Greatest Songs/Tracks/Movements of All Time (Classical, Rock & Jazz) [in-progress]


  2. 9.0/10
  3. Ascension - John Coltrane - Ascension - Track #1 [entire album] (1965)
  4. Atlantis - Sun Ra - Atlantis - Track #5 (1967) [Track #6 in CD issue that includes a bonus track]

  5. 8.9/10
  6. Satz: Ebene - Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht - Track #1 (1972)

  7. 8.8/10
  8. Pursuance/Psalm - John Coltrane - A Love Supreme - Tracks #3 & 4 (1964)

  9. 8.7/10
  10. Mode D: Trio and Group Dancers/Mode E: Single Solos and Group Dance/Mode F: Group and Solo Dance - Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady - Track #4 (1963)

  11. 8.6/10

  12. 8.5/10
  13. Miss Fortune - Faust - Faust - Track #3 (1971)
  14. Alifib/Alife - Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom - Tracks #4 & 5 (1974)
  15. Touching - Paul Bley - Improvisie - Track #2 (1971)
  16. Djinji's Corner - Marion Brown - Afternoon of a Georgia Faun - Track #2 (1970)

  17. 8.4/10
  18. Conclusion - Keith Jarrett - The Survivor's Suite - Track #2 (1976)
  19. Toccata and Fugue in D minor - J.S Bach (circa 1703-1707)
  20. Free Jazz - Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz - Track #1 [entire album] (1960)

  21. 8.3/10
  22. Lorca - Tim Buckley - Lorca - Track #1 (1970)
  23. Biography - Meredith Monk - Dolmen Music - Track #4 (1981)
  24. Free Form Freak-Out #1/Hurricane Fighter Plane/Free Form Freak-Out #2/Transparent Radiation/Free Form Freak-Out #3/War Sucks/Free Form Freak-Out #4 - Red Crayola - Parable of Arable Land - Track #1 (or Tracks 1-7 depending on the issue) [Entire Side A] (1967)
  25. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde - Track #14 (1966)
  26. The Ascension - Glenn Branca - The Ascension - Track #5 (1981)
  27. Frankie Teardrop - Suicide - Suicide - Track #6 (1977)
  28. The Creator Has A Master Plan - Pharoah Sanders - Karma - Track #1 (1969)
  29. Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint - Ivo Perelman - Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint - Track #2 (1996)

  30. 8.2/10

  31. 8.1/10
  32. Moon In June - Soft Machine - Third - Track #3 (1970)

  33. 8.0/10
  34. A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets - Track #5 (1968)
  35. Tragouthia Apo to Aima Exoun Fonos - Diamanda Galas - Diamanda Galas - Track #2 (1984)
  36. Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Track #7 (1967)
  37. Litanies of Satan - Diamanda Galas - Litanies of Satan - Track #1 (1982)
  38. Vuh - Popol Vuh - In Den Ghaerten Pharoahs - Track #2 (1972)
  39. Fare Forward Voyagers - John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice) - Track #3 (1973)
  40. Unit Structure - Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures - Track #3 (1966)

  41. 7.9/10
  42. Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band - Terry Riley - A Rainbow In Curved Air - Track #2 (1968)
  43. "Untitled" - Hash Jar Tempo - Well Oiled - Track #4 (1997)

  44. 7.8/10
  45. Oh Comely - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Track #8 (1998)
  46. The Magic City - Sun Ra - The Magic City - Track #1 (1965)
  47. La Mezquita Suite - Myra Melford - Even the Sounds Shine - Track #2 (1995)
  48. Steps - Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures - Track #1 (1966)
  49. Panoptikon - Diamanda Galas - Diamanda Galas - Track #1 (1984)

  50. 7.7/10
  51. Hotel Overture - Carla Bley - Escalator Over The Hill - Track #1 (1971)

  52. 7.6/10
  53. The Orb - Sam Rivers - Crystals - Track #5 (1974)
  54. Krautrock - Faust - Faust IV - Track #1 (1973)
  55. Flying Teapot - Gong - Flying Teapot: Radio Gnome Invisible Pt. 1 - Track #2 (1973)
  56. Phallus Dei - Amon Tobin - Phallus Dei - Track #5 (1969)
  57. Valentyne Suite - Colosseum - Valentyne Suite - Tracks 5-7 (1969)
  58. Bel Air - Can - Future Days - Track #4 (1973)
  59. Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory - The Flaming Lips - Telepathic Surgery - Track #8 [CD Version] Track #13 [LP Version]
  60. Five Moods From an English Garden - Anthony Davis - Lady of the Mirrors - Track #3 (1980)
  61. Under the Double Moon - Anthony Davis - Lady of the Mirrors - Track #4 (1980)
  62. Voice of the Turtle - John Fahey - America - Track #12 (1971)
  63. La Novia - Acid Mothers Temple - La Novia - Track #1 (2000)

  64. 7.5/10
  65. The End - The Doors - The Doors - Track #11 (1967)
  66. Halleluhwah - Can - Tago Mago - Track #4 (1972)
  67. The Little House I Used To Live In - Frank Zappa - Burnt Weeny Sandwich - Track #8 (1970)
  68. Marquee Moon - Television - Marquee Moon - Track #4 (1977)
  69. Radio Ethiopia/Abyssinia - Patti Smith - Radio Ethiopia - Tracks #7 & 8 (1976)
  70. Ladybird - Shit & Shine - Ladybird - Track #1 [entire album] (2005)
  71. Obscured - Spring Heel Jack - Amassed - Track #8 (2002)
  72. Exultation - Sam Rivers - Crystals - Track #1 (1974)
  73. The Shadow World - Sun Ra - The Magic City - Track #2 (1965)
  74. Very Sleepy Rivers - Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam - Track #8 (1991)
  75. Evangelista I - Carla Bozulich - Evangelista - Track #1 (2006)

