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Your Top 20 Albums

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Chris is one of the few people that I'm fine with liking the Ramones, because with him, I know it's coming from the right place.

My list now would be pretty much the same as the original post.

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Metallica - S&M
Metallica - Master of Puppets
Royal Crown Revue - Mugsy's Move
Flogging Molly - Swagger
Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
Green Day - Insomniac
Green Day - Warning
Alice in Chains - Dirt
Alice in Chains - self-titled, a.k.a. "Tripod"
Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People
Rammstein - Mutter
Neil Young - Sleeps with Angels
Soundgarden - Superunknown
The Used - self-titled
The Xenogears videogame soundtrack
A Day to Remember - What Separates Me From You
Gene Loves Jezebel - Heavenly Bodies
Gorillaz - Demon Days

American McGee's Alice soundtrack

The only difference in my list now as opposed to two years ago is I added the soundtrack to AMA and removed Galore by The Cure. Still love the latter, but I can't leave out one of the most brilliant scores to a game ever.

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In no particular order with reasoning, and broken up into groups of five to keep count. Please note that most of my music skews more instrumental. tongue.gif

Flogging Molly, Float - why helo thar soundtrack of my life.

Battlestar Galactica Season 4 soundtrack - some of Bear McCreary's best work. Just saying.

Streetlight Manifesto, 99 Songs of the Revolution - really fun ska covers.

The Book of Mormon cast recording: DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH.

Avenue Q soundtrack - my life's soundtrack lately, take 2.

Coraline soundtrack - holy fuck creepy ass music

The Fountain soundtrack - see Chris' reasoning.

Angela Aki, Home - album that holds a lot of meaning for me.

Marie Antoinette soundtrack - anachronistic? Absolutely. Great songs? Fuck yeah.

Scott Pilgrim (soundtrack and score and yes damnit it counts) - see Preston's reasoning.

Sting, Songs from the Labyrinth - partially only on here because of that year I spent studying Renaissance music for Academic Decathlon

Keane, Under the Iron Sea - great band, kind of a breakup album, but still good none theless

Zack and Miri Make a Porno soundtrack - again, great collection of songs that I probably wouldn't listen to on any other album

500 Days of Summer soundtrack - some of my favorite all time songs are on here

Sabrina takarazuka soundtrack - Sabrina, as a musical, sung entirely by Japanese chicks. Logical? Not really. Having seen it? Pretty damn fun, especially when the lead male player can pull a pretty good Bogart despite having tits.

Wall-E soundtrack: probably one of my favorite parts of the movie, except for the preachy vocal song

Weird Al Yankovic, Alpocalypse: Probably my favorite album of his, ever

Flogging Molly, Drunken Lullabies: highest concentration of my favorite songs of theirs

Great Big Sea, Sea of No Cares: fun folk rock and just a lot of songs that cut close for me

Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack: Fuck you, it's a good soundtrack.

Honorable mentions to the Muppets Green Album, the soundtrack for Gankutsuou, and anything involving Joe Hisaishi and/or Yuki Kajiura.

Yeah, these have since changed a lot.

KHII OST, Float, Book of Mormon, BSG S4, Drunken Lullabies, Scott Pilgrim, the Fountain, and Under the Iron Sea are still on there.

But as for the other 11:

Dessa, A Badly Broken Code

Bastion OST

Pacific Rim OST

Alan Wake soundtrack

Game of Thrones S3 OST

Ludo, Broken Bride EP

Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling, and Dharohar Project, Dharorar Project EP

Die Antwoord, Ten$ion

Homestuck soundtracks (particularly Vol 8)

Black Swan OST

Puella Magi Madoka Magica OSTs (all)

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I would definitely add Jim Thirlwell's soundtrack to The Venture Brothers to the list.

"Phantom Limb" by Pig Destroyer too.

Whoa! No Sabbath either? I must have been high making that list. Corrosion of Conformity and no Sabbath?

"Masters of Reality" by Black Sabbath

Edit: Slayer's "South of Heaven" has to be in there too.

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So I feel like shit today and need something to do and since I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to music lately, I think I’ll give this a shot. 

Note: I didn’t use any artist more than once, but I did count solo artists and bands separately.  Also this since this is a list of “best albums,” no music written before 1948 will be considered, since that was roundabout the invention of the medium. 

      1.     John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon

It is really remarkable that the same year The Beatles released their final album, Let it Be, two of the members released solo records that totally obliterated their final collaborative effort.  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band feels like everything Lennon was building up to with his late-era Beatles songs, Julia, Yer Blues, I’m So Tired, etc. but now he doesn’t have to censor himself for the integrity of the group.  Free of The Beatles’ lyrical cage, Lennon could belt out lines like, “you’re all fucking peasants” and “God is a concept.”  The theme alternates between the end of The Beatles and mourning for his dead mother.  I see it as a raw and unforgiving epilogue to The Beatles discography, building up to: “I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me… The dream is over.”  Incredible.

