Thursday, August 17, 2006

Top 100: 20 - 1

Ok… we’re getting there… only 20 more to go. And in the last 20, 7 are The Beatles and 3 are solo-Beatles, so 10 of the last 20 are, essentially, Beatles albums.

The others continue with my eclectic choice of music that everyone who reads this blog knows I am “famous” for.

I’ll apologize now (and by apologizing I mean saying ‘F off’) because I know some doofus is gonna talk smack about there being so many Beatles music (group and solo) on my Top Ten. But here’s a secret… I. Don’t. Care. This is what I like, and if you don’t like it… tough tata’s…

So, without further ado, rather than split the 20 up, I give you #’s 20… to 1. Yes, we’ve reached the end… and here are my Top 20 Albums.

What a long, strange trip it’s been…

20 – Let it Be by the Beatles. Good album, but I’ve always wondered what it would sounded like without Phil Spector's wall of crap… sorry, wall of sound… on it. Hmmmmmm…… stay tuned… Favorite Song: “Across the Universe”

19 – Celine Dion by Celine Dion. What can I say about this album other than… psyche!!! I’m kidding… it’s a joke. NO Celine Dion… absolutely not on this list… N.O. No! The real #19 is Free Fall by Michael Penn. Unfortunately, the album is out of print and only a few of the songs have been fused into a re-release of Penn’s first album, which you’ll see higher-up (lower-up?) this list. Favorite Song: “Free Time”. BTW, who thought I was serious with Celine Dion?

18 – Revolver by The Beatles. I find it hard to sum-up why I love Beatles albums. I just do… this one is another triumph. Favorite Song: “Taxman”

17 – Please Please Me by The Beatles. One of their (very) early albums. I’m sure you’ve all noticed a lack of their earlier stuff on this list and have wondered; ‘What up with that?’ Well, I love their earlier stuff, but it’s their later albums that I grew up on because they were more, for lack of a better word, ‘recent’. Or as recent as any album released in the late-60’s could be with someone born in the early 70’s. Favorite Song: “I Saw Her Standing There”

16 – Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. It’s the classic… the album that helped define a generation. What else can be said? Favorite Song: “She’s Leaving Home”

15 – Summerteeth by Wilco. The first album I ever head by Wilco (my brother gave it to me as a birthday present years and years ago along with the ‘Swag’ album) and I was instantly hooked on them. Favorite Song: “A Shot in the Arm”

14 – Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. There’s nothing I can add about this album that’s hasn’t already been said by people who have more music-knowledge than I. Favorite Song: “The Chain”

13 – Cloud Nine by George Harrison. A low-key album with some absolutely great music on it… all written by Harrison (except for the remake: “Got My Mind Set on You”) and produced by former ELO-lead Jeff Lynne. An underappreciated gem. Favorite Song: “Devil’s Radio”

12 – American II: Unchained by Johnny Cash. The beginning of his resurgence and popularity with today's crowd really started with this album and his take on some, how do we say, un-Cash-like music. Favorite Song: “Rusty Cage”

11 – All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. Critics have called this the BEST solo album of all The Beatles. I don’t totally agree, but it is a phenomenal album. Favorite Song: “All Those Years Ago”

10 – We Are in Love by Harry Connick, Jr. His best album. Better than When Harry Met Sally even. His voice is in tip-top shape, his piano is in perfect pitch, and he's having fun. Favorite Song: “I’ve Got a Great Idea”

9 – Songs for Silverman by Ben Folds. Again… why is Ben not bigger and more popular? I just don’t get it… Favorite Song: “Late” (written after Elliot Smith’s tragic suicide)

8 – London Calling by The Clash. How can you not like this album? Just ask CroutonBoy… Favorite Song: “Rudie Can’t Fail”

7 – Let it Be: Naked by The Beatles. Yes, it is that much better than the original as it has none of Phil Spector's overbearing, crap-handling. If you haven’t heard this version and you like the Beatles, I highly suggest you give it a try. Favorite Song: “XX”

6 – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Yes, another Wilco album, and this one is my favorite. Each song has the style and nuance that makes Wilco such a fan-favorite. Hard to believe that this album almost didn’t see the light of day because the original studio didn’t think it was good enough and marketable. Favorite Song: “Heavy Metal Drummer”

5 – Flowers by The Rolling Stones. My favorite Stones album. I don't know why I like this one so much better than the other Stones albums on my list, but I do. Could it be the memories of my friends and I listening to this disc everyday for 2 months after we graduated high school… in 1991? Favorite Song: “Mother’s Little Help”

4 – Abbey Road by The Beatles. Favorite Song: “Golden Slumber/Carry that Weight/The End”

3 – March by Michael Penn. One of my favorite albums since its release. Not a lot of people know about Michael (yes, he is the brother of Sean and Chris) but know about his wife; Aimee Mann. Favorite Song: “No Myth”

2 – Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings. Recording in Nigeria. A studio with dying equipment. The demotapes being stolen by bandits. Members of Wings quitting. Paul forced to play every. Damn. Instrument. All of these things formed a confluence of Aristotelian proportions and gave this masterpiece. And a prize of 'Good Job!' for anyone who can tell me the actor who is standing among the Wings on the cover. Favorite Song: “Mamunia”

And now... the moment you've all been waiting for... waiting with baited breath for... waiting so your life would be complete and you could die a content death...

Kemp's. Number. One. Album.




1 – The Beatles (The White Album) by The Beatles. At times, you can hear the angst and anger in their voices, yet it still has some excellent songs and lyrics. Ignore the ‘wailings’ of Yoko Ono and concentrate on the music. Pick a song, any song; from the irreverence of Revolution #9 to the soulful guitar of Mr. Harrison on While My Guitar Gently Weeps to the mystified lyrics of Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, this album has got it all. Favorite Song: “Rocky Raccoon”

And now... it's done so I bid you... adieu...

And this vow: Never. Again.