Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Best of the Best (Part 2)

Okay, here is the second installment of recommendations for essential listening. See Part 1 for any introductory information.

Adolescents – The eponymous debut (often referred to as the Blue Album) from these OC punks is a masterpiece of the Southern California punk sound. Just enough pop, just enough punk, just enough anger and frustration. Of course after this it all went downhill with the exception of the Welcome To Reality single that followed this release.

Aerosmith – Buy Get Your Wings and Rocks. Two great albums, before the band got too messed up or too sober to accomplish anything worthwhile. Of course, their debut has a few great songs, and Toys In The Attic is pretty good, and Draw The Line has the title track, these two releases are flawless with classics songs such as "Seasons of Wither," "Lord of the Thighs," "Back In The Saddle," and "Home Tonight."

X – You cannot go wrong with the first three X albums: Los Angeles, Wild Gift and Under The Big Black Sun. Their fourth release, More Fun In The New World, is a good record, but not great. Ain’t Love Grand and See How We Are, with the exception of "Burning House of Love," "Fourth of July" and "See How We Are" are pretty awful records. And I'm not even going to mention Hey Zeus!

Lou ReedTransformer and New York are separated by a whole lot of dreck. And I cannot say enough good things about Reed’s collaboration with John Cale on Songs For Drella, a masterpiece by both men. Street Hassle is a pretty good effort as well. Otherwise, just stick with the Velvet Underground, all four albums are priceless.

Violent Femmes – Everyone knows "Kiss Off" and "Blister In The Sun," and while the eponymous debut by these guys is a great record, Hallowed Ground has a special place in my heart. Don’t know if it is the Southern gothic tone or the expanded musical palette, or maybe because it is often ignored by casual fans because it is too country, but I love this album. After Hallowed Ground, the Femmes released the just-okay The Blind Leading the Naked then just kind of became irrelevant.

Iggy Pop – Just heard "Cold Metal" by Iggy Pop which reminded me that all you really need from Iggy’s solo career is The Idiot and Lust For Life.

Part 3 coming soon.

And according to my iPod, here are ten of the best of the rest:
1. "Cold Metal" by Iggy Pop
2. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" by Pink Floyd
3. "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash (at San Quentin)
4. "Late at Night" by Buffalo Tom
5. "Via Chicago" by Wilco (live from Kicking Television)
6. "Kundalini Express" by Love & Rockets
7. "Pink Pussycat" by Devo
8. "You Never Give Me Your Money" by the Beatles
9. "I’m Waiting For The Man" by the Velvet Underground
10. "Painbirds" by Sparklehorse


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