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

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

  1. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Really surprised how much better Spanish Shakira sounds compared to her English material. Dark hair looks great on her too. Very 90s, but the type of 90s people really miss
     
  2. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    Location:
    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    Shakira - Dónde están los ladrones?

    Most folks wouldn't guess as much, but this is a pretty quirky and captivating mixture of Latin, EDM, country and hard rock, often with two or more entering the mix at the same time.

    A top 500 album for me? No. And overall Shakira is only in my sixth tier at present (top 2501-5000). But it's a very good album nonetheless. It would be more of a candidate for a top 500 solely of the 1990s.
     
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  3. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Donde están los ladrones?

    The second album on the list that I’m already familiar with. I love this album. The lyrics are smart and witty, the songs are a great blend of Latin Pop and Alternative Rock (Inevitable is basically just High and Dry by Radiohead), and the album is just fun the whole way through. I haven’t listened to many albums from 1998, but this is easily my favorite of the ones I have listened to.

    8/10
     
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  4. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    Darker in tone than her later English-language hits, and with a vibe that's always reminded me of a Latin 90s updating of Dog and Butterfly-era Heart. She's always been more than "Hips Don't Lie." 7/10
     
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  5. RudolphS

    RudolphS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro
    Suicide - Suicide

    Well what can I say about Suicide's debut what haven't been said already...Talk about a groundbreaking album, minimal synth wave, in 1977! (and by that time the duo was already active for sevem years). Absolutely fab.

    8 / 10


    Various Artists - The Indestructable Beat Of Soweto

    Decent compilation which at the time served as a gateway for many people into african music. Paul Simon might have taken a fue cues from this album.

    3 / 5
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
  6. Cranny

    Cranny Forum Resident

    Location:
    Switzerland
    I just wanted to mention that the 2nd Suicide album released in 1980 is even better than the first one, it has a totally different feel, but its just as intense :pineapple:
     
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  7. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    I choose to only listen to her in Spanish.
     
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  8. Tom Kitch

    Tom Kitch Forum Resident

    Location:
    FL
    Shakira is the first album on the list I own. For some reason when I listen to "Ojos Asi" I hear a slight similarity to one of The Who's outtakes from Sell Out "Melancholia" And I totally agree that she sounds better in Spanish, but in general I like the sound of people singing in their native language better than trying to sing in a non-native language.
     
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  9. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    #495. Boyz II Men "II" (1994)
    Producer: Dallas Austin - Babyface - Boyz II Men - Tim & Bob - The Characters - Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis - Brian McKnight - L.A. Reid - Tony Rich
    II


    "II is the third studio album and second non-Christmas album (hence the title) by American R&B quartet Boyz II Men, released on August 30, 1994, on Motown Records.[1] It contained the No. 1 singles "I'll Make Love to You" and "On Bended Knee", the latter of which replaced the former at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, making the group the third artist to replace themselves at No. 1 in the United States after Elvis Presley and The Beatles and the first to achieve the feat in 30 years.

    "I'll Make Love to You" also spent 14 weeks at the top of the Hot 100 making them the first artist to achieve consecutive double digit runs at the top, with their prior single "End of the Road" topping the charts for 13 weeks and also equaled the record set by Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" for the longest run at the top, a record which they held previously with "End of the Road". Other singles released achieved major success, including "Water Runs Dry", which reached No. 2, and "Thank You", which reached No. 21. "Vibin'", however, only reached No. 52.[1]

    The spoken track "Khalil (Interlude)" is a tribute to their road manager Khalil Roundtree who was shot in Chicago, Illinois while the band was opening for MC Hammer's Too Legit to Quit tour.[1] II became the inaugural winner of the Grammy Award for Best R&B Album, first presented at the 37th Grammy Awards in 1995.

    According to producer Bob Robinson of the duo Tim & Bob, he and his partner Tim Kelley were asked by Boyz II Men to produce most of II. However, Motown Records then-president Jheryl Busby did not feel comfortable with the idea of two unknown producers dominating a second album from a group that was one of the biggest acts in the world at the time.[1] As a result, Busby brought in Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Babyface to deliver hit singles for the project. Busby insisted on "I'll Make Love to You" being the first single, despite objections from the group- who felt there were songs that could have been much stronger singles.[1] The song became one of Boyz II Men's biggest hits.

    Over 20 songs were recorded for II, but most of them never made the final track listing.[1] Two of the songs Tim & Bob produced—"Now That We're Done" and "Can I Touch You"—ended up on 112's 1996 self-titled debut.[."

     
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  10. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
  11. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Never really cared for these guys. There was vocal talent there, but it was one AC ballad after another, but the masses lapped it up and they had three singles that had in excess of 10 weeks at #1 between 1992-1996. I liked their occasional uptempo song best, the one single I remember liking off this album was "Thank You", which of course broke the streak of smashes and only got to #21



    But at the same time, while people look at NKOTB as the precursor to the late 90s boyband, I hear way more Boyz II Men in the hits of Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees (NSYNC relied more on upbeat dance-pop) than I hear NKOTB. They simply just put a white face to it but musically it was the same type of r&b/AC
     
  12. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I kind of hate their songs, personally, though I recognize them as well-crafted. Just not my deal.
     
  13. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    Location:
    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    Boyz II Men – II

    So it’s a tie in other words? Boyz II, Men II?

    Enough of my horrible jokes. So, unlike many music nerds and Hoffman board regulars, I like pop music a lot—as much as I like any genre (plus I like stuff in any genre more if it has strong pop sensibilities), and I like most boy (and girl) bands a lot—New Edition, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, One Direction, BTS, Spice Girls, All Saints, B*Witched, Mamamoo, etc. etc.

    This sort of stuff is has a bunch of elements that are in my wheelhouse—the catchy pop aspects, extreme craftiness and polish, the funk/soul and contemporary r&b aspects, relatively complex arrangements with lots of hip harmonies, a fair amount of counterpoint, etc. So there’s no surprise that I like Boyz II Men as well.

    At that, though, Boyz II Men isn’t one of my highest-ranked boy/girl groups (NSYNC and Backstreet Boys are probably my two favorites). They’re currently 4th tier (501-1000) for me, and II isn’t one of my top couple albums from them, so top 500 candidate? No. But still an album I enjoy a lot, and it’s certainly understandable why both “I’ll Make Love to You” and “On Bended Knee” were such huge hits. If the whole album were the caliber of those two tunes, this would more likely be a top 500 candidate. Boyz II Men is rather a good example of a band where I’d probably put a compilation in a top 500 if we’re allowing compilations.

    For Beatles fans who are appreciative of covers, there’s a very cool a cappella version of “Yesterday” that closes out the album.

    Rolling Stone’s blurb about this re: “‘Khalil’s Interlude,’ a soft onslaught that’ll leave you sobbing in the fetal position: ‘I need shelter from the rain/To ease the pain of changing from boys to men,’” seems particularly ridiculous to me, but remember that I’m not someone who normally cares about lyrics, and this is a good example of part of the reason why—the vast majority of pop/rock lyrics strike me as rather mundane/bland, where I don’t get the attraction to them contra any random thing anyone could write for lyrics. The big exceptions for me are (i) country lyrics, the vast majority of which I like enough to pay at least some attention to them, (ii) anything humorous or novelty-oriented, (iii) “literary” lyrics a la stuff like Laurie Anderson and Ken Nordine, which are very rare, and (iv) lyrics that involve a lot of wordplay, including phonetic play—stuff that exploits the musicality of the sound of phonemes, where I’m also very fond of “googly moogly” lyrics a la “Rubber Biscuit” and scat singing. There are some exceptions among pop/rock lyricists, but they’re very few and far between.
     
  14. Danby Delight

    Danby Delight Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston
    Their singles were pleasant enough on the radio but never induced me to explore further. Never heard, no rating.
     
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  15. Shoehorn with Teeth

    Shoehorn with Teeth Romans 6:23

    Location:
    Missouri
    Same for me. They're super talented but I could never get into the actual songs themselves.

    This is a cool idea for a thread. I'll try and keep up with it when I can, as I suspect I'll get to hear some neat stuff I haven't listened to before.
     
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  16. RudolphS

    RudolphS Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rio de Janeiro
    Boyz II Men - II

    I get why this album made the list, for many gen-x/millennials on the RS panel Boyz II Men must be a nostalgia trip. But I personally think this kind of '90s new jack swing has aged terribly. Even back then Boyz II Men were regarded among the most slickest of the genre, and their ballads sound even more sappy today. It was only after groundbreaking producers like Timbaland and the Neptunes arrived on the scene later in the decade that contemporary r&b regained some of its edge.

    1,5 / 5
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  17. Jmac1979

    Jmac1979 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed. Outside of TLC and Mary J Blige, I'm not that fussed on 90s r&b for those very reasons. Many of those ballads crossed over to AC because what Boyz II Men, All 4 One, etc were doing weren't that alien from the Celine/Bolton mid 90s mom-AC hell. Producers like Timbaland and Pharrell were godsends because it brought some excitement back
     
  18. William Gladstone

    William Gladstone I was a teenage daydreamer.

