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Thread: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

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    Default 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Wherein we discuss the books/lists of the same name.

    So, I downloaded the 2010 version of this some time ago and actually downloaded quite a few of the albums that I didn't already have, but now I'm going to actually set my mind to listening through them in order. It's a problematic list, for sure, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of classic albums on there that are worth hearing, even if just for context. There's a lot I'm already familiar with, and a lot I think I'm familiar with, but I think it's worthwhile to actually sit down with a lot of these and get a fresh, well rounded opinion on them. Also, I think there's a lot of classics my boyfriend has never heard, so it'll be cool to expose him to some stuff as well. I know Tommy has gone through this book and listened to a lot of stuff, but has anyone else? I'm going to try to write a few words per album on here, nothing too detailed so it becomes a chore, just initial impressions or a quick summary of my pre-existing thoughts. There are a few albums I'm totally skipping because fuck that (Bon Jovi, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, etc.), but I'll try to listen to even the stuff I don't think I'll like.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    I feel like you reviewing Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit would be the opposite of the Klein reviews from years ago. What I'm trying to say is, please review those albums

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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    So far, we've listened to four albums.

    1. Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours
    I've listened to this only once before. I can see why it's well regarded, it's got a late night, melancholy vibe that's fairly romantic and necessarily comes with a bit of nostalgia in this day and age. Lovely arrangements.

    2. Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley
    The blurb in the book admits this is a pretty uneven album with a couple of classics thrown in, and I'd agree with that. I've never delved too deep into the Elvis catalog, so I'm looking forward to hearing a few across this list. "Blue Moon" is the standout.

    3. The Louvin Brothers - Tragic Songs Of Life
    This is supposedly highly influential and the write up in the book makes them sound like fascinating characters, but because I wasn't really paying a lot of attention to the lyrics while listening because I was reading, a lot of the effect was probably lost on me.

    4. Louis Prima - The Wildest!
    A lot of this was fairly familiar to me just from pop culture and living in the world, but it's still rather infectious. Even stuff that I hadn't heard before, like "The Lip," was pretty instantly appealing. It's swinging, it's upbeat, it's raucous. I'm not sure how often I would actually think to put this on, but it's a fun listen while it's on.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    The Louvin Brothers certainly seemed interesting. They released a pretty good album with some of the best album art around.

    Also, I like the idea of this thread. I downloaded the book as well and might have to jump through occasionally and contribute some thoughts.

    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
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    I have the 2005 edition of this book, and I've listened to about 550 of the albums. It's been a fun venture, and something that I've talked to you about before. I want to get the most updated one at some point.

    The most recent album I've listened to from the book is "Groovin" by The Young Rascals. I'd only heard the song "Groovin," but never the full album. It's really more fleshed out and mature than I anticipated. Seems real innovative for its time, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmack86 View Post
    The Louvin Brothers certainly seemed interesting. They released a pretty good album with some of the best album art around.


    I have no idea where I've seen this before and in what context. In a documentary of some sort I think. It was like a making of this album cover.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ardentbiscuit View Post
    This is the equivalent of musical water boarding.

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    5. Fats Domino - This Is Fats
    I guess I've never really been familiar with any of his work before, and was surprised at how relatively sedate it was compared to a lot of the rockabilly from the 50's I'm familiar with. It's definitely more of a bridge between early rock'n'roll and what had come before it than straight up rock. A lot of it didn't stick on first listen though.

    6. Duke Ellington - Ellington At Newport
    This kind of jazz I have a hard time having an opinion on aside from it striking me as being tied to its era. It's just familiar enough but still pretty foreign to the point where I can't really properly assess it that well. It had some swinging moments that caught me though.

    7. Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers!
    I didn't enjoy this anywhere near as much as In The Wee Small Hours. The late night mood on that really suits Sinatra's style, while this more ebullient version is maybe a bit hokey and calculated. It's not that I think it's a bad record, it's just the kind of music that a person like me doesn't really have any place for in his life. Firmly in the "just not for me" category.

    8. The Crickets - The Chirping Crickets
    Buddy Holly seems to have a more refined, less wild sound than a lot of his rock'n'roll peers, but a lot of these songs still hold up as great pop to this day. Over the course of the whole album, it's some times a little samey, but the great ones are so charming that it's easy to overlook the quaintness that modern ears are bound to hear in them.

    9. Count Basie - The Atomic Mr. Basie
    Another artist I had never really listened to, but this is pretty damn enjoyable swinging jazz. Again, I don't have the biggest frame of reference for this stuff, so I can't really speak eloquently to its qualities, but I could see myself throwing this on from time to time.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    Of these the only one I'm not familiar with is the Basie record, but that dude's band shreds.

    Fats had an incredible run on Imperial. That album is a bit more tame, but he was such an exuberant performer that I feel like I get his passion no matter what Imperial record I find.

    Ellington at Newport is pretty late in his career, but it has some excellent playing and great compositions. If you want to really jump into the Duke, you gotta start in the 20s and move forward. I did some of his stuff in my '20s lecture last week, and everyone knew every song I played. He was one of the best composers America ever produced.

    Sinatra during the '50s shifted between Swing and Sob records. I likewise prefer the Sob shit, but that's my favorite of his swinging work right there.
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    10. Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners
    This is one I've heard a few times, and while I'm still not all that well versed in jazz and don't fully understand a lot of it, the sound of this one I like a lot. There's something in the playing here that makes it seem like all the notes are slightly off or sour, but it all works together. It's still one I need to spend more time with, but as far as this kind of jazz goes, this is one of the most appealing albums I've heard.

    11. Sabu Martinez - Palo Congo
    Afro-Cuban jazz from NYC. A nice mix of pure percussion and some more song based works with Spanish guitar (or more accurately, a tres, according to the book). The pure percussion stuff is pretty spare but it's fascinating how captivating music can be made from so few parts. I think the more fleshed out stuff works better, though.

    12. Miles Davis - Birth Of The Cool
    I'm not sure if I've ever actually listened to this before, but it's considerably different from the later stuff I have heard. I've really only slowly made progress with appreciating Kind Of Blue the past few years, so this more traditional sound I had some trouble really engaging with. It's kind of not out there enough and not accessible enough to really appeal to me, and I feel like maybe I need some better context of where this came from to really appreciate what he's doing here.

    13. Machito - Kenya
    More Afro-Cuban jazz. This seem to retain a bit of the big band style, which I didn't realize was still prominent around the time this was recorded (1957). It's enjoyable, but I think I'd prefer something a little more raw.

    14. Little Richard - Here's Little Richard
    This must have really freaked out the white people back in the day, an eccentric black man yowling about fuckin'. Some of it still sounds pretty wild in its own way. Not every track is a classic, and a lot just sound like variation on "Tutti Frutti," but dude has got charisma and passion to spare. He was pretty much the Prince of the 50's and I can appreciate how crazy this was for the time even if some of it doesn't totally hold up. The back half seems to have the rawest cuts.

    15. Tito Puente - Dance Mania Vol. 1
    I've heard Top Percussion before but not this one. That one, as it title implies, is strictly percussion, while this features some great brass instrumentation. This seems to be the definitive sound of classic Latin jazz and it still sounds totally vital and full of life.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

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    like the grueling task of sailing around the world, but from home

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    16. Billie Holiday - Lady In Satin
    I'm not sure I've really listened to much Billie Holiday before. On this collection, her voice is certainly striking, but I had trouble with the instrumental arrangements. Like some of the other stuff from this list I've listened to so far, it's a sound that hasn't really aged that well in my mind, not that it takes away from her talent. I'd like to see if maybe some of her other material has a different backing style as I'd probably respond to that more.

    17. Jack Elliott - Jack Takes The Floor
    Um. I listened to this. But it was like two weeks ago and I've already forgotten it. I'll revisit it and report back.

    18. Sarah Vaughan - At Mister Kelly's
    Even though the female vocal jazz has gotten a bit heavy at this point in the book, this is still a pretty charming example of it. I was totally unaware of Sarah Vaughan before this and she has a lovely voice and an infectious personality, on full display in this off the cuff live recording. Her willingness to just go with it and improv when she doesn't know the lyrics adds to the charm.