  76. 7.4/10
  77. Cypress Avenue - Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Track #4 (1968)
  78. Beside You - Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Track #2 (1968)
  79. The Mother of Virtues - Pyrrhon - The Mother of Virtues - Track #9 (2014)
  80. Reoccurring Dreams - Husker Du - Zen Arcade - Track #23 (1984)
  81. Even The Sounds Shine - Myra Melford - Even The Sounds Shine - Track #1 (1995)
  82. That The Peace - Myra Melford - Even The Sounds Shine - Track #3 (1995)
  83. Evening of Light - Nico - The Marble Index - Track #8 (1968)
  84. Light My Fire - The Doors - The Doors (1967) - Track #6 (1967)
  85. Thief of Fire - Pop Group - Y - Track #1 (1979)
  86. Taphead - Talk Talk - Laughing Stock - Track #4 (1991)
  87. Little Red Robin Hood Hit the Road - Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom - Track #6 (1974)
  88. Venus in Furs - The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico - Track #4 (1967)
  89. Janitor of Lunacy - Nico - Desertshore - Track #1 (1970)
  90. Bros - Panda Bear - Person Pitch - Track #3 (2007)
  91. European Son - The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico - Track #11 (1967)
  92. Heroin - The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico - Track #7 (1967)
  93. Madrigals of the Rose Angel: 1. Rossetti Noise / 2. The Crystal Garden and a Coda - Harold Budd - Pavilion of Dreams - Track #3 (1978)
  94. A Rainbow in Curved Air - Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air - Track #1 (1968)
  95. Afternoon of a Georgia Faun - Marion Brown - Afternoon of a Georgia Faun - Track #1 (1970)
  96. 1/1 - Brian Eno - Music for Airports - Track #1 (1978)
  97. Bursts - Sam Rivers - Crystals - Track #4 (1974)
  98. The Falconer - Nico - Desertshore - Track #2 (1970)
  99. We Are Time - Pop Group - Y - Track #4 (1979)
  100. Starship - MC5 - Kick Out the Jams - Track #8 (1969)
  101. Sea Song - Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom - Track #1 (1974)
  102. Astral Weeks - Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Track #1 (1968)
  103. Soap Shop Rock - Amon Duul II - Yeti - Track #1 (1970)
  104. Resolution - John Coltrane - A Love Supreme - Track #2 (1964)
  105. Facelift - Soft Machine - Third - Track #1 (1970)
  106. Sweet Oddysee of a Cancer Cell t' th' Center of Yer Heart - Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam - Track #5 (1991)
  107. The Spectacular Commodity - Glenn Branca - The Ascension - Track #2 (1981)
  108. Madame George - Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Track #6 (1968)
  109. Ballerina - Van Morrison - Astral Weeks - Track #7 (1968)
  110. From Her To Eternity - Nick Cave - From Her To Eternity - Track #4 (1984)
  111. Cabin Fever - Nick Cave - From Her To Eternity - Track #2 (1984)
  112. Only Skin - Joanna Newsom - Ys - Track #4 (2006)
  113. Cantelina - Ivo Perelman - Seeds, Visions & Counterpoint - Track #3 (1996)

  114. 7.3/10
  115. Anonymous Proposition - Tim Buckley - Lorca - Track #2 (1970)
  116. Birdland - Patti Smith - Horses - Track #3 (1975)
  117. Emily - Joanna Newsom - Ys - Track #1 (2006)
  118. Che - Suicide - Suicide - Track #7 (1977)
  119. Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity - Type O Negative - Slow, Deep & Hard - Track #1 (1991)
  120. Turnover/Repeater/Brendan #1 - Fugazi - Repeater - Tracks 1-3 (1991)
  121. Saint Huck - Nick Cave - From Her To Eternity - Track #5 (1984)
  122. Have One On Me - Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me - Track #2 (2010)
  123. Lullaby - Low - I Could Live in Hope - Track #6 (1994)
  124. Mütterlein - Nico - Desertshore - Track #7 (1970)
  125. Sawdust & Diamonds - Joanna Newsom - Ys - Track #3 (2006)
  126. Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus - The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute - Track #1 (2005)
  127. Cassandra Gemini - The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute - Tracks 5-12 (2005)
  128. (Edge of the) Ape Oven - Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives - Track #3 (or Track #9, depending on listing) [Side 3] (1990)
  129. When The Fire & The Rose Are One - John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers - Track #1 (1973)
  130. A Box For Black Paul - Nick Cave - From Her To Eternity - Track #7 (1984)
  131. Here, Not Here - Charlambides - Joy Shapes - Track #1 (2004)
  132. Track A: Solo Dancer - Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady - Track #1 (1963)
  133. "Untitled" - Hash Jar Tempo - Well Oiled - Track #1 (1997)
  134. "Untitled" - Hash Jar Tempo - Well Oiled - Track #6 (1997)
  135. Frittering - Mercury Rev - Yerself Is Steam - Track #6 (1991)
  136. Chasing a Bee - Mercury Rev - Yerself is Steam - Track #1 (1991)
  137. When the Music's Over - The Doors - Strange Days - Track #10 (1968)
  138. Gypsy Woman - Tim Buckley - Happy Sad - Track #5 (1968)
  139. Flamenco Sketches - Miles Davis - Kind of Blue - Track #5 (1959)
  140. Aumgn - Can - Tago Mago - Track #5 (1971)
  141. Peking O - Can - Tago Mago - Track #6 (1971)
  142. The Octave Doctors & The Crystal Machine/Zero The Hero & The Witches Spell - Gong - Flying Teapot - Tracks #4 & #5 (1973)
  143. Driftin' - Tim Buckley - Lorca - Track #4 (1970)
  144. Sven-g-englar - Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun - Track #2 (1999)
  145. Original Sin - Pandora's Box - Original Sin - Track #2 (1989)
  146. Desolation Row - Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited - Track #9 (1965)
  147. Finale - Julia Holter - Tragedy - Track #8 (2011)
  148. Starsailor - Tim Buckley - Starsailor - Track #7 (1970)
  149. Two Songs: 1. Let Us Go into the House of the Lord / 2. Butterfly Sunday - Harold Budd - Pavilion of Dreams - Track #2 (1978)
  150. Beyond Reason - Anthony Davis - Lady of the Mirrors - Track #1 (1980)
  151. Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim - Harold Budd - Pavilion of Dreams - Track #1 (1978)
  152. Ain't It Strange - Patti Smith - Radio Ethiopia - Track #2 (1976)
  153. Track C: Group Dancers - Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady - Track #3 (1963)
  154. Track B: Duet Solo Dancers - Charles Mingus - The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady - Track #2 (1963)
  155. Monterey - Tim Buckley - Starsailor - Track #3 (1970)
  156. King Kong Itself & King Kong II-VI - Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat - Tracks 1-6 [Side 4] (1969)


