Sunday, November 30, 2003

Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums of All Time

image from

This is not an official Rolling Stone magazine list; rather it is a consolidation of five major lists published by the magazine. (See the specific links at bottom of page). The best resource for reading more about these albums is Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time book, published in 2005 by Wenner Media, LLC. The list differs slightly from the original list in the magazine, but all of the albums below are in the book. Besides, this is a must-have for music list junkies.

Also, check out Rolling Stone’s annual picks for album of the year. They have made such picks since 1978. However, by looking at the consolidated lists described above, the DMDB has expanded the list back to 1965.

1. Exile on Main Street: The Rolling Stones (1972)
2. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Beatles (1967)
3. The Beatles (aka “The White Album”): The Beatles (1968)
4. Abbey Road: The Beatles (1969)
5. London Calling: The Clash (1979)
6. Are You Experienced?: The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
7. Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen (1975)
8. Blood on the Tracks: Bob Dylan (1975)
9. What's Going On: Marvin Gaye (1971)
10. Astral Weeks: Van Morrison (1968)

11. Velvet Underground & Nico: Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
12. Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones (1969)
13. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the…: Sex Pistols (1977)
14. Who’s Next: The Who (1971)
15. Sticky Fingers: The Rolling Stones (1971)
16. Led Zeppelin IV: Led Zeppelin (1971)
17. Electric Ladyland: The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
18. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: David Bowie (1972)
19. Pet Sounds: Beach Boys (1966)
20. Nevermind: Nirvana (1991)

21. Blonde on Blonde: Bob Dylan (1966)
22. Rubber Soul: The Beatles (1965)
23. Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan (1965)
24. Horses: Patti Smith (1975)
25. Beggars Banquet: The Rolling Stones (1968)
26. The Band: The Band (1969)
27. Dark Side of the Moon: Pink Floyd (1973)
28. Blue: Joni Mitchell (1971)
29. Plastic Ono Band: John Lennon (1970)
30. Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

31. The Doors: The Doors (1967)
32. Thriller: Michael Jackson (1982)
33. Trout Mask Replica: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band (1969)
34. Rumours: Fleetwood Mac (1977)
35. The Clash: The Clash (1977)
36. Bringing It All Back Home: Bob Dylan (1965)
37. Ramones: Ramones (1976)
38. There's a Riot Goin' On: Sly and the Family Stone (1971)
39. Purple Rain: Prince & the Revolution (1984)
40. Born in the U.S.A.: Bruce Springsteen (1984)

41. Moondance: Van Morrison (1970)
42. Led Zeppelin II: Led Zeppelin (1969)
43. Off the Wall: Michael Jackson (1979)
44. After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (1970)
45. Lady Soul: Aretha Franklin (1968)
46. My Aim Is True: Elvis Costello (1977)
47. Pretenders: Pretenders (1980)
48. Surrealistic Pillow: Jefferson Airplane (1967)
49. Tonight’s the Night: Neil Young (1975)
50. 12 Songs: Randy Newman (1970)

51. Revolver: The Beatles (1966)
52. Music from Big Pink: The Band (1968)
53. This Year’s Model: Elvis Costello (1978)
54. Marquee Moon: Television (1977)
55. Green River: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
56. The Joshua Tree: U2 (1987)
57. Innervisions: Stevie Wonder (1973)
58. Appetite for Destruction: Guns N' Roses (1987)
59. Achtung Baby: U2 (1991)
60. Raw Power: The Stooges (1973)

61. Tapestry: Carole King (1971)
62. The Queen Is Dead: The Smiths (1986)
63. Automatic for the People: R.E.M. (1992)
64. Hunky Dory: David Bowie (1971)
65. Imagine: John Lennon (1971)
66. Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs: Derek and the Dominos (1970)
67. Greatest Hits: Sly & The Family Stone (1970)
68. Loaded: Velvet Underground (1970)
69. Talking Book: Stevie Wonder (1972)
70. Tommy: The Who (1969)

71. Dusty in Memphis: Dusty Springfield (1969)
72. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You: Aretha Franklin (1967)
73. Remain in Light: Talking Heads (1980)
74. The Harder They Come (Soundtrack): Various Artists (1973)
75. Paranoid: Black Sabbath (1970)
76. Every Picture Tells a Story: Rod Stewart (1971)
77. Dirty Mind: Prince (1980)
78. Ten: Pearl Jam (1991)
79. Sail Away: Randy Newman (1972)
80. Murmur: R.E.M. (1983)

