50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house 3.0 (4)

Getting close to the Holy of Holies, the top ten of the best all-time albums, but first: #20-11!

GVZ:

20. (12) Jethro Tull – Aqualung (1971)
“Like the bearded lady said to me: ‘Anderson unified dirty old men and the church, of course it’s a concept album, and a pretty damn good one too. Look out, a chicken-fancier!’ ”

19. (32) Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
“One of my worst dreams from the past year must have been the one in which I had written this album.”

18. (9) Panda Bear – Person Pitch (2007)
“From Holland to Wilhelmsburg before ending up in Christiania. That trip was mellow, man.”

17. (19) Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975)
“Four musical geniuses ejaculating on all rock’s subgenres.”

16. (14) Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
“Welcome to this new century, I hope you’re feeling un-comfort-able.”

15. (21) Santana – Abraxas (1970)
“We called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it Abraxas….” 

14. (*) The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
“When one stuck-up musician is trying to outclass himself, great things can happen.”

13. (6) Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
“The only album from this list you can recommend to everyone, regardless of their musical references. Except American cops. Boom Boom.”

12. (13) The Moody Blues – In Search of the Lost Chord (1968)
“Sgt. Leary’s Searching Souls Club Band.”

11. (18) Pink Floyd – A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
“Gigantic explosion of the Floyd Shuttle on his way from psychedelic to progressive: one casualty, milestone album.”

RKH:

20. (*) The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (1999)
“Soundtrack of the late 90’s believe of the impending transcendence of humandkind to a higher plane of understanding and compassion. The Naive Album.”

19. (7) Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees (1972)
“Works anywhere, anytime for whatever reason. The best example of ‘simply great music’.”

18. (31) Prince – Purple Rain (1984)
“How To Become a Rockstar for Dummy’s.”

17. (14) Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Déjà Vu (1970)
“Sometimes a penis measuring contest can result in great things.”

16. (8) Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
“The musical Storming of the Bastille. No sire, it’s not a revolt; it’s a revolution.”

15. (16) Van Morrison – Moondance (1970)
“Yang.”

14. (41) Lou Reed – Berlin (1973)
“No Lou Reed the experimental rock machine, but the boomy chansonnier. My favourite blend of Reed.”

13. (17) Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
“The sound of an ego no longer obstructed by three other other ego’s. The best solo-Beatles album. There, I said it. Yeh?”

12. (12) Guided By Voices – Alien Lanes (1995)
“More hooks than a tackle box.”

11. (38) Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
“The cosmic orgasm of the most important musical decade in history.”

GF:

20. Neil Young – Harvest (1972)
“Door rugklachten gekluisterd aan het bed, maakt hij in een innige omhelzing met zijn akoestische gitaar deze prachtige plaat.”

19. The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle (1968)
“Een ode aan de zon.”

18. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground (1969)
“Zonder John Cale, aanvankelijk zonder succes, maar wat een nummers!”

17. Love – Forever Changes (1967)
“Liefde en altijd gaan nooit samen, buiten bij Love en Forever Changes.”

16. Lee Hazlewood – Cowboy In Sweden (1970)
“Ruig en dan weer zweverig, maar altijd diep rakend.”

15. Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
“Paul McCartney is nog altijd op zijn best op plaat.”

14. Tom Waits – Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (2006)
“Vanaf de eerste woorden van de bard Tom Waits waan je je in een rokerig café waar een oude man aan de toog zijn levensverhaal vertelt vol met prachtig vertelde tegenslagen.”

13. Townes Van Zandt – The Late Great Townes Van Zandt (1972)
“Het lijkt een verzamelalbum, maar het is een gewoon album met enkel en alleen de beste countrynummers.”

12. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)
“Soms enkel een piano, dan weer zware elektrische gitaren, maar altijd die stem … die stem en die teksten.”

11. Eagles – Hotel California (1976)
“Lange tijd niet de moeite genomen om dit album te beluisteren tot mijn oor bleef hangen bij ‘Try and Love Again’ en vanaf toen deze plaat again, again and again.”

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house 2.0 (9): 10-6

Red Alert for those who are about to buy a house in 2014, as it’s time for the top 10. Already bought a house and not having a clue about some of those classics below? Best wishes for the new year.

DOK:

6.   Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007)
7.   Genesis – Selling England by the Pound (1973)
8.   Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue (1977)
9.   The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
10. Brian Wilson – SMiLE (2004)

GvZ:

6. (6)    Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
7. (15)  Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
8. (*)    Love – Forever Changes (1967)
9. (8)    Panda Bear – Person Pitch (2007)
10. (11)The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

RKH:

6. (17)  The Moody Blues – In Search of the Lost Chord (1968)
7. (*)    Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees (1972)
8. (13)  Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
9. (12)  Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971)
10. (3)  The Band – The Band (1969)

First of all hail to this year’s last new entrances in both GvZ and RKH’s lists. Bare Trees makes a spectacular entry at #7 (pushing Rumours aside from the list) while Forever Changes debuts at #8 and won’t probably be the last 1967 album near the top. DOK throws in his fourth Radiohead-album at #6, and it’s the first time we run into artists like Genesis, Paul Simon and Marvin Gaye. It will probably not be the last time for some of them, we’ll see on December 31st.

Shuffle of the week #26

This is an ode to the shuffle. How better to get a good insight in your digitized album collection than by a classic shuffle? Finally discover the albums you never got into, finally throw the ones away you will never get into and worship those classics that never grow old again. The Shuffle of this week:

1. Jethro Tull – Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square (Stand Up, 1969) [singlepic id=16 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Second and short track from Tull’s second album, on which the bands’ blues rock roots are still strongly present. The Jeffrey who is mentioned is Jeffrey Hammond, the band’s bass player from the later Aqualung (1971) till Minstrel in the Gallery (1975). Ian Anderson of course already knew Hammond from his first band The Blades at the time he wrote this song.

2. Panda Bear – Take Pills (Person Pitch, 2007) [singlepic id=250 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Also the album’s second track, one of the seven genius pieces of music that together form one of the best albums from the past ten years. This song was the last of five that were released as a single before the album came out, containing a nice sample from Scott Walker’s ‘Always Coming Back to You’. Playing this album has become a ritual act on a first summer day.

3. Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney, 1970) [singlepic id=251 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Getting spoiled with this classic from McCartney following. This debut solo album was released only a week after The Beatles broke up and a month before Let It Be still had to came out. Like other songs on it this one was written for Paul’s wife Linda, with some  great guitar playing by McCartney himself, as he played all the instruments on the album (!). It’s a good album, that was a commercial success (because of the break-up) but one that was badly received by music critics (because of the break-up).

4. dEUS – Instant Street (The Ideal Crash, 1999) [singlepic id=246 w=80 h=50 float=left]

One of the biggest hits for this Belgian rock band, from their strong third album. Their early albums get my attention once a year and after the debut last time it’s time to crash now.

5. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog (Led Zeppelin IV, 1971) [singlepic id=249 w=80 h=50 float=left]

A loyal customer of the shuffle, not playing live this time. This is the opening song from that great fourth album, featuring the band’s most mature sound till that point. Despite the diverse strange influences on that album, the band still rocks in an old-fashioned way on this track built around a great riff written by John-Paul Jones. Vocals and band alternate like the early Fleetwood Mac on ‘Oh Well’.

6. Paul McCartney – Mrs. Vandebilt (Band on the Run, 1973) [singlepic id=252 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Not the first time to shuffle the same artist twice within ten songs, but highly unusual. But you don’t say no against an extra McCartney song a day. Great bassline.

7. Frog Eyes – The Heart That Felt Its Light (The Folded Palm, 2004) [singlepic id=164 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Indie rock from Canada, been a while. Third album by this band, mainly consisting of singer Carey Mercer and his wife Melanie Campbell on drums. But on this song it’s the piano playing from Grayson Walker that stands out.

