Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Top Ten: Best Non-Beatles Albums

1 - The Joshua Tree (1987) by U2

2 - Highway 61 Revisited (1965) by Bob Dylan

3 - Pet Sounds (1966) by the Beach Boys

4 - What's Going On (1971) by Marvin Gaye

5 - Thriller (1982) by Michael Jackson

6 - Blonde on Blonde (1966) by Bob Dylan

7 - Nevermind (1991) by Nirvana

8 - Woodface (1991) by Crowded House

9 - Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) by Simon and Garfunkel

10 - Achtung Baby (1991) by U2


Kevin A. McIlwain said...

1 - Pet Sounds should be #1. This negates your list.

2 - Nirvana is WAY too high. Dylan is WAY too high...twice!

3 - Curiously missing from the list are Pearl Jam's Ten and The Sound of Music soundtrack. Never met a musician that didn't place Ten higher than Nevermind. Critics (non-musicians), yes. Musicians, no. And for sheer sing-a-long, value, it's all about The Sound of Music.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Pet Sounds is probably the most beautiful album ever made and I love it...but I happen to think those two albums are slightly "better".

Nevermind ranked #17 on RS's all-time list...I'm not the only one who likes it!

I generally didn't count soundtracks, esp. of movie musicals...The Sound of Music was a Broadway show first, whereas the albums I picked were first and foremost albums. Had I included soundtracks, probably The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, A Hard Day's Night, and Purple Rain all would have beaten Sound. We'll see; maybe that's a future list for me.

I certainly don't apologize for having lots of Dylan, one of the two classic masters of the form (the Beatles being the other artist).

As far as Ten...a good album...I've never heard of anyone - critic or musician - who placed it higher than Nevermind. RS placed it at #207 all-time...certainly a lot lower than Nirvana. You may be all alone on that one.

At any rate, these kinds of lists - mine, Rolling Stone's, VH1's, or anyone's - are meant to spur fun discussion. No one has to agree with me...although, I'm right.

Charlotte said...

I agree... this is one of my favorite albums, too... Great stuff...

James Elston said...

Nevermind by Nirvana?
never would have thought to see that on your list.

but then again what do I know?

Keith H. McIlwain said...

I dig Nirvana...I've liked them since "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Kevin A. McIlwain said...

As I've said, I've never heard any musician place Nevermind higher than Ten. Artistically, it's just a long shot. Nevermind is the more successful album; certainly historically the more important album. But better? No. Just as Pet Sounds is far better artistically than, say, The Rolling Stones Satanic Majesty album, though the Stones outsold Pet Sound. Ten is just a better work. Give it another listen. It's that good.

Jann Wenner's RS magazine is your source? Hardly a good source for this stuff. Dave Clark Five, anyone?

Look, Nirvana was a decent pop band. No denying that. They hit the right chord at the right time, and helped alter the landscape. And along the way they wrote and recorded some decent pop tunes. But they were never as good (musically) as Pearl Jam (save for perhaps Dave Grohl); they're songs were never as good lyrically (compare "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to "Alive"). Give Ten another listen and you'll see what I mean.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Heard 'em both...both good...Nevermind better. Again, I've read a lot from critics and musicians and have never heard ANY musician say that Ten is better...most musicians don't seem to even THINK in those terms, as do geeks like me. I have heard a LOT of musicians GUSH about Nirvana, Nevermind, and Kurt Cobain. No question about that. If you have any examples, email them to me; I'd love to read them. There are, obviously, a TON of musicians who gush about Nevermind.

Either way, though, it's fine. Anyone can prefer either album and it's fine, even if that choice runs counter to the opinions of many others. That's what makes lists like this fun.

John said...

I'm with you on Nirvana.