Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Album-by-Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Jmac1979, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    All three of Nick Drake's albums are utterly sublime, flawless, deep and dark, familiar yet absolutely unique.

    Can listen to them over and over and over again. 5/5
    1. In the Aeroplane Over The Sea
    2. Third/Sister Lovers
    3. Pink Moon
    4. All Things Must Pass
    5. Odyssey And Oracle
    6. #1 Record
    7. Modern Lovers
    8. I Do Not Want What I haven't Got
    9. Either/Or
    10. Weezer
    11. If You're Feeling Sinister
    12. Brian Wilson Presents "SMiLE"
    13. Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York
    14. Radio City
    15. Tea For The Tillerman
    16. Post
    17. Dirty Mind
    18. Paul Simon
    19. My Aim Is True
    20. Mr. Tambourine Man
    21. Ram
    22. Wild Honey
    23. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
    24. Wish You Were Here
    25. The Wild The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle
    26. Pink Flag
    27. Imagine
    28. So
    29. Loaded
    30. The Basement Tapes
    31. John Wesley Harding
    32. Surfer Rosa
    33. Aftermath
    34. Everyone Thinks This Is Nowhere
    35. Full Moon Fever
    36. Village Green Preservation Society
    37. Something Else
    38. Gilded Palace Of Sin
    39. The Bends
    40. Sweethearts Of The Rodeo
    41. Deja Vu
    42. Today!
    43. Let It Be
    44. Siamese Dream
    45. Parklife
    46. Village Green Preservation Society
    47. Houses of the Holy
    48. A Hard Day's Night
    49. Golden Hour
    50. Dookie
    51. Odelay!
    52. Help!
    53. Music Of My Mind
    54. Sheryl Crow
    55. White Light/White Heat
    56. Sandinista!
    57. Goo
    58. Let's Get It On
    [/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
  2. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Nick Drake - Pink Moon

    Beautiful and sad album. And I agree that all three albums are sublime, but the last one is my favorite.
     
  3. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Don't Let The Old Man In

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    Also in my collection. How can an artist with such a small catalog have such an emotional impact on me...

    203. Nick Drake - Pink Moon (1972) 5/5 and another very favorite of all time
     
  4. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    PINK MOON (Nick Drake)
    I had never heard of Nick Drake until sometime in the 1990's. I read about him in the book UNKNOWN HEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL. When YouTube came out I remember checking out "Pink Moon" (the song) and loving it. At a Barnes & Noble sometime in the late 2000's I bought all three of Nick's albums and became a huge fan. I would actually rate both BRYTER LAYTER and FIVE LEAVES LEFT as slightly better than this album, but this album does contain three of my very favorite Nick Drake songs: "Pink Moon", "Place To Be" and "From The Morning". There is a bit of an unfinished quality to many of the other songs, which is OK, but makes some of them slightly less memorable.
    Nevertheless all three of these albums are top 500 for me.
    GRADE: B+

    My Current Top 90 Albums:
    1. THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY (The Kinks)
    2. ODYSSEY AND ORACLE (The Zombies)
    3. PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (Pink Floyd)
    4. SOMETHING ELSE (The Kinks)
    5. ALL THINGS MUST PASS (George Harrison)
    6. NUGGETS (Various Artists)
    7. DEJA VU (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young)
    8. MODERN LOVERS (Modern Lovers)
    9. RAM (Paul & Linda McCartney)
    10. BETWEEN THE BUTTONS (Rolling Stones)
    11. A HARD DAYS NIGHT (The Beatles)
    12. THE WHO SELL OUT (The Who)
    13. DAMN THE TORPEDOES (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
    14. GREATEST HITS (Sly & the Family Stone)
    15. THE CARS (The Cars)
    16. FULL MOON FEVER (Tom Petty)
    17. RADIO CITY (Big Star)
    18. #1 RECORD (Big Star)
    19. ODELAY (Beck)
    20. COSMO'S FACTORY (CCR)
    21. WISH YOU WERE HERE (Pink Floyd)
    22. ROCKET TO RUSSIA (Ramones)
    23. DOOKIE (Green Day)
    24. HELP )The Beatles)
    25. AMERICAN BEAUTY (Grateful Dead)
    26. LET IT BE (The Beatles)
    27. WEEZER (Weezer)
    28. ANTHOLOGY (The Temptations)
    29. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE (Neil Young)
    30. ANTHOLOGY (Diana Ross & the Supremes)
    31. YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK (Aretha Franklin)
    32. HERES LITTLE RICHARD (Little Richard)
    33. THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (Abba)
    34. HOUSES OF THE HOLY (Led Zeppelin)
    35. AMERICAN IDIOT (Green Day)
    36. THE STOOGES (The Stooges)
    37. SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Jefferson Airplane)
    38. MY AIM IS TRUE (Elvis Costello)
    39. SOMETHING/ANYTHING (Todd Rundgren)
    40. BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
    41. CLOSE TO THE EDGE (Yes)
    42. IMAGINE (John Lennon)
    43. PINK MOON (Nick Drake)
    44. PROUNCED LENHERD SKINNERD (Lynryd Skynryd)
    45. ELEPHANT (The White Stripes)
    46. UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK CITY (Nirvana)
    47. ABRAXAS (Santana)
    48. PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND (Sam Cooke)
    49. STORIES FROM THE CITY (PJ Harvey)
    50. MOVING PICTURES (Rush)
    51. KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS (Robert Johnson)
    52. DICTIONARY OF SOUL (Otis Redding)
    53. SOME GIRLS (Rolling Stones)
    54. LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (Derek & the Dominoes)
    55. CURRENTS (Tame Impala)
    56. BEACH BOYS TODAY (The Beach Boys)
    57. ELVIS PRESLEY (Elvis Presley)
    58. BO DIDDLEY/GO BO DIDDLEY (Bo Diddley)
    59. PARKLIFE (Blur)
    60. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Velvet Underground)
    61. SIAMESE DREAM (Smashing Pumpkins)
    62. LIVE AT LEEDS (The Who)
    63. RUST NEVER SLEEPS (Neil Young)
    64. CALIFORNICATION (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    65. NORMAN R ROCKWELL (Lana Del Rey)
    66. 19 LOVE SONGS (Magnetic Fields)
    67, LUCINDA WILLIAMS (Lucinda Williams)
    68. HEART LIKE A WHEEL (Linda Rondstadt)
    69. MR TAMBOURINE MAN (The Byrds)
    70. PAUL SIMON (Paul Simon)
    71. SO (Peter Gabriel)
    72. LIKE A PRAYER (Madonna)
    73. HONKY CHATEAU (Elton John)
    74. SHERYL CROW (Sheryl Crow)
    75. BACK TO MONO (Phil Spector w/various artists)
    76. NICK OF TIME (Bonnie Raitt)
    77. THE ANTHOLOGY (Muddy Waters)
    78. PRESENTING THE FABULOUS RONETTES (Ronettes)
    79. HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS (Cocteau Twins)
    80. THE BIRTH OF SOUL (Ray Charles)
    81. MOANING IN THE MOONLIGHT (Howlin Wolf)
    82. MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDING AND FOOD (Talking Heads)
    83. ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (Brian Eno)
    84. HEADHUNTERS (Herbie Hancock)
    85. FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN (Bob Dylan)
    86. METALLICA (Metallica)
    87. DEFINITELY MAYBE (Oasis)
    88. TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN (Cat Stevens)
    89. COAT OF MANY COLORS (Dolly Parton)
    90. EITHER/OR (Elliot Smith)
     
