A comically over-sized two part post:
1) The alphabet series (and digits 0-9): finito!
Though I guess never fully complete(ly) done until the summary Top 5.
At the risk of being too meta, the Top 5 artist letters from the Top 5 alphabet series:
2) The post subject
For me, half the fun of the alphabet series was hearing from you fine folks about other deserving artists.
At the bottom of this post, check out the 444(!) artists that did not make my Top 5s but were declared list-worthy by the good people who commented at some point in the past 7 months.*
And I have every intention of checking out these recommendations!
Therefore, for the month of November, I’m going to attempt to take a break from 2 things:
i) Shaving below my nose & above my lip, happy Movember!
ii) The 1001 albums project. To make sure I keep enjoying it (it’s like a marathon, I have to pace myself) I’m going to spend the month with your recommendations & some purely recreational listening. Maybe even something released after 2005, we’ll see!
I’ll inevitably be doing some sort of a time travel tribute to Back to the Future II (Marty traveled to the year 2015 in the film) when I return in December.
Looking forward to keeping the great music discussions going at that time, talk to you all soon!
*Appendix A, the 444 additional artists courtesy of my blogosphere friends:
|10 minute warning|
|13th floor elevators|
|Amos the Transparent|
|Band of Horses|
|Belle & Sebastien|
|Cosmic Rough Riders|
|Emerson Lake and Palmer|
|Faith No More|
|Fine Young Cannibals|
|Five Finger Death Punch|
|Flying Burrito Brothers|
|Fountains of Wayne|
|Frankie Goes To Hollywood|
|Gutter Twins, The|
|Hall & Oates|
|Harding, John Wesley|
|Hold Steady, The|
|Hooker, John Lee|
|Iron & Wine|
|Jones, Rickie Lee|
|King Cobb Steelie|
|Little River Band|
|Los Fabulous Cadillacs|
|Men At Work|
|Mott the Hopple|
|My Bloody Valentine|
|My Morning Jacket|
|Neutral Milk Hotel|
|Nine Inch Nails|
|Ocean Colour Scene|
|Pete & The Pirates|
|Power From Hell|
|Pulled Apart By Horses|
|Quad City DJs|
|Question Mark and the Mysterians|
|Rage Against the Machine|
|Return to Forever|
|Rise to Remain|
|Rodrigo y Gabriela|
|Rufus ft. Chaka Khan|
|Sam & Dave|
|Sensational Alex Harvey Band|
|Setzer, Brian/Stray Cats|
|Sly and the Family Stone|
|Soundtrack of Our Lives|
|Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes|
|Spirit of the West|
|Tears For Fears|
|They Might Be Giants|
|This will Destroy You|
|TV on the Radio|
|Twilight of the Gods|
|Tygers of Pan Tang|
|Type O Negative|
|Universal Congress Of|
|Unknown Mortal Orchestra|
|Van Der Graaf Generator|
|Van Zandt, Townes|
|Vaughan, Stevie Ray|
|Wainright, Loudon III|
|We are Wolves|
|X Ray Spex|
|Xeno & Oaklander|
|XYMOX, Clan of|
|Y & T|
I’m a fan of Judy Greer.
Who’s she you ask?
She’s the author of the book, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From, an autobiography very much on my to-read list.
Using a search engine of your choice, type in her name and be prepared to say, ‘oh yeah, she’s that girl from that movie!’
Tres Hombres might have the ultimate “that song from that movie.”
I didn’t recognize the track name La Grange; after a few seconds, very few will still find the song unfamiliar. The challenge is figuring out where you know it from!
The song has probably appeared in countless ads/trailers/clips… and with good reason: just like Judy Greer, ZZ Top excels at what they do.
Tres Hombres is bluesy, it rocks, and there isn’t a dud in the set. It’s 33:32 of time well spent.
As a fan of numeric patterns, it’s only a shame they couldn’t add another second to the running time!
You say Zee, I say Zed.
Either way, here are 5 of ‘em!
5. Zombie, Rob
Can’t say I know a great deal of his solo stuff but Dragula was undeniably catchy.
3. Zutons, The
I quite enjoy the saxamophone on their debut.
1. ZZ Top
I wasn’t sure whether to give the title to these guys or Zappa. The tie went to the group with longer beards & a Back to the Future III performance.
An early Zed-Zed Top record is on the calendar for tomorrow, enjoy!
My Neil Young journey:
As a child, I think I was a fan of author Scott Young’s hockey books.
My thoughts about his son Neil? Summed up neatly by Stewie’s question about Kermit the Frog, “what’s his appeal?”
May 2012, After the Goldrush
(with a feeble attempt at a Shania Twain impression) OK, so he can write songs? That don’t impress…
March 2013, Van Morrison’s Moondance
I begin to realize Neil’s polarizing voice may be part of his charm.
July 2013, Ragged Glory (with Crazy Horse)
Blue Rodeo-esque, now we’re talking!
August 2013, Rust Never Sleeps
Well I heard Mr. Young sing about it…and I’m looking forward to more? This must be what people have been seeing all these years!
October 2014, Harvest
Frankly, how could anyone not see the appeal of this record?
Well I suppose Neil didn’t like how this put him in the “middle of the road.” I’ve mentioned this before but English is such a strange language: in any other context, middle of the road means dangerous but in music, it curiously means overly safe/unadventurous.
This is the kind of record that gives me false confidence in my drumming abilities. The kick-kick-snare pattern (and very little in the way of cymbals) is so easy but anything more would be too much.
Some fans have probably met their lifetime quota (thanks themesongsteve for introducing me to that term!) with songs like Heart of Gold but considering I spent 30+ years in the Non-Neil-fan wilderness, I’m not sick of any of these yet.
Academic Young fans would probably hesitate to single this out as a career peak but as an entry point to his catalogue, this is probably as good an introduction as there is.
Ol’ Neil’s back a few more times before the 1001 is through so I suppose my Neil Young journey is to be continued!
If it seems like I’m posting more frequently than usual this week – there’s method behind the madness. The vision is to wrap up the alphabet by Hallowe’en.
What better time for its penultimate letter!
5. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Fever to Tell had its moments.
3. Yoakam, Dwight
Instantly identifiable style & Buenos Noches was indeed bueno.
2. Young, Neil
He’s on the 1001 nine times in almost as many configurations (with/without Crazy Horse, with CSNY…) and his stock continues to rise in my books.
1. Yankovic, “Weird” Al
One video clip is insufficient, thrilled to see his commercial success in 2014!
Neil Young (sans Crazy Horse) is on the calendar for tomorrow, enjoy!
Ever notice when you decide to move to a new house, all of a sudden you see all kinds of ‘for sale/for rent’ signs that you’d previously just driven past?
That seems to be the case lately for me & Wall Street.
We’re doing a Stock Market Challenge with my Business class and since the contest opened, Wall Street is everywhere.
Netflix is saying I should watch The Wolf of Wall Street, I’ve started Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys (about High Frequency Trading) and 10cc kicked off this album with The Wall Street Shuffle.
I wouldn’t have guessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average would be fodder for a hit single but much like my stock picks in our simulation, I was way off!
I like how all four band members take turns on lead vocals (à la Sloan) and I can tell some of my favourites liked this one (notably Blur’s Theme From Retro borrows considerably from the opening to Hotel).
Track two, The Worst Band in the World, is misleading. I’d say they are far from it but they may be closer to exactly halfway from that dubious distinction.
In his typical brilliant form, Chuck Klosterman described Van Halen’s And The Cradle Will Rock as THE average song. Meaning in the history of recorded music, it’s smack dab in the middle: half of all other music is superior, the other half inferior.
I won’t be quite so broad with my data set, but I’ll predict this:
7+ years from now, if I choose to rank the 1001 albums, this will be album #501 on the list.
Average isn’t bad. Tell any expectant mother that they’re having an ‘average’ pregnancy, you’ve just made their day.
For 10cc, they too have reason to celebrate; 500 albums ahead of Sheet Music would be ‘above average’ yes, but the other 500 would mathematically be considered ‘below.’
They’d the only group on the list with the distinction of recording an average, or should I say, THE average record.
Cue the champagne!
As the alphabet series winds down, I almost forgot the artists that begin with “0-9.”
Y & Z will have to wait, it’s time for some numbers.
Instead of an overall Top 5, I’ll mix it up and select the Top Artist for each digit.
Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments – in fact, please do. For some of these, I was struggling to think of even one eligible artist!
Top Artist starting with…
0 – I’ve got nothing. So I will slyly say Nada Surf. Bending the rules already, off to a good start.
1 – 10,000 Maniacs. Natalie Merchant made a cameo on Mermaid Avenue, she’s good in my books.
2 – 2Pac. It felt wrong not choosing 2 Unlimited (with the immortal rhetorical question, Y’all ready for this?) but Shakur’s talent trumps techno in the end.
3 – 311. Cover The Cure (Love Song) and do it well, you’ve got my vote.
4 – 4 Non Blondes. Surprisingly, just the one album but there was more to them than merely the big single What’s Up?.
5 – It was almost 50 Cent (with the authentic pronunciation of course) until my dad reminded me of 54-40!
6 – 6pence none the richer, maybe? I miss the “S” and “B” artists when I was overwhelmed by options!
7 – 7 Mary 3, or 7M3 for those who found the full name too, well, cumbersome. :D
8 – I see that ‘808 State’ has an album on the 1001. I’ve yet to hear it, but as I’ve yet to hear anything by any other ‘8’ Artist, congratulations 808 State!
9 – 9 Days. The group that sang the song that opened with the instantly recognizable lyric, “this is the story of the girl.” The name of the song? They named it Absolutely. Obviously!
A 10cc review is up next, enjoy!