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Top 20 Albums

Beatles Metallica weezer

I’ve been on a bit of a music kick lately so I figured I’d do a personal top 20 albums list. Keep in mind these are in no particular order and I only limited it to one album per band/artist on the list otherwise it would just be a lot of albums by a few bands. Of course, there’s so much that could have made the cut ala Rolling Stones albums, multiple Bruce Springsteen records, any Cake album, The Prodigy’s “Fat of the Land,” AC/DC’s “Back In Black,” any The Raconteurs album, early Modest Mouse and The Strokes, and so many more.

 

  1. The Beatles- Abbey Road- A large number of Beatles albums could be on this list, but the musical genius that is the medley (as it is known) makes AR the clear choice for me.

 

  1. Weezer- Pinkerton- The Blue Album or Pinkerton is the age old debut although I think a lot of music fans and Weezer fans sell A LOT of their albums short (“Everything Will Be Alright In The End” and “The White Album” are extraordinary). What makes Weezer such an enduring rock act is that they are constantly evolving and not becoming a stale band like so many that have fallen by the wayside. With all of that said, Pinkerton is their crown jewel. It’s dark, different, poignant, and has a harder edge compared to a lot of their work. 

 

  1. Beck- Odelay- Every once in awhile there comes an artist who cannot be categorized. Beck is one of those artists. He’s constantly shifting between funk, soulful tunes, rock, and so on. While I’m a fan of all the many faces of Beck, he is at his best to me when he fully embraces his weird. “Odelay” really encapsulates that side the best.

 

  1. Metallica- Master Of Puppets- This was another agonizing choice for me as I could easily put several Metallica albums on this list. However, how do you ignore an album that kicks off with the one-two punch of “Battery” and the title track? It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

  1. Led Zeppelin- IV- Truth be told, 1-3 and “Physical Graffiti” could very well be on here as well, but at the end of the day, 4 just might be their best. You can’t go wrong with an album that ends with “When The Levee Breaks.”

 

  1. Phish- Billy Breathes- The first Phish album I heard and still the best.  From the soul stirring opener “Free” to the sweeping climactic “Prince Caspian,” this album is a true musical journey into the heart of Phish.

 

  1. R.E.M.- New Adventures In Hi-Fi- For whatever reason, this album never gets the attention it deserves, but I’ve always found it to be their most electrifying. 

 

  1. Radiohead- OK Computer- There were many great albums in the 90’s, but few were as groundbreaking or gamechanging as “OK Computer.” Yes, Radiohead had already put out 2 beloved works prior to this, but the band became something quite different from this album and on. 

 

  1. Ghost- Prequelle- The newest album on this list comes from one of the few modern bands I listen to- the Swedish rock band Ghost. If you like devil rock, metal, and Blue Oyster Cult all rolled into one, this is for you. 

 

  1. Star Wars- A New Hope- As someone who listens to film scores and a whole lot of John Williams, it was essential to have one on this list. This was another agonizing choice for me as his prequel soundtracks are incredible. Still, ANH changed the game and was a huge component of what made Star Wars Star Wars. 

 

  1. Tenacious D- Self-Titled- JB and KG. Need I say more? 

 

  1. Foo Fighters- The Colour and The Shape- Since their debut album 25 years ago, Foo Fighters have consistently been one of the best in the rock game. Their second album is arguably their greatest achievement as it gave them an identity and features some of their most blazing rock jams.

 

  1. Moby- Play- When you first listened to “Play” back in 1999, you knew you were hearing something transformative and special in the electronica music genre. 

 

  1. Tool- Aenima- Although I could make a great case for Fear Inoculum right now, Aenima is one of those mindblowing albums that showcased both a new sound and a one of a kind band.

 

  1. Rage Against The Machine- Evil Empire- RATM is without a doubt one of the best bands of the past 30 years and it’s a shame they have so few albums to listen to. Perhaps there will come a day they release new material, but in the meantime, I’ll keep putting them on (including what might be their best in Evil Empire).

 

  1. Green Day- Insomniac- Clocking in at just under 33 minutes, Insomniac is a fast and furious album that feels like rock is being injected into your veins.

 

  1. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones- Let’s Face It- I have a great love of ska music (shout-outs to Mustard Plug, The Interrupters, and Save Ferris), but, to me, this is like the Abbey Road of ska albums. The energy and the sound of the Bosstones is just so raw and infectious. 

 

  1. Tom Petty- Wildflowers- This is another impossibly tough choice. Do I go with something from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers or one of his great solo albums? With “Wildflowers,” you get the best of both worlds as there’s moving solo tunes like the title track and hard rock pieces like “You Wreck Me” and “Honey Bee.” 

 

  1. The Darkness- Permission To Land- The British rock band burst onto the scene as a sort of parody of hair metal bands, but they have since come into their own as one of the top tier rock acts (and an underrated one at that). Their debut album is still one for the ages though as every track has essentially become a hit for them.

 

  1. Pearl Jam- Yield- Yea, “Ten” is great and all, but for me, it boils down to the wild “No Code” and the vastly underappreciated “Yield.” At this juncture, I think “Yield” has a slight edge because it has all of the PJ I love in one. You’ve got unhinged Vedder on songs like “Brain Of J” and you’ve got some of their most wonderful compositions with tunes like “All Those Yesterdays” (one of my personal favorite songs).

March 15, 2020 - Posted by | List | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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