Monday, August 12, 2013

43. Weezer - Weezer (Blue) - 1994 (2012 MFSL)

This is the 1st Weezer album. Self titled, but known as "Weezer Blue" because of the blue cover.
Commonly thought of as their best record, it was a stunning debut. The whole record is wonderful.
My favorite tracks are "Only In Dreams", "My Name is Jonas" and "Say it ain't So". That said, I love the whole record! This is my Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs edition:

42. Weezer - Weezer (Green) - 2001 (2013 MFSL)

This is the 3rd Weezer album and their 2nd self titled record. Known as "Weezer Green" because of the distinctive lime green cover. Probably the 2nd best record in the Weezer discography. Singles include "Hash Pipe", "Photograph" and "Island in the Sun". "Don't Let Go" is also a stand out track. This is my Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs edition:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

41. Death Cab For Cutie - Plans - 2005

Plans is a fine record, no doubt, but it's not Transatlanticism. Still it's easy to listen to with several stand outs. As wonderful as "Soul Meets Body" is, the real stand out single on this record is the acoustic "I Will Follow You into the Dark". In Trans, I made a comparison to Paul Simon, this song warrants the same. Dealing with love and the temporary state of life and love with a clear affinity for the shadows rather than the light are hallmarks of Paul Simon's songs in the 60's. I hear echoes of it in several of Ben Gibbards songs. Much like Simon he has a very soft and friendly voice. Combining that voice with intelligent lyrics and an embrace of darker subject matter, you can't help but see the similarities. "I Will Follow You into the Dark" is hauntingly beautiful. "What Sara Said", while also similar in dealing with themes of death and dying isn't something that I would relate to Paul Simon. Rather, this is uniquely Death Cab For Cutie. This song to me is the finest thing that Ben Gibbard has written to date. With all the great songs he has written, none speaks more to the human experience than this one. For all the countless songs of love and love lost that has filled the airwaves and record stores for the last six decades of rock and country, this is the most coherent and focused attempt at examining and dealing with the slow death of a loved one in a hospital and the final moments of a life lost. This sort of subject matter could easily be fodder for a clumsy country song, but here it is handled with such grace and literately expressed honesty that it leaves the listener feeling something that music seldom does. This is a great record. This is my copy:

Also, this vinyl edition has "Talking Like Turnstiles" as a bonus track. The CD doesn't. I really like this song.

40. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism - 2003

This is one of my all-time favorite records. The quality of the music, lyrics and execution is extraordinary. The 1st track, "New Year" leads one to believe that there may be a harder edge to this record. In all actuality, the only other real rocker on this LP is the dark and fevered "We Looked Like Giants". The album is balanced in terms of tempo between the slow and upbeat, not that anyone would notice such a thing when the listener is too busy paying devoted attention to the beauty of this recording. This beauty is probably best experienced on the title track, which is an amazing climb that leaves the listener mesmerized.  Their focus is probably most effective on the three stand out tracks. On what is such a strong album from start to finish, it's hard to name which are the strongest, but in my opinion they are "Title and Registration", "We Looked Like Giants" and "A Lack of Color". Dealing with remembrance, loss and regret are common themes in music, but rarely are they expressed with this kind of skill. "Title and Registration" talks around the regret of love lost with sharp observations to provide distractions that fall away by the songs ending to reveal the circumstances that the protagonist finds himself in. "We Looked  Like Giants" has moments that I can only describe as manic as the remembrance unfolds. The clever  observations and acoustics that find their way to the regret at the heart of "A Lack of Color" reminds me so much of a young Paul Simon. This is music for people looking for something more than the garbage of top 40 radio. Intelligent, thoughtful and real, these song express themes that we can all identify with in ways that touch us enough to bring out emotions that we might not have felt for quite some time. This is one of my favorite records.

