Best Rock Albums Ever (according to me)


I've listened to thousands of albums from every possible genre (renaissance madrigals to experimental noise to the folk music of Mozambique). These are the greatest albums I've heard related to "rock" music.

My criteria for greatness are very simple. Many artists (1) invent a new language for music and/or emotion (Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc.), or (2) use that language in an emotionally powerful way (Radiohead, etc.). The greatest albums do both.

My tastes are heavily influenced by what is undisputably the best and most scholarly history of rock music ever written, Piero Scaruffi's masterful and continuously updated A History of Rock and Dance Music (Volume 1 and Volume 2). Currently, Volume 2 tells the story right up to 2008.

Albums keep falling off this list. What remains are the albums that still sound amazing after 200+ listens.

See below the graphic for links to the albums on the list.


1. Faust - Faust (1971)
2. Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (1969)


3. Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom (1974)
4. The Red Krayola - Parable of Arable Land (1967)
5. Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives (1990)
6. Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht (1972)
7. Vampire Rodents - Lullaby Land (1993)
8. Soft Machine - Third (1970)
9. The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967)

8.5/10 (chronologically)

Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (1968)
Third Ear Band - Alchemy (1969)
Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat (1969)
Tim Buckley - Lorca (1970)
Neu! - Neu! (1972)
The Residents - Not Available (1974, released 1978)
Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance (1978)
Pop Group - Y (1979)
Glenn Branca - The Ascension (1981)
Jon Hassell - Dream Theory in Malaya (1981)
Peter Gabriel - Passion (1989)

8.0/10 (chronologically)

The Doors - The Doors (1967)
Pink Floyd - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)
Parson Sound - Parson Sound (1968, released 2001)
Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)
The United States Of America - The United States Of America (1968)
King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Peter Green - The End of the Game (1970)
Third Ear Band - Elements (1970)
Nico - Desertshore (1971)
Can - Tago Mago (1971)
Taj Mahal Travellers - July 15 1972 (1972)
Can - Future Days (1973)
Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra (1973)
Gong - Flying Teapot (1973)
Magma - Mekanik Destruktiw Kommandoh (1973)
The Residents - Meet the Residents (1974)
Jon Hassell - Vernal Equinox (1977)
Suicide - Suicide (1977)
Contortions - Buy (1979)
Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980)
Pere Ubu - The Art Of Walking (1980)
Mark Stewart - Learning to Cope with Cowardice (1983)
Butthole Surfers - Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac (1984)
Husker Du - Zen Arcade (1984)
Minutemen - Double Nickels On The Dime (1984)
Constance Demby - Novus Magnificat (1986)
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden (1988)
Ant-Bee - Pure Electric Honey (1990)
Techno Animal - Ghosts (1990)
Mercury Rev - Yerself is Steam (1991)
Slint - Spiderland (1991)
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 - Mother Of All Saints (1992)
Tortoise - Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996)
Amon Tobin - Bricolage (1997)
Joanna Newsom - Ys (2006)

Well, I think you know my feelings towards Scaruffism, but you provide excellent explanations of your picks. I loved reading this list. Thanks!

What are your feelings towards Scaruffism

I really, really enjoyed this. I am so glad you chose to finally do it!

A great list! And you're reviews get the point across well.

Do you plan on adding more soon or in the future?

There's a significant drop in quality after Alchemy, which is not to say I don't deeply love fantastic music that is not quie as important as Alchemy. I'll only be modifying this list within this top tier.

You might be interested to know that Astral Weeks was briefly on the list. I believe I wrote something like this: "Sandy Bull transposed many genres for folk guitar, and Bob Dylan invented a lyrical, anthemic folk rock, but the most fundamental revolution in folk music arrived with Astral Weeks. The music drew from a variety of influences to hypnotize the listener with free-form ballads that blah blah blah..."

Significant drop. Really? Wow...

Well, the albums you have on here are absolutely amazing. Despite my affection for Astral Weeks I can't even begin to fault you for what you did choose. Outstanding choices all around. You can't go wrong with these.

The inclusion I was most surprised by (by that I don't mean it isn't worthy) is Lullaby Land. I was surprised simply because I've never seen you say anything about it at all, and then to suddenly see it up there in the top 9--top 9? Sure you shouldn't add Astral Weeks to round it off at 10? (:

Lullaby Land has flirted with my top 30 over the last month or so (since I purchased it) and right at this exact moment I am listening to it for the second time in a row, and about the 15th time overall. It just keeps getting better and better and I will most likely add it to the list by tonight or tomorrow (though that's not a guarentee as sometimes I change my mind, and I still could by the end of this second listen). It's jumped on and off my list 2 times previously, a few weeks ago, and never staying there quite long enough to get posted on this countdown. Regardless, I think it is a great, underrecognized album of the 90s and it's refreshing to see it on here.

Out of the albums that are not on here, I was most surprised by the list lacking Velvet Underground & Nico. Speaking of that album, I have always wondered why Scaruffi doesn't include Heroin in his top songs of all time. It seems to perfectly fit his criteria. And it's by his favorite band no less. I keep forgetting to ask him about this.

Anyway, as I said before, I love the list, and it would be great to see it added to!

By "significant drop", I just mean "similar to the difference in quality betwen Irrlicht and Faust." And notice how profusely I praise Faust. I have similar praise for Velvet Underground & Nico and Astral Weeks and many others, they're just on a slightly different tier for me than these selections.

I may eventually write up some items that just barely missed this list over here. And who knows? Maybe Velvet Underground & Nico will get added here once I more fully grok its greatness like you do.

Irrlicht is effing amazing, so I can understand what you mean. I will never forget when I first heard Santz Ebene (track 1) kick in with those sweeping, tremendous phase effects at about the 9:30 mark. I remember thinking, "Oh my God..."

Like Trout Mask Replica the more you listen to VU & NIco, the better it gets. All Tomorrow's Parties into and through Heroin is among the most stunning climaxes of any album ever made. And the way it closes with the Coleman inspired free form jamming of European Son, especially the final crash of rising riffs with the sudden bang at the end, is pure genius. It's easy to overlook the musical IQ of that band, since they're making music so harsh and barbaric, but the album is loaded with nuances that noone else could've hoped to come up with.

Lol, 9:30 into "Satz Ebene" is one of my favorite parts, too!

I will spend some more time with VU & N.

Great choices. This list has made me re-listen to and reconsider Irrlicht, which has made my appreciation of that album grow even more. I can see what you mean when you say it stands above all other rock albums (along with that one little album by Captain Beefheart), although it doesn't really fit into the definitions of rock very comfortably.
It's also good to see Jon Hassell on here, even though personally I would have chosen Dream Theory in Malaya.

Yes, ain't Hassell fantastic? Have you heard his recent Maarifa Street? Good stuff. Anyway, because I love and value Vernal Equinox and Dream Theory in Malaya equally, I picked the one that introduced his "fourth world" idea in the first place.

I'm not satisfied with the term "rock", either (especially since Peter Gabriel's Passion is threatening to break in on this list). What I mean is "not classical and not jazz". I could go with "pop" but that indicates the choices will be popular albums, and they are not. Any ideas?

I have heard Maarifa Street and found it to be pretty decent. Anything Hassell plays is interesting just because of his trumpet sound. I can see why you chose Vernal Equinox. As you said, his first six albums are all worth listening to; one might as well start at the beginning.

When I tried to make a greatest rock albums list before, I ended up calling it the greatest "non-classical/non-jazz" albums of all time (although all the albums you list here contain heavy doses of avant-garde classical and/or jazz). I'm not even sure what rock and roll really is anymore. As Scaruffi has discussed, since the 60s it's splintered into a ton of different styles. Strong rhytmic base, usually centered around a vocalist: those I guess are the basic definitions. Yet that's not exactly the case with most of these albums; they've basically all created their own styles of music. Anyway, since "greatest non-classical and non-jazz albums" is too cumbersome of a title, I'd stick with "rock."
Btw, Passion would be a great addition to this list.

Nice list, with interesting comments!

How do you feel towards some other of Scaruffi's top rated albums, such as VU & Nico, The Doors, and The Modern Dance? Personally, those are among my favorites.

Anyway, I hope you'll add some albums to the list.

There are few albums that Scaruffi has rated 8/10 or higher that I don't like. He's my favorite critic because our opinions agree so much. I like VU & Nico, The Modern Dance, and especially The Doors very much!

BTW, do you like Twin Infinitives? Please share your thoughts, as the album continues to befuddle me.

Well, I definitely enjoy it and recognize its importance, although I wouldn't rate it as high as Scaruffi does. If I was to use his rating system I'd probably give it 8.5 or so.

Once I actually listened to it while out jogging, which must mean that I have gotten into it :)

Hey Luke,

I want to add that I find your top two choices very fascinating and logical in a sense: they're both absolute opposites, yet each take their ideas to the extreme limit; Irrlicht, achieving a maximum in profundity and emotion within the most infinite and vast space, and Trout Mask Replica achieving the same (albeit of a totally different type) within the "freest" compression of ideas rock, perhaps music, has ever witnessed. Trout Mask Replica is so intricately structured and manipulated towards the most chaotic organization that it appears at first to be utterly unhinged, off-the-cuff and completely disorganized. Irrlicht is its polar opposite: achieving an ultimate in space and freedom through near total lack of structure, through sheer forces and tones and purity and vast time frames of intergalactic drones--yet it has such purpose that it clearly exhibits inclinations towards finite ends and an overall, completely palpable, unification. The entire album seems only to be held by the force of gravity, while Trout Mask Replica has a tremendous weight and forced substance to it.

In this way, your top two picks seem perfectly fit and rather inscrutable.

Thank you very much! When I put those two on top, they looked so right up there for reasons I knew but could only falteringly express. I appreciate your comparison/contrast of these two works, and continue to anticipate the maturing of your more verbose (and thus, time-consuming) Greatest Albums list.

Yea, it is definitely a work in progress, that's for sure. I kinda have some writer's block right now (or something like that), coupled with an irritating lack of time. The 5 or 6 reviews I am currently about to add on the entries I am in the middle of, have been challenging to come up with what I want to say about them. Usually, I just start going, even despite a lack of ideas (see Nail by Foetus, which I hope to improve some day) and I write something I don't much care for, but still serves minimal purpose. Later on, something better will hit me, and I'll come back to it and write a better review. I'll probably give in and end up doing that with these reviews (unless a lightbulb appears above my head in the next couple days), though I much prefer writing amidst inspiration than doing it that way, especially as I get higher on the list.

By the way, great to see VU & Nico added. It deserves it! You hit it spot on too: it is the "Citizen Kane" of rock music.

Writing about music isn't quite like dancing about architecture. Language has more power than any other form to express another medium or plane of existence. Of course, words fail to communicate the experience of Beethoven's 9th, the vastness of space, a day under a tree in the park, or love. But words can more nearly transmit those aquaintances than dancing or painting or bonsai.

I am blessed with English as my native tongue. It has the largest active vocabulary of all languages, granting it endless flexibility and freshness. It is also the most widely and diversely understood language, and thusly imbued with endless idioms, connotations, and other poetic subtleties.

That is why I love to read and write, and hope for time to become better at both.

I really like what you've just done with the brackets on this list.

Also, a quick nitpick: you entered in Third as the title to the 1970 Third Ear Band album. Sure you didn't mean it as self-titled or perhaps

Also, where would you rank Desertshore by Nico? I can't believe it wouldn't be at least 8/10+.

I like the changes you've done here! Keep up the consistent improvements on an already great list!

P.S. Seeing Starsailor given a 9.0 only makes me yearn for it even more. If you ever see it being sold for under $50 please let me know!

Thanks for the catch. Note also that I've rewritten my Irrlicht review.

It will take me a long time to fill in the rest of the titles here. I won't add titles until I've heard them at least a dozen times, along with what I suspect are relevant precursors (especially by the same artist).

I'm excited, because this list is a labor of love. I suspect your own "Greatest Albums" list is, too.

I read your Irrlicht review and you've improved on an already impressive review.

My list is no doubt a labor of love. I have not even bothered posting any updates to it lately since there are many changes occuring on it right now: in the ratings, rankings and a handful of new entries. I'll get to it soon though, once I have it all settled down and fit for showing to others.

What about Desertshore????????

I'm still working with Desertshore.

My own list shuffles so often I often consider not updating it until my tastes settle down, but then I love the music so much I just can't wait and must "share" it with the world (even if nobody reads it)!

I know exactly what you're going through. Same thing happens to me man. Same thing...

I was thinking today while getting the floor swept away from me by the astonishing, unstable earthquake that is Parable of Arable Land: a year ago I thought there were a grand total of 2 rock albums comparable to masterpieces of classical music (Astral Weeks, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea at the time). Now, I've found, or "rediscovered", a slew of them. And I have a very hard time conveying to others how strongly I really feel for these albums.

When someone posts something like: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band #1 Album of All Time" or other such unfathomableness (my new word for the day), I very nearly feel bad for the person. Not in a egotistical, elitist way necessarily. Not angry or haughty or anything. I simply wish they could find what I've found, what you've found, what other's have found with these albums.

I've heard a few times from various people about how sorry they felt for me that I'm so into these "unlistenable" albums, or how rough it must be to be head-scratching my way through such intellectually complex musical works that have "no pleasureable listening value" and are merely "novelties/experiments/dissections/mathematical equations". I've read or heard these sorts of ignorant things on and off listology, and all I can do is nod while I sit gasping at the astounding profundity of such "unlistenable novelties".

If they only knew how much better the best rock music is to that (Sgt. Pepper)...thinking back to some of my previous lists is positively dreadful. Back in 2000 I had Pet Sounds ranked #1. I really liked it quite a bit, but I remember feeling that this "greatest rock album ever" didn't hold a candle to anything I loved by Beethoven or other great classical artists.

It is so gratifying to come out the other end of putting my trust in someone else's recommendations, with albums that are actually on par with many great classical works, and some rock/jazz albums as good or better than a lot of them.

I would say now that Rock, overall as an art form, is very close to that of classical, and probably equal to jazz.

I know exactly what you're talking about! My own musical tastes have also changed so quickly of late that I still remember when I thought The Beatles were the best rock band ever. But I never loved Sgt. Pepper's like I love Trout Mask Replica or Irrlicht or Faust or Rock Bottom, and I, too, wish others could experience the explosive, baptising power that these albums hold over me. But I guess I shouldn't assume that it will be as great "on the other side" for everyone else as it has been for me.

I'm coming to think that rock music may be every bit as important as classical music. (I'll leave jazz out of this discussion because I'm still really only familiar with a couple dozen artists outside 60s jazz.) Classical music continues to contribute most of the compositional, technical, and technological innovations. However, it seems to be rock's role to express these innovations in the most personally (as opposed to epically or universally) emotional ways, and in more condensed ways - which often amplifies the music's power, whereas classical composers are wont to formally develop every permutation of their seed idea within a single work (because the avantgarde is so diverse; if they don't, nobody else ever will. This wasn't a problem for Haydn.)

There are plenty of exceptions, and these are the avantgarde's greatest masterpieces, but as a general rule I think rock music (in its very broadest sense) has contributed as many masterpieces in the past 50 years as classical music has, even though classical composers continue to have a near-monopoly on formal innovation.

Damn! I can't believe I missed responding to this way back when...

Well, if it means anything to you now, I completely and utterly agree with you here.

By the way, it looks like you finally cracked Twin Infinitives. Any words of wisdom?

No album since the early 70s made such a singular, startling break from the past. As in Faust, there are remnants of previous styles - blues rock and free jazz and improv noise and industrial - but they have all been laid to waste and reconstructed in a totally unprecedented way. Different instruments in different rhythms and modes careen into each other and hobble away from the wreck in still another mode. Like The Parable of Arable Land, it's a chaotic mess that sounds like nobody knows how to play their instruments but the truth is quite the opposite. Or like Citizen Kane, it was apparently made by those who were unware of what "couldn't" be done in the medium, so they did it.

There is so much more to be said to praise this masterpiece, but for the moment that's all I got. I also happen to think that nearly all the tracks are very strong, which is very rare among experimental rock albums (for example, Nurse With Wound & Current 93; great bands, but too inconsistent, even within each album).

I'm so happy that Twin Infinitives wasn't an Underwater Moonlight moment for me, where Scaruffi is clearly off his nut, but a Faust moment where I came to realize he knows exactly what he's talking about, however bizarre it may seem at first.

Thanks. Your notes are inspiring, being as how this album has drawn so many "overrated" curses from even Scaruffi's most dedicated.

I'm really going to have to keep your comments on Faust and Irrlicht in mind next time I listen to them (they were really insightful and fascinating). I think a new ordering of my electronic list (in regards to those albums, which are currently near the bottom, as you know: meaning very very good, but not all time best) may be in order soon...If I start to see what you do, that is.

Although, that deconstruction technique in Faust is anything but new: a similar effect is done with Stockhausen's Hymnen (as you know already). So, since it doesn't really innovate it (it just brings it closer to listenability), I actually prefer the much (emphasis on much) more pop-accessible and playful/silly version of the concept as seen in The Orb's music. That may change with more listens though...

As for Irrlicht, La Monte Young and the other minimalists came long before Klaus Schulze. He didn't really generate anything new with that album (which is actually quite good...), he just, again, made it more pop-accessible (but not quite as accessible as some later ambient music: some of which did it better). Also, the evocation through abstraction of electronics had been done by both the musique-concete nerds and by psychedelic artists taking up their techniques, and I don't think there have ever been more abstract genres than psychedelic and musique-concrete. Still, I need to give it more listens...I just don't hear what you do...yet (I like it, I just wouldn't call it very best of all time). The question with that album is, I think, is it the (relative) "newness" of the ideas that seemingly make it great? Or is it the music itself? If the album were released this year, with no prior history, after generations of ambient and space music (which were not influenced by this BTW, it was the furniture music concept of the early 1900s, and minimalism that gave Brian Eno the ideas for ambient), would it still really be considered a masterpiece?

Fantastic list though! Has given me much further music (I can't believe I've never heard Beefheart! Thanks a lot for leading me to that!)

Thanks for posting. Obviously I need to clarify myself better.

I wasn't saying that Faust innovated deconstruction (besides Hymnen, see Ayler's free-jazz deconstructions of popular tunes), merely saying that it did deconstruction very, very well.

And I wasn't saying that Irrlicht predated any of the composers I mentioned, but rather that I feel Klaus Schulze beat them all to the most powerful and evocative expression of their ideas. Electronic music had been developing for decades, but it was used in mathematical exercises (Varese, Cage & Stockhausen), or used to imitate acoustic instruments (Messiaen), or used to do things technically impossible with acoustic instruments (as Nancarrow had composed pieces for player piano that were impossible to play by human hands). But Irrlicht, for me, created a new language for electronic music that is totally electronic but also totally passionate and evocative. I guess Schulze's non-notational background forced him to focus on the emotion of his music, not the mathemtatics of resonance, or applying serialist techniques to electronic distortion, or any of those heady (and not particularly emotional) pursuits.

Same story for minimalism. I'm not saying Irrlicht invented minimalism. But don't you find "Satz Ebene" far more emotionally effective than anything by La Monte Young or the early work of other Dream Syndicate artists?

And I'm sure as hell not saying Irrlicht influenced future minimalist/ambient milestones.

This newness (emotional innovation more than formal musical innovation) contributes greatly to my appreciation for Irrlicht. Had it been written today, it would still be a powerful album, but far less impressive for all the albums that would then precede it... including Schulze's later works like Timewind. But, having all his albums and more, I still listen to Irrlicht the most often.

Yeah, I understand both albums now, and totally see what you're saying about both. (see my electronic list again, for my details on what I personally think about them, it's a pretty long description, otherwise I'd just post here: electronic list). And you're right, you weren't really saying those things, I just didn't really see the fuss about the music itself, and so assumed it must've been how important and influential they were (and it seemed to mirror that a little with your description of Faust and deconstruction, enough for me to latch onto the idea, but I totally "get" these albums now, and what you're talking about).

Honestly, I find The Well-Tuned Piano to be a very emotional work.

The Well-Tuned Piano is amazing. Its influences are very broad, yet the work is uniformly solid. It fuses the modern and ancient - minimalism, mathematics, studies in psychoacoustics all abound, but at the same time, La Monte is going back about 500 years to the time before Western music compromised resonance for convenience with equal temperament. It fuses the East and the West - La Monte was well-researched in classical music of Bali and Java, and drew inspiration for melody on the Kirana vocal style of North India, but aleatory and jazz improvisation also play a large role in a piece in which piano (the epitome of Western Music) is the sole instrument.

The system of just intonation ( may sound like a mathematical novelty, but The Well-Tuned Piano is one of the most emotionally effective works I have ever heard. It produces a wild sense of yearning, dark beauty, invigoration, and poignancy. The resonance and echo of the music abolish any sense of emptiness. La Monte allows his clouds of justly-tuned intervals to radiate centrifugally and reach unsurpassed heights, encountering stars and distant galaxies and other worlds, the atmospheres of which you'd initially expect to have too low a density to produce any color at all until you actually witness the light scattering in the atmosphere, the skies imbued with pristine, primeval colors, uncorrupted by the mercury vapor of technocratic cities and their myrmidon inhabitants.

At the very least, I think you should consider La Monte Young for inception into your list of Great Artists That Failed to Release an 8/10 Album or Large Work, simply because La Monte Young was innovative, and without his influence, John Cale, Jon Hassell, and Glenn Branca may never have been able to construct THEIR respective masterpieces.

That said, I do consider Klaus Schulze's Irrlicht to be a masterpiece, and I certainly don't mean to discredit Schulze by praising La Monte Young. I love them both, and I think they both deserve fair recognition. I just sense an overall lack of appreciation when it comes to La Monte Young's compositional magnum opus, and I wanted to speak out enthusiastically in its favor. That's all.

I'm glad you're better able to appreciate The Well-Tuned Piano better than I am. I was, simply, bored. (But curiously, many people are bored by Irrlicht, and I was not bored by Robert Rich's Somnium.)

I would include Young in the "great artists that failed to release an 8/10 album or large work" if I thought Young was more descended from rock than from classical.

I'm glad you think The Well-Tuned Piano is a masterpiece. You may be right. My inability to see it is only my loss.

Thanks for ommenting.

Great to see Hosianna Mantra. This album has recently risen dramatically on my own list as well (though not posted yet). After a number of listens I eventually cognited about how miraculous the sound of it is, that it has virtually no rhythm and, in many ways, provides an ultimate sense of free form composition. There's a freedom here that is almost totally unique. Most incredibly, the compositions accomplish a very obvious structure, without rhythm as the foundation. To me, this seems to be bordering on the impossible, and I really don't know how Popol Vuh were genius enough to come up with this, but they did. I don't think I've ever conceived of a song without rhythm. Even the most free-form jazz albums such as Coltrane's Ascension, have an obvious sense of rhythm to them--yet somehow Popol Vuh skip this, and still provide such inherent structure. The more and more I listen to it, the more amazing and unique this sound seems to me.

Thank you. Pawn Hearts is a very good album, probably my fave by VDGG, and in consideration among many others for this list.

Gosh, you're a step ahead of me! I was just stopping by to ask you about Spiderland and Loveless and voila!

What do you think of Spirit of Eden by Talk Talk? It's a can't miss for any fan of ambient music (though it doesn't use electronics of any kind to achieve its mesmerizing atmosphere. It was played with live jazz instrumentation in a church, which probably helped in creating its serene, cerebral, profoundly spiritual beauty).

Spirit of Eden is certainly on the long list of albums I need to spend serious time with in consideration for this list, but it will be a while now before I have the chance to add any more albums to this list. Thanks again for your interest.

Lol. Every now and then I make a post like this with the hope of encouraging myself to set music aside for a moment and get some other things done (schoolwork, charity, etc.). It never works for very long. Tonight I'm planning to pull an all-nighter just so I can have time to listen to, read about, and think about music (and maybe do a little homework). Sheesh.

I've listened to Spirit of Eden several more times over the past few days and like it a lot. I can definitely see how one might harbor the same affection for it that I have for Rock Bottom or Starsailor. For me, it's not quite as emotional, densely significant, and relentlessly successful as any of my 8/10 albums, but certainly a terrific album!

Obviously I agree with you that it's a terrific album (I have it rated as a 9.0), and at one time a couple months ago, it sat comfortably in my top 10. Personally I think it's a masterpiece. I have no comment on it in relation to Starsailor since unfortunately I have yet to hear that yet (uggghh). As regards to Rock Bottom, surely Wyatt's masterwork is superior, but I don't think Spirit of Eden is far out of its league at all.

Both of them are very profound. I think Rock Bottom has a bit more depth, not to mention that 5 of it's 6 tracks are better than anything on Spirit of Eden. Not way better, but better to the point where Rock Bottom, in virtually every category, is simply a few steps up to a higher plane as a masterpiece than that of Eden.