8. Jefferson Airplane – 3/5th of a mile in 10 seconds (Bless Its Pointed Little Head, 1969) [singlepic id=248 w=80 h=50 float=left]

One live song a week is something that’s highly applauded and that’s why the Airplane is welcomed again after last time. Slick and Balin are once again taking up the vocal battle against each other on this psychedelic showpiece, originally from Surrealistic Pillow .

9. They Might Be Giants – Turn Around (Appolo 18, 1992) [singlepic id=253 w=80 h=50 float=left]

A band I totally forgot about, so time to catch up. A pioneer band, as the 21 separate short tracks that together constitute ‘Fingertips’ (4’35”) on this album were specially designed for the shuffle mode of CD players.

10. Fleet Floxes – The Cascades (Helplessness Bues, 2011) [singlepic id=247 w=80 h=50 float=left]

Just like last week, the closing song is again located in the land of the elfs. Little dwarfs are waking up and rub the dew out of their eyes on this beautiful instrumental.

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house (9): 10-6

We can see the end of the year now, just like the absolute top of our lists looms up slowly. Entering the top 10, the lists of both music professors finally start to display some resemblances. Let’s have a look at some of the last albums you have to dig through before signing that contract of your new house:

RKH:

6. Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
7. Brian Wilson – SMiLE (2004)
8. Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
9. Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
10. Lee Hazlewood – Cowboy in Sweden (1970)

GvZ:

6. Paul Simon – Graceland (1986)
7. Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run (1973)
8. Panda Bear – Person Pitch (2007)
9. Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
10. Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

Something that immediately stands out is the fact that both lists are topped by Mister Simon’s Graceland. This fantastic album full of melody and fascinating little stories has already become a true classic throughout the years and is best served on a Greek beach full of second hand beer salesmen. Another album that appears in both lists is Paul McCartney’s Band on the Run. Three years after the dissolution of the Beatles, Macca (just like Simon would do 13 years later to record Graceland) went to Africa to make the most successful (at least commercially) album of an ex-Beatle. It goes without saying that both albums are absolute must haves in your record collection.

McCartney is represented two more times this week, together with his three former buddies. Mister Hofmeijer presents Abbey Road on #8 (earlier to be found at GvZ’s #11), while mister van Zwanendonk presents his third Fab Four album at #9 with Rubber Soul (RKH: #21). Two other albums that were met earlier are SMiLE (GvZ: #14) and Person Pitch (RKH: #39). What remains are the two number tens. Mister Hofmeijer offers this spot to his personal idol Lee Hazlewood, who he is trying to become since he first saw him. Meanwhile, mister van Zwanendonk gives you a Surrealistic Pillow to spend the holidays with, as psychedelic distorted guitars and westcoast vocal harmonies were never fused together better than on this 1967 classic, which is of course added to the poll. See you next time for the final end of the lists!

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house (3): 40-36

Time to move on with our lists, presenting you another ten magnificent albums:

RKH:

36. Songs: Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co (2003)
37. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)
38. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)
39. Panda Bear – Person Pitch (2007)
40. Lou Reed – Berlin (1973)

GvZ:

36. Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
37. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F#A# (Infinity) (1997)
38. George Harrison – All things must pass (1970)
39. Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Déjà Vu (1970)
40. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (1969)

A great variety in genres and years this time, ranging from the origins of hard rock in 1969 (Led Zeppelin) to the highlight of psychedelic pop in 2007 (Person Pitch). No doubt we’ll notice this latter album once more while we count down towards #1. Talking about number ones, Mister van Zwanendonk’s #38 features an album that is without any doubt at the top of  album lists from various people, being an album you want everybody to listen to when putting it on. The contrary goes for Mister Hofmeijer’s #36, an album which he described as being ‘appropriate for the more intimate moments’.

More golden classics next time!