Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #90 to 81

We roll on – nine more posts to go! The quest is to listen to all 500 of Rolling Stone Magazines 500 Greatest Albums of all Time (v. 2012), one after the other- every note of every song -without looking ahead. This has been the easy part. Then writing about it. This group of ten started out…well…a little suspect but then kicked in and overall was fantastic – including three that I was expecting a little later. Several overdue debuts also strike this group of ten. With only 80 to go, I am guessing that will be a common comment. The Wall #87?…

20150516-213542.jpg#90 Stevie Wonder Talking Book 1972
Stevie’s second album on the list. This one brought us “Sunshine of My Life” and the classic “Superstition”. I enjoyed it, respect Mr. Wonder’s contribution to music – but was not particularly overwhelmed with it – especially as expectations skyrocket now that we are inside the Top 100.

20150516-213550.jpg#89 Dusty Springfield Dusty in Memphis 1969
Her one (and likely only) album on the chart. Her belting out of “Son of a Preacher Man” makes it a Top 500 entry alone. The rest of the album was good also – “Don’t Forget About Me” was a particular favorite of this blogger. #89 though? Who am I to judge? It must have a strong fan or two in among the 250 judges to appear here. In the right frame of mind – I would look this one up again.

20150516-213557.jpg#88 Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison. 1968
This was great! And worthy of a few good laughs. Keeping the audience in mind – how did this setlist every get approved? “25 Minutes to Go” – a nugget – is about a deathrow inmates last 25 minutes before he hangs. “Cocaine Blues” was another winner among the detainees, and the big hit “Folsom Prison Blues” with the classic line – “shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die.”.
The banter with the inmates and warden keeps it real. A gem. Mr. Cash’s second on the list AND our 3rd(?) Live at a Prison album.

20150516-213602.jpg#87 Pink Floyd The Wall 1979
You know Roger Waters is pissed to have his opus appear as low at #87 (and most likely the second- perhaps third -greatest Floyd album of all time). I am surprised this one appeared here as well. “Comfortably Numb”, “Run like Hell”, “Mother”, “Young Lust”, “Hey You”, and “Another Brick in the Wall”. There are not many albums ahead that can rattle off that many hits – classic rock hits. And then you weave in the story behind it – I have not played it in years – my bad. It remains fantastic.

20150516-213608.jpg#86 Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA. 1984
Bruce is back – his 7th on the list- but his first pop album. His biggest selling album ever. This is another one with a ton of hit songs (7 singles were released) – and on a single album. The best song on the album – an all time roadtripping favorite for this blogger – is the one non-hit “Downbound Train”. Give it a listen if you are unfamiliar with it – after the opening line “I had a job/I had a girl” it slowly unravels. It appeared in the top 10 albums of the year for 1985 in eight countries. The French raised their nose to it – rating in #19 (Just behind the Supertrammp release).

20150516-213612.jpg#85 Aretha Franklin Lady Soul 1968.
About Time! The Queen of Soul is on the board. I was beginning to worry that her appearance would be some 8 CD box set. This was a straight up studio album (surprisingly Aretha’s 14th) bringing up “Chain of Fools” and the classic in-the-car-singalong (regardless of gender) “Natural Women”. Admittedly, I put in on repeat on Spotify during a long drive and played it again.

20150516-213618.jpg#84 Aretha Franklin I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You 1967.
This is how you treat a Queen. We go back-to-back Aretha studio albums – no compilations! – in the Top 100. I am wishing now I did not play the first one twice. This was a beauty – “Respect”, Dr. Feelgood”, and “Do Right Woman/Do Right Man”. A fine showing.

20150516-213623.jpg#83 Jimi Hendrix Axis: Bold as Love 1968
Jimi is on the board – Finally. This was his debut album – blows my mind this was way back in 1968. “Little Wing” remains one of my most played songs – from numerous artists – ever. That song has appeared more times on this countdown than Jimi. “Bold As Love” was the other hit. He will be back…

20150516-213629.jpg#82 Neil Young Harvest. 1972
Definitely in the top ten of the most played albums of my life – well at least the first three songs. This was my bedtime/passout album -starting with “I think I’ll pack it in and buy a pick-up” and I was usually made it till the third song ” A Man Needs a Maid”, which wiped me out everytime. “Old Man”, “The Needle and the Damage Done” and a favorite “Words” are all great tunes. The song “Alabama” received the appropriate reply in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”. Neil’s fourth on the list – two with Crazy Horse. I am hoping to see one more.

20150516-213635.jpg#81 The Clash The Clash 1979
We have gone 316 albums since the last Clash Album. I am guessing we will see another one about 20 spaces higher. A perfect lift me up after “Harvest”.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #100 to 91

The never ending project drives on. Listening, then writing about Rolling Stone Magazines Greatest 500 Albums of All Time. In order and in their entirety, without looking ahead. We are now on the Top 100. The last ten posts. This is going to be great!

20141230-225015.jpg#100. The Zombies. Odessey and Oracle. 1969
Ok, an interesting opening to the greatest of the greats. The Zombies, ahead of the Byrds, Who, etc., in the genre. My rule is not to judge and respect the curators fantastic list. I dunno though. “Time of the Season” was the big hit. A great song. Loved “Care of Cell 44” to open the album. My nugget was “A Rose for Emily”. Surprising amount of piano throughout the album. Enjoyed it, but remain a bit baffled to hear it here. Curiously, we are awaiting a new album from those Zombies remaining. Of course, they would never die off.

20141230-225044.jpg#99. Sly and the Family Stone. There’s a Riot Going On. 1971.
Sky’s third on the list. Funk is not my genre, but I have enjoyed many of these on the list – this one included- and even gone back and played a few a second and third time. “Family Affair” was the hit. Bring me a rock album please.

20141230-225051.jpg#98. Elvis Costello. This Year’s Model. 1978
Elvis Costello returns for a surprise fourth time, which at this juncture is three more than The Elvis, who hopefully will catch up as we go forward (although I feel a 10 album box set from The Elvis on the horizon). Nonetheless, this was a great album. “Pump it Up” was the hit. Tons of nuggets: “Chelsea” (ok, this is not a true nugget), “Little Triggers”, “Lip Service”, etc. an unexpected, but deserving entry.

20141230-225057.jpg#97 Bob Dylan. The Freewheeling Bob Dylan. 1963
Bob is back. New Bob, Old Bob, Folk Bob, Country Bob, Rock Bob, Out There Bob. This is his 7th on the list and we have not hit the classics yet – easily three more to go. This one was his second album. Bob with his guitar, harmonica and lyrics that pull you in. We have heard them all. He works some blues into the mix “Down the Highway”, “Bob Dylan’s Blues”, “Corrina, Corrina” with this one. Even with a little Bob fatigue – there is respect- and this was a beauty.

20141230-225104.jpg#96. The Who. Tommy. 1969
The greatest rock opera ever? Who I am to say. The Who’s 5th on the list. A no-doubt Top 100 entry. “We’re Not Going to Take It”, “I’m Free”, “Acid Queen”, and the classic “Pinball Wizard”. It was never about the individual songs though, it was the story – told through two albums.

20141230-225110.jpg#95 Miles Davis. Bitches Brew. 1970
Miles second on the list, and perhaps the final jazz album on the list? Again, not my genre. I remain relatively uncultured. Played it through and smiled appreciatively.

20141230-225115.jpg#94. Hank Williams. 40 Greatest Hits. 1978
Country (along with southern-fused rock) has been unrepresented on this list. This is Hank’s one (and I am guessing only) album on the list. At least he gets a top 100 entry – which is deserved. I will refrain from the compilation rant…you have read them already. He wrote “Move it On Over”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, and many others that became oft covered country standards. If you have a little country in you, a recommended listen – although I have never been a fan of the cowboy yodeling featured in a few of the tunes. A well-played favorite of my grandfathers.

20141230-225119.jpg#93. Prince. Sign O’ The Times. 1987
By process of elimination, I knew Prince has to have one in the Top 100. I had another one in mind. I am sure Purple Rain is on the way. “U Got the Look” has always been a favorite Prince song of mine (it is not a long list). “Hot Thing” and the title track were probably the bigger hits from this one. It is a double album deal – there is greatness mixed in with weirdness creating a hot mess – but a good listen. His third on the list.

20141230-225125.jpg#92 Buddy Holly. 20 Golden Greats. 1978
Buddy Holly rocks. His three albums in the late 50’s were at the beginning of the rock genre. He was also great with his debut, featuring many of these same songs that was on this list way back at 421. That was a body of work. This is a greatest hits compilation – and a fantastic, fun, throwback listen. Loved it! The debut should be represented here – not this one.

20141230-225131.jpg#91. Elton John. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. 1973
Elton’s fifth on the list. Yet another double album in today’s pack of ten. This was a big one for Sir Elton -at least in terms of popularity- “Bennie and the Jets”, “Candle in the Wind (the Marilyn version)”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Saturday Nights All Right for Fighting” (always has been an interesting tune to associate with Elton) were the hits after hits on this one. The haunting 11:00 minute “Funeral for a Friend” opens it – this bloggers favorite of the bunch. A great it ranked high enough?

Thanks for making it this far. 10’more in the queue.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #110 to 101. The Top 100 next!

My quest to listen to and comment on every album on Rolling Stone magazine’s Greatest Albums of All Time continues on after a lengthy life-gets-in-the-way hiatus. I am listening to each album in order, in its entirety – never skipping a song and actually picking up all kinds of bonus material in the re-issues and re-mastered versions. I do not look ahead. Each one a surprise – some more pleasant than others. (Admittedly, I am still baffled and a bit miffed that Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was was only #117 – but the rule is not to pass judgement). Why the restart after the hiatus? Two reasons: One, it has haunted my thoughts leaving it unfinished nearly three quarters of the way there and Two, I received the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Dieedited by Robert Dimery. A new project in the works? Perhaps. Here we go. Welcome back!

20140531-164535.jpg#110. The Velvet Underground. Loaded. 1970
Velvet Underground’s third on the list, and Lou Reed’s fourth appearance. My favorite of the group. “Sweet Jane” was the big hit, although there is this quirky little 15 second intro to kick off the song that was a new twist. “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” was a fun one. Do they have another one on the list?

20140531-164545.jpg#109. The Rolling Stones Aftermath. 1966
The best Stones album of the early years- when new albums were released very six months, not every six years. Their sixth on the list with five, perhaps six left? (Hard to guess with the number of compilations and live albums on the list). “Paint it Black” remains a concert favorite 48 years later. “Under My Thumb” is the great nugget. “Lady Jane”, and even the deep sleeper “Flight 505” are terrific as well. A great listen!

20140531-164552.jpg#108. David Bowie Hunky Dory. 1971
Opening track “Changes” is followed by two piano bar tunes then “Life on Mars?”. A favorite. “A Song for Bob Dylan” and “Queen Bitch” are the nuggets that close it out. Bowies fourth on the list.

20140531-164559.jpg#107. Sam Cooke Potrait of a Legend. 2003
Sam joined the list way back at number 439 with a great live album. This was has them all – “Cupid”, “Twisting the Night Away”, “What a Wonderful World”, “You Send Me”, etc., etc. It was a great listen. I enjoyed it. I remain annoyed by the number of compilations on the list. Fun fact:. “(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons” is covered (somewhat) by Will Ferrel in the movie

20140531-164622.jpg#106. The Ramones Rocket to Russia. 1977
Yes!!! The Ramones have been absent till now on the list. I knew they would be here at some point (Another band from another genre that I am concerned will be omitted is The Allman Brothers – but back to this one). “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”, “Rockaway Beach”, “Cretin Hop” are the ones we know. “I Wanna be Well”, “I Don’t Care”, and “We’re a Happy Family” are the Ramones at their quirky, spot-on best. One of this blogger’s most beloved nuggets “Teenage Lobotomy” appears on this one (See my Very Best Rock songs post on this site). Love these guys. I was briefly on stage with Joey (on my back) at a concert at the University of New Hampshire waaaay back. A bouncer rudely returned me to the slamming crowd.

20140531-164632.jpg#105. Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.1962
Although a difficult transition from The Ramones, a beauty that I was excited to see. Another concert flashback. Ray played the hatch shell in Boston for the July 4th celebration….again yeeeears ago. 100,000+ new friends in attendance. “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was the Grammy winning hit. “You Don’t Know Me” and “O, Lonesome Me” are my nuggets. The Genius’s second on the list. It has been good day of old tunes. Will it continue?

20140531-164637.jpg#104. James Taylor. Sweet Baby James.1970
A good day continues- but not one you could make into a playlist. An extremely wide spectrum of genres. His debut in the list (and likely his only). It is a wonderful, complete album. A great body of work. “Fire and Rain” and the title track were the hits. “Suite for 20 G” and “Anywhere like Heaven” were the nuggets. Smooooth.

