- The Beatles < Herman's Hermits. Yeah, I went there. If we're using Nate's gut feeling of "whose records would you rather listen to," there's no contest for me. Of course I understand the Beatles' "importance" to rock history, but their albums just don't appeal to me. Their early pop records rate higher than the Beach Boys, sure, but it's still pop. Maybe I've heard the songs too many times to enjoy them, I don't know. Regardless, the humor ("Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter," "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am,") and potential creepiness ("Leaning on a Lamp Post") of Peter Noone and his pals gets me every time and has sealed their number 1 slot in my list of favorite British Invasion groups.
- The Spaghetti Incident? is my favorite Guns N' Roses album. Maybe that's not saying much about the band, seeing as how it's an album of covers and all, but I find myself holding up this album as a highlight of their career more than any other when I find myself embroiled in Def Leppard vs. GN'R debates. (I mean, really, is there any contest?) There's no doubt in my mind that their only non-punk cover on the album -- the Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You" -- is one of the top three cover songs ever. Other highlights are The Damned's "New Rose," the UK Subs' "Down on the Farm," and their ever-so-sad version of Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory." I'm not so obsessive a GN'R fan that I believe every one of their songs is brilliant -- every one of their original albums has its own flaws. Which is perhaps why The Spaghetti Incident? is so incredible - each song is worth multiple listens.
- Lush were perfectly average. I stumbled across Lush in the mid-90s, thanks to WBRU over-playing their single "Ladykillers" and then sponsoring a free concert at Waterplace Park in Providence. I own all of their studio albums (plus a single or two), but I'll be damned if I can tell one from the other (with the notable exception of Lovelife, which I played until it shattered during my sophomore and junior years of high school). It's straight-up shoegazer music that makes for more than adequate mellow background noise, but rarely does a single track grab you and force you to listen. Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson prove that beautiful, harmonizing vocals can be too much of a good thing.
- Empire Burlesque is one of Bob Dylan's three best albums (and album covers). After a number of recording sessions that saw musicians entering and exiting multiple studios, Dylan ended up with a classic album, critics and Billboard charts be damned. "Tight Connection to My Heart" (featuring Sly & Robbie) is as sing-able as any song from Blood on the Tracks. "Seeing the Real You At Last" and "I'll Remember You" are two more classics and the closing track "Dark Eyes" is pure Dylan genius. Most of you probably have never heard this album - I encourage you to do so right now. The '80s cover art is sooo hot.
- Radiohead's OK Computer is brilliant. No, you haven't taken a time machine back to 1997, a year when this wasn't so weird an opinion. But lately it seems like no one's a fan of Radiohead anymore and people are repulsed by the very idea of listening to OK Computer. When did this about-face happen? I'll leave that question to the pop culture professionals. All I know is that OK Computer is one of the most brilliant albums I own. (It also spawned at least one of the best music videos ever created, Paranoid Android.) Honestly, it's easier for me to pick out tracks that are low-lights rather than highlights (I'm talking to you, "Fitter Happier"). I don't expect people with anti-Radiohead biases to shift their opinions anytime soon. I'm perfectly content with the knowledge that I'm right on this one.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Inspired by Mark's Five Weird Opinions, which were inspired by Nate's Five Weird Opinions, here are my very own: