Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Dave's Music Hall of Fame: Album Inductees (May 2019)

Originally posted 5/22/2019.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog. To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame. Since then, 23 songs, 9 albums, and 10 acts have been inducted. This month marks the second batch of album inductees. These 10 works have been selected because they topped DMDB genre/specialty lists for classic rock, classical, country, folk, live albums, metal, opera, punk, rap, and R&B. It should be noted that blues, cast albums, and jazz were not included in this list because the top albums of each of those genres were already inducted – Robert Johnson’s The Complete Recordings (blues), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific (cast album), and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (jazz).

See the full list of album inductees here.

Johann Sebastian Bach Goldberg Variations (1741)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (classical).”

Scholars have debated the specifics about the origin of the work, but have generally accepted that they were commissioned by Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, JK who may have been the first to perform them. WK Many records suggest that Bach once taught Goldberg, a famed virtuoso, who would have easily been able to play the variations. They were originally written for harpsichord, but are sometimes performed on piano. WK In fact, pianist Glenn Gould gave the Goldberg Variations their greatest audience with several recordings, collectively exceeding two million in sales. His recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1983 and added to the National Recording Registry in 2003. Read more.

James Brown Live at the Apollo, Vol. 1 (1962)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (live).”

“There is no more exciting document of live performance in the history of R&B.” AZ Brown asked his record label to record one of his shows. When they refused, he bankrolled the project himself, TL knowing “his live performances contained electricity unable to be reproduced in the studio.” RV “By the end of these thirty-two minutes, no one will doubt that James really was the hardest working man in show business (and this without even seeing him dance!).” AMG It ended up on the Billboard charts for more than a year, peaking at #2 and becoming “a watershed album, both for James Brown and for the burgeoning soul music movement.” AMG Read more.

Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison (1968)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (country).”

In one of his two legendary live albums recorded for a prison audience, “Cash plays to the audience, selecting a set of songs that are all about prison, crime, murder, regret, loss, mother, God, and loneliness.” AMG “He never did any hard time, but Cash had a natural sympathy for men who gave in to their worst impulses.” TL “Cash stimulates the audience’s emotions, which in turn stimulates his performance, especially since he delivers the songs with the conviction of someone who has lived through it.” AMG “Few albums come as close to capturing the darkness and rage that lays deep in Cash’s music, as well as the depth of his talent.” AMG Read more.

Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (1966)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (folk).”

With Blonde on Blonde, Dylan was moving toward “leaving coffee bars behind forever…to bring country into rock & roll.” BL It “is an album of enormous depth” AMG that “reaches some of Dylan’s greatest heights – which is to say, the very pinnacle of rock.” TL It “is comprised entirely of songs driven by inventive, surreal, and witty wordplay.” TL It blends “blues, country, rock, and folk into a wild, careening, and dense sound.” TL It was “the culmination of Dylan’s electric rock & roll period – he would never release a studio record that rocked this hard, or had such bizarre imagery, ever again.” AMG Read more.

Marvin Gaye What’s Going On (1971)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (R&B).”

Gaye’s album of social commentary on “urban decay, environmental woes, military turbulence, police brutality, unemployment, and poverty” AMG became “one of the defining albums of its time.” TL Initially Motown founder Berry Gordy balked at the idea, thinking it would be a commercial failure, but it became “the most important and passionate record to come out of soul music” AMG and “the most perfect expression of an artist’s hope, anger, and concern ever recorded.” AMG It “catapulted Marvin Gaye into superstardom.” BN and “kicked off an era of unprecedented social consciousness in R&B…[and] introduced a whole new style of making records.” TL Read more.

Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction (1987)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (metal).”

“Guns N’ Roses’ debut, Appetite for Destruction was a turning point for hard rock in the late ‘80s – it was a dirty, dangerous, and mean record in a time when heavy metal meant nothing but a good time.” AMG Guns N’ Roses embraced “the wasted rock star lifestyle with such earnest determination that you’d think they invented it.” GW Lead singer Axl “Rose’s misogyny, fear, and anger hard to dismiss as merely an artistic statement; this is music that sounds lived-in.” AMG As good as his “lyrics and screeching vocals are, they wouldn’t be nearly as effective without the twin-guitar interplay of Slash and Izzy Stradlin, who spit out riffs and solos better than any band since the Rolling Stones.” BL Read more.

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (classic rock).”

While “the first four Led Zeppelin albums are all air-curdling classics, monolithic slabs of sleazy sweat-riffs and heavy gravity, [this] is their most staggeringly ambitious.” DK It “not only [defined] Led Zeppelin, but the sound and style of ‘70s hard rock.” AMG It “turned them from mere superstars into giant behemoths of the rock world,” AZ1 “an important stylistic template for everything from heavy metal to grunge.” BN Read more.

Claudio Monteverdi L’Orfeo (Orpheus) (1607)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (opera).”

Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is “based on the Greek legend of Orpheus, and tells the story of his descent to Hades and his fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to the living world.” WK “It was written in 1607 for a court performance during the annual Carnival at Mantua.” WK ‘In his published score Monteverdi lists around 41 instruments to be deployed, with distinct groups of instruments used to depict particular scenes and characters.” WK “After the composer’s death in 1643 the opera went unperformed for many years, and was largely forgotten until a revival of interest in the late 19th century.” WK Since then, it has gained the reputation as “the earliest that is still regularly performed.” WK Read more.

Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (rap).”

Nation “rewrote the rules of what hip-hop could do.” STE It is “one of the greatest and most influential albums of all-time” WK in any genre. The group “set out to make…the hip hop equivalent to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, an album noted for its strong social commentary.” WK Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn said, Chuck D “isn’t afraid of being labeled an extremist, and it’s that fearless bite…helps infuse his black-consciousness raps with the anger and assault of punk pioneers like the Sex Pistols and Clash.” WK Read more.

Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)

Inducted May 2019 as a “Top Album of Its Genre (punk).”

This “has become punk’s ground zero.” TM “One album was all they made, and probably all anyone could stand.” TL The Sex Pistols “made old-fashioned rock bad boys such as The Rolling Stones and The Who look like wimps in comparison.” RV Their “loud, snotty and angry” approach created “an us-against-them ideology that disaffected kids everywhere understood immediately.” TMNever Mind the Bollocks perfectly articulated the frustration, rage, and dissatisfaction of the British working class with the establishment.” AMG “Everyone who heard them went out and started a punk band, and the music world’s been a better place as a result.” PK Read more.

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