Check out my understanding of Great Albums.
Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced Jimi Hendrix is an artist that evokes a lot of emotion in me. It’s like I can feel what he was feeling through his music – I’ve always been awestruck by his raw, natural talent.
I discovered this album in high school (right around the same time I discovered the leafy green) and it’s been a staple in my music collection ever since.
I’ve always loved the track Foxy Lady (especially after seeing the movie Wayne’s World) but my favorite song on this album is Red House (the live version kicks serious ass, too).
The Cult – Sonic Temple The Cult rocks. I put this album on and instantly I’m back in my high school boyfriend’s best friend’s basement, Edie (Ciao Baby) blaring. This is a rockin’ album.
Fire Woman, Sun King and New York City, on which Iggy Pop offers backup vocals, are all kickass songs andEdie (Ciao Baby) will always have a special place in my heart – man, I love that song.
Van Halen – 1984 This album has my favorite Van Halen song ever on it, Hot For Teacher. I hear those drums at the beginning and I get all fired up – I’ve got this album on vinyl and I used to blare Hot For Teacher over and over again. Personally, I prefer the David Lee Roth days and this album has all the greats.
Danzig – Danzig III: How the Gods Kill I dated a guy in high school who was really into Danzig and that’s how I got turned on to groups like The Misfits, Sam Hain, The Cramps and Danzig. I’m not a huge fan of Danzig’s other albums but How the Gods Kill was my grades ten and eleven soundtrack.
I just pulled it out of my collection a few weeks ago and gave it a spin after a long time and it’s still solid, in my opinion. Dave and I have a long-standing argument over whether this album or Lucifuge is Danzig’s best…and speaking of Danzig, have I ever made note of Dave’s really bad Danzig tattoo? It’s right up there with Jon Bon Grandma Jim Morrison.
KMFDM – Symbols My best friend turned me on to KMFDM and while I’m not familiar with all of their stuff, I think this is a great album. It’s a little dark, it’s got great beats and KMFDM’s very unique sound and style.Anarchy, Megalomaniac and Stray Bullet are my favorites.
Social Distortion – Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell Such a great album, from start to finish. These guys know how to rock – I’ve seen them twice and both shows were awesome.
I first heard Social D in high school and have loved them ever since – I had a hard time choosing between this album and their self-titled album for my countdown but went with Somewhere…, because it’s another staple in my music collection.
My favorite track is When She Begins, but Cold Feelings, Born to Lose, Making Believe and 99 To Life stand out for me as well.
The Butthole Surfers – Independent Worm Saloon I’ll never forget the first time I heard Chewin’ George Lucas’ Chocolate. I was like, holy shit, this song is awesome! And then I listened to the rest of the album and was like, holy shit, these guys are awesome!
I like the range the band shows on this album – they can pump out fast-paced, rockin’ tunes like Who Was In My Room Last Night?, slow it down a bit with the more intense The Wooden Song and get kind of, uh, weird, with tracks like Alcohol and The Annoying Song.
Deee-Lite – World Clique This is a fun, upbeat album that never fails to put me in a good mood. It’s good to listen to while working out, too. Good Beat, Power of Love and Who Was That? are great tracks but I’m all about Groove Is In The Heart. I love that song.
New Order – Substance All of my favorite New Order tracks on one disc. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 I heard Thunderkiss ’65 when it came out and was sold – I bought the album and the rest is history. I’ve always been impressed by Rob Zombie – the man is seriously talented – and even though I like his solo stuff I still miss White Zombie.
I like all of the songs on this album but my favorite is I Am Legend – I love the guitar at the beginning and how the song builds up to a powerful explosion.
Public Enemy – Fear of A Black Planet Back when I had a disposable income I belonged to Columbia House and would drop money on music like it was going out of style. I remember sitting on my bed flipping through the catalogue looking for albums to pick, seeing Fear of A Black Planet and deciding to get it because Fight the Power was on it.
