Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 340-331


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:


Artist: Snoop Dogg
Album: Doggystyle
Year: 1993
Label: Death Row/Interscope
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:

  • “Murder Was the Case” (featuring Dat Nigga Daz)
  • “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?)”

Thoughts: This album is lyrically crude, but I do like the grooves.  Snoop Dogg openly acknowledges his predecessors like George Clinton and PFunk and Slick Rick.  As someone who is still ignorant of 90s hip hop, I’m mostly surprised that this album seems to be source of all the vocabulary still used by white dudebros online to this day!


Artist: Janet Jackson
Album: Rhythm Nation 1814
Year: 1989
Label: A&M
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?: No
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Rhythm Nation”
  • “Miss You Much”
  • “Black Cat”

Thoughts:Rhythm Nation 1814 completed the transition of Janet Jackson from the “little sister” to (imho) the most creative and talented of all the Jackson family members.  The earnestness of the lyrics addressing social injustices by “coming together” seem a little bit silly, but it’s also unsettling that the issues addressed on this album are still relevant 32 years later.


Artist: Brian Eno
Album: Another Green World
Year: 1975
Label: Island
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Almost entirely through music Eno has worked on as a producer
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • Kind of like the whole thing, but the instrumentals are better than the songs with vocals.

Thoughts: Brian Eno is one of those people constantly name checked by music nerds. I never gave much thought to what music he’d make when not producing other people’s work.  Turns out it is pretty good.  But I tend to like ambient music, at least as something to lose oneself in.  Bonus fact:  Phil Collins plays the drums!


Artist: Bob Dylan
Album: John Wesley Harding
Year: 1967
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “As I Went Out One Morning”
  • “All Along the Watchtower”
  • “I’ll  Be Your Baby Tonight”

Thoughts: Speaking of artists who music nerds love to name drop.  Open the Dylan hose, because there are two of his albums to discuss this week.  The album is a collection of acoustic folk tunes with minimal instrumentation, a return to this style for Dylan who had spent several years recording Blues-inflected music with electric instruments.  Dylan’s voice is less strained and nasally than I’ve typically heard him and actually pleasant to listen to.  I think I’ve finally heard a Dylan album where I get the hype.


Artist: Roxy Music
Album: Avalon
Year: 1982
Label: E.G./Warner Bros.
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: None
Thoughts: “Avalon” is the one song by Roxy Music I really know from repetitive play on Rock and then Classic Rock radio since the 1980s.  It turns out that I am also familiar with “More Than This” for similar reasons.  The band’s final album is largely an adult contemporary snooze although they sound vaguely like contemporaneous Talking Heads on “The Main Thing.”


Artist: Bob Dylan and the Band
Album: The Basement Tapes
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks: Kind of enjoyed the general vibe more than any individual songs.
Thoughts: As a Dylan skeptic, I’m finding myself surprised to be enjoying two different Dylan albums in the same post.  Much of this album was recorded in rural New York in 1967 while Dylan was recovering from a serious motorcycle crash, with some additional tracks recorded by The Band in ensuing years.  It was released in 1975 and since it was never intended to be an album it naturally doesn’t really cohere as an album.  Nevertheless, there’s an underlying relaxed and experimental feel to all the songs that dive into genres ranging from folk rock and Americana to rockabilly and country.


Artist: Santana
Album: Abraxas
Year: 1970
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”
  • “Oye Como Va”
  • “Mother’s Daughter”
  • “Hope You’re Feeling Better”

Thoughts: I was familiar with the two hits – “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” – which I learned from the Rolling Stone synopsis are both cover songs from very different sources.  It was great to listen to this album and hear the fusion of so many different styles – Afro-Latin, soul, psychedelia, Blues, etc. – all harmonizing together.


Artist: Bill Withers
AlbumStill Bill
Year: 1972
Label: Sussex
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:

  • “Who Is He (And What Is He to You)?”
  • “Use Me”
  • “Lean on Me”
  • “Kissing My Love”

Thoughts: I like Bill Withers but I’ve only listened to his greatest hits.  So I’d like to credit the RS500 for listing an original Withers studio album instead of a compilation as they are wont to do, especially with soul & R&B artists.  Of course, every song on this album sounds great so it may as well be a greatest hits compilation.


Artist: Elvis Presley
Album: Elvis Presley
Year: 1956
Label: RCA
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:

  • “Blue Suede Shoes”
  • “I Got a Woman”
  • “I’ll Never Let You Go (Litle Darlin’)”
  • “Blue Moon”
  • “Money Honey”

Thoughts: Elvis the Celebrity, Elvis the Icon, Elvis the Self-Parody, and Elvis the Tragedy are often more than enough to overshadow Elvis the Great Rock and Roll Performer.  Listening to this debut album when I was younger was a revelation because up to that point I mainly knew Elvis as an eccentric guy who inspired battalions of Elvis impersonators. Albums were unusual for rock and roll artists at the time, and even more unusually the entire album was released as single (making it a compilation in reverse).  Sadly the contemporaneous hit single “Heartbreak Hotel” was left off the album which would have pushed this album to another level.


Artist: Madonna
Album: Like a Prayer
Year: 1989
Label: Sire
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:

  • “Express Yourself”
  • “Love Song” (with Prince)
  • “Keep It Together”

Thoughts: I was never big on Madonna’s music but I can’t deny her talent.  Not only did she have a keen ear for adapting musical trends at just the right time but from a business perspective she redefined what was possible for a woman artist taking control of her own career.  This album caps off Madonna’s domination of 1980’s pop (alongside Michael Jackson) and it right in the middle of her imperial period.  I tend to like Madonna’s earlier work the best so I was surprised when I peaked ahead at the RS500 rankings and saw that this was the earliest album release by Madonna to make the list. By the way, I never knew that Madonna and Prince collaborated.  Why wasn’t “Love Song” a bigger deal?


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

Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 350-341


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:


Artist: Stevie Wonder
AlbumMusic of My Mind
Year: 1972
Label: Motown/Tamla
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:

  • “Love Having You Around”
  • “Happier Than the Morning Sun”
  • “Keep on Running”
  • “Evil”

Thoughts: It’s kind of unfair having a greatest albums list if Stevie Wonder is allowed to participate.  And Music of My Mind was only the prelude to Wonder’s mid-70s musical dominance. It’s a testament to Wonder’s talent that this album, as great as it is, has basically become one big deep cut in his catalog.

For more thoughts on this album check out my Stevie Wonder music discovery post.



Artist
: MC5
Album: Kick Out the Jams
Year: 1969
Label: Elektra
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:

  • “Kick Out the Jams”
  • “Motor City Is Burning”
  • “I Want You Right Now”

Thoughts: I’ve heard of MC5 as being a protopunk act.  This live set  recorded from Detroit’s Grand Ballroom at the end of October 1968 does sound like it’s from a decade in the future.  But it also sounds firmly within the countercultural and leftist political culture of the time.  Either way, it sounds like it rocks really hard.


Artist: Gillian Welch
Album: Time (The Revelator)
Year: 2001
Label: Acony
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:

  • “Dear Someone”
  • “Red Clay Halo”
  • “Ruination Day, Pt. 2”
  • “Everything Is Free”

Thoughts: It’s nice to see this list recognized contemporary folk/roots/Americana music.  I’d never listened to this album before, oddly enough, despite the fact that it was released right in the middle of my Folk Music Period of roughly 1998-2003. Listening to the sad and lonesome harmonies today, I have regrets.


Artist: GZA
Album: Liquid Swords
Year: 1995
Label: Geffen
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Only by reputation
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Liquid Swords”
  • “Cold World”
  • “I Gotcha Back”

Thoughts: I somehow missed the entire Wu-Tang Clan phenomenon, which is perhaps not surprising considering my general ignorance of hip hop from Nineties and Oughts.  Liquid Swords is particularly discussed about in reverent tones, so it’s about time I gave it a listen. Consider me initiated.


Artist: Arctic Monkeys
AlbumAM
Year: 2013
Label: Domino
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Vaguely
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Do I Wanna Know?”

Thoughts: I’m starting to feel like this project is just a series of confessions of me being too lazy to listen to different artists. I remember seeing Arctic Monkey performing “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. I thought that they sounded good but never followed up on listening to more of their music. This album came out a year later. AM is a nice mix of 70s classic rock sounds with 2010’s indie pop. It’s a perfectly cromulent album and I probably should’ve listened to it earlier.


Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Album: The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
Year: 1973
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “The E Street Shuffle”
  • “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
  • “Incident on 57th Street”
  • “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”

Thoughts: Bruce Springsteen and I were born in the same town although I moved away as an infant so didn’t experience a full New Jersey childhood.  I’ve always appreciated Springsteen’s anthems for the common person, but I’m more of a “greatest hits” type of listener and haven’t listened to the vast majority of his albums. This is the first of five Springsteen albums on the list so I will be getting to experience the deep cuts. This album is funkier and jazzier than I’d ever expected of Springsteen. It’s epic and fun!


Artist:  Toots and the Maytals
Album: Funky Kingston
Year: 1973
Label: Island
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Ye
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Funky Kingston”
  • “Pomps & Pride”
  • “Country Road”
  • “Pressure Drop”

Thoughts: I love when this list does things like puts two completely different albums from the same year back-to-back. Toots and the Maytals were reggae pioneers and this American release of this album helped make Jamaica’s music famous worldwide.  The songs are a mix of original reggae tunes focused on the trials and joys of ordinary Americans mixed with covers of American songs like “Louie Louie” and “Country Roads.”


Artist: Sly and the Family Stone
Album: Greatest Hits
Year: 1970
Label: Epic
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:

  • “I Want to Take You Higher”
  • “Dance to the Music”
  • “Everyday People”
  • “Hot Fun in the Summertime”
  • “Sing a Simple Song”
  • “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”

Thoughts: I continue to the object to the inclusion of greatest hits compilations on a greatest albums list, but I’ll make an exception for this one.  First, there are two other Sly & the Family Stone albums coming up on this list.  Second, there are only four songs that overlap with one of those albums and zero with the other.  And finally, Greatest Hits includes three tracks not available on other albums.  Thus, it makes a good primer for Sly and the Family Stone’s music, and also serves as my imaginary Sly and the Family Stone Broadway jukebox musical that really needs to exist.


Artist: The Beatles
AlbumLet It Be
Year: 1970
Label: Apple
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:

  • “Two of Us”
  • “Across the Universe”
  • “One After 909”
  • “For You Blue”
  • “Get Back”

Thoughts: This album shouldn’t be as good as it is.  By January 1969, The Beatles had spent a decade of constant togetherness: gigging, touring, recording two albums worth of material per year, making films, and even going on a transcendental meditation retreat together.  They should’ve made a new year’s resolution to take a year off and go to therapy or something. Instead the started an ambitious project to “get back” to their roots, record an album, and rehearse for a concert performance all while a camera crew documented their every move.  A month later the project was abandoned among acrimonious infighting.  Then The  Beatles got together three weeks later to start creating an entirely different brilliant album.  Let It Be was released shortly after The Beatles broke up in 1970 as a quasi-movie soundtrack/live album although with Phil Spector’s production it is not really either of those things.  And despite all of that it’s a solid and unique Beatles album with some of my favorite of the band’s songs.


Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Siamese Dream
Year: 1993
Label: Virgin
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?: Just the hits
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Cherub Rock”
  • “Today”
  • “Disarm”

Thoughts: In the early 90s, there were a lot of innovative alternative rock bands who changed the face of music.  The Smashing Pumpkins were not one of them. I don’t say this as an insult, but to emphasize that The Smashing Pumpkins were craftsmen who used took the new alt-rock sounds (and a healthy dose of 70s bombast) to churn out songs that rocked.  I never felt strongly either way about the Pumpkins but was pleasantly surprised that their tunes held up so well over 30 years.


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

Monthly Mixtape – April 2021


La Femme :: “Le Sang De Mon Prochain”

Rachel Lime :: “Voyager 3”

Charm of Finches :: “Treading Water”

Bathtub Cig :: “Quarantine Dream”

Japanese Breakfast :: “Be Sweet”

Gilligan Moss ::  “GM from GM:)”

Brijean :: “Feelings”

Previous Mixtapes:



Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 360-351


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:


Artist: Funkadelic
AlbumOne Nation Under a Groove
Year: 1978
Label: Warner Bros.
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:

  • “One Nation Under a Groove”
  • “Who Says a Funk Band Can’t Play Rock?”
  • “Cholly”

Thoughts: Who says a funk band can’t play rock?  If it’s Funkadelic, Parliament, or anyone in the family of George Clinton bands and artists, who is to say they can’t play any damn style of music they like. From funk to soul to rock to disco to extremely long and juvenile poop jokes, this album has it all!

For more thoughts read my Parliament/Funkadelic Music Discoveries series.


Artist: Big Star
AlbumRadio City
Year: 1974
Label: Ardent
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:

  • “September Gurls”

Thoughts: This is the second album on this list from Big Star, a quintessential critics favorite band. The music here is Beatle-esque filter through a generic 70s Classik Rawk sound.  I don’t know, I’m just not feeling the power in this pop.


Artist: Sonic Youth
Album: Goo
Year: 1990
Label: Geffen
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:

  • “Tunic (Song for Karen)”
  • “Kool Thing”
  • “My Friend Goo”
  • “Disappearer”
  • “Cinderella’s Big Score”

Thoughts: Sonic Youth is a band I always wished I’d paid more attention to, even back in the 90s.  In my defense, albums were expensive and I was impecunious.  This whole RS 500 project would not exist without the magic of streaming putting the world of music at my fingertips. I guess it’s better late than never.