      2.     The White Album – The Beatles

Honestly, this and number one alternate on a daily basis but today I prefer Lennon’s raw focused album to the Beatles magnum opus.  Regardless, this is an incredible album that offers a little of everything.  If you’re looking for the hits, this album is not for you.  Very few of the songs are ever played on the radio.  It’s not concise, it’s not perfect, it’s unpolished, it’s overlong, and it’s occasionally not much fun to listen to but it’s on this list because it’s a buffet of everything The Beatles had to offer music, with perfect sequencing and four unique voices.  Not to mention this is one of only two albums all four of them contributed songs for.  Take your pick:

Social Commentary? Back In The USSR, Piggies, Revolution 1. 

Hard Rock/Metal?  While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Yer Blues, Helter Skelter.

Blues? Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? Yer Blues. 

Country/Folk? The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, Rocky Raccoon, Don’t Pass Me By, Julia, 

Music Hall/Classical? Honey Pie, Good Night. 

Psychedelic? Glass Onion, Cry Baby Cry.  

Avant Garde? Wild Honey Pie, Revolution 9.

      3.     Mingus Ah Um  - Charles Mingus

Bob Dylan got all the press, but in 1959 Charlie Mingus put out what has to be one of the most biting and musically complex political protest albums of all time, and with very few lyrics.  Mingus knew how to use his rumbling bass to guide the band through each several powerful, political messages, without using lyrics as a crutch.  Although Mingus would re-release the album’s most famous piece, Fables of Faubus, an attack on pro-segregationist Orval Faubus, with lyrics a year later.  Mingus Ah Um is one of the most powerful and complex Jazz albums ever released, occasionally abandoning meter, pitch, and dissolving in the complete chaos, this precursor to free jazz is just as revolutionary as it is beautiful.

      4.     The Wall – Pink Floyd

Well everyone knows The Wall.  Despite lacking Pink Floyd's signature long instrumental interludes and moody ambient sounds, this is my personal favorite or their body of work.  It takes inspiration from The Beatles White Album in everything from album cover to the genre switching tracks, while maintaining a consistent theme.  Though I have yet to see the film, the albums holds up on its own, with recurring themes, both musically and lyrically, all building up to the climax.  The Wall is possibly the greatest concept album of all time.

      5.     Bitches Brew – Miles Davis

Easily the most musically complex album on the list, Miles Davis went full on experimental with this record.  The total runtime is 94 minutes though the album only contains six different tracks, because he lets the music breathe and move unrestricted, even venturing into the Avant garde at times.  Each note is unexpected and harsh, with some help from electronic enhancement.  This is not passive listening but it makes for one hell of an incredible experience.

      6.     All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

In 1970, George Harrison, after being somewhat marginalized by The Beatles, was finally able to show his talent in a solo effort that was so excellent, it rivaled John Lennon’s acclaimed record.  The albums themselves however, couldn’t be more different.  While Lennon took from more from the gritty, self-hating blues, Harrison adopted the more Folky, Americana sound of Bob Dylan and The Band, both of whom contributed to the album.  Just looking at the album cover, which Lennon publicly ridiculed, you can almost hear the music.  It is warm, confident, spiritual, unique, and perhaps most importantly, revealed Harrison’s undeniable musical genius in a way The Beatles never did. 

      7.     Led Zeppelin II – Led Zeppelin

In 1968, Led Zeppelin released their debut album, a fantastic hybrid of folk, blues, and metal that left everyone’s ears ringing.  What no one expected was that their next album, released later that same year, was going to be heavier, blues-ier and even better.  While IV has ‘Stairway’ and a collection of undeniable greats, the end product of hard folk doesn’t hit me as hard as this album’s metal-blues.  This is Zeppelin’s most confident and focused work.  From their opening, free-jazz inspired, track: Whole Lotta Love, credit to the aforementioned Mingus, to their closing: heavy metal drum solo meets growling harmonica blues, Moby Dick/Bring It on Home, this album is a treat for the ears.

      8.     Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

It always bugs me when people give Sgt. Pepper credit for what The Beach Boys did first.  Pepper was a great album, but it’s no Pet Sounds.  Brian Wilson is an undeniable genius, and he created what has to be the first great concept album.  Wilson broke convention with instrumental tracks on a rock album, and sounds of animals taking the place of instruments, a technique harkening back to Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s Livery Stable Blues.  People always point to ‘God Only Knows’ but this album doesn’t have a bad track, and The Beach Boy’s signature harmonies are as beautiful as ever.  

      9.     The Doors – The Doors

1967 and 1968 are, for my money, the two greatest years for music in the 20th Century.  This debut album was released the same year as Sgt. Pepper and The Velvet Underground & Nico and yet it still managed to standout as a magnificent achievement, as well is being possibly the greatest debut album of all time.  The Doors managed to be dry, cynical, and energetic all at the same time.  They also popularized the release of ten-minute jams that build in a way that had only been utilized in other genres.  The album was fearless and controversial, and has one of the greatest closers of all time in the 11 minute “The End,” which is used to great effect in Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now!’

      10. London Calling – The Clash

Bearing one of the greatest album covers of all time The Clash’s apocalyptic, punk rock attack of late 1970’s society is truly brilliant. The title track sets the mood by describing an apocalyptic England, and serving as a cautionary piece on society.  Jimmy Jazz, misleading with its laidback sound, plays like a Jazz standard from Hell.   I love that track.  It’s a great record.

11. The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground

12. The Basement Tapes – The Band & Bob Dylan

13. Lola vs Powerman and Moneygoround, Part One – The Kinks

14. There Will Be Blood – Johnny Greenwood

15. Doolittle – The Pixies

16. American IV: The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash

17. If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears – The Mamas & the Papas

18. American Beauty – The Grateful Dead

19. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West

20. Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes (Not really, but I’m putting on here because they’re going to be huge.)


Anyway, I might come back and add descriptions for the remaining ten at some point but that’s what I got for now.  I feel a little better.



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1) Crest of a Knave - Jethro Tull

2) Purple Rain - Prince

3) A New South - Hank Williams Jr.

4) Come Away With Me - Norah Jones

5) Moon Safari - Air

6) Mad Brilliant - Ghost of the Robot

7) White Stripes - White Stripes

8) Antichrist Superstar - Marilyn Manson

9) Under Blackpool Lights - White Stripes

10) Danzig - Danzig

11) Best of - Mississippi John Hurt

12) Lightnin' - Lightnin Hopkins

13) King of Yesterday - Jude

14) Toys in the Attic - Aerosmith

15) Hallowed Ground - Violent Femmes

16) Jonathan Edwards

17) Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione

18) MTV Unplugged - Nirvana

19) Heaven and Hell - Shine

20) Spit - Kittie


Let's see.  Four years later and  13/20 are the same.  Looking at the changes, I swapped Buckethead for a Buckethead project (Shine).  I hadn't gotten into The White Stripes yet, which is 2 additions.  System of a Down became Kittie, which is kinda an either/or thing.  I discovered Danzig at some point it seems.  I somehow forgot Moon Safari off the original list which is crazy. 

Last one was Violent Femmes' Hallowed Ground.  I made a 'Greatest Hits' way back in high school and just kinda listened to it as such.  Recently, I found out that the entirety of Hallowed Ground was on the Greatest Hits.  And for good reason, such a good album.

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1) Lateralus - Tool 

2) Emotive - A Perfect Circle

3) Aenima - Tool

4) Electric Landlady - Jimi Hendrix

5) Undertow - Tool

6) From Beale Street to Oblivion - Clutch

7) Paranoid - Black Sabbath

8) Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

9) Reload - Metallica

10) Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

11) Hellbilly Deluxe - Rob Zombie

12) Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

13) Dark Adrenaline - Lacuna Coil

14) Load - Metallica

15) Metallica - Metallica

16) Ace of Spades - Motorhead

17) Animals - Pink Floyd

18) Alice in Chains - Alice in Chains

19) Dirt - Alice in Chains

20) 13 - Black Sabbath

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Redoing mine in no particular order:

1. MASTER OF PUPPETS by Metallica: still the greatest metal album ever made. Battery is probably the best album opener ever, too. Can't beat this.

2. SOUTH OF HEAVEN by Slayer: a close second to MoP, but easily the most evil album ever made.

3. HOLY DIVER by Dio: hit after fucking hit from the best singer in metal history. The band is tightest on this one and the riffs are strong.

4. NUMBER OF THE BEAST by Iron Maiden: the first Maiden album I ever bought. It was a tape. It has the strongest B side of any album I've ever heard. The A side ain't bad either. 

5. APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION by Guns N Roses: hands down the best rock album ever made.

6. BLACK RIBBONS by Shooter Jennings and Hierophant: Shooter Jennings is the only country artist I like right now other than Hank III. This is not only a country record, it's a psychedelic rock record and a concept album about the last night of free radio in a fascist America starring Stephen King as a radio DJ. It's fucking amazing.

7. VOL. 4 by Black Sabbath: Sabbath, like Judas Priest is a band I have such trouble picking a favourite album from that  almost left them off the list. The Ozzy era has five amazing records and the Dio era has two or three. But this one has Supernaut, which in my opinion is probably top three songs ever made. 

8. TALKING BOOK by Stevie Wonder: the funkiest.

9. HERETIC PRIDE by The Mountain Goats: the folkiest.

10. LEVIATHAN by Mastodon: a go-to band for me for the past fifteen years. Their best album in my opinion. Best metal album of the past 20 years.

11. PROWLER IN THE YARD by Pig Destroyer: ferocious and brutal. Grindcore at its finest. JR Hayes is maybe the finest lyricist of our time. It's so metal that you can't understand any of the words.

12. SOUL SEARCHING SUN by Life of Agony: it's doom; it's NY hardcore; it's modern rock; it's goth. It's better than all that.

13. SUPERUNKNOWN by Soundgarden: One of the only grunge records of the era to stand the test of time. 

14. HOUDINI by The Melvins: they've got like 25 albums so it's hard to choose one, but this is one of the all-time great metal releases. Sludge metal that influenced the grunge movement and manages to be better than all of it. Their cover of Goin Blind by KISS is amazing. Honey Bucket and Night Goat are classics too.

15. BLAST TYRANT by Clutch: still hard to pick a favorite from these guys, but this solidified their modern sound and really have some ragers as well as some mid-tempo blues tunes that kill.

16. BILLION DOLLAR BABIES by Alice Cooper: the best Cooper record by a long shot for me.

17. SCANDINAVIAN LEATHER by Turbonegro: so much party.

18. DAMAGED by Black Flag: pure hardcore punk. Such an amazing record.

19. LONDON CALLING by The Clash: always the best punk album of all-time.

20. STATIC AGE by The Misfits: another amazing punk record.

Runners-up would be those mentioned in my last post who didn't make the new one, MONOLITH OF INHUMANITY by Cattle Decapitation, YELLOW & GREEN by Baroness, CALIFORNIA by Mr. Bungle, MISS MACHINE by The Dillinger Escape Plan and HAMMER OF THE WITCH by Ringworm

Edited by Dread

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Over a year has gone by, big changes to be made:

All Velvet Underground Albums Equally (Nico, White Light / White Heat, Self-Titled, Loaded, V.U., & The Matrix Tapes)
Bitches Brew – Miles Davis
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – John Lennon
Let It Be - The Replacements
Lola vs Powerman and Moneygoround, Part One – The Kinks
Mingus Ah Um  - Charles Mingus
On Fire - Galaxie 500
Reflektor - Arcade Fire
Smiley Smile – The Beach Boys
Strange Days – The Doors
Surf - Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
Surfa Rosa – The Pixies
The Basement Tapes – The Band & Bob Dylan
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan
The White Album – The Beatles
The Disintegration Loops - William Basinski
Transformer - Lou Reed
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Is This It - The Strokes
Yeezus - Kanye West

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Three years later, let's see how I've changed: 

1) Deconstruction - Devin Townsend Project

2) Is This The Life We Really Want - Roger Waters

3) Wasting Light - Foo Fighters

4) Rainbow - Kesha

5) Vapor Trails Remixed - Rush

6) Among The Living - Anthrax

7) Lateralus - Tool

8) Horse of Colors - Hanggai

9) Blackstar - David Bowie

10) Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures

11) Devil Electric - Devil Electric

12) Mouth Moods - Neil Cicierega

13) Transcendence - Devin Townsend Project

14) Worship Music - Anthrax

15) 2112 - Rush

16) Level 8 - Miracle of Sound

17) Pacificsticuffs - Diablo Swing Orchestra

18) The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

19) Seal The Deal And Let's Boogie - Volbeat

20) Terria - Devin Townsend

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In alphabetical order...

Greatest Hits - 2pac


Because the Internet - Childish Gambino

Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Cliff Martinez and other artists

Corrine Bailey Rae (Self Titled Album) - Corrine Bailey Rae

Baduizm - Erykah Badu

Demon Dayz - Gorillaz

Plastic Beach - Gorillaz

Liquid Swords - GZA

Take Me To Your Leader - King Geedorah

Madvillainy - Madvillain

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye

Operation: Doomsday - MF DOOM

Thriller - Michael Jackson

Kind of Blue - Miles Davis

Love Deluxe - Sade

Seal II (1994) - Seal

Flower Boy - Tyler the Creator

Vaudeville Villain - Viktor Vaughn

Cowboy Bebop (Original Soundtrack 3) Blue - Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts



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