I wasn’t familiar with any of the other tracks and when I listened to the album I was blown away by it. This is a serious album in its style, sound, messages and lyrics.
Jane’s Addiction – Strays I had a hard time choosing between this album and Ritual de lo Habitual, but I ended up going with Strays because every time I listen to it (which is pretty frequently) I’m left with the feeling that it’s their tightest album.
They sound good, the flow is great and the songs are killer. It starts off strong with True Nature and continues on for the entire album. For a final album, this was the way for Jane’s Addiction to go out.
Arrested Development – 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of…There are a few albums that I consider to be the soundtracks to various stages in my life, and this album is one of them. It’s what I listened to while my mom was in the hospital recovering from her liver transplant; musically,
it’s what got me through that incredibly difficult and scary time in my life (along with Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone and copious amounts of coffee) and whenever I listen to it I’m reminded of that. This album has a huge personal meaning for me and while that’s part of the reason I’m partial to it, it’s a really great album from a bunch of very talented individuals.
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction I don’t know what else to say about this album except for IT FUCKING ROCKS. I know every word to every song and I still rock out to them with pride. Long live glam metal, man.
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Are You Normal? Listening to this album is like pulling on my favorite sweatshirt; it’s an album I can listen to over and over again without tiring of.
My cousin introduced me to Ned’s when I was like, fourteen and they’re a band I’ve always liked – this tape went everywhere with me for years. My favorite songs on this disc are Suave and Suffocated,Who Goes First?, Not Sleeping Around and Intact.
Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth I always liked Nine Inch Nails but I never really considered myself a big fan. When I was in high school I hung around with a guy who was quite possibly the biggest Nine Inch Nails fan ever; all he ever talked about was Trent Reznor this and Nine Inch Nails that and all we listened to when he was around was Nine Inch Nails.
It was total overload and because of it, I stopped listening to Nine Inch Nails for several years. Dave, on the other hand, has always been a big Nails fan and when With Teeth came out he went on and on about how good it was and begged me to listen to it.
So I did, just to shut him up, but he was right – this album is awesome. It’s Trent at his finest since he released The Downward Spiral, I think, and it totally revived my interest in Nine Inch Nails. I seriously dig all of the tracks on this album but standouts are Only, All The Love In The Worldand Every Day Is Exactly The Same.
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead I’ve been a Smiths fan for a long time but they’re a band that I have to be in the right mood to listen to. They’ve gotten me through some tough times and my music collection wouldn’t be complete without The Queen Is Dead.
I almost chose Rank, a great live album, to put in this slot but I couldn’t ignore the songs on this album like the title track, Bigmouth Strikes Again, Frankly Mr. Shankly, There Is A Light And It Never Goes Out and Vicar In A Tutu.
Rollins Band – The End of Silence Henry Rollins is a powerhouse andThe End of Silence is a powerful album. I first listened to it when I was sixteen and it became a very important album for me – it was an album that I feel I needed to listen to at that time in my life. This album was pretty much constantly in my tape deck – I played Low Self Opinion and Just Like You over and over again.
Portishead – Dummy Beth Gibbons’ voice is one of the most hauntingly sexy and beautiful voices I think I’ve ever heard. In my opinion, Portis head is another totally underrated band and this, their debut album, is phenomenal. I’ve always liked trip-hop and this album represents that genre well. Glory Box, Mysterions, Sour Times and It’s A Fire are my favorite tracks from this incredible album.
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms Another album that reminds me of my childhood. This was one of the first CD’s that my father ever bought (he still has it, too) and I loved to listen to it. We used to turn up Money for Nothing and Walk of Life really loud and sing along in the living room together, me using a candle as a microphone.
This was right around the time my dad was getting serious with my stepmother, who was a teacher in a small town far from where we lived. I’ll never forget him sitting on the floor in front of his stereo with the phone held up to the speaker, playing So Far Away for her, and Why Worry still makes me teary…it’s that beautiful.