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  5. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Tea For The Tillerman Apart from Father & Son, and Wild World, the album is as dull as ditchwater. And I haven't forgotten that he supported the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. Miss.

    Graduation Yeezus was a revelatory curveball, so what will this be? Tedious, and generic as hell, unfortunately. Miss.

    Pink Moon Fifty years ago hardly anyone was interested. Fast forward, and the party line is that this is a lost 'masterpiece', by a neglected, self-tortured, genius. Well, party pooper that I am, my opinion is that Pink Moon is a distinctly drab & dreary affair. Drake approaches most of the record in a monostylistic manner: sparse strumming & picking; breathy doleful vocals; lacklustre melodies. The only time he really breaks out of this self-imposed homogeneity is on the instrumental Horn. Yes, it's a plain album; plainly dull. Pink Moon sounds more like an exercise in bored, middle-class, mild disappointment, rather than looking over the edge of a metaphorical cliff. Miss.
     
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  6. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I haven't caught the Nick Drake bug yet, but I can't rule it out. More likely to put the effort into exploring Tim Buckley if I'm looking to expand my appreciation.
     
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  7. Andrew J

    Andrew J Forum Resident

    Location:
    South East England
    Looking at that and knowing Pink Moon, I'm pretty sure it's the artists that are 'dull as ditchwater'.
     
  8. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    202. Björk - Homogenic (1997)
    Producer: Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B, Markus Dravs

    Homogenic is the third studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk.[a] It was released on 20 September 1997 by One Little Indian Records. Produced by Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B, and Markus Dravs, the album marked a stylistic change, focusing on similar-sounding music combining electronic beats and string instruments with songs in tribute to her native country Iceland.

    Homogenic was originally to be produced in her home in London, but was halted due to media attention from Björk surviving a murder attempt by a stalker. She later relocated to Spain to record the album. It marked the first of several production collaborations between Björk and Bell, whom she would cite as a major influence on her musical career.

    Upon its release, Homogenic received widespread critical acclaim. It topped the Icelandic albums chart, peaking at number 28 on the US Billboard 200 and number 4 on the UK Albums Chart. The album produced five singles–"Jóga", "Bachelorette", "Hunter", "Alarm Call", and "All Is Full of Love"–and was further promoted with the Homogenic Tour (1997–1999). Retrospectively, Homogenic has continued receiving critical acclaim, being listed among the best albums of its era and genre by numerous critics.

    Recording and Production
    After an extensive tour in 1996, Björk returned to her home in Maida Vale with an urgent need to write new songs as a form of therapy.[3] Björk would let audio engineer Markus Dravs into her home studio to start creating new songs. The sessions with Dravs and Björk were casual, with Björk allowing Dravs freedom with the album. Björk only left the studio to cook meals for the both of them.[4] One of the first songs created during the sessions was "5 Years" which Dravs created the fast beat for.[4] The progress of Homogenic in these sessions was halted due to a media sensation caused by the suicide of Björk's stalker Ricardo López.[5][6] To deal with the stress of being at home during this incident, Björk imagined herself as the protagonist in a Spanish soap opera.[6] The character's image inspired a song titled "So Broken" which she sang to herself in her kitchen.[6]The song was later included on the Japanese import of the album.[7]

    To record in privacy away from the sudden unwanted media interest, Björk's tour drummer Trevor Moraisoffered his studio in Spain. Björk went to Málaga and arranged to meet with flamenco guitarist Raimundo Amador.[6] Björk had originally intended to stay in Málaga only briefly, but later decided to record the entirety of Homogenic there.[6] Björk made a final trip out of the country before staying in Spain. As she had done since moving to London, Björk returned to Iceland for Christmas.[6] While there, she wrote more new songs for Homogenic, including "Jóga".[8] Before returning to Spain to record, Björk was sidetracked by a two-week worldwide press tour for the promotion of her remix album Telegram, which had just been released.[9] After returning to the studio in Spain in late January, Björk decided to end work with producer Nellee Hooper, who had produced both Debut and Post, as she felt they had "stopped surprising each other".[10][11][12] Björk had intended to produce the album alone, but sought collaborators including Dravs, Howie B, Guy Sigsworth and LFO's Mark Bell.[10] Howie B had worked with Björk on Debut and Post and Sigsworth had played harpsichord on Post.[11][12] The Americanhip hop group Wu-Tang Clan almost contributed to the production of Homogenic, but were unable due to their production on the album Wu-Tang Forever, which had taken longer than planned.[10] Most of the melodies on the album were created by Björk, who then composed string sections on a Casio keyboardand brought them to programmers who would add rhythmic patterns.[13] Björk had wanted to have Mark Bell contribute to her albums Debut and Post;[14] Bell was credited for the majority of the album's production, including the songs "Pluto", "Alarm Call", and the bassline in "Jóga". Björk stated that she "trusts and respects what [Bell] does for me. If I were to say who has influenced me most it would be Stockhausen, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and Mark Bell".[10] Other unorthodox methods of recording were used during the production, including Björk wanting to record outside on the porch and using non-professionals to help with production, such as Rebecca Storey, who was hired as a babysitter but added to the production staff after showing interest in the equipment.[15][16]

    String arrangements were added late in the recording process.[16] Björk had friend Eumir Deodato conduct, transcribe and compose original pieces for the few songs that Björk did not arrange for herself.[16] To keep with the Icelandic theme of the album, Björk ordered the services of the Icelandic String Octet.[16] By June 1997, the album was behind schedule and Björk was uncertain of the final track listing and unhappy with some of the recorded vocals.

    Music and Lyrics
    Homogenic is an electronica,[18][19] trip hop,[20] art pop,[21] glitch[22] and experimental album.[23] Before production began on Homogenic, Björk wanted to create an album with "a simple sound" and "only one flavour".[3] Heather Phares of AllMusicdescribed the sound of Homogenic as a "fusion of chilly strings (courtesy of the Icelandic String Octet), stuttering, abstract beats, and unique touches like accordion and glass harmonica".[24] The album differs from her previous two releases stylistically, and Neva Chonin of Rolling Stone stated the album was "certain to be rough going for fans looking for the sweet melodies and peppy dance collages of her earlier releases".[25] As with other Björk releases, it has been difficult for critics to classify Homogenicwithin a musical genre. Tiny Mix Tapes considered that "Björk has managed to create something so refreshingly unique that trying to categorize and label the music is rather dubious."[23] Writing for Beats Per Minute, Cole Zercoe felt Homogenicrepresented a pinnacle work of trip hop, forming part of "a sort of holy trinity of this musical aesthetic" along with Massive Attack's Mezzanineand Portishead's Dummy.[20]

    Björk wanted Homogenic to have a conceptual focus on her native Iceland. Producer Markus Dravs recalled Björk wanting it to sound like "rough volcanoes with soft moss growing all over it..."[3] In an interview for Oor, Björk explained that "in Iceland, everything revolves around nature, 24 hours a day. Earthquakes, snowstorms, rain, ice, volcanic eruptions, geysers... Very elementary and uncontrollable. But at the other hand, Iceland is incredibly modern; everything is hi-tech. The number of people owning a computer is as high as nowhere else in the world. That contradiction is also on Homogenic. The electronic beats are the rhythm, the heartbeat. The violins create the old-fashioned atmosphere, the colouring."[26][27]

    Björk's vocals on Homogenic range from primitive-sounding screams to a traditional singing method used by Icelandic choir men, a combination of speaking and singing as illustrated in the song "Unravel".[28][29] The majority of songs on Homogenic have lyrics about love and failed relationships. The song "Jóga" was written as a tribute to her best friend and tour masseuse of the same name.[8] Björk called "All is Full of Love" a song about "believing in love" and that "Love isn't just about two persons. It's everywhere around you".[30] "All Neon Like" contains snippets of a poem Björk wrote called "Techno Prayer" in 1996. The song "5 Years" appeared in live form a few weeks after her breakup with musician Tricky and music journalists considered it a response to it.[24][31]"Bachelorette" was originally written for director Bernardo Bertolucci for his film Stealing Beauty.[32]Björk later faxed Bertolucci, informing him the song would be used for her album instead.[32]"Bachelorette" and "Jóga" were written with Icelandic poet Sjón, because Björk wanted to use epic lyrics.[32][33] "Immature" was written about mistakes in past relationships, shortly after the breakup with Goldie.[34] Björk described "Pluto" as about "being plastered, that need to destroy everything so you can start again".[35] "Unravel" is a song about lamenting love, with brief flashes of hope.

    Contemporary Critical Reception
    Chicago Tribune 3.5/4
    Entertainment Weekly A
    The Guardian 4/5
    Los Angeles Times 3.5/4
    NME 9/10
    Pitchfork 9.9/10
    Rolling Stone 4/5
    Spin 9/10

    Retrospective Critical Reception
    AllMusic 5/5
    Pitchfork 10/10
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5
    Slant Magazine 5/5
    Spin 5/5

    Audience Reception
    91/100 from 2,969 users, #2 for 1997, #15 overall - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    8.9/10 from 2,614 users - AllMusic
    4.4/5 from 2,375 users, #4 for 1997, #41 overall - Musicboard
    4.09/5 from 31,341 users, #4 for 1997, #64 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
  9. morettiB

    morettiB Active Member

    Location:
    united kingdom
    Hi everyone- new to these forums and therefore new to this thread. I'll add comments to those records I feel I can contribute with meaningful comments. My current top 20 after skimming through this thread during the last week or so :D

    1) David Bowie- Low

    2) Charles Mingus- Mingus ah um

    3) The Kinks- The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society

    4) Joy Division- Unknown pleasures

    5) Herbie Hancock- Headhunters

    6) Wire- Pink Flag

    7) Daft Punk- Discovery

    8) George Harrison- All things Must Pass

    9) Bob Dylan- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

    10) Cat Stevens- Tea for the tillerman

    11) CSN+ young- Déjà vu

    12) The Zombies- Odyssey and Oracle

    13) George Harrison- All things must pass

    14) Elvis Presley- S/T

    15) John Lennon- Imagine

    16) Radiohead- The Bends

    17) Parliament- Mothership Connection

    18) Ornette Coleman- The Shape of Jazz to come

    19) Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

    20) Pink Floyd- Wish you were here


    I have excluded some personal favourites from my era- such as stone roses S/T and Oasis- Definitely maybe as I am trying to be as objective as possible.
    Plus kudos to EyeSocket for keeping this thread going for so long. Many thanks.
     
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  10. morettiB

    morettiB Active Member

    Location:
    united kingdom
     
  11. in_the_fog

    in_the_fog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    5/5 all three.
     
  12. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Don't Let The Old Man In

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    Agreed
     
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  13. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Pink Moon
    A-
    I rate all Nick Drake albums about the same. All excellent, IMO.
     
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  14. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Homogenic
    A+
    One of the most important albums of all time, when you consider how much impact it had.
     
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  15. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Homogenic is utterly nuts. She's taken the post-modern dance textures of her first two albums and totally went on a excursion to a candy colored la-la land that conceals depth of dark emotion and cleverness. Everything utterly deconstructed and reconstructed in a way that neve rseems less than fresh.

    5/5
    1. In the Aeroplane Over The Sea
    2. Third/Sister Lovers
    3. Pink Moon
    4. All Things Must Pass
    5. Odyssey And Oracle
    6. #1 Record
    7. Modern Lovers
    8. I Do Not Want What I haven't Got
    9. Either/Or
    10. Weezer
    11. If You're Feeling Sinister
    12. Brian Wilson Presents "SMiLE"
    13. Homogenic
    14. Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York
    15. Radio City
    16. Tea For The Tillerman
    17. Post
    18. Dirty Mind
    19. Paul Simon
    20. My Aim Is True
    21. Mr. Tambourine Man
    22. Ram
    23. Wild Honey
    24. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
    25. Wish You Were Here
    26. The Wild The Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle
    27. Pink Flag
    28. Imagine
    29. So
    30. Loaded
    31. The Basement Tapes
    32. John Wesley Harding
    33. Surfer Rosa
    34. Aftermath
    35. Everyone Thinks This Is Nowhere
    36. Full Moon Fever
    37. Village Green Preservation Society
    38. Something Else
    39. Gilded Palace Of Sin
    40. The Bends
    41. Sweethearts Of The Rodeo
    42. Deja Vu
    43. Today!
    44. Let It Be
    45. Siamese Dream
    46. Parklife
    47. Village Green Preservation Society
    48. Houses of the Holy
    49. A Hard Day's Night
    50. Golden Hour
    51. Dookie
    52. Odelay!
    53. Help!
    54. Music Of My Mind
    55. Sheryl Crow
    56. White Light/White Heat
    57. Sandinista!
    58. Goo
    59. Let's Get It On
     
  16. CaptainFeedback1

    CaptainFeedback1 It's nothing personal.

    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Of course, Fools Gold was not on the Stone Roses' debut album, so is not a great choice of example track. The fact that the record label saw fit to shoehorn Fools Gold onto the end of the re-releases of the album in pursuit of sales doesn't mean it has anything remotely to do with the album. Nor does Elephant Stone.

    Great songs, horrible production on the album itself, cavernous reverb that doesn't suit most of the songs at all. Ironically Fool's Gold sounds great. The drum sound on most songs on the album is horrific and the bass tone is unsatisfying. Imagine having such a great rhythm section and not recording then very well... what a waste. And I say all that as someone that absolutely loves the songs they released from 88-90.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
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  17. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    201. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders (1993)
    Producer: A Tribe Called Quest, Skeff Anselm, Large Professor

    Midnight Marauders is the third studio album by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, released on November 9, 1993, by Jive Records. Recording sessions for the album occurred at Battery Studios, Platinum Island Studios and Scorcerer Sound in New York City. Its production was mainly handled by Q-Tip, with contributions from Skeff Anselm, Large Professor and the group's DJ, Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A culmination of the group's two previous albums, it features an eclectic, gritty sound based on jazz, funk, soul and R&Bsamples, in addition to socially conscious, positively-minded, and humorous lyrics.

