Friday, December 3, 2010

Nine By Design 12

Back once again for the weekly list and the topic surprisingly has to do with music.  I know you're just as shocked as I am.  I figure the next couple will have holiday themes, so I wanted to do this one for the first week of December.  Today's list will be Debut Albums After 1975.  Why so specific?  When you have so many great albums that came out in the 60's/early 70's (Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Hendrix and on and on). I thought it would be nice to specify.  To quote Mike Campbell, "Don't bore us, get to the chorus."  On with the list...

Debut Albums After 1975:

Patti Smith - Horses

Poet turned singer/songwriter, Patti Smith released this career defining album in 1975.  To say this album influenced everyone would be an understatement.  An intellectuals take on rock 'n' roll, with originals like "Land" and a very interesting take on the Them song, "Gloria."  Rolling Stone has this album at #44 on their list of 500 greatest albums of all-time.

Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True

Declan MacManus, changed his name to Elvis Costello and started his career as a singer/songwriter.  A pretty darn good one too.  He announced his enormous talent with great singles like: "Alison" and "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes."  He's been here ever since, exploring music for over 30 years.  Rolling Stone has this one at #168 on the greatest 500 list.

The Cars - Self Titled

This is still one of my all-time favorite albums to this day.  It's a true greatest hits album.  Just about every song is still played on the radio.  Ric Ocasek wrote amazingly catchy songs and whether it was him singing or the late, Benjamin Orr, it always sounded great.  Most people don't know there were two singers in the band, bonus points to those out there that do.  It was hard to pick songs, but I went with: "Bye Bye Love" and "Just What I Needed."  Love Ben Orr's voice.  Don't cry for Ocasek, he married Paulina Porizkova, he's doing fine.

Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!

This album is fantastic from top to bottom.  Jackson had been playing piano in bars since he was 16.  It's one of those albums that is hard to describe.  Is it new wave, punk or something else altogether?  It's a bit of everything really.  It's an album that goes from, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"  to "Got The Time."  I understand why Anthrax covered "Got The Time," it's already close to being a metal song.  Plus, you just have to love his shoes on the cover.

The Pretenders - Self Titled

I don't know what it is about Chrissie Hynde.  She's always had that something, that really makes you pay attention to her.  She's an incredibly talented musician and she'd probably kick your ass if you got out of line.  This is the classic lineup of the band, which sadly would only make it through a couple records.  Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott would both die of drug overdoses.  With songs like: "Stop Your Sobbing" (Kinks cover) and "Kid," it's a must own album.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy

The brain child of the brothers Reid, Jim and William.  As Allmusic said, "It's an album with one trick, Beach Boys melodies meet Velvet Underground feedback and beats."  It works incredibly well and helped start the whole "shoegazer" genre of alternative music. You'll get it after hearing, "Just Like Honey" and "Never Understand." 

The Stone Roses - Self Titled

Another band that help start a new musical genre.  This one is called "Madchester," which were a group of bands from Manchester, England, that played a mix of psychedelic rock and dance music.  Often considered by critics to be one of the greatest and/or most important British albums ever.  I think it's an album that's in the conversation.  Especially with songs like, "I Wanna Be Adored" and "She Bangs The Drums."

Pearl Jam - Ten

Pearl Jam got a lot of crap from other bands (Nirvana, called them a sellout), critics (David Browne, said "you've heard it all before.") and fans (I hated them when they came out).  I think a lot of it came out of jealousy.  It was an, "Oh crap!" moment.  "This album is going to change the playing field."  Well, it did, big time.  I had friends that were obsessed with this band and it was kind of annoying.  I'll finally admit that this is a great album.  Pearl Jam is a great band and is the only big grunge band that never broke up or stopped.  With songs like, "Alive" and "Black," who could blame them?

Liz Phair - Exile In Guyville

Here's what guts are in my book: You write a debut album as a song by song reply to the Rolling Stones classic, Exile on Main Street.  Yes, it's a way to get noticed, but it also has to be good, which this isn''s great.  Liz Phair is a very talented songwriter and pretty hot too.  Just needed to add's important.  If you're looking for an album that's a little different, pick this one up.  Songs like, "Never Said" and "Fuck and Run" are just that good.

To wrap it up...every album is on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time, except Look Sharp!  Which is a shame, because it should be there, but it's Rolling Stone...who really cares what they think?  See you next week...Happy Weekend...Cheers!

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