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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Stephanie's Top 50 Albums

Two weeks ago, I made a new friend, Frank. A music and writing person. I absolutely love meeting people who are as passionate about both those things as I am. Oh and tattoos too. A group of us ended up staying out at the bar for much longer than intended and Frank told us how his music snob co-worker had challenged him to create a top 100 albums of all time list. I love music. I love lists. I was intrigued.

My boyfriend and I discussed this after we got home and I easily rattled off my top three:
1. In Utero- Nirvana
2. Live Through This- Hole
3. ...And Out Come The Wolves- Rancid

They are albums that never left my 5 disc CD changer from their release until I graduated high school and that stereo died. For numbers four and five, I knew the bands but had to seriously mull over which albums to choose. I ultimately chose the albums that had exposed me to the respective bands.

4. Social Distortion- Social Distortion
5. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me- The Cure

My boyfriend couldn’t even name his top five. Party pooper. (Though maybe he will give it some deep thought and leave it as a comment…)

Over the weekend, Frank emailed me his top 20. His choices were much cooler than mine. Though I was excited to see that we both have …And Out Come the Wolves in our top 5. And the fact that the Muffs s/t album is in his top 20, assures me that this will be a lasting friendship, not just someone who I thought was cool after I’d had a few.

Since I recently completed my 9 month task of listening to all the albums I hadn’t heard in awhile on my iPod in alphabetical order from Abbey Road to 40 oz of Freedom (the iPod lists numbers last), I needed to come up with some new creative way to use my iPod to entertain me. Yeah, I’m a freak, but if you had to put up with Chicago Public Transportation, you’d find bizarre ways to entertain yourself as well. So I decided to start on the top 100 albums list. At this point I am to 50 (actually to 53, but I figured I’d stop at a round number for our purposes).

I will list what I have below. Hopefully it will appeal to your inner music nerd and inspire you to check out new bands. It's probably the biggest window into my soul, I could provide you with. You may not think me very cool after reading the list. You may make fun of me on occasion (especially regarding number 50. I don’t care, I loved that band when I was eleven and it lingers). It would be a lot easier to make a list of current favorite albums, many of my current favorites had to be shoved out for albums like Abbey Road, which I don’t really listen to anymore, but that album bred my love for rock ‘n’ roll and therefore deserves a high place on the list. Also for example, there are many punk albums I love more than Nevermind the Bollocks, but it was my exposure to punk, so it is high up on the list. Both Calculated and Disintegration depress me too much to listen to anymore, but those albums saved my life at certain times, hence in the top 50. This was very difficult to me. You have to understand that I have 604 albums on my iPod and about 100 more that are not on the iPod. But anyway I’ll stop blathering and just give you the list.

Oh wait, one more sidenote, I decided that box sets weren’t allowed on the list, but my Johnny Cash box set deserves an honorable mention, as does Nirvana’s With the Lights Out. I listen to both of those very frequently.

Continuing the list:

6. Sweet Oblivion- Screaming Trees
7. Frenching the Bully- The Gits
8. Nevermind- Nirvana
9. Coral Fang- The Distillers
10. As the Eternal Cowboy- Against Me!
11. Abbey Road- The Beatles
12. Call the Doctor- Sleater-Kinney
13. Pretty on the Inside- Hole
14. MTV Unplugged in New York- Nirvana
15. Fontanelle- Babes in Toyland
16. Bleach- Nirvana
17. Nevermind the Bollocks- The Sex Pistols
18. Little Earthquakes- Tori Amos
19. Siamese Dream- Smashing Pumpkins
20. London Calling- The Clash
21. How to Clean Everything- Propagandhi
22. Dirt- Alice in Chains
23. The White Stripes- The White Stripes
24. Bloodletting- Concrete Blonde
25. Superfuzz Big Muff Plus Early Singles- Mudhoney
26. Dry- PJ Harvey
27. Tim- The Replacements
28. Substance- Joy Division
29. Let's Go- Rancid
30. Sparkle and Fade- Everclear
31. Sing Sing Death House- The Distillers
32. Pretty Hate Machine- Nine Inch Nails
33. Goddamnit- Alkaline Trio
34. Operation Ivy- Operation Ivy
35. Goo- Sonic Youth
36. Murder Ballads- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
37. Searching for a Former Clarity- Against Me!
38. Sex, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll- Social Distortion
39. The Sufferer and the Witness- Rise Against
40. Disintegration- The Cure
41. Calculated- Heaven's to Betsy
42. Metallica- Metallica
43. Automatic for the People- R.E.M.
44. Mania- The Ramones
45. Doolittle - Pixies
46. Incesticide- Nirvana
47. The Muffs- The Muffs
48. Viva Zapata- 7 Year Bitch
49. The Winding Sheet- Mark Lanegan
50. Caress of Steel- Rush

Yep, so that’s it. I won’t subject you to the other 50 when I finish it. This was probably overkill as it was. I thought really I should make a top ten for Emily, my main character in I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE. But the problem is that some of the bands would be fictional. Maybe I will add a top ten for her on my website after the book comes out though… For now, I will share that her number one would be Horses by Patti Smith.

Now I would like everyone to join in my music nerdiness and share your top five or your character’s top five!

7 comments:

Alex McAulay said...

hey, alright! nice list! good to see The Pixies on there (i made a record with Joey Santiago a few years back, under the name "charles douglas")... OK, so here's my list of my top 52 fave bands/artists:

1. The Velvet Underground
2. David Bowie
3. Prince
4. Pixies
5. Talking Heads
6. Bjork
7. Kate Bush
8. Ramones
9. Beatles
10. Stones
11. Neil Young
12. Kraftwerk
13. Pavement
14. Mudhoney
15. British Sea Power/Brakes
16. Tegan & Sara
17. Unrest
18. Black Flag
19. REM
20. Beach Boys
21. Syd Barrett
22. Nick Drake
23. The Strugglers (US)
24. Weezer
25. The Long Winters
26. Palace Bros/Will Oldham
27. Dinosaur Jr.
28. The Cure
29. Sonic Youth
30. Steely Dan
31. Beck
32. Big Star
33. Annie (Norway)
34. Modern Lovers
35. Guided by Voices
36. Elliot Smith
37. Cat Power
38. Jeff Buckley
39. Blake Babies
40. Miles Davis
41. Liz Phair
42. Kinks
43. Van Hunt
44. Bloc Party
45. Aphex Twin
46. Love
47. The Wrens
48. The Comas
49. Flaming Lips
50. Luna
51. Dan Bryk
52. Alina Simone

Howard said...

Good list,very varied throughout. I need to listen to more stuff,out of those,I have only listened to #39 all the way through. But still good list.

My top five would probably be:

I.Shinedown-Us and Them

II.Coheed and Cambria-From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness

III.My Chemical Romance-The Black Parade

IV.HIM-Love Metal

V.HIM-Venus Doom

Jenny O'Connell said...

oh! My husband, huge music guy, and I do this all the time. My five faves:

1. Poetic Champions Composed - Van Morrison
2. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
3. Union - Toni Childs
4. The Lion and the Cobra - Sinead O'Connor
5. Slippery When Wet - Bon Jovi

harmonybookreviews said...

Awesome. Unfortunately, I must say that I've actually listened to very few of those bands. But, my new year's resolution this year was to expand my music taste so I'll definitely have to listen to them.
My Top 10 Bands:

1. Linkin Park
2. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
3. All American Rejects
4. Yellowcard
5. Skillet
6. Three Days Grace
7. We the Kings
8. I-Nine
9. OneRepublic
10. Rascal Flatts

They're obviously newer bands that aren't very rock-ish but I'm learning to like more bands too.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Oh thank you all for sharing! I love getting more music ideas and am glad if I inspired anyone to check out anything in particular.
Alex, I am soooo jealous that you made a record with Joey Santiago, I can't even tell you. And we have a lot of similar taste it seems so I am going to have to check out the bands I am unfamiliar with on your list. (And thanks for reminding me of my quest to get more stuff by the Blake Babies, I only have an ep by them)
Howard, I have been meaning to check out Coheed and Cambria.
Jenny, I totally love Bon Jovi and Sinead and they will likely end up on the other half of the top 100.
Harmony, I am not familiar with alot on your list, so I will have things to check out, too!

Kelly Parra said...

A great list, Steph!

taltebrando said...

I'm coming to this late so might just be posting for myself BUT, I have to say, and maybe this will date me, but I'd put U2's Joshua Tree in my number one slot. It's not an edgy a choice and I'd like to think someone like myself would make but there you have it. It could just be because of what was going on in my life at the time but that record can reduce me to tears in seconds.

These days I'd probably fill out a top five like so:

2) Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

3) Eels, Shootenanny

4) Built to Spill, Keep It Like a Secret

5) Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville