Thursday Night Bar Fight #4: Road Trip!


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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879 Responses

  1. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    What is that a picture of?Report

      • Avatar Ethan Gach in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Just being a churlish youth : )Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Ethan Gach says:

          Don’t make me grab my walker and come down there.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Ethan Gach says:

          Then you shall earn an annoyingly pedantic lecture for your youthful impertinence!

          For Ethan and the other young ‘uns, music used to be sold on physical media. The medium that many of us knew in our youth were called “record albums,” or alternative “LP records,” in which LP stood for “Long Play.” These were discs of black vinyl roughly nine inches in diameter, upon which very precise grooves were engraved on both sides. A mechanical device would spin the disc, typically at a conventional speed of 100 revolutions every three minutes, and a very small needle would be set atop the spinning disc. Other electronic devices amplify the vibrations of the needle on the disc, which were then transferred via wire through more electronic equipment and ultimately to speakers, which would then emit the sound recording.

          “But that’s an analog device, it’s not even digital!” is the protest. Indeed. On the one hand, the media and the device were fragile and required special care to use. The record could warp if exposed to heat, and all manner of mechanical problems could occur with the turntable device, the needle, or the execution of play. On the other hand, many audiophiles insist that, even today, the analog recording produces deeper and richer sounds, with smoother transitions between notes.

          Because of the size and fragility of the discs, they would be sold within large sleeves, typically made of cardboard, and adorned with artwork. Much of this artwork was visually striking for its beauty and creativity. Later generations attempted to replicate the art with sleeves in compact discs but it’s not the same thing. Remember, though, this was before there were music videos — something that they used to show on a cable channel which today broadcasts only terrible reality TV depicting the lives of terrible human beings.

          The medium of a vinyl disc would hold between twenty to thirty minutes of music per side of the album, which means that when you bought one of these “albums,” you would get ten songs (sometimes more, sometimes less) of about three minutes each, which you would listen to in the sequence which they were recorded, stopping about halfway through to flip the disc to the other side. There were techniques for random access of desired songs, which involved picking up the needle and dropping it carefully at the right location on the disc to access the correct song. Which was, I will concede, kind of a pain.

          But, Tod’s question reaches a subsequent generation of music recording-and-playback technology, the compact disc, which bridges the gap between physical media and digital music. Surely even the younger folks around these parts remember what those are. They can still be purchased in brick-and-mortar stores even to this day, and many cars come equipped with devices capable of playing these things.Report

          • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark in reply to Burt Likko says:

            Oh Grandpa!

            Tell me again about how you used to talk to people in person.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko says:

            You forgot the evil-monster part of the story:

            The ability of people to record their favorite albums and give them to friends who hadn’t purchased those albums or to record songs off the radio drove the Recording Industry of America into a tizzy.

            Then had laws enacted that charged an additional fee on every blank casette tape sold, with the funds going to the Recording Industry of America for royalties. So you bought some blank tapes to record a history lecture, you paid them.

            Another frightening chapter in the story is the switch from tape/LP to CD; much cheaper to produce, the The Recording Industry of America increased prices without increasing any payments to recording artists.

            Artists going direct to audience and peer-to-peer sharing is a karmic debt.Report

          • I’ll pick a nit with “engraved”. Commercial LPs are molded in a hydraulic press — which could produce any other surface texture equally well. The original master disk is an engraving; the copies are not, at least as I define engraving.

            The LP vs CD arguments always amused me. Particularly when vinyl fanciers argued that the LP was somehow more true to the original. When cutting the master, the signal ran through analog filters to de-emphasize bass and over-emphasize treble to compensate for the limitations of the cutter and medium. On playback, a reverse of that filter restored the signal to an approximation of the original. Most people who claimed to prefer vinyl actually preferred a particular implementation of the RIAA equalization filter. That is, they preferred their music distorted in certain ways. I’ve seen some studies that suggest people who have grown up with low-bit-rate MP3 recordings prefer music with specific high-frequency distortions in blind listening tests.Report

            • Avatar Will H. in reply to Michael Cain says:

              I think you’re referring to Dolby, which was used more in tape products.
              The heat from friction reduces the highs over time.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Michael Cain says:

              The LP / CD debate was perfectly valid, back when the first CDs were coming out. If it’s less-valid now, it’s because the old tapes have been hauled out and mounted on the old Studers and been remixed for the capabilities of modern amps and speakers.

              Every time I see someone wearing ear buds, I smile grimly. How anyone can tolerate the crappy speakers on those things I’ll never understand.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to BlaiseP says:

                If by “ear buds” you just mean the stock white iPod ones, I agree – total crap. But there are some decent in-ear ‘phones out there, even in the <$50 range.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

                Over ear or hit the highway.

                The big part of the LP/CD debate was that a lot of the early CDs weren’t reprocessed. And truly, a bunch of those AAD discs sound worse than the AAA LP that was pressed from the same analog mixing.Report

              • It depends. The best pair of headphones I have ever owned are wrap-around buds made by Bang & Olufsen. Like, no other pair is even close. They’re so good I don’t even bother taking my over-ear made-for-airplanes BOSE phones on airplanes anymore.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Glyph says:

                If stupid rich is the goal, I suggest dropping the headphones altogether and buying a pair of these…


              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                Heh. I have already determined that the next speakers I buy will be Maggies. They have a “first taste is cheap” model, the MMGW’s, that are $325 a pair and go on-wall. I will go with these (particularly since I will probably need to upgrade my amp to drive them).Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Glyph says:

                Once you try Maggies you will never go back. They require gobs of power though. I bought a pair 26 years ago and they still sound amazing. There is something special to music projected by a dipole without that box sound.

                Oh, and move them way out from the back wall. This allows you to tune the bass reinforcement and minimize midrange smearing.

                I usually surf the Internet in my music room listening to my old maggies. Just finished playing Mozart and switched to Sonny Rollins on Way Out West.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Glyph says:

                I use the Crate MX120R for playback.
                Makes that little mp3 player kick.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                Yeah, I’ve heard the bigger free-standing models, and they are amazing, but they are so expensive and require so much space. The reviews I read on the MMGW’s lead me to believe they’ll be good enough for my purposes, they fold flat against the wall when not in use, and $325/pair is VERY reasonable for speakers.

                Of course, Magnepan is counting on me later getting richer and upgrading, but joke’s on them. I’ll never be any richer.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Glyph says:

                The other thing of course is to buy used. I wouldnt recommend going too old, but you can get a 5 or 6 year old pair of 1.6′ s for under a grand. Older and they will be even less.

                If you don’t have a high powered, high current amp, the cheap way to drive Maggies is with Emotiva amps. The best bang for the buck in amps. They sound phenomenal on Maggies.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Glyph says:

                Speaking of MP3 playback…

                The amazing thing is how many people allow their ITunes library to ruin their music with compression technology. The default setting is compressed to save space on MP3 players. Everyone neglects to reset it to Apple Lossless or FLAC.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                Any new freestanding speakers are far off in my future. I have little ones and space is at a premium, plus I don’t need them sticking a lightsaber through them (which is why wall-mounted, flat-folding speakers that are reasonably-priced seem a better bet).

                When I have a music room, one happy day, things will be different. Until then I may content myself with some decent headphones – there are some planar models out there (same basic idea as Magnepans).Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                Does iTunes handle FLAC native? It didn’t use to.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Glyph says:

                When I ripped all mine, I picked .mp3 format because it was more ubiquitous, and I did ’em at 256 because I needed to save disk space, and 384 vs. 256 is noticeable only on the occasional track.

                Now, admittedly my ears are starting to go, so maybe this is a “good enough for me, not for thee” thing.

                Yes, I know, uncompressed Ogg or FLAC is the One True Way.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Glyph says:

                I believe you have to use Apple Lossless.

                If the quality doesn’t matter, it does save a lot of space to compress. And like Michael said, a lot of people are starting to prefer the sound. It sounds really smooth and liquid.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Glyph says:

                I can barely tell the difference between 128 and 192. I finally upgraded my rips to 192 simply so that it plays at the same volume as the stuff I download from Amazon.

                I can’t tell the difference between 192 and 256. 384? Forget it. There are advantages to being hard-of-hearing.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Glyph says:

                My digital software is old, and doesn’t allow me to edit FLAC.

                The other day, I was listening to an old demo cassette from ’97 of yours truly, amazed at how some of that stuff still holds up.
                Then I popped in a mp3 cd of the Presidents, and it made the crappy production value of the demo sound fairly good.
                It really shows in the brightness of the cymbals.

