Friday, April 30, 2010

Spin’s 100 Greatest Albums

First posted 4/30/2010; updated 8/14/2020.

Spin:

Top 100 Albums

This is an aggregate of eight best-of lists from Spin magazine (details at bottom of page). The magazine was founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione, Jr. It stopped producing print issues in 2012, but continues to run as an online magazine. The focus is on less mainstream fare, including alternative rock, alternative country, college rock, electronica, grunge, hip-hop, new wave, punk, reggae, and world music.

Also, check out annual picks for album of the year.

1. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
2. Ramones Ramones (1976)
3. Hüsker Dü New Day Rising (1985)
4. Nirvana In Utero (1993)
5. Nirvana Nevermind (1991)
6. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead (1986)
7. Velvet Underground & Nico Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
8. Joy Division Unknown Pleasures (1979)
9. Pavement Slanted and Enchanted (1992)
10. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987)

11. OutKast Stankonia (2000)
12. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation (1988)
13. PJ Harvey Rid of Me (1993)
14. De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)
15. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton (1989)
16. My Bloody Valentine Loveless (1991)
17. Black Flag Damaged (1981)
18. Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
19. Eric B. & Rakim Paid in Full (1987)
20. U2 Achtung Baby (1991)

21. Hole Live Through This (1994)
22. Pixies Surfer Rosa (1988)
23. Liz Phair Exile in Guyville (1993)
24. Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
25. Sleater-Kinney Dig Me Out (1997)
26. Fugazi 13 Songs (1990)
27. Green Day Dookie (1994)
28. Lucinda Williams Lucinda Williams (1988)
29. Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986)
30. Rage Against the Machine The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)

31. Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy (1985)
32. A Tribe Called Quest The Low-End Theory (1991)
33. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (1987)
34. Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream (1993)
35. The Pogues Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash (1985)
36. The Breeders Last Splash (1993)
37. Hüsker Dü Zen Arcade (1984)
38. Radiohead OK Computer (1997)
39. R.E.M. Murmur (1983)
40. Wire Pink Flag (1977)

41. Run-D.M.C. Run-D.M.C. (1984)
42. Gang of Four Entertainment! (1979)
43. Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady (compilation: 1977-79, released 1979)
44. X-Ray Spex Germ-Free Adolescents (1978)
45. Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)
46. Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique (1989)
47. The Clash The Clash (1977)
48. The Stooges Fun House (1970)
49. Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral (1994)
50. Television Marquee Moon (1977)

51. Nas Illmatic (1994)
52. The Replacements Let It Be (1984)
53. The Replacements Tim (1985)
54. Beck Odelay (1996)
55. Public Image Ltd. Metal Box (aka “Second Edition”) (1979)
56. The Pixies Doolittle (1989)
57. Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
58. The Feelies Crazy Rhythms (1980)
59. Radiohead Kid A (2000)
60. Meat Puppets Meat Puppets II (1984)

61. New Order Low-Life (1985)
62. Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
63. Guided by Voices Bee Thousand (1994)
64. Pere Ubu The Modern Dance (1978)
65. The Stooges The Stooges (1969)
66. The Notorious B.I.G. Ready to Die (1994)
67. The Mekons Fear and Whiskey (1985)
68. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell (1986)
69. The Cure The Head on the Door (1985)
70. Metallica Master of Puppets (1986)

71. Elliott Smith Either/Or (1997)
72. Dinosaur Jr. You’re Living All Over Me (1987)
73. Jay-Z The Blueprint (2001)
74. Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994)
75. The Descendents Milo Goes to College (1982)
76. Kanye West The College Dropout (2004)
77. Devo Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (1978)
78. Oasis Definitely Maybe (1994)
79. Flipper Album Generic (1982)
80. Björk Post (1995)

81. PJ Harvey Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)
82. Tricky Maxinquaye (1995)
83. Pulp Different Class (1995)
84. Dr. Dre The Chronic (1992)
85. The Strokes Is This It (2001)
86. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992)
87. Portishead Dummy (1994)
88. The Fall This Nation’s Saving Grace (1985)
89. DJ Shadow Endtroducing… (1996)
90. Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

