So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Fan - 2005 Edition

Tags: 
  • AC/DC - Back in Black (1980)
  • Aerosmith - Rocks (1976)
  • Arthur Alexander - The Ultimate Arthur Alexander (1993)
  • Alice Cooper - Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits (1974)
  • The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East (1971)
  • The Animals - Best of the Animals (1966)
  • Bad Brains - Bad Brains (1982)
  • LaVern Baker -Soul on Fire: The Best of LaVern Baker (1991)
  • The Band - Music from Big Pink (1968)
  • The Band - The Band (1969)
  • The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (1966)
  • Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (1989)
  • The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  • The Beatles - Revolver (1966)
  • The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  • The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)
  • The Beatles - Past Masters, Vol. 2 (1988)
  • Chuck Berry - St. Louis to Liverpool (1964)
  • Chuck Berry - The Great Twenty-Eight (1982)
  • Chuck Berry - The Chess Box (1988)
  • Chuck Berry - Anthology (2000)
  • Big Star - #1 Record / Radio City (1992)
  • Black Sabbath - Paranoid (1971)
Author Comments: 

Would you like to investigate rock music? Perhaps find new styles you enjoy? Start a serious rock album collection? Here's the list for you.

These albums represent must-hear albums, music no self-respecting rock fan can afford to be unacquainted with. This is not a list of the BEST albums, although most of these albums are certainly excellent, but this list represents most of the major styles of rock music well and also includes the obvious masterpieces no collection can miss. I hope you find this helpful, whether you are just starting seriously to explore rock, or you are just wanting to plug a few hungry holes in your collection.

Am I correct in observing that the only band in this list that emerged in the 90s (or later) is Nirvana? Nobody else from that decade makes the cut? Not challenging; just asking. Come to think of it, I only see a couple-three (I think) that emerged during the 80s. History has not had time to judge? Or nobody else groundbreaking and/or distinctive from those decades?

Nirvana's Nevermind and Primal Scream's Screamadelica are the only entries from the 90s. In creating a list of albums for a list purporting to be the foundation of a great rock collection, I chose only to include albums I felt were foundational in some sense, works that other great artists have used as cornerstones to build from. Factoring in this element of influence, obviously some time is needed after an album's release to see if anyone else picks up on its innovation and works it further. As a result, the only 2 albums from the previous decade to make the list were both from 1991, rather early on in the decade. Nirvana's Nevermind certainly inspired not only grunge music, but also post-grunge music and 99% of what was played on "modern rock" radio until very recently. Screamadelica was one of the first albums to take the free-form, lengthy dance music of the late 80s and early 90s and work those beats and styles into the conventions and restraints of rock music. As such, it has very possibly influenced music nearly as much as Nevermind, with artists as diverse as Garbage, Sting, and the entire Trip-Hop crew now working strands of dance loops and beats (and therefore, to some degree, Primal Scream's work) into their own music. I'm not really aware of any other albums from the 90s exhibiting quite this degree of excellence and influence on rock music. Several come close, and they will appear on future tiers (if I decide to create them).

That's something of a mess, but does that help explain my choices?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

It does help for the 90s, thanks. But the 80s still look a bit thin to my untrained eye. Which bands on this list are 80s bands? I'm kinda surprised U2 isn't on here, but for no articulatable reason. Wasn't Madonna quite influential through there as well, or does she not count as rock n' roll? I mean, I know female vocals were well (or at least better) represented in jazz and soul, but didn't she (help) bring about the emergence of female rock leads? Just my intuitive sense - no facts to back it up. I know Janis Joplin preceded her, but I don't think you saw the surge of female soloist and band-leaders after her that you saw follow Madonna. Hmm. There's The Pretenders. Jefferson Airplane. Okay, I'm probably forgetting a ton. But I'll post this anyway.

Madonna was excluded only because, like many of the 80s artists, I believe she works better as a singles artist than an album artist. Had I chose to allow compilations on the first tier, you would surely see The Immaculate Collection on this list.

I'm leaving work, so I'll type a fuller response later. Thanks for the input!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The "no compilations on tier one or two" rule was a last minute one, and the rule has encouraged the list to be a bit bulb-shaped chronologically. Since this list is made up of albums, I decided to emphasize works that were created to be listened to as albums over compilations of singles. It helped pare this tier down to the essentials, and (IMHO) it offers a better introduction to the artists listed than most compilations afford.

You ask about the lack of 80s and 90s artist; I'm a bit more troubled by the lack of 50s and early 60s artists here. Notice no Elvis Presley, no Buddy Holly, no James Brown, and no Sam Cooke! Yes, much of this will be corrected when I get around to posting tier three. In fact, I am considering breaking the third tier into two parts - one for albums and one for compilations. Because of my rule, I believe that third tier will easily be the largest of the tiers, and that's fine. Once you have established an excellent foundation, filling in the cracks can be a long and fun process, and hopefully that third tier will reflect this.

As it is, I'm afraid that Michael Jackson's Thriller will have to represent the sounds of 80s radio pop on this list for now.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

By the way, I have decided to create a film list to compliment this one, and I am about halfway through it. It will probably be about twice as long as this list, but since films have existed at least twice as long as rock music has, I believe this is appropriate. Afterwards, depending on feedback, I might create a tier two for both lists. I've already be working up a short list for a rock music tier two.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

There, my film list is now complete and posted (So You Want To Be A Film Fanatic). I'll tell you in advance, though, Jim - there aren't too many 80s and 90s films on the list. Foretold is forewarned!

I hope somebody enjoys it and benefits from it.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

humble pie - live at the filmore.

and meaty beaty big and bouncy - the who

Actually, I would have placed The Who's Meaty album if it fit the qualifications. It is a compilation album, and therefore disqualified. Great album, though - One of my favorites!

Thanks!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Now that I'm thinking about it, I probably need to update this and several of the other music lists I've received comments on tonight. Perhaps a project for lunchtime tomorrow...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Next Listology-related project - Update this and the Film Fanatic Tier 1 lists...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

That's wonderful news! Although I hope this doesn't mean you're abandoning your budding 100 Best Films project!

Nope, but not that you would know that from how slow I've been lately...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Alright, I've finally revised this list, and this time (feeling guilty of Elvis and Chuck missing) I've included compilations, though only where absolutely necessary...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Behold the stooky rant:

I own every last one of these and I have to tell you I want more, much more. Aerosmith & AC/DC are debatable as an introduction to rock n' roll, Toys In The Attic would be the only one important enough to offer up. Even then MC5 had more power in their lead singers left toe than Aerosmith had in their entire band, and AC/DC simplified The Stooges and made a lot of money. Alice Cooper I totally agree with, however you chose Greatest Hits instead of Killers or School's Out, I silently wag my finger in a general southern direction. Greatest Hits has all the hits but gives an indecisive view of Alice as entertainer and music stylist (in the beginning anyway) that his great albums easily portray.

:?)

Well, will it make you feel any better if I tell you that these are just the bands that start with 'A'? This is currently a work in progress.

If I had to choose one Aerosmith album, I would probably favor Rocks over Toys; the latter had the bigger hits, but as an album, well, Rocks rocks.

After I finish this list, I will pare it down to a shortlist. Of the Aerosmith / AC/DC duo, I think only Back in Black will make that one.

I swear the 'B's will probably make you smile at least a little... Lots of good stuff in that letter!

So I will have to beg your forgiveness and patience.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I thought it rather strange that only "a" bands were listed, and of course the thought did cross my mind. But never let good sense get in the way of a good rant is what I always say.

Waiting in anticipation. (I would have done a little head but I couldn't think of one showing anticipation)

:?)

Amen. Rants are worth it.

Here, this should tide you over a bit...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs ( missing the head... :>( )

Autechre is rock 'n roll?

Ah, in the spirit of ol' Stook, I never let clarity get in the way of a good list title... ;)

These are rock and pop albums or albums that have so influenced rock/pop that they basically count. Hence the Beasties, a rap/rock band. Autechre has invaded Radiohead and others to a degree that I let them slide on in. Besides, I adore the album.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Alright, I am chopping. This list is getting too long for its purpose.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Aack, you cut the White Album???

How did I know that was the deletion I would hear about? ;)

Mea culpa.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Ah, geez. I haven't even heard of Arthur Alexander, Bad Brains, or LaVern Baker. And you're only part way into 'C'!

Baker and Alexander are closer to the soul side of matters, while Bad Brains is one of the cornerstone bands of the hardcore/punk/reggae rock movement.

You have probably heard a few Alexander songs covered by other artists, such as the Beatles, Elvis, and the Stones.

Baker was one of rock & roll's earliest (and best) female singers back in the 50s. She cooked!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs