My Favorite Albums and EPs (8+/10)

  1. 10/10
  2. The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady - Charles Mingus

  3. 9.8/10
  4. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel

  5. 9.6/10
  6. White Light/White Heat - The Velvet Underground
  7. Trout Mask Replica - Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

  8. 9.5/10
  9. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
  10. Rock Bottom - Robert Wyatt

  11. 9.4/10
  12. Future Days - Can

  13. 9.3/10
  14. Fun House - The Stooges

  15. 9.2/10
  16. The Modern Dance - Pere Ubu
  17. Starsailor - Tim Buckley

  18. 9.1/10
  19. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
  20. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - Pink Floyd
  21. The Velvet Underground And Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico
  22. Perfect From Now On - Built to Spill
  23. Faust - Faust

  24. 9.0/10
  25. Half Machine Lip Moves - Chrome
  26. The Doors - The Doors
  27. Exile On Main St. - The Rolling Stones

  28. 8.9/10
  29. Meet The Residents - The Residents
  30. Parable Of Arable Land - The Red Crayola
  31. Spirit of Eden - Talk Talk
  32. Good - Morphine
  33. Frizzle Fry - Primus

  34. 8.8/10
  35. Nail - Scraping Foetus off the Wheel
  36. Y - The Pop Group
  37. Yerself Is Steam - Mercury Rev
  38. Loveless - My Bloody Valentine
  39. Fugazi - Fugazi
  40. Blues and Roots - Charles Mingus

  41. 8.7/10
  42. Safe As Milk - Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

  43. 8.6/10
  44. Yes - Morphine
  45. Ruby Vroom - Soul Coughing
  46. Kick Out The Jams - MC5
  47. You Made Me Realise - My Bloody Valentine
  48. Thunder, Lightning, Strike - The Go! Team
  49. Young Liars - TV On the Radio

  50. 8.5/10
  51. Fire Of Love - The Gun Club
  52. The Lemon of Pink - The Books
  53. Marquee Moon - Television
  54. Dummy - Portishead [11-track edition]

  55. 8.4/10
  56. Endless Summer - Fennesz
  57. The Beatles - The Beatles
  58. Tri Repetae - Autechre

  59. 8.3/10
  60. Tremolo - My Bloody Valentine

  61. 8.2/10
  62. The Charm Of The Highway Strip - The Magnetic Fields
  63. On the Beach - Neil Young
  64. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
  65. Hosianna Mantra - Popol Vuh

  66. 8.1/10
  67. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
  68. Underwater Moonlight - The Soft Boys

  69. 8.0/10
  70. Abbey Road - The Beatles
  71. Encarnado - Juçara Marçal
  72. Cure for Pain - Morphine
  73. Suicide - Suicide
  74. Severe Exposure - Six Finger Satellite
  75. Surfer Rosa - Pixies

  76. 7.9/10
  77. Third - Soft Machine
  78. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
  79. Faust IV - Faust
  80. Hidden - These New Puritans
  81. The Clash - The Clash

  82. 7.8/10
  83. The Stooges - The Stooges
  84. Strange Days - The Doors
  85. Bromst - Dan Deacon
  86. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
  87. An Awesome Wave - alt-j
  88. Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

  90. Ascension (Edition II) - John Coltrane
  91. Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
  92. Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice) - John Fahey
  93. Twin Infinitives - Royal Trux
  94. Double Nickels On The Dime - Minutemen
  95. Spiderland - Slint
  96. The Marble Index - Nico
  97. Buy - James Chance and the Contortions
  98. Blonde On Blonde - Bob Dylan
  99. Unit Structures - Cecil Taylor
  100. Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
  101. Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü
  102. The United States of America - The United States of America
  103. Bufo Alvarius, Amen 29:15 - Bardo Pond
  104. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
  105. Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished - Avey Tare and Panda Bear
  106. A Rainbow In Curved Air - Terry Riley

Interesting list. And at last an user, who don't think that the best album of all time only worth a 9,5/10.

Thank you :D

And I nearly thought that, but Highway 61 was so good, I couldn't rate it lower than 10.

Sweet list.

Fantastic list... and "White Light/White Heat" is rated higher than "& Nico" ! Awesome.

Thanks. VU & Nico has more variety while probably being more consistent too but I enjoy the thick, druggy sound of WL/WH very, very slightly more. They are just about tied.

Exactly ... The "thick druggy sound" makes every second of the album priceless.

Seeing The Faust Tapes on your list made me wonder why I always remember it as being kinda boring. Maybe I should re-listen to it right now.

[Plays the Faust Tapes. 15 minutes pass.]

Nope. It doesn't click. I hope something happens the next time around.

[Stops Faust Tapes. Plays "It's a rainy day, sunshine girl"]

Re: Faust Tapes.... It's kind of like an even more free-form version of the self-titled. I enjoy it. I swear this list is ridiculously outdated though. Faust Tapes probably isn't even a 9.0/10.

