the final 25 albums
I ran out of space on Squarespace. I guess I wasn't "square enough" so I had to display the last 25 albums on this page. I hope it isn't too off-putting as it will function differently than the other 975 albums. The wording for each album is below the cover art because, unlike 1 through 975, these entries are not individual pages.
976: Prison | Steven Jesse Bernstein
1992: Probably one of the more unusual albums on this list. Steven was a troubled fella who killed himself in the very early 90s. He was an amazing poet similar to William Burroughs, who he was apparently friends with. Bernstein's disturbing, dark and often very humorous work is well represented on Prison, which was recorded at the Monroe State Prison in Washington. Later Seattle producer Steve Fisk took the spoken word and put music to it. The backing music sounds as if it's from a Film Noir picture at times - then flips to happy go lucky tunes reminiscent of an early 60s film score - then onto groovy Hammond B organ chops. The juxtaposition of this and the twisted-gnarled prose of Bernstein reading his poetry really works on this Sub Pop release.
977: chairs missing | wire
Chairs Missing is definitely a higher up on the list album. But it had to be "sacrificed" to the outer regions. Chairs is a remarkable avant almost post punk record. Jeffrey Terich (below) believes it to be a better record than their debut Pink Flag. I get it, but I believe Flag is just a hair better. It is apparent that this is a departure into the beginnings of the industrial sound.
JEFFREY TERICH at Stereogum: To listen to Pink Flag and Chairs Missing back to back, it seems remarkable that these albums were even made by the same band. Chairs Missing still has the unmistakable voice of Colin Newman, and the same arty, expressionist approach to songwriting that adamantly avoided conventional pop structures (though there are a few more recognizable choruses here). But instrumentally and atmospherically, this is a big step into an entirely new territory.
On Chairs Missing, Wire push themselves a lot farther into the avant garde than they had before. Certainly, Pink Flag is about as strange as a punk album can get without stepping out of the punk aesthetic, but Chairs Missing is an art-rock album played two minutes at a time, at 160 BPMs. A few of the tracks sound like the Wire of old: the stomping "From the Nursery," the bright and jittery "Sand In My Joints," and the hard-rocking closing number, "Too Late." But the real beauty of Chairs Missing is hearing what happens when Wire dials up the weirdness, and that weirdness is really something to behold.
978: BIZARRE RIDE II | PHARCYDE
I remember seeing these guys at one of the first Lallapalooza festivals. One of the more humorous and quick witted hip-hop albums you'll find. I really should have it higher up.
Wiki: Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde is the debut album of American hip hop group The Pharcyde, released on November 24, 1992 through Delicious Vinyl Records. The album was produced by former group member J-Swift, and features only one guest appearance, provided by little known Los Angeles rapper Bucwheed (known then as "Buckwheat" from The Wascals). In the years after its release, Bizarre Ride has been hailed by music critics and alternative hip hop fans, as a classic hip hop album along with Souls of Mischief's 93 'til Infinity, and has appeared in numerous publications' "best albums" lists.
Released during the dominant Gangsta rap era of West Coast hip hop, Bizarre Ride was described as "refreshing" due to its playful, light-hearted humor and lush, jazzy production. Along with albums such as To Whom It May Concern... by Freestyle Fellowship, and I Wish My Brother George Was Here by Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Bizarre Ride helped establish a new alternative scene on the West Coast, followed by artists such as Hieroglyphics, The Coup and Jurassic 5. Despite its wide critical acclaim, the album produced only moderate sales, peaking at No. 75 on the Billboard 200 album chart in 1993. However, on the strength of the second single, "Passin' Me By", the album was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on March 28, 1996. Full Article
979: The seer | swans
The Seer is the twelfth studio album by American experimental rock band Swans and was released on August 28, 2012 by Gira's own record label Young God Records. Producer and frontman Michael Gira funded the recording of the album with the sales of We Rose from Your Bed with the Sun in Our Head.
