...Don't just post a list of 10 albums.
Video terrible. Song great.
I need to look at my darkwave / ethereal wave collection and I'll be back here tonight.
10 classic/essential Post-Punk records
There were a couple artists/releases that I left off for my own reasoning (i.e. XTC, This Heat, Throbbing Gristle, Pink Flag, Suicide, The Undertones, etc.). They just didn't feel right in the context of this list. I kind of felt the same way about Mission of Burma, but decided to leave them on. Deal with it.
10. Pere Ubu - Dub Housing/The Modern Dance (take your pick)
This song may not be on either of the albums I listed, but if you honestly are really interested in listening to this band then just watch. No human lexicon can put it more into focus than Dave Thomas himself.
9. The Fall - This Nations Saving Grace
The Fall... where to begin... where to end? This is probably the groups most cohesive effort, making it the most essential and accessible. Mark E. Smith is worshiped in LA. It seems like you can't go to a small show in the downtown/hollywood area and NOT here either his name or Jonathan Richman's name dropped anymore. Not complaining, I just find it a funny cliché.
8. No New York - No New York/Brian Eno
I am fully aware that the inclusion of this is completely contradictory to the above disclaimer, this doesn't really fit my purist post-punk definition. It is No Wave. It is CALLED No New York for a reason. Having said that, I feel like it fits in nicely on this list (I'm really going on feel here). Oh, and this is a compilation. It is a Brian Eno produced sampler that features multiple songs by four artists. Those artist were Contortions, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Mars, and (most notably) DNA. The reason I say most notably is because Arto Lindsay's guitar playing is why I called you all here today. Just listen to it, and I won't half to explain any farther.
7. Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth
Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward, because to reconstruct you gotta simplify. Young Marble Giants were the masters of simplifying. But, you can throw out all the "less is more" idioms you want, whether consciously or not, this album throws on a dauntless visage and comes off as, dare-I-say-it, epic. Maybe that is why they call it Colossal Youth...
6. Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
Pfffft... yeah right. Like I'm gonna write a synopsis on this album. It's good, go listen to it.
5. Mission of Burma - Vs.
Personally, I think Signals, Calls and Marches is their best work, it's technically an EP, so I'll play by the rules of the long play and disqualify it. Mission of Burma were a four-piece rock group from Boston who were really good at one thing, rocking my socks off. Now before you go off to Youtube to look at some live footage, you have to realize one thing. They had four memebers, but only three were on stage. The fourth hid behind the sound board and played with Tape machines, taking in what was going down on stage and spitting back out into the main speakers, creating phantom sounds and instruments. Now you might not think it this was a brave decision on their part, but quite the contrary, it was insanely risky. Not only did it make every individual show unique, but it created an air of mystery for the audience members scratching their heads wondering who was controlling those weird looping phrases. But, as you are probably starting to come to grips with, this didn't go over well every night, there is a lot of luck involved with this practice and if it went wrong it, it was a disaster. This is why Mission of Burma were so un-rightfully labeled an inconsistent or bad live band, divine and untouchable one night, screeching and dreadful the next. It's a shame they still don't take those kind of risks live since reuniting...
4. The Pop Group - Y
The Pop Group were sort of like the musical equivalent of yellow journalism. I'm not saying what they were wrong, they weren't, but did they have to be so damn zealous? If you want some sort of grasp of what they sound like, just imagine if Gang of Four were produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry and Albert Ayler was directing the horn section.
3. Public Image Ltd. - Second Edition/Metal Box
When I saw PiL on their last tour, Mr. Lydon emphasized precision. That's it really. They were the first, at least as far as I'm aware, punk band who shot snot at sloppiness. But he's right, what makes The Slits more punk than the repetitious nature of Can? What makes The Undertones more punk than the vocal experimentation of Tim Buckley? Nothing, god dammit.
2. Wire - 154
I've always thought of Colin Newman and Bruce Gibert as just a couple of savvy music nerds, I just can't imagine them creating music this good, so impressive for it's time, on accident. They didn't just fall out of bed and create this stuff, and despite what Pink Flag may lead you to believe, this stuff was tirelessly calculated. I don't think any singular group of artists evaluated their modern musical landscape as often Wire did.
1. Gang of Four - Entertainment
Much like what Television did with Marquee Moon, Gang of Four created a transcendent guitar album. It was important, and it was influential, and it was inspiring, and it was momentous, and it was blah blah blah blha... Here is the most important adjective that is all too often skipped over, it was fun. To this day, whenever I first pick up a guitar, I'll instantly belt out that wonderful opening riff of "Ether". I don't really have control over this reaction, it has just gotten to the point where it'll happen on its own. This stuff'll get under your skin.
I think we can handle at least 3 more punk lists.
Suicide goes in the Synth-Elvis list, duh...
Seriously though, I have no idea where I would put them without feeling like I'm stretching.
I might do New York First Wave and West Coast First Wave lists. I could probably tackle No Wave too.
Oh. I meant the other New York.
For the first shoegaze "scene that celebrates itself" 90's stuff, I got
1 My Bloody Valentine Loveless
2 Catherine Wheel Ferment
3 Lush Gala
4 Curve Blindfold EP
5 Ride Nowhere
6 Chapterhouse Whirlpool
7 Swervedriver Mezcal Head
There's a lot of other stuff (Slowdive, Boo Radleys, Telescopes, Verve) that I didn't get into as much, but these were the best. And I'm not sure about throwing JAMC and Cocteaus on here because they seem like a different genre to me.
These are a good starting point for Free Jazz.
Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity
Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch
Archie Shepp Fire Music
Ornette Coleman This Is Our Music
John Coltrane Ascension
Sun Ra (anything on El Saturn)
Cecil Taylor Unit Structures
Peter Brotzmann Machine Gun
Pharaoh Sanders Karma
Dave Burrell Echo
I cant be bothered to follow the parameters of the thread. Maybe later.
Don Cherry played on that Ornette Album.
Art Ensemble of Chicago is not worthy. Great list Jeff, I might have selected a different Taylor album... And probably would leave Sun Ra off... And maybe Free Jazz instead of This Is Our Music... But you nailed it.
"Aside from these 3 glaring errors in your post, you nailed it." haha
no they aren't glaring errors... at all even. sun ra is the only one i'm truly not big on. the rest are just small preferential things that i'm not even certain I'd change... the meat is there. the coleman album is a toss up and that cecil taylor album would make my short list.
I know, just giving you a hard time.