    19. Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The Gershwin Song Book
    Of all the albums by female vocalists I've heard from this list so far, this has been, by far, my favorite, even with the extended run time (three hours!). I split up the listening between a few sessions when I saw how long this was so we wouldn't get burned out on it, which was wise, but even each hour long disc didn't really wear out its welcome. The songs are catchy and clever and Ella sells them completely, and the arrangements feel much more modern and subdued compared to others on this list. A perfect pairing of songs and performance, I can see myself actually listening to this from time to time (although probably not in total all at once).

    20. Ray Charles - The Genius Of Ray Charles
    There's a lot of towering figures in popular music history I've mostly missed and this is one of them. More proto-soul rooted in jazz than the stuff from the 60's onward I'm familiar with, which is probably why it didn't leave quite as large of an impression in my mind as its reputation implies it would. Probably something I just need to spend more time with.

    21. Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
    I'm probably most familiar with this and Bitches Brew when it comes to Davis, and it's really only recently that I've come to appreciate this one at all. I'd like the main themes, but would get lost in the solos, but persistence has opened it up to me more and more each time. Now I can delight in the upbeat swing of "So What" or relish the late night melancholy of the middle tracks. I still have some work to do in really embracing this, but what once seemed fairly impenetrable for my tastes has over time made me feel like there's hope for me giving jazz its proper due.

    22. Marty Robbins - Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs
    This was pretty much completely new for me, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. Storytelling country focused on the old West, it often has the same feeling that watching a great Sergio Leone film does, and that was with me only really half paying attention to the lyrics at all. The story content taps into that rich vein of tragic outlaw violence, but unlike some classic country, it's a winner even without that just based on the songs and style. Seems like the kind of thing that country die hards and non-fans can agree upon.

    23. The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out
    It goes without saying that "Take Five" is an absolute classic, the kind of instantly pleasing jazz number that anyone can like, and I'm no exception. The rest of the album doesn't pop out in the same manner, mostly through lack of familiarity, but it's similarly delightful swinging jazz that will likely grow more enjoyable with further listening.


    And that's the end of the 50's. I guess I'm a little surprised that there wasn't just a tad more rock'n'roll, very little raw rockabilly was included. At the very least, a Bo Diddley album needs to be on there. I can't really comment on whether a lot of what was included for this decade deserves to have been or not, I'm not enough of an expert on these genres and styles, but to my own ears, it was a fairly solid collection with only a few that didn't really connect, and for most of them, I could see their importance even if they didn't strike me as albums I'd return to. It was nice to visit some musical places I don't typically get around to as much, but I am glad to be moving forward into the 60's and some more modern sounds that have had a stronger influence on what I tend to listen to in my day to day life. There will definitely be a few of these albums that I'll be compelled to explore in greater depth. And because I had time, I got the first of the 60's albums down too . . .

    24. Joan Baez - Joan Baez
    Unfortunately, my anticipation for the greater variety that the 60's would provide gets off on the wrong foot for me. I guess I can appreciate the talent and the influence on display here, but my preconceptions of Joan Baez as being a quaint artifact of the 60's flower children weren't shattered in the least. It's music that I once heard described as "queefy." Any political incisiveness or beautiful imagery that may or may not be present in the lyrics are is lost on me in the general gentle breeze nature of the delivery. It's fine for what it is, it's just not for me.
    Last edited by SoulDischarge; 02-16-2016 at 08:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    Apparently that Marty Robbins record was huge with the early reggae crowd and was huge in Jamaica.

    I can't stand that Joan Baez record. It's so stilted and boring and self-righteous. That said, every other record you heard was a fucking powerhouse in this session. Bo Diddley is a notable absence, but most of the early rockers were singles artists rather than album artists, so I'm not surprised to see a relative lack of representation.
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    25. Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back!
    Pretty straight up rock'n'roll material from Elvis. "Fever" was the only song I was familiar with via other versions of it, but Presley's is a worthy interpretation. A fine, enjoyable record, nothing life changing.

    26. Miriam Makeba - Mariam Makeba
    Captivating female vocals from South Africa. Some lyrics are in English although most are sung in her native tongue. She has a captivating voice and is backed by subtle African jazz and pop. Some songs are ebullient and humorous, while others are mournful, but both styles work well. Apparently, it was produced by Harry Belafonte, which makes sense as I was reminded of him while I listened (I had actually listened to this once before many months back, by the by), leading me to wonder why the hell he wasn't represented in the 50's batch at all.

    27. The Everly Brothers - A Date With
    A name I recognized but one I'd never known a lot about. I figured it might be pretty cheesy and dated, and while it's not exactly contemporary, there's a pretty clear through line from this to the early Beatles records, giving the music an enduring familiarity.

    28. Jimmy Smith - Back At The Chicken Shack
    Here's where you can hear jazz transform into instrumental soul. The melodies are undoubtedly jazz, but the beat and the Hammond organ have that soul groove. I enjoyed it, but I'm looking forward to the albums where soul really breaks out into its own thing.

    29. Muddy Waters - At Newport
    I feel like this kind of blues has sort of been ruined for me by countless generic imitators, which makes it hard to hear it pure through the associations tied to this music that have nothing to do with Muddy Waters himself, which is kind of a shame. I guess I prefer the cracked fire and brimstone style of blues a bit more. The songs and performances are fine, it's just a sound that is hard to separate from wanky white dudes trying to be hip. One of those cases that proves that music doesn't exist in a vacuum and our responses don't always correspond to the quality of the music. Maybe one day I'll be able to appreciate this on its own terms.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    I've always felt the same about Muddy Waters
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    Just letting you know I'm enjoying reading these, Patrick. I've always felt about Elvis Presley how you described that album. Enjoyable, but nothing earth shattering. I always thought he was one of those "you had to be there" artists. I also enjoyed that Everly Brothers album. I haven't listened to the rest of these, but I'm intrigued by your description of Miriam Makeba.

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    I do like some Elvis, even if I've never really delved all that deep into his catalog, but I don't think he was really an album artist, and really, there were a lot of rockabilly artists I prefer.

    30. Bill Evans - Sunday At The Village Vanguard
    Jazz piano isn't really my favorite kind of jazz, so this wasn't a total win for me, but I didn't hate it either. Don't have a lot more to say about it as it's been like two weeks since I listened.

    31. Ray Charles - Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music
    The country aspect alluded to in the title is actually fairly subdued. This didn't quite hook me while listening to it aside from appreciating the strength of his voice, but "I Can't Stop Loving You" really ended up haunting my brain for a few days afterwards. That's a pretty great song, so I imagine some of the others are too.

    32. Booker T. & The MG's - Green Onions
    I considered briefly listening to this list out of order so as to avoid getting stuck in the monotony of hearing very similar styles and the same artists a lot in a short span of time, but one of the reasons I decided against it is to better appreciate the evolution of certain sounds and artists. So hearing this after listening to some of the more explicitly jazz oriented early soul records made it clearer how the path from the earlier style to what I associate with classic soul progressed. Of course, the title track is a stone cold classic, but the rest is pretty damn good instrumental soul, even if quite a few were just variations of "Green Onions" more or less.

    33. Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd - Jazz Samba
    That bossanova swing is just so damn instantly appealing, it's hard not to be charmed by this album. Again, it's been a few weeks, so I don't have a lot more to say about this right now, but it's a laid back pleasure to listen to.

    34. Ray Price - Night Life
    The opening introduction couldn't help but bring Mark Kozelek to mind since it's the kind of shit that dude pulls all the time now. Anyway, this is sad sack country, and a pretty decent offering of it, but it's the kind of thing that gets really samey over the course of an entire album.

