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

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

  1. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Body Talk
    A-
    A captivating album - 60 minutes and not one duff track, IMO. I don't think that all of them are great (if I did I'd give the album an A) but it's pleasingly consistent and engaging with plenty of peaks. From a historical perspective, the album very much presaged the direction of popular music of the succeeding decade, little did we know at the time.
     
  2. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    195. Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967)
    Producer: John Simon

    Songs of Leonard Cohen is the debut album by Canadian folk singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on December 27, 1967, on Columbia Records. Less successful in the US than in Europe, Songs of Leonard Cohen foreshadowed the kind of chart success Cohen would go on to achieve. It reached number 83 on the Billboard 200, achieving gold status in the US as a sleeper hit in 1969. It peaked at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart, spending nearly a year and a half on it.

    Background
    Cohen had received positive attention from critics as a poet and novelist but had maintained a keen interest in music, having played guitar in a country and western band called the Buckskin Boys as a teenager. In 1966, Cohen set out for Nashville, where he hoped to become a country songwriter, but instead got caught up in New York City's folk scene. In November 1966, Judy Collins recorded "Suzanne" for her album In My Life and Cohen soon came to the attention of record producer John Hammond. Although Hammond (who initially signed Cohen to his contract with Columbia Records) was supposed to produce the record, he became sick and was replaced by the producer John Simon.

    Recording
    Initially, Hammond had Cohen work up guitar parts for "Master Song" and "Sisters of Mercy" with jazz bassist Willie Ruff, and then brought in some of New York's top session musicians to join them, a move that made Cohen nervous; as biographer Anthony Reynolds observes in his book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life, the dynamic between Cohen and Ruff had been intimate and natural but "the arrival of more anonymous personnel unnerved Cohen, the studio novice put off by their proficiency." Cohen did ask that a full-length mirror be brought into the studio because, as he explained to Mojo in November 2001, "through some version of narcissism, I always used to play in front of a mirror. I guess it was the best way to look while playing the guitar, or maybe it was just where the chair was. But I was very comfortable looking at myself playing." After Hammond dropped out of the sessions, John Simon took over as producer and, by all accounts, Simon and Cohen clashed over instrumentation and mixing; Cohen wanted the album to have a sparse sound, while Simon felt the songs could benefit from arrangements that included strings and horns. Writing for Mojo in 2012, Sylvie Simmons recalls, "When Leonard heard the result, he was not happy; the orchestration on 'Suzanne' was overblown, while everything about 'Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye' felt too soft. Several tracks had too much bottom, and there were even drums; Leonard had clearly stipulated no drums." The singer and producer also quarreled over a slight stop in the middle of "So Long, Marianne" – a device Cohen felt interrupted the song. According to biographer Ira Nadel, although Cohen was able to make changes to the mix, some of Simon's additions "couldn't be removed from the four-track master tape".[4]

    The instrumentalists – not credited on the album sleeve – included Chester Crill, Chris Darrow, Solomon Feldthouse and David Lindley of Kaleidoscope, who had been recruited personally by Cohen after he saw the band play at a New York club.

    Composition
    The album features some of Cohen's most celebrated songs. Mojo has described the album as "not only the cornerstone of Cohen's remarkable career, but also a genuine songwriting landmark in terms of language, thematic developments and even arrangements."[5] "Suzanne" was ranked 41st on Pitchfork's 'Top 200 Songs of the 1960s',[6] while "So Long, Marianne" was also featured on the list at 190th.[7] In a 1986 interview with the BBC Cohen explained, "The writing of 'Suzanne,' like all my songs, took a long time. I wrote most of it in Montreal - all of it in Montreal - over the space of, perhaps, four or five months. I had many, many verses to it. Sometimes the song would go off on a tangent, and you'll have perfectly respectable verses, but that have led you away from the original feel of the song. So, it's a matter of coming back. It's a very painful process because you have to throw away a lot of good stuff." In the same interview, Cohen also revealed that "Master Song" was written "on a stone bench at what was the corner of Burnside and Guy Street...I remember sitting on that bench, working out the lyric to that song."

