Shuffle of the week #51

1. Wilco – I’m the Man Who Loves You (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002) [singlepic id=98 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=393 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=197 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=391 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=387 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=390 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=389 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=394 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=392 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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) [singlepic id=388 w=80 h=50 float=left]

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’.

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house 2.0 (5): 30-26

Concluding the bottom half of our lists this week with a lot of undisputed classics. Of course there’s The Dark Side of the Moon, classic among classics, appearing in the lists of both DOK and GvZ after already having conquered a spot in RKH’s selection (#38). Moreover, GvZ finally put his sixties fetish aside, presenting his first eighties and nineties albums and a brand new entry by The Rolling Stones.


26. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
27. Blind Faith – Blind Faith (1969)
28. Santana – Abraxas (1970)
29. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band (1970)
30. Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)


26. (36)  Talking Heads – Remain in Light (1980)
27. (*)    Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (1971)
28. (20)  Pink Floyd –  The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
29. (39)  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu (1970)
30. (34)  Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)


26. (39)  Panda Bear – Person Pitch (2007)
27. (19)  The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
28. (*)    Neil Young – After The Gold Rush (1970)
29. (*)    Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)
30. (*)    Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)

RKH also welcomes a bunch of new albums, including the first albums of Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen that come around this year. Thanks to a total of eight albums this week, the seventies are the leading decade with half the albums behind us now (23/75, equally distributed among the three professors).

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house (6): 25-21

Although not everybody seems to get the cryptical goal of our list, to be sure that you have listened to a certain 50 albums before you buy a house, we continue today with the upper half of the list. Remarkably, the first part of this half is totally dominated by the year 1970, scoring not less than 5/10. Even more remarkable is that Cat Stevens is represented by two different albums from that same year, Tea for the Tillerman (RKH #25) and Mona Bone Jakon (GvZ #23). Also Radiohead is represented by two different albums, both being the second album from the band in each list till now, after OK Computer:


21. The Beatles – Rubber Soul(1965)
22. Radiohead – In Rainbows (2007)
23. CSNY – Déjà Vu (1970)
24. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band (1970)
25. Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman (1970)


21. Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
22. Fleetwood Mac – Bare Trees (1972)
23. Cat Stevens – Mona Bone Jakon (1970)
24. Santana – Abraxas (1970)
25. Cream – Disraeli Gears (1967)

RKH also delivers his second Beatles album with the magnificent Rubber Soul, the reincarnation of the Fab Four. Déjà-Vu and Plastic Ono Band are both albums we found earlier in GvZ’s list at #39 and #44 respectively. In that list Abraxas was earlier found at RKH on #34, and together with Disraeli Gears (added to the 1967 poll), they form an excellent couple of albums to cross the Greek mountains, whether or not you’re thinking about buying a house. More epic vinyl next time.

50 Albums you must hear before you buy a house (2): 45-41

We continue our lists of best all-time albums with #45-41:


41. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
42. R.E.M. – Murmur (1983)
43. Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)
44. Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen (1993)
45. Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)


41. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)
42. Tool – 10 000 Days (2006)
43. Neil Young – After The Gold Rush (1970)
44. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band (1970)
45. Supertramp – Even in the Quietest Moments… (1977)

Some real all-time classics like Dark Side of the Moon and After the Gold Rush already show up, and mister Hofmeijer even throws in a little joke with his #42. The seventies are represented best this time with four albums and we have another album from the year 1967 from Leonard Cohen. Obviously this album is added to the poll in our quest to find the best album of this holy music year.