    Midnight Marauders debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The first two singles, "Electric Relaxation" and "Award Tour", charted on the Billboard Hot 100, before the release of the final single, "Oh My God". On January 14, 1994, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States. It was certified platinum by the RIAA nearly a full year later, on January 11, 1995, with shipments of one million copies.

    The album received mostly positive reviews from critics. In the following years, Midnight Maraudershas acquired further acclamation from within the hip hop community for its production, chemistry and influence, with some regarding it as the group's best work, and one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. Several writers have credited it as a contributor to a "second golden age" of hip hop in the mid-1990s, as well as the pinnacle of the Native Tongues movement.

    Recording
    A Tribe Called Quest sought to further develop the bass-heavy sound of its previous album, The Low End Theory, with group member Q-Tip setting up his production equipment in the house basement of fellow member Phife Dawg's grandmother.[2][3][4]Phife Dawg explained, "my grandmother gave him a key, the whole nine, he used to just go in and do his thing."[4] Most of the album was planned in the basement, though Q-Tip also worked on outside projects there, including the beat for Nas's single "One Love", which appeared on his debut album Illmatic (1994).[3] Rapper and producer Large Professor recalled the inviting, relaxed atmosphere in the basement: "[Phife Dawg] would just be there chilling, watching a basketball game or something, playing a video game and just listening to the beats, like, 'Yeah, yeah, I like that right there.' It was just so casual and cool ... just kind of sitting there and chillin' out, going to get something to eat, going through sounds and picking the sounds out. Telling a few jokes, watching some television like that; it was really nice. It wasn't forced in any way."[3]

    Phife Dawg recalled the pressure that the group faced to make a solid follow-up to The Low End Theory: "Obviously, that's a two-year wait, so there was a lot of pressure like, 'Can they do it again?' Q-Tip is really hands on, Tip is a genius, so by the time he was finished sequencing the album, I was lookin' at him sayin, 'Yo, b, we did it again.'"[5] The album's title, Midnight Marauders, originated from Q-Tip's lyrics in the song "Vibes and Stuff" from The Low End Theory, though it was later interpreted by group member Ali Shaheed Muhammad that "A Tribe Called Quest are like sound thieves looting for your ears."[6][7]

    Recording sessions for Midnight Marauders took place at Battery Studios, Platinum Island Studios and Scorcerer Sound in New York City, over a period of nine months,[8] ending in September 1993.[1] All songs were mixed at Battery Studios and mastered at The Hit Factory in New York City.[8] Production was mainly handled by Q-Tip, with contributions from Skeff Anselm, Large Professor and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, who also contributed DJ scratching.[9][10] Raphael Saadiq (credited as Raphael Wiggins) played bass guitar on the song "Midnight".[11]

    The group hired Jive secretary Laurel Dann to be the album's "tour guide", having liked her voice, which is digitized throughout the album.[10] With a sample of Cal Tjader's "Aquarius" as a backdrop, Dann opens the album on the track "Midnight Marauders Tour Guide", introducing herself as the woman on the album cover and describing the album's sound. She resurfaces on interludes at the end of some songs, providing information and adding to the overall aesthetic of the album.[10] Q-Tip explained the decision to use her voice: "Everybody was used to hearing that kind of voice whether they were calling a phone company or they were on hold. There was always some type of monotone female voice that had a computerized vibe that was giving you information. So I thought how cool would it be if you called to pay your bill and then you would hear this female voice start rattling **** off like, 'Keep bouncing?'"[12]

    Despite Jarobi White leaving the group midway through recording The Low End Theory, the group maintained a "revolving door policy" with him, in which he would continue to attend recording sessions and supply the group with humor that became part of their songwriting process.[13]Clarifying his role, he stated, "You come in [to the studio]. You might have had a bad day today. Some lady might have pushed you on the train ... I walk in the studio and I'm bringing all my rambunctious silly stupid jokes and now we're all laughing."[13] Because of his efforts, White is referenced on Midnight Marauders.

    Lyrics
    The lyricism on Midnight Marauders is often regarded as the best on any A Tribe Called Quest album, and the group's biggest improvement since their debut People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.[17][25] The group's documentarydirector Michael Rapaport stated, "They followed a classic and upped the ante. Put it like this: [The Low End Theory] would be the first run at the championship ring, but it takes a different mentality to stay focused and do it again."[10] Subject matter on the album includes social issues, use of the word n****r and everyday life, as well as several sportsreferences.[26][27] Building on the lyrical interplay that was established on The Low End Theory, Q-Tip and Phife Dawg are "practically telepathic" on some songs, providing a contrast in both delivery and style.[17] AllMusic's John Bush described this contrast as "focused yet funky" and "polished but raw."[17]

    All aspects of the group's lyricism improved on the album, including cadence, flow, diction and use of metaphors.[25] The song "8 Million Stories" finds Phife Dawg storytelling, as he details "a laundry-list of mundane annoyances."[26] On the single "Oh My God", he refers to himself as a "funky diabetic" in a moment of self-deprecation. Throughout the album, the group blends their brand of intelligence, reflection and positivity with humorous anecdotes.[17][28] James Bernard of Entertainment Weeklypraised the group for managing to "hold our attention without resorting to gun references or expletives."[15]

    Tom Breihan of Stereogum noted that Q-Tip and Phife Dawg "sounded slicker and more comfortable than they ever had before."[26] Owing to that comfort and their chemistry, the two occasionally performed each others's lyrics during the recording sessions. Describing the "Electric Relaxation" session to XXL, Phife Dawg said, "On that record, [Q-Tip] wrote my lines and I wrote his—actually, we wrote our own lines, and when we recorded, we traded. That's why the whole back and forth, you know what I mean?"

    Contemporary Critical Reception
    Chicago Sun-Times 4/4
    Entertainment Weekly A
    NME 7/10
    Q 4/5
    Rolling Stone 2/5
    The Source 4/5
    Spin 3/3
    USA Today 3/4

    Retrospective Critical Reception
    AllMusic 5/5
    Christgau's Consumer Guide A−
    Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5
    MusicHound R&B 4.5/5
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5
    Spin 4.5/5
    Tom Hull – on the Web A−
    XXL 5/5

    Audience Reception
    88/100 from 1,192 users, #5 for 1993, #133 overall - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    9.2/10 from 1,442 users - AllMusic
    4.3/5 from 1,235 users, #3 for 1993, #129 overall - Musicboard
    4.11/5 from 18,047 users, #3 for 1993, #89 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
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  18. morettiB

    morettiB Active Member

    Location:
    united kingdom
    201. A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders (1993)




    Probably my favourite hip hop outfit and my favourite tribe album just edging low end theory (electric relaxation is the stand out track across the two albums). Interesting lyricism, smooth flow (particulary from Qtip) which when matched with groovy beats and many carefully selected jazz and funk samples you get a cohesive and almost flawless hip hop album. This would make my top 30-40 of those listed thus far.



    1) David Bowie- Low

    2) Charles Mingus- Mingus ah um

    3) The Kinks- The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society

    4) Joy Division- Unknown pleasures

    5) Herbie Hancock- Headhunters

    6) Wire- Pink Flag

    7) Daft Punk- Discovery

    8) George Harrison- All things Must Pass

    9) Bob Dylan- The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

    10) Cat Stevens- Tea for the tillerman

    11) CSN+ young- Déjà vu

    12) The Zombies- Odyssey and Oracle

    13) Janis Joplin- Pearl

    14) Elvis Presley- S/T

    15) John Lennon- Imagine

    16) Radiohead- The Bends

    17) Parliament- Mothership Connection

    18) Ornette Coleman- The Shape of Jazz to come

    19) Wilco- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

    20) Pink Floyd- Wish you were here

    21) Eliot Smith- Either/or

    22) Gang of Four- Entertainment!

    23) Santana- Abraxas

    24) The Slits- Cut

    25) Nick Drake- Pink Moon
     
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  19. Flaevius

    Flaevius Left of the dial

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Currently away from home base for a couple of weeks, so I'm having to cherry pick contributions.

    #202 Björk - Homogenic
    Homogenic seems with the benefit of time a natural link between Post and Vespertine. Where Post was stylistically immensely varied, Homogenic retains those values but with less bombast. The result is a tighter and more cohesive album, in places foreshadowing the gossamer-light and delicate Vespertine. It has real depth, mining a rich seam of emotion. Highlights: the darkly martial Hunter is a punchy opener, ploughing similar territory as Army of Me; Bachelorette may be her best song outside of Play Dead; Joga, a paean to Iceland and friendship. In 1997 Björk was an artist at the height of her powers. After 93 days atop my rankings, Homogenic replaces Post at no.1.

    #201 A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
    A Tribe Called Quest, the most artistic and tasteful of hip-hop crews. Again smoothly marrying hip-hop with funk and jazz beats, this is a beautifully blended and balanced album. Consistent from front to back: no song immediately stands out as a highlight, equally none reveal themselves as a weakness. This is hip-hop easy listening, effortless.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Midnight Marauders
    A-
    I typically like a lot more grit from my hip-hop than this, but this does this kind of hip-hop excellently, IMO - better than the previous album as well.
     
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  21. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    200. Sade - Diamond Life (1984)
    Producer: Robin Millar

    Diamond Life is the debut studio album by English band Sade, released in the United Kingdom on 16 July 1984 by Epic Records and in the United States on 27 February 1985 by Portrait Records. After studying fashion design, and later modelling, Sade Adu began backup-singing with British band Pride. During this time Adu and three of the original members of "Pride"—Paul Anthony Cook, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman—left the group to form their own band called Sade. After various demos and performances, Sade received interest from record labels and signed to Epic.

    Recording for the album began in 1983 at Power Plant Studios in London and took six weeks to complete. The album's content was written by the group Sade and the production was handled by Robin Millar. Fifteen songs were recorded. The album contained a variety of musical elements including soul, jazz and sophisti-pop, mostly with love lyrics. The album spawned four singles, including "Your Love Is King" and "Smooth Operator".

    Music critics acclaimed Diamond Life and it was also a commercial success, winning the 1985 Brit Awardfor Best British Album. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and number five on the US Billboard 200, and has been certified multi-platinum in both countries. Diamond Life sold over 10 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the top-selling debut recordings of the era and the best-selling debut album by a British female vocalist, a record that stood for 24 years.

    Background
    After studying fashion design, and later modeling briefly, Sade began backup singing with British band Pride, during this time she formed a songwriting partnership with Pride's guitarist/saxophonist Stewart Matthewman; together, backed by Pride's rhythm section Paul Anthony Cook and Paul Denman, they began doing their own sets at Pride gigs.[2] Her solo performances of the song "Smooth Operator" attracted the attention of record companies, and in 1983, Adu and Matthewman, split from Pride, along with bassist Paul Denman and drummer Paul Anthony Cook to form the band Sade.[2][3] In May 1983, Sade performed for the first time in the United States, at Danceteria Club in New York. On 18 October 1983 Sade Adu signed with Epic Records, while the rest of the band signed to her as contractors in 1984.