White Light/White Heat is now number one? Sweet!

Have you heard the 3-disc 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition? It has lots of great stuff: the album in stereo and mono, a live set with with Cale, the instrumental version of The Gift, some recordings from the same period, and an alternate mix of I Heard Her Call My Name (the same take as the original) where Morrison, Cale and Tucker are much more audible than before.

Yep :)

That sounds like a lot of stuff. I don't really listen to bonus tracks much unless they were officially released previously, but I guess I'll have to make this an exception.

Your list proves to be more solid every day. I'm listening to Half Machine Lip Moves, in its entirety, for the first time, right now. It's blowing my mind far more than than every other psycho/new-wave/space-rock/post-punk/whatever album.

I hope you update this list sometime. At least up to 30 albums.

Haha I know exactly how you feel. HMLM is amazing in the right mood, and on my first two listens it was seriously my #1 album of all time. I should relisten to it though.

I'm thinking of making a 2010s list first, maybe I'll find a masterpiece. Anyways, I should probably expand this to 9's and 8.5's by the end of this year.

Which edition of Acsension? Do the 2 editions sound similar? I've only heard the second edition (first take I suppose)

Edition II, it's the only one I've heard as well. It would be interesting to compare the two however.

Have you heard A Love Supreme yet?

Been wondering the same thing. Also: Davis and Mingus and Coleman's masterpieces.

Yes, it's probably a 9 but I need to relisten. I have listened to a few albums each by Mingus (The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is probably at least a 9.5), Davis and Coleman as well. I'd probably have included quite a few jazz albums here if I hadn't been out of touch with the genre for such a long time. Hopefully this list will be more diverse by the end of the year.

Listen to Space Ritual by Hawkwind.

Thanks for that, I've only listened to parts of it before!

That moment when Rock Bottom fully reveals itself to another lucky soul :-)

I think it was a matter of not having paid attention before, and/or not being able to listen to the album as a whole (I don't really remember why). Late at night, being tired as hell, it was just easier to get lost in the album. It totally felt like a mad rollercoaster ride :D (Not that I've ever been on a rollercoaster, haha)

Love experiencing sudden epiphanies like that :)

So ... that Mingus album ... what's its name? Black Saint ... or something? ... Well, anyway, it's not too shabby. Some solid notes here, some nice drum rolls there...

I think it's called Let the Black Saint Hear Music, that's the one you're talking about right? Anyway, man, gotta say I totally agree with you. It's like, there's so many fucking instruments man, and it sounds so huge. It makes me feel like Mingus is inviting me to get the hell out and kick some ass, dance like crazy, rule the world yo. It's nice background music too. FOR WHEN I AM THINKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME I AM HELL YEAH <3 MINGUS


RE: sounds so fucking huge ... yes, one could say this is when Mingus brought jazz up to the same massive intensity as classical symphonies (which was one of his intentions starting, I believe, with Epitaph)

I'd say. Something I like about the slower parts: they're really cool on their own, but then the music speeds up and suddenly it's like those parts were just there to make the climaxes seem even more awesome.

I gotta check out Epitaph and other Mingus albums sometime.

You gotta hear Let My Children Hear Music. It's unbelievable. I love it as much as I love Black Saint, if not more.

Thanks, I don't believe I've heard that one yet :-)

I've always thought that having a rating scale where one's highest rating isn't the max possible rating made little sense. Suppose according to a scale, no 10/10 actually exists or ever will exist. Then wouldn't the highest assigned rating be, de facto, a 10/10? And because one can never know whether something will be the greatest thing they will ever experience, doesn't it make more sense to scale one's ratings based on what you currently consider the best?

But then again, because my musical preferences change all the time, I have little use for ordered lists, which is why I pretty much divide my favorites into "those I like" and "those I like A LOT". I'm curious; how do you (and others who want to answer) assign such precise rankings?

I can see it either way and agree with either system. One (mine) could be said to be based on a perceived ideal. One could say Beethoven's 9th is a 10/10 because it's the greatest work of all time -- and this would be fine -- but also, how could it be a true 10 if its 1st and last movements are so much better than its (albeit great) middle movements? Wouldn't they all have to at least be on that level to be a 10/10? An easier one is VU's WL/WH. Obviously it's not a 10 (in my system) if one half of the album (Sister Ray) is so much better than the first half...

On the other hand, if nothing has ever been better than [insert work of art], maybe it should be rated 10/10.

How do I assign such precise rankings? I just start from that ideal and work my way down, such as: If Beethoven's 9th is a 9.5 and Black Saint is an echelon lower, it's a 9.4, and so on. The exactness of it is refined over repeated experiences with the works. But first you have to start with deciding what your overall criteria is, what your greatest work is, how (if) that differs from one's ultimate "ideal", and work your way back from there. Then successively rate other works relative to that. Then, as you build the list you can use others that are more relate-able and easier to compare (example: comparing The Doors debut to Strange Days). One can get even more thoughtful and "scientific" with it when you start rating songs and comparing the albums more intricately.

