Friday, December 22, 2006

Rants & Raves: Greatest Hits List?

It’s bad enough that in a year where global warning started to come true, two hostile nations threatened nuclear attack and the U.S. is actively involved in Iraq, our biggest media company selected “You” as the Person of the Year. “You,” we are told, have blogged and co-created your way into a world-changing force. Please.
We’re also going to take issue with Time Magazine’s recent top albums of all-time list. It’s loaded with greatest hits compilations. How that rates a great album, we don’t know. Great artist, yes. It’s also filled with the kind of crap that rockcritics like to call “important” but don’t listen all that well.

Here’s 5 that particularly grated us through their inclusion:

Stories From The City, Stories From Sea: PJ Harvey
Ever listened to a PJ Harvey record? How about three songs in a row? She is occasionally brilliant and very skilled, but she is not exactly nice to the ears. How she gets mentioned in the same list as Dylan and The Beatles is a mystery.

Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys
A few great songs (Caroline, No, God Only Knows) but as a collection of songs this is more of an uneven expression of pretention than a great album. Kind of like kids let loose in an expensive studio. We’d take Brian Wilson’s solo debut over this.

Like A Virgin: Madonna
Maybe best 100 video list. Madonna is pop candy and the master of image invention. Can you even name another song from this?

Live Through This: Hole
Now we’re getting silly. Maybe the most overrated group ever to get a record deal. Married on third, thinks she hit a triple.

Time Out Of Mind: Bob Dylan
He is a deity, but this album isn’t even close to more overlooked work in the 80s or even the 2001 Love and Theft. The songs get a bit lazy and his voice, well…..

5 That Were Left Out (And Always Get Left Out)

Infidels: Bob Dylan
Song for song it’s a bulletproof album with a great theme and one of the best lyrical efforts from the lyrical master. Critics go for his earlier work, which is OK, but this gets short shrift.

Introducing The Hardline: Terence Trent D’arby
One of the best debut albums ever and a vocal tour de force. The production could have used a bit more funk, but TTD come out firing from nowhere on this record stealing from James Brown, Michael Jackson and the heights of his soul. Problem is, he left it all on the track. Still waiting for another decent record from TTD.

Making Movies: Dire Straits
Mark Knopfler borrowed Springsteen’s engineer (Jimmy Iovine) and keyboard player (Roy Bittan) on the way to putting himself on the map with this record. The production took Knopfler from a flashy lead guitarist to an efficient one and let the songwriting move up front. Tunnel of Love, Romeo and Juliet and Skateway are one of the best leadoff orders ever.

Gold: Ryan Adams
In his second solo release after leaving Whiskeytown, Adams treated fans to a good mix of pop rock (New York New York, Firecracker) and folk acoustic tunes (La Cienga Just Smiled) with some nice background vocals contributed by Adam Duritz. Another record that gets off to a furious start with five great songs right out of the gate and maintains a nice balance throughout the 16 tracks.

Darkness on the Edge of Town: Bruce Springsteen
Song for song it rains all over Born to Run. Much more concise and powerful than its more legendary predecessor with sharper musicianship and a solid dose of rage that blasts through the speakers.
--Submitted by John G.
Look out in the New Year for Music Mix's own Top 100 Albums, which will NOT include any greatest hits collections.

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