81. What’s the Story Morning Glory?: Oasis (1995)
82. New York Dolls: New York Dolls (1973)
83. The Gilded Place of Sin: Flying Burrito Brothers (1969)
84. Nuggets: various artists (1968)
85. Like a Prayer: Madonna (1989)
86. The Basement Tapes: Bob Dylan & The Band (1967)
87. Between the Buttons: The Rolling Stones (1967)
88. Some Girls: The Rolling Stones (1978)
89. MTV Unplugged in New York: Nirvana (1993)
90. Siamese Dream: Smashing Pumpkins (1993)

91. Odelay: Beck (1996)
92. Rust Never Sleeps: Neil Young (1979)
93. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight: Richard & Linda Thompson (1974)
94. Piper at the Gates of Dawn: Pink Floyd (1967)
95. Willy and the Poor Boys: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
96. Siren: Roxy Music (1975)
97. The Smiths: The Smiths (1984)
98. Live at the Apollo: James Brown (1962)
99. Forever Changes: Love (1967)
100. Kind of Blue: Miles Davis (1959)

Resources and Related Links:

Sunday, October 19, 2003

In Concert: Lyle Lovett

image from

Venue: Midland Theater; Kansas City, MO

The Set List:

1. Instrumental
2. Election Day *
3. The Truck Song *
4. Cute As a Bug *
5. My Baby Don't Tolerate *
6. In My Own Mind *
7. Big Dog *
8. Working Too Hard *
9. Nothing But a Good Ride *
10. You Were Always There *
11. Pontiac
12. Her First Mistake

13. If I Had a Boat
14. Give Back My Heart
15. Walk Through the Bottomlands
16. I've Been to Memphis
17. That's Right, You're Not from Texas
18. Good Intentions
19. San Antonio Girl *
20. Wallisville Road *
21. I'm Going to Wait *
22. I'm Going to the Place *
23. Church (encore)

* From the album My Baby Don't Tolerate (2003). "On Saturday Night" was the only song from the album that wasn't played.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

OutKast charted with the Song of the Decade, “Hey Ya!”: October 18, 2003

Originally posted October 18, 2012.

Although obsolete, the Polaroid camera will maintain a place in pop music history, thanks to singer André 3000’s call to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” That catchphrase and others like the response to “What’s cooler than cool?” with “Ice cold,” made the song iconic. However, it is the song’s rallying call for every demographic to flood the dance floor that makes it, as quoted on Consequence of Sound, “the decade’s ‘Teen Spirit,’ man.” CS As said, “you could see yourself partying to in college just as easily as you could watch your parents sweat to it in spin class.” PE

Like Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Hey Ya!” was the moment when a masterful artist “made a record that sounded like everything on the radio and nothing anyone had heard before.” PE “Married to the sound of some mid-’60s dance craze that never was, ‘Hey Ya’ exemplified something very few tunes of the time had; a sense of fun.” PE Its merge of genres suggested “the walls between rock and R&B and hip-hop were about to topple.” PE

The song “featured rap lines fed through a vocoder and re-recorded up to 30 times” NME and engineer Rabeka Tuinei was the lone voice behind the “ladies” cheering halfway through the song. RS500 On top of that, Dre told Rolling Stone that its guitar chords, the first he ever learned, were inspired by the Ramones, the Buzzcocks, the Smiths. RS500

There was also an “equally brilliant paradigm-smashing video” PE aping the Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show Add a clever viral video with A Charlie Brown Christmas footage spliced to match the song, and you’ve got the decade’s signature hit.

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Beyoncé hits #1 with “Crazy in Love”: July 12, 2003

Originally posted 1/7/2014.

image from

Writer(s): Shawn Carter/Rich Harrison/ Beyoncé Knowles/Eugene Record (see lyrics here)

First charted: 24 May 2003

Peak: 18 US, #13, #13 RB, #29 AA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 8.0 world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): 0.5 Video Airplay (in millions): 92.2

Review: Once upon a time there was a trio of young women who took the R&B and pop worlds by storm. When her partners in crime became mere accessories, the newly anointed diva would make the leap to solo stardom, with an assist by a legendary music mogul, to whom the diva would also be linked romantically. Of course, in updating the tale for the new millennium the parts originally played by the Supremes, Diana Ross, and Berry Gordy are now recast as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z.

As clear as it was that Beyoncé was outsizing her cohorts, no one was quite prepared for what a monster success she would have right out of the gate. “Crazy in Love” won the 2003 MTV Europe Music Award for Best Song and was the only tune from 2003 to top both the US and UK charts. SF On the strength of what NME magazine called her “finest single,” NME Beyoncé became “the definitive female R&B singer of her era,’” PF “the heiress to Ruth Brown and Etta James and Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.” PD

Beyoncé’s link to divas from other eras can be partially credited to Grammy-winning producer Rich Harrison. He’d sat for awhile on a demo built on a horn sample from “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So),” a 1970 top 10 R&B hit from the Chi-Lites. When he shared it with Beyoncé, she thought it was too retro, but gave Harrison two hours to come up with lyrics. He was inspired by her saying “I’m looking “crazy right now.” WK

“The freakishly charismatic Jay-Z” PF guests on the song and supposedly convinced Columbia Records to release this as Beyoncé’s first proper single. TB-305 He thought the rap up in about ten minutes and didn’t even write it down before he delivered it in the studio at about 3 in the morning. WK It wasn’t the last the world would hear of B and J; the pair would go on to become “the power couple of the decade – prettier than Brangelina, more clout than the Obamas.” SN

Resources and Related Links:


Friday, March 7, 2003

The White Stripes release “Seven Nation Army”

Updated 2/6/2018.

image from

The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

Writer(s): Jack White (see lyrics here)

Released: 3/7/2003, First charted: 3/8/2003

Peak: 76 US, 12 AR< 13 MR, 7 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.6 UK, 0.6 world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): 0.3 Video Airplay (in millions): 162.00 Streaming (in millions): 400.0

Review: Built on what Rolling Stone called “the greatest riff of the decade,” RS’09 “Seven Nation Army” is “the place where Led Zeppelin meets the future” PD as “Jack White weighs in with some Jimmy Page-inspired guitar riffage” PD that announced him as “this generation’s surest thing to a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer.” CS That “Army” sported “one of the catchiest, most-recognized bass-sounding lines” SA is all the more astonishing considering it wasn’t played on a bass at all.

The sound was actually created with an octave pedal and a semi-acoustic AB’00 “low-registered, seven-string guitar.” SA White said he planned to use the riff if ever asked to do a James Bond film theme. Considering that unlikely, he used it for this song. In 2008, he and Alicia Keys performed the theme song (“Another Way to Die”) for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace. SF

The song title came about from what Jack thought the Salvation Army was called when he was a child. The subject of the song regards the White Stripes rise in popularity and the subsequent gossip that arises. SF Jack “howls about a rage so intense, he could take on an army all by himself.” RS’09 Of course, he isn’t alone – the song “wouldn’t have half of its menace were it not for the simplicity of [drummer Meg White’s] thumping, insistent floor tom.” PF

“Army” restores “an element of hard rocking blues to what otherwise borders on throbbing dance music.” AMG It also was “the coolest song ever to become a soccer hooligan chant” MX as Italian soccer fans latched on to the song while facing different nations in the 2006 World Cup. SF Since then, it has become an inescapable anthem in sports stadiums and arenas and has been covered by Audioslave, the Flaming Lips, and Rihanna. SA It also sported an iconic video which has earned a reputation “as one of the most effective motion-sickness-inducing devices since the invention of spinning carnival rides.” SF

Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Friday, February 28, 2003

Blender – Top 50 Rock Geniuses

image from

This American music magazine launched in 1994 and stopped printing in 2009, going to an online-only format. Since the original article (published in the January/February 2003 issue) is no longer online, I cannot find details on how this list was generated.

1. Bob Dylan
2. John Lennon
3. Chuck Berry
4. Eminem
5. Bob Marley
6. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)
7. Stevie Wonder
8. Kurt Cobain
9. Miles Davis
10. Madonna

11. Elvis Presley
12. James Brown
13. Michael Jackson
14. Jimi Hendrix
15. Paul McCartney
16. Pete Townshend
17. Grandmaster Flash
18. Aretha Franklin
19. Neil Young
20. Little Richard

21. Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider (of Kraftwerk)
22. Burt Bacharach
23. Lou Reed
24. Hank Williams
25. George Clinton
26. Phil Spector
27. Prince
28. Jimmy Page
29. Joni Mitchell
30. Berry Gordy Jr.

31. David Bowie
32. Tupac Shakur
33. Brian Wilson
34. Barry Gibb
35. Earl Young
36. Brian Eno
37. Patti Smith
38. Dr. Dre
39. Freddie Mercury
40. Chuck D

41. Andy Warhol
42. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot
43. Lee “Scratch” Perry
44. Thom Yorke
45. Rick Rubin
46. Eddie Van Halen
47. Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (ABBA)
48. PJ Harvey
49. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
50. Jack White


Saturday, January 25, 2003

Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me hit #1: January 25, 2003

Originally posted January 25, 2012.

