My favourite albums – 91 – 100

In surprised response to some demand on Twitter, I’ve finally come up with a list of my favourite 100 albums of all time.

However, first a few ground rules.

  • No greatest hits albums – it’s cheating!
  • No live albums – these are often greatest hits albums in disguise.
  • Only one album per band or artist – this sometimes made the choice very hard indeed!
  • No bootlegs – all albums have to have been commercially released.
  • I reserve the right to change my mind about this list at any time and I suspect that if I had to do this again in a month’s time it might be quite different – especially in the lower reaches.
  • This is my list. If I haven’t chosen your favourite album then that’s because it isn’t my favourite, although it might be one day. However, I’ll really welcome your views on my choices.
  • Very few albums are perfect 10s in my opinion. The further down the list you go, the more flawed an album becomes.
  • No links given – far too arduous. So, if you want to find out more, Google is, as ever, your friend.
  • The list is in ascending order – far more suspense that way!
  • A brief resume is given for each album but nothing too descriptive.
  • It’d be great if you could seek the albums out and listen to them – there are all sorts of ways and means, with Spotify probably being the most legal and the cheapest. If you have ways of downloading the albums without paying, you are a bad person and will probably go to Hell or Cleethorpes or something.
  • 10 albums posted at a time – the list is ready so a new batch of 10 won’t be far away.

So, here we go!

#100 Cheap Trick – Dream Police: Power pop before it was called that. Heavier than their usual stuff but full of great melodies, harmonies and crunchy guitars.

#99 Wind and Wuthering – Genesis: A beautiful album with stellar compositions. You don’t miss Gabriel at all and it was simply their last good album. It’s autumn in song.

#98 Fatso Jetson – Stinky Little Gods: Classic stoner/desert rock. You can hear where QOTSA got a lot of their sound from.

#97 Doobie Brothers – Stampede: The band before they blanded out into AOR anonymity. The last great guitar-based Doobies album and if “I Cheat the Hangman” doesn’t make you shiver at times, check that you have a pulse.

#96 Fashion – Twilight of Idols: New Romantics before Duran Duran were even dreamed of. Great songs and production with more guitar than was usual with such bands.

#95 Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Next: Aging Scottish rocker teams up with young Scots heavy rock band and forms a monster outfit capable of everything from vaudeville to metal. Funny stuff too and Alex’s sense of humour triumphs. He does good pathos too!

#94 Eddie Hazel – Games, Dames and Guitar Thangs: A bit of a rag bag but it has its moments. “Lampoc Boogie” is 12 minutes of face-melting guitar that shows that P-Funkster Eddie was Jimi’s natural heir.

#93 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Black Music for White People: An old trouper from the 1940s, Jay had a long career mixing soul and R&B with crazed humour. Ever wanted to hear someone murder ‘Old Man River’? Well, here’s your chance.

#92 Wishbone Ash – Here to Hear: a bit of a comeback album which proved that dual lead harmony guitars could still sound good in the 1990s. Great stuff from a band I’d given up on. The last track (both parts) is sublime.

#91 Metallica – Master of Puppets: The chaps at their best – forget anything they’ve done after the ‘Black’ album. In fact, forget that too. This is the real shit and the riff in the title track still sounds monster to me. So, you can play it on guitar? Try it on bass, you goddam’ pusseh!

B&D, baggy trousers, bad behaviour, Keef and assault with a deadly Telecaster

Drat those pesky Boatang and Demetriou kids!

JD in ‘investigative mode’

They have the market in big-bollocked blogging cornered so well that they now have to go round wearing voluminous trousers!

Please B&D, don’t hurt ’em!

Not only that, but the testicularly over-endowed pair are psychic, too!

MrB: ‘Look into my eyes, you cunt.’

There I am reading some entertainment news when I’m struck by how wimpish and wholesome rock music is getting and then I read this

The prescient bastards!

Oh well, I’m going to blog about it anyway…

I was reading about how Elbow frontman Guy Garvey had spent his Mercury Music Awards  prize money on some state-of-the-art bincoculars so that he could better pursue his hobby of birdwatching.

Old news maybe – but new to me.

Now, having suckled on the teat of rock through the late 60s onwards I was struck by how rare it is to hear of rock star bad behaviour nowadays.

No-one drives Rollers into swimming pools, throws TVs out of hotel bedroom windows or employs fish for ‘recreational’ purposes any more it seems and even if they still do, the Press seems to prefer writing stories about losers like Amy Winehouse or Pete Docherty sticking chemicals up their noses.

Druggies are boring – unless they do interesting things – and the two I’ve mentioned above just seem to take drugs and indulge in ASBOesque behaviour.

Meh…

And although fighting still goes on in bands, the great days of a band member getting twatted with a cymbal and then needing hospitalisation – as in the Kinks – and other notable masters of the band ruck, such as the Stones and the Who, seem to be over.

A bit hard to throw a well-aimed but coke-fuelled punch when you’re ‘brown bread’ admittedly, as in the case of some members of the Who, but where’s the motherfucking spirit gone, eh?

Go on, Corpse Boy! Hit him!

No, as B&D point out, you have to look back through the anals (sic) of history to find rock’s real bad boys.

I still think this chap takes some beating:

Yes, it’s Keef – Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Once dubbed ‘the World’s Most Elegantly-Wasted Human Being’, he’s defied everything to survive to play today.

What he hasn’t ingested in the name of getting totally fucking ripped off his tits isn’t worth mentioning…

It’s alleged that he once took a contract out on the people who stole some of his guitars – although he’s been known to pack a gun himself…

He’s destroyed countless hotel bedrooms and their contents…

He’s had a fistfight with Chuck Berry – who used to be a bit handy himself…

He’s managed to stay out of gaol many times for various offences involving gun possession and drugs…

He’s packed more into his life than most fucking countries do in a whole cunting century…

This guy should not be alive.

But he fucking is!

Someone – I think it was Bill Hicks – once said that if we ever have total global nuclear Armageddon then the only animal life left alive to enjoy the aftermath will be cockroaches and Keef.

OK, so some people think he’s a bit of a dinosaur and a joke and maybe a tad past his sell-by date.

So fucking what?

He’s had cracking on for 50 years making a fortune out of what he loves to do, travelled the world several times over, taken all manner of drugs and enjoyed the experience and survived, made the acquaintance of some of the finest minds of the 20th and 21st centuries and is still alive and making music.

When you ask people who Keef is, most people will tell you he’s ‘the guitarist in the Rolling Stones’ and that’s it.

Well, there’s a bit more to the guy than that.

He’s co-composer with Mick Jagger of many of the finest rock and pop songs ever written and he’s also a very fine singer and guitarist.

Admittedly he’s a bit ragged live onstage in both those departments but I have a few ‘unofficial’ recordings that reveal he has a fine voice – especially suited to ‘alt.country’ type material – and exceptional skill and flair as a guitarist – particularly when it comes to the blues.

He’s one of the very few players to really nail the seminal and virtuoso style of Robert Johnson and although it’s not easy to find examples of Keef playing in this style this exists:

As a guitarist myself I can categorically state that playing this shit is not at all easy.

The lick at about 19 seconds in is sheer perfection.

Keef can also use a guitar – as you can see, a Tele does very nicely for this – to clear the stage of unwanted cunts:

Rock stars today?

Bunch of precious, pantywaist, poncey, prancing prats.

Give us some real fucking rock heroes!

Where the hell was I…

…when a band called Oingo Boingo was about?

I’ve just discovered them and all I can say is WOW.

Of course, there are countless bands that meant zip in the UK whilst pulling in mega crowds to gigs and making album after album in the US, and vice versa, but why weren’t these guys a global fucking smash?

Well, it’s too late to see them now, but at least their back catalogue is available.

I want everything they’ve ever recorded – or even breathed next to…