Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 270-261


Last September, Rolling Stone magazine released their most recent list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, which includes a greater variety of artists and genres than previous lists. Looking through the list, there were many albums I’d never listened to before and a few I’d never even heard of. In fact, counting it up, I found that I’d only listened to 140 of the albums, although I’d heard songs from many more. So I’ve decided my project for 2021 is to listen to 10 albums each week and write up some thoughts about each one.

Previous Posts:

500-491 400-381 300-291
490-481 390-381 290-281
480-471 380-371 280-271
470-461 370-361
460-451 360-351
450-441 350-341
440-431 340-331
430-421 330-321
420-411 320-311
410-401 310-301

Artist: Kacey Musgraves
AlbumGolden Hour
Year: 2018
Label: MCA Nashville
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Happy & Sad”

Thoughts:  While I’m not a country music fan, I do remember really liking “Follow Your Arrow,” one of Kacey Musgraves singles from her debut album in 2013.  I haven’t followed her career since then, but I’m happy for her that this album made the list since she seems to be a talented pop country artist.  While this music isn’t my thing, it’s clear that this is an exemplarily work of the genre.


Artist: Kanye West
AlbumYeezus
Year: 2013
Label: Roc-A-Fella
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?:
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Black Skinhead”
  • “New Slaves”

Thoughts: I never got the big deal over Kanye West.  The man seems incredibly full of himself and the nonstop critical acclaim only encourages him.  I’ve got to admit that there’s a lot of great beats and grooves here, though.


Artist: Randy Newman
Album: Sail Away
Year: 1972
Label: Reprise
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Political Science”
  • “Burn On”

Thoughts: I’ve been reconsidering Randy Newman over a long period of time.  For the long time I didn’t like his music at all because of annoying hits like “Short People” and “I Love L.A.”  But becoming aware of his vast output of film scores (film-scoring is something of a family industry for multiple generations of the Newman family).  So I’ve come to appreciate Randy Newman a lot more.  But I’m still not there, because I didn’t really enjoy much on this album, although I didn’t hate it either.


Artist: Minutemen
Album: Double Nickels on the Dime
Year: 1984
Label: SST
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again?:
Favorite Tracks:

  • “One Reporters Opinion”
  • “Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing”
  • “Corona”
  • “The Glory of Man”

Thoughts: Minutemen is a band that I have absolutely no prior knowledge about.  It’s a but stunning to see an album with 45 tracks on it! But mostly true to their name, Minutemen songs are all very short, in the 1-2 minute range.  Their musical style seems to be in the transition from Modern Lovers to Pixies and Fugazi.  I like it.


Artist: The Beatles
AlbumHelp!
Year: 1965
Label: Capitol
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Help!”
  • “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”
  • “Ticket to Ride”
  • “I’ve Just Seen a Face”

ThoughtsHelp! is The Beatles fifth studio album in a little over two years made to accompany their second film in just over a year (this one, in colour!).  The band could’ve put out an album of filler and still had a massive hit.  Instead they are innovating musically and lyrically, setting the stage for the string of creative albums that would come in the following years.  The songs feel mature, and in the lyrics of “Help!” and “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” they seem to have moved from teen heartbreak to dealing with more intense pain and depression.  The Dylan-esque “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” remains one of my favorite songs by The Beatles.


Artist: Pavement
AlbumWowee Zowee
Year: 1995
Label: Matador
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: No
Would I Listen to this Album Again? :No
Favorite Tracks: None
Thoughts: This is the second of three Pavement albums on this list.  And for the second time I feel it’s generic 90s rock.  There’s nothing wrong with that but there’s also nothing here that makes me want to come back and listen to it again.


Artist: Pink Floyd
AlbumWish You Were Here
Year: 1975
Label: Columbia
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?:
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Wish You Were Here”

Thoughts: Pink Floyd are better than most, and I like some of their songs, but I really have a thing against 70s prog rock.  There’s only so many masturbatory guitar solos and synth stabs I can listen to before I reach my limit.  Does this album really need two different suites of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” that clock in at 13 minutes each.  The title song is nice, though. And the album cover is pretty cool.


Artist: The Beatles
AlbumHard Day’s Night
Year: 1964
Label: United Artists
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Yes
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “A Hard Day’s Night”
  • “I Should Have Known Better”
  • “If I Fell”
  • “And I Love Her”
  • “Things We Said Today”
  • “You Can’t Do That”

Thoughts: There are two Beatles albums in this week’s post and they from the two movies the Beatles starred in as fictional versions of themselves (this one is in black & white).  The album is significant for being the first album where every single song was an original composition.  It’s also the peak of the early Beatles sounds before their later experimental periods.


Artist: New Order
AlbumPower, Corruption, & Lies
Year: 1983
Label: Factory
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Age of Consent”
  • “586”
  • “Leave Me Alone”

Thoughts: I knew the music of Joy Division and I knew the music of New Order from the mid-to-late 80s, but I’d never before listened to this album that is a transition between the two.  Although “Age of Consent” does sound familiar. The “danceable synth-rock” as Rolling Stone describes it is emerging nicely from the post-punk sounds of Joy Division.  It was a new sound for the 80s that is among the best musical innovations of the decade.


Artist: Beastie Boys
Album: Check Your Head
Year: 1992
Label: Capitol
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Jimmy James”
  • “Finger Lickin’ Good”
  • “So What’Cha Want”

Thoughts: My freshman year in college when I was a greenhorn DJ at the college radio station, my friends called up and requested “Professor Booty” by the Beastie Boys.  Turns out the song is filled with profanities.  I commited a FCC violation. My friends knew this and they set me up.  Luckily, the FCC was not listening to college radio that day or I wouldn’t be here writing this.


Running List of Albums I’d Listen to Again

  • 500. Arcade Fire, Funeral
  • 498. Suicide, Suicide
  • 497. Various Artists, The Indestructible Beat of Soweto
  • 494. The Ronettes, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes
  • 489. A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector from Phil Spector and Various Artists, Back to Mono (1958-1969)
  • 487. Black Flag, Damaged
  • 485. Richard and Linda Thompson, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
  • 483. Muddy Waters, The Anthology
  • 482. The Pharcyde, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde
  • 481. Belle and Sebastian, If You’re Feeling Sinister
  • 478. The Kinks, Something Else by the Kinks
  • 477. Howlin’ Wolf, Moanin’ in the Moonlight
  • 469.Manu Chao, Clandestino
  • 465. King Sunny Adé, The Best of the Classic Years
  • 464. The Isley Brothers, 3 + 3
  • 462. The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin
  • 459. Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: The End of the Day
  • 457. Sinéad O’Connor, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got
  • 456. Al Green, Greatest Hits
  • 455. Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley
  • 453. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
  • 452. Diana Ross and the Supremes, Anthology
  • 451. Roberta Flack, First Take
  • 448. Otis Redding, Dictionary of Soul
  • 446. Alice Coltrane, Journey in Satchidanada
  • 444. Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
  • 443. David Bowie, Scary Monsters
  • 440. Loretta Lynn, Coal Miner’s Daughter
  • 439. James Brown, Sex Machine
  • 438. Blur, Parklife
  • 437. Primal Scream, Screamadelica
  • 435. Pet Shop Boys, Actually
  • 433. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
  • 431. Los Lobos, How Will the Wolf Survive?
  • 430. Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True
  • 429. The Four Tops, Reach Out
  • 428. Hüsker Dü, New Day Rising
  • 427. Al Green, Call Me
  • 426. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams
  • 425. Paul Simon, Paul Simon
  • 424. Beck, Odelay
  • 423. Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One
  • 422. Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On
  • 421. M.I.A., Arular
  • 417. Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come
  • 416. The Roots, Things Fall Apart
  • 415. The Meters, Looka Py Py
  • 414. Chic, Risqué
  • 413. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo’s Factory
  • 412. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Going to a Go Go
  • 409. Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead
  • 408. Motörhead, Ace of Spades
  • 406. Magnetic Fields, 69 Love Songs
  • 405. Various, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era
  • 403. Ghostface Killah, Supreme Clientele
  • 402. Fela Kuti and Africa 70, Expensive Shit
  • 401. Blondie, Blondie
  • 400. The Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat
  • 398. The Raincoats, The Raincoats
  • 397. Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
  • 395. D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
  • 392. Ike and Tina Turner, Proud Mary: The Best of Ike and Tina Turner
  • 390. Pixies, Surfer Rosa
  • 388. Aretha Franklin, Young, Gifted and Black
  • 387. Radiohead, In Rainbows
  • 386. J Dilla, Donuts
  • 385. Ramones, Rocket to Russia
  • 384. The Kinks, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
  • 380. Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um
  • 378. Run-DMC, Run-D.M.C.
  • 377. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fever to Tell
  • 375. Green Day, Dookie
  • 374. Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers
  • 373. Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul
  • 371. The Temptations, Anthology
  • 369. Mobb Deep, The Infamous
  • 368. George Harrison, All Things Must Pass
  • 365. Madvillain, Madvillainy
  • 364. Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings and Food
  • 363. Parliament, The Mothership Connection
  • 360. Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove
  • 358. Sonic Youth, Goo
  • 357. Tom Waits, Rain Dogs
  • 356. Dr. John, Gris-Gris
  • 354. X-Ray Spex, Germfree Adolescents
  • 351. Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure
  • 350. Stevie Wonder, Music of My Mind
  • 349. MC5, Kick Out the Jams
  • 348. Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)
  • 347. GZA, Liquid Swords
  • 346. Arctic Monkeys, AM
  • 345. Bruce Springsteen, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
  • 344. Toots and the Maytals, Funky Kingston
  • 343. Sly and the Family Stone, Greatest Hits
  • 342. The Beatles, Let It Be
  • 341. The Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream
  • 338. Brian Eno, Another Green World
  • 337.  Bob Dylan, John Wesley Harding
  • 335. Bob Dylan and the Band, The Basement Tapes
  • 334. Santana, Abraxas
  • 333. Bill Withers, Still Bill
  • 332. Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley
  • 330. The Rolling Stones, Aftermath
  • 329. DJ Shadow, Endtroducing…
  • 328. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
  • 326. Prince, Dirty Mind
  • 323.The Clash, Sandinista!
  • 320. X, Los Angeles
  • 319. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
  • 317. Billie Holiday, Lady in Satin
  • 316. The Who, The Who Sell Out
  • 310. Wire, Pink Flag
  • 309. Joy Division, Closer
  • 308. Brian Eno, Here Come the Warm Jets
  • 307. Sam Cooke, Portrait of a Legend
  • 306. Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You
  • 304. Bill Withers, Just As I Am
  • 301. New York Dolls, New York Dolls
  • 299. B.B. King, Live at the Regal
  • 297. Peter Gabriel, So
  • 294. Weezer, Weezer
  • 293. The Breeders, Last Splash
  • 292. Van Halen, Van Halen
  • 289.  Björk, Post
  • 288. The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers
  • 287. The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man
  • 283. Donna Summer, Bad Girls
  • 282. Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours
  • 279. Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York
  • 278. Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy
  • 276. Radiohead, The Bends
  • 275. Curtis Mayfield, Curtis
  • 274. The Byrds, Sweetheart of the Rodeo
  • 273. Gang of Four, Entertainment!
  • 272. The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat
  • 267. Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
  • 266. The Beatles, Help!
  • 263. The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night
  • 262. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies
  • 261. Beastie Boys, Check Your Head

 

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