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Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle (1993)

[Album 427/1001]

I’ve been listening to a pair of albums on repeat this week.

First, I’ve continued to spin Red Dirt Girl, terrific stuff.

The second album was somehow equally, if a dramatically different brand of, terrific.

The second artist?

As Will Farrell called him in Old School, that would be Snoop-a-Loop.



Snoop’s debut, Doggystyle, is irresistible.

Yes, the violence, misogyny, profanity, and marijuana cigarettes individually & collaboratively run rampant.SnoopDoggyDoggDoggystyle

This was not surprising.

I was surprised however by:

a) how much I looked forward to subsequent Doggystyle listens

b) how disappointed I was when a listening session was cut short

c) how grateful I was for the cooler, windows-rolled-up-in-the-car-while-listening weather

One minor complaint: there’s not enough Snoop.

It may seem like an odd request for an artist to be more selfish but I found the constant Dr. Dre name-checks and the long list of guest spots somewhat distracting.

But not enough of a distraction to bump it out of the rotation; the laid back grooves & delivery should keep this album within an arm’s length of my car stereo.

Though maybe not actually in the stereo when the kids are in the car.

Emmylou Harris – Red Dirt Girl (2000)

(Lovely Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming)


Songstress #1: Loretta Lynn

Songstress #2: Neneh Cherry

Songstress #3: Dusty Springfield

Songstress #4: Dolly Parton

Songstress(es) #5: Le Tigre

Songstress #6: Emmylou Harris

[Album 426/1001]

This was supposed to be a review of Emmylou’s Pieces of the Sky.

Unfortunately, things unraveled quickly; due to my non-existent repair skills, I am now left with pieces of the 8-track.

My ($1 purchase price) loss is still too fresh, I don’t want to talk about it!



So instead, a review of Emmylou’s Red Dirt Girl.

The 8-track debacle may have been a blessing in disguise as Red Dirt Girl feels like the right record at the right time for me.

Last week I mentioned Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors was an equally good fit at 9 a.m. & 9 p.m.

Red Dirt Girl gets the job done nicely at 10 & 10; it’s been boosting my productivity during my prep period & it’s been soothing at home just before bed.


I hesitate to begin sentences with, “I don’t mean to sound sexist…”EmmylouHarrisRedDirtGirl

But that being said…

Now I don’t mean to sound sexist but I’ve learned a bit about myself in the September Songstress Spotlight: when the songstresses sing, I listen.

Lyrics often blend into the overall atmosphere for me but I’ve been much more aware of them this month.

Emmylou had some beauties here too, including my two favourites:

“Time is a brutal but a careless thief, Who takes our lot but leaves behind the grief” (The Pearl)

“But one thing they don’t tell you about the blues, When you got em, You keep on falling cause there ain’t no bottom” (Red Dirt Girl)


Listening primarily on my digital iPod, this may have lacked the analog charm of the 8-track but was considerably more portable (and less unravel-y).

It also made for a symbolic transition from Pieces of the Sky to Red Dirt Girl: the technology keeps moving but the songwriting sensibilities remain intact.

And on any listening medium, that sounds good to me.

Le Tigre – Le Tigre (1999)

(Lovely Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming)


Songstress #1: Loretta Lynn

Songstress #2: Neneh Cherry

Songstress #3: Dusty Springfield

Songstress #4: Dolly Parton

Songstress(es) #5: Le Tigre

[Album 425/1001]

If I’d only listened to Le Tigre’s self-titled debut once, this would have been a very different post.Le_Tigre_(album)

It likely would have featured a Zoolander ‘Le Tigre’ pose and general indifference in terms of any specific comments.

Though I may have quoted their tune The The Empty, “I went to your concert and I didn’t feel anything,” as representative of my experience.

Which may be partly why I insist on listening to records twice (or more) as first impressions can be deceiving.


At some point during the second through fifth listens, I changed my tune.

The at times blasé vocal delivery started to contrast nicely with the considerably more energetic accompaniment.

I started to pay much more attention to the lyrics and unlike the Le-tigre-pose-striking Derek Zoolander, these ladies have plenty to say that’s worth hearing.

Deceptacon felt like a sure-fire single, I’m surprised the lead-off track wasn’t also the album’s lead single.

Though I suppose releasing the album’s strongest song (and likely among the strongest songs from ’99), Hot Topic, wasn’t a bad choice either.

I’m always fascinated to hear about artist influences and in Hot Topic, Le Tigre name-checked dozens of influential artists.

While I was familiar with some, many others were new to me, so it was both an educational & enjoyable listening and learning experience.

The album worked really well as a running soundtrack; while one could say it started stronger than it finished, the same could easily be said for most of my races!

And even if there was some front-loading, to borrow a line from Hot Topic, “don’t give a damn I’m listening anyway.”

Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors (1971)

(Lovely Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming)


Songstress #1: Loretta Lynn

Songstress #2: Neneh Cherry

Songstress #3: Dusty Springfield

Songstress #4: Dolly Parton


[Album 424/1001]CoatofManyColors

“How I love my coat of many colors”
– Joseph, from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (JATATD)

This album takes me back to the early 90s.

Mind you, I had no idea of this record’s existence at the time.

But when I picked up this Dolly Parton LP, I was somehow 10 years old again and:

  1. Picturing Donny Osmond, who looked somewhat like my hockey hero Doug Gilmour, singing about his Coat of Many Colors in the Toronto production of JATATD
  2. Thinking of Whitney Houston, pausing dramatically before hitting the big “and I” in the Dolly Parton-penned I Will Always Love You
  3. Unable to read cursive writing!  A calligrapher I was not to be.  Even attempting to read the back cover here in 2015, I struggled through a sentence or two before giving up.

cursive writing
(thanks to my daughter for being my photographer, yet again!)

Fortunately, not even that reminder of my curs-ed reading limitations could dampen my enthusiasm for Dolly.

I’m on a classic country kick.

My 10-year old self would not understand my new-found affinity for old school country (then again he would have a mushroom cut for years to come).

As with most crazes & phases, it’s tough to pinpoint the exact appeal.

In Dolly’s case, I think I really like Coat of Many Colors as it works equally well at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

While the singer is important, the songs are paramount.

And although my sample size is still admittedly small, from what I’ve heard, I reckon she wrote some of the finest songs the genre has to offer.

Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis (1969)

(Lovely Logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming)


Songstress #1: Loretta Lynn

Songstress #2: Neneh Cherry

Songstress #3: Dusty Springfield

[Album 423/1001]DustyInMemphis

This might be among the greatest albums of all time.

But I’ll never know for sure.

Alas Dusty had the misfortune of being the first album I reviewed following the #top15onthe15th festivities.

So even if it is off-the-charts incredible, it’s not an easy task to follow my all time favourites.


That being said, Dusty in Memphis may be the optimal re-entry to the 1001 project for me and more specifically, for the September Songstress Spotlight.

It doesn’t sound like anything from my Top 15, therefore it’s not really in competition with them either.

It’s as inoffensive as they come, the arrangements and vocals blend together, seemingly seamless, as if they were combined with very little effort.

I often find the mark of a good record is when the big hit (Son of a Preacher Man in this case) is among the least interesting tracks.

I also appreciate that the album art falls somewhere between Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin & Bill Hader’s Stefon.

Kevin, Dusty, Stefon

A final sign it’s a winning album?  People didn’t lap it up at the time.  When the praise is a decade or two delayed, that sounds like my kind of record.

So if my gushing praise is delayed a bit longer, perhaps that’s the most favourable review there is?

Top 15 Albums: Graphical Results

“Wasn’t that a party?”
– Rhetorical question by The Irish Rovers

What a day!

This is a companion post to Aaron’s splendid stats recap, with special thanks to Mike & Scott for their diligent data collection and organization.

September 15, 2015


votes per album








Top 15 matrix

Top 15 Albums

September 15th, 2015 = Top 15 Day!


I’ll update this post with a bunch of links to fellow Top 15 lists as the day progresses.

*UPDATED* Check out these fantastic lists (each is an HMO favourite!), huge thanks to LeBrain for assembling:

LeBrain at – Top 15 on the 15th
J at Resurrection Songs
– Top 15 on the 15th
Uncle Meat – Top 15 on the 15th
Iron Tom Sharpe – Top 15 on the 15th
James at the KMA – Top 15 on the 15th
Sarca at Caught me Gaming – My Top 15 Music Albums of All Time
Deke at Arena Rock – DeKEs All Time Top 15 (Kinda,Sorta)
Geoff at the 1001 – Top 15 Albums
Aaron at the KMA – Top 15 on the 15th
Danica at Living a Beautiful Life – My Top 15 Albums of All Time
1537 from 1537 – Top 15 Books About Music
We Left This World Today – 15 is not enough…
Andytallman from A Hole in the Head – Top 15 Albums of All Time
Pop Culture Forays – Top 15 Albums
Brian from Boppin’s Blog – Top 15 on the 15th
Ovidiu Boar at Tangled Up In Music – Top 15 on the 15th
80sMetalMan – My Top 15 Albums
Jimmy at kingcrimsonblog – Top 15 on the 15th
Another Bad Conversation – My Top 15 on the 15th
Nick from Nick Green’s Reviews – Top 15 on the 15th
Zack at The Audible Stew – #top15onthe15th
Quirky T at The Guitar Train – The Guitar Train’s Top 15 Albums
Ian at The 80s Didn’t Suck – Top 15 Albums (plus 54 others)


In the Meantime (to borrow a great Spacehog tune), here’s my contribution.

Note-for-note, there are likely superior albums.

But as at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 14th, these are the ones that are either ingrained, are constantly in my listening rotation, or make me feel better about the world.  In most cases, all of the above.  Enjoy!



15. The Darkness – Permission To Land (2003)
The most fun record of the 21st Century thus far.

14. Bryan Adams – Into the Fire and Other Hot Tracks (1987)
My cassette has the studio album as program A and essentially a greatest hits as program B!

13. Billy Joel – Glass Houses (1980)
All For Leyna, Sleeping With the Television On, I’m shocked I see it as often as I do in the used bins.

12. The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
The side B suite is magnificent.  I’m not sure where my copy is, it’s absent for the photo-shoot!

11. The Cure – Wild Mood Swings (1996)
Cure purists would probably choose an earlier record but I especially adore this one.



10. Morrissey – Your Arsenal (1992)
My gateway to Moz…

9. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)
…and therefore also The Smiths

8. Sloan – Twice Removed (1994)
Sloooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnn!  It goes deeper than its beauty.

7. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
I had no use for the Beach Boys before I heard this.  God Only Knows what I’d do without this one now.

6. The Tragically Hip – Fully Completely (1992)
A Hip essay is in the brainstorming stages as I type.  Perhaps the most important band & album in my early music fan years.



5. Radiohead – The Bends (1995)
Thom sang “I wish I was…Bulletproof.”  This album is pretty darn close.

4. Weezer – Pinkerton (1996)
On any given day, spots #2 & 4 might be reversed.

3. Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
One of those heavily praised records that is worthy of each & every accolade.

2. Weezer – Weezer (1994)
I like to keep a guitar tuned down half a step for when the weezer mood strikes (as it often does and should).

1. The Beatles – The Beatles (1968)
The Beatles is a flawed record.  Paradoxically, its flaws make it that much more perfect.


Thanks for reading, writing, and participating!


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