                The thing is, I typically hard shelf everything above 16k for recordings purposes.
                Most of what you hear above that is noise, which is generated naturally by the action of the speakers in playback.
                Where that’s missing, you can always add air back in with an exciter.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to Glyph says:

                My hearing loss is in the upper range. I bet I can’t get anything above 16k anyway.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Glyph says:

                Most people can hear up to 20 – 22.5k, but the drivers don’t go that far up.
                If you take a look at the Renkus-Heinz drivers and compare the cost of those that go to 16k with the ones that go to 20, you’ll see why 16k is an effective limit.

                I also hard shelf everything below 28Hz.
                That’s the rating limit for the 18″ JBLs. They produce tones lower than that, but those tomes aren’t rated for the same drive.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                I’m a Bose over the ear man, myself, though not the noise-cancelling variety. I swear by my AE2 headphones. I used to be a Sony MDR-V700DJ fan but they were just Hobnorkshus Heavy.

                I only ask of recorded music and playback systems to be clear, with full dynamic range and no sweeteners, please. The engineer went to a great deal of trouble at mixdown: don’t mess with what he did. He had his reasons. Those old Supremes records? All that Motown stuff? Berry Gordy would have it mixed down using a pair of car speakers so it would sound right, coming out crappy sound systems. When Bob Ludwig was mastering all that wonderful music, he knew the limitations of his machinery: the early square-wave synths would wreak hell on disc masters.

                Steely Dan tried using some of the early Dolby compression technology. Screwed up a whole album. Katy Lied.

                Don’t rely on compression or sweeteners or buy Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones. Such things will not improve the music. They always make it worse.

                Well, now we’re modern and lucky. We’ve sampled many of those old tapes. Hopefully future generations will keep those bits transferred forward onto media which can be played back. The tape won’t be there.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to BlaiseP says:

                I just attended the Chicago Audio show this last weekend and the rooms were about 75% vinyl. I would say the rest were primarily computer audio, with a couple CDs and one reel to reel.

                My preference is record dependent, though I have been starting to really appreciate digital lately. It is definitely easier to start inexpensive with digital.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Roger says:

                There are a few things that attracted me to digital.
                Splicing is a lot easier. And the glue never pops off.
                Application of effects is typically faster than spinning a tape in real-time.

                But I love my Tascam 4-track.
                Especially when I can expand it to 16 so easily with Cakewalk.Report

            • Avatar Roger in reply to Michael Cain says:

              “I’ve seen some studies that suggest people who have grown up with low-bit-rate MP3 recordings prefer music with specific high-frequency distortions in blind listening.”

              This is the sad state of affairs in pop music today. People are growing up listening to massively compressed, low bit rate music with a smoothed out top end and the dynamics squeezed out to result in maximal average loudness. So producers are mastering records with this sound. Most current pop is becoming unlistenable on a system designed to play accurately recorded music.

              Recent mixes of old classics, like Rush’s 2112 or Dire Straights Brothers in Arms are even being ruined o give the ear bid crowd what they love.

              Luckily classical, jazz, blues and such are not yet ruined. I have heard a backlash is starting to form on pop. Heck, there is no expense in recording it right and then selling a shitty version for more. We need some capitalist to save the day.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko says:

            Most excellent Burt. I think oldsters had a love affair with vinyl, and albums!, and all the wonderful rituals that were part of playing music. Kids Today just won’t ever experience that. Well, maybe ironically.Report

  2. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Doolittle – Pixies

    By the Way – Chili Peppers

    Guero – BeckReport

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Ethan Gach says:

      +1 on Doolittle, except can we use a burned CD on which we have substituted “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)” for the album version? It would have broken up the album flow so much better.Report

  3. Avatar Kim says:

    The Note of SatanismReport

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I am confused by the first and second rules. Should the first one be ten songs?

    My choices based on the ambiguity of the rules:

    1. Different Class-Pulp

    2. This is Hardcore-Pulp

    3. Chet in Paris-Chet Baker

    4. 69 Love Songs-The Magnetic Fields

    5.The White Album-The Beatles.

    6-Live at the Village Vanguard-Sonny Rollins

    7.The Kids are Alight-The Who

    8. If You are Feeling Sinister-Belle and Sebastian

    9. Dig Me Out-Sleater-KenneyReport

  5. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Golden Earring – Big Game (for Radar Love)
    The Sweet – Little Willy & Ballroom Blitz
    Trooper – Raise a Little Hell
    Kiss – Destroyer
    Joe Satriani – Surfing With The Alien & Flying in a Blue DreamReport

    • Avatar zic in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      This is not a vote for Radar Love, it’s a suggestion for a future bar fight:

      Radar Love was the soundtrack for my first serious boyfriend. Just the one song, not the album. That would make a good future bar fight; the soundtrack, the romance, and the outcome; or as much as one feels comfortably revealing.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      I’d rather have Surfing with the Alien than Flying in a Blue Dream. Two Joe is 1/5 of the music. One thumbs up on SwtA (Satch Boogie!) and one down on FiaBD.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist says:

      I really like Desolation Boulevard. It’s one of the classics of rock ‘n roll.
      This was the first album where the Sweet were permitted to play their own songs. Side One is the songwriting duo the label signed them to sell for (with studio musicians playing the instruments). I think “Hellraiser” (released as a single) was the first one they were allowed to play their own instruments.
      If you listen to the difference in the British & American versions of “Fox on the Run,” you’ll see quite a difference.
      They didn’t do so well at the live shows, because the kids were expecting something more like the Archies, and they got a band that was pretty heavy for the time.

      I like about every song from Side 2, but only a couple from Side 1. Side 2 is all the stuff written by the Sweet.

      And if you listen to “Love Is Like Oxygen,” you’ll see that there was a tremendous difference after the band got control of the recording of material.
      Those guys actually rock.Report

  6. Avatar Sam says:

    10 albums is way too many.Report

  7. 1) “Comfort Eagle” by Cake. Because the songs are awesome to drive to, especially “Love You Madly.”

    2) “The Globe Sessions” by Sheryl Crow. Because not only is it a legitimately great album in its own right (my favorite of hers, and I’m a fan), but it was the absolute best break-up album during a particularly bad break-up of mine and listening to it would give me a perfect excuse to gripe to everyone in the car about what an asshole that guy was. Also, all of my other ex-boyfriends.

    3) “The Immaculate Collection” by Madonna. Because screw your “greatest hits” prohibition, it has almost all of my favorite songs of hers in one place, and I like the version of “Express Yourself” on that album better than the original in “Like a Prayer.”

    4) “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. Because we will need something lovely and peaceful to listen to in the background when we’re having more thoughtful conversations.

    5) “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple. Because Fiona is one hell of a songwriter and lyricist and “Red Red Red” is hauntingly beautiful. Also because I think the title song and “Waltz (Better Than Fine)” are as close as she ever gets to “cheerful.”

    6) The movie soundtrack to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Because I can sing the entire score from memory, and I want dibs on Judas when we pick parts.

    7) Beethoven’s 9th symphony. I refuse to stoop to justifying this one.

    8) “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles. Because we obviously need an album by the Beatles and this seems the one most likely to get everyone’s vote.

    9) “MobySongs” by Moby. I think it’s also a greatest hits album, but since I had no compunction about ignoring the rules with Madonna why should I now? (Maybe an exception can be made for one-named recording artists whose names start with “M”?) Because I like these songs a lot.

    10) “Warm Sounds” by zero7. Because the songs are really beautiful and I think people will like them.

    Edited (because I can): Sorry, Moby. I was apparently high on crack when I composed this list, and left off “Graceland” by Paul Simon. Someone has to go, my friend, and it’s you. Because “Graceland” is perfection in audible form.Report

  8. Avatar Kim says:

    I’m rather irritated that no game soundtracks are allowed. Guess I’ll have to settle for actually getting something in the mixtape (so far, no ones actually recommending something someone else has recommended, so I guess I win that bet… so far).Report

  9. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Royal Scam – Steely DanReport

  10. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Okay, I could easily nominate about a hundred candidates.

    But with this crowd? On this site? With all the haterade?

    There is only one thing I can do.

    I will pick one album, ensuring at least three votes.

