REVIEWING THE ROLLING STONE 500 (2003)


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  1. #1

    REVIEWING THE ROLLING STONE 500 (2003)



    This promises to be my most ambitious project yet. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine complied lists from various artists, music critics, journalists, record producers and executives, etc., and came up with their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. That means I'll be reviewing, at least in part, 500 albums over the course of however long it takes. A few, I have reviewed in my reviewing (place artist here) threads as well as a couple of other threads in general but most of the albums have yet to be reviewed. Those that I have reviewed will be also included here with maybe some additions to my thoughts (The Beatles and Rolling Stones weren't formatted the way I do reviews now for example). There will also be a number of compilations on this list so I will also be taking that into consideration when I'm doing my reviews. I will also compare the Rolling Stone 2003 rankings to its 2012 one as well as where the album ranked on Rate Your Music as of January 1,2020, the New Musical Express top 500, complied in 2012, Colin Larkin's top 1050 via Virgin, and my own top 1001 list as of 2003. I'll post my own list at a later date.

    So stay tuned and number 500 will be posted soon.
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  2. #2

    INDEX 500-251

    Last edited by mrmustard615; January 22nd, 2020 at 08:50 PM.
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  3. #3

    INDEX 250-1

    250.
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  4. #4
    Before I embark on my rather ambitious project, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the powers that be at RS had quite a few notable omissions. For example, there is no King Crimson on this list at all. What’s the problem, guys? You don’t have any Yes either, don’t you guys ever listen to progressive rock besides Genesis? There are some other interesting omissions like The United States of America and Deep Purple’s Machine Head. Anyway, to highlight the difference between the RS list and my own, take a look at the albums that made my top hundred but didn’t make RS’ list at all (to be fair a couple were released just before the issue came out but there are also some real classic albums that are missing).

    The List…

    27 King Crimson In the Court of the Crimson King
    30 Kinks Face To Face
    41 Flamin Groovies Shake Some Action
    44 Joan Baez Joan Baez In Concert
    47 Phil Ochs I Ain't Marchin’ Anymore
    50 Patti Smith Easter
    54 Blondie Blondie
    55 United States of America The United States of America
    59 David Bowie Lodger
    60 REM Reckoning
    61 Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    64 Deep Purple Machine Head
    66 Patti Smith Radio Ethiopia
    67 Granddaddy The Sophtware Slump
    69 Kinks Arthur (Or the Decline of the British Empire)
    72 Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones
    78 Flaming Lips Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
    79 John Coltrane Blue Train
    80 Johnny Cash Bitter Tears
    82 Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
    83 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin III
    86 Traffic Traffic
    88 Yes The Yes Album
    90 Blondie Eat To the Beat
    91 Camper Van Beethoven Key Lime Pie
    93 Electric Light Orchestra Eldorado
    94 Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around
    98 Thirteenth Floor Elevators Psychedelic Sounds of
    99 Peter Paul and Mary Peter Paul and Mary
    100 Simon and Garfunkel The Sounds of Silence


    Note that King Crimson’s album was rated at number six by Rate Your Music and Neutral Milk Hotel’s album came in at number eleven as well as doing well on the NME list.

    Okay, rant over, we’ll be reviewing number 500 very soon, maybe tomorrow.
    Last edited by mrmustard615; January 17th, 2020 at 04:03 PM.
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  5. #5

    500. THE EURYTHMICS- TOUCH





    So finally we start...


    Released: 1983
    Producer: David A. Stewart
    Label: RCA


    RANKINGS:

    RS (2012): 492
    RYM (1/1/2020): not ranked
    NME (2014): not ranked
    Virgin (Colin Larkin-2000)- 221
    Mustyís top 1001 (2003)- not ranked
    AllMusic rating: Four and a half stars



    1983 was a very big year for David A. Stewart and Annie Lennox. Earlier in 1983, they scored big time with their classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Their videos were all over MTV in the summer of 1983, so it wasnít a surprise that the follow up was greatly anticipated.

    And, as you can see in the rankings section that music critic Colin Larkin liked it quite a bit while the other two seemed to pay it no mind, not even Rate Your Music which rates up to ten thousand. Anyway, Touch is continuing in the Eurythmicsí synth-pop style and it spawned them three more hits, two of them major.

    So, itís established that the Eurythmics, and this album, was commercially successful. Artistically, I imagine the reception is a little more mixed, so letís give the album a whirl, shall we?



    Best tracks: Here Comes the Rain Again, No Fear No Hate No Pain (No Broken Hearts)

    Weakest tracks: The First Cut, Aqua





    Here Comes the Rain Again: Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox wrote this classic track on a Casio keyboard in New York City during a rain shower Lennox had remarked on, thus the title. The third single on the album and the biggest hit, this rates as one of my favorite Eurythmics songs and is certainly equal to my favorite tracks on Sweet Dreams.

    Regrets: Some clever lyrics on this track. It isnít especially melodic but not a bad song in the synth-pop genre. Not a song I especially remember though (have this album in my personal collection). Like the abstract sound and vocals at the end.



    Right By Your Side: The second single from the album has something of a Caribbean flavor to it. You have to salute the duo for being creative and it does fit in with their sound, but I also have to wonder if this signaled a more commercial direction that they would be taking at times on future albums, even albums I really like.

    Cool Blue: Another solid love song in the Eurythmics style. Annie Lennox was one of the best singers in the eighties and it shows here. There is even a little bit of humor with her vocals as well as the backup singers (How could she fall for a boy like that).




    Whoís That Girl: Today, when I think of that track I think of (ugh) Madonna as she came out with her own Whoís That Girl single not long after. Fortunately, this is nothing like Madonnaís song and it is actually a nice darkish track that was released as the duoís first single off the album.

    The First Cut: The music is kind of repetitive in a way, kind of like Yazoo. Now, I like some Yazoo to be fair, but Iím not sure if that type of background synth works as well on this track. Lennoxís always dependable vocals and a twangy guitar keep this from being a clinker though.

    Aqua: There seems to be a little anger with this track. One wonders if sheís singing in the voice in someone being murdered or at least drugged. Of course, I could be putting too much into this as I donít think the duo wrote out of righteousness or emotion like some artists might have. Anyway, the song is fair, nothing Iíd kill for by itself.

    No Fear No Hate No Pain (No Broken Hearts): This is definitively an eighties song when you hear the electric drums, the one true relic of that era. I love the medium slow rhythm to this. Probably my second favorite song on the album

    Paint a Rumour: This comes off as a mix between David Bowie and Hot Butter (Popcorn). It obviously works as a dance track, but I canít say this is a favorite track. It is kind of funky at parts though.



    OVERALL EFFECT: I might mention that three Eurythmics albums made my top 1001 list. Alas, this album is not one of them. Thatís not saying this isnít a good album, mind you, but it doesnít quite scream classic for me either. Indeed, overall, Iíd say it pales a bit compared to the previous album, Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, which also happens to be my favorite Eurythmics album. The following album, Be Yourself Tonight, though a little more commercial, I also rate better. Having said that, this is a decent album and definitely a must buy album for Eurythmics fans, something I actually was for a time in the eighties before they got way too commercial and MOR at the end. Anyway, overall, itís a pretty decent album even if I donít hold it in quite the same regard as Rolling Stone or Colin Larkin. So with thatÖ

    MUSTYíS RATING: 1/2

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  6. #6

    499. ALBERT KING- BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN




    Released: 1967
    Producer: Jim Stewart
    Label: Stax


    RANKINGS:

    RS (2012): 491
    RYM (1/1/2020): 1784
    NME (2014): not ranked
    Virgin (Colin Larkin-2000)- not ranked
    Mustyís top 1001 (2003)- not ranked
    AllMusic rating: Five stars



    This is supposed to be a compilation album even though the tracks were recorded between March 1966 and June 1967. Anyway, the legendary blues artist had signed with Stax records in 1966. He is backed by Booker T and the MGs and the Memphis Horns, the two famed house bands at Stax. Unfortunately, despite some nice reviews, the album failed to chart commercially, and King was again relegated to his classic live shows, notably at the two Fillmores . And, indeed, only RS and RYM even rate it. As for me, I have to admit never having heard this album (though Iím familiar with the title track, courtesy of Cream). Being a blues fan, Iím really looking forward to this, though, so letís give it a listen, shall we?



    Best tracks: Born Under a Bad Sign, Personal Manager, As the Years Go Passing By

    Weakest tracks: Oh, Pretty Woman, I Almost Lost My Mind




    Born Under a Bad Sign: This was written by William Bell and Booker T Jones, no doubt meant to be part of the Stax stable of songs. Instead, this turned out to be Kingís best remembered song as well as one of Creamís best covers. And it's indeed a classic with the Memphis Horns doing the backing here not to mention a great lead guitar by King.

    Crosscut Saw: Originally recorded by Tommy McClellan in 1941, this is a solid medium paced blues bit. I can see how King may have influenced the likes of Clapton, particularly during the Cream era. Genius compares this to Strange Brew actually, though I think they (Disraeli Gears and this album) may have been released at just about the same time

    Kansas City: This, of course, is the Wilbert Harrison classic. A great guitar riff but itís hard to top the original, especially when it comes to the vocals. Like the horn section here.

    Oh, Pretty Woman: This isnít the Roy Orbison song as it turns out. I had no clue how he could have covered that anyway. As it is, this isnít one of the songs that especially strikes me as one of the better tracks. Fits in well with the album though.

    Down, Donít Bother Me: This sounds more like BB King than Albert King but that isnít a bad thing. I do have to say the horns definitely are doing Albert some great justice here.

    The Hunter: This was written by the MGs, yes, the entire band. I find that interesting as they were an instrumental band, of course. I hear a little bit of a subtle Green Onions vibe here. Not the best track on the album though.

    I Almost Lost My Mind: A cover of the Ivory Joe Hunter ballad. I have to admit, Iím not an Ivory Joe Hunter fan and Pat Booneís versionÖ donít get me started. There is a nice flute here, but I canít say this track is much more than filler.

    Personal Manager: King co-wrote this with David Porter, but this isnít some swipe at a business shyster. Instead itís a reverse request to be, well, the personal manager of a love interest. Itís a typical blues theme of the late sixties to be sure. Clever lyrics and a slow bluesy backing. Another great guitar solo.

    Laundromat Blues: I think this is another cover of an old blues song. I could have sworn I heard a thirties song with that title. It certainly plays like a song from that period only with Kingís signature guitar and a nice piano. Incidentally, Isaac Hayes is credited as one of the piano players on this album.

    As the Years Go Passing By: A Peppermint Harris song penned for Fenton Robinson in 1959, this is a great minor key song. There is a dramatic flair to this track, not unlike some things Iíve heard from Bobby Blue Bland for example.

    The Very Thought of You: This is an old standard- period, by Ray Noble of all people. This is not a blues song by any length of the imagination. But this may have worked as a single in the early sixties. I certainly canít complain about this version and I kind of like it.


    OVERALL EFFECT: So, generally, when I listen to blues albums, they tend to be in the way of compilations. This one obviously isnít despite Wikipediaís assertions. It makes it easier to rate the albums on its own merits as opposed to some greatest hits package, which Iíll be doing quite a few of here. Is this an album Iíd be reaching for if I want to listen to blues? Outside of the title track, probably not, but you can hear Kingís unique guitar style all over this album, and the Stax musicians do the man great justice on these tracks. So, overall, Iíd have to say this was an enjoyable experience. And with thatÖ

    MUSTYíS RATING:

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