While the previous studio album My Father Will Guide Me up a Rope to the Sky was seen as a cross between Gira's solo project Angels of Light and late Swans, The Seer strayed away from Angels of Light's more accessible songs and lyricism, focusing more around sonic landscapes. The album features a variety of instrumentation and guest musicians, including the post-punk band Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O and former Swans member Jarboe. The album is noteworthy due to its extended song lengths, particularly its over thirty minute title track, as well as its frequent experimentation with drone and noise elements. The album garnered critical acclaim from mainstream publications and appeared in publications' best of the year album lists. Full article
980: the Best of Bread
1973: That's right I put Bread on this list AND I stand behind it. AND I sometimes think about moving this high selling collection record full of well remembered early 70s "soft rock" hits up to at least the 500s. Why? because I think Bread is the best band of the "saccharine" era. Better than John Denver.. definately better than Jim Croce. Anyone over 40 will remember tracks like "Baby I'm-A Want You", "It Don't Matter To Me", "Guitar Man" and "Everything I Own" gracing our parents record players and radio stations. These cuts still hold up, man. Best of Bread would be that record stacked on Jan and Marsha Brady's portable daisy-print record player.
981: Old Ramon | Red House Painters
2001: San Francisco based Mark Kozelek's project is a well regarded American indie-rock album. Ramon's subdued tracks are quite moving. Old Ramon has slightly more edge to it than Mark's later project Sun Kil Moon (#866).
Old Ramon is the final studio album by American indie rock band Red House Painters, released on April 10, 2001 on Sub Pop. Originally completed in 1998, band leader Mark Kozelek had to wait until 2001 to release the album. The band had previously been signed to Island/Supreme Records, but a series of major label mergers in the late '90s left the band without a label. This meant the album had to be shelved until three years later, when Kozelek managed to buy back the album from Island Records and Sub Pop signed the group. Full Article
982: Thick As A Brick | Jethro Tull
1972: This prog album is a continuous piece that is split in two because, you know, a record has two sides. Obviously there was an edit track that was released for radio play. The acoustic heavy melody vocal track has always been a favorite of this era. Wiki says: Thick as a Brick was deliberately crafted in the style of a concept album, as well as a "bombastic" and "over the top" parody of the then-prevalent vogue for concept albums. The original packaging, designed like a newspaper, claims the album to be a musical adaptation of an epic poem by the fictional 8-year-old genius Gerald Bostock, though the lyrics were actually written by the band's frontman, Ian Anderson. Full Article
983: the golden band | the American Analog Set
1999: A real soothing pulse carries thoughout this great turn of the millennium release. Especially when the vibes come in. Fans of the Yo La Tengo sound will dig this CD.
Jason Ankeny at Allmusic writes: The Golden Band reduces the American Analog Set's approach to its barest essentials -- favoring shorter, more economical songs over the epics of past outings, the group's third album also strips away much of their cosmic veneer to reveal the human pulse which tethers Andrew Kenny's songs and keeps them from floating away. The effect is hardly less hypnotic than earlier AmAnSet efforts, but is simply more direct -- while Kenny's hushed vocals and oblique lyrics still evoke first and foremost an eyes-wide-shut otherness, the record insinuates itself on the strength of a subtly expanded emotional palette which lends a haunting new dimension to the group's fragile beauty. And while songs like "Weather Report" and "A Schoolboy's Charm" still don't build toward any kind of conventional climax, they nevertheless boast a drama and tension all their own. Ultimately, The Golden Band's quiet power speaks volumes. Full Article
984: Secret of The Beehives | David Sylvian
If you are in an introspective or somber mood put on "Let The Happiness In" and let it's slow beautifully building harmonious horns paired with Sylvian's soothing voice cradle you. I have never felt the sensation of coastal fog from just listening to a track like this. The moodiness carries on throughout this amazing record.
Wiki: Secrets of the Beehive is the fourth solo album by British singer-songwriter David Sylvian and was released in 1987. Produced by Steve Nye and David Sylvian, the album features Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Torn, Mark Isham and Steve Jansen among others. The album peaked at no.37 in the UK album chart. Full Article
985: Superfuzz bigmuff | mudhoney
This album cover perfectly captured the musical-ferocity of the true grunge scene. Wiki: Superfuzz Bigmuff is the debut EP by the Seattle grunge band Mudhoney. It was released on October 20, 1988 through record label Sub Pop. The album was later re-released in 1990 in the form of Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles.
The cover artwork is a photograph of frontman Mark Arm (left) and guitarist Steve Turner (right) performing live by photographer Charles Peterson. Other artwork on the album includes more photos of the band performing and them posing topless. Full article
986: Gal Costa | Gal Costa
I am such a sucker for this late 60s Brazilian movement called Tropicália music. This record is so damn sweet that it makes me nostalgic for a country and time I did not live in.
American soul, psychedelia and Africana influences are present but there is really no point where I feel like I'm listening to something other than Brazil...Well, maybe a little French Serge Gainsbourg. Wiki Says: This is the first solo album by the Brazilian singer Gal Costa, released in 1969. It was ranked the 80th best Brazilian album of all time by the Brazilian Rolling Stone magazine.
Belonging to the 1960s Tropicália, the album features songwriting by various artist associated with the movement, with whom Costa had previously worked with in the 1968 collaboration album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis. These include Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Torquato Neto. Full Article
987: Blackberry Belle | Twilight Singers
Blackberry Belle is the second full-length album released by The Twilight Singers. It was released by One Little Indian Records on October 14, 2003 and features guest appearances by Mathias Schneeberger, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Stanton Moore, Petra Haden and Mark Lanegan. The album is a tribute to director Ted Demme, a close friend of Dulli's who died of a heart attack while playing a game of basketball in January 2002. Dulli had been working on another project entitled Amber Headlights (which would later see the light of day in 2005), but abandoned those sessions due to Demme's death. The recordings which followed, fueled in part by the memory of Demme, resulted in Blackberry Belle.
With a large cast of performers, including former Prince protégé Apollonia and former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan, Blackberry Belle became an examination of the dark side of love and loss, a familiar topic revisited from former Afghan Whigs albums like Black Love. Critics welcomed Dulli's return and were eager to give his second album, independently financed and released through One Little Indian Records in October 2003, high marks. Full Article
988: NY No Wave | Various No-Wave Artists
Al Campbell at Allmusic writes: While No New York, the definitive collection documenting no wave, remains out of print, N.Y. No Wave will satisfy those waiting for its re-release and give the curious an idea of what this musical assault was all about. No repeat tracks from Brian Eno's 1978 production appear, but the main insitgators of the genre are represented: Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Suicide, and Mars, along with rare ZE tracks from Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Rosa Yemen. Individually the artists involved applied funk, free jazz, and wailing garage rock and were collectively connected by passionate, nihilistic frenzy. Unfortunately, one missing track that defined this short-lived outbreak of discord has been omitted -- "Red Alert" by Teenage Jesus & the Jerks. Under a minute long, it summed up the beginning and end of no wave. It's not everyone's cup of poison, but N.Y. No Wave will appeal to those with ears of steel and an open mind toward the Theatre of the Absurd.
989: Houdini | The Melvins
I don't know, maybe it's 'cause I grew up in Seattle in the 90s, but when I think of "grunge" it's groups like these guys and Mudhoney, Love Battery, L7, Tad and Gas Huffer that come to mind as much as than the "big 6" (first 3 obvious, I would like to hear what others think are the other 3). In the right mood this album and the 2nd Atlantic release, Stoner Witch, definately still hold up. Wiki: Houdini is the fifth studio album by the Melvins, released in 1993 on Atlantic Records. The album was the band's major label debut after releasing their previous albums on the independent label Boner Records.
The album features a cover of the 1974 Kiss song "Goin' Blind". The songs "Hooch", "Lizzy" and "Honey Bucket" were released as singles with accompanying music videos. "Night Goat" is a partial re-recording of a song the band had released as a single in 1992. Nirvana's Kurt Cobain is given co-production credit alongside the Melvins on six tracks, for guitar on the song "Sky Pup", and percussion on the song "Spread Eagle Beagle" Full Article
990: growers of mushroom | Leaf hound
Righteous stoner rock from yesteryear. There are so many lesser known groups from this period. I love discovering them.
1971: Growers of Mushroom is the first album by British hard rock band Leaf Hound. The album reportedly took only 11 hours to record in Mayfair's Spot Studios. It has become a much-sought-after LP by collectors (a mint condition copy sold for $4329.00 USD in March 2016). Growers of Mushroom became a collectors item in the years to come and was voted the number one most collectible rock album in Q magazine.
This is the only album by the classic Leaf Hound line-up. A few months after recording it, the group disbanded, but re-united in 2004, thirty-three years later. Full article
991: naked city | john zorn
I remember all my obscure music and out-jazz aficionado friends swooning over this CD. There are moments on this not always easy to listen to album that are heavier than any punk or metal album....Yeah, it's jazz.
Naked City is an album by John Zorn, originally released on Nonesuch Records in 1990. The band which would become known under the same name included Zorn on alto saxophone with Bill Frisell on guitar, Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Fred Frith on bass and Joey Baron on drums, and was established in 1988 as a "compositional workshop" to test the limitations of a rock band format.
Jon Pareles observed in The New York Times that "Mr. Zorn doesn't bother with transitions. While he and his musicians create every sudden textural shift themselves, without technological assistance, his guides are the splice, the jump cut, the video edit - not to mention the jack-in-the-box and its more sinister relatives in funhouses and horror movies. In his music, coherence is barely more than propinquity; one sound or style simply doesn't predict the next."
Guy Peters stated "John Zorn’s Naked City-project was about the most far out you could get, and Zorn’s exploration of what he “could come up with given the limitations of the simple sax, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums-format” became the pinnacle of avant coolness... The result was a post-modern hybrid that cut up sequences as he saw fit and treated all genres equally: jazz, grindcore and country & western, were allowed to coexist, even in the same song. Full article
992: EXPANSIONS | LONNIE LISTON SMITH & THE COSMIC ECHOES
1974: A great example of what is called the Quiet Storm, which combines contemporary R&B, jazz fusion and pop music, and is characterized by understated, mellow dynamics, slow tempos, and relaxed rhythms. Expansions is also a groovin' fusion album. It is full of mood and soul and talent. Lonnie Liston Smith is not the same person as Lonnie Smith the Hammond B master. Previous years Smith had played keys with jazz greats like Miles Davis, Roland Kirk and Pharoah Sanders. The last track "My Love" will take you on a acid jazz easy groove romantic journey.
993: Ha! Ha! Ha! | Ultravox
Ha!-Ha!-Ha! was released on 14 October 1977, and was accompanied by lead single "ROckwrok" backed with "Hiroshima Mon Amour", which was released eleven days earlier. Neither reached the pop charts, although Island Records continued to have faith in the band. As a consequence of the album's confusing typography – it is variously known as Ha!-Ha!-Ha!, Ha! Ha! Ha! and -ha!-ha!-ha!, the group decided to abandon their exclamation mark for subsequent releases. Full Article
994: Chavez Ravine | Ry Cooder
2005: Guitarist Ry Cooder certainly found his niche many years ago entrenching himself in musical cultures and producing rich layered albums. (See Bueno Vista Social Club #806). Chavez Ravine is no exception to this. "Chinito Chinito" is my favorite track with adorable pared female vocals. The album is almost a mixture of Tom Waits and Los Lobos. The Ravine was the land in Los Angeles where Dogger Stadium currently is. It was once a Mexican-American community that was demolished to build public housing. That fell through when the Doggers came over from Brooklyn.
995: mighty joe moon | grant lee buffalo
1994: You know those broken up CDs that have been stored away for many years in some moving box. The ones that the used record store rejected when you tried to sell or trade them in years ago. Not even a nickel?! The land of forgotten CDs. Well I found this one in one of those boxes complete with a scratched jewel case that looked like it was recovered from a bomb site. I grabbed it and drove around listening to it recently. After I came down from my state of 90s nostalgia I realized that this dark Waterboys-like folk mixed with American indie folk-rock still holds up. "Mockingbirds", "Sing Along" and "Side by Side" stand out for me.
Tim Lawerence writes: Mighty Joe Moon is a criminally underrated and under-appreciated album that sounds exactly opposite to the music that was invading the radio waves at the time. Filled with beautiful melodies, rich lyrics and an incredibly big sound for just three guys, Mighty Joe Moon is a start to finish masterpiece of weird American folk-rock.
Grant Lee Phillips is a master of the 12 string acoustic guitar, and he switches from beautiful acoustic tones to massive distorted riffs throughout, often in the same song. Opener "Lone Star Song" sets the tone, with its giant guitar and cryptic lyrics that could be about either Kennedy's assassination or the Waco siege, quite likely both.
And it just gets better from there, folks. "It's the Life", "Mighty Joe Moon" and "Honey Don't Think" showcase the band's acoustic side, while "Sing Along", "Demon Called Deception" and "Drag" continue the heavy promise of "Lone Star Song". Everything else on the album is equally as memorable. Anyone who's a fan of Mighty Joe Moon surely has a favorite track, and I'm sure it's different with each person.
996: Haha Sound | Broadcast
Scott Plagenhoef at Pitchfork: The little-known 1970 Czech vampire film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a gorgeous blend of fairytale and horror show, a mix of surrealism, magical realism, and poetic visuals that explores the fears, desires, and sexual awakening of a young girl. That film-- which lends part of its title to Broadcast's "Valerie"-- is also a fitting inspiration for the Birmingham, England band's second full-length album, Haha Sound, which walks a rope between awe and dread, human longing and sonic unrest.