    Rush, “Moving Pictures”.Report

  11. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Point of order/clarification:

    Live albums do not count as compilations or greatest hits albums, if they are single session live recordings. Yes, or no?Report

  12. Avatar zic says:

    Native Dancer Wayne Shorter.
    Bitches Brew, Miles Davis
    Heavy Weather Weather Report
    Birds of Fire Mahavishnu Orchestra
    Return to Forever Return to Forever/Chick Corea
    Ah Um Charles Mingus
    Monk’s Dream Thelonius Monk
    My Favorite Things John Coltrane
    Houses of the Holy Led Zeppelin
    Zap Mama Zap MamaReport

  13. Avatar MikeSchilling says:

    Abbey Road — Beatles

    Collected Harpsichord Concerti — Bach (Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood)

    Who’s Next — The Who

    Aja — Steely Dan

    Piano Rags by Scott Joplin (Joshua Rifkin)

    Blonde on Blonde — Bob Dylan

    To The Bone — The Kinks

    Symphonies 35,39-41 — Mozart (Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell)

    The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle — Springsteen

    Water Music — Handel (Bath Chamber Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin)Report

  14. Avatar Pinky says:

    Jethro Tull – A Little Light Music
    Dave Matthews / Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – 4-Way Street
    Barenaked Ladies – Rock Spectacle
    Rush – Moving Pictures (I may have gone with Exit…Stage Left, but I’ve got to throw some support Patrick’s way.)
    Eric Clapton Unplugged
    soundtrack from The Commitments
    Beethoven’s 7th
    Tchaikovsky’s 4thReport

  15. Avatar Trina Voss says:

    Weird Al’s Dare to be Stupid. Gotta stick with the classics.Report

  16. Avatar Roger says:

    A lot of the above recommendations are great musical choices, but not all are necessarily great road trip selections.

    This is the perfect road tip collection:
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood — Welcome to the Pleasure-dome
    The Clash — London Calling
    Liz Phair — Exhile in Guyville
    Elvis Costello — My Aim is True
    Jack Johnson — Brushfire Faireytales
    Damian Marley — Welcome to Jamrock
    Stevie Wonder — Innervisions
    The Wailers — Burnin’
    Led Zepelin — How The West Was Won
    The final choice is either Live at Leeds or Abbey Road, whichever I can find firstReport

  17. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Based on the rules it seems to me what we’re looking for are albums to listen to all the way through and repeatedly for a long period of time. They should be fun and engaging and consistently entertaining for all the songs, not just the popular tracks (we’re listening to the whole album, not cherry-picking individual songs). So my nominees are:

    Beatles: Rubber Soul (but I’m good with Sgt. Pepper or the White Album too).
    Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
    Boston: Boston
    Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
    Journey: Escape
    Garbage: Garbage (Version 2.0 equally acceptable)
    Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
    Adele: 21
    Delerium: Karma
    Eric Clapton: UnpluggedReport

  18. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

    David Bowie – Diamond Dogs

    Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat

    Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works vol. 2 (Note: This is NOT an anthology or a boxed set. It’s an album.)

    Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

    R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant

    The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

    Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister

    They Might Be Giants – John Henry, although I’ll change my vote to their self-titled album or to Flood if anyone backs me up on those.Report

  19. Avatar Pinky says:

    I’d love to see a final round on this game. There’s got to be some vote-splitting, like with Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.Report

  20. Avatar Glyph says:

    CCR – Cosmo’s Factory (really, it was hard not just to fill this list out with CCR)

    REM – Life’s Rich Pagaeant (REM is great roadtrip music, CCR’s spiritual heir in the 80s)

    Guided by Voices – Under the Bushes, Under the Stars (and GbV were in some ways REM’s 90’s heir; fidelity-wise this one should be more palatable to my fellow passengers than Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes)

    Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (guitars enough for both the Boston AND MBV camps; bonkers drumming for the Rush fans; angsty enough for the kids and musically-ambitious enough for the adults; lots of little psychedelic nooks and corners to get lost in – a mixed group listened to almost nothing BUT this on one 36-hour road trip)

    Stone Roses – s/t (and THIS was on the other side of that tape)

    Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (long & there’s something for everyone; this one PLAYS like a mixtape).

    Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (maybe their most varied record)

    The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (again, long and varied)

    LCD Soundsystem – s/t (to get that dance party started, plus it’s long, plus it helps make up for the fact there’s not a good way to get New Order on this list due to the unevenness of their albums)

    T. Rex – The Slider (needs no justification)Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Glyph says:

      Siamese Dream is a really good album. Sticky Fingers is good.

      I’ll upvote Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, but… oh, wait, I can’t make other suggestions.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

      +1 on Siamese DreamReport

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Also, Smashing Pumpkins were one of the top 5 worst concerts I’ve ever seen (saw them in ’94).Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

          I was lucky to see them at a medium-sized club right as Siamese Dream was coming out – I was working at the radio station so I was able to get into the (way-over-sold-out-and-frankly-trampling-death-dangerous) show.

          They were on FIRE. Hungry enough to want the world, and confident because they had just made the record that would do it.

          To this day I don’t know if I have ever seen a more gonzo drum performance than “Geek USA” (and Chamberlin made it look EASY).Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

            I think by the time I saw them Chamberlin was so messed up that he wasn’t that good. None of them were. And Corgan’s voice was shot.Report

            • I’m not down voting anything (seems churlish to me), but I will simply note that I find Corgan’s voice… unlovely.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Russell Saunders says:

                Tod – I move that despite Russel’s decorum, this counts as a downvote against Siamese Dream; it’s only fair, since I tried to throw out his Pink Moon.

                Doc, if it helps at all – on SD Butch Vig had the eminent good sense to mix his voice way down, so it’s not nearly so nasal. It’s one reason why SD is great, and later albums (when Corgan pushed his own voice high up in the mix) are not so great.Report

              • It’s been a jillion years since I listened to that album, so perhaps I’d like it better now. I just remember that musical era seemingly saturated with Smashing Pumpkins, and the vocals always set my teeth on edge.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

                Ugh, Mellon Folly and the Infinite Badness…Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

                There’s one good album, in that two-disc set.

                But that one album is still improperly produced, w/r/t his voice.

                “1979” is the only song I bothered to rip into my library.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

                It’s the only song I have from that album too. It is a very good song.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Chris says:

                Interesting note about MC&tIB:

                My friend who discovered Siamese Dream was the one who told me, “Take it back” when I told him I’d picked up Mellon Collie. I hadn’t opened it yet.

                On his recommendation, I took it back. It’s the only musical purchase I’ve ever returned.

                (except for an independent label band called “Freaky Fukin’ Weirdoz” who had an EP called “Bitch Make Sandwich”, which I bought because I was drunk and an idiot roomate egged me into it in the first place.)Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                God I wish you had kept that last album.

                Remember that in the post-Nirvana major-label-WTF-is-going-on era, a band called “Butt Trumpet” could somehow release an album called “Primitive Enema” and get it into stores?

                Good times, good times.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                Glyph, I think you have a new Wednesday music post theme.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                I almost kept it, just as a conversation piece.

                But while you get both good and bad conversations about an EP titled “Bitch Make Sandwich”, you also get a small percentage of very, very bad conversations, and no very, very good conversations to make up for it.

                I already have to explain Stormtroopers of Death’s “Speak English or Die”.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                DUDE. I used to have that SOD. They wouldn’t be topped for song titles until AC (no, I won’t type out their name) came along.

                I kept an EP by a band called Cheeseburger because it has THE WORST cover art you have ever seen (the music isn’t bad, it’s just sort of AC/DC party rock). The only way I will link an image here is if I can somehow rot13 it.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

                The version of “Chromatic Death” on “Speak English or Die” is like, a thousand times faster than the version of “Chromatic Death” on Anthrax’s “Attack of the Killer B’s”.

                I didn’t even think that was possible.Report

              • I join the Doc in this opinion. Great ideas in the Pumpkins’ music but Corgan is even whinier than Michael Stipe, and in a way that does not engender affection and sympathy the way Stipe’s voice does.Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Glyph says:

      +1 for Sticky Fingers.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Glyph says:

      I heartily second (well, more than second but I lost count) both Kiss Me (etc) and Yo La Tengo (another band I only really appreciate on the road).Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

      Can I swap one of mine out (maybe GbV, since it appears no one here would ever second it, you uncultured rubes) for The Velvet Underground & Nico (though the s/t third record would also be acceptable – I like White Light, but that one could be a bit abrasive for some)?

      How has no one (including my own idiotic self) chosen the Velvets?Report

  21. Avatar mark boggs says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, and maybe I’m the only one gleefully taking advantage of this fact, but I can game the system by waiting for others to suggest the albums I like and then I go and +1 them, therefore allowing myself to give more weight to more albums than the 10 choices I’m supposed to receive. I’m hoping this will not cause hard feelings during our time on the island together.Report

  22. Avatar Kazzy says:

    My Dark and Twisted Fantasy – Kanye WestReport

  23. Avatar Chris says:

    1. Kind of Blue – Miles
    2. Blue Trane – Coltrane
    3. The Band – The Band
    4. Highway 61 Revisited – Dylan
    5. Doolittle – Pixies
    6. Illmatic – Nas
    7. Pastel Blues – Nina Simone
    8. Complete Brandenburg Concertos – Bach
    9. Rubber Soul – The Beatles
    10.The Boatman’s Call – Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsReport

  24. Avatar crash says:

    For road trips you gotta go heavy on the rock and country. The rock helps you stay awake, the country gets you thinking about dirt roads and honkytonks and beer. Some jazz to mix things up. Nothing too mellow or sad, otherwise you find yourself crying and thinking about exes and the poor choices you’ve made and all that.

    The Clash–The Clash.
    not gonna fall asleep during this one

    Stones–Exile on Main Street
    the best Stones album

    Johnny Cash–Live at Folsom Prison
    helps keep the speed up. turn it down if you get pulled over

    Lucinda Williams–Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

    Joe Ely–Joe Ely
    a lotta traveling in this one. Also “Suckin’ a Big Bottle of Gin” which is a great driving song

    Mingus–Ah Um

    Bruce–Born in the USA
    maybe not his best but “Darlington County” is a great road song, album is solid top to bottom

    Pogues–Rum Sodomy and the Lash
    for the backseat drinkers

    Rod Stewart–Every Picture Tells a Story
    footloose and fancy free

    Joan Jett–GH
    total cheat on the rules, sorryReport

  25. Avatar Michelle says:

    Fun topic, Tod!

    1. Leonard Cohen, Live in London
    2. Jackson Browne, Late for the Sky
    3. The Eagles, Hotel California
    4. Van Morrison, It’s Too Late To Stop Now
    5. Joni Mitchell, Shadows and Light
    6. Graham Parker, Squeezing Out The Sparks
    7. John Hiatt, Slow Turning
    8. Warren Zevon, Life’ll Kill Ya
    9. Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
    10. Red Elvises, Drinking With JesusReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Michelle says:

      I will upvote The Eagles, even though every time it comes on I’m gonna quote The Dude.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Michelle says:

      I do not have upvote privileges, but if I did I’d give ones to many on this list, especially Cohen, Browne, Parker, Red Elvises and the Boss. I’d also give bonus points for all of those save Born to Run (which I’m now kicking myself for not making one of my 10) for being so unexpected *and* awesome choices.Report

    • Avatar crash in reply to Michelle says:

      +1 Van Morrison
      +1 Squeezing out Sparks. That’ll keep the ol’ blood pumpingReport

    • Avatar zic in reply to Michelle says:

      +1 on Joni.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to zic says:

        I attended the concert where that album was recorded, which makes it a real sentimental favorite for me. Santa Barbara County Bowl, sometime in the early 1980s, I think.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Michelle says:

      Down voting Hotel California.


      The Big Lebowski jokes may commence now.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to NewDealer says:

        You clearly didn’t go to high school or college in Southern California in the 1970s. I’m pretty sure knowing the lyrics to almost every Eagle’s song was mandatory.Report

        • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Michelle says:

          Berkeley too: The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac were ubiquitous.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Michelle says:

          You would be correct. If I was alive in the 1970s (I was born in 80), I like to think I’d be the kid into the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, etc.

          The Eagles are all that is wrong and excessive with 70s rock. I can see why the punks rebelled.Report

          • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

            The Eagles are all that is wrong and excessive with 70s rock.

            It’s OK if you don’t like the Eagles (I personally think they are better than their current reputation suggests), but…have you actually HEARD much 70’s rock? The Eagles were downright conservative, restrained and tasteful compared to some of that stuff.Report

            • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

              True but I thought part of the punk rebellion was also against the ethos of what the Eagles preached in songs like Hotel California.

              There is just something about their stuff and the lifestyle it celebrates that really bugs me. I can look into 1960s rock culture, fashion, etc and see the appeal. Almost everything about the 1970s and what was considered cool mystifies me.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

                Hmmm…maybe I misunderstand what “Hotel California” is about, but songs like that (and “Life In The Fast Lane”) seem to me to explicitly preach AGAINST empty party-time existence.

                (Of course, the drug-addled band undoubtedly knew whereof they spoke, and many fans surely missed the implicit critiques).Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to NewDealer says:

                I’ve long thought that the punk ethos was against what the Eagles were. Big-market superbands, empahsis on virtuoso instrumental skills, lots of marketing and packaging, lots of emphasis on personality and focusing attention on the performers, celebrity, money, affectations of world-weariness and outrage despite actually having it all (Don Henley was, and still is, particularly good at this).

                Punk said of the Eagles, “These guys aren’t gods. They’re just dudes like us. They don’t even look like they’re having fun or getting laid all that much. All they’re doing is serving up packaging for big record companies and selling out. You don’t even need to play your instruments all that well to be a musician — what, it’s three chords and go, right? Anyone can do that.”Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

                I’m not saying they weren’t a target, or part of the big-money machine…what I am saying is they don’t necessarily DESERVE the ire, the way that say Yes or ELP and all that faux-orchestral nonsense did.

                The Eagles wrote fairly simple songs that were basically country songs, and which had enough self-awareness to critique the lifestyle they were ensconced in.

                I know it’s hip post-Lebowski to bag on them, but they’re not as bad (taking the music alone) as their current rep suggests.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Glyph says:

                I agree with Glyph. Musically, punk was a rebellion against generic, over-produced stadium rock like Journey much more than against Eagles-ish country-rock. Though, as the Eagles’ career went on, they became less country-ish and more “polished”.Report

              • Avatar Roger in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Which reminds me we should include Never Mind The Bullocks and The Pretenders debut album into our play list.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                The Ramones, The Clash, Buzzcocks, were around long before Journey.

                I think that we are all in agreement that it was a back to the basics rebellion though.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

                I sometimes think that the Eagles hate is less a result of the Eagles as a band, and more a result of Don Henley’s post-Eagles (but also pre-Eagles many “final” reunion tours) solo stuff, which was about as soulless and generic as it is possible to be.

                Plus, the songs are just stupid. My son, when he was 7 or 8, asked me, “Why does he keep saying that all she wants to do is dance, when she also once to make romance?”

                Joe Walsh is cool, though.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Chris says:

                “Boys of Summer” is ACES though, and excuses almost all other sins.

                Fun fact: that song was originally demoed by Heartbreaker Mike Campbell (who wrote the music/plays guitar on it), for Tom Petty, who passed on it due to the synths. You can kind of tell its origins in the melody.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

                I hated the Eagles long before the The Big Lebowski.

                Hotel California and Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight are two of the worst songs of rock history.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Michelle says:

      +1 on Joni Mitchell. Extraordinary writing.

      There was a time I’d have given a +1 to the Eagles because that album has fantastic guitar work. But I over-listened to that album in my teens and early twenties and now it’s more tedious than enjoyable. So no vote one way or the other on the Eagles.Report

      • Avatar Roger in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I so love 7os era Joni. Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. Mingus. Hejira.

        Joni and Jaco were a great combo. So much better than anything Jaco did with Weather Report with the possible exception of Birdland.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Michelle says:

      I don’t think there’s one Zevon album that would do it for me. He wrote perfect little three-minute songs – great for a greatest hits album, but I can’t think of one album that would give me the Zevon experience. And when he gets depressing, wow, I’d be worried that the driver would send the car off a bridge.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to Pinky says:

        His last two albums, recorded when he knew he was not long for the world, are bittersweet reflections on life and death. He does a version of Knocking on Heaven’s Door that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Surprisingly enough, these albums are more playful and far less dark than a lot of his earlier stuff.Report

    • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Michelle says:

      I like Jackson Browne, but it has to be Saturate Before Using.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Michelle says:

      +1 to Van Morrison

      Moondance is one of my favorite albums, and “Caravan” one of my favorite songs (which, given my list above, makes this another religious experience:

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Michelle says:

      Enthusiastic agreement for Leonard Cohen, and for that particular Cohen album.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to Maribou says:

        We, along with half the other Jews in L.A., saw him in concert on that particular tour. It was amazing and every time I play that CD I remember how amazing. I can’t believe the guy is in his late 70s.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Michelle says:

      Upvoting Springsteed, Born to Run and Van Morrison, Too Late to Stop.

      I don’t have either album, but I like both artists.Report

    • Avatar Anne in reply to Michelle says:

      +1 Leonard Cohen
      +1 Eagles
      + Red ElvisesReport

  26. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Loveless by My Bloody Valentine
    The Sensual World by Kate Bush
    Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins
    Mezzanine by Massive Attack
    Protection by Massive Attack
    Pre-Millennium Tension by Tricky
    Homogenic by Bjork
    Kid A by Radiohead (maybe The Bends or OK Computer, if you want to argue about that)
    Boys for Pele by Tori Amos
    No Cure For Cancer by Denis LearyReport

  27. In the age of having an entire music library on hand at all times, it’s really tough to narrow it down to just ten albums. I chose based on my song ratings and play vs. skip ratio in iTunes. The winners have at least one five-star track each, and an average score above 4 stars. Unfortunately, some of my favorite tunes are left behind because they appear on an otherwise weak album.