  158. 9.2/10
  159. Sister Ray - The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat - Track #6 (1967)

  160. 9.1/10
  161. Recitative–Allegro ma non tanto: Freude, Tochter aus Elysium!–Prestissimo, Maestoso, Molto prestissimo: Seid umschlungen, Millionen! - Beethoven -Symphony No. 9 in D Minor - 4th Movement (1824)

  162. 9.0/10
  163. Andante comodo - Mahler - Symphony No. 9 in D Major - 1st Movement (1910)

  164. 8.9/10
  165. Ciaccona - J.S. Bach - Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor - 5th Movement (1720)

  166. 8.6/10
  167. Allegro energico e passionato - Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 4 in E minor - 4th Movement (1885)

  168. 8.5/10
  169. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso - Beethoven - Symphony No. 9 in D Minor - 1st Movement (1824)
  170. Allegro - Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor - 4th Movement (1808)

  171. 8.3/10
  172. Allegro assai - Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor "Appassionata" - 1st Movement (1806)
  173. Adagio–Allegro non troppo - Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6 in B minor - 1st Movement (1893)

  174. 8.2/10
  175. Introduzione: Largo...Prestissimo-Fuga: Allegro risoluto - Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major "Hammerklavier" - 4th Movement (1818)

  176. 8.1/10
  177. Allegro con brio - Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor - 1st Movement
  178. Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend-Mahler-Symphony No. 9 in D Major-4th Movement (1910)
  179. Negativland - Neu! - Neu! - Track #5 (1972)

  180. 8.0/10
  181. Xero Tolerance - Type O Negative - Slow, Deep & Hard - Track #3 (1991)
  182. Allegro con brio - Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F Major - 4th Movement (1884)
  183. Ghosts: Second Variation-Albert Ayler-Spiritual Unity-Track #4 (1964)
  184. Allegro non troppo-Brahms-Symphony No. 4 in E minor-1st Movement (1885)
  185. Finale: Allegro molto-Beethoven-Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica"-4th Movement (1804)
  186. Adagio sostenuto - Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major "Hammerklavier" - 3rd Movement (1818)

  187. 7.9/10
  188. Dolmen Music - Meredith Monk - Dolmen Music - Track #5 (1981)
  189. Hosianna Mantra-Popol Vuh-Hosianna Mantra-Track #3 (1973)
  190. Allegro ma non troppo - Presto - Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor "Appassionata" - 3rd Movement (1806)

  191. 7.8/10
  192. Allegro con brio - Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F Major - 1st Movement (1884)
  193. Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers. Etwas täppisch und sehr derb-Mahler-Symphony No. 9 in D Major-2nd Movement (1910)
  194. Voodoo Chile-Jimi Hendrix-Electric Ladyland-Track #4 (1968)
  195. Rondo-Burleske: Allegro assai. Sehr trotzig-Mahler-Symphony No. 9 in D Major-3rd Movement (1910)

  196. 7.7/10
  197. Ghost/"Untitled" - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Tracks #9 & 10 (1998)
  198. Allegro - Ludwig Van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major "Hammerklavier" - 1st Movement (1818)
  199. The Wizard-Albert Ayler-Spiritual Unity-Track #2 (1964)

  200. 7.6/10
  201. Good Morning Captain - Slint - Spiderland - Track #6 (1991)
  202. In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King - Track #5 (1969)
  203. Epitaph - King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King - Track #3 (1969)
  204. Bon Voyage Au LSD - Acid Mothers Temple - La Novia - Track #3 (2000)
  205. Improvisie - Paul Bley - Improvisie - Track #1 (1971)
  206. Finale: Adagio lamentoso – Andante - Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 6 in B minor - 4th Movement (1893)
  207. Moonlight On Vermont-Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band-Trout Mask Replica-Track #6 (1969)
  208. Revolution 9-The Beatles-The Beatles-Track #29 (1966)
  209. Part Four: Never Known Questions-Residents-Not Available-Track #4 (1978)
  210. Part Two: The Making of a Soul-Residents-Not Available-Track #2 (1978)
  211. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai-Beethoven-Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica"-2nd Movement (1804)
  212. Prelude to Agony-Type O Negative-Slow, Deep & Hard-Track #4 (1991)
  213. Allegro con brio-Beethoven-Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica"-1st Movement (1804)