91. D’Angelo Voodoo (2000)
92. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
93. Belle & Sebastian If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996)
94. Beck Mellow Gold (1993)
95. Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995)
96. OutKast Aquemini (1998)
97. The White Stripes White Blood Cells (2001)
98. Missy Elliott Supa Dupa Fly (1997)
99. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses (1989)
100. Chemical Brothers Dig Your Own Hole (1997)


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Friday, April 23, 2010

Asia’s Omega released

First posted 6/24/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

Omega

Asia


Buy Here:


Released: April 23, 2010


Peak: -- US, 135 UK, -- CN, -- AU


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


Genre: heritage rock


Tracks:

  1. Finger on the Trigger
  2. Through My Veins
  3. Holy War
  4. Ever Yours
  5. Listen, Children
  6. End of the World
  7. Light the Way
  8. Emily
  9. I’m Still the Same
  10. There Was a Time
  11. I Believe
  12. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now


The Players:

  • Geoff Downes (keyboards)
  • Steve Howe (guitar)
  • Carl Palmer (drums)
  • John Wetton (vocals/ bass)

Rating:

3.983 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Quotable:Omega is undeniably – and reliably – Asia being Asia.” – Bret Adams, All Music Guide

About the Album:

When prog-rock superstars John Wetton, Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, and Carl Palmer formed Asia back in 1982, their self-titled debut was a blockbuster, followed quickly the next year by Alpha. That was it for the original lineup, although Downes kept the moniker alive through many incarnations over the years. It wasn’t until 2006 that the original foursome opted to regroup for a reunion tour and the 2008 album Phoenix.

Two years later, yet another album emerges from the original lineup, making their reunion period now longer than their original ride together! The album “is a conscious effort to shake up Asia’s style a bit while remaining true to the band’s DNA of soaring pop songs dazzlingly performed by virtuosos. Wetton’s resonant voice (infinitely layered in chorus harmonies – an Asia trademark) and tastefully effective bass guitar, Howe’s spidery, fluid guitar lines, Downes’ richly versatile keyboard parts, and Palmer’s booming rhythmic bedrock [drums] are still in place, but producer Mike Paxman has stripped the sound down a smidgen in spots.” BA

In regards to the suggestion that the album title of Omega means that this is Asia’s swan song, Wetton said, “The title…as any fan of the band will tell you, is 'very Asia' (as is the album, by the way). It no more means ‘final’ than Alpha means ‘the first’ (which it wasn’t). It’s a great sounding/looking word, and a bookend to Alpha. In many ways, musically and conceptually, the two albums share commonality.” WK

Finger on the Trigger (originally recorded by Wetton and Downes for their Icon project in 2006) and Holy War are spirited hard rock volleys. Through My Veins is slyly catchy. Listen, Children is a cheery feel-good song sparked by uplifting lyrics and Downes and Howe’s smooth tradeoffs at the end.” BA

Light the Way and I Believe both sound huge thanks to the ‘80s production feel wholly appropriate for Asia; in fact, ‘I Believe’ would have fit nicely on either Asia or Alpha.” BA

“The brooding There Was a Time is a highlight, and it’s enhanced by a complex arrangement. Emily, a song about unrequited love for a lesbian, is the unremarkable bonus track included on the digipack first pressing of Omega.” BA

Phoenix has better songs overall than Omega – probably due to the initial excitement and creative surge spawned by the reunion – but Omega satisfies, and longtime fans will enjoy it. Omega is undeniably – and reliably – Asia being Asia.” BA

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Pulitzer Prize

image from pulitzer.org

The Pulitzer is an award best known for honoring excellence in journalism, but they also award excellence in the arts. A dozen musicians have been honored through the years with special awards and citations. Country legend Hank Williams was announced on April 12, 2010 as the most recent music recipient. Here are those individuals and the years in which they received the award:

  • Milton Babbitt (1982)
  • John Coltrane (2007)
  • Bob Dylan (2008)
  • Duke Ellington (1999)
  • George Gerswhin (1998)
  • Oscar Hammerstein II (1944)
  • Scott Joplin (1976)
  • Thelonious Monk (2006)
  • Richard Rodgers (1944)
  • William Schuman (1985)
  • Roger Sessions (1974)
  • Hank Williams (2010)

Resources: