Abel’s 4000 Albums That Matter: Part Thirty-One
Yeah, I don’t even know who I’m trying to fool here. I know last week I was all “things are gonna get better” or some such nonsense and that’s just not the case. It’s complete bullshit actually. I mean, on top of my routine violent excursions of lexical depravity into the English Language and Her Grammars and Spellings you can now add “liar” to my ever expanding repertoire. Truth be told, the World Cup starts this coming week and my life has become completely consumed by the possibilities of pitch action that will surely put me in an alcoholic hooligan coma very soon.
Take me to task with the Round of 16 predictions I made a while back and know in your heart of hearts my dear fools of the parade, that while I will not hesitate like a goalie on the penalty line and/or drop the proverbial ball, we will not have the lengthy listings you’ve come to expect until the Cup runneth over. And that’s a good thing. You should be watching the matches and not listening to my misguided advice.
601. 7 Seconds – The Crew. This 1984 platter was the definitive template for the youth crew movement that more often than not went the meathead way instead of listening to the message of positivity that the Marvelli bros Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth tried to impart. Oh well. “Young ‘Til I Die” is a song I’ve always kept in my pocket. Giving in to the demands of age is okay if you want to hand over complete control to a force that will not take your élan and joie de vivre with any kind of seriousness. Do not go gently into anything, do not become sensible or bland, never compromise the one time in life you ever had any kind of spark – whether you harnessed it or not.
602. Filth – S/T EP. This might be one of my favorite things to come out of the Netherlands alongside totaalvoetbal, Ajax, Johann Cruyff, Oranjeboom and Ruud Gullit. The A-side, “Don’t Hide Your Hate” is perfect power-pop while the two B-sides, “Sex” and “Nothing for Me” are equally righteous. I don’t know what happened to these dudes or why they limited themselves to this lone EP in 1978 when they clearly could’ve been much bigger. You can find these tracks in some of the better comps or from the Killed By Death website. If anyone has a clue or a lead to other work, please comment below.
603. Rod Stewart – Gasoline Alley. Some people, namely some of my colleagues at the New Times are convinced that old Rodders over here has gone soft with time. That might be true but I honestly don’t recall his early catalog being comprised of barn-burners and/or ass-kickers. Rod Stewart had a different type of angst in his youth and it was mostly aimed at relieving dudes of their girlfriends. Let’s be honest, if your girl leaves you for Rod Stewart, you can’t get too mad. For starters, he’s no looker so notch one up for average guys; he doesn’t have a terribly great voice but he conveys a level of honesty with it which is more than you could probably say about yours. He’s an avid follower of Scotland’s Celtic FC and anyone who makes his backing band wear team colors (green and white) as well as adorning their instruments with the Celtic crest is a true leader. I like his take on Dylan’s “Only a Hobo” on this album.
604. Machito – Kenya. Machito did more for Afro-Cuban jazz than many have cared to admit. A true innovator, it is time his name gets placed within the same sentences of relevance in mainstream speech. Don’t be walking around claiming you knew about Mario Bauzá and shit without mentioning Machito and the legacy those two gave the world when they joined forces to create a fantastic amalgam of Latin jazz, African music and the big band sound of their time. Any album is as good as any to start with but for the sake of brevity (and because all these lists are technically thinly veiled entries to a larger bodice documenting my contempt and dismay towards musical attitudes these days) this one will do nicely because I can actually expect you to remember the name of an African nation. Right?
605. Frank Zappa – Hot Rats. This 1969 album of progressive rock helmed by jazz fusion was Zappa’s second solo effort and a true beauty of aural transcendence to behold. This album is a powerful mix of ear cocaine and high-powered anti-depressants. It heightens you and drops you gently into a bed of angel’s breath and newborn puppy’s dreams. It is six songs of which five are full instrumentals and the one with lyrical accompaniment gets the vocal treatment from longtime pal and energetic art crime assistant Don Van Vliet, better known to you gourmands as Captain Beefheart. The aesthetics of the album are pure Zappa genius and the multi-tracking on the recording is so emotive even a complete, non-musical tard like me gets it and appreciates it. “Willie the Pimp” aside from the Cappy’s voice, is symbolic to me for its length.
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