    As recounted to Uncut's Nigel Williamson in 1997, "Sisters of Mercy" had been written "in Edmontonduring a snow storm, and I took refuge in an office lobby. There were two young back-packers there, Barbara and Lorraine, and they had nowhere to go. I asked them back to my hotel room – they immediately got into the bed and crashed while I sat in the armchair watching them sleep. I knew they had given me something, and, by the time they woke up, I had finished the song and I played it to them.” In the 1996 memoir Various Positions, biographer Ira Nadel contends "Stranger Song" addresses loss, departure, and essential yet destructive nature of love. In the book Songwriters on Songwriting, Cohen told author Paul Zollo that he wrote "So Long, Marianne" "in two hotels. One was the Chelsea and the other was the Penn Terminal Hotel. I remember Marianne (Ihlen, Cohen's girlfriend at the time) looking at my notebook, seeing this song and asking, 'Who’d you write this for?'"[8] When Cohen played the Isle of Wight in 1970, he told the crowd that he'd written "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong" in a peeling room in the Chelsea Hotel when he was "coming off amphetamine and pursuing a blond lady that I met in a Nazi poster."[9]

    By the time the album was released in December 1967, Cohen had already signed away the rights to "Suzanne" and "Stranger Song" (along with "Dress Rehearsal Rag", which would later surface on his 1971 album Songs of Love and Hate), to arranger Jeff Chase, with the singer lamenting to Adrian Deevoy of The Q Magazine in 1991, "Someone smarter than me got me to sign the publishing over to them. I lost 'Suzanne,' 'Stranger Song' and 'Dress Rehearsal Rag.' I finally got them back three years ago, but I lost a lot of money."

    Critical Reception
    AllMusic 5/5
    The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5
    Pitchfork 9.6/10
    Q 4/5
    Rolling Stone 4.5/5
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5
    Uncut 4/5

    Audience Reception
    88/100 from 657 users, #4 for 1967, #129 overall - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    9.3/10 from 1,921 users - AllMusic
    4.4/5 from 316 users, #1 for 1967, #44 overall - Musicboard
    4.14/4 from 18,857 users, #5 for 1967, #67 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
  3. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Well, here's the deal. I think that nearly all of Leonard Cohen's albums, and this one is no exceptions are about half-full with great songs and half with boring songs that have good lyrics. (Maybe I'm Your Man is an exception.)

    I also think that the arrangement of "So Long Maryanne" is a dud, cheesy and just wrong. (And apparently Cohen thought so too.) Otherwise I disagree with his criticisms: I like "Suzanne" and "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" just fine.

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

    CoachD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Same, I salute you!

    Also, it's curious to note the disconnect between the RS keepers of The Cannon and SHF fans (who tend to know a bit about the Beatles).

    On various rank the Beatles studio catalog threads, With the Beatles is routinely in the bottom 5 (or worse), but on the RS list its far ahead of much stronger albums (like A Hard Days Night).

    Yes, I understand the obligatory boost factor due to the cultural paradigm shift that occurred in the US as a result of this album but...
     
  5. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Well, I get that you don't recognize it as existing -- and I respect that, I never listen to the American album either.

    But the thing is, Meet The Beatles is not the same album as With The Beatles.

    It's a stronger set of songs. Meet The Beatles is the one that got on the Rolling Stone list, not With The Beatles.

    I would agree that With The Beatles is not as strong as some other albums by The Beatles, but Meet The Beatles is stronger than WTB, due to the inclusion of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "This Boy" and "I Saw Her Standing There", all of which are stronger than most, if not all, of the songs on With The Beatles.

    I think that the US Meet The Beatles, Beatles 65, Magical Mystery Tour (definitely) and, arguably, Rubber Soul are all stronger than the UK counterparts (With the Beatles and Beatles For Sale.)


    The rest of the US albums can suck it, though, except for Yesterday And Today.
     
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  6. CoachD

    CoachD Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tennessee
    Fair enough, but on a list that routinely (and controversially) includes comps, Past Masters Vol. 1 or 1962-66 would bury Meet the Beatles. I doubt we'll see a Beatles comp or even US Magical Mystery Tour in this list, but meanwhile Sly and the Family Stone Greatest Hits is eligible...

    Honestly though, I come to this list like a curmudgeon who is still rankled by the fact that Close to the Edge was ranked so low even though it's arguably the best prog album ever made (it would easily make my Top 20 and should be Top 100 at worst on a list like this IMO).

    In other words, I read this list just to be a little irritated on purpose so I can yell at the clouds for a bit (like watching "Pro" Wrestling as a 12 year old!). It's cathartic, right? :)
     
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  7. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Songs of Leonard Cohen
    A-
    Probably my favorite album by him.
     
  8. morettiB

    morettiB Active Member

    Location:
    united kingdom
    Meet the Beatles- compilation album :thumbsdow
    Robyn- Body talk- Actually don’t mind this album- decent electro-pop. However, baffles me how other more influential electronic albums/artists are missing from the list.
    Leonard Cohen- don’t have that much of an opinion of this album, it’s pleasant.
     
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  9. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Homogenic I quite enjoyed the eclectism of Bjork's previous album, Post. Here though she allows the orchestrations to overwhelm everything else. But then it is called Homogenic.

    Midnight Marauders
    I fell asleep halfway through.

    Diamond Life Sophisticated but ultimately too smooth. A penthouse cocktails & canapes affair. Expected the worst for the Timmy Thomas cover, but turned out to be the highlight of the record.

    Slanted And Enchanted Malkmus elevates monotony to Olympian heights. Stopped listening after three tracks.

    B52s Rock Lobster is great. The rest, though, falls flat on its supposed wacky face. And their version of Downtown is uttely hideous.

    Meet The Beatles Please Please Me is a stone cold naif classic. Their sophmore, of which this cannibalizes most, is a second-rate retread. MTB has three standouts only. Miss.

    Body Talk We've heard it all before, and usually done much better. Generic with a capital G.

    Songs Of Leonard Cohen Suzanne, Sisters Of Mercy & Marianne are all sublime. The rest? Pretty boring. I think Songs Of Love And Hate is a much stronger album.
     
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  10. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    194. Michael Jackson - Bad (1987)
    Producer: Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson

    Bad is the seventh studio album by the American singer and songwriter Michael Jackson. It was released on August 31, 1987, by Epic Records, nearly five years after Jackson's previous album, Thriller(1982). Written and recorded between January 1985 and July 1987, Bad was the third and final collaboration between Jackson and producer Quincy Jones, with Jackson co-producing and composing all but two tracks. Jackson notably adopted an edgy look and sound with Bad, departing from his signature groove-based style and high-pitched vocals. The album incorporates pop, rock, funk, R&B, dance, soul, and hard rock styles. Jackson also experimented with newer recording technology, including digital synthesizers and drum machines, resulting in a sleeker and more aggressive sound. Lyrical themes on the album include media bias, paranoia, racial profiling, romance, self-improvement, and world peace. The album features appearances from Siedah Garrett and Stevie Wonder.

    One of the most anticipated albums of its time, Baddebuted at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, selling over 2.25 million copies in its first week in the United States, and stayed atop for six consecutive weeks. It also reached number one in 24 other countries, including the United Kingdom, where it sold 350,000 copies in its first week and became the country's best-selling album of 1987. Nine songs from the album were released as official singles, and one as a promotional single. Seven charted in the top 20 of the US Billboard Hot 100, including a record-breaking five number ones: "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Bad", "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana". The album was also promoted with the film, Moonwalker (1988), which included the music videos of songs from the album, including "Speed Demon", "Leave Me Alone", "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal".

    Subjected to widespread comparisons with Thrillerby critics upon release, Jackson's vocal prowess and Bad's rich, more polished production were particularly praised. In retrospect, the album has been lauded by critics as a staple of 1980s pop music and an extension of Jackson's influence on 21st-century music. A blockbuster release, it was the best-selling album worldwide of 1987 and 1988. By 1991, it stood as the second best-selling album of all time, behind Thriller, having sold 25 million copies worldwide. The Bad tour, which was Jackson's first solo world tour, grossed $125 million (equivalent to more than $291 million in 2021), making it the highest-grossing solo concert tour of the 1980s. Jackson performed 123 concerts in 15 countries to an audience of 4.4 million. It was also Jackson's last tour where he performed on the mainland United States.

    With over 35 million copies sold worldwide, Bad is one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2021, it was certified 11× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States. The album has been named by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time. It was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, and won Best Engineered Recording – Non Classical and Best Music Video (for "Leave Me Alone"). In 1988, Jackson received the first BillboardSpotlight Award, in recognition of the record-breaking chart success on the Billboard Hot 100. For his Bad videos and previous videos throughout the 1980s, Jackson received the MTV Video Vanguard Award. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the documentary film, Bad 25, and album, Bad 25, were released in 2012.

    Background
    Jackson's sixth solo album, Thriller, was released in 1982, and by 1984 it was certified 20× platinum for sales of 20 million copies in the United States alone.[5] Jackson was widely considered the most powerful African American in the history of the entertainment industry,[6] whose popularity was comparable only to Elvis Presley in the 1950s and the Beatles in the 1960s.[7] Jackson aimed to sell 100 million copies with his next album.[6]

    The years following Thriller were marred by Jackson's rifts with his family and the Jehovah's Witnesses, broken friendships with celebrities, and the pressure of celebrity.[2] He also spent 1985 out of the public eye,[6] while reports spread of eccentric behavior. According to some associates, Jackson was nervous about completing his next album.[2] In 2017, Newsweek said "Has there ever been a more difficult album to make than Michael Jackson's Bad? [...] How the hell do you follow up Thriller? It's like following up the Bible."

    Critical Reception
    AllMusic 4.5/5
    Blender 4/5
    Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5
    Entertainment Weekly B+
    Los Angeles Times 3/4
    MusicHound R&B 3.5/5
    The Philadelphia Inquirer 4/4
    Rolling Stone 4/5
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5
    The Village Voice B+

    Audience Reception
    84/100 from 911 users, #10 for 1987, #768 overall - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    8.7/10 from 1,864 users - AllMusic
    4.2/5 from 804 users, #1 for 1987 - Musicboard
    3.64/5 from 10,071 users, #69 for 1987, #5,202 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
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  11. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Bad The title said it all. Post-Thriller, Michael's musical tank would be permanently running on empty. Talent squandered amidst a nightmarish freakshow. Bad was the tipping point.
     
  12. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Leonard Cohen is a mediocre academic poet who can't sing. Someone reading escort ads over that arrangement would be better art. MJ's Bad is where the silliness of his pose overtakes the inventiveness of the music and renders it moot. Little bit cranky this morning? Yes I am, but it is what I think just without any sugar coating.
     
  13. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    THE SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN (Leonard Cohen)
    Good songwriter, but highly uninspiring and weak singer. I can see how someone could put this in their top 500, but it wouldn't be me.
    GRADE: B-

    BAD (Michael Jackson)
    It isn't "bad", but it isn't close to being THRILLER and is not close to a top 500 album.
    GRADE: C+