    Recording
    Prior to signing the record deal, the group recorded Diamond Life in six weeks. It was recorded at Power Plant Studios in London. After cutting the proposed singles "Smooth Operator" and "Your Love Is King", the first album track recorded was "Sally", a song about the Salvation Army.[5] During recording the band worked collectively on the musical direction, rehearsing each song in detail and then recording it.[5] The song "When Am I Going to Make a Living" was started by Sade on the back of a cleaning ticket after she picked her clothes up from the cleaners. She had no money and she wrote down, "When Am I Going to Make a Living".[5]

    Producer Robin Millar met the band in 1983, and the band members had never worked in a professional studio and only had demos and recordings from the BBC studios and EMI publishing studios. Millar booked a week's worth of studio time and noted that the limitations of recording before computers had an impact upon the sound. "We used a real piano and a Fender Rhodes piano, painstakingly synching them up." They recorded 15 songs,[6] all written by Adu and members of the group, except "Smooth Operator" written exclusively by Adu and Ray St. John. They also recorded a cover version of "Why Can't We Live Together" (1972) by Timmy Thomas.[7]

    For the recording of "Cherry Pie", the band had no mixing desks with automation; each member had their job of putting a bit of echo, delay, or changing a level.[5] Millar would then edit between the different mixes. Speaking about this Stuart Matthewman said, "Very often, we would have six people at the mixing desk at the same time."

    Content
    Lyrically, the album revolves around themes of love, discussing both the positives and the negatives of relationships; the music features jazzy textures, built over prominent basslines, smooth drums and subtle guitar. The album also features heavy use of brass instruments and keyboards.[8] According to Paul Lester of BBC Music, the album is "sufficiently soulful and jazzy yet poppy, funky and easy listening", Lester described the album is being predominantly a quiet storm album with elements of mellifluous R&B.[9] Sade's vocals on the album were described as "deliberately icy, her delivery and voice aloof, deadpan, and cold" while Ron Wynn of AllMusic stated that the album contained "slick production and quasi-jazz backing".[10]

    In a contemporary review, Stephen Holden of The New York Times said Diamond Life "eschews the synthesizers that dominate British pop to make music that resembles a cross between the rock-jazzof Steely Dan and the West Indian-flavored folk-pop of Joan Armatrading. Smoldering Brazilian rhythms blend with terse pop-soul melodies and jazzy harmonies to create a sultry, timeless nightclub ambiance."[11] Rolling Stone called it soul music with "self-possessed sophistication", and described Sade's vocal as "thick and rich".[12]

    The album opens with the single "Smooth Operator", musically song cross between R&B, jazz, adult contemporary, pop and dance music over a light production.[13] The song contains a Latin-style percussion and lusty saxophone and features lyrics about an "international playboy".[14] "Your Love Is King" is a dynamic smooth ballad, that contains wrenching vocals performed by Sade and saxophone solo by Stuart Matthewman. The following song on the album is the uptempo track "Hang On to Your Love", which contains a thumping groove and lyrics that revolve around someone holding on to a relationship when things are going bad.[15] "Sally" is a haunting laid-back, bluesy ballad that was compared to the work of Billie Holiday. The album closes with cover version of Timmy Thomas' 1972 song "Why Can't We Live Together".

    Critical Reception
    AllMusic 4.5/5
    Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5
    The Great Rock Discography 7/10
    MusicHound R&B 2.5/5
    Pitchfork 9.6/10
    Rolling Stone 5/5
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5
    Smash Hits 8½/10
    Uncut 4/5
    The Village Voice B

    Audience Reception
    86/100 from 417 users, #8 for 1984, #322 overall - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    8.8/10 from 835 users - AllMusic
    4.2/5 from 175 users - Musicboard
    3.79/5 from 5,697 users, #25 for 1984, #1,789 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
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  22. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Diamond Life
    N/A
    I'm pretty sure that I've heard this at some point, but I can't recall it.
     
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  23. morettiB

    morettiB Active Member

    Location:
    united kingdom
    200. Sade - Diamond Life (1984)

    The first three tracks; Smooth Operator, Your Love is King and Hang on to Your Love are some of the best pop songs of all time. However, the album from then on suffers from a lack of variety and can become a pretty boring listen towards the end. Nevertheless, as an easy listening quasi-jazz/soul album it serves its purpose well and is nice if you desire a passive listen.

    No doubt one of the first 3 tracks would enter my top 100 favourite tracks of all time but the album as a whole would not.
     
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  24. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    HOMOGENIC (Bjork)
    I respect Bjork more than I enjoy her. She is just so weird. My lasting image of her is Bevis and Butthead watching one of her videos and saying something like, "What the hell is this?" and the video was truly bizarre. Her music is more strange than I care for.
    GRADE: C+

    MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS (A Tribe Called Quest)
    If I were making top 40 of rap/hip hop albums this would be a contender. But not being a big fan of rap and hip hop I wouldn't include many of those in my own top 500. But I have no problem with this getting onto this list.
    GRADE: B

    DIAMOND LIFE (Sade)
    Sade is a fine artist with a good voice and style. Still I can't see including any regular album of hers in a top 500 countdown. Even a "best of " seems a stretch. I would be more inclined to have her represented by "Sweetest Taboo" in a top 500 song list.
    GRADE: C+

    No stinkers here, but nothing that makes my current top 90. With less than 200 songs to go, only about 30% of the songs are ones I would consider for my own top 500. And only about 15% are ones I would pick as definite. My tastes and the taste of the voters do not match very well thus far. Maybe the top 200 will change that?

