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?…
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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).
#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.
#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.
#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…
#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.