    ABC: The Lexicon of Love
    Bill Hicks: Queen’s Theater Late Show ’92 (bootleg)
    Brian Culbertson: Long Night Out
    Chic: C’est Chic
    Larry Carlton: Fingerprints
    Michael Jackson: Thriller
    The Rippingtons: Weekend in Monaco
    Rush: Power Windows
    Steely Dan: Aja
    Steely Dan: GauchoReport

  28. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    Beethoven — 3rd Symphony.
    George Thorough[ly]good — any album (just look at his name!), but I’ll go with “Rockin’ My Life Away”
    Tom Petty — Largely same as George, but I’ll go with “Into the Great Wide Open”

    +1 for “Wish You Were Here” For an album with only 4.5 songs, it’s pretty awesome.Report

  29. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’m going to list off my ten nominations, but since I am the entire committee of judges no points will be awarded by my doing so. If people second them, however, I will count those as points.

    I will also note that I agree entirely with Burt’s musings above. If you’re planning an extended time limited to ten albums, you have to consider the entire album; you also have to think of the entire list of ten as a kind of meta-album that will take you different places. So not only are these my ten choices, I’m listing them in the order I’d place them in the carrousel.

    1. I love Everybody, Lyle Lovett. A perfect album to listen to as you settle into your seat, drift through the Starbucks drive-thru, and make your way onto the highway. (Most of the songs feel like a nice relaxed cup of joe on a breezy, sunny day anyway.) By the time we get to the track Penguins, we’re just about ready to start singing along out loud.

    2. Cosmic Thing, The B-52s. It’s time to rev up those engines and cover some ground. Cosmic Thing is one of those albums I would never put on at home, but as part of a long car drive it somehow feels essential. I defy you do so and not dance in your seat!

    3. Revolver, The Beatles. We need a Beatles album everyone can sing along with, and for me Revolver narrowly beats out Abbey Road for two reasons: One, it’s a little bit more upbeat and foot-tappy, which is good for a car trip (I may well get a speeding ticket when listening to And Your Bird Can Sing), and two, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) is so damn hypnotic that I could see myself driving off the road when the music shuts off unexpectedly.

    4. Punch the Clock, Elvis Costello. This is still my favorite total album from a man that’s made so many amazing ones. It also includes my favorite E.C. lyric of all time: Since nights were long and days were olden, woman to man has been beholden/She sends back his tribute of a rose and says this ring is better suited for the nose/he’s always fingering.

    5. Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie. Pretty much guaranteed to not only not make the cut, but to not get a single vote from that gallery. But I still wants me some Death Cab.

    6. Making Movies, Dire Straits. Not the perfect album, but for those that still remember vinyl Making Movies might well have boasted the perfect “Side One.” My opinion of this album grows with each passing year.

    7. Rhapsody In Blue/An American In Paris/Suite for Porgy & Bess, George Gershwin, Oscar Levant – Piano. We need some kind of orchestral music; if we’re traveling through America, why not choose the most American orchestral piece of all time? Besides, the middle section of Rhapsody sounds like it was made to be listened to while driving.

    8. Exile on Main St, The Rolling Stones. Greatest Stones album ever, and a great album for driving.

    9. Quadrophenia, The Who. It’s been a long day, it’s already getting dark, and it’s time to get a wee bit quiet, circumspect and maudlin. Quadrophenia is a perfect soundtrack for all of that.

    10. Blue Train, John Coltrane. Considered by many to be the last of the classic hard-bop albums. It may well be the perfect album to sip whiskey to; it’s a great listen when driving long stretches by starlight.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I’ll upvote Revolver and Narrow Stairs. I’d rather have Who’s Next than Quadrophenia, though.

      Although Death Cab intro album was Jack’s “ZOMG he still won’t freakin’ fall asleep drive around for 30 minutes in the car album” for a good reason, and might deserve rejection on the safety concern for just that reason.Report

    • OHMYGOD!!! What is WRONG with me that I left off “Cosmic Thing”!?!?!? (Unlike you, I would [and do] totally play it at home.)

      I’ve already edited my list once, so I’m not gonna do it again. But consider this a massive 1+ for “Cosmic Thing.” It is one of my all-time favorite albums ever, and I did listen to it (back in the high and far-off times of the Walkman) on family road trips, over and over and over.Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I’ll up vote Gershwin, although I can’t sing to it (a benefit to any fellow passengers as, or so I’ve been told, my voice can crack rocks).Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      This is not a downvote – I like the album OK, and I know it’s the consensus “best Stones” – but I’ll never understand why people prefer Exile to Fingers.

      Exile‘s production and songwriting are so samey/monotonous in comparison – I get tired of it.

      Fingers has great/varied songs, AND varied production/arrangement touches. I never get tired of it.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Glyph says:

        I considered Let It Bleed, just so I could hear Gimme Shelter.Report

      • Avatar crash in reply to Glyph says:

        I can agree on the production, most of EOMS is pretty muddled and dirty. Except for Tumbling Dice (there just Mick is muddled and dirty).

        But even if the songwriting is heavy on the country-fried, there is variety in the music: consider Tumbling Dice vs. All Down the Line vs. Torn and Frayed.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to crash says:

          I have a bootleg of acoustic Stones outtakes called “Unplugged”, and the “All Down The Line” on that is PHENOMENAL. I went though like a 10-day period of just listening to it on a loop.

          And I DO like the album, and they are great songs. I just like “Sticky Fingers” better. They never showed so much range as there (think of the end of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, where they give jazz & Carlos Santana a run for their money).Report

    • +1 for Cosmic Thing. It’s not one of my all-time favorites, but it’s definitely a great road trip album.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Brian Houser says:

        Genuine question from someone who only owns the first 2 B-52’s records – what makes Cosmic Thing better than the s/t debut, which has “Rock Lobster”, “Planet Claire”, “Lava” “Moon”, et al?

        “Rock Lobster” ALONE makes the album superior to 95% of the human race’s entire historical recorded output.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      How many different Beatles albums can I downvote and still have them counted? -1 on Revolver, if you’ll allow it.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Cosmic Thing is indeed a whole lot of fun. I can +1 it.

      Making Movies is good for that time of the drive just before sunset when a bit of self-hypnosis and alpha state in the brain is good for driving focus. And the guitar solos are ionospherically good. +1 there.

      I have a hard time picking between Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers if we’re going to rock out with Mick and Keef. Beggars Banquet is worth it for “Sympathy for the Devil” all on its own. Exile is a double album — what are the rules on that, does that count for one or two albums? In any event, I am totally down with the Stones for our road trip.Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Perfect side 1 is right. You’re doing something very right when a song as cool as Skateaway is the weak one.

      +1 for Quadrophenia. What’s better for a night drive past the water than Sea and Sand. (We’ll roll down the windows to get the sea breeze and picture being on our GS scooters.)Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Upvotes for Revolver, Making Movies, and Quadrophenia from here. More of my neutral whining for Blue Train (one of my favorite albums of all time that would likely lead to mass death by the 10th time through).

      And a very BIG upvote for Lyle Lovett, who is basically the best dude to play on any roadtrip ever.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      +1 for I Love EverybodyReport

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Definitely upvoting Revolver, although Beatles 1 is even more sing-able.Report

    • Avatar Anne in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      +1 Cosmic ThingReport

  30. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Which ten albums should we bring on our two month road trip?

    Oh, the photo album of my most adorable children, surely.Report

  31. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    By the way, Tod, I hate you for giving me the three vote option.

    Because I really, really, want to post a list.Report

  32. Fairly wide mix, some already mentioned.

    Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Facing Future
    Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick
    The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s
    Cake – Comfort Eagle
    Metallica – S&M
    Paul Simon – Graceland
    Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers
    Mussorgsky / Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition

    My thinking: wider mix helps keep it a little more interesting for longer. Yeah, there’s some modern pop in there, but I find the clever lyrics of FoW to be entertaining enough to overrule my classic rock preference (ditto with the funk baselines of Cake.). Also why I chose S&M over Metallica’s black album or Justice. And Iz… his take on Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of my go-to songs for relaxation, I’m assuming needed at some point on the road trip, so I’ll bargain my ass off to keep that album, just for that one song (though it’s a great album overall.)Report

  33. Avatar James Hanley says:

    In no particular order.

    1. Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
    2. Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
    3. The Damned: Phantasmagoria
    4. Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
    5. The Cult: Love
    6. Guns n’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction
    7. Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues
    8. Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers (I don’t care if it’s an anthology, your “no greatest hits” album doesn’t apply in the case of lost gone blues musicians who didn’t record actual albums.)
    9. Mississippi John Hurt: 1928 Sessions.
    10. Fleetwood Mac: RumoursReport

  34. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    1 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    2 Infected Mushroom – Classical Mushroom
    3 Wendy Carlos – Switched-on Bach
    4 Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session
    5 Joni Mitchell – Blue
    6 Saafi Brothers – Mystic Cigarettes
    7 Jethro Tull – This Was
    8 Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
    9 Various – Pi soundtrack (not to be confused with The Life of Pi)
    10 Bob Marley – Exodus

    That ended up being way less electronic than I would probably actually pack.Report

  35. Avatar zic says:

    I forgot the rules.