In my system I (a) experience the content of the work in all its parts (or as much as I can dependent on my present understanding of it); (b) rate based on what degree I found it to be emotionally expressive (any emotion -- whatever the work is expressing) and how compelling it's expression(s)/idea(s) are. It doesn't necessarily have to have a high degree of both emotional expression and compelling ideas to rate high (for instance, Coltrane's Ascension mainly specializes in "emotional expression" -- and this is true for most free jazz), though specializing in both gets more necessary the higher one goes on the ratings. And, one becomes more necessary if the work has shortcomings in the other. In the case of Coltrane's Ascension is is one of the most intensely emotionally expressive albums of all time, so doesn't "need" to be compelling as much as a less emotionally expressive album might need to be, in order to rate high.

There is a certain degree Beethoven's 9th accomplishes "(b)" for me, which is a "9.5", and so on down the list. Whatever degree a work does "(b)" for me, I assign it that rating.

I agree with you to some extent; indeed, that's the only reason I rated The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady 10/10. I think maybe my previous rating of 9.8 might've been more suitable if I were, like AfterHours, working my way from an ideal. But even the ideal is vague so I choose to just make it simpler and have it at the highest possible rating. There's no right or wrong way for rating in my opinion. One has the complete freedom, after all, to keep changing the scale.

Half of these ratings are probably not even that reliable since I've been focusing more on movies for the past two months. And I'm still exploring the rating system so I don't think I have any answer that I myself would be sure about.

Although sometimes it's very tempting to create a very precisely rated list, I've decided not to create one. One reason is that if I created such a list, I would have to change the ratings and rankings almost every day, which would in fact make the precision somewhat pointless. The more important reason is that I don't believe everybody needs to know how I exactly feel about the albums and their differences. Everybody has their own taste and criteria so the most useful information I can give about an album is that it's not worth their time , good , great or a masterpiece .
The only albums that I try to rank very precisely are the masterpieces. Other than the ratings of those albums, my other ratings simply reflect my taste. I believe all the albums rated between 7/10 and 8.5/10 are great. If the reader's taste is very similar to my own taste in music, he/she might find the 8/10 and 8.5/10 albums very fascinating. If our tastes are very different, he/she might enjoy the 7/10 and 7.5/10 albums more than I do.

I listened to the original Bat Chain Puller today. Blew my mind. I think that it's one of his best albums. I wonder what your opinion on the album would be.

In regards to your "Under Consideration" list, although Scaruffi's rock picks generally don't mean much to me I think Astral Weeks, Double Nickels on the Dime (though it could have, perhaps, benefited from some cutting), Blonde on Blonde and Daydream Nation are all very great albums, and wouldn't be surprised to see any one of them ascend soon enough. Your jazz picks are brilliant (though there are too few of them!); A Love Supreme may well be, as far as I'm concerned, the greatest work of art of the last century. Judging by your current picks, and the kind of listening trajectory they signify, I assume you have heard, or intend to hear, the likes of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, etc.

I would love to see some canonized jazz artists who, by virtue of being absent from Scaruffi's lists, are mostly ignored by Listology, break into these lists. Louis Armstrong (his hot 5's and 7's work especially, he tragically falls off around 1930), Bix Beiderbecke, Billie Holiday (Ken Burns puts together a great compilation), Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum (the Pablo recordings!), Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, etc etc. A very different kind of aesthetic compared to the jazz that's found on this list, but astonishing nonetheless.

I've listened to at least one or two albums each by the artists you mention in the first paragraph but haven't had the chance to return to them as much.

I love Potato Head Blues and one or two other Louis Armstrong tracks I've heard, and Ellington in Newport is a great album though I haven't listened to it in a long time. Thanks for the suggestions, I might check out all those artists' works sometime, especially Armstrong's hot 5's and 7's.

By the way, I'm surprised you don't care much for Scaruffi's picks besides the ones you mentioned: I'd have thought you'd like a few such as TMR, Rock Bottom, The Doors, The Modern Dance, Fare Forward Voyagers, Desertshore, etc.

Alas, it's a tough choice, isn't it?

It used to be, but right now I'm pretty sure Black Saint is superior. ITAOTS has more emotional resonance due to its themes but Black Saint is a whole drama by itself, full of soul searching moments, frustration, yearning, danger, and demonic and reckless dances, and each one of these is magnified and brought to the surface for all to view/listen to. I guess what it boils down to is that I like the flexibility of instrumentals more than anything a great pop album can provide. But I love both of them, and they both represent for me, along with Trout Mask Replica, the way I want to live: always active, getting the most out of every moment. I think Black Saint represents the "always active" aspect the best, because of the fluidity in the way it progresses.

Nice! It's a great feeling to have even 2 albums at that level to choose from -- especially with how rare they are!

Re: the way you want to live ... Me too!