    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. MEET THE BEATLES (The Beatles)
    23. ROCKET TO RUSSIA (Ramones)
    24. DOOKIE (Green Day)
    25. THE B 52'S (The B 52's)
    26. HELP )The Beatles)
    27. AMERICAN BEAUTY (Grateful Dead)
    28. LET IT BE (The Beatles)
    29. WEEZER (Weezer)
    30. ANTHOLOGY (The Temptations)
    31. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE (Neil Young)
    32. ANTHOLOGY (Diana Ross & the Supremes)
    33. YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK (Aretha Franklin)
    34. HERES LITTLE RICHARD (Little Richard)
    35. THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (Abba)
    36. HOUSES OF THE HOLY (Led Zeppelin)
    37. AMERICAN IDIOT (Green Day)
    38. THE STOOGES (The Stooges)
    39. SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Jefferson Airplane)
    40. MY AIM IS TRUE (Elvis Costello)
    41. SOMETHING/ANYTHING (Todd Rundgren)
    42. BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
    43. CLOSE TO THE EDGE (Yes)
    44. IMAGINE (John Lennon)
    45. PINK MOON (Nick Drake)
    46. PROUNCED LENHERD SKINNERD (Lynryd Skynryd)
    47. ELEPHANT (The White Stripes)
    48. UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK CITY (Nirvana)
    49. ABRAXAS (Santana)
    50. PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND (Sam Cooke)
    51. STORIES FROM THE CITY (PJ Harvey)
    52. MOVING PICTURES (Rush)
    53. KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS (Robert Johnson)
    54. DICTIONARY OF SOUL (Otis Redding)
    55. SOME GIRLS (Rolling Stones)
    56. LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (Derek & the Dominoes)
    57. CURRENTS (Tame Impala)
    58. BEACH BOYS TODAY (The Beach Boys)
    59. ELVIS PRESLEY (Elvis Presley)
    60. BO DIDDLEY/GO BO DIDDLEY (Bo Diddley)
    61. PARKLIFE (Blur)
    62. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Velvet Underground)
    63. SIAMESE DREAM (Smashing Pumpkins)
    64. LIVE AT LEEDS (The Who)
    65. RUST NEVER SLEEPS (Neil Young)
    66. CALIFORNICATION (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    67. NORMAN R ROCKWELL (Lana Del Rey)
    68. 19 LOVE SONGS (Magnetic Fields)
    69, LUCINDA WILLIAMS (Lucinda Williams)
    70. HEART LIKE A WHEEL (Linda Rondstadt)
    71. MR TAMBOURINE MAN (The Byrds)
    72. PAUL SIMON (Paul Simon)
    73. SO (Peter Gabriel)
    74. LIKE A PRAYER (Madonna)
    75. HONKY CHATEAU (Elton John)
    76. SHERYL CROW (Sheryl Crow)
    77. BACK TO MONO (Phil Spector w/various artists)
    78. NICK OF TIME (Bonnie Raitt)
    79. THE ANTHOLOGY (Muddy Waters)
    80. PRESENTING THE FABULOUS RONETTES (Ronettes)
    81. HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS (Cocteau Twins)
    82. THE BIRTH OF SOUL (Ray Charles)
    83. MOANING IN THE MOONLIGHT (Howlin Wolf)
    84. MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDING AND FOOD (Talking Heads)
    85. ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (Brian Eno)
    86. HEADHUNTERS (Herbie Hancock)
    87. FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN (Bob Dylan)
    88. METALLICA (Metallica)
    89. DEFINITELY MAYBE (Oasis)
    90. TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN (Cat Stevens)
    91. COAT OF MANY COLORS (Dolly Parton)
    92. EITHER/OR (Elliot Smith)
     
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  14. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I just know the singles from Bad (which is probably 80 percent of the album) just too glossy and over polished, even though I enjoy them to some small extent.
     
  15. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    "Bad" isn't, uh... bad, but it lacks the impact of "Thriller." It wasn't as obvious then as it is now, but Michael's decline had begun. The fact that he looked like a Madame Tussaud's wax figure on the album cover was a bad sign that proved disturbingly prophetic. What a talent and what a strange, sad turn his life and career took.
     
  16. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    193. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)
    Producer: John Fogerty

    Willy and the Poor Boys is the fourth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in November 1969. It was the last of three studio albums the band released that year, arriving just three months after Green River.

