Top 500 Albums of All Time
Rolling Stone Magazine 500 (# 937, December 11,2003)


I don’t normally pay that much attention to these things but since my son, Julian, was down for a nap I glanced at all 500! Needless to say, each of us likes or dislikes what our ears dictate and that’s the guideline to use. But this musical roadmap puts it all together and gives one the opportunity to rediscover or, for the first time, find out about a record they may have missed. If you are just getting to know some of these records embrace them, as they will pop up on lists for years to come.

But let’s start where my passion for rock-n-roll began: John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Rubber Soul (#5) has always been my pick for a Beatles album to have on your “top whatever list” (by the way it’s the US pressing I like which is not on CD, at least legally) Also, the White Album (#10) is a must since it’s a double album! Just in case you’re wondering eleven of their albums made the list!

God Save The Kinks! Three of my favorites; “The Kink Kronikles” (#231), “Something Else By The Kinks” (#288) and “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society” (#255) made the list. Let me suggest you search out “Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire” from 1969. Among the stand out tracks are “Victoria” and “Young And Innocent Days”. A beautiful piece of work.

Obviously there were several albums that are well worth a listen. First off, Forever Changes (#40) by Love. This record has been getting lots of attention lately since founding member, Arthur Lee, has been touring and performing the LP in its entirety and with an orchestra! The concert is currently available on CD and DVD so I suggest you go straight to the DVD and get the full treatment. No doubt, it’s a keeper. #1 Record (#438) by Big Star has been in my collection since it’s release as well Blood Sweat and Tears Child Is Father To The Man (#264) I was surprised that the Super Session record with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Steve (as credited on album) Stills did not make the list. A remastered CD with bonus tracks was released earlier this year.

My other observation pertains to some of the records or groups that did not make the list. I can’t believe no Moody Blues or Yes, not even The Yes Album or the Moodies Seventh Sojourn. Also missing: John Hiatts’ Bring The Family, Bare Trees by Fleetwood Mac and Pirates by Rickie Lee Jones. (produced by Walter Becker of Steely Dan)

Here are some of my other favorite albums. Some of these could have made the list; others never had a chance. Like a record called Wonderful Life by a guy who calls himself Black (his clothing color of choice). He’s an Englishman who’s put out a few records but this is one that I’ve always enjoyed. China Crisis has a record called Flaunt The Imperfection, another production by Walter Becker . I love this record so much I have it on vinyl, CD and cassette! I’ve always loved Friction Baby by Better Than Ezra especially when it’s played LOUD. Argy Bargy by Squeeze is a must. The first Spirit album, called Spirit, as well as their Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus deserved a mention. And what happened to the Young Rascals? They were the best band New York has ever unleashed on our ears. Electric Mud by Muddy Waters, Between Today and Yesterday by Alan Price, Undead by Ten Years After with a pre-Woodstock version of “I’m Going Home” and anything by Ian Matthews are always on my list. Also, Contact From The Underworld Of Redboy by Robbie Robertson. One of the gems from 1998. And if you can find it, the first and self-titled record by a duo called Batdorf and Rodney.

I’m not sure if listing a” greatest hits” record was the way to go but since Rolling Stone did, what happened to Midnight Oils’ 20,000 Watts R.S.L. Since none of their albums made the grade at least this “best of” would have served us well. Also the best of by Translator called “Everywhere That We Were” This L.A. band really started to cook when they moved up to San Francisco in the ‘80’s. Four guys with a bit of that “jingle-jangle” Byrds-y/Beatle sound with a bit of R.E.M. thrown in. Also a great compilation to have is The Best Of Eric Burdon and The Animals 1966-1968. Hilton Valentine of The Animals was one of the many voters for the Rolling Stone poll.

Maybe Rolling Stone could put out an issue with some of the best Box Sets available. Some of my favorites are People Get Ready: The Curtis Mayfield Story, The Jefferson Airplane Love You, Crossroads by Eric Clapton (the first one), The Beach Boys Good Vibrations: 30 Years Of The Beach Boys and the box set by The Byrds simply known as The Byrds.

I have a confession to make; I don’t recall the album Sleepless (#432) by Peter Wolf ex-lead singer of J. Geils. So I need to close here and head out to my favorite record store and find it. It’s a blues album featuring Mick and Keith of The Stones. Speaking of The Stones, I agree with all of the entries listed but do yourself a favor and give Their Satanic Majesties Request a listen just for the hell of it, late at night. And with headphones.

I could go on but it’s best to let your ears open up and grab onto what you like.

Looking forward to some new sounds in the New Year!

Grappone

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