Haha Sound is a sharp turn from Broadcast's debut full-length, The Noise Made by People, and their early singles (collected on 1997's Work and Non-Work). As their album titles indicate, Broadcast are steeped in the exploration of the detail and nuance of "noise" and "sounds." On The Noise Made by People, the band created seamless, languid, soothing dreamscapes; here they've opted for a more cluttered, percussive rattle. As she has in the past, vocalist Trish Keenan still seems as if she's singing lullabies, though the rest of the group is more intent on inflicting nightmares. Keenan's opening confession and request, "I am gray/ Still on the page/ Colour me in," is heeded over the course of the record by her bandmates as her detached vocals and fragile melodies are accompanied by a carnival of vintage electronics and sometimes-cacophonous sheets of polyrhythms.
997: Cactus | Cactus
Armed with power drummer Carmine Appice this hard rock blues outfit...rocks! Deep Purple, Blue Cheer & Savoy Brown fans will shake their shit to this ass-kicking madness. I love how the opener, Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm" crashes into beautiful acoustic ballad "My Lady From South of Detroit".
Wiki: Cactus is the debut album by the American hard rock band Cactus, released in 1970 under the Atco label. It includes original songs as well as cover of Mose Allison's version of a blues standard, "Parchman Farm" and another one, Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover". Full Article
998: It'll End In Tears | This Mortal Coil
1984: This moody 4AD release was a favorite amongst goths with a good musical palette. I always found it to be the right kind of haunting.
Wiki Says: It'll End in Tears is the first album released by 4AD collective This Mortal Coil, an umbrella title for a loose grouping of guest musicians and vocalists brought together by label boss Ivo Watts-Russell. The album was released on 1 October 1984, and reached #38 on the UK Albums Chart. It features many of the artists on the 4AD roster at the time, including Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, and Dead Can Dance; as well as key post-punk figure Howard Devoto, who sang "Holocaust", one of two covers of songs from the Third/Sister Lovers album by Big Star. The other Alex Chilton-penned track, album opener "Kangaroo", was released as a single to promote the album. Two key songs were performed by Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins, including Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren", which reached #66 on the UK Charts when released as This Mortal Coil's debut single a year before the album. The song remained on the UK Indie Chart for almost two years. Fraser also performed on "Another Day" by Roy Harper. 4AD would go on to release two further albums under the name of This Mortal Coil: Filigree & Shadow (1986) and Blood (1991). Full Article
999: The amazing bud powell Vol 1
The Amazing Bud Powell, also called The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 1, is an album by jazz pianist Bud Powell, first released on Blue Note in April 1952, as a 10" vinyl. It is part of a loosely connected series with the 1954 companion The Amazing Bud Powell, Vol. 2 and the 1957 Bud! The Amazing Bud Powell (Vol. 3), all released on Blue Note. The album details two recording sessions. In the first, recorded on August 9, 1949, Powell performed in quintet with Fats Navarro, Sonny Rollins, Tommy Potter and Roy Haynes, and in trio with Potter and Haynes. In the second, on May 1, 1951, Powell performed in trio with Curley Russell and Max Roach, and solo. Full article
1000: Blackstar | david bowie
Finishing Some Guy's Top 1000 Albums with the last record released a short while before the tragic death of this hugely important artist in my life, and the lives of so many others, seemed right.
Black Star is the twenty-fifth and final studio album by the English musician David Bowie. It was released worldwide through ISO, RCA, Columbia, and Sony on 8 January 2016, coinciding with Bowie's 69th birthday. The album was largely recorded in secret between The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios in New York City with Bowie's longtime co-producer Tony Visconti and a group of local jazz musicians.
Two days after its release, Bowie died of liver cancer; his illness had not been revealed to the public until then. Co-producer Visconti described the album as Bowie's intended swan song and a "parting gift" for his fans before his death. Upon release, the album was met with critical acclaim and commercial success, topping charts in a number of countries in the wake of Bowie's death, and becoming Bowie's only album to top the Billboard 200 in the United States. The album remained at the number-one position in the UK charts for three weeks.
At the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, the album won awards for Best Alternative Music Album; Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical; Best Recording Package, and the title single won Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. The album was also awarded the British Album of the Year award at the 2017 Brit Awards, and Metacritic named it the most critically acclaimed album of the year by music publications. Full Article