    Overview
    The album features the songs "Down on the Corner", from which the album got its name, and "Fortunate Son", which is a well-known protest song.[3] Creedence also released its own version of "Cotton Fields" on this album, which reached the #1 position in Mexico.[4]

    The album was planned to be formed around a concept introduced in "Down on the Corner", with Creedence taking on the identity of an old-time jug band called "Willy and The Poor Boys". However, this was dropped rather quickly, except for the cover, where the band remains in character.

    Background
    By the fall of 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the hottest rock bands in the world, having scored three consecutive #2 singles and the #1 album Green River. In addition, the group had performed at the landmark Woodstock Festival in August and made several high-profile television appearances, including The Ed Sullivan Show. Bandleader and songwriter John Fogerty had assumed control of the band after several years of futility, but, despite their growing success, the other members – bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug Clifford and guitarist Tom Fogerty, John's older brother – began to chafe under Fogerty's demanding, autocratic leadership. The band's output in 1969 alone – three full-length albums – was staggering considering that they were touring nonstop throughout. "That was a bit of overkill and I never did understand that," Clifford stated to Jeb Wright of Goldmine in 2013, "Fogerty told us that if we were ever off the charts, then we would be forgotten... To make it worse, it might sound funny, but we had double-sided hits, and that was kind of a curse, as we were burning through material twice as fast. If we'd spread it out, we would not have had to put out three albums in one year." The fiercely competitive Fogerty remained unapologetic, insisting to Guitar World's Harold Steinblatt in 1998, "Everyone advised me against putting out great B-sides. They'd tell me I was wasting potential hits. And I looked at them and said, 'Baloney. Look at the Beatles. Look at Elvis. It's the quickest way to show them all that good music."

    Critical Reception
    AllMusic 5/5
    Blender 5/5
    Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5
    Rolling Stone (original) (favorable)
    Rolling Stone (40th Ann.) 4/5
    The Village Voice A+

    Audience Reception
    83/100 from 238 users, #30 for 1969 - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    9.2/10 from 1,647 users - AllMusic
    4/5 from 150 users - Musicboard
    3.90/5 from 7,360 users, #17 for 1969, #550 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
  17. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Willy and the Poor Boys
    A
    My second-favorite CCR album; I think this one and Cosmo's Factory are near-perfect records.
     
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  18. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I had a copy of Down on the Corner when it was still at least new-ish, played it and enjoyed it. but there are large chunks I hardly remember at all, the instrumentals and some of the original songs too. i like the two covers, interesting choices and treatments. Overall a B album for me. The only way the're going in my 500 albums is if I can make a CD-R or K& cherry picking the tunes I like. Lots of candidates for a top 500 singles list.
     
  19. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    CCR for me are a typical singles band (and a fabulous one!), so for me a good compilation is all I ever need.
     
  20. Alf.

    Alf. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Willy & The Poor Boys CCR's pop-boogie confections were usually best experienced on 45s. This is a very mixed bag of an album. Two great singles; a superb stomper in Came Out Of The Sky; one fab fuzzy & slinky instrumental (Side O' Road) & one utter lazy-ar$ed Shuffle; three complete plodding non-entities; and a couple of truly woeful woeful covers. It's nowhere near good enough to pass muster. Miss.
     
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  21. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Pretty much agree, except on the covers which I quite like. But then I like covers generally, knew those songs from hearing Leadbelly when I was quite young and enjoyed hearing them rocked out back then. Now I find Fogarty's fake accent/affect off-putting and might not enjoy this album quite so much if I was coming to it fresh. Totally agree that singles and could've been singles (It Came Out of the Sky, a single somewhere in Europe) is what they were really good at.
     
