Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I Wanna Be Adored

For many reasons 1989 was a good year, maybe the best year of my life. And I think, to top it off, I was exposed to an absurd amount of new music in 1989 and 1990. Anyway, it just so happened that one of the best albums of all time came out that year, the self-titled Stone Roses album, which had just come out in March or April or something. I have no idea where or how I heard that album first, but I do remember how it was the soundtrack to many a night. I have this distinct memory of eating chicken wings (!) with K. at some late night eatery, no doubt super drunk, watching the TV and them showing the video to "I Wanna Be Adored." Without any kind of qualification, I can say it's one of the most sublimely beautiful songs ever recorded, perfect for when you're alone or with company. And the album was just as brilliant. What songs! Anyway, turns out the Stone Roses are reforming. You know me, I'm totally against any band reforming to relive bygone glories. So I wish they hadn't. But I don't wish them ill. They will never recapture 1989 again but, you know, who would begrudge them for making the money that they originally never made. There is probably no other band in the history of pop music that burned so brightly but so briefly. They were here for one spectacular album, a series of fantastic singles and then completely and immediately burned out. The second album was a disaster. And then they split up. But what a beautiful set of songs they left behind

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This Week = 10 Years in New York city

Last Sunday morning under the George Washington Bridge.

Music Ranked By Year 1969-2010

Over there at Paper Street Cinema, they did a massive list of all music from all time (well, from 1970) that's good. So I thought I'd try and one-up him and do one from 1969. It's kind of randomly done and I haven't put too much thought into it. I'm sure I'm missing super important albums. I didn't include live albums, compilations, box sets, or E.P.s.

Some preliminary observations: Paper Street Cinema (PSC) and I have some overlap. Years where we picked the exact same album as the best album: 1980 (Remain In Light/Talking Heads), 1985 (Meat Is Murder/The Smiths), 1988 (Surfer Rosa/Pixies), 1994 (The Downward Spiral/Nine Inch Nails), 1996 (Aenima/Tool), 1998 (Mezzanine/Massive Attack), 1999 (The Fragile/Nine Inch Nails), 2001 (Lateralus/Tool), 2002 (Sea Change/Beck). But beyond that, there's a lot of overlap in the "other albums that were good" category. We did diverge significantly on other stuff: I don't include much kraut rock in my list. In fact, most of my 1970s selections are fairly straight forward classic rock (including the dreaded Led Zeppelin...), the kind of thing I railed against when I was a youngster. PSC also has a fondness for Porcupine Tree and Crystal Castles whereas I have a fondness for sweeping instrumental music a la Godspeed, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and Sigur Ros. I apparently like a lot of real embarrassing 1970s pop (Gerry Rafferty anyone?). And guess what, I like Madonna! On the whole I tried to list albums I liked instead of albums I was supposed to like. In other words, if it's on the list, I have heard the album a lot.

Some of the choices were difficult. Kid A (2000) is one of my favorite albums of all time but it didn't make the best album of 2000 because of Godspeed's Lift Yr Skinny Fists, partly because the latter album is embedded in my memory while I was suffering through a lonely summer in Moscow. It's just the way I associate that album.

Best album: Abbey Road (The Beatles)
Other good ones: Let It Bleed (The Rolling Stones), Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Velvet Underground, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (Neil Young), The Stooges, Crosby Stills and Nash, Trout Mask Replica (Captain Beefheart), Blind Faith, Then Play On (Fleetwood Mac)
Best album: Fun House (The Stooges)
Other good ones: Loaded (The Velvet Underground), After The Gold Rush (Neil Young), John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Deja Vu (Crosby Stills Nash and Young), Bitches Brew (Miles Davis), Abraxas (Santana), John Barleycorn Must Die (Traffic), All Things Must Pass (George Harrison)
Best album: Sticky Fingers (The Rolling Stones)
Other good ones: Led Zeppelin IV, Meddle (Pink Floyd), Who's Next (The Who), Hunky Dory (David Bowie), Imagine (John Lennon), Blue (Joni Mitchell), L.A. Woman (The Doors), If Only I Could Remember My Name (David Crosby), Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys (Traffic), Machine Head (Deep Purple)
Best album: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (David Bowie)
Other good ones: Exile On Main Street (The Rolling Stones), Harvest (Neil Young), #1 Record (Big Star), Talking Book (Stevie Wonder)
Best album: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd)
Other good ones: Houses Of The Holy (Led Zeppelin), Time Fades Away (Neil Young), Aladdin Sane (David Bowie), Raw Power (Iggy & The Stooges), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John), The Human Menagerie (Cockney Rebel), Inner Visions (Stevie Wonder)
Best album: On The Beach (Neil Young)
Other good ones: Countdown To Ecstasy (Steely Dan), Band On The Run (Paul McCartney & Wings), Radio City (Big Star), Crime Of The Century (Supertramp)
Best album: Horses (Patti Smith)
Other good ones: Blood On The Tracks (Bob Dylan), Desire (Bob Dylan), Physical Graffiti (Led Zeppelin), Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd), Zuma (Neil Young), Katy Lied (Steely Dan), The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (Joni Mitchell), Still Crazy After All These Years (Paul Simon), A Night At The Opera (Queen)
Best album: The Modern Lovers
Other good ones: Station To Station (David Bowie), The Royal Scam (Steely Dan), Hejira (Joni Mitchell), Arrival (Abba), Year Of The Cat (Al Stewart), Radio Ethiopia (Patti Smith)
Best album: Marquee Moon (Television)
Other good ones: Animals (Pink Floyd), The Clash, Low (David Bowie), Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Rocket To Russia (The Ramones), Aja (Steely Dan), CSN (Crosby Stills and Nash), Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (Joni Mitchell), Gone To Earth (Barclay James Harvest), Moonflower (Santana), The Album (Abba)
Best album: Leave Home (The Ramones)
Other good ones: Some Girls (The Rolling Stones), First Issue (Public Image Ltd.), Dire Straits, Adventure (Television), C'est Chic (Chic), City To City (Gerry Rafferty), The Modern Dance (Pere Ubu)
Best album: Metal Box (Public Image Ltd.)
Other good ones: The Wall (Pink Floyd), London Calling (The Clash), Rust Never Sleeps (Neil Young), Regatta De Blanc (The Police), Tusk (Fleetwood Mac), Three Imaginary Boys (The Cure), Unknown Pleasures (Joy Division), Entertainment! (Gang Of Four), Communique (Dire Straits), Replicas (Gary Numan), The B-52s, Off The Wall (Michael Jackson), Y (The Pop Group), Cut (The Slits)
Best album: Remain In Light (Talking Heads)
Other good ones: In The Flat Field (Bauhaus), Gaucho (Steely Dan), Boy (U2), The Pretenders, Seventeen Seconds (The Cure), Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (Dead Kennedys), McCartney II, Wild Planet (B-52s), Back In Black (AC/DC), Never For Ever (Kate Bush), Underwater Moonlight (The Soft Boys)
Best album: My Life In The Bush of Ghosts (David Byrne & Brian Eno)
Other good ones: Ghost In The Machine (The Police), Faith (The Cure), Damaged (Black Flag), Computer World (Kraftwerk), Tom Verlaine (Dreamtime), The Au Pairs (Playing With A Different Sex), Fela Kuti (Black President)
Best album: 1999 (Prince)
Other good ones: Thriller (Michael Jackson), The Sky's Gone Out (Bauhaus), Album-Generic Flipper (Flipper), Plastic Surgery Disasters (Dead Kennedys), The Night Fly (Donald Fagen), The Dreaming (Kate Bush), Vs. (Mission Of Burma), Songs To Remember (Scritti Politti), Lou Reed (The Blue Mask), Avalon (Roxy Music)
Best album: Murmur (R.E.M.)
Other good ones: Hootenanny (The Replacements), The Final Cut (Pink Floyd), War (U2), Synchronicity (The Police), Learning To Crawl (The Pretenders), Soul Mining (The The), Speaking In Tongues (Talking Heads), Infidels (Bob Dylan), Violent Femmes
Best album: Let It Be (The Replacements)
Other good ones: The Smiths, The Unforgettable Fire (U2), Purple Rain (Prince), 'Pop' (Tones On Tail), Reckoning (R.E.M.), It'll End In Tears (This Mortal Coil), Double Nickels On The Dime (The Minutemen), Like A Virgin (Madonna), The Waking Hour (Dalis Car), Meat Puppets II
Best album: Meat Is Murder (The Smiths)
Other good ones: Time (The Replacements), The Head On The Door (The Cure), Psychocandy (The Jesus and Mary Chain), The Seventh Dream Of Teenage Heaven (Love and Rockets), This Is The Sea (The Waterboys), Songs From The Big Chair (Tears For Fears), Low-Life (New Order), This Is Big Audio Dynamite, Hounds Of Love (Kate Bush)
Best album: The Queen Is Dead (The Smiths)
Other good ones: EVOL (Sonic Youth), Throwing Muses, Infected (The The), Candy Apple Grey (Husker Du), Lifes Rich Pageant (R.E.M.), Gun Shy (The Screaming Blue Messiahs), Big World (Joe Jackson), True Blue (Madonna), Filigree and Shadow (This Mortal Coil), Skylarking (XTC), Black Celebration (Depeche Mode)
Best album: Pleased To Meet Me (The Replacements)
Other good ones: Strangeways Here We Come (The Smiths), Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun (Dead Can Dance), Sister (Sonic Youth), The Joshua Tree (U2), Children Of God (Swans), Sign O'The Times (Prince), The Ideal Copy (Wire), Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (The Cure), Floodland (The Sisters Of Mercy), Darklands (The Jesus and Mary Chain), The Lion & The Cobra (Sinead O'Connor), Crowded House, Document (R.E.M.), Bikini Red (The Screaming Blue Messiahs), Atomizer (big Black), If'n (Firehose), Solitude Standing (Suzanne Vega)
Best album: Surfer Rosa (The Pixies)
Other good ones: The Serpent's Egg (Dead Can Dance), Daydream Nation (Sonic Youth), The Burning World (Swans), A Bell Is A Cup Until It Is Struck (Wire), Nothing's Shocking (Jane's Addiction), Naked (Talking Heads), Earth Sun Moon (Love and Rockets), Fisherman's Blues (The Waterboys), Starfish (The Church), Songs About Fucking (Big Black), Viva Hate (Morrissey), Bringing Home The Ashes (The Wild Swans)
Best album: The Stone Roses
Other good ones: Doolittle (The Pixies), Disintegration (The Cure), Spine Of God (Monster Magnet), Mind Bomb (The The), 3 Feet High And Rising (De La Soul), Neil Young (Freedom), Don't Tell A Soul (The Replacements)
Best album: In A Priest-Driven Ambulance (The Flaming Lips)
Other good ones: Pretty Hate Machine (Nine Inch Nails), Goo (Sonic Youth), Bossanova (The Pixies), Ritual de lo Habitual (Jane's Addiction), The Vision Thing (The Sisters Of Mercy), I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (Sinead O'Connor), God Ween Satan (Ween), Bloodletting (Concrete Blonde), Ragged Glory (Neil Young), The Replacements (All Shook Down), Pod (The Breeders)
Best album: Loveless (My Bloody Valentine)
Other good ones: Nevermind (Nirvana), White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity (Swans), Yerself Is Steam (Mercury Rev), Lazer Guided Melodies (Spiritualized), Wings Of Joy (Cranes), Gish (Smashing Pumpkins), Blood (This Mortal Coil), The Drill (Wire), Screamadelica (Primal Scream)
Best album: Television
Other good ones: Dirty (Sonic Youth), Harvest Moon (Neil Young), Slanted And Enchanted (Pavement), Psalm 69 (Ministry), Dry (P.J. Harvey), Erotica (Madonna)
Best album: In Utero (Nirvana)
Other good ones: Undertow (Tool), Zooropa (U2), Superjudge (Monster Magnet), Orbital II, Rid Of Me (P.J. Harvey), A Storm In Heaven (The Verve), Forever (Cranes), 14 Songs (Paul Westerberg), Quique (Seefeel), Exile In Guyville (Liz Phair), Suspiria (Miranda Sex Garden), Souvlaki (Slowdive), Saturation (Urge Overkill), Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements (Stereolab), Where You Been (Dinosaur Jr.)
Best album: The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails)
Other good ones: To Bring You My Love (P.J. Harvey), Selected Ambient Works Vol 2 (Aphex Twin), Dopes To Infinity (Monster Magnet), Crappin' You Negative (Grifters), Live Through This (Hole), Ungod (Stabbing Westward), Superunknown (Soundgarden), Dummy (Portishead), Hips And Makers (Kristen Hersh)
Best album: The Bends (Radiohead)
Other good ones: A Northern Soul (The Verve), Paralyzed Mind Of The Archangel Void (Harmony Rockets), Maxinquaye (Tricky), Exit Planet Dust (The Chemical Brothers), To Bring You My Love (P.J. Harvey), Elastica, Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (The Smashing Pumpkins), Washing Machine (Sonic Youth), Garbage
Best album: Aenima (Tool)
Other good ones: In Sides (Orbital), As Good As Dead (Local H), Millions Living Will Never Die (Tortoise), Entroducing ... DJ Shadow, Different Class (Pulp)
Best album: Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Spiritualized)
Other good ones: OK Computer (Radiohead), Urban Hymns (The Verve), Sounds Of The Satellites (Laika), Dead Elvis (Death In Vegas), Either/Or (Elliott Smith), I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Yo La Tengo), Mogwai Young Team, Dig Your Own Hole (Chemical Brothers), Time Out Of Mind (Bob Dylan)
Best album: Mezzanine (Massive Attack)
Other good ones: Lift (Love And Rockets), Music Has The Right To Children (Boards Of Canada), Moon Safari (Air), Introducing ... The Asteroid No. Four, (The Asteroid No. Four),  Is This Desire? (P.J. Harvey), Deserters' Songs (Mercury Rev), XO (Elliott Smith), Good Morning Spider (Sparklehorse), Psyence Fiction (U.N.K.L.E.), Ray Of Light (Madonna)
Best album: The Fragile (Nine Inch Nails)
Other good ones: The Soft Bulletin (The Flaming Lips), Afterglow (Dot Allison), Into The Pink (Verbena), Stereo Type A (Cibbo Matto), Midnite Vultures (Beck), Central Reservation (Beth Orton)
Best album: Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven (Godspeed You Black Emperor!)
Other good ones: Kid A (Radiohead), Mer de Noms (A Perfect Circle), Two Against Nature (Steely Dan), XTRMNTR (Primal Scream), Stories From The City Stories From The Sea (P.J. Harvey), And Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (Yo La Tengo), Supreme Beings Of Leisure, The Mirror Conspiracy (The Thievery Corporation), The Hour Of The Bewilderbeast (Badly Drawn Boy)
Best album: Lateralus (Tool)
Other good ones: Amnesiac (Radiohead), Simple Things (Zero 7), Get Ready (New Order), Is This It (The Strokes), I (Buffalo Daughter), Melody A.M. (Royksopp), One Day I'll Be On Time (The Album Leaf), White Blood Cells (The White Stripes)
Best album: Sea Change (Beck)
Other good ones: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (The Flaming Lips), Geogaddi (Boards Of Canada), Stereo/Mono (Paul Westerberg), () (Sigur Ros), Murray Street (Sonic Youth), Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Wilco), Turn On The Bright Lights (Interpol), Yanqui U.X.O. (Godspeed! You Black Emperor
Best album: The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (Explosions In The Sky)
Other good ones: Phantom Power (Super Furry Animals), Berlinette (Ellen Allien), A Strangely Isolated Place (Ulrich Schnauss), 100th Window (Massive Attack), Elephant (The White Stripes), Happy Songs For Happy People (Mogwai), Rounds (Four Tet), Chutes Too Narrow (The Shins), The Lemon Of Pink (The Books), Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Outkast), Fever To Tell (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Up In Flames (Caribou), Hail To The Thief (Radiohead)
Best album: Funeral (The Arcade Fire)
Other good ones: Good News For People Who Love Bad News (Modest Mouse), Summer At Abbadon (Pinback), Now Here is Nowhere (The Simple Machines), Fabulous Muscles (Xiu Xiu), Florida (Diplo), Homesongs (Adem), Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (M83), Tekitoi (Rachid Taha)
Best album: The Woods (Sleater-Kinney)
Other good ones: The Campfire Headphase (Boards of Canada), Silent Alarm (Bloc Party), Feathers (Dead Meadow), LCD Soundsystem, '64-'95 (LemonJelly), Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Arular (M.I.A.)
Best album: Silent Shout (The Knife)
Other good ones: Return To Cookie Mountain (TV on the Radio), Rather Ripped (Sonic Youth), Orchestra Of Bubbles (Ellen Allien and Apparat), Transparent Things (Fujiya and Miyagi), I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (Yo La Tengo), The Eraser (Thom Yorke)
Best album:  In Rainbows (Radiohead)
Other good ones: The Sound Of Silver (LCD Soundsystem), Untrue (Burial), Aman Iman (Tinariwen), Year Zero (Nine Inch Nails), Alpinisms (School of Seven Bells), Kala (M.I.A.), Boxer (The National), Mirrored (Battles), Here We Go Sublime (The Field)
Best album: Microcastle (Deerhunter)
Other good ones: Ghosts I-IV (Nine Inch Nails), Saturdays = Youth (M83), The Slip (Nine Inch Nails), Dear Science (TV on the Radio), Vampire Weekend, Third (Portishead), Dig! Lazarus Dig! (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds), Furr (Blitzen Trapper)
Best album: The xx
Other good ones: Logos (Atlas Sound), Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (Phoenix), It's Blitz! (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Veckatimest (Grizzly Bear), Embryonic (The Flaming Lips), Actor (St. Vincent), Glasvegas
Best album: Halcyon Digest (Deerhunter)
Other good ones: The Suburbs (The Arcade Fire), My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Swans), Plastic Beach (Gorillaz) Cerulean (Baths), This Is Happening (LCD Soundsystem), Body Talk (Robyn), Cosmogramma (Flying Lotus), Write About Love (Belle And Sebastian)