  214. 7.5/10
  215. Two-Headed Boy/The Fool - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Tracks #4 & 5 (1998)
  216. Tubular Bells Part 2-Mike Oldfield-Tubular Bells-Track #2 (1973)
  217. ...A Psychopath - Lisa Germano - Geek the Girl - Track #6 (1994)
  218. Temple of Love-Sisters of Mercy-Temple of Love (1983)
  219. Why Don't You Eat Carrots?-Faust-Faust-Track #1 (1971)
  220. Dark Star-The Grateful Dead-Live/Dead-Track #1 (1969)
  221. Kick Out The Jams-MC5-Kick Out The Jams-Track #2 (1969)
  222. 21st Century Schizoid Man-King Crimson-In The Court of the Crimson King-Track #1 (1969)
  223. Der Untermensch-Type O Negative-Slow, Deep & Hard-Track #2 (1991)
  224. Washer-Slint-Spiderland-Track #4 (1991)
  225. Part Three: Ship's a'Going Down-Residents-Not Available-Track #3 (1978)
  226. Scherzo: Molto vivace – Presto-Beethoven-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor-2nd Movement (1824)

  227. 7.4/10
  228. All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico - Track #6 (1967)
  229. Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Track #6 (1998)
  230. Hallogallo - Neu! - Neu! - Track #1 (1972)
  231. Revelation - Love - Da Capo - Track #7 (1966)
  232. Adagio molto e cantabile – Andante moderato – Tempo primo – Andante moderato – Adagio – Lo stesso tempo-Beethoven-Symphony No. 9 in D Minor-3rd Movement (1824)
  233. Visions of Johanna-Bob Dylan-Blonde On Blonde-Track #3 (1966)
  234. Tubular Bells Part 1-Mike Oldfield-Tubular Bells-Track #1 (1973)
  235. Ghosts: First Variation-Albert Ayler-Spiritual Unity-Track #1 (1964)
  236. Meadow Meal-Faust-Faust-Track #2 (1971)
  237. Andante moderato-Brahms-Symphony No. 4 in E minor-2nd Movement (1885)
  238. Andante con moto - Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor - 2nd Movement (1808)
  239. Part One: Edweena-Residents-Not Available-Track #1 (1978)
  240. Gravitational Constant-Type O Negative-Track #7 (1991)

  241. 7.3/10
  242. Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Track #11 (1998)
  243. Lieber Honig - Neu! - Neu! - Track #6 (1972)
  244. The Future Ain't What It Used to Be - Pandora's Box - Original Sin - Track #14 (1989)
  245. The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One/The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three - Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Tracks #1 & 2 (1998)
  246. Poco allegretto - Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F Major - 3rd Movement (1884)
  247. After the Flood-Talk Talk-Laughing Stock-Track #3 (1991)
  248. Evening Might Still-Myra Melford-Even The Sounds Shine-Track #5 (1995)
  249. Free Form Freak-Out/Former Reflections Enduring Doubt-Red Crayola-Parable of Arable Land-Track #4 (1967)
  250. Allegro giocoso-Brahms-Symphony No. 4 in E minor-3rd Movement (1885)

  252. “JMK-80 CFN-7”-Anthony Braxton-Saxophone Improvisations, Series F-Track #4 (1972)
  253. Communications #11 Part 1 & 2-Michael Mantler-The Jazz Composer's Orchestra-Tracks #5 & #6 (1968)
  254. To Composer John Cage-Anthony Braxton-For Alto-Track #2 (1968)
  255. Cantos IV-Franz Koglmann-Cantos I-IV-Track #4 (1992)
  256. Pharoah's Dance-Bitches Brew-Miles Davis-Track #1 (1969)
  257. Bitches Brew-Miles Davis-Bitches Brew-Track #2 (1969)
  258. The Modern Dance-Pere Ubu-The Modern Dance-Track #2 (1978)
  259. Street Waves-Pere Ubu-The Modern Dance-Track #4 (1978)
  260. Sentimental Journey-Pere Ubu-The Modern Dance-Track #9 (1978)
  261. Non-Alignment Pact-Pere Ubu-The Modern Dance-Track #1 (1978)
Author Comments: 

My criteria for my ratings of songs/tracks/movements is the exact same as my criteria for complete Rock/Jazz albums or complete Classical music works. For instance, when I rate a song, track or movement, I am saying that it is just as extraordinary as an entire Rock/Jazz album or Classical music work of the same rating. In other words, it would be equal in accordance with the following formula:

Accumulation of the degree and consistency of expressed emotional content and ingenuity within the time frame of the work.

For an explanation of my criteria, go here:

Man, I can already tell this thing is going to be quite epic in scope.

Yea, no kidding. The 9.25/10 plus will eventually number in the hundreds, maybe up to a thousand or more, and the 9/10 section will be huge (if I keep it). I may limit this particular list to 9.5+. Not sure yet. For now I'm just gonna go for it.

a TEN from AfterHours?! I probably give the 9th a 9.5 overall, I'm gonna have to go and give the 4th movement another go!

To be totally precise, it rounds up to a 10. Probably a 9.9.

You should listen to the whole symphony on the link I provide from my top 10 albums of the week page. That's the performance of the ages and the way it should be heard.

Yes definitely, that's the recording I have on my computer, I think it's probably a 9.5 (possibly 9.75) and it keeps getting better.


Beethoven's Grosse Fuge should definitely occupy the #2 spot, as the second of two 9.9's. Have you heard it?

Yes, and from what I remember it was incredible. But it's been years, and currently I can't tell you if I would agree or not. I'll be hearing it again soon and will be able to place it then.

Well, just listened to it

I considered it anywhere from a 9.4-9.6, currently going with the lower rating, but I'll be listening to it frequently from here on out, so perhaps it will move up. 9.5 seems a likely spot for it, I just haven't quite connected to it on that level so far. We'll see. Thanks!

I've been listening to Beethoven's Symphony #9 in D Minor - "Choral" lately - about 4 times total (all 4 movements each time), and I honestly don't get it. Is there some way one should listen to it to fully appreciate it? It doesn't seem to be opening up to me. The most I get out of it's OK. I find that odd, because it's famously very easy to understand - its first performance in Vienna got 5 standing ovations from the audience. What am I missing? Jazz and modern avante-garde both open up nicely to me, but romantic/baroque/classical appears to withhold its secrets from me. Seeing as you progressed from rock to classical as well, do you have any ideas as to what I should do differently to help understand this music?

Try this:

Separated into two parts, each just over 32 min.

Make sure you have 65 straight minutes available. Play it at a high volume. Try not to get distracted, and I suggest doing it on a headphone connection, as this pinpoints and balances each aspect of the orchestra & voices best.

Do your best to observe and connect with each bursting hurricane of emotion, each beautiful melody, each instruments'/voices' part. Notice how wildy emotional the symphony is. It virtually defies logic and its overwhelming nature has a certain epic madness to it, as if Beethoven was frusteratingly trying to cram as much emotional turmoil and transcendant beauty into it as possible, regardless of the potential fixed formatting limitations symphonies up until that point had posed. He had clearly descended into total madness here, as the symphony is bookended first by one of the most intensely stricken movements of music ever composed (notice how during its developing sections it sways and veers in and out of control before ascending and collapsing in total devastation), and last by the overwhelming, monumental tidal wave of the Ode to Joy. In between lies an "incorrectly placed" 2nd movement in which time is running out and thunderous herds of percussion hammer down, and where that one "should be placed" lies a nakedly beautiful slow movement of infinite beauty.

Hope that helps!

Not only all this, but the 9th actually recreates itself in the image of a new symphony over its last movement, which stands alone in symphonic form in and of itself.

That does I'll help, I'll try doing what you suggest. Up until now, I've been listening either on a bus, or while at work when running statistical analyses (in other words, not fully engaged) - I've never actually actively listened to it in an environment free of distraction. That might do the trick. Thank you.

Yea, let me know what happens when you try it that way. Maybe I'll think up some more suggestions if you run into any more trouble. If any musical work is worth your unabided attention this is it! Good luck!

I've listened to it twice since, and I'm actually enjoying it a lot more. I get the feeling that this is going to rise a lot with a few more plays.

Still, I do have one block: the vocals near the end. Not only is it that awful "Ode to Joy" melody played to death in a thousand milk commercials and every music course I've ever taken (and in about 3/4 of them, someone in the class thinks it's clever to sing along with the "Drink Milk Love Life" lyrics. In one particular instance it was half of the other students singing it together [while I died a little inside]). Not only that, to me the singing comes across like melodramatic Italian opera, which I despise. I'm really getting into the rest, but that ending is going in the opposite direction: each listen brings more disgust. I hate slicing pieces out of anything I listen to (it seems so arrogant, as if I'm saying: "I could've arranged it better than Beethoven"), but it's a real struggle to get through it. I'm not even exaggerating: every time I hear it, my eyes roll back so far that I swear my optic nerves are going to snap. To me, that's a shame. Any suggestions? Or were you lucky enough to never have those experiences with the piece?

Hmmm...not sure how to help you on that one. Usually I focus more on the emotion (the intensity, the conviction), not so much the melody. The amount of compassion involved with each vocalist individually, and the level of overwhelm when the hundreds of vocalists compile is pretty astonishing to me. Don't know if that helps. Good luck.

I think he is talking about the emotion and not just the melody, but saying that all that intensity adds up to something overblown and melodramatic.

I personally loved the 9th when I saw it performed live, but I could understand how someone could feel the way darktremor does, especially listening to a recording.

Right, I was just trying to give him a little taste of what I see in it to see if that's something he could relate to upon further listening. Like I said, I don't really have anything I can say to help him other than possibly that. Seeing it live would be the ultimate.

True, it was awesome live.

No, it's literally just a bad association. Although I agree, it is overblown and dramatic.

I'm enjoying the rest of the piece immensely, so it's really not the end of the world to me. I do appreciate all the help you both gave me in understanding it.

Perhaps eventually seeing it live might remove that block.

Yea, if that doesn't do it you're screwed ( :

My association is with A Clockwork Orange. I find it to be much more memorable than in adverts etc :)

I can understand that

Rating the songs has become excruciatingly difficult so (at least for now) I've chosen to just list them all in order. Rating them is especially challenging when comparing a whole work (like Repons), which is 45 or so continuous minutes (10 movements), to a track such as Alifib/Alife from Rock Bottom (a "mere" 12 minutes and it's complete opposite).

Additionally it becomes quite confusing as well, when one considers that Trout Mask Replica hasn't a single track I'd rate higher than a 9.1 or a 9.2 yet as an album rates out to a 9.5 (9.4 minimum). This is due to the fact that if one combines it all as a single composition it comes together to make something signifincantly more emotional than the individual parts, since each of these are adding onto a single whole--a cumulative effect. This can easily be understood if one were to take a song (to keep it simple) that everybody knows such as Light My Fire. Let's say it is a 9.3/10. Good, now break it up into 28 parts (like TMR). Are each of those 28 parts also a 9.3? Of course not! What you'd have would be 15 second sections each only something like 20 notes long, with significantly lower emotional impact than the 7 minute whole. The same thing applies to albums. This is also why I no longer rate out an album song to song. I now just ask myself what its combined, accumulative total amounts to.

What are your thoughts on A Night on Bare Mountain?

Not sure if I've heard it. What's it from? Who's the composer?

Mussorgsky. It's on Fantasia, along with Rite of Spring & T&F in D Minor, among others. It has such presence, it's an inspiring piece.

Oh okay, thanks. Don't think I've heard it then. What would you rate it?

Probably an 8.75, perhaps more. It's quite different from a lot of stuff as I can tell, but isn't quite in the 9+ catergory.

You have some songs from Geek the Girl but not (in my opinion) two of the best; Sexy Little Girl Princess and Phantom Love.

Perhaps the epic Cassandra Gemini deserves a move up? Up to you of course but recently I've really found it to be (as a song) 9.5+ worthiness, it's jus that the rest of the album brings it down to a 9.0.

Sexy... and Phantom Love are both amazing but I don't consider them 9/10. Infact, I may have to remove many of the other songs on this list (including some of the ones from Geek the Girl). Geek the Girl as a whole is quite superior to its individual parts, due to how well it all comes together and the gradation of emotional impact from each song on top of the last. As one composition (the entire album), it is an astounding masterpiece. Each part, though, isn't necessarily on that same, overall, level. This is true for most albums.

As for Cassandra Gemini... It is truly an astonishing work. However, I am "learning" more and more that very few songs are 9.5 (in my opinion). It almost always takes the cumulative impact and expanding emotional content of an entire album to produce results that incredible. To say a song is a 9.5 is to say it has the overall emotional power and significance of Black Saint or Beethoven's 9th. It is only recently that I've drawn this conclusion, so when I re-release the ratings on this list they will be markedly lower than the used to be (example: Ode to Joy is probably a 9.6/10 or 9.7/10 instead of 9.9/10). Sister Ray is probably a 9.5, etc....

I agree with your first point, it is how I feel about TMR in particular, though I personally feel at least one of those merits a 9/10 (maybe I'm being too generous).

As for Cassandra Gemini... It is truly an astonishing work.

Amen to that.

As for the rest of your point, it's fair enough if you feel that way, I too sometimes feel like I'm getting more and more particular in my musical tastes, and that most is just not worthy.

I agree with your first point, it is how I feel about TMR in particular, though I personally feel at least one of those merits a 9/10 (maybe I'm being too generous).

Yes, definitely. Almost all of them are around 9 or above. I just haven't taken the time to put them on here yet.

Perhaps a lower placement for the emotional and cacophonous I Offered It Up To The Stars And The Night Sky By Dirty Three?

There's a ton of revisions to be made on this list. I don't necessarily feel that's one of them though, but it may be when I get around to listening to it again.

Only two off Desertshore? How about Abschied or Mutterlein?

The list needs to be revised, probably today or in the next couple days. I'll look at what needs to be added from Desertshore along with that.

Whoa, I am swamped. I thought I was on the Rock & Jazz songs list when saying the above. This one will be revised too, when I get to it, just not sure when. Could be soon, might be a bit longer.

Some Recommendations :

Talk Talk - The Rainbow/Eden/Desire (Apparently all one big piece, this is an incredibly emotional piece of music, at least 9+)
Shit & Shine - Ladybird
Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air
Terry Riley - Poppy NoGood & The Phantom Band
Meredith Monk - Dolmen Music
The Stooges - We Will Fall (If you haven't heard it, Scaruffi describes it as a cross between The End and Venus in Furs, and actually has Cale playing a viola throughout.)
Sonic Youth - Trilogy
Peter Gabriel - Passion
Peter Gabriel - Of These, Hope
Loads of songs by Amon Duul II
The United States of America - The United States of America

I understand if you don't have time to review these currently, but hopefully in time you might give them a look :)

Thanks, I've heard and love all of those, except "We Will Fall" and "Loads of Songs by Amon Duul" (just a few) and "United States of America"

My thoughts:

Spirit of Eden probably breaks down as follows for me (individual track ratings)...track 1 is a 7.5 and the next 5 are each 8's. If the first 3 were combined into one track I would give that an 8. The second half is also an 8 and every bit as emotionally profound.

Ladybird is a high 8.

The two Terry Riley tracks are still under consideration. They're each 8.5's right now but...we'll see...I go back and forth between 8.5 and 9 with both of them.

The track Dolmen Music is an 8.5-9. I might rate it a 9 as I have before. It's certainly a close one. Biography is definitely a 9+.

Trilogy is an 8.

The Peter Gabriel tracks are 7.5-8.

Feel free to query any others. It makes me put them into perspective and helps me get more and more acclimated to rating songs (which is more difficult than albums for me).

Also, this list is not currently being attended to. It will change dramatically when I get around to it as my standards are more demanding. All I'm focusing on with songs/tracks is the rock and jazz one at the moment and you can get a great idea of what constitutes a 9+ for me by viewing that one, but not so much with this one as it currently is.

What do you consider the best songs of Repeater and Double Nickels on the Dime?

Probably Turnover (track #1) on Repeater, though perhaps I'd consider 1-3 as one since it's all connected.

With Double Nickels I don't know the songs by titles very well so I have no idea. I'd have to go through it while paying attention to those, which I will do in the not too distant future as part of compiling the songs/tracks list.

I see no Tangerine Dream... Not even Birth of The Liquid Plejades or Atem?

Give the man a chance boy. =p

That's because I'm not working on this list whatsoever. Only the Rock/Jazz one is being worked on right now. Atem will be added once I decide where to place it. I've never heard Birth...or at least I don't recognize the title...