Nearly a year after its release, Norah Jones’ Come Away with Me nabbed the #1 spot on the Billboard album chart. A month later, it would win the Grammy for Album of the Year. It would go on to sell 10 million copies in the United States and 22.5 million worldwide.

Her voice, which “is mature beyond her 22 years,” MR has “a touch of Rickie Lee Jones” DA while the arrangements suggest a touch of Bonnie Raitt. DA “Her youth and her piano skills could lead one to call her an Alicia Keys for grown-ups.” DA “Her assured phrasing and precise time are more often found in older singers as well. She is instantly recognizable, blending shades of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone without sounding like anyone but herself. Any way you slice it, she is a singer to be reckoned with.” MR

Her “debut on Blue Note is a mellow, acoustic pop affair with soul and country overtones, immaculately produced by the great Arif Mardin.” DA “Jones is not quite a jazz singer, but she is joined by some highly regarded jazz talent: guitarists Adam Levy, Adam Rogers, Tony Scherr, Bill Frisell, and Kevin Breit; drummers Brian Blade, Dan Rieser, and Kenny Wolleson; organist Sam Yahel; accordionist Rob Burger; and violinist Jenny Scheinman.” DA

Jones does “convincing readings of Hank Williams’ Cold Cold Heart, J.D. Loudermilk’s Turn Me On, and Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You.” DA “Heart” and “Nearness” alone “are worth the price of the CD.” MR

“Her regular guitarist and bassist, Jesse Harris and Lee Alexander, respectively, play on every track and also serve as the chief songwriters. Both have a gift for melody, simple yet elegant progressions, and evocative lyrics.” DA “Jones, for her part, wrote the title track and the pretty but slightly restless Nightingale.” DA Her material, “while not bad, pales a bit next to such masterpieces. They might have fared better had she…opted for some livelier arrangements” MR “or if the tunes had simply been given less laconic performances.” MR Still, “while the mood of this record stagnates after a few songs, it does give a strong indication of Jones’ alluring talents.” DA She “has all the tools; what will come with experience and some careful listening to artists like J.J. Cale and Shirley Horn is the knack of remaining low-key without sounding sleepy – sometimes less is not, in fact, more.” MR

Resources and Related Links:

Evanescence charted with “Bring Me to Life”: January 25, 2003

Originally posted January 25, 2013.

image from

Writer(s): Amy Lee/Ben Moody/David Hodges (see lyrics here)

First charted:25 January 2003

Peak: 5 US, 13 UK, 12 MR, 4 AA, 11 AR (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world

Radio Airplay (in millions): 0.7 Video Airplay (in millions): 54.37

Review: Evanescence leaned mostly toward a commercialized form of goth which was alternative-radio friendly, but lead singer “Amy Lee’s powerful voice juxtaposes…[with] guest singer Paul McCoy’s (of 12 Stones) gruffness” AZ to give “Bring Me to Life” doses of nu-metal and rap-rock.’s Adrien Bengrad said it sounded “like a love song between a Lilith Fair girl and an Ozzfest dude.” WK All Music Guide’s Johnny Loftus called it “a flawless slice of Linkin Park-style anguish pop” AMG and The Boston Globe said the song “conjures visions of Sarah McLachlan fronting Godsmack.” WK The orchestral parts and pop leanings have also earned the song genre descriptions such as “chamber pop” and a “power ballad.” WK The song didn’t just mix genres but challenged radio station owners who said, “We don’t play pianos and chicks on rock radio.” WK

They did after this song became a hit. Initially included on the Daredevil soundtrack, it also served as a launch pad for the group’s album, Fallen. The song was a chart-topper in the UK, Australia, and Italy and went top ten in at least 15 countries. WK The song also took home a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance and was nominated for Best Rock Song. It also won the Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack Single of the Year.

Some have interpreted the song’s lyrics as a “a call for new life in Jesus Christ,” but the record company explained that the band was secular and didn’t belong in Christian markets. WK The group’s lead singer, Amy Lee, told Billboard she opposed them being identified as a Christian band, although there are many fans suggesting they are a Christian band. SF Other fans have suggested the song was an homage to the movie Never Ending Story. SF

Lee explained that the song was about recognizing what is missing in one’s life. She said the idea was sparked by a conversation in a restaurant waiting for the rest of the party to show up. Although he was just a friend of a friend, he was perceptive enough to sense her hidden feelings and asked her, “Are you happy?” She told VH1, “I realized that for months I’d been numb, just going through the motions of life.” WK She explained to MTV News that, “One day something happens that wakes [you] up and makes [you] realize that there’s more to life…It’s just like, ‘Wow, I’ve been asleep all this time.’” WK

Resources and Related Links: