yankee hotel foxtrot

Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me, we had access to too many, too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane:

DOK
Artist Album Year 2013
40 Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 2002 45
39 Neil Young Harvest 1972 *
38 The Who Who’s Next 1971 *
37 Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes 2008 40
36 DJ Shadow Endtroducing… 1996 49
35 Santana Abraxas 1970 28
34 Creedence Clearwater Revival Green River 1969 *
33 Blind Faith Blind Faith 1969 27
32 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited 1965 *
31 The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) 1968 *
GvZ
Artist Album Year 2015
40 The New Pornographers Twin Cinema 2005 *
39 The Byrds The Notorious Byrd Brothers 1968 36
38 The White Stripes Elephant 2003 *
37 Sunset Rubdown Shut Up I Am Dreaming 2006 *
36 Spirit Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus 1970 *
35 Paul Simon Graceland 1986 18
34 UNKLE Psyence Fiction 1998 *
33 Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavillion 2009 42
32 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine 1992 *
31 The Kingsbury Manx The Kingsbury Manx 2000 33
RKH
Artist Album Year 2015
40 The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 42
39 Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream 1993 *
38 Moody Blues In Search of the Lost Chord 1968 30
37 The Beatles Abbey Road 1969 19
36 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II 1969 16
35 Eagles Hotel California 1976 34
34 Afghan Whigs Gentlemen 1993 27
33 Fleetwood Mac Bare Trees 1972 18
32 Lambchop How I Quit Smoking 1996 40
31 Weezer Weezer (Blue Album) 1994 33

Citizens of hope and glory, we can already see the end of another year looming in the distance. The streets are empty, there’s darkness on the edge of town, and music professors flee into their shabby sheds to debate the most vital question of their lives: “Which is the best rock album of all time?”. We’re heading into the fourth edition since 2012, looking for successors of Selling England by the Pound, Kid A, The Velvet Underground & Nico, Band on the Run and Blood on the Tracks.

Well, tell me how your head feels under something like that, cause it’s no one less than Donald ‘Ramblin’ Oude Kamphuis rejoining the armed forces this year. With last year’s senior student Guus Fog officially graduated now and the long lasting experience of RKH and yours truly, 2015 is about to have a promising musical end game. We wanna get loaded, and we wanna have a good time, so let’s go to the results of the first autumn contemplations (previous year’s ranking between brackets):

DOK:

50. (*) Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (2008)
49. (47) Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

48. (50) Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane over the Sea (1998)
47. (25) George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (1970)

46. (32) Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
“When the 90’s gave birth to the millennium.”

GvZ:

50. (37) The Band – Music from Big Pink (1968)
49. (42) Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River (1969)
48. (*) Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (1985)
47. (49) Simon & Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme (1966)

46. (34) 13th Floor Elevators – Easter Everywhere (1967)
“Can’t catch your soul while sitting on your arms, man.”

RKH:

50. (*) Talk Talk – Laughing Stock (1991)
49. (30) Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)
48. (50) Radiohead – The King of Limbs (2011)
47. (49) Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

46. (*) Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean (2014)
“Al Green + Canadian fertility symbol = Soul²”

GF:

50. (*) Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – No More Shall We Part (2001)
49. (*) Broken Social Scene – Broken Social Scene (2005)
48. (*) Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)
47. (19) The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle (1968)

46. (39) Eddie Vedder – Into the Wild (2007)
“En nu met de nachtbus naar fucking Londen.”

1. Wilco – I’m the Man Who Loves You (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002)


If I’m in the mood for a catchy tune and a solid riff, Chicago’s finest will comply. Originating from the remnants of idiosyncratic country rockers Uncle Tupelo, Wilco’s sound gradually changed since their 1995 debut, particularly from their third album Summerteeth (1999), using devices that’ll cause an heart attack to the average country veteran. That evolution continued on this fourth album, for example on this track that has all the Wilco ingredients: opening riff, soft vocals from Tweedy that are carried by a catchy melody and elaborate outro with horn section and backing vocals. Funny: the album was rejected by the record label, Wilco was bought out with all the rights to the album and it became the bands’ most successful record ever.

2. Queens of the Stone Age – If Only (Queens of the Stone Age, 1998)


Another band that grew on the scorched and fertile soil of another break-up, as  Californian QOSTA was founded (1996) after singer Josh Homme’s previous band Kyuss broke up. The riffs contain more storm and thunder than those of Wilco, but this track (being the only single) already indicated that QOSTA’s sound would later rather diverge towards Wilco than Kyuss. Not a surprise of course, as Carlo Von Sexron himself stated that rock should be ‘sweet enough for the girls’. With all the experience from Kyuss in their pocket, they delivered a very strong debut album, the first and last from the Kings of the Stone Age, lopsided or not.

3.Nirvana – Where Did You Sleep Last Night (MTV Unplugged in New York, 1994)


One of rock history’s most prominent live performances, with Dave Grohl on drums, who would later become a Vulture with the Homme mentioned above. The true highlight however was of course the argument between Cobain and MTV’s producers afterwards, as Cobain refused to play another encore as he could never improve from this point on. The rock star that doesn’t compromise, where are they today? The record of course turned into loads of platina, but I guess the record label was not very surprised by that.

4. Kraftwerk – Showroom Dummies (Trans-Europe Express, 1977)


Closing track on side A of one of Kraftwerk’s best albums, with the wonderful original German title ‘Schaufensterpuppen’. Last time I dealt with Computer World (1981), this is the first part of the golden pair (together with The Man Machine (1978)) that was released some years before with one of the most interesting  (cause very weird) album sleeves ever. While punk pretended minimalism, Kraftwerk excelled at it, combining it with elegant melodies that envy the classically educated musician. Did I just write three sentences about Kraftwerk without mentioning their visionary lyrics?We are standing here, exposing ourselves. We are showroom dummies. We go into a club, and there we start to dance. We are showroom dummies.”

5. A Perfect Circle – The Noose (Thirteenth Step, 2003)


That cross-pollination between Westcoast bands didn’t stop after the seventies might be clear. Second album by A Perfect Circle (obviously featuring Tool’s Maynard James Keenan on vocals), whose recordings were interrupted by the departure  of guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen to Queens of the Stone Age. However, the album was way more successful than their debut (perhaps because they really had to create something from scratch now), reaching gold two months after its release. Concept album? Well, there’s a lot about addictions on it.

 6. John Lennon – Isolation (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, 1970)


Small step to the man whose most famous song was covered by A Perfect Circle on their third album eMOTIVe, together with another ten political cover songs. This one stems of course from Lennon’s introspection album after The Beatles break-up (8 months before the release), fueled with screams. The world may not have many years, but then again, you’re not to blame. You’re just a human, a victim of the insane.

7. Islands – Humans (Return to the Sea, 2006)


Debut album from Montreal band Islands, which might be called indie given that it was recorded in the drummer’s bedroom. Shows that not everything that came from Canada in that era was sublime, and the quality of this album doesn’t incite me to listen to their other work, write something about it or do anything whatsoever.

8. The Beta Band – Squares (Hot Shots II, 2001)


Opening track from the second (and praised) album of this Scottish band. It contains some recognizable samples from other songs, with that of the Belgian Wallace Collection’s ‘Daydream’ in this track being the best example. It’s perhaps because of this that it was picked as the first single from the album, but was replaced by ‘Broke’ after it became clear that another single by another band (that used the same sample) was released simultaneously. The Beta Band released their third album Heroes to Zeros in 2004, whereupon the band appositely fell apart.

9. My Morning Jacket – Holdin’ On to Black Metal (Circuital, 2011)


Circuital was My Morning Jacket‘s last album to date, a strong one that shows the bands’ maturity and sense of nostalgia. This track is in fact a tribute to music and especially its role in a human being’s adolescence with backing vocals from the one and only Black Metal Girls. The band still performs live now and then, and a new album will be released in May this year, looking forward to it.

10. David Bowie – V-2 Schneider (“Heroes”, 1977)


Great instrumental opener of side two on one of Bowie’s best albums, his twelfth and the centre of his Berlin trilogy with Brian Eno. Hold tight for a last example of continuity in rock history for this week:  ‘V-2 Schneider’ was named after Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider, after Kraftwerk had mentioned Bowie earlier in 1977 on their track… ‘Trans-Europe Express’.

Time for another 15 timeless records with the next section of the 50 albums you must hear before buying yourself a house, with a lot of albums from the past decade this time. We run into Funeral and The King of Limbs again, while also Songs:Ohia, Queens of the Stone Age, Animal Collective, KORT and Wilco’s excellent Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (twice) gain a spot in this weeks lists.

DOK:

41. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R (2000)
42. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (2011)
43. Songs: Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co. (2003)
44. Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St. (1972)
45. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

GvZ:

41. (22)  Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees (1972)
42. (18)  King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
43. (*)    Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion (2009)
44. (*)    Blind Faith – Blind Faith (1969)
45. (46)  Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (1970)

RKH:

41. (40)  Lou Reed – Berlin (1973)
42. (44)  Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen (1993)
43. (*)    Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
44. (*)    KORT – Invariable Heartache (2010)
45. (*)    Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

Last poll asked whose vocal harmonies you like best. The B-bands happened to be clear favorites, as The Beatles won the vote before The Beach Boys and The Byrds. With the new poll you can give your opinion about your favorite George Harrison composition.

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.    Arctic Monkeys – When the Sun Goes Down (Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, 2006)
If the shuffle is trying to give hints the past couple of times, than it wants me to start listening to the Arctic Monkeys again for some reason. It’s been a while, but I’m gonna listen to this album the next couple of weeks (update: never underestimate a good debut album, this still is a great one).

2.    Wilco – Poor Places (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002)


Penultimate track of the album I basically don’t know good enough (update: fan!), while I did  play the life out of their last album (The Whole Love) last year. For me this is one of those rare contemporary bands that keeps improving itself throughout their career and explores new directions.

3.    Arcade Fire – My Body Is A Cage (Neon Bible, 2007)


The shuffle keeps floating through the recent past with the third track from the zeroes in a row. A band that made a great impression with its debut, but of which I actually can’t say whether they continued in the same way. I realize at this actual moment that a lot of recent albums are catching dust in my virtual record cabinet.

4.    Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss (Innerspeaker, 2010)


On the other side, new recent albums are still added from time to time. This one for example, from a band that released its second album last year. However, for me personally, this debut album was one of the albums of that year, since I discovered it with a two-year delay thanks to DJ Grinder. At its best when cycling through a sunny city.

5.    Beirut – In the Mausoleum (The Flying Cup Club, 2007)


The shuffle really makes a survey of the past ten years, not missing out this wonderful song from Beirut.

 

6.    Pink Floyd – See Saw (A Saucerful of Secrets, 1968)


Finally we jump into the rich past of music history with this mysterious track from an even more mysterious album. I’m listening to this album some couple of weeks now, and it has really become one of my favorite Floyd albums. It incited me to make a poll about this, so please share your opinion.

7.    Grizzly Bear – Southern Point (Veckatimest, 2009)


And back to our musical overview of the past ten years with this track from the third album of this Brooklyn-based band. It’s the opening track, and also one of the best with some nice instrumental parts.

 

8. Ray Charles – One Mint Julep (single, 1961)


At first I thought Booker T. and the MG’s were kicking in again, but it turned out to be mister Charles. This is the version that finally claimed some fame for this song, in a swinging instrumental way. Original song by Rudy Toombs.

9. Meat Puppets – Violet Eyes (Too High to Die, 1994)


Abrupt transition than when we suddenly land into the grunge of the Meat Puppets. Also the opening track of the album.

 

10. Yim Yames – Long, Long, Long (Tribute To, 2009)


And the shuffle closes in a beautiful way with this cover from Jim James, the lead singer of My Morning Jacket, of this White Album track from George Harrison. This album, which is an entire tribute to this former Beatle, is hardly recommended by yours truly. If you’re not acquainted with it, only imagine this guy singing songs like ‘My Sweet Lord’ en ‘Love You  To’.

Jukebox

ledzeppelin1969 vincebuseruptum1968 unknownpleasures1979 darknessontheedgeoftown1978