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Added by JxSxPx on 5 Jul 2017 04:17
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Favorite Albums - Almost Made It

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Let’s face it, space becomes an issue and certain things just get dropped. No real rhyme or reason follows other than ephemeral things like personal tastes and gut feelings. Tastes are eternally in flux and certain albums look essential but become removable in the end. Here’s twenty albums that didn’t make the cut presented in alphabetical order.

Click here to see the complete list of my 101 Favorite Albums.
Click here to see my 100 Favorite Music Artists.
People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
At Last! - Etta James
Etta James was the premiere crossover diva, bouncing around from pop to blues and rock to R&B and sometimes merging them together. Her voice is a tremendous instrument that carries a ton of colors and textures within it, and At Last! gives her the chance to exhibit her full-range. She belts with kittenish carnality (“I Just Want to Make Love to You”), pleadingly yearns (“Trust in Me”), and puts forth a finessed romantic ache (“A Sunday Kind of Love”).
DOWNLOAD: “At Last”
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People who added this item 56 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Bad Brains - Bad Brains
A group of African-American Rastafarians delivered one of the hardest, fastest punk albums of all-time and spliced in some chilled reggae grooves in-between just because they could. Bad Brains is a foundational document for eventual fusion bands like Sublime, No Doubt, Fishbone, and countless other bands who married reggae grooves to a rock sound. Sixteen songs at thirty-four minutes, Bad Brains is a perfect introduction to the bands PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) ethos and one hell of a punky reggae party all in one.
DOWNLOAD: “Sailin’ On,” “Pay to Cum,” “I Luv I Jah”
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Peggy Lee was an incomparable artist. She wrote much of her material, was a tremendously gifted and talented vocal stylist, and could use her instrument in a variety of ways preferring to act out her material instead of just singing it. Here she’s romantic, playful, alluring, tough-talking, and proto-feminist providing the type of wide-range that many female artists of her era rarely touched upon.
DOWNLOAD: “Why Don’t Ya Do Right?,” “Fever,” “Big Spender”
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The Crystals lived up to their namesake in this collection of soulful, reflective, and mature singles. They alternate between joy and elation and falling back into heartache and coming emotionally undone. They often get lost in-between the twin peaks of the Ronettes and Darlene Love, but they deserve a strong second look, and this collection is that second look.
DOWNLOAD: “Then He Kissed Me,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)”
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Chic’s greatest hits collection proves that they lived up to that descriptive phrase in the ways that they combined disco grandeur, funkified boogies, and R&B sleekness. These singles are the dance mixes, by and large, and the grooves are enticing and entrancing. Chic and Nile Rodgers give Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder a run for their money as the preeminent disco act if this compilation is any indication.
DOWNLOAD: “I Want Your Love”
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
There were a lot of big personalities in the Sun Records studios during those halcyon days, but don’t mistake Roy Orbison’s quietness for a lack of personality. He was the mysterious one, the romantic, soft-spoken guy strumming away in the corner. Or, that’s how his atmospheric and symphonic collection of hits plays out, which is not a bad look in the slightest.
DOWNLOAD: “Only the Lonely,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Blue Bayou”
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (9 ratings) 9.1 IMDB Rating 0
Germ Free Adolescents - X-Ray Spex
God bless the late/great Poly Styrene, one of the most original and individualistic leaders in rock history, for releasing this whacky, wonderful piece of danceable punk rock into the world. She envisions a world obsessed with consumerism, disposability, and a profound lack of authenticity, and manages to make all of her volcanic polemics sound like cartoony riffs. What a loss it was when she passed away at 53 to breast cancer in 2011, but this album keeps her fierce-but-feminine mystique and unique point-of-view alive and well.
DOWNLOAD: “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo,” “Warrior in Woolworths,” “Oh Bondage Up Yours!”
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
When Ricky Nelson transitioned away from teen idol on a cultural behemoth to a rock singer, everyone wrote him off as a fluff piece with a great PR machine behind him. Yet his shy, soft pop/rock songs were strongly built confections that have stood the passage of time. Hell, when he re-emerged in the 70s, he laid the groundwork for country-rock, and all of it is documented on this essential set.
DOWNLOAD: “Fools Rush In,” “Be-Bop Baby,” “Garden Party”
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People who added this item 320 Average listal rating (213 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Two-discs of Queen’s operatic rock, a sound that legendary front man Freddie Mercury once described as the “Cecil B. DeMille of rock.” It was an apt comparison as Queen’s sound is one that doesn’t just go for broke, but aims to shake the rafters of any and every venue within a ten-mile radius. Queen has solid albums, A Night at the Opera springs to mind, but Greatest Hits: Vols 1 & 2 distills every iconic guitar chord, drum stomp, and Mercury’s incomparable vocal stylings into thirty-four songs that best highlight the band’s genius.
DOWNLOAD: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “Under Pressure,” “I Want to Break Free”
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People who added this item 153 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Hounds of Love - Kate Bush
Her fifth studio album was a commercial and artistic breakthrough, not that Kate Bush wasn’t already a critical darling as she emerged fully-formed as one of pop music’s greatest eccentrics and weirdos but she crafted her best known single (“Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)”) and most beloved, enduring album. The first half (Hounds of Love) is all lush, romantic pop that’s enlivened with fantastical imagery and melodies so gorgeous they seem to come from a faraway realm. The second half (The Ninth Wave) is where things get bonkers as she imagines a character slowly drowning and everything turns darker, stranger, and into a form of organized cacophony.
DOWNLOAD: “Cloudbursting”
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People who added this item 54 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra
Ava Gardner breaks Frank Sinatra’s heart, and he releases this set of torch songs and heart-breakers. You can feel the tear stains and pain in his voice, the loneliness of late nights staring into yet another drink. One of the first concept albums, one of the great albums of the 50s, and one of the greatest break-up records ever, this might be the definitive Sinatra record.
DOWNLOAD: “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” “What Is This Thing Called Love?,” “Mood Indigo”
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Love It to Death - Alice Cooper
Get close enough and you can practically smell the garage rock fumes coming out of the speakers when you listen to this album. Alice Cooper’s first major release, this was the start of the carnival-like grandly theatrical shock-rock persona he’s cultivated ever since, and the hard-rock sound can barely be contained. Slightly tongue-in-cheek, Love It to Death is proof that Cooper’s anthems are sturdier and better than many people give him credit for.
DOWNLOAD: “I’m Eighteen”
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Myrmidons of Melodrama - The Shangri-Las
Plenty of the girl groups were made up of teenagers, but very few of them sounded as authentically melodramatic and tortured as the Shangri-Las. While a chart presence for only two years, they made a lasting impression with their combination of biker-chic aggressiveness and good-girl-gone-bad sweetness. Fatalistic and slightly hyperbolic, the Shangri-Las deserve more love and attention.
DOWNLOAD: “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” “I Hate to Say I Told You So,” “Out in the Streets”
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Tragedy looms over the early history of rock and roll, and one need look no further than Ritchie Valens’ meager discography for proof. While there’s not much material to pull from, what is there is top-notch. He married the early rock sound with his Mexican heritage to produce some distinct and unique records.
DOWNLOAD: “La Bamba,” “Come On, Let’s Go,” “Hurry Up”
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People who added this item 198 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Black Sabbath
In his autobiography, Tony Iommi declared Sabbath Bloody Sabbath to be “the pinnacle” of the band’s output, and I’m not about to argue that point. Prior albums, most notably Vol. 4, found Black Sabbath added more complex sounds and textures to their heavy, sludge-like riffs and dense noise, but Sabbath Bloody Sabbath showed just how far and vast heavy metal could go in its huge artistic ambitions. Riding atop all of this noise was Ozzy Osbourne’s manic, anguished howl that sounded like a cry from the great beyond begging for someone to listen.
DOWNLOAD: “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”
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Her career is loaded with hits, she’s one of the finest singers of the rock era, and yet she’s still something of a journeyman artist only recently coming into the recognition that she’s long deserved. This collection includes singles from her pre-Phil Spector years, but once she starts barreling through the Wall of Sound with that church-soaked alto is when the magic really starts. These teen romance anthems are turned into gospel-powered experiences, hitting you with waves of emotional longing and joyous romanticism in equal measure.
DOWNLOAD: “A Fine, Fine Boy,” “Strange Love,” “Stumble and Fall”
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
Stormy Weather - LENA HORNE
Undoubtedly one of our finest and most original vocalists of all-time, Lena Horne is at the top of her game in this set. A luxurious collection of vocal pop, swing, and jazz numbers, Horne attacks each of them with all the relish of a camp diva. This sumptuous collection is her finest studio album, and the equal of her career-defining Live on Broadway: The Lady and Her Music collection.
DOWNLOAD: “Stormy Weather”
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Lesley Gore came out the gate with teen self-pity anthems like “It’s My Party” and then she went into proto-feminist territory, and belted out some of the most underrated girl-group style pop. Here are twenty arguments for that statement, all of the big hits alongside a nice assortment of the lesser known B-sides and album tracks. Her voice glides over these immaculate and essential pieces of pop with force and a wide assortment of emotional textures.
DOWNLOAD: “You Don’t Own Me,” “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” “Maybe I Know”
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0
The Ultimate Collection - Martha and the Vandellas
Less polished and grittier than Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas were no less essential and a powerhouse in their own right. They went for a more urban-pop-soul hybrid, and it paid off handsomely on songs like “I Can’t Dance to That Music You’re Playing” and “Live Wire.” Twenty-five songs might sound like a behemoth, but it actually underscores that this truly is the ultimate collection of Martha and the Vandellas’ hits, B-sides, and rarities.
DOWNLOAD: “(Love is Like a) Heat Wave,” “Nowhere to Run,” “I’m Ready for Love”
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People who added this item 223 Average listal rating (121 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Under the Pink - Tori Amos
The prodigal daughter of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos hammers her piano like it’s about to give us a metallurgic guitar solo at any moment. She’s as likely to give us a song steeped in religious guilt or fairy tale logic as she is to expunge her personal demons in a voice that alternates between whispers and the howls of a fallen angel. Alternative music has rarely sounded as impressionistic and boldly feminist as it was under Amos’ guiding hands on Under the Pink.
DOWNLOAD: “God”
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