Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Hundred and Then Some List

I tried, but I was unsuccessful. The editors at SPIN may have been able to winnow it down to 100, but it was too hard for me to leave some of the records I've found iconic in my life down that far. And I used every standard imaginable. But I figured, why not do what they did anyway. If nothing else, I'd love to know what some of you other folks in the blogosphere would put on your list of the Best 100 Records from 1985-2005 (though, I cheated again by not including anyone from this year--I mean, some of these discs I've known for just a few weeks!)

Actually, this dovetails nicely with something I'm working on for The Return of the Diner. Look for that this weekend or Monday, hopefully, at the latest.

Without further ado, and submitted for your approval (or lack thereof).

1. 10000 Maniacs--In My Tribe
2. A Tribe Called Quest--Midnight Marauders
3. Ryan Adams--Gold
4. American Music Club--Mercury
5. Tori Amos--Boys For Pele
6. Tori Amos--From the Choirgirl Hotel
7. Beastie Boys--Paul's Boutique
8. Beck--Odelay
9. Ben Folds Five--Whatever and Ever Amen
10. Billy Bragg--Don't Try This At Home
11. Billy Bragg--Talking With The Taxman About Poetry
12. Jeff Buckley--Grace
13. Buffalo Tom--Let Me Come Over
14. Built To Spill--Keep It Like A Secret
15. Café Tecuba--Reves/Yo Soy
16. Chemical Brothers--Dig Your Own Hole
17. Connells--Fun and Games
18. The Cure--Disintegration
19. The Cure--Boys Don't Cry
20. Dancehall Crashers--Purr
21. Death Cab For Cutie--Transatlanticism
22. Depeche Mode--Black Celebration
23. Descendants--Milo Goes To College
24. Ani Difranco--Not a Pretty Girl
25. Dinosaur Jr.--Green Mind
26. DJ Shadow--Pre-Emptive Strike
27. Doves--The Last Broadcast
28. Echo and the Bunnymen--Songs To Learn And Sing
29. Everything But The Girl--Walking Wounded
30. Feelies--Time For a Witness
31. Fountains of Wayne--Welcome, Interstate Managers
32. Franz Ferdinand--s/t
33. Fugazi--In On The Kill Taker
34. Galaxie 500--On Fire
35. Game Theory--Tinker To Evers To Chance
36. Godspeed You, Black Emperor--Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennae To Heaven
37. Green Day--American Idiot
38. Green Day--Dookie
39. Guided By Voices--Mag Earwhig!
40. Hayden--The Closer I Get
41. The Housemartins--The People That Grinned Themselves To Death
42. House of Love--House of Love
43. Husker Du--Zen Arcade
44. Idlewild--100 Broken Windows
45. Inspiral Carpets--Life
46. Jane?s Addiction--Nothing's Shocking
47. John Spencer Blues Explosion--Orange
48. Judybats--Pain Makes You Beautiful
49. Knapsack--This Conversation is Over Starting Right Now
50. The La's--s/t
51. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions--Mainstream
52. Low--Things We Lost In the Fire
53. Lullaby For The Working Class--I Never Even Asked For the Light
54. Aimee Mann--Bachelor #2
55. Maria McKee--You Gotta Sin To Get Saved
56. Mighty Lemon Drops--World Without End
57. Minor Threat--Out of Step
58. Modest Mouse--The Moon and Antarctica
59. Alanis Morissette--Jagged Little Pill
60. Morrissey--Viva Hate
61. Morrissey--You Are The Quarry
62. Bob Mould--Workbook
63. Neko Case and Her Boyfriends--Furnace Room Lullaby
64. New Order--Lowlife
65. Nine Inch Nails--The Downward Spiral
66. Nirvana--In Utero
67. Old 97s--Satellite Rides
68. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark--The Pacific Age
69. Outkast--Stankonia
70. John Parish and Polly Jean Harvey--Dance Hall at Louse Point
71. Pavement--Slanted and Enchanted
72. Pearl Jam--Versus
73. Liz Phair--Exile in Guyville
74. Pixies--Doolittle
75. Pixies--Trompe Le Monde
76. The Pogues--Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
77. Polvo--Today's Active Lifestyles
78. Mary Prankster--Roulette Girl
79. Public Enemy--It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back
80. Pulp--Different Class
81. Pussy Galore--Corpse Love
82. Radio 4--Gotham!
83. Radiohead--OK Computer
84. Raekwon--Only Built For Cuban Linx
85. Rancid--...And Out Come The Wolves
86. Red Hot Chili Peppers--Blood Sugar Sex Magik
87. REM--Green
88. REM--Life's Rich Pageant
89. Replacements--Pleased To Meet Me
90. Rocket From The Crypt--Circa Now
91. The Roots--Illadelph Halflife
92. Screaming Trees--Dust
93. Scritti Politti--Anomie and Bonhomie
94. Sigur Ros--( )
95. Sleater-Kinney--All Hands On the Bad One
96. Sleater-Kinney--Dig Me Out
97. Sleeper--The It Girl
98. Elliot Smith--Either/Or
99. The Smiths--The Queen Is Dead
100. Son Volt--Trace
101. Sonic Youth--Daydream Nation
102. The Streets--Original Pirate Material
103. Spoon--Girls Can Tell
104. Stereolab--Space Age Batchelor Pad Music
105. Strokes--Room On Fire
106. Suddenly, Tammy!--We Get There When We Do
107. Ted Leo/Pharmacists--Hearts of Oak
108. Teenage Fanclub--Bandwagonesque
109. Tenacious D--s/t
110. Tricky--Pre-Millenium Tension
111. Tsunami--The Heart's Tremolo
112. TV On The Radio--Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes
113. U2--Achtung, Baby
114. Uncle Tupelo--Anodyne
115. Underworld--Second Toughest in the Infants
116. Unrest--Perfect Teeth
117. Velocity Girl--Simpatico
118. Veruca Salt--Eight Arms To Hold You
119. Verve--Urban Hymns
120. The Walkmen--Bows and Arrows
121. Whiskeytown--Faithless Street
122. Wilco--Being There
123. Wilco--Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
124. World/Inferno Friendship Society--Just the Best Party
125. Yo La Tengo--I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One


red state-blues city said...

What, no shout out for Otis Wants Bread-s/t? Sadness.

PK said...

Seriously. You're SO not going to be in my song about the 125 blogs I've found iconic in my life.

But anyway. Big ups on including "Whatever and Ever" over "Reinhold", "Versus" over "Ten", and of course on the incomparable "Anomie and Bonhomie". I'm vaguely surprised not to see any DMB there - I mean come on and admit it, there was a time... Finally, "Some Cities", as you have noted before in these 'pages', rocks. It's like the album that happened once Doves decided they were a band instead of just a clever idea.

The Deceiver said...

It was close between WHATEVER and REINHOLD...I went with WHATEVER because it doesn't make me want to slash my wrists.

Yeah, I like DMB quite a bit. They came with the territory, and I liked the territory. But they never translated well to record, except maybe for the one they all disowned.

Over time, you managed to sell me on VERSUS, but in my mind, it's closest competition was VITALOGY, not TEN.

If it makes you feel better, OWB finished waaaaaay ahead of Slackjaw!

tom said...

Hmm. No way could I come up with a solid list of 100. Maybe I'll just suggest what I'd add to your own.

I'd have to put The Wrens' Meadowlands and the Unicorns album on there. Also Arcade Fire, New Pornographers' second album, Brian Wilson's Smile (if that counts), Soft Bulletin, Everclear's major-label debut (I know, I know), Jeff Buckley's Grace, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain over S&E, maybe Nada Surf's Let Go, and Weezer's first two albums. What else? Maybe a Shins album? Maybe the Postal Service? I know, their indie cred has long since been licensed away, but they're good albums, dammit. Oh, and The Bends would have to be on the list.

And yes, prior to 1998 or so my musical taste was extremely lousy, so these are pretty heavily weighted toward the present.

The Deceiver said...

MEADOWLANDS and FUNERAL came perilously close to making it for me. I bet in five years time, they both make the list.

You aren't alone in supporting THE BENDS, either. It seems that the Radiohead crowd divides over which record meant more to them--in my case, it's OK COMPUTER. But a ton of people feel differently, and at this point, even I'd like to see Radiohead find their way back to a pure rock sound, just to see what the bring back from all the weird places they've gone.

ilb said...

The Bends. Hello? Bueller?

And there's absolutely no way Urban Hymns is better than A Northern Soul.

I'd also vote for Vitology over Versus. It's aged much better.

Cheers for The Connells, but no Archers of Loaf? Surely you jest.

I'm nitpicking now...

Here's a Hint said...

Don't these lists get dilluted after like, say 10? I don't think I could even name FIVE in order.

Over time, most albums end up dimming out, leaving only a few shiny gems left as evidence of their existence. The FOW album you list is a perfect example. One listens 1-5 I thought it was a solid album. Now, I can't imagine wasting my time listening to any tracks other than Stacy's Mom and Bright Future in Sales; the rest are forgettable (if inoffesnive). And if I WAS in the mood for 4 chord power pop, Weezer's first delivers it far better.

At any rate, these lists are more about generating argument than anything else. Technique is empirically better than Low Life, even song for song. Less Than Jake is definitively better than DHC (Hello Rockview pwns Purr). 13 Songs is provably better than IOTKT.

What would take real balls is to list a Beasite Boys album OTHER than Paul's Botique as their best.

pk said...

Just to make my position clear for the other commenters: I have been harping on Jason about The Bends - the best rock record of the 90s - for quite some time. I figured that one went without saying...

The Deceiver said...

I did anguish about leaving the Loaf off. Travis Mills'll tear me a new one for doing so as well.

I know that I'm SUPPOSED to like A NORTHERN SOUL better, but I don't. I looooooove "Lucky Man", "The Drugs Don't Work", etc.

The Deceiver said...

As you might expect, me and Here's a Hint just flat disagree:

--FOW: Come on! "All Kinds of Time?" "Halley's Waitress?" "Valley Winter Song?" I could go on...

--LOW LIFE has, simply put, always meant a lot more to me than TECHNIQUE. And I always preferred PC&L and BROTHERHOOD to TECHNIQUE, as well. I sort of think that TECHNIQUE presaged New Order getting a little swamped.

--To my mind, IOTKT is the perfect Fugazi album. At any rate, it was the Fugazi album I listened to, like, fifteen times straight when I first heard it.

--When it comes to bands in the ilk of DHC and Less Than Jake, I've always found that it's like deciding what team in the Premiereship you support. Life leads you to make a choice, and, having been made, you live with it and learn to put your trust in it. I've been in the DHC grandstands for a long time.

--If the Beastie Boys had an album better than PAUL'S BOUTIQUE, I would have put it there! :) CHECK YOUR HEAD almost, almost gets there.

And yeah, THE BENDS. A fine record. But I'd just be lying if I told you it meant as much to me as it does to some. I've got nothing but respect for those of you who do--it's definitely worthy of worship, believe me. I've just not been to that altar enough times to sit here and tell you I'm a devotee. PK will have at least another decade of haranguing me about it, so, check back then!

And a note on Weezer: lately I've become convinced that everything Rivers Cuomo ever told me was a big stinking lie. So: no soup for them.

K said...

No "Emergency & I", No "The Chronic", and Skinny Fists over F#A# Infinity? Interesting. Of course, its been established from different angles that my aesthetics are weird, so I can't project my tastes... but Young Team, the Marshall Mathers LP, and Kid A would all appear on the list.

Oh, and I think I'm one of three people that like Zooropa and Pop almost as much as Achtung Baby. I think its some kind of disease.

clarkbar said...

I will add another voice to the Bends, Blue Album, Pinkerton chorus.

And how bouts heartbreaker instead of gold?

Others -- Sufjan "Michigan," Blur "Parklife," Spiritualized "Live at the Royal Albert Hall," Magnetic Fields "69 Love Songs" (it's like squeezing three albums onto the list for the price of one!), shins (i can't choose, so both) and am i crazy for wanting to add Terror Twilight to the pavement offerings?

Last but not least: the Mariah Carey christmas album. Instant classic.

The Deceiver said...

In case I forget, I'm really thankful for the commentary. I hoped it would promote discussion, or, as Here's a Hint calls it "argument". Keep it up!

The Governess said...

my vote would have been for "brotherhood" as well, actually.

i have a whole list of others.

cuff said...

Billy Bragg...yes. Taxman is one of the best albums I've ever owned.

The Shins gotta be on there. As for GBV, I'd go with Under the Bushes... before Mag Earwig, but maybe that's because I believe Official Ironman Rallying Song to be The Perfect Song.

Good list, though.

Anonymous said...

Eek, what shallow taste in music.

The Deceiver said...

Here's a little clue, anonymous: it's impossible for one's taste in music to be anything other than shallow. Especially rendered in list form.

If you're one of those types that buys records according to some calculated idea of self-reflecting depth, then all you are, at root, is a wanking poseur chump. And with the amount of time people like you spend kidding yourselves, I'm surprised you've got time to read blogs.

John Chimpo said...

hard to take a list without the Stone Roses seriously.

The Deceiver said...

That's fair. I knew I'd probably catch hell for not including the Stone Roses.

PK said...

Hey commenters and comment-readers,

I'm making a record this month, and I'm blogging about it. The next topic is going to be what makes a good record. Come on by and opine to your heart's content at http://pkdc.blogspot.com...

John Chimpo said...

just giving you a hard time. I tried to do a list of album that first came to mind and I was shocked at how many I initially, and still do left out. Bottom line, there is a ton of stuff out there that rules.

The Deceiver said...

Dude, it is all good. There is a ton of good shit out there--I've been relistening to a few of the records people have pointed out I left off.

And you've got a great list too, BTW. If I hadn't capped mine at 1985, BEGGARS BANQUET and BLONDE ON BLONDE would have been up in there, fo sho.

red state-blues city said...

Got to give a huge Woo-Hoo for the presence of "It Takes a Nation of Millions...". I still thinks it's PE's best album, even though most folks see "Fear of a Black Planet" as their highlight.
I can see how DMB is more "goes with the territory" than "goes down in history". If I had a list, a Dave bootleg is more likely to make it than an album.

No Too Much Joy, "Cereal Killers"? (or did I miss it?) Shock-cakes. You got me hooked on that album ten years ago and it still hasn't gotten old.

And if Otis hadn't finished ahead of Slackjaw, I'd have to track down every copy of the OWB album and cross out the thank you that Paul gave you in the liner notes.