Thursday, May 18, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

So, I imagine some of you who read this have been pulling your hair out because I have yet to list any albums from The Beatles. Well calm down.

The Beatles 1

If you're not the biggest Beatles fan -- like me -- then this is your album. It's got all 27 of their #1 hits, spanning their entire career.


This is when The Beatles started getting good to me. Screw all that happy-go-lucky pop crap, give me the just-starting-to-experiment-with-acid Beatles any day.

The White Album

Look, it's just good. Buy it. Listen.

Really people

I'm sure you've seen something about the Northwestern soccer hazing pics by now.

But seriously, is it that big of a deal? Those are pretty tame, the same goes on at any college party on any campus, and a lot of high school parties too.

Hell, I've seen a lot worse.

People are too sensitive these days. It's not like there were any foreign objects or farm animals invovled, sheesh.

"Living so free is a tragedy / When you can't be what you want to be"

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

Today is brought to you by the letter A, as in awesome bands. We got two albums each from AC/DC and Aerosmith in this installment.

Back in Black

Normally, if you lose a lead singer, the band tanks. In this particular case AC/DC lost Bon Scott and replaced him with Brian Johnson. After which they released their best album ever and one of the landmark albums in heavy metal history. This one has quite possibly the best opening track ever in Hells Bells, one of the greatest songs ever in You Shook Me All Night Long, and one of the best pick-up lines in "Let me cut your cake with my knife."

AC/DC Live

Great bands need to be experienced live. AC/DC falls under that category.

Aerosmith's Greatest Hits

Aerosmith is one of those classic bands that put out hit after hit after hit, so it's hard to pick one particular album above the rest. This is where greatest hits albums come into play. This one has the classic Aerosmith tracks from before that mid-80s breakup deal.

Big Ones

Aerosmith made one of the better, if not the best, comebacks in rock history. This collection highlights the hits from the comeback.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

Today we continue with the heavy metal assault by going with three albums from the king of metal bands, Metallica.

Metallica (The Black Album)

The album that vaulted heavy metal into the mainstream. Some will tell you that this is the album that Metallica sold out on, those people are idiots -- don't get to close them, it can be contagious. Metallica rocked hard as ever on The Black Album, they just happened to get a slightly new sound because they did all they could with their old one. If not for this album, bands like Godsmack, Chevelle and Korn would have never seen the light of day on radio stations.

Master of Puppets

Classic Metallica at their best. There is not a moment of letdown on this one. Just after the first track, Battery, beats the hell out of you, the title cut -- one of the better metal tracks ever -- comes and kicks you while your down. And that's how the whole album is: relentless and astonishing.


Gasp! How dare I put a "new" Metallica album on here. You know what? Screw you, this album was ingenious. A metal band joining forces with a symphony? Blasphemy, right? No, it bloody worked and worked damn well at that. If anything, this is on this list simply because you need to hear it happen.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

How about a little L.A. flavor in today's installment? Time to get a little crazy with one of the ultimate "what if" bands, Guns & Roses.

Appetite for Destruction

If you ask me, this is the single greatest debut album ever released. There's just so much raw energy on this one. It's like they went into the studio, plugged in and rocked the hell out for 12 songs and then went to party. In the middle of the hair band rage, GNR simply put out a kick ass rock & roll album.

Use Your Illusion I

So it had been four years since their debut album, and Lies wasn't truly a new LP. Combine that with the fact that GNR was relentlessly touring and expanding its fanbase, and you can imagine why people waited for hours to get this one...

Use Your Illusion II

... and this one. The range on these albums was unprecedented for a hard rock/heavy metal band. From their trademark raw energy to Axl calling out every GNR enemy to a Bob Dylan cover, these two albums spanned so much ground and created a remarkable sound. Sure, Axl started getting crazy(er?) around this time with all the swimming with dolphins in the videos, but a good listen is a good listen.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

Today's installment is going to have a little good ole Southern flavor to it, as I'll give yall two albums each by Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Black Crowes. Let's boogie.

(pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd)

One of the best debut albums ever, Skynyrd burst on to the scene with a bang. This one includes three of the most amazing songs ever written in Free Bird, Simple Man and Tuesday's Gone. Even though it may have taken fans a little while to get into this one, it's still an absolute classic.

Second Helping

This is the album that put Skynyrd and Southern Rock on the map. From the anthem-fueled Sweet Home Alabama to the swingin' toe-tapper Call Me the Breeze, Skynyrd put together their best album in only their second try.

Shake Your Money Maker

Listen. You hear that? That's called originality. In 1990, the rock scene was awkwardly in-between the hair band dominated 80s and the up and coming grunge movement. Problem was, the hair bands were played out and the grunge bands were fully there yet. So The Black Crowes came along and dropped one of the best albums of the 90s. This has energy throughout, and very unique songwriting for the time. It was a great throwback to the days before when bands used their music to be sexy, and not 15 cans of hair spray.

A Tribute to a Work in Progess: Greatest Hits 1990-1999

This is pretty much the one album that made me decide to include greatest hits on this list. Why? Well, not everyone loves The Black Crowes' sound, so they probably wouldn't enjoy a lot of the b-sides on their regular albums. But this one has all of their hits, which would be a great album to have in the car for TBC fans, and a good listen for casual fans.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

This installment, the first in my series, will be entirely dedicated to the greatest rock band to ever grace a stage: Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin

If you're gonna be a great band, you gotta have a great debut. LZ did just that with their 1969 classic. This album shows off Zeppelin's love for the blues, and their ability to take it and run with it. It also gives glimpses of the heavy sounds that would later place LZ as one of the pioneers of heavy metal music with songs like Dazed & Confused and Communication Breakdown. Those sounds continue...

Led Zeppelin II

... Nine months later when LZ dropped this bombshell. Jimmy Page owns this album from the opening lick of Whole Lotta Love to the final seconds of Bring It on Home. If their debut album established them as a force to be reckoned with, this one established them as one of the elite musical acts of the time.


Elite band before, legends after. Well, you know how I feel about this one.

Houses of the Holy

This is more for the commercial LZ fan. It's not the best they ever did, but it may be the catchiest. That's not to say it's not a great album, because it is. This one boasts a solid range, and a really smooth sound throughout.

Physical Graffiti

This is one that many argue is the best LZ album, simply because it displays unthinkable range. The band goes from heavy to almost country in a few tracks. Possibly the best lyrical album LZ did.

How the West Was Won

I have few rules when it comes to music, but one of them is that a band must be good live. Well, Zeppelin has been regarded as one of the better live bands ever. But the one thing their collection always lacked was a live recordings album. Thanks to new technology, Jimmy Page was able to hunt down some old concert recordings and turn them into this great example of LZ's stage prowess.

The 100 Must Own Rock & Roll Albums

Alright, let's set some ground rules here.

First, this is a purely rock & roll list. That means no country, no rap, no blues (closest to rock, but still different and besides my area of expertise does not lie within blues music), no R&B, no pop... just rock.

Rock is punk, metal, classic, Southern... anything rock. Maybe my definition differs from yours, if you have a problem with that make your own damn list.

Now, I've thought hard about this one. I couldn't decide on whether to include greatest hits albums. But then I remembered that this is just a "must own" list and not a list of the greatest albums ever made. So, I'm going to include them because some bands didn't make a memorable album per se, but their greatest hits are well worth buying.

OK, I think that about settles everything. Remember, these installments will be random, there is no order. Some posts may have three albums, some one, others ten. Just sit back and enjoy.

First installment coming shortly.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New feature coming soon

In order to actually get content on here, I'm going to start doing regular features on here.

The first one will be my "100 Albums Every Rock Fan Must Absolutely Own" list.

There will be no particular order to this list, that would just be too hard. The criteria? Same as always on here: my own personal opinion.

Expect the first installment within the next couple of days. Hope yall enjoy it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The List

Anytime I get to talking music, somebody asks the inevitable question: "so what's your favorite song?" That question is fucking impossible to answer. It's not enought to say "anything by Zeppelin," they want specifics.

When we're talking about favorite bands/artists I can roll those off easily. But picking a specific song out of the thousands I know every word to? Forget it.

Until now. This past summer I spent one weekend recovering from a Friday night and listening to a lot of music. I came up with The List. I happened to run over it the other day and made a change or two, and felt like sharing it. Aren't you so lucky?

Anyway, here we go...

Honarable Mention: Remedy - The Black Crowes (One of the ultimate toe-tapping bands at the height of their talent); Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Guns n' Roses (Best cover ever, until I was actually educated about music I swore this was a GNR original because of the pure emotion the band pours into it); Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (Great opening, great lyrics, great song); I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why) - Alabama (A great track by a band who could change their sound and still be the best in business); Fuel - Metallica (Get's me pumped every time I listen to it); Changes - Tupac (Hey, the man was good)

10. Learning to Fly - Pink Floyd
Awesome lyrics, great sound. Floyd at their best in my opinion.

9. Shooting Star - Bad Company
Not much to say, just an awesome song. Easy to sing along to, and it's got that anthem quality to it. I've always thought this would be a great song to put over a montage of rock stars who died young.

8. Cowboy - Kid Rock
Before I heard this, I wasn't into the whole rap/metal thing. But for some reason I just loved this song. It was country, rap and hard rock perfectly mixed into one. It's clever and straightforward and just a song I can always rock out to.

7. Civil War - Guns n' Roses
An epic song that has both that signature balladness and hard rock attitude of GNR. Slash is great as always, and Axl Rose definitely was on to something here.

6. Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
One of the best riffs in music if ya ask me. It's catchy, but not to the extent where it gets cheesy. Also, Tom Petty is a god so that helps.

5. Life in the Fast Lane - The Eagles
Joe Walsh is the man, and this song proves it. Hotel California will always get more attention, but I think this riff blows it away. The Eagles just had so much range and this song is a credit to that.

4. The Ocean - Led Zeppelin
It's Zeppelin, need I say more? No other rhythm section has complemented a band better. John Bonham is a god on the drums. And of course, Jimmy Page creates yet another great riff.

3. Tuesday's Gone - Lynyrd Skynyrd
It'd be to easy to go with Sweet Home Alabama here. Same with Free Bird. This song is truly Skynyrd at their highest point. Great guitars, and Ronnie Van Zant's voice may be the best ever. Just so much emotion in this song that you can't help but sing at the top of your lungs whenever it comes on.

2. Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
Well, you read the review of Led Zeppelin 4.

1. My Home's In Alabama - Alabama
I'll keep it short: my national anthem.