    35. The Beatles - With The Beatles
    It's the Beatles, they're good, this is good, you know the drill. Actually, it's been a long time since I've listened to a Beatles album all the way through, especially the early stuff. It really is pretty incredible how good this stuff still sounds. There's some songs I probably haven't listened to in a decade that are really fine songs. The covers don't really improve upon the originals, but they're still spirited and enjoyable (although I could do without their take "Roll Over Beethoven", not terrible, but the weakest track here) in addition to reminding me just how much Motown influenced their early sound. Even if they've been done to death, it's still a joy to hear a Beatles album.
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    I'm going to echo Tommy's praise. I'm really enjoying reading these, and you're making me want to go back to some of my favorite classics, like Green Onions.
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    36. Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
    Honestly, I've never really been able to share in the appreciation of the genius of Bob Dylan that damn near the rest of the world has. I've heard some of the big songs and a couple of albums, and while there have been things that have caught my ear here and there, most of his material that I've come across does very little for me. I know I've listened to this one through once before and didn't get a lot out of it. This time, I found slightly more to like, but I'm still pretty firmly in the "so what?" camp. Maybe his style of folk just isn't for me, or maybe I just can't get past that fucking harmonica. I also went and read lyrics for a lot of these songs to try to approach the, as Marc Bolan put it, "natural born poet" angle but while they may capture the spirit of the times pretty well, I'm not overly impressed. I've noticed about a lot of the songs I've heard from him that he forces a rhyme that comes off as kind of awkward way too often. I don't think he's a hack or anything, clearly there's something there to garner such widespread praise, and he undeniably has a unique presence and vocal delivery, it's just not something that especially appeals to me. I know there's more Dylan coming up so hopefully I'll find something that justifies his reputation a bit more for me.

    37. Various Artists - A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
    This ended up being our first veto, and not due to quality. The boyfriend had endured a lot of Christmas music at his retail job not too terribly long ago so when he requested we skip this one about two songs in, I couldn't really say no since listening to Christmas standards in March is fucking weird. I haven't listened to this album a lot or anything, but I have heard it before and enjoy it far more than most Christmas music. That whole Phil Spector/girl group sound is irresistible, and I'm glad it's represented, it's just a shame it's only through a seasonal album, even if it's a great one.

    38. Sam Cooke - Live At The Harlem Square Club
    It's one of the legendary soul albums and one I've given a few spins to further my knowledge in that area. I've never disliked it at all, but it has taken some time for me to warm up to in relation to its stature. Some times these classic soul albums get a reputation for rawness that takes a bit of consideration to really appreciate in light of stuff that came afterwards. Great performances of "Chain Gang" and "Cupid" definitely shine through, but I'm not the biggest fan of medleys, and the final track feels kind of dated. There's a whole lot of good here, but I'm not sure I'm 100% on board with its status as a definitive live album just yet, but that may change.

    39. Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady
    I think it's pretty clear from these write ups that I don't always have the strongest ear for jazz in general, but this is a jazz album that I can totally embrace. I've listened to it in bits and pieces over the last year or so, so I already knew I was fond of it, but it really does get better on every listen. The bits of Spanish influence, what sounds like maybe a New Orleans kind of vibe in places, the tension between order and chaos, it's all pretty thrilling. While a lot of jazz on this list has been of the cool variety, this really feels alive and raucous yet still considered and mature. There's fuel for both the hips and the head here. Definitely one I'll give more attention to over time (as well as his other albums at some point).

    40. James Brown - Live At The Apollo
    I have a similar relationship to this as the Sam Cooke album above. It's reputation and my familiarity with his later work makes it somewhat difficult to appreciate on its own terms, but that doesn't preclude me from enjoying it quite a lot. It's a great performance with some great songs, even if I find myself occasionally anticipating the harder straight up funk that would soon be his trademark. Really, though, the main drawback is its length. At only a half hour, it feels like the natural groove is a bit truncated. I just want them to stretch out and give me more, but what is here is a pleasure.

    41. Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - Getz/Gilberto
    Like the previous Getz album on this list, this is smooth, breezy bossa nova. It's damned enjoyable, although some times I can't help but to associate it with polite coffee shop yuppiedom, which probably has more to do with appropriation than anything, and honestly, occasionally that's not all that much of a bad thing. There are moods and times and locations that this is a perfect fit for, and it's never anything less than likable.

    42. The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night
    Despite having some great, great songs, of the two albums I've gone through here so far, this is the weaker of the two. The familiar hits still stand out as classics, but some of the deeper cuts, while fine enough, ultimately feel a little disposable. There's not a bad song here, but they get so easily overshadowed by the title track and "All My Loving" and the like. It's a little more ballady than the debut and they try their hand at some country influence on a few numbers, which isn't their most natural fit. There aren't all that many bad Beatles songs, so this is still a pleasurable listen, but it wouldn't be the one I'd reach for if I wanted to dig deeper than the anthologies.

    43. Jacques Brel - Olympia '64
    A name I was familiar with but don't think I'd ever actually heard, this album is a live recording that really demonstrates the theatricality of Brel. Even without understanding the French lyrics, you get a strong sense of the pathos and wit of these songs. That theatricality is very occasionally a bit much, but for the most part, it's a performance that is overflowing with an irresistible charisma. Listening to classic pop from foreign markets is always fascinating at the very least as a lot of it has been absorbed by modern English speaking artists while still retaining a bit of the exotic. So while many elements of the style have a certain familiarity, the specifics of the delivery still stand out.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    That is a huge slab of incredible music there. I agree with your take on Sam at the Harlem Square Club, despite loving his work. That Mingus record may be my favorite jazz album.
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    I will firmly disagree on the take on that Bob Dylan album in particular. It's my favorite of his releases. It finds him still working within a fairly limited acoustic folk framework, but starting to delve headfirst into his more heady and out influences. Masters of War pulls a great folk-blues riff into a rant about politicians, Bob Dylan's Dream is free-associated insanity and Don't Think Twice, It's Alright is my favorite song about heartbreak.
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    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Just wanted to pop in and mention that I'm reading everything you're writing up, Patrick. Great stuff!
    5/22 - The Cure - Hollywood Bowl
    5/31 - Brian Jonestown Massacre - Teragram (?)
    6/07 - Chelsea Wolfe - Teragram (?)
    6/14 - Silver Apples - Troubadour
    6/16 - John Carpenter - Orpheum


    last.fm, if you care

    Twitter, if you dare

  22. #22
    old school FEELS's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Quote Originally Posted by TallGuyCM View Post
    Just wanted to pop in and mention that I'm reading everything you're writing up, Patrick. Great stuff!
    Same here!

    Lush @ The Roxy 4/14
    Deerhunter @ Pappy & Harriet's 4/20
    Daniel Johnston LIVE @ Cinefamily

  23. #23
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad you guys are enjoying.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

  24. #24

    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Co-sign on this being an awesome thread. I've been trying to maintain a spotify playlist to keep up, if anyone's interested: https://open.spotify.com/user/bfbrau...pNR1CDLXkNQbRQ. A few of the earlier albums aren't available as best I can tell, but most of the list so far is there.

  25. #25
    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    44. Solomon Burke - Rock 'N Soul
    I wasn't familiar with any of these songs previously, but it was a fine slice of classic soul. I don't really have a lot to say about this record, it's fairly straightforward 60's soul done well.

    45. Dusty Springfield - A Girl Called Dusty
    I've always meant to dig deeper into Dusty's catalog based on how incredible "Son Of A Preacher Man" is, just haven't gotten around to it. This collection is fairly good, but this is going to be an issue I'm having with a lot of albums of this era: while her takes on certain songs are interesting enough, they don't quite match the definitive takes by the original artists. She has a certain kind of gruffness that gives her a unique sound, but I'd still rather hear the Shirelles do "Mama Said," for example. So the songs I enjoyed the most were the ones I didn't already associate with other artists. Still pretty good, though.

    46. The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones
    There are too many great Stones albums in existence for this perfectly fine collection of r&b standards. There's nothing really wrong with this album, you can already tell the band has a raw energy, but with so many covers of familiar songs (and ones that will pop up on other albums on this list repeatedly) and knowing what's yet to come for the band, it feels a bit too minor to be included.