39. Death Cab For Cutie - Something About Airplanes - 1998

The first Death Cab record. Dark, broody and melodic. It set the tone for the next three LPs to come. Best listened to in winter. This is not a summer album. I swear, to me Death Cab is the polar opposite of The Beach Boys. Although both bands are melodic, Death cab is to mild melon collie what The Beach Boys are to fun in the sun. They aren't as gloomy as early Cure, but still depressed. This is a good record. Here's my copy:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

38. Weezer - Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition) 4 LP Set

26 Bonus tracks! This is just super concentrated awesome for any Weezer fan.
6 B-sides, live tracks, studio out takes, this is really cool! I picked this up in a trade.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

37. The Beatles - Remastered Vinyl Stereo Box Set - 2012

This is just an amazing box set! I've read reviews were there were complaints about the quality. I was scared that I might experience some of the same quality control issues that have plagued others. Luckily, my set was perfect!!!! I could NOT ask for a better experience!! The records look and play GREAT! I use a nice Empire 2000 E/III cart and I just love the sound. The book that comes with the set is fantastic. I don't know if you've heard this yet or not, but the records have the original labels! When you pull Revolver out of the sleeve, you see that gorgeous black label with the yellow Parlophone logo. Such a nice touch! Also, no ugly barcode on the jackets!!!! So, in my opinion, if you don't have $1000 to spend for a 1982 MFSL Beatles box set, consider one of the new 2012 remastered sets. Save $700 an get a nice book. Seriously, this is a great set. I love mine!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

36. The Complete Rolling Stones Box Sets 1964-1969 & 1971- 2005

That's all of it! That's just about all there is to say about this. It's all there! Well, except for B-sides like "Child of the Moon".

Saturday, December 3, 2011

35. Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape - 1997 (2011 Re-issue)

I finally have the vinyl for one of my all time favorite recordings. Two record set. It sounds great, but the packaging left a LOT to be desired. For the price tag, it should have included liner notes, pictures, lyrics, something. Just two plain white inner sleeves. Thats it. Still, I am happy to be finally able to listen to Everlong on vinyl. This is definitely my favorite Foo Fighters album.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

34. Have You Ever Bought The Same Record More Than Once?

One of my all time favorite recordings is The Colour and The Shape by Foo Fighters. I want this on vinyl bad, but not bad enough to pay $100+ for it. I was looking on Amazon hoping to snipe a used LP cheap and found out that it will be re-released on November 21st for a mere $22. I will be buying this record for sure! I first bought it on cd when it came out back in 1997 and latter gave it to a friend. I quickly went out and bought another one and it eventually got scratched up and I downloaded it for free. A few years ago, a deluxe edition came out with extra tracks and I bought it to replace the scratched up one. So that means that I've bought this CD three times new, not used. When I buy this on Vinyl, it will mean that I have purchased it four times new. Have I ever bought a recording new more times than this? Let's do a list!

I bought Synchronicity by The Police new, once on vinyl, once on cassette and twice on CD over the course 28 years. I've bought quite a few recordings in different formats over the years. Without breaking it down into different formates, I will list the total number of times I have bought a particular recording new. Here we go:

The Police - Synchronicity X 4

The Beatles - The Beatles (white album) X 3

Sting - The Dream of the Blue Turtles X 3

Pearl Jam - Ten X 3

Blink 182 - Enema of the State X 3

Van Halen - 1984 X 3

Van Halen - 5150 X 3

Van Halen - Balance X 3

Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape X 3

I have bought too many to mention, twice.

I have also bought MANY MANY records and CDs used over the years.

Over all, the recording I have owned the most times, would have to be The Beatles White Album, which I've owned at least 10 editions of in my 30+ years of buying music. Three times on CD and at least seven times on vinyl including a reissue that I just bought as well as four original numbered LPs, one in the Parlophone blue boxed set BC13 and the one I bought in 1984 at Camelot records. Although I've owned it at least 10 times, I only bought it new in a store three times.