I could be wrong because you're stricter in most cases than Scaruffi, but I suspect Spirit of Eden will eventually crawl into your 8/10 or 8.5/10 range.

Thanks for giving it a shot. It's one of my favorites!

Right now I'm going through Scaruffi's history, listening to the development of rock music in chronological order. It's really exciting. When I read Scaruffi's history of rock music, I fell in love with the story of rock, which added a whole 'nother dimension of love for the music. So, you'll start to see my list fill in chronologically, and maybe when I get to the Talk Talk era, I'll have a more accurate impression of Spirit of Eden.

Wow, that would be an amazing way to listen to those albums. I envy you for being in a position to do that!

It is incredible, let me tell you! Hopefully, years from now, I'll be able to take the same journey with classical and jazz, since I don't know those stories as well already.

So far, I'm finding that I think Scaruffi overrates a great deal of albums, and does not underrate very many. For example, I just went through his 20-album list of significant early-70s Italian prog-rock, and was a bit disappointed that not a single one of these incredibly diverse and inventive albums were worthy of an 8/10 (plenty of great ideas, but inconsistent execution). Ys and Palepoli come close, and the others in that section of his history are barely worth 7/10.

I have a particularly large collection of very interesting early-mid 70s music that Scaruffi doesn't mention, so I'm hoping those will still sound great when I get to their time. I'm always looking for an opportunity to authentically diverge from Scaruffi's list of masterpieces, since I'm usually so very tightly bound to it!

That would be great if you kept a running record, in order, of the albums you listened to and the ratings. Ever consider it, or would it be just too ridiculously time consuming?

Yes, too time-consuming, and also I'm less interested in investing enough to provide accurate ratings for albums I don't think deserve an 8/10 or higher, so any ratings I would give below that would be, often, very inaccurate.

I agree. I almost never waste time listening to, or especially, reviewing an album below 7.0 anymore. No matter how many times I've heard the 8+ albums, they're just always more worth listening to than those below an 8. The rare exception is when I regrettably composed that "OVERRATED ALBUMS" list I posted on listology. Regrettably because unless I'm in a bad mood or really tired (bad mood would usually be because I'm really tired), I am not a "critic" when it comes to music, and I realized too late that that "OVERRATED ALBUMS" list shows a side of me that almost doesn't exist. It was an in the moment thing. I am a fan of music. Never really been a critic, and I'm not interested in going over the faults and flaws of albums, especially the 8+ ones. With those, their rating rarely has anything to do with significant "flaws" but more so to do with having "merely" superb tracks, continuity, depth, profundity, as opposed to being rated a masterpiece in these categories. Also, to me "masterpiece" is way too casually labeled these days. I think that if more people had truly conquered the albums on your list, Scaruffi's list, my own list and so forth, there would be much more accurate ratings out there, and higher standards for both musicians and just music listeners. I also think that if jazz was a bigger, more affluent enterprise that a majority of people listened to (like pop music), it would help out a lot, because the form (at least its best albums) seems to more naturally focus on emotion than rock or even classical (where technique is quite important), since jazz is usually instrumental, playing an instrument forces the person to convey things all the way from his mind to the listener without the via of language or the instantaneous emotion found in tones of voice, and doesn't have lyrics to rely on to make a song seem more meaningful than is truly being expressed. Anyway, I've considered deleting the "OVERRATED ALBUMS" list but have so far decided against it primarily due to the potential importance of the conversation on it, especially between myself, you and AJ.

I want to say that I check on your list often and am really enjoying it, watching it change and so forth, and I'm also learning from it as well. You've heard way more albums in the 8.0 range than I have so that portion in particular will surely act as something I'll use in order to pick up those albums.

Also, it's nice to see the inclusion of Modern Dance-Pere Ubu, I was wondering about that. What did you find in it that made you want to add it?

It's very hard for me to write coherantly about the new wave. Here's one attempt: the best of the new wave did to punk rock what Beefheart did to the blues, or Red Crayola to psychedelia, or Faust to krautrock. The methods vary greatly (funk, reggae, ska, musique concrete, hardcore, etc.), but the spirit is the same. New wave music is a way to sing the message of the punk movement (anti-establishment, aggression, nuclear paranoia, etc.) with the drive of punk music but the art of fusing a variety of existing styles (and thereby, creating new ones). Pop Group is the #2 great example of new wave music in this sense.

The early Pere Ubu tracks documented on Terminal Tower (1985) certainly reveal the Pere Ubu sound, and especially the radical performance of David Thomas.

Modern Dance (1978), then, reveals a more assured group of art punkers who evoke their message through the David Thomas' revolutionary vocals, by using found sounds as music in perhaps the most effective way I have ever heard up until the mid-90s (!), and by slapping any damn musical style they want onto the frame of a rollicking' punk rock single. Moreover, Modern Dance happens to be one of those extremely strong albums where every track is great, imo.

That's kind of a shitty answer, but it'll have to do.

You may also notice that when I got to Spirit of Eden in its historical context, it was much more impressive to me than before.

Yea I just saw Spirit of Eden. Great to see it added! It really is completely out of bounds in the 80's. Not as free form/experiemental as some reviewers will claim, but it is truly out of place when positioned in the 80's--a very odd spot for it to be since it sounds much more like it was made and recorded post 1995 or so.

As for Modern Dance, that works for me, I had to work my fingers a bit to write about it myself. As a point of interest, there was a recent 2-week span where I had the album ranked #13 between Unit Structures and Desertshore, but it wore off and I placed it where I have it, just outside the top 20. I keep listening to it, in order to see if it can strike the same magic as it did for that period, but right now Y (in certain ways, its cousin I guess you could say) is overpowering it. I am getting emotionally throttled by it right now. In a few days it went from a few places off my list, to #28, then #22, now #19. This is the third "round" I've had with the album (meaning I've listened to it a bunch, withdrawn and came back to it over the last 6 months or so), and while I loved it during my second "round" (not so much during the 1st), I now love it quite a bit more, on a whole new level than ever before. It was always jaw-droppingly experimental to me but now I see it as much more of a whole, and much more of a profound experience than before. Kind of a microcosm of what happened for me with Trout Mask Replica. Did this sort of thing happen to you with Y? I noticed that, like Modern Dance it suddenly leapt onto your list, first a 9 and now an 8.5.

No, that didn't happen for me with Y. It has always been great to me, I just hadn't considered it for the list yet because I was waiting to get to it chronologically. And actually, it's Modern Dance's fault that it got bumped to 8.5: I listened to Modern Dance just after Pop Group's albums, and found Modern Dance to be vastly superior. (My scale is logarithmic, so a 9.0 album is "5x better" than an 8.5 album... when I'm pretending to measure their value quantitatively. :)

I am glad you love Talk Talk's The Spirit of Eden just as I do. Would you say it moved you more emotionally when you placed it into its historical context?

By the way, what about White Light/White Heat-Velvet Underground?

White Light / White Heat basically takes the inventions of VU & Nico and expounds on them, sometimes creatively, but often to over-indulgence. Most of "Sister Ray", however, is very good.

Oh, and: you hit it on the head with Spirit of Eden. That album sounds 10 years ahead of its time. It sounds like it was recorded two years prior to Agaetis Byrjun, not in 1988.

Though to a degree I see what you mean with White Light/White Heat, I'm somewhat surprised at your view only because indulgence doesn't seem to be much of a factor in your other selections, namely Trout Mask Replica, but perhaps you just need to explain more what you mean by "over-indulgence". Or what's the difference between White Light/White Heat and albums like Lullaby Land, Parable of Arable Land and Twin Infinitives? I mean, almost all the greatest albums ever made are much more indulgent than other albums, don't you think? Usually indulgence is a necessary characteristic of the avant-garde, a quality, not a flaw. What makes White Light/White Heat different/flawed in this regard?

That is an excellent question. Thank you, because my having to articulate an answer will help me to think more clearly about musical art.

When I use "indulgent" as a criticism, I mean that the artist has indulged his/her creative fantasies beyond the point of insight, into redundancy or irritation. Trout Mask Replica is incredibly indulgent, but each track has significant musical insight. The same is true for the other masterpieces you mentioned. I believe White Light/White Heat is not as densely revelatory as VU & Nico or other great albums. Much of its artistic indulgence, then, is the bad type that is wasting or even abusing time. La Monte Young is one of the most extreme examples of this: he wrote half-hour pieces of music that were nothing but a single tone. Some of Karlheinz Stockhausen's music provides another good example. Several of his pieces apply highly complex mathematical procedures to sound spaciation, microtonality, and timbre to create a very cerebral music that may be interesting to an experimental physicist on the page, but makes for horrible listening. (Then again, other Stockhausen pieces are very good.)

Makes sense. I agree with you that Trout Mask Replica has significant musical insight and absolutely applies it's "over-indulgence" about as usefully as possible, considering the amount of content running through it. I agree with you that VU & Nico is no doubt superior to White Light/White Heat. However, I feel that the emotion of WL/WH easily overcomes its indulgence, especially on Sister Ray and I Heard Her Call My Name. The title track and 3rd tracks are excellent as well. I think #2 is interesting/very original and #4, while not particularly flawed, is basically just a catchy, pretty little song that's merely enjoyable and nothing more.

Getting specific after just recently listening to it, I'd rate the album as follows (in painstaking, ridiculously pedantic detail):

1. 8.25 2:47 = 6.9263% of total time
2. 7.25 8:19 = 20.6986%
3. 8.0 4:56 = 12.26978%
4. 6.25 2:04 = 5.14435%
5. 9.0 4:38 = 11.53061%
6. 9.75 17:27 = 43.42956%
Total Time: 40.18

Track 1 = 57.141975 rating (8.25 times 6.9263)
Track 2 = 150.06485
Track 3 = 98.15824
Track 4 = 32.152187
Track 5 = 103.77549
Track 6 = 423.43821
Song total: 864.73094 (move decimal point for 86.473094)

Continuity: 8.5/10
Ingenuity: 9.5 times 2 = 19/20
Depth: 8.75 times 3 = 26.25/30
Profundity: 8.5 times 4 = 34/40
equaling 87.75/100 total

87.75 + 86.473094 divided in 2 = 8.7/10 album rating

Just thought I'd give you some insight into my album ratings so you could potentially answer this next question with better knowledge as to how I look at White Light/White Heat taken into account. What would you rate lower than me, that would make it less than an 8/10 overall? Or is this more a case of your rating system/ideals being different than mine and therefore following my rating system becomes unworkeable for you?

Also, are you serious about your comment that a 9/10 is 5 times better than an 8.5/10? So, essentially making Astral Weeks or The Doors or some other 8.5/10 album the equivelant of a 1.9/10 when compared to Trout Mask Replica as a 9.5/10? There's that big of a difference? Or was I not supposed to take that comment seriously?

I still rate WL/WH lower that you do, because our criteria and metrics are different.

What I really meant by "5x better" is that there has to be a significant difference in average music quality between the different ranks on my list for me to tell the difference. For example, Modern Dance does sound "a lot" better to me than Y. There is a smaller distance between the quality of Hosianna Mantra and Neu!. But of course I am not using mathematical processes to rate these albums, so I can't quantify how much distance in quality there is between any two albums.

Understood on WL/WH. The "5X better" idea makes sense now too.

Thanks for your explanations. Please keep up this great list!

Those track ratings would read better like this:

1. 8.25 / Running Time: 2:47 = 6.9263% of total time
2. 7.25 / 8:19 = 20.6986%
3. 8.0 / 4:56 = 12.26978%
4. 6.25 / 2:04 = 5.14435%
5. 9.0 / 4:38 = 11.53061%
6. 9.75 / 17:27 = 43.42956%

What "musical insight" does TMR reveal? I don't understand…

Is it new musical form? If so, how does Ella Guru differentiate itself stylistically from Frownland? Is the difference too small to be significant?

What are the musical insights of Orange Claw Hammer and The Dust Blows Forward And The Dust Blows Back respectively?

What are the unique innovations of Wild Life?

Or the individual insights of Steal Softly Thru Snow?

Or Ella Guru?

A note on Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic and Djam Karet.

Both of them are great for, as Scaruffi writes, finally having upated the formula for prog-rock debuted by Colosseum and King Crimson. However, both of them steralized their groundbreaking music with slick studio production that shines and sparkles and does not engage the heart or the body.

I have completed my journey through the history of rock music. I will be refining this list for a lifetime, I am sure. In addition, there are significant gaps in my listening experience. I've made guesses at where the most important gaps are, and list those albums here:

Maru Sankaku Shikaku - Maru Sankaku Shikaku (2002)
Eugene Chadbourne - Solo Acoustic Guitar, Collected Symphonies
Peter Michael Hamel - Aura, Nada, Bardo, Organum
Between - Dharana
Heldon - Electronique Guerilla, It's Always Rock And Roll, Agneta Nilsson, Stand By
Cyrille Verdeaux - Clearlight Symphony, Kundalini Opera
Art Zoyd - Phase IV
Godley & Creme - Consequences
Hector Zazou - Geographies
In The Nursery - Twins, Koda, L'Esprit
Clock DVA - White Souls, Advantage
Cabaret Voltaire - Mix-up
Die Krupps - Stahlwerksymphony
P16D4 - Nichts Niemand Nirgends Nie
Die Haut - Schnelles Leben
HNAS - Im Schatten Der Mohre
Maurizio Bianchi - Symphony for a Genocide, Endometrio
Arcane Device - Diabolis Ex Machina
Controlled Bleeding - Headcrack
Half Japanese - Loud
Peter Jeffries - At Swim 2 Birds, The Last Great Challenge In A Dull World
Lindsay Cooper - Gold Diggers
Cassiber - Man or Monkey
News from Babel - Work Resumed on the Tower
Lounge Lizards - Lounge Lizards, Voice of Chunk
The Scene is Now - Burn All Your Records, Tonight We Ride
Dr. Nerve - Out to Bomb Fresh Kings, Armed Observation
Mofungo - Out of Line, Bugged
Ordinaires - Ordinaires, One
PFS - Illustrative Problems
Grits - As the World Grits
Ruins - Burning Stone
Helios Creed - Superior Catholic Fingers, Last Laugh, Lactating Purple
Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company - Portable Masterpiece Company
Lida Husik - Bozo
Mark Kramer - The Guilt Trip
Think Tree - Like the Idea
Brainiac - Hissing Prigs In Static Couture
Pineal Ventana - Living Soil
God Is My Co-pilot - I Am Not This Body
Cerberus Shoal - Element Of Structure/ Permanence, Homb
Fuzzhead - Mind Soup
Crawlspace - Sphereality, The Exquisite Fucking Beauty
Fuxa - Very Well Organized
Medusa Cyclone - Medusa Cyclone
Asha Vida - Nature's Clumsy Hand
Gravitar - Chinga Su Corazon
Pelt - Brown Cyclopedia
Vas Deferens Organization - Saturation, Zyzzybaloubah
Mazinga Phaser - Cruising In The Neon Glories
Mandible Chatter - Serenade for Anton
Skullflower - Obsidian Shaking Codex, Argon
Mermen - Food for Other Fish, A Glorious Lethal Euphoria, The Amazing California Health
Red Red Meat - Red Red Meat, Jimmy Wine Majestic, Bunny Gets Paid
Bloodloss - In A Gadda Da Change, 10 Inches of Rock Solid Rock, Live My Way
Flying Luttenbachers - The Truth is a Fucking Lie
Jarboe - Sacrificial Cake
Girls Vs Boys - Tropic Of Scorpio
New Wet Kojak - New Wet Kojak, Nasty International
Add N To (X) - Avant Hard
Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra - Unfinished Symphony
Atman - Personal Forest, Tradition
Iceburn - Firon, Hephaestus, Poetry of Fire, Meditavolutions, Polar Bear Suite, Power of the Lion
Stratotanker - Baby Test the Sky
Irving Klaw Trio - Utek Pahjoo Mogol
Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come
Crust - Crusty Love
Meshuggah - Destroy Erase Improve, Chaosphere
Deutsch Nepal - Deflagration of Hell
In Slaughter Natives - Sacrosancts Bleed
Love is Colder Than Death - Teignmouth
Mortiis - The Songs of a Long Forgotten Ghost
Ordo Equilibrio - Reaping the Fallen
Arcana - Dark Ages of Reason
Raison D'Etre - Prospectus I, Within the Depths of Silence and Phormations, In Sadness Silence and Solitude
Henrik Bjorkk - In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi, I End Forever, Vitagen
Der Blutharsch - Received in Pain
Shinjuku Thief - Bloody Tourist
Spring Heel Jack - Treader
Jhno - Understand, Kwno, Membrane
DJ Olive - Buoy, Sleep
Towa Tei - Future Listening
Jim O'Rourke - Tamper, Disengage, Bad Timing
Salaryman - Salaryman
Salamander - Red Ampersand, Red Mantra
Turing Machine - A New Machine for Living
M'lumbo - Spinning Tourists in a City of Ghosts
Van Bran 3000 - Glee
Boxhead Ensemble - Dutch Harbor, Two Brothers, Quartets
Uzeda - Different Section Wires
Almamegretta - Sanacore
Ossatura - Dentro
Maisie - The Incredible Strange Choir of Paracuwaii
My Cat is an Alien - Landscapes of an Electric City
A Short Apnea - Illu Ogod Ellat Rhagedia
Voice of Eye - Mariner Sonique, Vespers, Transmigration
Life Garden - Caught Between The Tapestry Of Silence And Beauty
Terre Thaemlitz - Soil
Liquid Mind - Ambience Minimus, Unity
Tuu - One Thousand Years, All Our Ancestors, Mesh
Macha - Macha, See It Another Way
Hochenkeit - I Love You
Shalabi Effect - Shalabi Effect, The Trial of St Orange, On Hashish
Thomas Dimuzio - Sonicism

Eventually, I will take a similar journey through jazz, and finally through classical, adding albums/works to this list and de-genrifying it completely into a "Greatest Musical Works of All Time" list.

Completely interesting that someone could have such a skewed view of rock music as to only include (for the most part) non-mainstream bands with limited musical production. Should we assume that your choices are intellectually more stimulating than the standard fare?

I ask this question in all sincerity as I've watched you grow leaps and bounds over the last two years or so on all matter of subjects. There's no questioning your intelligence, I only question whether you truly feel yourself qualified to dismiss the majority of "best of" choices made by those who have devoted their entire lives to the field of music interpretation.

Great questions / comments, and probably a common misunderstanding of this list.

I find it equally interesting that someone could have such a skewed view of rock music as to only include bands with massive popularity. My choices are more intellectually stimulating to me than mainstream music, but they are also more emotional to me because my soul is generally anesthetized to the most overused techniques of evoking emotion. Indeed, I am often repulsed by overused and uncreative emotional techniques (kind of like how I react to stupid TV soap operas).

It's not so much that I dismiss others' choices of great albums, but rather that I have different tastes and different criteria than they do. I will always argue for why I think Red Crayola kicks ass, but I will understand why Rolling Stone likes The Rolling Stones.

Does that make sense?

Sure! I really didn't mean "skewed" in a negative sense. My old list (long deleted) certainly included bands other than those with massive popularity. I was just interested in why you seemed to be going out of your way to "not" include such on your list.

Of course you're completely free to include whatever you like on your list. Perhaps this goes back to the old discussion on whether one should title personal lists as "The Best..." or the sometimes more appropriate, "My Favorite..." I believe when last discussed, it was decided that it went without saying that a "best of" list on Listology was just personal opinion and therefore the argument mute.

Anyway, keep up the good work. You gave me quite a few band names to explore.

BTW, I did not go out of my way to avoid mainstream music. In fact, I was often tempted to compromise my criteria for greatness just so I could include some more popular titles. It was with great relief that I felt I could honestly include fairly popular titles like VU & Nico and Roxy Music.

"My Favorite..." would also be inaccurate. For example, Master of Puppets is "more favorite" (in that I would rather listen to it than) 7 Toku, but I truly think the latter is a better album. Perhaps the best title for my list would be "The Greatest Rock Albums of All Time According to Me."

There's a chance I will never update this list again. Here's why.

Er... I mean I just won't be updating it as rapidly. :)

For the archives:

Trout Mask Replica
Captain Beefheart
Straight, 1969
"If there has been anything in the history of popular music which could be described as a work of art in a way that people who are involved in other areas of art would understand, then Trout Mask Replica is probably that work" (John Peel). It's "free rock", free of all rules and conventions: the guitars, the drumming, Beefheart's vocals, the free-association lyrics. It's not fusion (combining styles), it's fission: exploding violently away from all its sources into a totally uncharted territory. Lester Bangs: "Trout Mask Replica shattered my skull, realigned my synapses, made me nervous, made me laugh, made me jump and jag with joy... it was a whole new universe, a completely realized and previously unimaginable landscape of guitars splintering and spronging and slanging and even actually swinging in every direction, as far as the mind could see." Listen to it a million times and you'll always discover something new.

Klaus Schulze
Ohr, 1972
Irrlicht is an electronic symphony of the universe, riven. It is infinite, overwhelming, and awesome in the purest sense of the word. It is a magniloquent galactic creature, the climax of the fourth dimension, or the breath of God. Electronic music was no longer noise or tones or mathematics. Rather, electronic music had finally used the potential of its infinite sound palette to achieve the peak of the grand and unique ambition of music: evocation through abstraction. (Only recently have other arts arisen to do this, for example abstract painting.) Ironically, drummer and keyboardist Klaus Schulze had found the most powerful use of electronic music before Varese & Stockhausen & other composers, and the most powerful use of minimalism before La Monte Young & Terry Riley & other composers.

Polydor, 1971
Faust's debut was to rock music what Ingmar Bergman's Persona was to film. First, it shattered the conventions of its medium in a way at first bewildering and then darkly beautiful in its infinite interpretations and surprises. Second, each work conspicuously deconstructs and analyzes its medium for postmodernity. While Zappa used collages of sound and style to construct a twisted pop music, Faust used collages to deconstruct both music known and unknown, then juxtaposed the pieces so that all sharp edges were bared. Their music was not cohesive; it remained a trash heap, a bombed warzone, a pulsating nuclear wasteland. Faust opens with electronic washes, a few pop ditties struggling for a moment to get through before being warped and swallowed. This introduces us to Faust's menacing, deconstructive art just as the opening montage of Persona introduces us to its deconstruction of film. Third, both Faust and Persona maximize their emotional content by placing it in a context to which we are not already anesthetized; in the case of rock music, via hundreds of Merseybeat ditties, surf-rock songs, psychedelic trips, and folk ballads, and in the case of film via Hollywood melodrama, Italian neorealim, and Luis Buñuel. Faust's music took the aesthetics of expressionism, surrealism, absurdism, cabaret, and Stockhausen, and exploded them into a grotesque, hellish music.

Rock Bottom
Robert Wyatt
Virgin, 1974
It is hard to argue intellectually about the most emotional album of rock music. Rock Bottom is a pop-rock album that draws from various vanguard movements and Wyatt's own unique vocal techniques in ways that precisely increase the emotion and flow of the music rather than distracting from them: a form that would later make superstars of Pink Floyd and Radiohead, who never wrote anything that compares to this sheer masterpiece of composition. Rock Bottom is a transcendent, religious, transforming experience.

I'm very glad to hear that! Looking forward to your jazz/classical additions.

Gah! I just can't do it. I'm too shaky in my understanding of jazz and classical, and my library for each is too small. I'm focusing this list on rock music and its descendants.

I don't blame you. I've had a tough time with it as well, especially the less straightforward jazz albums. The toughest one to rate/rank for me has been Atlantis. Saxophone Improvisations by Braxton is a rough one also. I waver slightly on Unit Structures and Spiritual Unity as well. One moment they seem like they could go as high as 9.4 and another day they'll seem more like 9.2's. Jazz albums are easily the most likely to move around and play musical chairs on my list. Also, I feel albums like Irrlicht and A Rainbow In Curved Air are especially tough to rate alongside jazz, probably because each (Irrlicht especially) are about as far away from jazz as possible.

I guess that's part of it, too. It's hard enough to compare TMR to Irrlicht to Faust, but comparing any of them to Spiritual Unity - or, had I continued through classical, Song of the Youths - is really too daunting for me.

I don't like Atlantis much (or maybe I just don't get it), but Anthony Braxton is fast becoming one of my favorite artists of any style.

Yea, I love Braxton. Where were you considering rating Saxaphone Improvisations? I've come awfully close to moving it up even higher on my list, especially recently.

Atlantis takes some work. It's first half, the 4 "space funk" tracks, eventually become satisfying. Collectively, they have a strange, otherworldly mystique to them. Nuances in each start to show through the murkiness (kind of like in Hassell's Dream Theory). I think if it were remastered this would come through better, but in the meantime may take some listens. And then there's the title track, which is just unbelieveable and totally overwhelming. I'm starting to think it could be the greatest track of music ever recorded in any style, including classical. Some of the greatest qualities of the album consist of being so unique/strange/otherworldy /like an offbeat nightmare. This unsettling, unorthodox music, makes for a beguiling listen, that's for sure. Sun Ra was out-there.

Something I just dreamt up: play Unit Structures and Saxaphone Improvisations simultaneously and you'd probably have something close to a jazz Trout Mask Replica.

I prefer the earlier Magic City to Atlantis.

Saxophone Improvisations is fantastic, but there's a steady progression from 3 Compositions of New Jazz to For Alto to Saxophone Improvisations Series F, and so they are all perhaps 8/10 or 8.5/10 albums rather than Saxophone Improvisations coming out of nowhere and being a 9/10.

Well I have For Alto on order as we speak, so I'll start building an opinion on that in about a week or less once I've listened to it. As for Saxophone Improv, I think it is at least a 9.4 in my rating system (currently I waver between 9.4 & 9.5 regularly), and at the very possible worst a 9.0 in yours and Scaruffi's. I actually find it to be on a similar level of genius as Trout Mask Replica. I predict Scaruffi will eventually rank it in his top 4 or 5 jazz albums of all time.

I was curious to see just how unpopular my tastes are, so I looked up the Amazon sales rank of some of my top albums:

Captain Beefheart - Trout Mask Replica (1969): #6,029
Faust - Faust (1971): #12,141 (with Faust So Far)
Kluas Schulze - Irrlicht (1972): #65,265
Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom (1974): #51,102
The Red Krayola - The Parable of Arable Land (1967): #50,774
The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967): #2,770
Soft Machine - Third (1970): #35,942
The Residents - Not Available (1974, released 1978): #207,011
Pere Ubu - Modern Dance (1978): #13,262
Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives (1990): #129,628
Vampire Rodents - Lullaby Land (1993): #38,787

Vampire Rodents is way more popular than I thought, and Not Available much less popular than I thought. But overall, my tastes aren't that obscure, especially for my top albums. But the Rake album is #462,715, and Ghosts, Pure Electric Honey, and Transcontinental Conspiracy aren't even sold on Amazon.

I sometimes do similar comparisons using google search results

"hash jar tempo" 882 !
"vampire rodents" 10,600
"third ear band" 65,300
"lisa germano" 485,000
"robert wyatt" 805,000
"butthole surfers" 1,010,000
"captain beefheart" 1,220,000
"velvet underground" 1,780,000
"rolling stones" 6,560,000
"britney spears" 19,200,000
"beatles" 54,800,000

"Pure Electric Honey" 100 (no wonder i can't find it)
"twin infinitives" 9,660
"Parable Of Arable Land" 16,300
"sgt pepper" 1,190,000

or with films
"Satantango" 184,000
"star wars" 74,000,000

it's unscientific but it paints a clear enough picture.

"If somebody composes the most divine music but no major label picks him up and sells him around the world, a lot of rock critics will ignore him."

scaruffi might be onto something there ...

Seen Satantango yet? I'm gonna watch the new DVD release over Christmas break.

Not yet.

I bought the wrong version (I've seen the first 5 minute to check the quality) long before I heard about the official release. I'll probably buy and watch the official version next year sometime. I've been keeping all the long movies (from 1001 movies) for a rainy day and now I've hardly got anything on my shelf that's under three hours long.

You can buy Pure Electric Honey from Ant-Bee's personal web page at,
and to everyone here and those to come, Piero Scaruffi is just another critic and no matter how bitter Rolling Stone and others are he is no better than them; his selections are just satisfactions of his personal taste and I just want to make sure you do not go under a spell like those under Rolling Stone's; the alternative is no better than the mainstream if reached by means of rebellion alone.

I think there are several fundamental differences between Rolling Stone and Piero Scaruffi:

1. Rolling Stone is a commercial enterprise, and is necessarily far more interested in matching to popular taste than, shall we say, more informed taste.
2. Rolling Stone is a collection of critics whose collective opinion may lack internal reliability. Scaruffi's opinion is wholly unified.
3. I really do suspect that Scaruffi has a more diverse exposure to all musics than any critic of Rolling Stone, and perhaps more than their entire hill of critics.

That being said, I admit to fully being under the spell of Scaruffi's criticism. I find it impossible to consider a piece of music without being influenced by Scaruffi's opinion. But I have never gotten more joy out of music than I have since reading his History of Rock Music, 1951-2000, so I am happy to be under his spell.

Generally I agree with you and with criticism from Scaruffi and others, but there are people out their who cannot think for themselves and I do not like people's carlessness of beliefs such as "the ends justify the means" even if in this case the listener is liberated from the pip-pop stars.

i know this is way too late, but when scaruffi published his first book on the subject that was previously debated he entered into the commercial realm; though it is not anywhere close to the same extent, it is commericial nonetheless; this is not to continue a useless argument, rather to try to correct the notion that scaruffi is not a commercial enterprise; yes, he has his information for free on his site he does have a book for sale, and that makes him a commercial enterprise de facto;

like always and forever, i apologize for any incongruent or redundant thoughts, and for useless latin phrases, i.e. de facto...

"Piero Scaruffi is just another critic"

there's no one else like him

"his selections are just satisfactions of his personal taste"

i don't think it's even a matter of taste. thanks to his breadth of knowledge, he can put an album into its historical perspective better than practically anyone. the only books i have which compare to his output are by groups of 20 or 30 critics.

another big difference between scaruffi and rolling stone is that scaruffi thinks there have been some good albums released since the 70s.

All of you listrening to Scaruffi and taking anything he has to say seriously after the totally ignorant inaccurate crap he says about The Beatles is really scaring me! The wikipedia free online encyclopedia says that his reviews are conterversial especially what he says about The Beatles since most rock music critics around the world disagree with him about them and for great reasons! The Beatles are rightfully the # 1 acclaimed music artists on which is all of the music reviews done by all different rock critics over the decades! So thank God Scaruffi is not in the majority!

"The wikipedia free online encyclopedia says"The anonymous person who wrote that particular edit says

"his reviews are conterversial especially what he says about The Beatles"
from his site: "I imagine that my ratings for famous albums will shock many more readers than my ratings for obscure albums."

"most rock music critics around the world disagree with him"

from his q & a section:
La stragrande maggioranza della critica mondiale ignoro` il primo disco dei Velvet Underground, "Rock Bottom" di Robert Wyatt, tutti i dischi di Neu, Can, Faust, e gran parte dei dischi che sono nei primi posti delle mie classifiche. La stragrande maggioranza della critica mondiale non conosce tuttora Tim Buckley e ha scoperto Captain Beefheart soltanto da qualche anno. Mi sembra pertanto ovvio che i miei giudizi non collimano con quelli della "stragrande maggioranza della critica mondiale", ieri come oggi come domani. Se ti interessano i giudizi della stragrande maggioranza della critica mondiale, non capisco bene perche' scrivi a me: hai l'imbarazzo della scelta.

rough translation:

The great majority of music critics around the world ignored the first album of the Velvet Underground, "Rock Bottom" by Robert Wyatt, all of the albums by Neu, Can, Faust, and most of the albums that are in in the top positions on my lists. The majority of music critics around the world still ignore Tim Buckley and have only recently discovered Captain Beefheart. It seems obvious that my judgments do not correspond with the majority of critics. If the judgments of most critics around the world is what interests you, i don't understand why you would write to me: you have an embarrassment of choice.

I'm sorry that I took so long to reply. I didn't realise you had replied to one of my comments.

Do you still visit this site? You've gone very quiet.

I don't think of it as rebelling against the mainstream.

It seems a simple statistical fact that lots of great albums (and films) aren't very famous.

It is not necessarily rebelling against the mainstream but those who do by those means alone, most of whom I talk to, let idiots like Rolling Stone dictate their behavior just the same; and for the record I do like the theory of criticism by Piero Scaruffi and those similar to him; what I do not like are idiots, which I can see I have proved myself to be once again by my failure to write clear enough for everyone that has read and those who have responded, sorry for the inconvenience.

re: pure electric honey -- i had seen that link before. i'm not keen on CDRs.

I'm not keen on it either, but the CDR comes from Ant-Bee himself not some kid in a basement(supposedly), and I would be able to swear by it but I have not purchased it yet, nor have I listened to it; I will probably get a hold of it by the end of the year and will review the quality for everyone if I remember.

Any info on how I could find Lennie Tristano's albums Descent Into the Maelstrom and/or Crosscurrents through thoroughly legal means?

Alas, no. Well, this 4-CD set contains a "Crosscurrents" disc that has all the tracks on the original Crosscurrents plus some, and in a different order than the original.

Thanks. It would be nice if these albums would get remastered, and rereleased on CD. Along with Starsailor I think this is just ridiculous...

Dude, if you want to get Starsailor legally it's on itunes for like 10 bucks.

Thanks! I had no idea they carried out of print albums. I'll have to check this out for sure.

How's it going with Kind of Blue and the other jazz/rock albums? Any particular albums you really dig right now?

Just last night, with Ornette Coleman's Shape of Jazz To Come, though I've always enjoyed quite a bit, it finally hit me on the level Scaruffi acclaims it. That album is incredible. It's not a tough album to listen to at all, I just for whatever reason found it challenging to nail down as a masterpiece. Out of all avant-garde jazz masterpieces, I think it may be the simplest sounding, yet perhaps the most unorthodox and beguiling. Coleman creates motifs on foundations and catchy melodies and then just cuts loose and runs away from them making up whatever he wants as he goes along. Then, once we're just about flabbergasted, he comes back to them as if to say he was making a song all along. A 6.0 challenge rating to just enjoy and listen to, but for me it was actually quite challenging to see what made it a masterpiece. Is this similar to what you've endured in listening to some of the jazz albums?

Well I really only got through Brilliant Corners. I've only been able to listen to Kind of Blue twice since you gave me your advice. Most of my listening time recently has been taken up by Trout Mask Replica. Until just recently, I really had no idea why Scaruffi and you and luke rated it as high as Faust, Rock Bottom, or Twin Infinitives. I mean I liked it, but to me it wasn't nearly as good as those three and some others. Listening to it now has been a revelation.

And the amazing thing about TMR is that, since it has so much content and depth, it takes many many listens to FULLY appreciate it. I'm still working on it, and I'm at 65+ listens. It gets better and better each time I come around to it. I think it's the only album left for me behind my 9.5's and up that still has a realistic shot at topping the whole list. Despite being a 9.4 already, I'm nearly certain I'm not totally done with it.

Wow...completely unexpected move of the week:

Rock Bottom being demoted to a 9.0/10.

You are a brave man, Luke.

Of course, I still love the album to death!

Of course! I'm just teasing you. That must of been a tough decision though...

I am very curious about what you see in Faust and TMR that you feel makes them significantly better than Rock Bottom. Perhaps it will help me see it too and encourage some extra listens, and a future change on my own list. And though I have no disagreement on the difference between them and Irrlicht, I am also curious to hear what changed for you with regards to that.

Any thoughts?

Sorry, I don't think I can tell you anything you don't already know about these albums!

Scarufi is just jealous the Beatles are the most influential rock act of all time and he is very misinformed about the Beatles. The Beatles combined pop with rock and that's what they did and Captain Beefhart is just plain noise the Beatles combined melody with innovation the Beatles were the first to actually to release a record with sitar the Yardbirds just attempted a version and used guitar instead. The Beatles used drone before the Kinks the Byrds became a electric rock band because of there success with folk with rock. The Beatles were the first to use classical Indian music with rock and play Indian scales on sitar in rock and the Beach Boys were inspired by Rubber Soul to make Pet Sounds. The Kinks, the Rolling Stones and most of the British Invasion acts their first singles were cover versions not the Beatles they had six number one records and one more for another artist in 1964 when most hits were written for other artists. The Beatles were one othe first rock acts to use avante garde, musique concrete,complete orchestra, Indian orchestra in rock, backward instrumntation and voacls, tape loops and sampling and Revolver was the first number one album that had pyschedelic music. If you go to the Beatles are easily the most influential act with in rock music and the Beatles are the main reason rock and roll became rock.It's not there fault that people like you can't except the fact The Beatles are influential Captain Beefhart and Faust will never be a big influence because they can't connect with the general audience.Where is the immitation in songs like Tomorrow Never Knows, A Day in the Life,I am the Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever. I give them more credit for creating songs that sound nothing like what was happening around them unlike the rolling stones who copied them and making it popular.The Beatles are the benchmark for most rock artists Scarufi is clueless in what he is saying. The Beatles are really the one who are most responsible for making the album the medium choice of purchase and most of the greatest Rock bands came after the Beatles broke the American domination of music.The Beatles used, odd meters, non rock modal tunes, errcatic rhytyms,invented certain chords, there chord progressions are the most copied, polyrhythms and introduced many new lyrical themes to rock music. Many of the tones and textures in rock were developed by the Beatles. I would like to see if a band who was the most popular act in the world completely change there sound and still be the most influnetial act at the time please I can on and on.

Wow. I disagree with 100% of what you've said. But I sympathize with your position. The Beatles were my #1 favorite band a little over a year ago.

I think much of your aversion to Scaruffi's opinions has to do with the fact that you approach music from a very different angle than he does. Scaruffi's childhood musical heroes are classical composers, and classical music has generally been driven by what is new and surprising. Like myself and most music fans, I imagine your music heroes are pop musicians, and pop music has always been driven by what's fun and familiar.

Thus, Scaruffi sees an album like Revolver and sees violins and a sitar used to play common song structures and stolen melodies. "Classical" instruments had been used to back pop musicians for more than a decade already, and The Beatles didn't use a sitar to do anything different than they did with a guitar (simple pop harmonies). The Beatles' way of using violins and a sitar have more in common with "The String Quartet Tribute to U2" than with truly original music. Whatever instrument they're using, The Beatles generally still sang derivative pop songs and doo-wop chorus lines ripped from the 1950s.

The same goes for The Beatles' sparing use of avantgarde techniques, tape loops, etc. They use it as colorful dressing for standard (derivative) pop songs. Meanwhile, The Fugs, Red Crayola, and others were writing long suites of totally unprecedented musical structures, fusions, and techniques. And years earlier, Davy Graham and Sandy Bull had done something truly innovative with the Eastern/Western fusion by stylistically blending folk, blues, jazz and Indian raga. The same year, 1963, Pierre Henry wrote an electronic avantgarde piece that incorporated rock riffs and rhythm. In 1965, Robbie Basho fused raga, jazz, and blues in another way. These are the types of innovations that interest Scaruffi.

And I won't even mention what jazz and classical composers were doing. The aleatoric noise section in "A Day in the Life" is genius? Please. Play some pre-Beatles Ives, Antheil, Cowell, Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Babbitt, Cage, Varese, Ruggles, Weill, Boulez, Stockhausen, Messiaen, Tristano, Coleman, Coltrane, Mingus, Ayler, and Mitchell and then try to tell me The Beatles were innovative.

There's no doubt that the Beatles are among the most-copied rock artists, but I think Scaruffi measures influence another way. Scaruffi attributes influence to the actual inventors of new structures, fusions, techniques, etc. and not to those who borrowed those ideas and got popular through massive marketing campaigns and catchy tunes.

Are The Tokens geniuses because their 1961 hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was the first pop/rock song to use operatic singing, Neapolitan choir, yodeling, and an electronic instrument? That seems more impressive to me than anything The Beatles ever did, and still not as impressive as the inventions of Davy Graham, Sandy Bull, Pierre Henry, Robbie Basho, all those other artists I mentioned, and a hundred more.

Now, we could argue for months about this, and I doubt either of us would budge from our position much. But in the end, we each listen to what we like. I like Scaruffi because I have never loved music so much as since I adopted his perspective on rock, and I can "trust" him in that I more frequently enjoy his recommendations than anyone else's.

And you have different tastes, and you've probably found some critics you can "trust" in that you frequently enjoy their recommendations. And that's great. Really. I still haven't found a film critic I regularly agree with and that's a pain in the ass.

are you going to become a critic yourself?

Me? No.

other than what you have!?

Thanks, but that's not serious criticism. I haven't taken the time to do any good writing about music, and my knowledge is sorely lacking. I barely know what sonata form is.

For whatever it's worth, Scaruffi seems to think you already have done some serious criticism.

Yes, I was flattered by his brief comment on my list: "I am adding a link to your list. Very interesting. I would not have expected less from you :-)"

But my list is entirely a revision of Scaruffi's own list. I was disappointed to not find a rock(ish) album that Scaruffi doesn't like or know about that I thought was among the greatest ever. I'm still looking. :)

I'm having the same problem with rock music; that's why I haven't bothered to make a list of rock albums, since it would basically be Scaruffi's list, but in a slightly different order.

But I won't pretend I haven't thought about it. :)

Okay, I've thought about it a lot. But if I were to write music criticism, I wouldn't do it in Scaruffi's academic tone; I lack the knowledge to foist that facade for long. And I wouldn't do it in Pitchfork's pop-snob tone; there's enough of that going around already.

I would probably adopt a fantastical voice, for example that of an alien critic:

It took you humans several million orbital revolutions to discover atonal harmonies, microtonal scales, electronic sound manipulation, and transitory meters, and just as you are on the verge of writing something recognizable to my myriaural, omnisonic ears as music, you revert to your precious linear melodies, 12-tone scales, acoustic vibrations, and simple meters - something one of your infants could tap out by accident on a xylophone - and hail such coprolitic boluses as genius. Joanna Newsom's new album, appropriated titled Yeeeeesh (spelled "Ys"), is a collage of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark Ages of Liszt and Chopin drowned in Joanna Oldlots' childish Lisa Simpson impersonation...

Or perhaps my criticism could take the form of a correspondance between two music demons trying to keep good music underground and out of the public's ear, ala The Screwtape Letters:

My dear Ohnoyoko,

You may have heard the riddle, "If a musical event of historic importance falls outside a three-minute pop ditty and no hipster hears it, did it happen at all?" The answer we must reinforce is an emphatic "No." Let those insipid humans attribute every great musical idea of the century to The Beatles. This should not be difficult, even for you. The humans hang on every word of their media darlings, but their ears turn off when observant listeners - even their shiny heroes - acknowledge true inventors like Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Never forget that our greatest comrades in this battle are the inventors themselves, whom we have convinced to talk about their music in the most pretentious and ornery ways possible, implying that their works require great investment and do not promise any joy in return. But beware the minimalists...

Neither music nor movies. I tried convincing lukeprog to stay in/enter criticism. He seems reluctant until he has squeezed any hints of personal bias out of his judgement. One man's "personal bias" is another man's "taste."

I admit to being surprized that he seems (to me) to approach art with the scientific method. Perhaps it's just the money.

But I hope you keep trying to change his mind... bonne chance and good luck.

Well, if I could write about music or movies like a circus on fire as you do...

I'm sorry I meant that Rain was there first song to use the musique concrete of backward vocals to be a top 40 song and also it was one of the first top 40 pyschedleic songs. Also the first influential use of the mellotron was Tomorrow Never Knows and Strawberry Fields Forever. Also the Beatles used electronic manipulation on Revolver and the rest of there albums they made in ther career. The Beatles used atonal music, on some songs like Tomorrow Never Knows and the Day in the Life and microtonal Indinan scales on Love You To and Within You Without You. The Beatles used multiple times signatures on many of there songs Including the polyrythmic Happiness Is A Waem Gun. We can Work it Out is considered to be the first song in Rock Music to alternate from 4/4 to 3/4 and A Day In The Life is in 2/4 meter. The Beatles were one of the first rock groups to use non modal tunes and sometimes even combined them in the case of Eleanor Rigby using Mixolydian and Aeolian mode Tomorrow Never Knows using Dorian and Mixolydian Mode. You said the Beatles also did not fuse styles well they were the ultimate rock band in fusing styles. It was there fusion of folk with rock and the 12 string rickenbocker jangle sound with energetic vocal harmonies that convinced the Byrd's to be a rock band. On Strawberry fields Forever it fuses, Indian, musique conrete, avant garde, classical with pyschedelic music with cacophony with reverse drum loops . Tomorrow Never Knows combines one chord Indian drone, with musique concrete, avant garde and pyschedlic music with two major modes. Taxman has a funk bass line ,with distorted hard rock that uses the Hendrix chord about 9 months before the first Jimi Hendrix album, Indian style guitar phrasing and solo with protest lyrics. A Day in the Life has avant garde, classical and pyschedlic and with that song with Tomorrow Never Knows and Strawberry Fields Forever ther are considered to help establish the progressive rock genre. I will give one more fusion Happiness is Warm Gun it has numerous meter changes, it's three part song that combines acid rock with folk then hard rock with doo wopp vocals. Those are all unique fusions some of them combining multiple time signatures or unusual meters or modal music. Also songs like Norwegian Wood, Sgt Peppers the title song has unusual fusions and few others also but that's why the Beatles music is so influential they were doing things in the rock realm that no one was doing and I think I have prove that point. Revolver on that one album fuses chamber pop, emerging pyschedelia, musique concrete, stax with motown rock, hard rock with funk , classical, music hall, baroque, Indian style and Indian classical, country with pyschedleic rock and avant garde . It has modal music, tape manipulations, odd time signatures, intentional dissonnace electronic manipulations. Can you name one rock album that is that diverse and different before it came out. This album with Rubber Soul are the albums and with it's accompanying singles changed rock and roll into rock. In 100 years no one will be really be talking about Faust and if you notice no one really talks about many artists from the 50's and the 60's. I do agree with Scaruffi on one thing Elvis Presley was overated. Some corrections on Scaruffi time lines the Beatles wrote seven number one songs in 1964 more than anyone else that year six performed by the Beatles and one they wrote for Peter and Gordon. Ticket to Ride has Indian influence with the use of the mimicked Indian Drone that was recorded before See My Friends by the Kinks and may have influenced it and I got the information from the book Revolution in the Head. Norwegian Wood is raga rock with it's use of the sitar and use of drone and it's in Mixolydian mode though it's really a folk rock raga hybrid and that came out month's before Eight Miles High which I have to give them credit for making a great song with influence.

Not that Rain is not good and not to say that I do not like it, but the reason challenging songs were accepted through the public by the Beatles were because they were the Beatles or any other famous artist of any kind.

"and if you notice no one really talks about many artists from the 50's and the 60's."

are you on the same website that i am?

He addresses a lot of these issues (sitar, charts, who-invented-what, noise, etc) on his site.

I agree with half of one of these comments -: that faust and beefheart don't connect with the general audience. As if that matters ...

I do not want to respond to everything you shat out in that superfluous Rolling Stone review but to correct you on who has been the most influential throughout rock music has to be The Velvet Underground. They were among the first to create songs with minimal and cacophonus techniques with attitude which would be labeled punk a decade later and now is the standard in rock music today, at least for the media friendly bands like that of the Beatles in the 60's.

And when the Beatles did re-invent themselves it was after someone else did it and did it well. I do like the Beatles though for my guilty pleasures like the Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys of today, I cannot get enough of them but at the same time I know that both could have done much more with what they have.

With regards to how Beefheart/Faust are influential to people like Scaruffi it is best said by him when he said,"Virtually no encyclopedia or history of music mentioned his name, but Sandy Bull is probably one of the few musicians of the 1960s who will be mentioned in every encyclopedia and history of music centuries from now." He cares more about how they will be reflected forever not for a couple decades. That I do not agree with completely but my opinion is no more or less the conjecture yours is. If it's good it's good whether or not it is easy to digest or not and thus an album should not be favored because of its challenge.

To apocryphally quote Brian Eno, "few people bought a Velvet Underground record but almost every single one of them was inspired to start a band. Or maybe it was Michael Stipe who said that... pick your own artist who still has cultural street cred and take it as gospel. I would have to think that a lot of those inspired band-starters ran out to buy their first guitar the day after the Beatles played Ed Sullivan (3-2 OT). It could also be that they picked up the drums after watching the Monkees. "Popular" does not necessarily mean "shallow" or "inconsequential." It does mean "embarrassing" to some.

Re-inventing the wheel still involves "re-inventing" and, sensibly enough, a "wheel." When you say that "I know that both could have done much more with what they have" I think that the same can apply to of all of us. The question might be whether or not bands aspire to more than silly love songs. Some artists have no interest in pushing boundaries, being managed by painters or creating a new salad dressing... although the Arctic Monkeys are close to breaking the four-minute mile. Reed & Cale could hope for nothing more than to acheive immortality through their lasting influence on Black Eyed Peas & collard greens

I think I totally agree in part with you and your perspective on the intellectual criteria Scaruffi uses to judge music/artists. I admit to being Scarufphobic but to cite when an artist will get just recognistion instead of why... it seems to me that this is no way to refute even the most superfluous review. I believe that centuries from now we will wish that we both s*at this one out.

Phil Ochs may have inspired a generation. Woody Guthrie might have created that generation. You can debate apples and oranges all you want. But to truly compare the two you must first turn them into juice.

Isn't "superfluous Rolling Stone review" repitively redundant?

The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"... operatic singing? I thought it was doo-wop. I also think that I'd be able to overcome my hatred of Wagner and sit through Dion & der Ring des Nibelmonts. And thanks to all this I have just invented a new phrase to coin: Doo-Wopera. You will receive no credit.

I usually write without reading it for errors of reason and the last one was one of them, in the practice not the theory. My main issue was the stupidity problem of points such as the beatles brought the sitar into rock and roll and on songs like Norweigen Wood is not necessary, Love You To etc. is different but my main problem with the Beatles is McCartney's shallowness in most of his work (but what have I done, wrote crappy inanimate non-linear incomplete opinions on a bit website), but with a song like Venus In Furs with Cale's throb of his violin and the penetration of guitars blah blah blah, ahhhh, um, ummmm, but the point that trendy groups like the Beatles(not necessarily a pure negative criticism) reinvent themselves is contrary to popular opinion that they created new styles but were usually following in someone else's footsteps before them. In the beginning they were a good band for their times and with all people musically sound would still opt for the mercy beaters and i do more often then i would admit...???

I think that yes they are influential or whatever you want to award them with and others as well but to say that they have earned the praise over all of the decades seems excessive.

I think i failed again to get my true point across but the i wrie the clearer i will get so i better get these !pathetics! out of the way.

Ultimately we all have the right to our wrong opinions, some like to have more than their fair share.


I agree.

have you heard the "Carnival of Light" song by The Beatles? i cannot find it anywhere and was wondering what it sounded like; it sounds interesting.

I'd love to hear it, but it has not been released, not even on a bootleg. All the ones on the filesharing networks are fakes.

that is a shame. i always considered McCartney to be pitiful songwriter/composer (except for "Yesterday" and "Penny Lane") and this could really redeem him (at least in my mind). it has to come out eventually; it's the fucking Beatles. how has no one tried to put this on another bootleg with a bunch of shabby recordings from the same Beatle era and pawn it off on the millions of Beatle fans as another newfangled recording? they do it with everyone else these days - Nirvana - With The Lights Out...dylan....

he says that it is coming...

Luke, what do you think of Fare Forward Voyagers? I see it's not on here at all, is that because you really don't care for it or because you don't have it?

The innovative and often brilliant music Sandy Bull, Robbie Basho, and John Fahey is wonderful and gets much love from me. But none of them produced a single album that happens to be as strong as any on this list, imo. Fahey and Basho are under "Great artists that failed to release an 8/10 album or large work", and Sandy Bull would be if he had produced more than 2 excellent albums.

You guys are missing the main point The Beatles were about combining pop with rock with other types of music and I'm sorry the Beatles were the greatest innovators in that regard you can't accept that.Just go to and just check the amount of artists who the Beatles influenced and compare it to anyone else. The Beatles could say more in three minutes than the Doors could say in 10 minutes. Are you telling me that Tommorow Never Knows or Strawberry Fields is not original or does not fuse differenct styles or Love You To does not use Indian scales which it does. The discussion is rock music not jazz and it's not my problem the Beatles songs are the most covered in music and by the way there are loads of tribute albums by jazz artists that cover the Beatles music. All I know the Beatles used the guitar drone, cacophony, avante garde, before the Velvet Underground, volume swells ,audio feedback, bass distortion trough a fuzzbox before the Yardbirds, reverse feedback reverse drone,Indian scales combing Folk with Rock and Non rock modal tunes before the Byrds,one chord raga's, traditional Indian drone, backward guitar and vocals before the Kinks. The Beatles combined genuine classical Indain music with rock and full symphony orchestra with rock while most of there peers were struggling writing full original albums. Scaruffi does not mention the Beatles also combined ska with rock in early 1964 with I Call Her Name when no one in rock music knew what it was. The Beatles string arangements like the srting quartet or the string octet with no rock instruments in Eleanor Rigby who was doing that in rock music or the avant garde type string sounds of Strawberry Fields or I am the Walrus as instructed by Lennon to George Martin. What about the use musique concrete Rain is the first rock song to reach the top 40 with that technique and the first influetial use of the mellotron is Tomorrow Never Knows and Strawberry Fields. I'm also a musician also and I know that the Beatles devoloped many guitar tones and textures in rock music and I will give you some the swirling Indian textures of Tomorrow Never knows, or the foggy texture of Blue Jay Way, the carnival texture of Mr Kite, or the leslie arpeggios used on Abbey Road I can name so many more. The Beatles instigated such things as Automatic Ddouble Tracking, Direct Injection,many varispeeding techniques, backmasking, hidden tracks, concentric runout grooves,tracks merging into each other printed lyrics and so many others.The discussion is rock music and if you see many of the things the things the Velvet Undergrund did the Beatles did first. The Beatles aproached things in a pop rock concept and most rock acts approached music that and the Beatles were the most influential in that approach and also on more point lyrically the Beatles did write protest songs, songs about eastern mysticism, surrrealism, and agnst another myth destroyed.

Some of the statements may be awkward because I was responding to each sentence individually and not as one inclusive concise report.

You are correct they were in my opinion among the best pop/rock bands, in the 60’s and up to now.

What they people are influenced by are their popularity and success as musicians not their musicianship. Their songs do not have the bite of even Chuck Berry who was a decade before them, whom is the single most influential figure in rock, and VU are the most influential band with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Hendrix, Doors, Led Zep.

What songs you are talking about I do not know but what ever the Beatles were saying was in the most sugary sweet over-dubbed easy listening fit for their 13 and under fan base that brought them fame and fortune; please do not misconstrue those words, they got what they wanted so they are a huge success. They were among the most important in the marketing of rock music; it was their peers who pushed it outside of the framework of the fifties.

Tomorrow Never Knows is original in the sense that no one before them had the production quality on any of their tracks but Like A Rolling Stone does not need ten hours in the studio, just some musicians and a little rehearsal and six minutes, which was accomplished a year before Revolver and six months before Rubber Soul.

You are absolutely correct, the discussion is rock music and not jazz, so why are you so quick to bring up the Indian scales and others. But as you know things are all progressions from another thing and rock music is just the progression from that before them, mainly rhythm and blues (which the Beatles did very well in the beginning) and country with some edge. The tribute albums are done to sell albums and make money, and when a myth is created on how good or bad something is that myth grows exponentially until it is corroded away with facts not perception. The tributes will be done for the coming decades for Nirvana (not a bad band), Dark Side of the Moon (most overrated Floyd album, not horrible just overrated), the Clash, and others yet to be named; this does not prove that they are any good but that people buy into what they hear or forced down their throats; a good example is of people who listen to music that their parents listen to despite reasons of their own that attest to their hatred of said music. An example in rock music of rejected “genius” is with VU & Nico and Chuck Berry; VU & Nico is on almost everyone’s “greatest” albums list mixed in with the other usual suspects, a Beatles record, a Dylan, a Hendrix, each critic trying to give their expertise as to why their pick is the better listen; Chuck Berry was also not accepted at first because of his skin color and I think I read that the crowds could not take the hiss from his guitar (needs citation of some sort.) A good example of how the audience does not even know what they want is with Dylan when people everywhere would boo him during his famous electric sets and then cheer when their radio friendly Like A Rolling Stone would come on. But to reflect on something that is more than a century old now is the popularity of Vincent Van Gogh paintings; Van Gogh painted within an established medium and excelled further than any of his peers whom are all now masters in their own right but trail Van Gogh; Van Gogh died with in a field with a self inflicted gun shot to his torso with one full ear, hundreds of now priceless (for what the term is worth) pieces of art work (all inclusive, paint, drawings, etc.), and without a dime to his name; and the only way he was able to paint his legendary art work was because of his brother Theo’s financial support, and well after his death he becomes a “genius” thanks to people dropping their silly prudence’s of what their art should be and who should make it. Another f***-up in history was the folly of the European middle ages which set them back in almost every facet of life because powerful Catholics and others thought that the achievements of the Greeks and Romans were obtained under false pretenses and thus should be forgotten and for them to only be rediscovered through the Renaissance (Re-birth), and if you do not know the history behind that please for your sake and those of us who have to breathe the same air and live with, go to your local library and check out a book on the subject or do some research on the web.

The reason the Beatles were able to beat others to the finish line with some of their technological feats is because they had the means and resources to tackle such ventures, that is, they had the resources to record their album and get it out as soon as they could write the material and record it just like anyone else with fame and selling power like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys. VU & Nico was recorded in the spring of 1966 and had material enough to suffice a great album by the beginning of ’66; same as the Doors, and Hendrix was also rejected in the U.S. until he went to London to get some fanfare, and even though people say that Paul McCartney was the one who discovered him is ill conceived because his manager (cannot remember his name, from the animals) was the one who saw the talent in him enough to give him a chance over in England; and Frank Zappa’s Mothers came out with Freak Out, far and beyond anything the Beatles did in my opinion, which went on to influence the making of Pepper. My point is that the Beatles might have beat them to the punch in the stance of record techniques since they did not have the backing that the Beatles did but in the Velvets live shows the most avant-garde the Beatles could get could not match the Velvets on a bad night, not droning, cacophony, avant-garde, feedback, which was all accomplished before the Velvet Underground even had their name for their band, but they took what was left before them and pushed as far as they could whereas the Beatles took what they had before them and scraped it for a some catchy hooks simple over done over dubbed instrumentals, vocals, and sequences. Also, the Kinks released You Really Got Me (hard rock) when the Beatles released I Want To Hold Your Hand (pop) if that does not show what the Beatles were than I do not know what will.

I already said it, but Dylan came out with Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited before the Beatles could scrape together Rubber Soul, and had written most all of the material for Blonde on Blonde in that same time frame as well. Also the Fugs, Zappa, and others (I am hardly a historian in any regard.)

I Call Her Name is nothing more than Blue Moon, and anything that Spector was doing behind his wall. The string arrangements were of George Martin’s work not of the Beatles themselves.

That’s like saying that Good Vibrations was the first song to use a theremin or electronics of some sort, I am not sure of what critics award them with, but the point is that that is all well and good and its not what you do it is what you do with what you have and the other low level garage bands had more depth in their music than the Beatles did. The epitome of great rock and what rock should be is Sister Ray, there is not a more moving riff or piece that can carry a listener of any sort all the way from start to finish the way Sister Ray can, everything else is a definite second that I have heard.

Indian done with Sandy Bull before. The others I do not know how to answer to.

One thing that cannot be mistaken is the Beatles place with recording techniques and printed lyrics, the former having to do with time and money the Beatles had an abundant amount of and who cares about the latter. An example of improved studio work can be heard on Strange Days compared with The Doors, they had a bigger budget on the second album and it shows with Strange Days, Horse Latitudes (I am sure there is a better example but I just cannot think of it at the moment.)

Dylan beat everyone far and away with lyrics and especially surrealism and angst, and maybe a few protest songs here and there though he does not want to admit it or that as well is another myth created by perception.

The whole theory behind the VU to me is not that they beat others in doing something in rock music but they excelled at what they did. The Beatles did advance the production quality of the record and the printing of lyrics which was for their many fans to sing along to their baroque arrangements and catchy sing-along chorus’s. Though the Zombies Odessey & Oracle was released in ’68 they took what the Beatles set as a standard for pop music and pushed it to new lengths. I am sure many others can go on and on about who did things before and better than the Beatles but I will leave that to those who have the time and memory to do so.

I want to be known that I am a Beatles fan, a fan of their songs, most of which you have named, not their albums and I believe that that is the problem here. Rock music, at least for me, is supposed to have power and is supposed to move me and the Beatles just seem to paint the walls of the building whereas other let it be and fill it with content instead, meaning, depth, emotion. In the end it is all in the ear of the beholder and no one else, and if you think the Beatles are the greatest and do not care for most of lukeprog’s and others “greatest” lists then it seems to me that you are at a loss, and I hope that in the future you will reconsider for the sake of your own tastes, but until then happy listening.

If I wrote inaccurate historical facts or left out other notable pieces of rock music please write for my own knowledge and pleasure.

Feif Umgoten, Ghut Hullo

Have you heard some of the Beatles cover versions of early rock & roll they had the superior cover version of Twist and Shout, Chuck Berry's Rock and Roll Music,there versions of Long Tall Sally destroys the Kinks version and Money That's What I Want it's defintely stomps over The Rolling Stones version. Sgt Pepper's the the title song with it's heavily distorted power chords and unusual chord progression was covered three day's after it's release by Jimi Hendrix and that songs like Helter Skeleter and Revolution are much harder rock than the Stones and even harder than The Who were recording in 1968 are considered to have made a big contribution to hard rock and heavy metal. The Beatles wrote some protest songs like Taxman, Revolution and Blackbird and others,and songs like While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Within You and Without You deal with religion,the angst ridden Yer Blues and I'm So Tired deals with loneliness and Tomorrow Never Knows deals with eastern myticism and there so many I can name. In the rock context the Beatles did the genuine Indian classical with rock fusion first and also the Beatles did other things like one chord raga's songs, even in songs like Eleanor Rigby, Got to Get to You into My Life used Indian drone influence. The first rock album to have complete lyrics printed on a album was Sgt. Pepper the first also to have a decorated gatefold sleeve design and the White album is probally the first all blank album cover all ideas initiated by the Beatles. Ok while the Kinks did You really Got Me the Beatles were already recording with volume swells on Beatles for Sale agressive 12 string guitar work and guitar vibartion on the Hard Day's Night album and I Feel Fine has audio feedback all recorded in 1964 all before the the Kinks, the Yardbirds ant the Who did those things on record.The Beatles recorded maybe the first great rock record with all original songs with a Hard Day's Night and that album had a huge impact on the Byrd's and many folk artists going to rock.This is while Bob Dylan was basically a folk artist and albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver are much more eclectic than Bob Dylan albums at the time. I actually bought the first album Velvet Underground and I thought it was good but I can see why it did not sell well there is a lack of melody and it's very unpolished compared to the Beatles. The All Music Guide description of The Beatles, The Beatles are the most successfull and influential rock act of the later 20th century who has introduced more innovations into rock music than any artist. I will give you some innovations and some of the artists that were influenced halved and double tape speeds Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, backward guitar Jimi Hendrix, the Byrd's, backward instrumentation, Pink Floyd, Spirit and the Electric Prunes, Leslie vocal effect Black Sabbath, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream an the Who, backward vocals Black Sabbath and host of others, phase shifting on vocals Grateful Dead and Hendrix and on drums Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. and the use ADT most notably Nirvana and I will give two more of many,recorded guitar in thirds Cream, the Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelina and double guitar recorded backward Crosby Stills and Nash. The Beatles recorded songs in mixed meters, sections in contrasting meters, modal tunes that are non pentatonic, multiple meter changes and there are many more.The string arrangements of Eleanor Rigby and Penny Lane were hummed by Paul McCartney to George Martin and the same for I am The Walrus and the Day in the life were hummed to Georege Martin. The tape lopes on Tomorow Never Knows were McCartney's also and many of the varispeeding on there records was actually done by the Beatles themselves. I like Chuck Berry but he is 50's rock and roll the Beatles started as rock and roll band they evolved into the first major classic rock band and there is a big differnce between rock and roll and rock. If you don't like the Beatles that is your opinion but the Beatles easily have influenced more artists than the Velvet Underground. I suggest you read The Beatles as Musicians through Revolver through the Anthology and go check and check the amouunt of musicians who are influenced by the Beatles and compare it to anyone else and believe me and I'm one musician who is influenced by them and many young bands that I know are influenced by them and I hear respect for the Velvet Underground but many people don't know who they are. One more point I Call Her Name has a ska influenced break if you want to believe it or not and I realize the Beatles like every one else had there influences but songs like A Day In the Life, Lucy In the Sky In the Diamonds, Love You To, Strawberry Fields Forever, Blue Jay Way and even Revolution No 9 are songs that sound nothing like what was being recorded at the time and that comes from Brian May of Queen who knows a lot more than anyone of us.

I actually bought the first album Velvet Underground and I thought it was good but I can see why it did not sell well there is a lack of melody and it's very unpolished compared to the Beatles.

i'm glad you weren't their producer.

you make no real counterpoints, again Dylan recorded Bringing It All Back Home(ok), Highway 61 Revisited(great), Blonde On Blonde(great) by the time in the same time that the Beatles released Rubber Soul. Most of the other things you said are just incorrect and I do not want to waste any more time than I have to on you; you seem to be transfixed with a strict temporal influence with meaningless little things that had been already established by other artists IN LIVE PERFORMANCES BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT BREAK THE MAINSTREAM LIKE THE GREAT MARKETING MONSTER THE BEATLES; I do not want to dump on them too much but the problem with groups such as theirs is that they get too much exposure, no one and I mean no one deserves the amount of good press as the Beatles get, not even my favorite performers. Who cares what Brian May thinks, as well as my opinion. And you should read the version of the Velvet Underground (I know I am referring to them too much) and not pay so much attention to fancy recording techniques that I concede are innovations of the great! Beatles. What I and most everyone else is more interested in is the theory that was altered by acts such as Zappa, VU, Beefheart, Berry, Doors, Pere Ubu, and the unlistenable great Red Krayola's Parable of Arable Land. I feel like you have been offended on a religious level where you are afraid that if you turn your back even in the slightest away from the Beatles that your whole world will crash down around you, it is okay you can have your cake and eat it too, if you like.

another post unreviewed, sorry for any incoherent thoughts.

Feif Umgoten, Ghut Hullo

I will say that the Beatles I would describe especilly from Help to the rest of there carreers were experimental-pop rock music for the masses with experimental edge and with pop rock melodies and what is wrong with that. The Beatles recorded Rubber Soul in one month and recorded there first album in one day and tracks like Twist and Shout were one take live songs and Get Back was done live in the studio and there are other examples. The album Help has many of the same techniques used on latter albums like unusual arrangements for a elctric rock group, putting instruments through leslie speaker, drone, volume tone based songs, varispeeding, combining genres outside the rock traditio, modal tunes and unusual time signatures and influential chord progressions. Both the Beatles for Sale and Help both have folk and country based rock songs and these albums were done 1964 and 1965 while the Beatles were touring and making movies. The Beatles were already thinking in lines of avant garde and musique concrete in 1965 but decided to do it after there first break in four years. The Beatles along with Dylan and Zappa were pushing the art making of a rock album but did it in different ways. The Beatles were already heading in the direction of Pyscedelic music on Rubber Soul with tracks like Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man and the universal love hippie song The Word and with the slightly pyschedelic album cover. People forget that the single Rain and the US album Yesterday and Today with the early pyscedelic songs of I'm Only Sleeping and Docter Robert were released before The Byrd's Fifth Dimension. Those songs had many of the innovations that would be on Revolver. Yes Bob Dylan had the first double album or Zappa on who you talk to but not every one releases one. The Beatles had the first double album that went to number one in both Britain and the US but it influnced a hell of lot of artists. Yes the Beatles did not record long songs first but the Beatles had the first song that lasted seven minutes go number one. The Beatles did not make the first concept album but some people think Rubber Soul anyway Sgt Pepper with its long form structure was the first rock concept album to go number one and it stayed for a long time and it inluenced many artists including Zappa who copied the last part of A Day In The Life in one of his songs and actually played Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds in his concert tour of 1988 along with I Am The Walrus. Bob Dylan main strenght was writing lyrics and that's only a small part of songwriting there is melody, chord progression, guitar riffs, theory and arrangements that was clearly the strengths of the Beatles over Dylan. Musicians and music scholars will talk about the Beatles in many years to come many of the people you like will and some are now forgotten and that's the truth.Brian Wilson said that Rubber Soul was the first great rock album with no filler and that inspired to him to Pet Sounds and Syd Barret was influnced by Strawberry Fields Forever to do Arnold Layne and also didn't Captain Beefhart make a parody of that song. The Beatles Penny Lane also inspired Ray Davies to write Waterloo Sunset. The Beatles were not the only one doing things but to say that they were not influential and wrote great songs is stupidity and many of the artists on this website greatest albums list were actually influenced by the Beatles namely the Byrd's and Pink Floyd to name a few. To be objective I think the Rolling Stone and VH1 lists are to weighted towards the Beatles and Bob Dylan but then the musicians voted for those lists.

I have also heard an interview with your idol John Lennon who in said interview denounces his and his bandmates contributions during the 60's

Feif Umgoten, Ghut Hullo


John Lennon later took back those things he said in The 1970 Rolling Stone interview with Jann Wenner and later said he was on drugs and had just come out of scream therapy and The Beatles breakup and he was bitter. By 1974 John wanted to go to the first Beatles Fest for thousands of fans and he was collecting Beatles memorbilia that his friend Elton John gave him! And he listened to hours of Beatles music on a long car trip and in the summer of 1980 he sang Beatles songs including early songs while he steered a yacht in Bermuda.

On a side note, which Lennon do you believe, he could have been under some kind of influence in the interview, or when he took it back. do not waste your time to respond, it is not that important.



You actually have the nerve to call yourself a "Beatles fan"?!?! You know this Scaruffi's guy's influence is really profound it's like cult brainwashing I mean it's like you and some other ignorant Beatles haters on here were quoting him verbatim almost word for word! Of course you had to share his ignorance about The Beatles to begin with!

I Want To Hold Your Hold came out in 1963 The Kninks song You Really Got Me came out in 1964. Paul's great blues rocker She's A Woman from late 1964,and his screaming loud rocker I'm Down from early 1965 were hard rock for the time! And as many people have pointed out Paul McCartney invented heavy metal with his song Helter Skelter on The Beatles great 1968 White Album and as others have also pointed out John's great song,I Want You She's So Heavy on Abbey Road was also one of the first heavy metal songs! Ozzy Osbourne is a huge Beatles fan and has been since he was a teenager. She Loves You is one of his favorite songs. He said in a 2002 online Bender Magazine interview that Paul McCartney is a genuis and The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth!

Someone said some ignorant comment about not liking the "superficialness" of Paul's music. Well you just don't get this either,that even though Paul can and has written great lyrics he doesn't have to and many times he didn't but it doesn't matter because he has always been more of a great musician ,singer and music composer! His father James McCartney was a very talented accomplished classical jazz pianist not a poet! He was the leader of his own jazz band called Jim Mac's Band and they were popular in clubs in the 1930's. Paul and Wings on the 1976 Wings At The Speed of Sound even recorded an old instrumental his father had written caled,Walking in The Park With Eloise. So Paul's *musically* talented father is where he inherited his extreme musical talent from.
Also music critics were seriously studying even early The Beatles songs such as She Loves You And I Want To Hold Your Hand and The London Sunday Times music critic William Mann pointed out their use of interesting and unusal unique chords in songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand and also pointed out that they used clever sublties in their music even then and that these songs are not as simple as they seem,even though their middle and later music was more innovative and complex.

The Sunday London Times music critic Richard Buckle said John and Paul were the greatest composers since Beethoven after he reviewed music John and Paul composed for a ballet called Mods and Rockers in 1963,and this review was from December 1963. It was very unusual and unheard of for any music critics to compare young rock composers with Beethoven! Bob Dylan is also quoted as saying about their early songs,that they the chords they used were outrageous,and they were doing things that had never been done vefore,and their melodies and harmonies made it all valid.

I just noticed I made a few typing mistakes.

I am a fan of the Beatles, they are not my favorite nor am I the biggest fan. Since you are correct on the single release dates between the Beatles and the Kinks, this shows how much harder the Kinks could bring it than the Beatles. The Beatles to me are not likable for their rock'n'roll, but for their harmonies, and quirky songs. Hard Rock/Metal could not have been conceived by the Beatles if the Velvet Underground have 2 albums that predate The Beatles with Helter Skelter, and before that there were the Yardbirds, Cream, even Dylan brought it harder than the Beatles. And they were innovative for everyone pre-1965, but hardly anything innovative came afterwards. I still believe that Rubber Soul is probably the most overrated album of all rock albums to date, Revolver is cool, Pepper has never been among albums I like, not even when I had no real comprehension of the Doors, Hendrix, VU,..., Magical Mystery Tour is an under materialized album, but good (it could have been a lot better, there was talk that they were grieving their manager at the time and were forced into the studio, thus taking away from the creative process), The Beatles is the album that best describes the band and to me is good but not great, Let It Be was one I liked some time ago but now I do not have much thought at all, Abbey Road is alright (Come Together, Harrison's songs, and not much else, maybe I Want You.) Paul is a great bassist, but not the greatest, Jack Bruce, Mike Watt, Flea, Les Claypool are all better, or I like them all better.



Dude. You're giving Beatles fans a bad name. Shut the fuck up.

Electric rock music was invented before 1961, correct?

You mean rock music being played with an electric guitar? Sure, Chuck Berry played electric guitars!

it was rhetorical