The List, 2006, #70-61

America takes a solid 50% of the slots in this section – good job, boys and girls. But first, there are a couple of Canadians and a bunch of Brits that I gotta deal with…


70. Rush : Moving Pictures (1981)


I was in 6th grade, I think, when this came out, and it was so cool. It was heavy, but modern; there were cool videos; there was a song, that nobody understood, about Tom Sawyer! 25 years later, it’s not quite as modern, and it’s definitely less cool. But it’s still got some of the best technical playing around, and the first side still rocks.

69. Neil Young – Live Rust (1979)


Ideally, I put this record on at about 7:30, on a summer Saturday afternoon. Then I sit on the porch and drink beers. The acoustic set should last just until the sun goes down.

68. The Police – Regatta De Blanc (1979)


It’s a little less polished and a little more silly than “Zenyatta Mondatta”. And unlike that other Police record, it wasn’t a college favorite. So, even though it’s closing in on 30 years old, it sounds fresher to my ears. “And when the wombat comes / He will find me gone”. Yup.

67. Replacements : Let It Be (1984)


It’s everything you could want in a Replacements record. It has mindless fun: Gary’s Got A Boner, Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out; Big Star-ish stuff: Favorite Thing, Sixteen Blue; classic Westerberg heartbreak songs: Unsatisfied, and the awesome Answering Machine. Plus, a KISS cover!

66. Sunny Day Real Estate : Diary (1994)


It’s grand and soaring, beautiful. These are rock anthems, generally (but not always) loud and driving, sometimes soft and delicate. But always, the singer’s unique voice and generally incomprehensible lyrics make the songs mysterious – you know he means it, but you don’t know what he means. The lyrics might be in the liner notes, but at this point, I don’t want to know what they are. This will always remind me of cool autumn Sunday afternoons, sitting in my car in Rochester’s Mt. Hope cemetery, munching on Taco Bell: 2 soft tacos (no cheese), pintos and cheese, Dr Pepper. I just don’t like un-melted cheese.

65. Dinosaur Jr. : You’re Living All Over Me (1987)


The album’s full of strange melodies, guitar effects, feedback, and head-scratching lyrics, Neil Young-style guitar solos and the lazy, whining vocals of J Mascis. Plus, the whole thing sounds like it’s been pushed through a TV speaker. It took me a long time to get into this record, because it sounds so alien, but once I did… yay!

64. Yo La Tengo : Fakebook (1990)


90% of this record is covers, mostly obscure things from the 60s and 70s. While this doesn’t highlight YLT’s songwriting, it does prove that they have good taste in music. And more importantly, it shows just how much fun they are as a band. The backups on Emulsified are awesome – and who can not like a song about being emulsified?

63. Robyn Hitchcock : Storefront Hitchcock (1998)


This is a live album, so, like all live albums, it’s also a Best Of collection. I’ve tried to avoid those kind of collections here, but because Robyn is so prolific his really good songs are scattered all over the place. This puts a bunch in the same place and gives them his typical live treatment: him and a guitar, though other people show up to play along on a few songs. The film version of this is good, too – it was the first DVD I ever bought.

62. Nirvana – Unplugged (1994)


Took me until last year to finally buy a copy, because it took that long for me to get over the Nirvana saturation I received in the mid-90’s. But, happily, I think this is great. I like that the covers are obscure. I like that they didn’t do Smells Like Teen Spirit. And I like that they mostly avoided their other hits, too – I didn’t need to hear those Nevermind songs quite yet. They did two big hits, of course: Come As You Are and the fantastic version of my favorite Nirvana song evah, All Apologies.

61. The Cure : Happily Ever After (1981)

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This is a US-only double CD set which includes both of their “Seventeen Seconds” and “Faith” albums, and it’s how I first heard these two. They are each dark, lean, and introspectve records. “Faith”, the later of the two, is a bit more agressive than the other – not quite so many dirges. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything to smile about. This is The Cure at their most melancholy, and I don’t think there’s a happy thought to be found on either. Still, I find their profound gloom beautiful.


Next time (Monday), we’ll finish off the top 50 and get into what I consider the meaty part of the list.

Previous 100-91, 90-81, 80-71.

4 thoughts on “The List, 2006, #70-61

  1. cleek Post author

    BushYouth wrote: Three beers at 7:30 in the morning?

    but I wrote: …7:30, on a summer Saturday afternoon…

    i guess if you were on Guam my afternoon would be your morning.

  2. Pingback: cleek » The List, 2006, #40-31

  3. Pingback: cleek » Shakey

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