AC/DC – Back In Black I have a lot of respect for AC/DC. Regrouping after losing a lead singer has got to be difficult, yet after Bon Scott’s sudden death in 1980, Brian Johnson joined the group and they released Back In Black, a hugely successful album. And what an album it is.
From start to finish, its pure rock n’ roll. I got into AC/DC when I was in grade eight and I’ve been a fan ever since. This album proves once and for all that rock n’ roll ain’t noise pollution.
Madonna – Immaculate Collection This disc has all of my favorite Madonna songs on it, from earlier tracks like Holiday and Lucky Star to some of her later stuff, like Vogue and Like a Prayer. One of my very favorite Madonna songs, Into the Groove, was featured in one of my absolute favorite movies of all time, Desperately Seeking Susan.
I watched that movie over and over when I was a kid and that’s when my love affair with Madonna began – seriously, I spent years wanting to be her.
Sonic Youth – Dirty My high school boyfriend’s sister introduced me to Sonic Youth and I thought they were one of the coolest bands I’d ever heard. I was familiar with only one of their songs, Kool Thing, before listening to Dirty, which quickly became the only album I listened to for a long time. Nic Fit, 100% and Drunken Butterfly were my favorite tracks…man, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard this album. I think I’m going to have to go download it.
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars David Bowie is one talented man – he’s a musical pioneer who constantly reinvents himself and has crafted some damn fine tunes.
I knew I wanted to include Bowie in this list but I gotta tell you, I had a really hard time deciding which album to choose. I had this one on vinyl when I was in high school and probably listened to it the most out of any of his albums, which was the deciding factor for me.
The whole album is great but the last three songs – Ziggy Stardust, Suffragette City and Rock n’ Roll Suicide are my favorites. Awwww, wham, bam, thank you ma’am!
Tesla – Five Man Acoustical Jam This album reminds me of grade eight, hanging out with my best friend and walking to my boyfriend’s house with my walkman (do they make those things anymore? God, I feel old).
It’s one of my favorite live albums of all time – I wish I could have been at this concert, rockin’ out. Being a big Beatles fan, I love their version of We Can Work It Out and their twangy rendition of Mother’s Little Helper. Love Song, Down Fo’ Boogie and Gettin’ Better are all great tracks, but it’s Tommy’s Down Home that I’ll never forget: I’m a country boy from Nashville, Tennessee…don’t. fuck. with me.
The Stray Cats – Built For Speed I was five when this album came out – I remember hearing Rock This Town in my dad’s Mustang and loving it. Twenty-four years later, I still think this album is boss. Rockabilly has such a cool, smooth sound and Built For Speed represents this genre of music well. From the popular tracks Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut to Rev It Up And Go and the title track, this is a great, classic album.
Poison – Flesh And Blood Another album from my eighth grade year. I got into quite a heated argument with a classmate of mine over whether Something to Believe In was a ‘slow song’ or not.
I don’t remember who won but I do remember getting really heated over it…ah, those were the days, when proving that Poison could produce slow songs were what I was getting all riled up about. Besides Unskinny Bop, my favorite tracks are Ride the Wind, Let It Play and Ball and Chain.
Helmet – Meantime Another band that, in my opinion, is totally underrated. These guys are a solid rock band and Meantime is a solid, aggressive album. My favourite track is In the Meantime but really, it’s all good.
Metallica – Metallica Even though my favorite Metallica song, For Whom The Bell Tolls, isn’t on this disc, this is my favorite album from this powerful outfit. It came out when I was in grade nine and it was like, the album to listen to – we used to throw parties just to listen to this album and inflict whiplash on ourselves head bang. It’s a tough choice, but I think Wherever I May Rome is my favorite track from this killer album.
Pulp Fiction Soundtrack Three words: Best. Soundtrack. Ever.
Santana – Greatest Hits There isn’t a track on this compilation that I don’t love. Santana is so smooth sounding, so funky, so…awesome. This is a great album to kick back and chill to.