MoSS? Presents… The Undisputed Top Albums Ever, #100-91

Yep, we’re making a list. Two separate lists, actually, so the above graphic is a bit misleading. Accounting for the limited overlap in Todd’s and Chris’ lists, it’s more like the top 174 or something like that.

Anyway, after months of scientific analysis, hours of listening and re-listening to albums from years gone by, we have arrived at a definitive list of the top albums ever recorded. Our research is not open to interpretation, but you’re more than welcome to complain about the fact that your favorite albums aren’t on this list; we’ll simply respond by telling you that your favorite records aren’t really all that good.

Here are some spoilers: you’re not going to find the typical hipster stuff like Neutral Milk Hotel or Slint or even stuff one/both of us actually likes such as DJ Shadow or Pavement. This isn’t Rolling Stone so you’re not going to find Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Pet Sounds at the top. Wham’s Make It Big was snubbed.

We’re not going to roll it all out at once; no sense rushing through all this quality music! But Music or Space Shuttle? is gonna be pretty busy over the next two months.

That’s enough of an intro. Let’s get on with it…

Chris’ 100-91

(click play button below to sample these 10 albums)

100. Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking

99. Ice Cube, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted

98. Pet Shop Boys, Please

97. Rodrigo y Gabriela, Rodrigo y Gabriela

96. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat

95. Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blood, Sweat & Tears

94. Motley Crue, Too Fast for Love

93. Hooray for Earth, True Loves

92. The Cure, Seventeen Seconds

91. Ministry, The Land of Rape and Honey

A CLOSER LOOK AT…

#95: Blood, Sweat & Tears, Blood, Sweat & Tears

blood sweat and tears self-titledIt might seem a bit odd to see this album on my list, ahead of Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking and albums that won’t make my list like Alice in Chains’ Dirt or Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. (That’s right, I couldn’t find room for either of those. Dirt is probably my #101; Mellon Collie needs to be a single disc.) But here it is all the same.

This is a pick of sentimentality. This is the first “real” record I remember listening to as a child. We were living in Eagan, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. I used to dance around like a little banshee to “Spinning Wheel”; my parents might not remember this, but I truly do remember getting scolded for jumping around on my bed during the instrumental breakdown a little over halfway through the song. Good times.

Nowadays it’s one of those “right mood” records, but when I’m in that zone, I love hearing stuff like “Sometimes in Winter” or “More and More” and the aforementioned “Spinning Wheel,” the song that represents the album in my playlist above. Better stop typing before Mom and Dad come in and yell at me…

#91 Ministry, The Land of Rape and Honey

cover for the land of rape and honeyI remember first hearing Ministry over at my friend Jeff Perry’s house. He had the 12″ Singles compilation, which features “Everyday Is Halloween” and the unfairly maligned “The Nature of Love” (I still think that song is OK). I thought it was decent synth pop. Flash forward a couple of years: I go golfing with my cousin Mark; he’s wearing combat boots and a Ministry T-shirt that has a skull on it. Same group? Nah, couldn’t be. I don’t ask.

Then one summer, my friend Brian’s cousins roll up to Iowa from San Antonio. One of them, Billy, is armed with Ministry cassettes, including one called The Land of Rape and Honey. We throw it in the Ford Tempo tape deck, and “Stigmata” subsequently blows my mind and scares me a little bit. For weeks (certainly for the rest of Billy’s stay) I find myself annoying people by using my voice to make the guitar riff noise from that song (duh duh duh duh DUNNNNNN!!!).

The rest of the disc is great too. Odd chants, mad drumming, Kevin Dillon samples from Platoon…this album had a little bit of everything. Even my Grandma Clair liked it, coming into the room dancing while I was listening to the powerhouse second track, “The Missing.” I even crashed a car listening to this album. Yep, sounds like the 91st best album of all time.

Todd’s 100-91

(click play button below to sample these 10 albums)

100. Radiohead, The Bends

99. Hoodoo Gurus, Mars Needs Guitars

98. Michael Jackson, Thriller

97. Motley Crue, Dr. Feelgood

96. Bjork, Debut

95. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Evan Sank

94. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin

93. The Rolling Stones, Some Girls

92. The Church, Gold Afternoon Fix

91. Eels, Daisies of the Galaxies

A CLOSER LOOK AT…

#94 Band of Horses, Cease to Begin

This record is a bit of as sentimental pick for me. It came out in early October 2007, and was on fairly heavy rotation on the alternative satellite radio stations. One day around that time, I was running errands for my very pregnant wife. My daughter, who at the time was 3 years old, was with me. The song “Is There a Ghost?” came on the radio. It’s a pretty simple tune with basically one verse repeated over and over behind slow building guitars.

I could sleep
I could sleep
I could sleep
I could sleep
When I lived alone
Is there a ghost in my house?

Since this was around Halloween and the song had the word ghost in it, my daughter thought it was cool and asked to listen to it again. When we got home I bought the record to play on future car trips with her (anything to get a break from the Annie soundtrack). After a few listens though, I realized the rest of the record was very good too. I generally am not a fan of country rock or down home type rock but this was different. The big reverb filled vocals and sweeping guitars really sucked me in. Band of Horses was a mainstay on my iPod for the next few months.

It was actually playing in the car as I drove my wife to the hospital to deliver my son. So whenever I hear Cease to Begin, I think of both of my kids. Plus, how can you go wrong with a record that has a song titled after former NBA superstar Detlef Schrempf?

#92 The Church, Gold Afternoon Fix

When I started the 9th grade, all I really listened to was hair metal and classic rock music. That was until a friend of mine introduced me to a few albums his older brother brought back from college. It was my first exposure to so-called “College Music” bands like The Cure, HooDoo Gurus, The Connells and many more (some of which you will see on this list). I was hooked right there. I have gotten into other genres of music since then but have never strayed far from “alternative” or  “college” or “indie” or “whatever they are calling it now” music.

Back to #92. One of the records my friend had me listen to was Gold Afternoon Fix by The Church. I couldn’t stop listening to it. Maybe it was the excitement of hearing new type of music. It was all dark and moody and at that age I think sometimes you need to feel dark and moody. Whatever the reason, I thought it was great and this record definitely shaped my future musical tastes.

It wasn’t until later that I found out the band basically hated this release. I read an interview where the lead singer Steve Kilbey called the album lousy, hashed together and hideous.  I would agree that The Church albums before (Starfish) and after (Priest=Aura) are probably better all-around albums but I discovered Gold Afternoon Fix first and it holds a special place in my heart. Lousy? Really? Let’s look at a small sample of lyrics from the song “Metropolis.”

Back in Metropolis, circuses and elephants
Where the oranges grew
Back in Metropolis nothing can ever topple us
When I’m standing with you
Back in Metropolis talk about a holocaust
And then visit the zoo

OK, maybe that is a bit hashed together and lousy. I still love it.

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5 comments on “MoSS? Presents… The Undisputed Top Albums Ever, #100-91

  1. If these are the only Motley albums on each of your lists, come on … “Shout at the Devil” is WAYYYYY better, dudes.

    And I couldn’t agree more about that Band of Horses record. Still make my own personal CD mixes (or iPod playlists now), and I’ve used four songs off that album … the aforementioned “Is There A Ghost” and “Detlef Schrempf,” as well as “The General Specific” and “No One’s Gonna Love You.” Hence, one of my favorite albums of the last five years.

    Guys, post your track listings for a single-disc version of “Mellon Collie.” Each disc had 14 songs, so go with the top 14 overall. Here’s mine:

    Mellon Collie And the Infinite Sadness
    Tonight, Tonight
    Jellybelly
    Zero
    Here Is No Why
    Bullet With Butterfly Wings
    Galapogos
    Muzzle
    Porcelina
    Where Boys Fear to Tread
    Bodies
    Thru The Eyes of Ruby
    XYU
    Farewell and Goodnight

    (if you can combine the title track with “Tonight, “Tonight” (which I always kinda have anyway), then you can add “Thirty-Three” back in. But “1979” has no spot on my list … that song was the song that led to the backslide/new direction and I still resent it.)

    • My 14 song Mellon Collie Playlist (which I entitled “Mellon Toddie and His Infinite Badness”) is:

      Mellon Collie And the Infinite Sadness
      Tonight, Tonight
      Zero
      Here Is No Why
      Cupid De Locke
      Galapogos
      Muzzle
      Porcelina
      33
      1979
      In the Arms of Sleep
      Beautiful
      Thru The Eyes of Ruby
      By Starlight

      I’ve always loved 1979. Don’t think it was the start of a back slide. Maybe the song that started the over exposure though. That’s what turned me off about it. Still a great song though.

  2. I should clarify: What I meant by the start of the backslide is that Corgan supposedly said in the time after the release of “Mellon Collie” that fans should look to “1979” and “Eye” as the direction for the next album. Then “The End is the Beginning is the End” came out (which I didn’t necessarily hate, but was cautiously a tad worried after hearing it), followed by “Adore.” Not a good album by a long shot, but I still think the songs that are good on it — namely “To Sheila,” “Shame,” “Ava Adore” and “For Martha” — are actually really good, if not great. But they were a different band after that and for forever more. I guess I just still resent the change in direction that began after “Siamese Dream” (which along with “Gish” occupies spots 1 and 2 interchangably on my own personal all-time list) and started in earnest with “Mellon Collie,” even though I think it’s still a great album. The defining “jump the shark” moment was when Billy Corgan said goodbye to his disco shirts and polyester pants from the Siamese Dream tour and showed up on SNL with his head shaved and looking all goth in 1995.

  3. I did this once, with the confines being “has to fit on one CD-R” so I have 15 songs.

    Mellon Collie…
    Tonight, Tonight
    Where Boys Fear to Tread
    Bodies
    Muzzle
    Bullet with Butterfly Wings
    Galapagos
    Thru the Eyes of Ruby
    Cupid de Locke
    1979
    Thirty-three
    X.Y.U.
    We Only Come Out at Night
    Porcelina
    Zero

    A pretty “populist” playlist, as I look at it.

  4. Pingback: The great Smashing Pumpkins fantasy draft: An introduction | Music or Space Shuttle?

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