Birth of Liquid Plejades is the first song on Zeit by Tangerine Dream. Scaruffi gives that album an 8/10.

Surely Mozart somewhere?

"That's because I'm not working on this list whatsoever. Only the Rock/Jazz one is being worked on right now."

Ahh yeah, my bad. However, even off the top of your head you must think of at least some of his work that would merit a placement, even if just to appease my curiousity?

I'd have to go back through his major works to be sure...certainly the last track of his 41st would be a 9+, but he has a lot more 8's or 8.5's from his other major symphonies (36, 38, 39 , 40). 1st and last tracks from his 20th and 21st piano concertos would rank well. Track(s) from his Requiem. There's a ton of stuff that would be in the 8 range, but off the top of my head the last track from his 41st is the only 9+ (per the revised 8/8.5/9 scale on my "Rock/Jazz" list, not this one).

An extraordinary undertaking, I'm having enough trouble trying to straighten out my top ten albums and films; forget something as ambitious as this.

A small difference: I'd have Mahler's 9th and Coltrane's A Love Supreme (I consider it to be the greatest work of art ever) in the top five. Of course this is a minor point as you're still placing them ahead of thousands of other possibilities.

One thing, though, regarding Stockhausen's Gesang der Junglinge. I have an enormous amount of respect for him as a composer and the strides he took in music are almost unparalleled... but what do you see in this piece that makes it so amazing? It's unbelievably inventive but I don't get any real enjoyment out of it.

Seems like you may be referring to my "Greatest Musical Works" list...

That list needs some serious revision, as well as this songs/tracks one.

Either way, no argument from me about A Love Supreme and Mahler's 9th in the top 5. I listen to both of them often and would probably rank Mahler's 9th #1 if I were to compile a list right this second...but Beethoven's 9th or Mingus' Black Saint are also right there, among others like TMR, Verdi's Requiem, etc. Also Shostakovich's 15th roams up and down my list, anywhere between Irrlicht and Faust at any given listen. A Love Supreme is certainly up there as well, as listed.

Re: Gesang der Junglinge. Eventually, with enough listens, the whole thing, as free, fragmented, indecipherable and spacious as it is, somehow works together into a definable cycle, becoming a wholly unique musical universe that utterly defies any and all "rules" of rhythm, tempo, composition...if anything I'm probably underrating it...

Do you really think that Revolution #9 by Beatles is greater than the 2nd movement of Ninth Symphony. Only a question, man...

Its been at least a year since I listened to either, but yea. Revolution #9 is their masterpiece if my memory serves...

Revolution 9 was always my favorite Beatles song. I never understood why all the Beatlemaniacs hated it. It’s a frightening display of avant-garde and Stockhausen’s tape-loop experimentations. Even after all the music I’ve explored, I’ve never witnessed anything as eerie as Revolution 9. By far one of their most creative efforts, its such a shame the Beatles never explored any further in that direction.

Agreed. Probably the reason most Beatles fans hate it is because it's so far outside even the more atypical Beatles songs (such as Day in the Life, Tomorrow Never Knows--each of these, despite their experiments, still employ easily followed structures, whereas Revolution 9 is quite free form). Try Faust's self titled debut if you want to get a fix similar in vein to Revolution 9. Faust's debut is among the greatest masterworks of all time (imo).

If it were listened to "for emotion" instead of "listening to a song", then more people would probably 'get it'.

Well, here is a Beatlemaniac who loves R-9 even more than some of their best-loved songs.
Dude, R-9 is one of my reasons I think The White Album was the Beatles' masterpiece. It was sad, when I read about how George Martin wanted The Beatles to be a single album, and R-9 was going to be excluded from the album, and that so many people, even fans, agree with them. There is so much wrong with that.

You're a rare bird :)

Haha, I guess I am.

Thx for answer, mate.

Check out these remarkable movements when you get a chance:

Claude Debussy:
Prélude À L'Après-Midi D'Un Faune
Clair De Lune

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Concerto 21 - 1st movement and 2nd movement
The Marriage of Figaro - Overture

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:
Swan Lake - grand finale- last movement
Six Morceaux - Valse Sentimentale

Richard Wagner:
Ride of The Valkyries

Modest Mussorgsky:
Night On Bald Mountain
Pictures At An Exhibition - No. 1 "Gnomus", No. 2 "Il vecchio castello"

Igor Stravinsky:
The Rite Of Spring - Introduction, Dances Of The Young Girls
Petrushka - The Begining, The Crowds

Lennie Tristano:
Descent Into The Maelstrom

Iannis Xenakis:

Franz Schubert:
Symphony No. 9 - 1st movement and 3rd movement

Ljubica Marić:
Byzantine Concerto - all three movements

Klaus Schulze:
Cyborg - Synphara

Thanks, great suggestions. I've heard all these except I don't think I've heard:

Claude Debussy:
Prélude À L'Après-Midi D'Un Faune
Clair De Lune

Iannis Xenakis:

...and I have yet to track down:

Lennie Tristano:
Descent Into The Maelstrom

All of the ones you listed would be on here, somewhere between 7.5-9--I just haven't worked on this list in a long time and have yet to get back to it. It needs major revisions.

Unfortunately the legendary album Descent Into The Maelstrom is impossible to find now, you may have to bite the bullet and download it. It makes me sick that so many great works are OOP nowadays. Too bad.

NOTE: Sister Ray, Ascension, 1st Movement of Mahler's 9th, and 4th Movement of Beethoven's 9th are all under very strong consideration for a 9.3+ rating... any one of them, along with Atlantis, could be the greatest track/movement of music ever... I am approximately 97.265% certain that no other tracks/movements currently listed could be 9.3+ ... NOTE #2: meticulously rating all these tracks in exact order ain't easy :)

Sister Ray FTW! :)

What would you rate the title track of ITAOTS? Oh, and Oh Comely appears twice.

Thanks I'll fix that. It's the higher one of course.

Title track... Probably 7.1-ish, or 7.2. Within it's short running time, that is a considerable degree of emotion to attain, and not really any less impressive than the other songs being doubled up and rating higher with more time to do so.

I see. I was a bit surprised to see it didn't make your list. Your ideas about the relation between running time and degree of emotion I find a bit weird, no offence :P IMO many "epics" have the potential to attain that emotion in a shorter running time.

You're just misunderstanding what I mean, which is understandable because I didn't understandably explain it :) It's not the running time that's being rated, it's the degree of emotional/compelling content expressed. Naturally, it takes time to express this -- even if a little -- therefore time plays a part. Obviously an entire album is usually more powerful overall than one song within that album. It goes without saying that a longer song that continues to increase in emotional/compelling content is usually going to be more powerful overall than a shorter song that hasn't expanded to the same degree.

I get what you mean a bit better now, thanks. I just had that impression because you wrote "rating higher with more time to do so". I still don't agree completely but I'll have to listen to more longer tracks perhaps to understand. I wonder what you'd think of the tracks on the album Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham....

No problem. I haven't heard Dim The Lights yet but it sounds interesting and I should check it out soon -- I hope ;)

Hey, been a while - was hoping you could explain how you determine what qualifies for this list..

It seems that you have included "irreducible units", meaning albums that don't have tracks, suites that must be considered on the whole, or individual songs that aren't suited.

By that logic, I feel that Zappa's Absolutely Free's first side contains an intro (Plastic People) and two suites (the Duke one and the Vegetables one). Are you saying that they are musically bound together into a supersuite? I don't hear any commonalities between them or bridges or anything. Do you mean just the fact that the whole first is titled as if it's one thing? To me it's like that was just for fun (and by that logic you could do the same for Astral Week's "In the Beginning" and "Afterwrds", although I think that was the producer's idea)

Also, I don't believe that the fact that the second side is bookended by versions of America Drinks makes that all one composition either. Is it the preponderance of Stravinsky quotes throughout.. or again just the unified title for side 2 or something else?

I definitely see the point with the way you divided The Parable Of Arable Land. All of the freakouts on side one dually function as an end to a "song" and a beginning of a new one, effectively making the whole side one big sandwich. Then side 2 breaks the pattern by not starting with a "song" or a continuation of the last freakout, but with a new freakout, thereby starting a new "track". Then the last 2 bits of the album are separate from this sandwich. So there are 3 "tracks".

Hey man, great to hear -- or, "read" -- from you again. A sign of further residency here to come?

Soon I will be re-listening (probably a number of times) and reviewing how I've broken up Absolutely Free. I was sort of just throwing it up there when I listed it here a year or 2 ago. The basis of how I place songs/tracks/suites on here is simply where it "ends" and "starts". Even if it's multiple tracks running one after the other, if they are "continuously" played during the album, they are considered one "unit" on this list -- unless they are obviously not really meant to do that (for instance, Sgt Pepper was apparently post-produced as a "continuous unit" in it's original 1967 version [is this actually true btw?], but obviously this wasn't intended, compositionally speaking, for most of the album). Conversely, the medley to Abbey Rd would certainly qualify if it was 7.3+ (maybe). Hope I didn't explain that too complicatedly. I'm a little tired right now.

You too.
just maybe!...

So I think your "unit" concept is pretty much the same as what I thought, the smallest "complete" unit possible.

Another complicated one would be Soft Machine's Volume Two. Side 1 is either all one track ("Rivmic Melodies") or two (what's bookended with the "Pataphsyicals" followed by "Out of Tunes") or more (what's bookended with the alphabet stuff is all one and maybe some of the rest can be grouped too). Side 2 is either all one track ("Esther's Nose Job") or three (Perfectly Still/Dedicated; everything before the finale; the finale)

Thanks, I try to be pretty meticulous about it all. I'll have to check Vol 2 out. Still havent heard it.


Surprised to not see side 1 of In Den Garten Pharaohs listed.

I have to listen to it more to be more certain of the rating. Similar to Schulze's Irrlicht in that one side (in this case the 2nd) is definitely superior (imo).

Not sure I agree; it is incredibly beautiful to me, the entire album really. It makes me feel like I'm alone in the middle of the night, full moon out, wading through a river in a jungle, and coming across the remains of a lost civilization. I explore, taking in the sense of mystery around me, and come across an abandoned temple. I slowly push the doors open, and see the moonlight shining through a crack in the ceiling. Then Vuh starts and it is 20 minutes of bliss.

Really weird, huh? I get similar chills during parts of Meet The Residents. Maybe I should get myself checked out.

Not weird to me. I actually think a vast ability to experience things (particularly the arts) is important for happiness/sanity. The most miserable, insane people I've ever met are those that are closeted up, never talk to anyone, hardly ever experience anything...

I'm not sure what I'd rated track 1 yet. Vuh sounds like an eternally pending end of the world to me.

The Residents - Six Things to a Cycle, from Fingerprince. That is all.

Thanks, haven't heard that album yet. Looks like you really dig it.

To be honest, the shorter songs on the album fall between just good and great. Six Things to a Cycle, though, is one of the greatest compositions of all time.

Thanks for the suggest. I'll try and check it out soon, along with that Jimmy Bell's in Town album.

Jimi Hendrix's "Machine Gun"?

Good call! I'd forgotten about it. It's been years, so I'll have to re-listen (soon).