    So by zic’s unanimous consent, I hereby decree one downvote for each album by Springsteen. If he’s on, I’m out of the car; with the sole exception of that short and sweet song, I’m on Fire.Report

  36. Avatar dhex says:

    slayer – reign in blood

    will oldham – i see a darkness

    boards of canada – music has the right to childrenReport

  37. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Holy Shit comments!

    I thought I was an early bird!

    Anyways, I feel bad for whoever has to tally everything up.

    I put all points into CCR. CCR is the best music for road trips. There is nothing else to compare.Report

  38. Avatar Fish says:

    1. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins (was going to go with Siamese Dream, but I felt like I had to stand up for Mellon Collie)
    2. Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    3. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine
    4. The Fat Of The Land – The Prodigy
    5. Until Now – Swedish House Mafia
    6. Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
    7. There Is Nothing Left To Lose – Foo Fighters
    8. Elastica – Elastica
    9. No Need To Argue – The Cranberries
    10. My Dinosaur Life – Motion City SoundtrackReport

  39. Avatar Shazbot3 says:

    1. The Freewheelin Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan

    2. Willy and the Poor Boys: CCR

    3. Harvest: Neil Young

    4. The Covers Record: Cat Power

    5. War: U2

    6. Fear of Music: Talking Heads

    7. Up to Here: The Tragically Hip (only if we drive to Canada)

    8. Tattoo You: The Rolling Stones (weird pick, but I like it)

    9. No Need to Argue: The Cranberries

    10. “How to Avoid Huge Ships” Book on Tape: As Read by Lou FerrignoReport

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      Interesting – CCR, Stones, Dylan and Talking Heads are all getting multiple votes, but they may end up getting split, due to choosing different albums.

      I thought of picking a U2 album, but War is one of my least favorite of theirs. I would have gone Joshua or Achtung.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Glyph says:

        I think you might be the only person on earth who would construct S (the set of the best U2 albums) as {The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby}.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

          Achtung is a weird case. It’s really an album. If you take it apart, the individual pieces are not all that strong (and good God, it has some of Bono’s worst lyrics EVER). But if you listen to it from start to finish, it’s got a real emotional shape and a flow.

          But hey, I even like Unforgettable Fire, and a lot of people don’t. And Zooropa is far better than it has any right to be; other bands would kill to make a record that interesting. It’s not until Pop that they really went off the rails.Report

          • Avatar James in reply to Glyph says:

            UF is awesome, but mostly because it sounds so unfinished. It gives these fascinating hints of a direction that they never really ended up taking, but damn I wish they would have. They’d be poorer, but I’d be richer.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Glyph says:

            I just noticed Glyph likes Zooropa, too.

            We can now commence taking over the world.Report

            • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              (from the back of the van, quietly, but for the 275th time):

              “Don’t move
              Don’t talk out of time
              Don’t think
              Don’t worry
              Everything’s just fine
              Just fine”

              (front of van):

              “That is IT, you two!”

              Heh. You two.Report

        • He is not. Now, I can reasonably respect arguments to the contrary, but at the end of the day, you will all be wrong, and Glyph will still be right.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Glyph says:

        Your tastes in U2 albums are objectively false in an empirically verifiable way.


    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      That’s the first U2 pick on the thread.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      U2 = Joshua Tree. That is all.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      +1 U2; but I’m with Glyph on my favorite.

      +1 Harvest, combined with After the Goldrush the soundtracks of my teens (before I discovered Miles). Farm life of poverty in rural Maine was pretty bleak, musically speaking; Neil Young certainly captured that bleakness.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      Upvote War. I was waiting for U2 to show up.

      And Burt is clearly wrong about The Joshua Tree.Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      -1 U2. Pretentious snots and not great music.


    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Shazbot3 says:


      And my favorite (and only) Hip concert was here in Colorado Springs. There were like 300 people in attendance. I was in front of the stage the whole time. I had the two conversations below over and over.

      Me (to American friend): I went to a Tragically Hip concert this weekend! It was awesome!!! I was in front of the stage the whole time!!!
      AF: A what concert?

      Me (on the phone to Canadian friend): GUESS WHAT? I saw the Hip IN A CONCERT HALL! There were like 300 people there!!! I WAS AT THE FRONT OF THE STAGE!!!

      Just sayin’.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Maribou says:

        I had pretty much that same experience at a No Means No concert. 300 people, right in front of the stage (knees bruised from the surging crowd continually bumping me into the edge of the stage), every Canadian I’ve ever met instantly knowing who I was talking about, and most Americans not having a clue.

        In fact if I hadn’t already used up my 10 picks I’d suggest “Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy,” because who doesn’t want to be driving down the road singing, “Cats, Sex, and Nazis!”Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Maribou says:

        In Violet Light is the best thing ever by the Hip.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      Upvoting Harvest.Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Shazbot3 says:

      Up vote on CCR.Report

  40. Avatar Shazbot3 says:


    10. Unplugged in NY: NirvanaReport

  41. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I don’t have to actually vote for Styx, do I? They’re, like, automatically on, right?Report

  42. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    The rules are a bit unfair to those of us who don’t listen to “albums” much.

    In the interest of playing along, I nominate “Porgy and Bess”. I enjoy the Price/Warfield/Calloway recordings, but have a soft spot for the 1959 film soundtrack (Robert McFerrin and Adele Addison and Cab Calloway).

    Trivia: the Robert McFerrin who dubbed for Sidney Poitier in the 1959 film is Bobby McFerrin’s father.

    If you’ve never heard it, here is a link to a selection of 4 songs from the 1959 film soundtrack:

    and here is a link to Warfield and Price:


    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to John Howard Griffin says:

      That’s a great pick. If I crack and post a whole list, a third of them are from prior to 1960.Report

    • Upvote for Porgy and Bess, which I have performed (on sax, as part of a concert band) many times. No promises I won’t sing along though.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to John Howard Griffin says:

      Upvote Porgy and Bess (wishing furiously that I’d thought of it first).Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to James Hanley says:

        I’ve been singing the songs to myself over the past few weeks, so it was fresh in my mind, Mr. Hanley.

        I keep thinking about this part:

        De folks wid plenty o’ plenty
        Got a lock on de door
        ‘Fraid somebody’s a-goin’ to rob ’em
        While dey’s out a-makin’ more
        What for

        I got no lock on de door
        Dat’s no way to be
        Dey kin steal de rug from de floor
        Dat’s okeh wid me
        ‘Cause de things dat I prize
        Like de stars in de skies
        All are free

        I think there’s something important in there that I need to hear. So, I’ve been singing it to myself.Report

    • I did not know that about the McFerrens. Thanks for that bit of knowledge.Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        You may also be interested in the fact that Robert McFerrin was the first black male to sing at the Met, though Marian Anderson was the first black person (and first black woman) to sing at the Met. They both debuted in January, 1955.

        Mr. McFerrin was also the first black person to sing at both the Met and the NYC Opera. He only performed in opera for a few years, though.

        As one could imagine, he was a tremendous influence on his son, Bobby. Unfortunately, there are few recordings of Mr. McFerrin. I find his voice to be wonderful.Report

  43. Avatar MaxL says:

    Interesting question – it’s not really all time favorite albums at all. I see a ton of good suggestions above, so I sort of tried not to double up in case I have to hitch hike when the sun goes behind a cloud.

    Anyway, I think these need to be albums that pass the time or imprint a place passing outside. Sounds for daybreak, long hot afternoons, night alone, small windy roads and bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate loop. Music you can talk over, keep you awake, or just draw hours out of the ride.

    Weird that no female vocalists came to mind right away.

    1- Grateful Dead – American Beauty
    2 – Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed
    3 – Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    4 – Primal Scream – Screamadelica
    5 – Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
    6 – Dark Was the Night – Blind Willie Johnson
    7 – Sublime – 40 oz. to Freedom
    8 – Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
    9 – U2 – October
    10- Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco DeLucia – Friday Night in San FranciscoReport

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to MaxL says:

      Wow, that’s a really great mix of genre.

      This is I think the third time someone’s thrown up the Pogues. I wonder if we’d done this a month from now or a month ago if they’d have still gotten nominations, or are they just in everyone’s head because it’s almost the 17th?Report

      • Avatar MaxL in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I field tested this question once awhile back – driving many, many miles with just Rum Sodomy and the Lash, Prolonging the Magic, and Tea for the Tillerman. It could have been a lot worse. I have no idea what happened to the other 2 CDs, but I still have the Pogues.

        When I was 19 or so, I was backpacking around and for a six month stretch I was down to exactly 2 cassettes: INXS Kick and something by the Eurythmics. When it finally came down to that or Turkish music playing on the long distance bus to Lake Van…Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to MaxL says:

      American Beauty is a great choice, though I only ever listen to half of it (Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, Truckin’)Report

  44. Avatar fledermaus says:

    With an eye towards driving I’d pick:

    1. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head
    2. Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
    3. Primus – Pork Soda
    4. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    5. O Brother Where Art Thou – soundtrackReport

  45. Avatar Andrew Voss says:

    Because it’s my current favorite I’ll use my three votes for this:

  46. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    I think I still have at least one pick, so….

    Heart — A number of contenders, but I’ll go with “Dreamboat Annie”


    I think an “Unplugged” album is awfully close to a Greatest Hits — should they be eliminated or downvoted?Report

    • Upvote.

      Also, I would argue that both Clapton and Nirvana’s Unplugged albums are not particularly close to a greatest hits… or at least, they are a LOT closer to being “the band covering itself” which is a different thing, to me. There are Unplugged albums that are just greatest hits… but not those two.Report

  47. Avatar Leslie Gupta says:

    For Pat – I assume I will now get laughed off the thread but here’s my list (all albums that have been used for the road trips up and down CA, in the past and in the very recent, so well known and well loved by me) – chosen if I listen from start to finish without having to jump tracks. I only get to pick 10 so these were the visceral, gut choices that jumped to mind:

    1) Garbage – Garbage or 2.0 (Sherilyn is my goddess)
    2) David Sylvian – Gone to Earth (if I’m feeling melancholy and driving alone, not a family favorite by any means – listened to many times when driving away from the Bay Area when I was in college
    3) Pet Shop Boys – Very (sentimental favorite with husband, listened to many times when we were first dating)
    4) Imagine Dragons – Night Visions (proving to be a very solid go to of late)
    5) P!nk – Truth About Love (another recent acquisition with an insane level of air play in my car and children be damned – they gotta learn to cuss properly sometime)
    6) Peter Murphy – Deep (although Holy Smoke holds its own)
    7) Duran Duran – Rio (although the new one, All You Need is Now is a solid album and of course, their first album which just has nostalgia all over it!)
    8) Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses or Violator (but anything before that works too, more recent works are played a bit more sparingly, trackwise, as I’m not a fan of all the times that Martin Gore has started being the lead singer)
    9) Chicago Movie Soundtrack or Moulin Rouge (but there are two different versions of that and I prefer the first disk)
    10) Imogen Heap – I, Megaphone or Speak for Yourself (probably lean towards the latter)Report

  48. Avatar Johanna says:

    Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
    Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
    Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands
    Toy Dolls – Dig That Groove
    Are we allowed to pick ten and have unlimited up and down votes or do I only have four more votes since I’ve already up voted two?Report

  49. Avatar mark boggs says:

    Carlos Santana – MoonflowerReport

  50. Avatar mark boggs says:

    And I’m sure it’s prolly disqualified for being a compilation, and I haven’t read all 2,987 comments, but we cannot go that far with out Oscar Peterson – Exclusively for my Friends. A 4 disc set of magic.Report

  51. Avatar Wardsmith says:

    City of Angles soundtrack.

    I’ll come back another day and see if this thread has hit 1000 comments and decide if I want to add the other nine or leave it as is to give this one a fighting chance.

    BTW my sportscar is similar to Rtod’s imaginobile, it has a CD changer behind the driver’s seat where it is inconvenient as hell to get at. Worse it only holds 6 CD’s at a time.Report

  52. Avatar LK says:

    U2-The Joshua Tree
    Sam Phillips-Martinis and Bikinis
    Steve Earle-The Revolution Starts Now
    Johnny Cash- American IV:The Man Comes Around
    Warren Zevon: The Wind
    Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coletrane at Carnegie Hall
    Watchmen Soundtrack
    Beatles-Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club BandReport

  53. Avatar michael says:

    1. The Clash – London Calling
    2. Steely Dan – Aja
    3. Rolling Stones – Some Girls
    4. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    5. Minutemen – Double Nickels
    6. Beatles – White Album
    7. Johnny Cash – American Songs
    8. Sufjan Stevens – Fell the Illinoize
    9. Talking Heads – Remain in Light
    10. Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating as OneReport

  54. Avatar just bob says:

    Here goes, in no particular order:

    1. Back in Black – AC/DC
    2. Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
    3. Joshua Tree – U2
    4. Crash – Dave Matthews Band
    5. Under the Table and Dreaming – Dave Matthews Band
    6. Van Halen – Van Halen
    7. Who’s Next – The Who
    8. Led Zeppelin I – Led Zeppelin
    9. Live at Madison Square Garden – O.A.R.
    10. Metallica (Black Album) – MetallicaReport

  55. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Looks like I get one shiney bullet with which to plug the appalling absence of ’80’s alternative music.

    Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4

    Heck, Anxious could practically be the League anthem.


    Now apathy is happy that it won without a fight…Report

  56. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    I’m a daily lurker, and sparing commenter. As someone who lives in the destination city, and would love to meet some of the faces behind the names, and one that absolutely loves music, here’s my list (and Oh, my gosh, so much good music left behind!):

    1. XTC – Skylarking
    2. Field Music – Tones of Town
    3. New Model Army – Thunder and Consolation
    4. Blur – Parklife
    5. Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five
    6. Kurt Elling – The Messenger
    7. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
    8. Wayne Hancock – Tulsa
    9. Tally Hall – Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
    10. New York Philharmonic under Berstein: Copland: Appalachian Spring~Rodeo~Billy the Kid~Fanfare for the Common ManReport

    • Avatar James in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      +1 to Wayne Hancock! And I hope you’ll reveal yourself at Leaguefest. I’m not a huge Brubeck fan myself, but I respect him lots, and think anyone who likes both Brubeck and Hancock has to be a righteous dude.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      Horray for Parklife and Skylarking!

      Also, HOW did it take this long for someone to mention Take Five?Report

    • Slade:

      A few things:

      1. Totally stoked that we may see you in Chicago.

      2. Great choice on XTC. My favorite would be Apple Wasp, but since I didn’t even think to go there, kudos to you.

      3. You are the only human being I know other than myself that listens to Tally Hall. They opened for Guster a few years ago in Portland, and they were AMAZING.

      4. I now feel a sense of shame that it hadn’t occurred to me until I read you list to even consider an Ellington recoding! A travesty! What the hell was I thinking? I will now go out in the yard and pour dirt on my head.

      5. All in all, a great list. This might be my favorite list of 10 from top to bottom.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        Tally Hall put on such a great live show, and sadly the group is probably no more. It’s rare to see such joy on stage. I saw them close a show with an absolutely killer cover of Freebird. I did pass on my love of TH to my daughter and some friends here, so we’re not totally alone.

        Not Ellington, though Live at Newport was in serious contention, but ELLING. Jazz vocalist from Chicago. His early stuff is so inventive. So, no dirt.Report

    • Oh God yes for Copland.

      And you broke my resistance to upvoting jazz with Take Five. Yes, plese, that one. (It’s not the best jazz in these comments. But it is the one I have listened to enough times to wear out TWO cassette tapes. Durable.)Report

    • Avatar MaxL in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      +1 for Take Five! I am kicking myself for forgetting that one. Great listReport

    • 1+ for both the Brubeck and the Copland.Report

  57. Avatar Chris says:

    Wait, is Illimatic the only rap album so far… Ya’ll are some seriously… OK, I won’t say it.

    I feel I should link to this, and then feel guilty for linking to stuff I wrote (a long time ago).Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Chris says:

      Yeah, I noticed that too. No funk or R&B, either. Ray Charles and James Brown are conspicuously absent.Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        I nominated “The Mouse and The Mask” by Danger Doom, and holy goddammit, I just realized the album I’d spent all day trying to remember: “The Score” by The Fugees. Whatever. I’m an idiot. Can I add it?Report

      • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        We need the funk.

        Our lists gotta get that funk.

        And as white as the lists are already, there is also fairly little country music, which is pretty popular nationwide. And there’s a pro 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and maybe 90’s bias.

        This all gives some evidence about the demographics of the league.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        Well, Stevie Wonder is up there, and Glyph and I said we should have included Marvin Gaye, but we didn’t, so… And I don’t know what I would include of Ray Charles.

        But honestly, hip hop makes for some great driving music. During the summers in college, I used to drive with another guy back and forth to a bunch of cities around Nashville for work, often not getting back to Franklin until well after 3 am, and Wu Tang Clan is the only reason we didn’t die in a fiery crash after falling asleep.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        I wanted to do James Brown, but everything I have is compiled (Star Time, Pass The Peas: Best of JB’s, etc.) so I wasn’t sure what album to pick.

        The rules excluding compilations/best of’s really hurt singles artists, and dance music (and hip-hop is dance music) is all about singles (see my complaint about not being able to get New Order on – otherwise Substance would have been a lock).Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Glyph says:

          There are two kinds of hip hop*: hip hop for the club and hip hop for the headphones. You dance to the former and you listen really closely to the latter. It all came from club music in the 70s, but at some point (in the mid-to-late 80s), some of it took a storytelling, almost conversational turn. Hell, though I haven’t seen anyone doing it in years, it wasn’t uncommon, once upon a time, to see people in a coffee house or a restaurant rapping a conversation. Now, a lot of the really good hip hop is really a fusion of the club part and the conversation part, but when it is conversational like that, or at least when it’s a form of story-telling, it’s not always about the singles. I mentioned him over at Jay’s place, but check out Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City for an excellent recent example of an album that’s meant to be listened to as a whole.

          But to contradict all of that, I’ll link to this again:

          *There are two kinds of people: those who divide everything into to types, and those who don’t. Both of them are wrong.Report

  58. Avatar Michael 2 says:

    Rickie Lee Jones – the eponymous 1979 album.Report

  59. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    Golden Age of Radio, by Josh Ritter, will be my only nomination. A good mix of songs, fantastic lyrics, and rewards relistening.Report

  60. Avatar Just Me says:

    You can’t have a road trip without Jerry Jeff Walker….IMHO. I just haven’t been able to decide which album to pick.Report

  61. Avatar Steve S. says:

    1. Playboy: A History in Pictures
    2. Penthouse: A History in Pictures
    3. Swank: A History in Pictures
    4. The Pop-up Kama Sutra: What Part of Pop-up Don’t You Understand?
    5. Nina Hartley: A Life in Pictures
    6. The Making of “Where the Boys Aren’t” [Norton edition]
    7. The Oxford Bettie Page
    8. “Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh Gaaaaaaawwwwwwwwd…”: the Poetry of Jenna Jameson
    9. The Penguin Illustrated Nudity, Nudism, and Nakedness, Did We Mention Nudity?
    10. The Holy Bible

    Wait a minute; is this the “essential books on a desert island” thread or the “Sgt. Pepper and Led Zeppelin IV” thread?Report

  62. Avatar Mark Thompson says:

    I’m trying to only go with new albums not named above here, so:
    1.. Pat Green- George’s Bar.
    2. Springsteen – Born to Run
    3. Peter Tosh- Captured Live
    4. Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound
    5. Dr. Dre- the Chronic (Chris is right- we need some kind of rap on here)
    6. Spearhead -Home (I thought about De La Soul or Tribe Called Quest here, but I think this album is under appreciated).
    7. Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, et al- Harder They Come soundtrack (I’m actually shocked and appalled no one has this on the list yet)
    8. Temple of the Dog- self-titled
    9. Gin Blossoms- New Miserable Experience – we need some sort of mediocre 90’s rock, do we not?
    10. Allison Krauss and Union Station- New FavoriteReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      MM, ATCQ is my rap selection. Not spelling it out. Yet.Report

    • Avatar Maribou in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Hoo-ah, now that I’ve HEARD of the Harder They Come soundtrack, I will totally agree to it. (I know all those songs. I’ve been to a sweaty hippie fest where Toots and the Maytals were headlining, in the last five years, even. Just, you know, I wasn’t born yet back then – still trying to catch up)

      *orders that album on amazon next time she has dough*Report

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Maribou says:

        Toots puts on a fannnn-tastic show. I saw him about 15 years ago at a frat party of all places (it was a frat that I had a less than pleasant relationship with, but there was zero chance I’d ever pass on a chance to see Toots) – still one of the top 3 or 4 shows I’ve ever seen. It’s staggering that they still keep the touring schedule that they have – I mean, they’ve only been making music for 50 years. Which reminds me – he’s playing in NYC on my birthday this year; unfortunately, the venue is terrible and I’ve vowed never to see a show there again. But still…Toots.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          I saw Toots a few years back, and yeah, he was good.

          The crowd was…ah..enthusiastic about “Legalizing It”. I think I got a secondhand high. Not sure if that affected my opinion. It sure seemed like he played a LONG time.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      +1 on Harder They Come. That is a GREAT choice.

      -1 on Bruce (sorry).

      -? on Temple of the Dog

      And I’ve had to do this before around here, but I will stick up for that Gin Blossoms. The songs that Doug Hopkins wrote are perfect, sad alcoholic anthems. You know what, I’m giving that a +1 just for the chance to make the case again.Report

    • 9. Gin Blossoms- New Miserable Experience – we need some sort of mediocre 90?s rock, do we not?

      No, we do not. If we’re going to have 90’s rock, let it be good, not mediocre. It’s not like there was a shortage of good rock in the nineties. Nirvana. Garbage.

      Downvote on the Gin Blossoms.Report

      • Avatar Sam in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Surely the suggestion of Gin Blossoms was some sort of elaborate trolling.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Sam says:

          1.) Drink some whiskey.

          2.) Listen to “Lost Horizons” or “Pieces of the Night”. Pay attention to the lyrics.

          3.) Comment again.Report

          • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Glyph says:

            As I read this, ‘Till I Hear It From You is playing on my Pandora.

            But, yeah, Pieces of the Night is quite excellent.Report

            • Avatar Glyph in reply to Mark Thompson says:

              What the hell did you expect to find – Aphrodite, on a barstool by your side?

              It’s a little long, but this article about Hopkins (the co-founder/songwriter who wrote all their early hits who was a hardcore alcoholic, got kicked out and committed suicide) is well worth your time, and properly places him more in the tradition of the ‘Mats, than the Blowfish :


              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Glyph says:

                Dude. That is one hell of a story. I had no idea.

                Though it does explain why their other stuff is so terrible.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Mark Thompson says:


                Doug once told me that he could barely remember writing “Hey Jealousy.” He remembered clearly that it was a story about the sister of a singer he’d been in a band with, this beautiful girl that he and everyone else had a crush on but couldn’t touch. He had something with her once but he blew it — the drinking. That’s all he remembered about writing it. That and he hated the Gin Blossoms singer for changing the word in his lyric; he swapped “drink” with “think.” Those lyrics were straight from Doug’s daily vocabulary, his usual promise to a new girl. Honest shit.

                You can trust me not to drink/And not to sleep around/If you don’t expect too much from me/You might not be let down.


              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Mark Thompson says:

                Yep. NME is a fun album; the rest not so much. Sad that such great music had to come from such a dark place.Report

    • Avatar Michelle in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      Another +1 for Harder They Come.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      +1 on The Chronic. Until I heard Nas, which was a couple years after Illimatic had come out, The Chronic was my favorite hip hop album. 2001 is pretty cool as well.

      I really love Allison Krauss’ voice, but I really don’t like her songs. This isn’t a down vote, just me expressing my frustration that someone with that voice doesn’t have better songs to apply it to.Report

      • Avatar Maribou in reply to Chris says:

        I expect you are already aware of Raising Sand (Krauss + Robert Plant), but I thought I should mention it, in case. (I feel similarly conflicted, and I find I like this album a lot better because OTHER PEOPLE WROTE THE SONGS and they are good ones.)Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name in reply to Mark Thompson says:

      +1 on BtR, CL, HTC an NME

      -1 on The Chronic. I hate Dr Dre, and I think he had Tupac done in because Tupac was branching out and becoming more popular than Dre.Report

  63. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Rules are for Statists. I notice a dearth of soundtracks on here (I mean, not an *ABSENCE*… but you’d think we’d have more…) so I will try to rectify that with my top ten soundtracks for driving.

    1. Trainspotting (yeah, yeah, like you didn’t see that coming)
    2. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
    3. Saturday Night Fever (Mmmmmmmm. The Bee Gees.)
    4. Local Hero
    5. Superfly
    6. I am torn between Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown. One of those.
    7. The Basketball Diaries
    8.Repo Man
    9. I kinda feel like I should put one of the big 50’s adaptations of a broadway play here. Fiddler, maybe. Man of La Mancha. Something like that.
    10. Jesus Christ SuperstarReport

  64. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Okay, I cracked, I can’t take it any more. Some of these would be bumped by some things that have already been mentioned, but they deserve votes. So here you go.

    1. Rush, Moving Pictures
    2. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders
    3. What’d I Say, Ray Charles
    4. Natural Ingredients, Luscious Jackson
    5. Whitechocolatespaceegg, Liz Phair
    6. Tres Hombres, ZZ Top
    7. Ride the Lightning, Metallica
    8. The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
    9. Alive!, Oingo Boingo (because Tod said I could)
    10. Being There, Martyn JosephReport