10 Albums


While it was tough listing my top 10 singles, putting together the top 10 albums was less so, although still quite a challenge.

So what makes a great album? I suppose everyone has their own criteria, and a lot of those would be common for many different people. For me, the criteria is pretty simple: it would have to move me so profoundly, that I would never tire of listening to it again and again, over an extended period of time – preferably as long as I still breathe. And, although I find it appealing, album art is not a factor.

It would have been easy to just choose Compilations or Greatest Hits, or even Soundtracks, but I decided I’m having none of that. So here they are in order:

  1. Throwing Copper – Live (1994)
  2. Signing Off – UB40 (1980)
  3. Under The Table And Dreaming – Dave Matthews Band (1993)
  4. 10 – Pearl Jam (1991)
  5. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd (1975)*
  6. Scarecrow – John Mellencamp (1985)
  7. Third Stage – Boston (1986)
  8. Razorblade Suitcase – Bush (1996)
  9. Uprising – Bob Marley & The Wailers (1980)
  10. Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses (1987)

* I was conflicted selecting this Pink Floyd album. I could just as easily replace it with The Final Cut from 1983.

And so we get to 10 albums that didn’t quite make the final cut. In no particular order:

  1. Caught In The Act – Grand Funk Railroad (1975)
  2. Frampton Comes Alive – Peter Frampton (1976)**
  3. China – Vangelis (1979)
  4. Songs For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age (2002)
  5. One Hot Minute – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1995)
  6. Love Over Gold – Dire Straits (1982)
  7. Zooropa – U2 (1993)
  8. Monster – R.E.M. – (1994)
  9. Hybrid Theory – Linkin Park (2000)
  10. Nevermind – Nirvana (1991)

** Technically a compilation live album

Yesterday felt like death…

I love the feeling when we lift off
Watching the world so small below
I love the dreaming when I think of
The safety in the clouds out my window
I wonder what keeps us so high up
Could there be a love beneath these wings
If we suddenly fall should I scream out
Or keep very quiet and cling to my mouth as I’m crying
So frightened of dying
Relax, yes, I’m trying
But fear’s got a hold on me

The fear’s all gone today. Live life.

Have a great week.

The abuse of artistic work for bigoted causes

While I strongly support freedom of expression, I won’t condone abusing someone or their work to further a cause or argument without their explicit consent. Further, it would be just plain dishonest to present the person or their work in a manner not congruent with their known beliefs. Yet, it happens all the time.

There were two incidences this week in the USA where music was abused by bigoted people to highlight their bigoted causes.

Frankie Sullivan, guitarist and songwriter had every right to be outraged when his song Eye of the Tiger written for Survivor was played at a sympathy rally supported by presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, when Kim Davis was released from a Kentucky jail. Kim, a born-again Christian, was tossed in jail by U.S. District Judge David Bunning for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Sullivan had previously filed suit against Republican candidate Newt Gingrich who had used the song during his campaign.

In the second incident, Donald Trump used R.E.M.’s song It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) at a Republican rally in the Capitol. Needless to say R.E.M. were not amused and released a statement on Facebook condemning the abuse of their music.

It is being reported on Salon that band member Mike Mills released a further statement from lead singer Michael Stipe which was much more explicit:

Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you–you sad, attention grabbing, power-hungry little men. Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.

Neil Young and the Dropkick Murphys have also expressed anger over the use of their songs by Donald Trump.

Surely there are many artists whose outlook on life might lend itself to prejudice, who would not mind their songs being used by bigots like Trump and Davis? How hard can it be it be for bigots to find them?

Update: R.E.M. posted this to their Facebook page today, 11 September 2015. Political Campaigns and Music Licensing.

Floydian mind fuck

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.

Playing in my mind on repeat today. Can’t fathom why, but if I want anything messing with my mind, it would have to be this.