20140531-164642.jpg#103. John Coltrane. Giant Steps. 1960
This post continues to add genres without adding any music post-1980. I am not a jazz aficionado, but knew Coltrane was coming. I was thrilled to hear he was represented with a studio album, a body of work, rather than a compilation. Enjoyed it, but the jazz folks would question whether I truly appreciated it.

20140531-164647.jpg#102. Cream. Fresh Cream. 1966
Cream’s 3rd on the list. Clapton’s 7th appearance in four different bands. “Toad” brings us the unappreciated drum solo- thank you Mr. Baker. “Spoonful” and “I Feel Free” were the hits.

20140531-164654.jpg#101. Frank Sinatra. In the Wee Small Hours.1955

The 400th album of the project, and another different sound for today’s pack of ten. I appreciate Frank, but he will never one I go back to. Regardless, a great first day returning to the project.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #120 to 111

After a four month hiatus, the blogging continues. My day job and life in general forced a pause in the writing about Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The listening, however, did continue during my travels. The list is done, completed last Sunday, May 24th – 10 months after it all started. With 10-12 posts to go- I will focus on finishing the blog. Here was the project: to listen to all 500 albums on the list (v. 2012) in order, in their entirety, without looking ahead. Each one was a surprise. The surprise element may lose a little luster here now that I have heard them all, and I will try to stick to my notes without spoilers for what is ahead.

It is good to be back.

20140205-092057.jpg#120 The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo. 1968
The Byrds 4th on the list. The other three I loosely classified as Rock. To my ears this one was all Country – and a great country album it was (and at 120 there can only be a select few of the country classics left on the list- a genre that is perhaps grossly under represented by the curators). Gram Parsons was brilliant – the song “Christian Life” an interesting tune all things considered.

20140205-092104.jpg#119 Etta JamesAt Last. 1961
Etta’s on the board…At Last! A terrific work of music that does not fit into a single genre. The greats can crossover from the blues to soul to gospel effortlessly – and flow it beautifully. Listen to Etta, but you hear Janis, Aretha, perhaps even a Whitney. A fantastic album.

20140205-092109.jpg#118 Kanye West Late Registration. 2005
Is this Rolling Stone Magazine’s greatest rap/hip-hop album of all time? (I believe I said that with Run DMC at #123 also). Will this be the highest ranking album of the 2000’s? This one brought us the hit “Gold Digger” and overall a nice story. I was thankful it was too new to have a 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe edition. I would have jabbed pencils in my ears. Is he great? (And honestly, this one did pull me in- intently hearing the entire disk) or did Kanye just make us all believe he is. It will be interesting to see where this lies on the 2020 version of the list.

20140205-092114.jpg#117 Derek and the Dominoes. Layla and other Assorted Love Songs. 1970
The list is awesome, and I have committed to not bash the selections or rankings, maintaining an open mind and appreciation for the work of the curators. I set that rule aside for a moment here. I am stunned this is here. No way are 116 albums greater than this one. It’s a double album deal- that is one of my personal most played of all times. The songs are great – “Bellbottomed Blues”, a great version of “Little Wing”, and the title track, but I have always played the album beginning to end – it flows, you sing along, it’s just awesome. Been dumped lately by a love interest? This album features four of the greatest I-just-got-ditched songs ever- “Bellbottom Blues”, “Why does Love Have to be so Sad”, “Have you Ever Loved a Woman”, and “Nobody Loves you when your Down and Out”. This is Mr. Clapton’s 7th (?) appearance on the list with his 5th different band. It should be much higher – my first protest has been filed.

20140205-092120.jpg#116. Rolling Stones. Out of Our Heads. 1965
A classic from the Brian Jones years. This one brings us the #2 song (and the #1 riff) on Rolling Stone Magazines’ 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list- “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. “Play with Fire” and “Last Time” were two additional hits. The nuggets are deep on this one: “Spider and the Fly” is always a fun listen, “Cry to Me”, and a great harmonica on “One More Try”. Great back to back albums. Stones add a fifth to the list.

20140205-092125.jpg#115 The Who. The Who Sell Out. 1968
The Who’s 6th on the list. A few too many novelty cuts for me. Weird Al picked up some inspiration perhaps, I was just annoyed with it. There were some gems: “I Can See for Miles” was the hit. “Hall of the Mountain King” was my nugget from the album. “Silas Stingy” was a unique tale that is worthy of another listen. From the two prior to this…it really was not worthy. More of The Who to come..guaranteed.

20140205-092131.jpg#114 Cream. Disraeli Gears. 1967
Clapton returns for an 8th time. Cream’s second in the list. A classic (I will try to restrain myself from using that term for the 113- which they are sure to be). “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Strange Brew”, and “Tale of Brave Ulysses” are the ones you know. The rest of it is just a great jam.


#113 Joni Mitchell. Court and Spark. 1974
Wow! Perhaps my first listen to and entire body of work from Joni Mitchell. My bad. Her voice pulled me in and never lost me. Greatly exceeded expectations – I was anticipating something more….boring. “Help Me” is the hit. “Raised on Robbery” my nugget. After finishing the project last week, I seeked this one out to add to my 500 nuggets play list.


#112 The Mammas and the Pappas. If You Can Believe your Eyes and Ears. 1966
Their first on the list. “Monday, Monday” was the hit. “Go Where Your Want to Go” was the gem for this blogger. The rest just kind of played on and did not really grab me. I know, I know…they were a big deal in the 60’s.

20140205-092146.jpg#111 Radiohead. The Bends. 1995
Their fourth on the list, and not the one I was expecting to see next – so there must be one more to come. I could not tell you the name of a song on this album and I played parts of it twice. What I do know is that I really enjoyed this one. This was either a little less weird or my ears have adapted to it. In the right frame of mind – I would dial is up again.

The next post will feature album #400 into the project. Wow. To my eight regulars, Thanks for your patience.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #130 to 121

I can see the light of the top 100! After six months of listening, then blogging- poorly, to the Rolling Stone Magazines’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, in order, in their entirety, skipping nothing – no matter the pain – the prize is near. The Best 100 Albums Ever – or at least one heralded opinion. I have not looked ahead, so each album is a surprise. Some classics (and a few curator favorites) fall int this batch of ten.

20140127-171241.jpg #130 Television Marquee Moon. 1977

Never heard of them. Apparently not many in the states did. The album never broke the Top 200, selling less than 100,000 copies in the US. I read on, captivated with how a band from a genre and an era where we should have met yet never did, slipped this high up the list. They were apparently not well received – booed actually- on tours opening for Peter Gabriel and then Blondie. Their sounds did not align. They are attributed with starting, or being at the cutting edge, of today’s indie sound. The entire album (less one song) was fantastic, and will be replayed once I am done with this. A great late project find – like one that I was hoping to find near the bottom. A staff favorite to make it this high up the list? Perhaps, but I want them to share the rest of their playlist.

20140127-171247.jpg#129 Talking Heads Remain in the Light. 1980

The T-Heads fourth on the list, and Rolling Stone magazines 4th best album of the 80’s. “Once in a Lifetime” is the one you know…”same as it ever was, same as it ever was”. The rest was even better. A touch of an African drum flair in this one. “Crosseyed and Painless” was a favorite. Foolishly, I believe I have written twice that this will be the last T-Heads album, only to be surprised again. Looking forward to the next one.

20140127-171252.jpg#128 Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power. 1973

The day only keeps getting better. Iggy’s third on the list. 40 minutes of Iggy Noise. Fantastic. “Search and Destroy” was the hit. “Gimme Danger” and “I Need Somebody” are two nuggets. It rocks – loud – front to back. Surprised to read this one only peaked at #182 on the US Charts.

20140127-171258.jpg#127 The Byrds Younger than Yesterday. 1967

The Byrds are on an extended life on this list, their third on the list. “So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star” and “Back Pages” were the hits. I liked it. Awesome? No.

20140127-171304.jpg#126 Bob Marley and the Wailers Catch A Fire. 1973

Bob is back for a 3rd time. Is this the last of regaee? Fewer hits than Exodus at #169, but a better sound and great mix of tunes. “Stir it Up” and “Kiny Regaee” are the ones you know. “Stop That Train”, “Concrete Jungle” and “400 Years” are great, great nuggets. Bring me one more!

20140127-171318.jpg#125 Janis Joplin Pearl. 1971

Janis’s second appearance on the list, first as a solo. This was only her second solo studio album…and released posthumously. It has the big ones: “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Mercedes Benz” and a beautifully belted “Cry Baby”. Wow!

20140127-171323.jpg#124 Moby Grape Moby Grape. 1967

What is Moby Grape? 13 songs in right at 30 minutes. A tight psychedelic-ish, blues-ish, twangy-ish album, which was enjoyed. Staff favorite?

20140127-171328.jpg#123 Run D-M-C Raising Hell. 1986

Classic Rap. Their second showing on the list. I knew a few of these, so I know it must be old. “It’s Tricky”, “Walk This Way” (with Aerosmith) are the hits. A enjoyable flashback.

20140127-171334.jpg#122 Original Soundtrack The Harder They Come. 1973

Jimmy Cliff, et all from an iconic movie (that I will have to look up). Toots and the Maytals’ “Pressure Drop” was a favorite. Regaee is always welcome, although this seems a little misplaced to me.

20140127-171338.jpg#121 Sly and the Family Stone Stand. 1969

Their second on the list. This was a fantastic romp. “Everyday People” still makes its way onto radio or television. “I Want to Take You Higher” and “You Cank Make It if you Try” were the gems.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #140 to 131

I am listening to all 500 of Rolling Stone Magazines’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In order, all the way through, without looking ahead. A frustration bubbled up on this group of ten, as you will read. As we approach the Top 100, the expectations for solid entries increases. Perhaps we are in a thread of staff favorites, those bands and albums a music curator has a deep passion for. We see them here saving the Top 100 for the truly exceptional. Here are ten more. Thanks for staying with me.

20140119-224415.jpg#140 Blondie Parallel Lines. 1978

Pleased to see this one, and it has aged better than the lead singer (if you saw her on the 2014 New Years Eve Special). “Heart of Glass”, “One Way or Another”, “Hanging on the Telephone” were the hits among a solid album.

20140119-224422.jpg#139 The Meters Rejuventation. 1974

Funk is fun. “Just Kissed my Baby”, “Africa” and “Whatcha Say” were the gems. “Hey Pocky A Way” was known to me as a Grateful Dead song, they covered it in several of their shows.

20140119-224430.jpg#138 Dr. Dre The Chronic. 1992

My open mind for rap closed on this audio gansta porn selection. I had to take this one in small bites. “Nuthing but a G Thang” was the hit. Snoop Dogg gets his start here. It sold a lot, was considered influential. For me, it sucked. Harsh is the hook. The beats and the lyrics were just lame. I hope we are nearing the finale of the rap genre on this list.

20140119-224437.jpg#137 The Replacements Tim. 1985

Sweet! A second Replacements album on the list. A terrific album, all nuggets. “Bastards of Young”, “Here Comes A Regular”, and “Swinging Party” were the less obscure gems. For the deep sleeper songs try “Waitress in the Sky” and “Left of the Dial”.

20140119-224443.jpg#136 Elton John Greatest Hits. 1974

Bullshit! For Elton’s fourth on the list, we are given a greatest hits compilation. A few of the songs have appeared on the three previous albums. No disrespect to Sir Elton. He deserves better. Not saying this was a bad album. It has all his big hits, was an enjoyable blast to the last, but C’mon. I am concerned about the artists that we have not heard from at all or very little such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis, The Ramones, the Clash, the Allman Brothers are going to be represented with complete recordings and compilations further up this list and not from a single body of work – the true definition of an album in my eyes.

20140119-224450.jpg#135 Pavement Slanted and Enchanted. 1992

This list, thankfully, is not about popularity. Although I would be curious to see the sales figures of each on the list. This would not be near the top of that list. When I have taken a few hours or a day off of working The List, I have returned to Pavement to work them into my listening mix. This is their second on the list, and must be one of the Rolling Stone list curators favorite. I am a new fan.

20140125-215914.jpg#134 The Notorious BIG Ready to Die. 1994

I was reminded of a text I sent earlier in this project where I declared Notorious BIG my favorite rapper. The fact that I admitted having a favorite is progress. The genre itself would not make my top 100. Mexican Banda, Panamanian regaeeton, and the throat singers of mongolia may still rate higher. I do like the Notorious BIG sound, rather Soprano-ish…the chatter not so much.

20140119-224455.jpg#133 Bruce Springsteen The Wild, The Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle. 1973

The Boss is back for a sixth time. This one brings us “Rosalita” and “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”.

20140119-224500.jpg#132 Various Artists The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack. 1977

A “disco sucks” guy in the day, this one did light up the genre. I forgot there was such a variety of artists on this album. It was not all the brothers Gibbs. KC and The Sunshine Band, The Trammps, etc., also contributed. A ton of hits “Staying Alive”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Night Fever”, yadda, yadda. One thing though, it is a soundtrack so there are long lapses between the hits of background filler music. Play it once every 40 years and it is not bad.

20140119-224505.jpg#131 Black Sabbath. Paranoid. 1970

Metal returns! Black Sabbath’s third on the list. “Iron Man”, “War Pigs”, “Paranoid” the three you know among eight metal gems. My head is still banging. Great way to end the ten.

Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time Project: #150 to 141

The top 30% are now being tapped in my project to listen to, then blog about the experience of listening to Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (v. 2012). Every song from every album plus a ton of bonus material from re-issues. It continues to be a great trip. I have not looked ahead, so each is a surprise. Here is this week’s batch of ten.

20140112-220847.jpg#150. Bruce Springsteen. Darkness on the Edge of Town. 1978

The Boss is back on the list for the 5th time with one that I thought would surface a little later on this list. “Badlands”, “Promised Land”, and the title were the hits. “Candy’s Room” is one of rock’s great nuggets.

#149 Santana. Santana. 1969

His debut album and second on the list. This was fantastic. For me, the drums nearly are as stellar as the guitar. “Evil Ways” was the big one. “Shades of Time” was a personal favorite. Several great instrumentals. My IT skills are challenged pulling in this album artwork. A shame, because it is a cool cover. Check it out with the link below.

20140112-220853.jpg#148 Led Zepplin Houses of the Holy. 1973

351 albums into the list before Led Zepplin is on the board. There are five, if not six, more to go in the next 148 (? – remember I have not looked ahead). It went 11 times platinum! “The Song Remains the Same”, “Over the Hills and Far Away”, “Dancing Days”, “D’yer Mak’er” (The baby please don’t go song), and the gems “The Rain Song” and “The Ocean”. This one is stocked. Robert Plant unbelievable. Even better ones to come.

20140112-220859.jpg#147 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Deja Vu. 1970

Speaking of stocked… CSN&Y’s second to the list. Neil’s third. THE album of that era perhaps? (that era being before my time). “Helpless” is my gem from this..a song that is in many of my playlists (despite the fact it does not echo my life philosophy). “Woodstock”, “Teach Your Children”, “Almost Cut My Hair”, the title, and on and on and on. A beautiful classic.

20140112-220920.jpg#146 Jefferson Airplane Surrealistic Pillow. 1967

“White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love” were the hits. “Plastic Fantastic Lover” a nugget. This one perplexed me with the track layout. “Somebody to Love” the second song. “White Rabbit” the second to last. In between, psychedelia. As an album, the B side would have been played a lot more on my turntable. Got me thinking about the strategy or standards for laying out tracks on an album. Where do the hits go? Where do you slide in the filler?

20140112-220925.jpg#145 Steely Dan Aja. 1977

Their second on the list. They really do bring a unique jazzy-rock sound to rock. If you can call this rock. This album is chock full of their hits: “Deacon Blues”, “Peg”, “Josie”, and the title. At only seven songs long, it was a tight album, any more would have messed with the mojo. It was cool.

20140112-220930.jpg#144 N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton. 1998

Never to appear on a mix tape with the previous album. I have achieved a tolerance, perhaps even a slight appreciation, for rap. Listening to this I decided that I need to swear more, and also pondered why the word “motherf#%^*r” has fallen out of style, while the various verb tenses have become more popular in rap. There was no better insult. The N.W.A. Lineup was impressive- Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy-E. I might have even enjoyed “Express Yourself”. I do remember the hullabaloo about “f#%* the Police”.

20140112-220936.jpg#143 Dr. John Gris-Gris. 1968

The good Doctors second on the list. A wild voodoo blues album complete with chants, Dr. John growling through some tunes. I got a kick out of all of them, especially “Danse Fambeaux”. I did wonder though how it appears so high on this list. It would have been a great find in the bottom half. Here it is a question mark.

20140112-220941.jpg#142 Phil Spector A Christmas Gift for You. 1963

There is no such thing as a great, best or even tolerable Christmas album in January. This was the consequence I paid for running past my year end project deadline. Is it the best Christmas album ever? Perhaps in November. Is this here to represent the holiday genre entry? Is that even a genre? Argh.

20140112-220946.jpg#141 BB King Live at the Regal. 1965

BB’s second on the list. Both were live as he is best presented. “Sweet Little Angel”, “Every Day I have the Blues” were two of many gems. He was working the crowd as a grand master in ’65, just like he continues to today. A great end to this set of ten.