Thursday, December 20, 2007

"Music that gentlier on the spirit lies...

...Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes." Greatest. Poem. Ever.

Anyway, I saw this over at No More Hornets. Since I love music, it gave me a little bit of inspiration for the day, and I've decided to add my own to cents. I've changed the list from the one I put in the comment section over there. I've had a little more time to think and had to make some changes and omissions. So, here is my list of the 20 greatest albums of all time:

1. The Who - Tommy
You can not go wrong with the greatness that is The Who. This is my default go to album for anything. Thematically and musically, I don't think it can be topped. Favorite song: Go to the Mirror Boy. Bet you thought I'd say Pinball Wizard, huh?

2. Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge over troubled water
The first band I ever fell in love. I own every studio album they put out and this is the best of them all. It is the perfect picture of a band about to self destruct. Favorite song: Song for the Asking.

3. The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
I'm one of those guys who prefers the Stones to the Beatles. This album is near perfect. A great, rollicking, honky-tonk ride through America (and from Brits, no less). Favorite Song: Tumbling Dice.

4. Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run
Oh, Bruce. Every song on this album is amazing. Full of sadness and triumph. It is a brutal album for anyone growing up in America. Favorite Song: Thunder Road.

5. The Who - Who's Next
The remains of a failed rock opera provide the fodder for a great album. Pure hard rock all the way through. Favorite Song: Baba O'Reilly.

6. Randy Newman - Sail Away
Randy Newman is as cutting a song writing as we've ever had. This album tears all the major institutions of society to shreds: church, government, family. Favorite Song: Burn On.

7. Billie Holiday - Love Songs
She has, simply, the greatest voice I've ever heard. I've never heard a voice that sounds like it's being sung just for me. I can't put it better than that. Favorite Song: Until the Real Thing Comes Along.

8. The Rolling Stones - Beggar's Banquet
The rawest of the Stones great albums. Favorite Song: Factory Girl.

9. The Beatles - Abbey Road
My Favorite Beatles album. The last few songs, that tie in to one another and build to a gorgeous crescendo, are dynamite. Favorite Song: Her Majesty.

10. Joni Mitchell - Blue
I just want to hug Joni when I hear her sing on this album. She sounds so profoundly sad. The perfect album to listen to when you're feeling down. Favorite Song: The River.

11. Simon and Garfunkel - Bookends
A bridge album between the erudite folk writers of their earlier albums and the tragic characters of the last. Favorite Song: America.

12. Frank Sinatra - The Golden Years
Go to album when you have a special someone over. I don't know if we've ever had a better interpreter of lyrics than Frank. He's so meticulous with his phrasing. Favorite Song: The Summer Wind.

13. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
America's best band right now. This album is a portrait of the lives of the college set. Full of drugs and alcohol, sex and introspection. Favorite Song: Citrus.

14. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
America's great poet. Favorite Song: Highway 61

15. Miles Davis - The Birth of Cool
I'm not a huge jazz fan, but something about this Miles Davis album gets to me. Can you describe instrumental music as confrontational? Favorite Song: Godchild.

16. Randy Newman - The Randy Newman Songbook
Newman stripped down the music and rerecorded some of his greats. This is a beautiful album. Favorite Song: The Great Nations of Europe.

17. The Beatles - The White Album
An album that is all over the place. Not all of it works, but when it does, it's amazing. Favorite Song: Blackbird.

18. Jeff Buckley - Grace
This guy died why too young. You can't help but think of what we missed out on when you listen to this. Favorite Song: Hallelujah.

19. Styxx - Greatest Hits
Don't knock the Styxx. This is a guilty pleasure band, but, dammit, I don't care. Favorite Song: Come Sail Away.

20. Lou Reed - Transformer
I listen to Lou Reed when I want to punch someone in the face. This album is probably best known for this cross-dresser tribute Walk on the Wild Side. A great song. But, my Favorite Song: Vicious. Seriously, how much cooler can you get than this lyric:

Vicious, you hit me with a flower.

Okay, so that's my list and my lunch break is about over. Now, where the hell is my Ipod?


The Exterminator said...

Hey, maybe you should start a greatest poem EVER meme.

I'd have a lot of trouble with that one, because I wouldn't know whether to pick Shelley's "Ozymandias" or Yeats's "The Second Coming."

I'd probably wind up selecting Thayer's "Casey at the Bat."

Just Another Atheist said...

Greatest Poems ever post is up. Now, your turn!

Camlin said...

Keep up the good work.

tom sheepandgoats said...

You may be pleased to know that Randy Newman is an atheist and just as pleased to know that I found that out after I told the blogosphere that he was not.

Also, not a bad list. Perhaps not too far off from the way I would rank albums. Perhaps I would add some Johnny Cash....not the early stuff...God, no....but the last two or three albums he made, which are markedly different, his voice deep and mellow and broken, the brokenness somehow adding to the appeal. Like his "A Hundred Highways."

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?