    Alf. likes this.
  22. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    WILLY AND THE POOR BOYS (CCR)

    This is a very good album. The 2nd best CCR album behind COSMOS FACTORY. There is room on this list to include both of these in my current top almost 100!
    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. MEET THE BEATLES (The Beatles)
    23. ROCKET TO RUSSIA (Ramones)
    24. DOOKIE (Green Day)
    25. THE B 52'S (The B 52's)
    26. HELP )The Beatles)
    27. AMERICAN BEAUTY (Grateful Dead)
    28. LET IT BE (The Beatles)
    29. WEEZER (Weezer)
    30. ANTHOLOGY (The Temptations)
    31. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE (Neil Young)
    32. ANTHOLOGY (Diana Ross & the Supremes)
    33. YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK (Aretha Franklin)
    34. HERES LITTLE RICHARD (Little Richard)
    35. THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (Abba)
    36. HOUSES OF THE HOLY (Led Zeppelin)
    37. AMERICAN IDIOT (Green Day)
    38. THE STOOGES (The Stooges)
    39. SURREALISTIC PILLOW (Jefferson Airplane)
    40. MY AIM IS TRUE (Elvis Costello)
    41. SOMETHING/ANYTHING (Todd Rundgren)
    42. BROTHERS IN ARMS (Dire Straits)
    43. CLOSE TO THE EDGE (Yes)
    44. IMAGINE (John Lennon)
    45. PINK MOON (Nick Drake)
    46. PROUNCED LENHERD SKINNERD (Lynryd Skynryd)
    47. ELEPHANT (The White Stripes)
    48. UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK CITY (Nirvana)
    49. ABRAXAS (Santana)
    50. PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND (Sam Cooke)
    51. WILLY AND THE POOR BOYS (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
    52. STORIES FROM THE CITY (PJ Harvey)
    53. MOVING PICTURES (Rush)
    54. KING OF THE DELTA BLUES SINGERS (Robert Johnson)
    55. DICTIONARY OF SOUL (Otis Redding)
    56. SOME GIRLS (Rolling Stones)
    57. LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (Derek & the Dominoes)
    58. CURRENTS (Tame Impala)
    59. BEACH BOYS TODAY (The Beach Boys)
    60. ELVIS PRESLEY (Elvis Presley)
    61. BO DIDDLEY/GO BO DIDDLEY (Bo Diddley)
    62. PARKLIFE (Blur)
    63. WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (Velvet Underground)
    64. SIAMESE DREAM (Smashing Pumpkins)
    65. LIVE AT LEEDS (The Who)
    66. RUST NEVER SLEEPS (Neil Young)
    67. CALIFORNICATION (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    68. NORMAN R ROCKWELL (Lana Del Rey)
    69. 19 LOVE SONGS (Magnetic Fields)
    70, LUCINDA WILLIAMS (Lucinda Williams)
    71. HEART LIKE A WHEEL (Linda Rondstadt)
    72. MR TAMBOURINE MAN (The Byrds)
    73. PAUL SIMON (Paul Simon)
    74. SO (Peter Gabriel)
    75. LIKE A PRAYER (Madonna)
    76. HONKY CHATEAU (Elton John)
    77. SHERYL CROW (Sheryl Crow)
    78. BACK TO MONO (Phil Spector w/various artists)
    79. NICK OF TIME (Bonnie Raitt)
    80. THE ANTHOLOGY (Muddy Waters)
    81. PRESENTING THE FABULOUS RONETTES (Ronettes)
    82. HEAVEN OR LAS VEGAS (Cocteau Twins)
    83. THE BIRTH OF SOUL (Ray Charles)
    84. MOANING IN THE MOONLIGHT (Howlin Wolf)
    85. MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDING AND FOOD (Talking Heads)
    86. ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (Brian Eno)
    87. HEADHUNTERS (Herbie Hancock)
    88. FREEWHEELIN' BOB DYLAN (Bob Dylan)
    89. METALLICA (Metallica)
    90. DEFINITELY MAYBE (Oasis)
    91. TEA FOR THE TILLERMAN (Cat Stevens)
    92. COAT OF MANY COLORS (Dolly Parton)
    93. EITHER/OR (Elliot Smith)
     
  23. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    192. Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill (1986)
    Producer: Rick Rubin, Beastie Boys

    Licensed to Ill is the debut studio album by American rap rock group Beastie Boys. It was released on November 15, 1986, by Def Jam and Columbia Records, and became the first rap LP to top the Billboard album chart. It is one of Columbia Records' fastest-selling debut records to date and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2015 for shipping over ten million copies in the United States.

    Background
    The group originally wanted to title the album Don't Be a ******, but Columbia Records refused to release the album under this title—arguing that it was homophobic—and pressured Russell Simmons, Beastie Boys' manager and head of Def Jam Recordings at the time, into forcing them to choose another name.[6][7] Adam Horovitz has since apologized for the album's earlier title.[8]

    Kerry King of Slayer made an appearance on the album playing lead guitar on "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" and appeared in the music video which is a parodyof glam metal.[9] The name of the song itself is a spoof on Motörhead's No Sleep 'til Hammersmithalbum.[9] King's appearance on the track came about because Rick Rubin was producing both bands simultaneously (Slayer's Reign in Blood was released one month prior on Def Jam).[9]

    CBS/Fox Video released a video album of the five Licensed to Ill videos, plus "She's on It" in 1987 to capitalize on the album's success.[10] A laserdiscversion was also released in Japan.[10] All versions of the CBS/Fox release are currently out of print because the rights to the album passed from Columbia and Sony Music to Universal Music Group, and also because of the acrimonious nature of the band's departure from Def Jam Records.[10] Until the 2005 release of the CD/DVD Solid Gold Hits, none of the Def Jam-era videos had been included on any subsequent Beastie Boys video compilations.[10] The Solid Gold Hits DVD includes the videos for "Fight for Your Right" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", as well as a live version of "Brass Monkey" from a 2004 concert.[10]

    Beastie Boys recorded a loose rendition of the Beatles' "I'm Down" for the album, which included sampling of the original song, but the track was pulled at the last minute due to legal disputes with Michael Jackson who owned the publishing rights.[11] Both "I'm Down," and another track, "Scenario," were cut at the last minute. Bootleg versions of the songs can be found on the internet.

    Critical Reception
    AllMusic 5/5
    Christgau's Record Guide A+
    Orlando Sentinel 4/5
    Pitchfork 7.8/10
    Q 4/5
    The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5
    The Source 5/5
    Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10

    Audience Reception
    79/100 from 685 users, #73 for 1986 - AlbumOfTheYear.org
    8.6/10 from 2,098 users - AllMusic
    3.9/5 from 479 users, #5 for 1986 - Musicboard
    3.58/5 from 11,608 users, #113 for 1986, #7,902 overall - RateYourMusic.com

     
    kanno1ae likes this.
  24. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    Licensed to Ill
    B+
    The brash debut album by these hardcore-punks-turned-hip-hoppers was certainly a phenomena back in 1986. Nearly all of their subsequent albums were better, IMO, but this was the one with by far the most pop-cultural currency. I didn't like it much when it came out, and although I've since warmed to most of it as a result of becoming a fan of their subsequent, often much better work, there a still a few songs - such as Fight for your Right to Party - that still don't register with me. But the clever writing and melodic gifts are there - if not fully formed, at least highly formed.
     
  25. Flaevius

    Flaevius Left of the dial

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    #193 Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys
    A spotty album to be sure. Two top singles and It Came Out of the Sky is a cracker. My sleeper on this album is Effigy, I love the treatment on that song and it has such a different vibe to the others. However, there are a couple of songs that leave me feelin' blue, and hence Willy and the Poor Boys misses out on my list.

    #192 Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill
    There was a time I rated this as my favourite Beastie Boys album, although it has since fallen behind Paul's Boutique and about on par with Check Your Head. Rhymin' & Stealin' is a great opener but most of the best material is to be found from the mid-section onwards; Fight for Your Right through to Brass Monkey. Fun jock-jams and the Beasties do a good job of weaving in familiar and relatable references - The Clash sample on Rhymin' and Stealin', the War beat that holds down Slow Ride, the Motörhead allusion on No Sleep 'til Brooklyn. What possessed anyone to think that the throwaway Girls should be on this album is still a mystery 36 years on.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022 at 9:33 AM

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