Abel’s 4000 Albums That Matter: Part Twenty-Four
Some of you who have followed my scribing/music shenanigans over the last decade or so might remember this little endeavor of mine: a listing of the greatest 4000 albums ever committed to tape. A lofty and noble goal that will ultimately be a rather silly one, but it is too late now. Or rather, because it is too late, its original momentum came to a grinding halt with the end of the Heat Lightning website, which was the second pulpit from which I tried to wax energetically about music.
The Heat Lightning was a fun website that I provided some content for in a rough year and a half, two year tenure and now I find myself doing the same here at the ‘Gnarl with much different aspirations. Now, the last time I penned one of these entries was roughly in December of 2012 and at the time I closed with Skrewdriver’s All Skrewed Up album at the number 535.
A little background: in the early days of Facebooking, building lists was a fun way of looking busy at the day job and jousting with like-minded friends. Unfortunately, the competitive nature of my friends caused me to end the argument once and for all since I was tired of milquetoast listicles like “Top 10 Records You’d Take to an Abandoned Island (But We Won’t Tell You There’s No Electricity There)” and “Five Songs To Fuck To” and blah blah blah. No siree, I took it upon myself to make it such a grandiose and seemingly unfathomable task of obliterating all their top 10’s and 20’s with my 4000.
Switching out from Facebook to the Heat Lightning gave me an even bigger arena to work with (a 300% increase in readership from my original three or four followers) and even participate in a mix-tape contest. It was a lot of fun. But after the site went into arrears I was left with nothing and quite frankly, no pressing need to forge ahead.
Well, you sometimes can’t keep the urge at bay for too long and now, at the urging of those three or four dedicated souls who fed my ego then… here we go again. Let’s see how long I can keep this farce going. Let’s see how short of the 4000 I peter out on. Let’s have some fun. Let’s get back on track with my continued offensive incursions into the realms of the English Language and Her Grammars and Spellings! Also, don’t be afraid to point out when I relist an album, such redundancy is common with folks “my age.”
536. Love – Forever Changes. Love is a band that I’ve enjoyed for years but it wasn’t until I heard the Damned’s cover of “Alone Again Or” that I finally sought this particular album out. The rest of the album is a solid listen and “The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This” is another great track, but in all honesty, for every full revolution I’ve given the disc, I’m pretty sure “Alone Again Or” has gotten seven times that on hourly repeat. Obsessive anyone?
537. The Who – Who’s Next. The Who are pretty great. I like the Who. You like the Who. We all like the Who, right? This, their fifth full length venture has some personal favorites like “Baba O’Riley” and the classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” A song I should listen to more closely as it seems like I get fooled all the time.
538. Velvet Underground – Loaded. “Who Loves the Sun” might actually be my favorite VU song of all time. I don’t know why, there are certainly better compositions in their arsenal but that goddamned song makes me happy. Giddy happy. Energized happy. I’ve never owned it on wax, but the die cut cover on the disc and the holographic (?) art treatment makes for nice packaging at the compact disc level, which we all know can be a little uninspired at times.
539. The Stooges – Fun House. This is a great album. Maybe you’re a hardcore fan and got the Rhino Records nine disc box set capturing the entire recording process a couple of years ago. Good for you if you did. That’s dedication. Or something very near that. All I know is that I got an original LP of it from an ex-girlfriend’s dad for Christmas many years ago and that my friend Julio had purchased a copy on eBay from some dude in Italy and when it arrived at his house in Miami, the wax was cracked in half. Almost like someone at la posta Italiana said: “Stooges? Me fai cagare!” And swiftly kneed the fucker in half. True story.
540. Blood, Sweat & Tears – Child is Father to the Man. This is a solid album. Whatever you may feel about Blood, Sweat & Tears this is a thoroughly enjoyable album. And the fact that the cover is one of the creepiest fucking things ever is a rather handsome plus to have.
541. Portishead – Dummy. In all honesty, I came in very late on the whole trip hop thing and quite frankly, I can’t say that I’d be able to readily identify it if I saw it walking down the street. I’m not even sure that acid house is exactly what I envision it to be, but oh well, don’t tell my editors that. Portishead, given my naïveté and willful ignorance of trip hop at large, was an outfit that I found about rather late in the game. That has since been remedied and their third album, Third, is one of my personal favorites. I bought this one after their last and quite frankly, I wish I had gotten it back in ’94 when it dropped.
542. The Jags – Back of My Hand/Double Vision. This 1978/9 single by British rockers The Jags is pure power pop bliss. Infectious. Pubby. Punk rocky. I don’t know much about those guys and their other releases, but when I came across this on a KBD listing, I was hooked. It’s righteous.
543. Beck – Guero. Yeah yeah yeah, he’s a scientologist and a weirdo and a perdedor and that’s all fine and dandy. I like his music as long as he doesn’t try to count my thetans or whatever the fuck it is they do behind closed doors after draining your bank account. This album got me with the track and video for “Girl” but it is “Scarecrow” that gets the repeat treatment now. A bit of a “white boy in East LA” concept kind of thing, the whole platter works stylistically for me.
544. Soundgarden – Superunknown. Am I a huge Soundgarden fan? No, not really. Is this album better than Badmotorfinger? No, not really. And what is it with making everything one word? But this album is one that I’ve grown to appreciate after I was able to filter out “Black Hole Sun” and its cheesy video out of my system.
545. State – No Illusions. I don’t know a whole lot about this band; your input would be appreciated. But I do know that the seven tracks on this EP fly by in roughly five minutes which begs the question, with all the space left on that platter, why did you not add a couple more tracks? Ah right! It was 1983 and the hardcore kids had not yet realized that fifteen songs on one 7” is a perfectly okay way to go. Thank you Felix and Havoc Records for showing us the light as far as maximizing output!
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