Artist: Tom Waits
Album: Rain Dogs
Year: 1985
Label: Island
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:

  • “Jockey Full of Bourbon”
  • “Hang Down Your Head”
  • “Time”
  • “Downtown Train”

Thoughts: This is the middle of a trilogy of albums that Tom Waits released in the 1980s that so far mark his creative peak as an artist. It’s weird and wonderful music, but somehow accessible enough for Rod Stewart to have a hit covering “Downtown Train.” I wrote more about this album and more in my Tom Waits Music Discovery.


Artist: Dr. John
Album: Gris-Gris
Year: 1968
Label: Atco
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:

  • “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya-Ya”
  • “Danse Kalinda Ba Doom”

Thoughts: You’ve got to imagine how weird this album must have sounded in 1968.  I mean, people were doing a lot of drugs, so a lot of stuff sounded weird in 1968.  But this was a time when different regions in the country were more isolated than they are now and here is Dr. John introducing an amalgamation of New Orleans culture through a psychedelic lens.  It’s still delightfully weird even in 2021.


Artist: Black Sabbath
Album: Black Sabbath
Year: 1970
Label: Warner Bros.
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 Bit of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning”

Thoughts: Several years ago, a friend tried to give me a tutorial in Heavy Metal music.  We didn’t get far, but I did listen to the first four albums of Black Sabbath as the cornerstone albums of the genre.  I was surprised that there were several songs by Black Sabbath that I actually liked, although it appears that most of them will be on albums later in this list.  I do like the Zeppelin-esque suite of blues rock that finishes of this album, though.


Artist: X-Ray Spex
Album: Germfree Adolescents
Year: 1978
Label: EMI
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:

    • “Warrior in Woolworths”
    • “Let’s Submerge”
    • “I Can’t Do Anything”
    • “Identity”
    • “The Day the World Turned Day-Glo”

Thoughts: I should know more about the iconic London punk rock act X-Ray Spex lead by vocalist Poly Styrene (how many punk/post-punk/alternative vocalists did she influence?), but I’d never before listened to the band’s only album. While the stereotype of punk rock is that it’s angry music, Poly Styrene sounds cheerful in embracing the slacker ethos a decade and a half before that became the defining characteristic of Generation X.


Artist: The Cars
AlbumThe Cars
Year: 1978
Label: Elektra
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: None
Thoughts: I’ve made my feelings about The Cars known before on this blog, so I went into listening to this album with great reluctance.  Nevertheless, I am determined as ever to give every album a fair shake. My hopes of finding a hidden nugget buried deep in this album vanished as I realized that almost every song on this album has been in constant rotation on classic rock radio for the past 4 decades.  One positive is that I didn’t find the songs to be physically irritating anymore, just not my thing.  So that’s a plus!


Artist: Eminem,
Album: The Slim Shady LP
Year: 1999
Label: Interscope
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: NONE
Thoughts: Speaking of albums I don’t want to listen to, there’s this one by a loathsome artist whose music is built on misogyny, homophobia, and saying hateful things. Black hip hop artists were excoriated for much less, but Eminem received nothing but critical plaudits. Entering with low expectations, I found this album worse than I could possibly imagine.  I need a shower now.


Artist: Roxy Music
Album: For Your Pleasure
Year: 1973
Label: Warner Bros.
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:

  • “Do the Strand”

Thoughts: I’ve never given Roxy Music all that much thought.  On classic rock radio they were always represented by the pretty but boring “Avalon.”  This earlier work of there’s is classified as glam rock – and is at times Bowie-esque – but I also hear hints of New Wave.  Perhaps that’s because of Brian Eno and his synths.  I enjoyed listening to it and will check it out again.


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

Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 370-361


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:


Artist: Lil Wayne
Album: Tha Carter II
Year: 2005
Label: Cash Money/Universal
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: Welp, here’s my first time listening to Lil Wayne!  This project is really making me realize how much I’m out of it when it comes to hip hop and rap.  Overall  I found this album a bit dull.  Your mileage may vary.


Artist: Mobb Deep
AlbumThe Infamous
Year: 1995
Label: Loud
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Survival of the Fittest”
  • “Give Up the Goods (Just Step)”
  • “Up North Trip”
  • “Trife Life”

Thoughts: I am not familiar with the music of Mobb Deep either, but I like it a whole lot more.  It sounds like the East Coast conscious rap I liked in the 80s, but updated for the mid-90s.  There’s a lot of good beats here too.


Artist: George Harrison
Album: All Things Must Pass
Year: 1970
Label: Apple
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:

  • “Isn’t It A Pity”
  • “What Is Life”
  • “If Not For You”
  • “Beware of Darkness”
  • “Apple Scruffs”
  • “Awaiting On You All”

Thoughts: George Harrison had a lot of songs in him and let them all out on a 3-record collection that was his first post-breakup release.  He had a lot of friends to help him out on what ended up being one of the best of the former Beatles albums from top to bottom.  “What Is Life?” is probably my all-time favorite George song, but you can’t really go wrong on this album.

More thoughts on this album in my The Beatles Go Solo music discovery series.


Artist: Drake
AlbumIf You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Year: 2015
Label: Cash Money
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:

  • “10 Bands”

Thoughts: Drake is someone whose music I have actually heard before, although not anything from this album. This is Drake eschewing his r&b/soul style for a more straight-up rap album, although it is still very melodic.


Artist: Aerosmith
Album: Rocks
Year: 1976
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?: No
Favorite Tracks: None
Thoughts: Confession: despite being a long-time resident of Boston, I’ve never liked Aerosmith.  I mean as a generic rock band following the paths  previously blazed by the Rollings Stones and Led Zeppelin, they’re fine, but definitely not my thing.  The upside about listening to this album is that it doesn’t contain any of the Aerosmith tracks that have been beaten to death through overplay.  The downside is that I don’t like any of them anyway.


Artist: Madvillain
Album: Madvillainy
Year: 2004
Label: Stones Throw
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?: Yes
Favorite Tracks: All of them
Thoughts: We’re once again in the territory of groups I’ve never heard of before.  In this case I feel a little be better that Madvillain was an underground, experimental hip hop act that produced only one album.  Madvillain was a collaboration of  MF Doom and Madlib, who I have heard of.  In fact, I reviewed Madlib’s most recent release earlier this year.  Like J. Dilla’s Donuts, this album is a collection of shorter tracks that are more vignettes than typical song structure. It’s something you need to listen to as a whole to fully absorb.


Artist: Talking Heads
AlbumMore Songs About Buildings and Food
Year: 1978
Label: Sire
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:

  • “With Our Love”
  • “Warning Sign”
  • “I’m Not In Love”
  • “Stay Hungry”
  • “Take Me To The River”
  • “The Big Country”

Thoughts: This album is early Talking Heads at their weirdest and quirkiest.  And their genre-redefining cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River.”  To my knowledge, most of these songs are not about buildings or food.


Artist: Parliament
Album: Mothership Connection
Year: 1975
Label: Casablanca
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:

  • “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)”
  • “Mothership Connection (Star Child)”
  • “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)”

Thoughts:

Parliament are at their space-age funkiest with this science fiction concept album. George Clinton is an interstellar DJ letting the people of earth have the party anthems they want with an underlying social message of defiance against discrimination against Black people and their music.

More thoughts on The Mothership Connection in my P-Funk music discovery series.


Artist: Luther Vandross
AlbumNever Too Much
Year: 1981
Label: Epic
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:

  • “Never Too Much”

Thoughts: This was the debut album for Luther Vandross as a solo artists.  I feel like the title track is vaguely familiar, but the rest of the album was completely new to me.  Nevertheless the sound reminds me of the bouncy and super cool soul crooning style of the early 80s.  I feel this album is good but not great.  I know there are some Vandross songs out there that I really like but I’m not going to hear them in this project because this is the only Vandross album on the list.


Artist: My Chemical Romance
AlbumThe Black Parade
Year: 2006
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?:
Favorite Tracks: none

Thoughts: We’ll finish out this week’s 10 albus with yet another band that I know nothing about.  I guess I wasn’t listening to emo in the Oughts as well as hip hop. The album sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins doing a musical revue of songs by Electric Light Orchestra and Queen.  Since I like none of those bands, I guess that’s a bad thing.  Your mileage may vary.


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

Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 380-371


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:


Artist: Charles Mingus
Album: Mingus Ah Uhm
Year: 1959
Label: Columbia
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:

  • “Better Get Hit In Your Soul”
  • “Goodby Pork Pie Hat”
  • “Fables of Faubus”

Thoughts: I can’t remember who introduced me to Charles Mingus’ work, but I started listening to his music in my college years and it really changed my understanding of what jazz could be.  This album draws inspiration from Duke Ellington while incorporating the bop styles of the 1950s (or the “modern jazz”) that Chuck Berry has no kick about).  Mingus and his band play the tunes fast and slow and it’s all inspired and gets in your soul.  I included this album as an honorable mention in my 2009 list of favorite albums, but it should probably rank higher.


Artist: Rush
Album: Moving Pictures
Year: 1981
Label: Anthem
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: None

Thoughts: As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I am no fan of 70s/80s prog rock. So my knowledge of Rush is basically limited to “Tom Sawyer,” the lead track of this album, and Geddy Lee’s screech guest vocal on Bob and Doug McKenzie’s “Take Off.” Listening to the entire album does not change my opinion any as I found it all very boring. But it least it wasn’t grating!


Artist: Run-DMC
Album: Run-D.M.C.
Year: 1983
Label: Profile
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:

  •  “Rock Box”
  • “Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)”
  • “It’s Like That”

Thoughts: I grew up 35 miles from Queens, New York, and even closer to the birthplace of hip hop in the Bronx, but worlds apart in terms of culture and music. When rap music trickled out into the suburbs in the early 80s, one of the standard-bearers were Run-DMC. In fact, the first hip hop album I owned was by Run-DMC, but we’ll discuss that one later in this list. The debut album has a minimalist feel to its beats but Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels already are expertly exchanging words on their rhymes.


 

Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Album: Fever to Tell
Year: 2003
Label: Interscope
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:

  •  “Date With The Night”
  • “Pin”
  • “Maps”

Thoughts: It’s been a long while since I’ve listened to Fever To Tell, and it holds up as one of the great albums of the Oughts, although the sound and energy channel the post-punk era of 25 years earlier. This album started a revival of rock music being cool enough to play on commercial radio. And “Maps” inspired Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” which is a good thing or a bad thing depending on if you like that song. But mostly this is just timeless and danceable rock music with Karen O’s distinctive vocals leading the way.


 

Artist: Neutral Milk Hotel
Album: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Year: 1998
Label: Merge
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:

  • “King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2 & 3”
  • “Holland, 1945”

Thoughts: I’ve heard of Neutral Milk Hotel, and know of some people who are devoted fans, but this is another album I failed to listen to before. The music on this album is something I don’t associate with the 1990s as it prefigures the folk-infused, baroque pop, indie rock of the 2000s from bands like Arcade Fire and The Decemberists. There are a few tracks I liked and overall the album is okay but it didn’t really grab me overall.


Artist: Green Day
Album: Dookie
Year: 1994
Label: Reprise
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:

  •  “Longview”
  • “Basket Case”
  • “She”
  • “When I Come Around”

Thoughts: I got this album when it first came out because the track “Longview” – a very relatable tune for a directionless young adult – was in regular rotation on alternative radio. I remember listening to it for a while and then growing tired of it and getting rid of it. Listening to it now, I don’t understand why I made that decision, because this album holds up surprisingly well and has more memorable Green Day songs on it than I recalled.


 

Artist: Robert Johnson
Album: King of the Delta Blues Singers
Year: 1961
Label: Columbia
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: Essentially, since I got The Complete Recordings when it came out in 1990
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  •  “Cross Road Blues”
  • “Come On In My Kitchen”
  • “Walkin’ Blues”
  • “Kind Hearted Woman Blues”
  • “Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)”
  • “When You Got a Good Friend”
  • “Traveling Riverside Blues

Thoughts: This is a good example of including a compilation album on this list because Robert Johnson recorded these songs in 1936-37 before long-playing records existed, and because it’s release in the 1960s was so influential on artists like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. Of course, this album also launched various myths, such as the idea that “real” blues were men who were virtuoso guitarists when in reality the biggest blues stars of the 20s & 30s were women like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. Also, artists like Johnson would’ve have performed a variety of popular music types – including country – not just blues. I learned this from the excellent book Escaping the Delta by Elijah Wald which I highly recommend.


Artist: Isaac Hayes
AlbumHot Buttered Soul
Year: 1969
Label: Enterprise
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?: Ye
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Walk On By”
  • “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic”

Thoughts:


500 albums janice joplin big brother and the holding company cheap thrills

Artist: Big Brother and the Holding Company
Album: Cheap Thrills
Year: 1968
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:

  • “Combination of the Two”
  • “Piece of My Heart”
  • “Summertime”

Thoughts:


Artist: The Temptations
Album: Anthology
Year: 1973
Label: Tamla/Motown
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: No
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Very
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “The Way You Do The Things You Do”
  • “My Girl”
  • “Since I Lost My Baby”
  • “Don’t Look Back”
  • “Get Ready”
  • “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”
  • “I Can’t Get Next To You”
  • “Psychedelic Shack”
  • “Ball of Confusion”
  • “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
  • “Just My Imagination”
  • “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone”

Thoughts:


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

Podcasts of the Week Ending April 10


99% Invisible :: The Real Book

How a book of pirated sheet music became a must have for students in jazz music programs.

Throughline :: Policing in America

A history of police in America and how it has served the purposes of white supremacy.

Unf*cking the Republic :: Mass Incarceration: The War on Drugs

A  profanity-laden summary of the work Michelle Alexander and others have done to detail how increased policing and imprisonment is being used to infringe the rights of Black Americans.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021

Music Discoveries: Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 390-381


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:


Artist: Pixies
Album: Surfer Rosa
Year: 1988
Label: 1988
Have I Listened to This Album Before?: So many times
Am I Familiar With This Artist/Songs from This Album?: Yes
Would I Listen to this Album Again?: Yes
Favorite Tracks:

  • “Bone Machine”
  • “Broken Face”
  • “Gigantic”
  • “Where is My Mind?”
  • “Cactus”

Thoughts: Pixies weren’t on my radar in 1988, but when I discovered them in the 1990s, I went back to this album and it became one of my all-time favorites (#72 on my 2009 list). I could list every track on the album as a favorite, but “Gigantic” and “Where is My Mind?” are two of the greatest songs ever.


Artist: Mariah Carey
Album: The Emancipation of Mimi
Year: 2005
Label: Island
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: None

Thoughts: I remember Mariah Carey as ever present in the 1990s and not liking how squeaky her voice got on the high notes. But by the 2000s she was off my radar (except for a hilarious cameo in You Don’t Mess With the Zohan), so I didn’t expect to recognize any of these songs. It’s a straightforward R&B/dance pop album with hip hop guest artists and only a little squeakiness. I keep saying this, and I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, that this kind of music is not my thing, but I’m sure it’s perfectly fine.


Artist: Aretha Franklin
Album: Young, Gifted and Black
Year: 1972
Label: Atlantic
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:

  • “Day Dreaming”
  • “Rock Steady”
  • “Young, Gifted, and Black”
  • “All the King’s Horses”
  • “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”
  • “Border Song (Holy Moses)”

Thoughts: Aretha Franklin’s music is such a gift to the world and I should listen to it more. A lot of the songs on this album are covers (Nina Simone, Otis Redding, The Beatles, Elton John) but she redefines them and makes them her own as much as her original works.


Artist: Radiohead
Album: In Rainbows
Year: 2007
Label: XL
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:

  • “All I Need”
  • “Reckoner”
  • “House of Cards”

Thoughts: I remember when this album came out and it was for sale online on a pay-your-own price model. It felt like the wave of the future. It wasn’t. iTunes soon became dominant only to be shoved aside for streaming. I’ve always liked this album but didn’t think it was considered among Radiohead’s great albums so I’m pleasantly surprised. The band has only released two new albums in the intervening 14 years and they’re both ok, but not great, so it turns out that In Rainbows was the last Radiohead album to date worth getting really excited about. We’ll get to discuss Radiohead three more times as we work through the list.


Artist: J Dilla
Album: Donuts
Year: 2006
Label: Stones Throw
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: All of them

Thoughts: If you’ve been reading my RS 500 posts for a while, you’ll probably not be surprised that I am not at all familiar with J Dilla. The album was recorded as Detroit producer J Dilla contended with a blood disease and lupus and was released on his 32nd birthday. Tragically, he died three days later. It’s a hip hop album with no rap, a collection of short and largely instrumental tracks that mix together samples in creative ways. It’s yet another treat of this project to be introduced to this influential album.


Artist: The Ramones
Album: Rocket to Russia
Year: 1977
Label: Sire
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:

  • “Cretin Hop”
  • “Rockaway Beach”
  • “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”
  • “We’re a Happy Family”
  • “Teenage Lobotomy”

Thoughts: Some time in the late 80s, probably inspired by reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, I checked the compilation album Ramones Mania out of the library. It was nothing like any music I’d ever liked before, and it redefined my understanding of what punk music actually was, and I loved it. I remember feeling the need to keep the fact that I liked the Ramones secret and the first time I told another kid “I kind of like The Ramones,” and he said “Oh yeah, The Ramones are awesome!” it was such a relief. Anyhow, a lot of the songs from this album were on Ramones Mania, including my all-time favorite Ramones song “Sheena is a Punk Rocker.” It’s a great record of 1977, the peak year for punk rock.


Artist: The Kinks
Album: The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Year: 1969
Label: Reprise
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:

  • “The Village Green Preservation Society”
  • “Picture Book”
  • “Sitting by the Riverside”
  • “All of My Friends Were There”

Thoughts: This is the second of two albums by The Kinks and it is reaffirming that I should spend more time listening to The Kinks in the future. At the same time that rock & roll was embracing the counter-culture and change, The Kinks release a thematic album about the simplicity of old-fashioned English villages. This is not entirely contrary as the counter culture embraced a “back to the land” movement and Paul McCartney would soon move to a farm to create his first solo album. But the music on this album is both of its time, with touches of baroque pop and psychedelia, as well as entirely it’s own thing.


Artist: Massive Attack
Album: Mezzanine
Year: 1998
Label: Circa/Virgin
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:

  • “Angel”
  • “Teardrop”

Thoughts: I had a vague awareness that a 90s band named Massive Attack exists but just assumed that they were another grunge/hard rock band. I was wrong. They are a triphop and electronica band, more Portishead than Bush. I even recognize the song “Teardrop,” which I swear I heard in a movie soundtrack but can’t confirm that. The album starts strong but then peters out into repetitive blandness so I probably won’t be relistening to it anytime soon.


Artist: Tame Impala
Album: Currents
Year: 2015
Label: Interscope
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:

  • “Let It Happen”

Thoughts: Tame Impala (Australian producer Kevin Parker) is one of those artists I’ve heard about for years but never gave that much thought to. The lead track “Let It Happen” is definitely familiar to my ears. I appreciated the dense soundscapes of the songs but overall I find the music of Tame Impala to be fairly dull. Which is probably why I never paid much attention to it.


Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Album: (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)
Year: 1973
Label: MCA
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:

  • “Tuesday’s Gone”
  • “Mississipi Kid”

Thoughts: During my high school years I went through a 2-year classic rock phase where I listened to music from the 1960s and early 1970s exclusively. I dove into everything, including some fairly obscure bands, but I could not abide Southern Rock and would race to change the dial whenever it came on. Obviously, a lot of great rock music comes from the South (where the genre was born) but I specifically didn’t like bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band who announced their macho Southern heritage in their music and used Confederate symbols in their iconography. I am, however, listening to every album on this list with an open mind. I did find myself enjoying the bluesy soul of “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Mississippi Kid,” but the hits “Gimme Three Steps” and “Free Bird” just feel frozen in Klassik Rawk Self-parody, despite my efforts.


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

Monthly Mixtape – March 2021


Buffalo Boy :: “This Time”

Louisahhh :: “Love is a Punk”

Adult Mom :: “Breathing”

Danielle Ponder :: “Be Gentle”

The Bamboos :: “Hard Up”

Previous Mixtapes:



Podcasts of the Two Weeks Ending March 27


Best of the Left :: Democracy Under Siege

Republicans are attacking the right to vote in order to retain power and maintain white supremacist fascism.

Code Switch :: Lonnie Bunch And The ‘Museum Of No’

An interview with the first Black Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution focusing on his work in bringing the National Museum of African American History and Culture to fruition.

Have You Heard? ::  What They’ve Lost

Boston Public Schools students talk about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and not being able to attend school in person. Also includes a good discussion of why the focus on “learning loss” only adds to the trauma rather than addressing students’ real problems.

Hub History :: Disaster at Bussey Bridge

134 years ago, corporate malfeasance lead to the death and dismemberment of several railway commuters at a site not far from where I live today.

Planet Money :: The Even More Minimum Wage

The history of the tipped minimum wage and how it maintains inequality. I was particularly stunned by how tipped employment is often the first jobs for young women and that it conditions them to accept sexual harassment in order to get tips.

Seizing Freedom :: Interview: Rhiannon Giddens

For the second POTW post in a row I’ve found a fascinating podcast about the banjo in Black music, this time an interview with the contemporary folk musician Rhiannon Giddens.

This American Life :: The Campus Tour Has Been Cancelled

Many colleges and universities have suspended using the SATs and other standardized tests for admissions because of the COVID pandemic. Tests like these have a gatekeeping effect and this podcast explores how their absence can open up college opportunities for poor, BIPOC, and first-generation applicants.

Throughline :: Chaos

Stories of humanity and chaos, including the real life The Lord of the Flies.

Twenty Thousand Hertz :: 20th Century Fox

The composition and history of the deceptively simple 20th Century Fox fanfare.

The War on Cars :: Jamelle Bouie Has Seen the Future of Transportation

Journalist Jamelle Bouie talks about his experience using an electric bike in Charlottesville, VA and the future of transportation and housing in the United States.

Running Tally of Podcast of the Week Awards for 2021