I suppose you're wondering how my four-day SAHD experience went? What'll you give me if I tell you? You're love and attention? Good enough....I live on the sweet succulent taste of your validation. But you're going to have to wait until tomorrow, 'cause there's some important business to take care of first....#70-61.
#70 - Supergrass - In It for the Money
I got a call a few years back from my buddy Helmet (probably my favorite nickname ever...a story for another day) saying, "Dude, you've got to buy Supergrass." This was the guy who introduced me to Cibo Matto and Jimmy Cliff, so I listen to him when he says these things. Sure enough, it's about the most exuberant, joyful music you'll find in a rock album, with lifting choruses, richly textured tunes, and energy. Awesome. Favorite Song = "Sun Hits the Sky"
#69 - INXS - Kick
Kick was the soundtrack to my senior year in high school, which was probably one of the best years of my life. I had a beat-up cassette tape of it with the plastic so scratched it looked opaque that I'd keep in my glove compartment well into the 90s. It's aged better than a lot of the other 80s music (I'm looking at you, Wham!) without losing any of it's nostalgia. Favorite Song = "Need You Tonight"
#68 - New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
All those people who say that this band is nothing without Neko Case need to get their heads examined. As incredible as her voice is (and it's shockingly good), it's the hooks that make New Pornographer albums rock, and this one has them in spades. I love the songs sung by other band members just as much. We saw them play at the Bowery Ballroom a couple years ago and it was an insanely catchy dance-party. If they are coming to your town run--don't walk--to get tickets. Favorite Song = "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism"
#67 - Pearl Jam - Vs.
I swear I'm the only guy on the planet that thinks this is Pearl Jam's best album. I liked Ten, but it was pretty dark for my taste. This album comes roaring out of the gate like a rocket with "Go," and carries that immediacy through it's mid-tempo and slow numbers, too. Their crusade for integrity in the music business over the last decade has been maddening at times, and has taken its toll on their image, but you can go back and listen to this album and hear why they mattered in the first place. Favorite Song = "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town"
#66 - Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue
Not since Daryl Hall met John Oates has there been a better combination of talents than this. The Billy Bragg songs are actually slightly better, but the whole album is solid, and the centerpiece isn't the band or the singer but Woody Guthrie's songs. It's sometimes boisterous, sometimes melancholy, but always engaging. Favorite Song = "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key"
#65 - Los Amigos Invisibles - Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey Into Space
If disco were invented in Venezuela it would sound like this. I can't even remember how I discovered these guy, but their sense of fun in contagious, and their sense of funk is nothing short of astounding. I challenge you to listen this and not shake your jungle rump. Favorite Song = "Amor"
#64 - Traveling Wilburys - Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Some supergroups feel the weight of expectation and try to hard to sound like a SUPERGROUP (i.e. Asia). These guys clearly had nothing to prove, and they sound like they're having the time of their lives playing. You can almost hear them sitting on beat up old couches in Jeff Lynne's garage, strumming and laughing and making fun of that young whipper-snapper, Tom Petty. And some of the songs are downright funny, particularly "Last Night" and "Dirty World." Just a fun bunch of tunes. Favorite Song = "Tweeter and the Monkey Man"
I think PM Dawn was one of the most imaginative, revolutionary bands around back in the day. I guess you'd call this rap, but it's more ethereal and gorgeous than any other rap I've ever heard. The Spandau Ballet sample on "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" is what everyone remembers, but the whole album feels like a river cruise through the mind of a romantic, including moments of reflection, sadness, and down right funkiness. Favorite Song = "Reality Used to be a Friend of Mine"
#62 - Little River Band - Greatest Hits
By far my most egregious flaunting of the rules of this list. Strictly speaking, a pure greatest hits package has no right to be on this list. However, I can justify this. (a) Does anyone even remember these guys putting out albums? (b) Can you buy them? No...they're out of print. (c) Would you ever need anything more than this?
But on to it's merits. I'm an unabashed sucker for cheesy 70s tunes, and I didn't realize until I bought this how much of that cheese came from these guys. But they're pure pop nuggets, AM gold. You know all the words. They've got great sing-along choruses, and they always always always cheer me up. Favorite Song = "Lonesome Loser" (it was hard to pick just one...so many good ones!)
#61 - Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
A dirty, raunchy, hard-rocking masterpiece. This should be in the juke box of every roadside bar in America...no, make that every bar in America, roadside or not. I hate the shiny, MTV-friendly beast they've become--I vastly prefer this sleazy, menacing version of the band. "Walk This Way" it the centerpiece, but there's a ton of chugging, swaggering rockers on here which would be the highlight of anyone elses album. Favorite Song = "Sweet Emotion"
Stay tuned for #60-51...