When I buy The Colour and the Shape new on vinyl, it will tie Synchronicity for the recording I have bought most times new. Hmmm. Have I come to the conclusion that I have spent way too much money on music?          Nah!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

33. The Cure - Disintegration - 1989

One of the ten best records of the 1980's. Disintegration may be The Cure's best record. A great number of Cure fans out there would argue that. Typically Cure fans fall into three groups. There are the ones who think Pornography is their best record. Then there are the ones who think Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me was their best record. Last, you have the ones that believe Disintegration was their best record. Personally, I'm in the Pornography camp, but I love Disintegration!!!! I just picked up a 180 gram vinyl copy today and it's been a blast to listen to. Plainsong, Pictures Of You, Lovesong, Lullaby, Fascination Street, Prayers For Rain, and Disintegration make for 7 standout songs! What a masterpiece this is. Lush orchestral melodies, complex and soothing. The emotional thread of the music works so well the lyrics. Plainsong washes over you like nothing else that was recorded before it. Some of the songs roll over you and sweep you away like an avalanche, some pull you down like an undertow, while others make you feel sky high. This is an amazing piece of work. A true gem. A brilliant achievement that shows the genius of Robert Smith. Tonight I'm going to listen to this record with the lights off while lying on my back on the floor. Pillow under my head, cold drink in my hand.

32. Radiohead - OK Computer - 1997

My favorite Radiohead record. This album touches me deeply. At one point or another I'm sure we can all identify with the feelings of isolation and and despair that are on this record. Although it does have those themes of an impersonal and artificial society which has become so in part because of technology, still this record is absolutely beautiful! Stunning! Gorgeous! We all know Paranoid Android and Karma police are awesome, but Exit Music is so dreamy and haunting as a lead in to Let Down. Few songs can pick me up like Let Down can. I have no idea how many times I have listened to that song. By the time it gets to the line "you know, you know where you are with", it's like someone has grabbed me by the spine and lifted me up into the air! The song feels like it actually lifts me. The high point of this record for me is the low point. No Surprises is the stand out track lyrically on an album that is about as strong as a modern rock album can be. When I am feeling tired and weak and powerless, this song is like therapy. It's lullaby. Whenever I read about some obviously innocent person being harassed by the TSA or Obama wasting billions of dollars with nothing to show for it, I think of these words. After listening to this song, I still feel helpless and weak, but I don't feel alone.

A heart that's full up like a landfill

A job that slowly kills you

Bruises that won't heal

You look so tired and unhappy

Bring down the government

They don't, they don't speak for us

I'll take a quiet life

A handshake of carbon monoxide

No alarms and no surprises

No alarms and no surprises

No alarms and no surprises

Silent, silent

This is my final fit, my final bellyache with

No alarms and no surprises

No alarms and no surprises

No alarms and no surprises please

Such a pretty house, such a pretty garden

No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)

No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)

No alarms and no surprises please (let me out of here)

God, I love this record so much. It means more and more as the years go by.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

31. Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water - 1970

This is the fifth and last LP Studio record from Simon & Garfunkel.
It featured three top ten hits including "The Boxer", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Cecilia".
Why "The Only Living Boy In New York" wasn't released as a single I'll never know. This is an incredible album.

Sounds of Silence, Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme, Bookends and Bridge Over Troubled Waters are a streak of four consecutive records that stack up against any four consecutive records by anybody ever.

30. Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends - 1968

This, the fourth Simon & Garfunkel album, (not counting The Graduate) is an improvement over Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and is just as good as Sounds of Silence. Check out these songs:
"Mrs. Robinson"
"At The Zoo"
"A Hazy Shade Of Winter"
"Fakin' It"
This is such a timeless record. It will always have an audience.

29. Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - 1966

This is the third Simon and Garfunkel album. What a powerhouse!
"Homeward Bound"
"The Dangling Conversation"
"Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall"
"Scarborough Fair"
"59th Street Bridge Song"
"A Simple Desultory Philippic"
I love this record!

28. Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence - 1966

I'm not crazy about Wednesday Morning, the first Simon and Garfunkel record. Too many covers. This album however, is one of the greatest ever. "Sounds Of Silence", "I Am A Rock", "Kathy's Song" and "Richard Cory" are such powerful songs! My favorite is "Kathy's Song" which is so well written. The sentiment of love is so strong. Very impressive.

 This is the first record I ever listed too. It left an impression on me that's for sure. This is one of my copies:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

27. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians - Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars - 1988

I really enjoyed this record when it came out. All these years later it still holds up as one of the best albums of the 1980's. "What I Am" and "Circle" were hits, but "Little Miss S" should have been.

"Little Miss S" is about Edie Sedgwick, who was the subject of many songs, from The Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale" and Dylan's "Just Like a Woman", "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" and "Like A Rolling Stone". Maybe others too, I don't know.

"Air Of December" and "Love Like We Do" are also pretty good. A very solid album start to finish. Here's my copy:

26. Berlin - Pleasure Victim - 1982

When I was a teenager, I had a crush on Terri Nunn. She was so hot in that video for "No More Words". Beautiful face and that two toned hair. Man she was smoking. She wasn't only a hottie, she could sing! This record, their first, had three damn good songs on it. "The Metro", "Masquerade" and "Pleasure Victim". I think they were trying too hard with "Sex, I'm a ...". Still, it's a solid record.
Here's my copy:

25. Sting - The Soul Cages - 1991

This is Sting's third studio album. My favorite track is the instrumental "Saint Agnes And The Burning Train". I use that track along with "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" by Bela Fleck to test speakers. I really really like the sound of it. Simple and beautiful. This album deals with the passing of Sting's father. It tells the story of a guy named Billy who losses his father and deals with it. Sting had a long period of writer's block leading up to this. The big hit on this is "All This Time". Great record. Here's mine:

24. Sting - ...Nothing Like The Sun - 1987

Sting's second solo studio album. It's a strong record, popular too. Worldwide it's sold over 11 million copies. Included are "We'll Be Together Tonight", "An Englishman In New York", "The Lazarus Heart" and "Be Still My Beating Heart". Here's mine:

23. Sting - Dream Of The Blue Turtles - 1985

This is Sting's first solo record and in my opinion, his best. What a record! "Moon Over Bourbon Street" is about Lestat the vampire from Anne Rice's books and sounds sooo cool. "Children's Crusade", "Russians",
"Love  Is The Seventh Wave", "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free",  and "We Work The Black Seam Together" are all solid quality songs that make this a GREAT album. "Fortress Around your Heart" is the icing on the cake. This, in my opinion, is the best song Sting ever wrote. Talk about being at a creative peak! in just two years Sting made Synchronicity with The Police and this record back to back. Wow. Here's mine:

22. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy - 1994

This is Pearl Jam's third LP and my favorite of theirs. It's sold over 5 million copies. Great packaging too. I actually have this on CD, Cassette and LP. It was actually released on LP before CD or cassette. "Nothingman", "Better Man", "Immortality" and "Last Exit" are standouts on a record that is solid all the way through. I love the 1920's medical style insert booklet. Very cool.  Here's mine:

21. Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega - 1985

It must be nice having such a great voice with perfect pronunciation. Better still to be song writer with that kind of skill. Suzanne Vega is so talented. How radio can ignore someone like this and give worthless bitches like Madonna, Spears and Fergie unlimited time boggles my mind. Women like Vega, Patty Griffin  and Tori Amos deserve far more airplay. They'll never get it because they would never agree to shake their asses to get it.

This record, her first, featured "Marlene On The Wall", "Small Blue Thing", "Undertow", "The Queen And The Soldier" and "Knight Moves". GREAT SONGS!!!!! Get this if you can. You won't be sorry.
Here's mine:

20. Blink-182 - Enema Of The State - 1999

Yes, I like Blink182.  They're funny as hell and their music is damn good. I will not apologize for liking Blink182. This record is a retarded work of genius! "Dysentery Gary", "What's My Age Again?", "Adam's Song" and "Anthem" are the best on this record. I recently picked up this on LP and couldn't wait to drop the needle on it. Here it is in all it's red and white vinyl glory:

19. Belle And Sebastian - The BBC Sessions - 2008

First off I have to say that there is a big difference between the CD and LP. The CD has a second disc which is a live recording from a show in Belfast. The LP only contains the BBC tracks of CD one spread across two LPs. These recordings where made over the course of about 5 years and feature some of the bands best work. I have all of their stuff on CD and this is my only LP of theirs. I love this band! They are FANTASTIC!  The two best performances on this are "The State I Am In" and "Seymour Stein". Love this record! Here's mine:

18. R.E.M. - Green - 1988

For their sixth LP, REM broke with IRS and signed with Warner Bros. For the second time Scott Litt would serve as producer. This record is one of my all-time favorites. Sure, we all love "Orange Crush", who doesn't? My favorite song on this has to be "You Are The Everything". It's beautiful and touching and warm and friendly. It reminds me of a certain place and time. Walking barefoot in fresh cut grass at night with lightning bugs and crickets all around and the glow of an incandescent lightbulb through a screen door in the distance. "You Are The Everything" should have been a single. This LP produced a slew of singles and videos like: "Pop Song 89", "Stand", "Get Up" and "Turn You Inside Out". I though "I Remember California" would be released as a single, but it wasn't. "Turn You Inside Out" had a video, but wasn't a single. This is a great record!!! Here's mine:

17. R.E.M. - Document - 1987

REM's fifth album would give them an audience outside of College Radio and MTV. The song "The One I Love" went crazy on the radio. All of a sudden everyone knew who they were. As years go by, "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" gets bigger and bigger. It's arguably their most popular and enduring song. This is their first album with Producer Scott Litt and their last with IRS Records. Although it is a fine record, I don't believe it's any better than Reckoning or Lifes Rich Pageant, yet it's more popular due to the strength of it's two stand out singles. Honestly, I think I prefer Reckoning and Lifes. Document made it to number 10 on the US Album charts and sold over a million copies. Here's mine:

16. R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant - 1986

This is the fourth LP from REM. It was recorded in Indiana. When this came out I couldn't wait to get it!!! "Fall On Me" was getting played on MTV and I recorded it on my VCR and watched it over and over. Odd video. Anyway, there are three great songs on this record. "I Believe", "Swan Swan H" and "Fall On Me". On the cover of the LP, the half face belongs to drummer Bill Berry. This record is so cool. Here's mine:

15. R.E.M. - Fables Of The Reconstruction - 1985

The third LP by REM. It was recorded in London England. Listening to it kicks off images in my mind. What can I say, it's just a good record that takes my back. "Wendell Gee", "Life And How To Live It", "Driver 8" and Can't Get There From Here" are stand outs on a record that's pretty solid. I love both sides of the cover and how it opens on the left not the right. How cool. Here's mine:

14. R.E.M. - Reckoning - 1984

This is the second LP from R.E.M. Like the first it was recorded in Charlotte North Carolina. This was my first experience with REM. I was 14 years old and sitting like a vegetable in front on the TV when the video for "So. Central Rain" came on. I was floored! I caught it again the next day, but this time I was ready with a video tape in the VCR. I taped it a watched it over and over again. I couldn't get that song out of my head. Still can't. It would be a few years latter before I would get my hands on Murmur and become enthralled by "Perfect Circle" just as I was by "So. Central Rain". Another song that I absolutely love on Reckoning is "Harbor Coat" with it's great harmonies and sweet guitar work. Other cool songs include "Don't Go Back To Rockville" and "7 Chinese Brothers". This album was an education. I learned that the cool guitar sounds Peter Buck was making came from a Rickenbacker. Reckoning is a wonderful album, this is mine:

13. R.E.M. - Murmur - 1983

This, R.E.M.'s first LP, was recorded In Charlotte North Carolina in 1983. It's nice to know that such a great record was made just a few miles from where I live! Everyone notices That it contains "Radio Free Europe" and "Talk About The Passion". Those are great tracks, sure. To me though, The best song on this has to be "Perfect Circle". What a great song. I think that it's one of their five best in their entire catalogue.
I love this record. If you like R.E.M., this is a great one to start a collection with. Here's mine:

12. R.E.M. - Chronic Town EP - 1982

Recorded in my home state of North Carolina in 1981, this set the tone for what was to come from R.E.M.
Chronic Town was released August 24, 1982 to good reviews. "Wolves, Lower" was released from it, but to me the stand out track was "Carnival Of Sorts". Damn that's a great song! This record is raw. Their cover of  The Velvet Underground's "There She Goes Again" is just too cool! Although it is contained in it's entirety within "Dead Letter Office", I have included it here instead because I'm proud to have the first R.E.M. release on vinyl and wanted to show it off. I have nothing against "Dead Letter Office" and have it on vinyl as well. Here's a pic:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

11. The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main St. - 1972

While it didn't spawn any super hits, and the critics weren't crazy about it. It did stand the test of time and prove to be The Stones' dirtiest, grittiest and nastiest record. Hard blues and country swirled together and bound in drugs and whiskey. What a strong record this is. The whole damn thing is a good listen and some tracks are amazing.

Do yourself a huge favor and read the Wiki article on this record. It is fascinating.

My favorite track is Sweet Virginia. Standouts include Tumbling Dice, Torn and Frayed, Loving Cup, Happy, Rocks Off and Shine a Light. Rocks Off is a delight! Keith Richard's lyrics about sex with a dancer and shooting heroin. Not for the easily offended.

10. The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers - 1971

All you out there in high school back in 1971. You know this record! I was just a baby when it came out, but you remember it don't you? This is the nasty one your mama didn't want you to get. With that provocative zipper in the front! Andy Worhol's greatest achievement. Who knew what was lurking behind it! To find out, buy your own copy. Don't ask me, I'll never tell.

Zipper aside, this record is a heavy weight!
Dead Flowers and Wild Horses are awesome, but Brown Sugar is without a doubt one hell of a nasty song about people having sex with their slaves and IT MADE IT ON THE RADIO!?!?

This is a must have for a good rock n roll record collection.

9. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed - 1969

This is one that should be in everyone's collection. This along with Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street are essential Stones records. Why Let It Bleed? Here are the reasons:
1. Gimme Shelter
2. You Can't Always Get What You Want
3. Let It Bleed
4. Country Tonk

Those are all the reasons you need. It is a must have.

8. The Police - Synchronicity - 1983

Over all, I'd say that this was the best record of the 1980's. Yes, this is the best of the decade. It trumps Joshua Tree, it really does. Sting was at the top of his game. Do these sound familiar?
Wrapped Around Your Finger
King Of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Synchronicity II
Four huge hits and three more strong tracks with Tea In The Sahara, Synchronicity I and Walking In Your Footsteps.
I wore the tape out when I got 27 years ago. What a powerful record. Their best.

7. Bad Astronaut - Acrophobe - 2001

Okay, this one is obscure, but well worth listening to. Joey Cape of Lagwagon got together with some pals and created this. There are three Bad Astronaut records, this is the first. What a record! Great all the way through. Vocals, music and lyrics are all top notch on this rocker. The stand out track is a cover of Elliott Smith's Needle In The Hay. I know that death threats will follow from the E.S. fans, but what an improvement! The song was so cool to begin with! What Cape did was turn it around in a whole new way that is a screamer. Unlucky Stuntman and Greg's Estate are other cool tunes on this unknown monster. Too bad more people don't know about this record. Here's a 2010 pressing on blue vinyl.

6. Ryan Adams - Rock N' Roll - 2003

While this is one of the least enjoyed albums of Ryan Adam's career, I like it!
Wish You Were Here, So Alive and Do Miss America are super concentrated awesome! This is a good record. I don't care how much people bitch about it. Here's a pic of my copy.

5. Whiskeytown - Stranger's Almanac - 1997

I do love this record! I mean love. I picked this up on cd right after hearing Yesterday's News on the radio. I found out that they, like me, were from North Carolina. It was a bit country for me, but I warmed up to it fast. Ryan Adams's song writing was SO mature for a guy at 22 or 23 years of age. Avenues, Houses on the Hill and Somebody Remembers the Rose are standouts on an album with NO weak tracks. This is Americana. This is art. It pains me that I never got to see them live.

This is my 2008 pressing of Stranger's Almanac with bonus tracks. I now have it on vinyl!

4. The Ramones - Ramones - 1976

Now THIS is THE landmark record in the history of punk. I don't even need to defend that statement in the slightest. To hell with London Calling or Nevermind the Bullocks. Without this record, there wouldn't have been a Clash or Sex Pistols. To this day this record stands up to all comers, Dookie IS dookie next to this.

God bless Johnny Ramone, the godfather of punk guitar and staunch supporter of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. All you whiney leftist pansies never ever forget, it was a Republican who created Punk Rock!

My God look at the first few tracks! Blitzkrieg Bop, Judy Is A Punk, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue, Beat On The Brat!

 Here is my new copy to replace my scratched up old one.

Johnny, Tommy, Joey and DeeDee

3. The Cure - Pornography - 1982

Now this one is really special. This isn't just great, it's a landmark record. That gets thrown around a lot, "landmark record". In this case it applies in spades. Almost every track is perfection. This is the granddaddy of all dark/goth records by a mile. Nothing else is even close in terms of both quality and impact. It starts off with One Hundred Years. The opening lines:
"It doesn't matter if we all die.
Ambition in the back of a black car".
That sets the pace. What follows is the most melodic trip through darkness and depression in rock and roll history. Written by an alcoholic deep in the grip of an overpowering disillusionment with the world and himself. Both the lyrics and music are stunning! Siamese Twins, The Figurehead, A Strange Day and Cold are among the best songs The Cure have ever made. Cold could easily be in an old horror film's soundtrack. The guitar work in A Strange Day gets better every time I hear it. The title track and Hanging Garden are the only tracks I skip on cd when listening in my car.

The Figurehead ends with Robert Smith wailing the line "I Will Never Be Clean Again". How appropriate.
Neither will I.

This is a new copy in pretty red vinyl to replace the old one I wore out.

2. The Cure - Faith - 1981

This is a wonderful record. Much darker than Seventeen Seconds and a harbinger of Pornography. At first listen I wasn't all that impressed, but it really grew on me. The opening bass line on The Holy Hour is a deep groove that leads you into a moody, beautiful and dark album. The last song is the title track and in my opinion, the best song on the album. This is the kind of record you can just, pour yourself a nice drink on a cold grey winter's day and lay back in an easy chair. Just let it play all the way through. When side two is over, you pick up the needle and put it back on the last track and listen to it again. Just relax. Drink your drink, and listen to the song Faith again. Listen to Robert Smith lament...
There's nothing left but Faith...
There's nothing left but Faith...

German Gema

1. The Cure - Seventeen Seconds - 1980

Seventeen Seconds is one of my all-time favorite albums and it seems like a great starting point being that it represents several firsts. It was the first great album from The Cure. It was the first of the dark trilogy that includes Faith and Pornography. This was the first Simon Gallup album. This is my first post, so, why not start with this one.

I LOVE this record. It features no less than three of The Cure's greatest songs. Play For Today, A Forest and Seventeen Seconds. Secrets is also a standout track. A solid record all the way through. Guitar, bass and drum driven with very light keyboard. This record has a sparse and dark tone to it. Absolutely brilliant to boot.  Atmospheric and dreamy in places. Far superior to other 1980 releases like Joy Division's CLOSER or U2's BOY. This record is tight and professional without being polished. The Cure showed what they could be with this gem.

The copy you see below is my German Gema issue.