    My Current Top 90 Albums:
    1. THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY (The Kinks)
    2. ODYSSEY AND ORACLE (The Zombies)
    3. PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN (Pink Floyd)
    4. SOMETHING ELSE (The Kinks)
    5. ALL THINGS MUST PASS (George Harrison)
    6. NUGGETS (Various Artists)
    7. DEJA VU (Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young)
    8. MODERN LOVERS (Modern Lovers)
    9. RAM (Paul & Linda McCartney)
    10. BETWEEN THE BUTTONS (Rolling Stones)
    11. A HARD DAYS NIGHT (The Beatles)
    12. THE WHO SELL OUT (The Who)
    13. DAMN THE TORPEDOES (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
    14. GREATEST HITS (Sly & the Family Stone)
    15. THE CARS (The Cars)
    16. FULL MOON FEVER (Tom Petty)
    17. RADIO CITY (Big Star)
    18. #1 RECORD (Big Star)
    19. ODELAY (Beck)
    20. COSMO'S FACTORY (CCR)
    21. WISH YOU WERE HERE (Pink Floyd)
    22. ROCKET TO RUSSIA (Ramones)
    23. DOOKIE (Green Day)
    24. HELP )The Beatles)
    25. AMERICAN BEAUTY (Grateful Dead)
    26. LET IT BE (The Beatles)
    27. WEEZER (Weezer)
    28. ANTHOLOGY (The Temptations)
    29. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE (Neil Young)
    30. ANTHOLOGY (Diana Ross & the Supremes)
    31. YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK (Aretha Franklin)
    32. HERES LITTLE RICHARD (Little Richard)
    33. THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (Abba)
    34. HOUSES OF THE HOLY (Led Zeppelin)
    35. AMERICAN IDIOT (Green Day)
    36. THE STOOGES (The Stooges)
    37. SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Jefferson Airplane)
    38. MY AIM IS TRUE (Elvis Costello)
    39. SOMETHING/ANYTHING (Todd Rundgren)
    40. BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
    41. CLOSE TO THE EDGE (Yes)
    42. IMAGINE (John Lennon)
    43. PINK MOON (Nick Drake)
    44. PROUNCED LENHERD SKINNERD (Lynryd Skynryd)
    45. ELEPHANT (The White Stripes)
    46. UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK CITY (Nirvana)
    47. ABRAXAS (Santana)
    48. PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND (Sam Cooke)
    49. STORIES FROM THE CITY (PJ Harvey)
    50. MOVING PICTURES (Rush)
    51. KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS (Robert Johnson)
    52. DICTIONARY OF SOUL (Otis Redding)
    53. SOME GIRLS (Rolling Stones)
    54. LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (Derek & the Dominoes)
    55. CURRENTS (Tame Impala)
    56. BEACH BOYS TODAY (The Beach Boys)
    57. ELVIS PRESLEY (Elvis Presley)
    58. BO DIDDLEY/GO BO DIDDLEY (Bo Diddley)
    59. PARKLIFE (Blur)
    60. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Velvet Underground)
    61. SIAMESE DREAM (Smashing Pumpkins)
    62. LIVE AT LEEDS (The Who)
    63. RUST NEVER SLEEPS (Neil Young)
    64. CALIFORNICATION (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    65. NORMAN R ROCKWELL (Lana Del Rey)
    66. 19 LOVE SONGS (Magnetic Fields)
    67, LUCINDA WILLIAMS (Lucinda Williams)
    68. HEART LIKE A WHEEL (Linda Rondstadt)
    69. MR TAMBOURINE MAN (The Byrds)
    70. PAUL SIMON (Paul Simon)
    71. SO (Peter Gabriel)
    72. LIKE A PRAYER (Madonna)
    73. HONKY CHATEAU (Elton John)
    74. SHERYL CROW (Sheryl Crow)
    75. BACK TO MONO (Phil Spector w/various artists)
    76. NICK OF TIME (Bonnie Raitt)
    77. THE ANTHOLOGY (Muddy Waters)
    78. PRESENTING THE FABULOUS RONETTES (Ronettes)
    79. HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS (Cocteau Twins)
    80. THE BIRTH OF SOUL (Ray Charles)
    81. MOANING IN THE MOONLIGHT (Howlin Wolf)
    82. MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDING AND FOOD (Talking Heads)
    83. ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (Brian Eno)
    84. HEADHUNTERS (Herbie Hancock)
    85. FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN (Bob Dylan)
    86. METALLICA (Metallica)
    87. DEFINITELY MAYBE (Oasis)
    88. TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN (Cat Stevens)
    89. COAT OF MANY COLORS (Dolly Parton)
    90. EITHER/OR (Elliot Smith)
     
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  25. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    You might be confusing with their reaction to Kate Bush ("What the hell is this crap?"). They absolutely rip her a new one ("Mr. Bungholio and his twirling fartknockers," lol).

    Beavis and Butthead watch Kate Bush (Love and Anger) - YouTube




    For Bjork, it was "this chick is out of her gourd."

    Beavis & Butthead watch Bjork - YouTube

    And "I heard this chick has a schlong"

    Björk - Army Of Me (Beavis and Butt-Head) - YouTube
     
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