpool, but with some hints of American traditionalism, the band is right behind the great names of the early Rock and Roll.
The frontman of the band, Buddy Holly, became an exponent of the genre during the 50's, and in this album it is possible to perceive some strokes of genius from the musician.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
The Atomic Mr Basie - Count Basie
Another jazz album. It was not the one who I liked the most, but it is the best produced so far, no doubt.
It's well ahead of its time actually, giving a fresh breath to what jazz big bands did at the time.
This album was awarded the first Grammy in history, won the award for best jazz performance.
Andreh's rating:
People who added this item 34 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Brilliant Corners - Thelonious Monk
To understand the geniality of this album one must understand first the very construction and history of Western music.
Western music is very marked by repetition and familiarity. It is built to make the listener pleasantly secured, with easy-to-predict phrases and melodies with highly consistent sets of notes.
Eastern music (with a few hundred years of experience) is not concerned with any of this. It is unpredictable, made to attack the listener with unexpected phrases and keep him stuck and uncomfortable, not knowing what to expect from the song.
Some musicians from the West, the most famous of them being John Cage, experimented with these different concepts of Eastern music. Around 1950, a tradition of composition denominated "Purposeless Play" appeared in the United States. Purposeless Play, in Cage's own words "... is an affirmation of life - not an attempt to bring chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living".
And that was fucking crazy. Many musicians modified the instruments to get different sounds, others even created instruments to get entirely new ones. John Cage himself put nails and screws in the middle of the piano strings. Harry Partch and Ivor Darreg created at that time a series of experimental musical instruments based on unequal intervals of the harmonic series.
The genius of Thelonious Monk's work lies in the clear influence he draws from this type of music and blends in with traditional jazz. Although using "normal" instruments and a traditional note scale, the music is clearly different from what the West is accustomed to hear. At times listening to the album becomes an unpleasant experience for unsuspecting ears.
This album is undoubtedly a key piece to the beginning of modern jazz, with its incredibly complex compositions (which Monk has always been criticized for).
In 1999 the album was included in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Andreh's rating:

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