    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    I couldn't stand these guys at the time. No real intelligent reason other than they weren't "cool," as I wasn't into much Top 40. Unlike a lot of 80s mainstream acts that I disliked then and have grown to appreciate now (even if it's just nostalgia), I still don't like Boys II Men and the like. The issue now is that I don't care for the way R&B/Motown turned out as it developed with the trends, incorporating more hip hop elements than true soul or quiet storm, etc. It was becoming "dance" music, more than music to dance/vibe to. Mid 60s throughout much of the 70s were prime, and I really do hope to see the likes of Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, etc higher up on this list. However, by the 80s I lose interest, with a few exceptions (like Diana Ross' Diana album). That being said, I do recognize the vocal abilities here and the well produced songs and arrangements, and while I feel like much of this list will be somewhat of a popularity contest based on album sales, etc, these guys do deserve to be on the lower end of the greats, because they were the best of the new genre development (new jack swing or something? I'm pulling that out of somewhere). But if that It's So Hard to Say Goodbye... song comes on the radio, I'm jumping out of the car.
     
  19. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX, USA
    Interesting choice. Rufus is certainly underappreciated these days, but is this their best record? I prefer Rufusized myself and checking RYM, the users there agree, rating Rufusized a 3.62, while Ask Rufus has only a 3.46.

    I wouldn't put Ask Rufus in my top 500, but I am happy to see the band get some attention.
     
  20. macca728

    macca728 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rotterdam, Holland
    It is a terrible record, why is it chosen in this list ?

    I'll make love to you is so awful.
     
  21. Bevok

    Bevok Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    It raises an interesting question of what gives an album credence as a great album. If it’s that the album contains multiple great songs then Boyz II Men II might be up there (not sure about the Top 500 of all time), if it’s because it’s a powerful unified artistic statement almost certainly not. I’m ok with either, but I don’t think it qualifies. I almost don’t want to look at the whole list but I suspect I’ll raise my eyebrows at a few albums that missed out to put this one here!
    Personally I really enjoyed these songs (like Terrapin Station I enjoy a good bit of well crafted pop) but they’re definitely at the more saccharine end of the perspective so I got a bit tired of them when they were thrashed on the radio. Good to listen to again after break of almost 30 years!
     
  22. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer The Great CD in the Sky

    Location:
    Málaga, Spain
    Boyz II Men "II":

    Totally not my thing. Didn't like any of their songs (understatement). Obviously, not being a masochist, I never bothered listening to any of their albums (and never will), so I can't rate it. But they were very popular at the time, so maybe that's why it got in?
     
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  23. EyeSock

    EyeSock Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    II
    I wanted to listen to this not just because of the thread but because I’ve always thought that New Jack Swing is an incredibly overlooked genre, especially in music enthusiast spaces like this website, RYM, etc. At the same time, a lot of the early 90s R&B my mom played for me I didn’t care for.

    I liked this much more than I expected. Their vocals really hold up a lot of the songs, especially Yesterday. Even though there are a lot of mediocre, boring songs like Vibin’, I Sit Away, and Trying Times, there are a surprising amount of great songs here like Thank You, Yesterday, Jezzebel, and On Bended Knee. I can understand why the Adult Contemporary songs get hate, but I honestly really like them. They’re just such impeccably written pop songs. It’s not hard to understand why I’ll Make Love to You was as big as it was. Other, less saccharine songs like U Know really show the full potential of New Jack Swing. Hard hitting beats and strong melodies.

    All in all, even though this is a deeply flawed album, it’s also an incredibly underrated one. There are so many solid cuts on here that represent the strengths of early 90s R&B.

    6/10
     
  24. YMC4

    YMC4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Valley, CA.
    this seems like a good idea for a decent thread :righton:

    may i make one suggestion to the OP? it would be even better if you note the 'previous' 2 RS rankings in each album's intro piece (if they qualified ~).
    without looking it up, i'm assuming you're using the recent 3rd revision of 500 albums (otherwise Boys II Men album probably wouldn't have made the cut ;)).
    it would be both informational & reflective to see how they fared in the older versions (by 'older' generation panel).

    good luck with the thread !
     
  25. danasgoodstuff

    danasgoodstuff Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I am a very big fan of R&B vocal groups from the '50s (Clovers), '60s (Temptations), '70s (Spinners), but this leaves me cold. I don't think they sing well (my wife who has a far better ear for pitch than I can't listen to them without commenting that she thinks the're consistently flat, on purpose?). And I find them about as believable as a robocall, in part because of the trite material. If they come on the radio I cut them off about as quickly as I do a phone call when I hear that distinctive call center echo. Evidence of a world gone wrong for me. Just an immediate visceral negative reaction. But I'm sure lots of perfectly nice people like them, so we need to talk about something else.
     

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