    47. Buck Owens - I've Got A Tiger By The Tail
    Classic country with a strong rock influence. It's undoubtedly a country album, but the playing and songwriting definitely shares more in common with the pop and rock of the day, making it not drag or feel so samey as some of the other contemporary country albums from this list. Not an instant favorite or anything, but fairly enjoyable.

    48. Jerry Lee Lewis - Live At The Star Club, Hamburg
    At this point, I'm fairly burned out on classic rock 'n' roll sound and over familiar songs from the era, but there's some good energy here and the purely sexual nature of the material really makes itself explicit here.

    49. The Sonics - Here Are The Sonics!!!
    Not to sound like a broken record, but my main beef with the Sonics is how many covers they had, since their originals are so damned great. Songs like "The Witch," "Psycho," and "Strychnine" are unhinged garage rock classics that still endure to this day and have been covered countless times by punks of all generations. And while some of that wild energy translates into the covers, by and large they're far too restrained on those songs. There's enough great stuff here to make this mandatory listening though.

    50. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
    I actually enjoyed this far more than the previous album on this list, even if I'm not yet a Dylan convert yet. It goes on a little too long, and something like "Mr. Tambourine Man" really just drones on and on with the same phrasing to the point of wearing out its welcome, but these are some of Dylan's most iconic songs, and I can say "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" is a Dylan song I genuinely like without qualification. The harmonica is more restrained, the songwriting more interesting, and the lyrics don't feel as clunky most of the time (but I still kind of prickle at his need to make everything rhyme all the time). So a step in the right direction for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

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    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    51. Otis Redding - Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
    The first few times I had listened to this, I couldn't totally commit to it, probably because I had just been listening to Sam Cooke and his "A Change Is Gonna Come" felt so definitive. Not that I didn't like Redding or anything, I just had gotten used to other soul singers. Anyway, I've definitely grown to like this one a lot and will continue to, and as far as live soul albums go, I definitely prefer it to Cooke's entry on this list.

    52. The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!
    I actually didn't know the vast majority of these songs, but this one is a winner. Full of those patented gorgeous harmonies of them but a step forward from the well crafted but fairly frivolous surf pop of their big early hits, it's clearly a precursor to the depth of songwriting and emotion that showed up on Pet Sounds. Obviously not as good as that album, but still a delight.

    53. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
    One of a handful of jazz albums I've spent any time at all with in the past, but also one I hadn't listened to in a long time. This is probably the most I've ever appreciated it, though. It's cool jazz, but there's this constantly busy percussion that feels somehow both chaotic and restrained at the same time, and some of the themes are just beautiful. It's obviously a classic that's regarded on the same level as Kind Of Blue as the kind of thing even non-jazz fans owe themselves at least a cursory listen, but I actually was surprised how much more it resonated with me than it had many years ago.

    54. B.B. King - Live At The Regal
    True story: I have never actually consciously listened to any B. B. King. I think I never really bothered because I figured he'd be like that Muddy Waters album from earlier in this list since he's probably the first blues artist any single person could name of the top of their head. I was surprised to find out how much rock and soul was mixed into the sound of this set, though. It's a far ways off from the kind of cliched blues rock I was expecting so that was a nice treat. I didn't absolutely fall in love with it, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and wouldn't mind revisiting it.

    55. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
    And the Beatles continue to grow as artists and write even more diverse and enduring songs. There's a whole lot to love here, including some of the bands loveliest and most affecting tunes. For some reason, "In My Life" hit me really hard this time around. Of course, there's some of their most misogynistic songs too, like the breathy "Girl," which is still a pretty damn good song, and the closer "Run For Your Life." For some reason, I can find the casual sexism of countless garage rock bands sort of charming in its ridiculousness, but coming from John Lennon, I'm more skeeved out by it.

    56. Bert Jansch - Bert Jansch
    This is an album I'd gotten pretty familiar with last year as part of a different experiment to introduce myself to more music and it's a truly great one. A good deal of folk rock falls flat for me pretty easily, but Jansch nails both the impressive acoustic guitar plucking and the songwriting here. There's a certain amount of darkness in this British pastoral folk compared to the dippy flower children in America, but it's never difficult or obtuse. It's the kind of album that makes you marvel at the power of just a man's guitar and his voice.

    57. The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
    A name I'm more familiar with than their actual music by and large. I found this to be fairly harmless folk tinged pop rock typical of the era. It really didn't leave much of an impression of me one way or another, although I can definitely say I enjoyed the title track far better than Dylan's version. I'm interested to see how they evolved into the band that eventually collaborated with Gram Parsons down the line.

    58. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisted
    Ugh, "Like A Rolling Stone." I put this album on and had to quit half way through that track. I mean, I returned to it because I'm committing myself to this, but I just was not in the fucking mood for that song. It's Rolling Stone magazine's #1 song of all time, which shouldn't really be surprising. But I cannot stand it. It's everything I dislike about Dylan, on and on and on for an interminable six minutes. Even that damned organ irritates the hell out of me. Fortunately, I was a lot more amenable to the rest of the album and even sort of enjoyed it in parts, although I still kind of maintain a bit of distance towards the dude's work in general. "Tombstone Blues" was probably the one I liked the most here. I've got a feeling I could probably comb through his catalog and come up with a good album's worth of songs I genuinely like. But I am getting pretty sick of listening to so much of him in such close proximity. Listening to Bert Jansch or anticipating some Leonard Cohen really makes him pale in comparison for me. But I'm in the minority.

    59. The Who - My Generation
    I know I listened to this many, many years ago and wasn't too impressed. This time around, I enjoyed it well enough. There's a few classic songs, some fine covers, and the whole thing sounds good aside from occasionally not really standing out a whole lot from the British Invasion sound in general. I'd rank it below the Beatles' and above the Rolling Stone's debuts.

    60. The Beatles - Revolver
    So I get why this is the Beatles album of choice for the record nerd set, it was a major departure for them and incorporated a lot of approaches that weren't really being done at the time. But I personally find it really uneven. Some of their absolute finest songs are on here, including some less heralded ones like "I'm Only Sleeping" and "For No One." But a bunch of the tracks in the back half don't really do a lot for me, and I pretty much can't stand "Got To Get You Back In My Life." I don't think I used to really appreciate "Tomorrow Only Knows" until semi-recently, though. There's a certain brashness to the more upbeat songs here that kind of turns me off, but for fucks sake, "Eleanor Rigby" is still just one of the best songs.

    61. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
    There are people who don't see what the big deal is with this album or think it's massively overrated. I am not one of those people. It's not about innovation or influence or any of that. It's about it being a flawless album full of wonderful songs that marry rich sound design, a superior songwriting sense, and deeply felt and complex grown up emotions. Hardly any other albums exist that mix melancholy and joy so expertly. Pitchfork chose "God Only Knows" as their top song of the 1960's and it's sure as fuck a lot better of a choice than "Like A Rolling Stone." It's pure pop perfection that hits on every level. Even something that should be a throwaway like "Sloop John B." is such a pleasure that it almost ends up being a highlight instead of a distraction. There isn't a bad second of music on this album.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Awesome! Mentally bookmarking this.

  28. #28
    old school santasutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    That was a lot of meat on that last page; three of my desert-island discs there.

    Loving the write-ups though I'll pleasantly disagree with your opinion re: Dylan and Highway 61 Revisited.

    Obviously, it's my favorite Dylan record and, IMO, nothing by Cohen or Jansch comes close.
    Last edited by santasutt; 03-18-2016 at 08:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MotorAve View Post
    Careful, while the threats are amusingly clueless, I could probably have this whole board shut down with one phone call.

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    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    Moby sampled a song off that BB King album, I think, for Natural Blues.

    I have listened to every one of those albums so many times that I can pretty much listen through them just by closing my eyes. So much great, great shit there. That Otis Redding album is full of great songs and incredible playing.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

  30. #30

    Default Re: 1,001 Albums To Hear Before You Die

    had a spiel about Dylan and my Father, but accidentally hit my mouse clicker forward and don't want to go over it again. Probably for the best. But, yeah, Pet Sounds for sure.

    Getting into some juicy shit, dude.

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