90. Carole King: Tapestry
Until Thriller hit the scene, more copies of this album had been sold than any other record, ever. Carole King, of course, was a hit songwriter, and many of these songs had been recorded by other artists. I like the album, obviously, but I don’t really know how it was so successful. It’s really fairly generic, but maybe that’s the secret. I mean, when you listen to what’s on the radio today, it all sounds generic.
89. The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
The Rolling Stones are made for greatest hits compilations. Every single album they ever produced had way too much crap on it, and three or four great songs. Honestly, I may have overrated this one (in fact, I rated it lower on my first review). But it does have “Gimme Shelter” and “Midnight Rambler,” two of their best songs. And that’s got to be worth something, right? Right? Maybe not. Looking at their albums compared to The Beatles, it’s incredible that they even managed to compete. It must have been Mick Jagger’s Tina Turner impersonation. It’s the only explanation.
88. Black Sabbath: Paranoid
Pretty much, the first four songs on this album are incredible. Epic masterpieces that deserve to be enshrined in a golden conch shell for eternity. Everything else on the album is forgettable, and not worth my time. This album gets all its points from the first four songs, thus why it places so low.
87. Madonna: The Immaculate Collection
When I think of what a metalhead’s reaction would be to the idea that I would place Madonna above Black Sabbath, it makes me laugh to myself. But this is an incredible collection of songs. The last few are not as exciting as the first 75% of the compilation, but Madonna’s early career of straight dance music was awesome. I might be the only person in the world whose favorite Madonna song is “Borderline.” More people should recognize how awesome I am for this.
86. The Ditty Bops: The Ditty Bops
The tight harmonies and hauntingly sweet melodies on this album make it incredibly entertaining. It gets old after a few listens, but it’s always nice to come back after several months. I’ve never seen pictures of these women, and now I wonder: are they good looking? I just looked it up, and the answer is not really, but occasionally. Also, they are lesbians. I had wondered, and now it is confirmed.
85. Nirvana: In Utero
One time, when I was about 8 or 9, I was in the car with my mom, her brother, and her sister. Her brother flips through some stations and settles on one. At some point, my uncle gets out of the car and goes into a building (it might have been my dad’s office. The details are fuzzy! It was a long time ago! Quit scowling at me!). Anyway, this station is on, loud enough to hear but not loud enough to stifle conversation. So my mom and aunt chat, while I’m just sitting there, half listening to the music. Then this song comes on, and the singer is singing “Rape me/Rape me, my friend/Rape me/Rape me again.” Being 8 or 9, I was shocked, yet intrigued. So I’m listening to this song, and then when Cobain screams “Rape me! Rape Me!” at the end, my mom and aunt finally notice, and one of them says, “What did he turn on?” and turns it off. It would be another 6 or 7 years until I discovered In Utero, and all of a sudden I had some context for this interesting memory of mine.
84. Guns N’ Roses: Appetite For Destruction
Despite the general disparaging comments about 80s rock nowadays, there’s no denying that Appetite For Destruction is a masterpiece. Axl Rose is now a joke, and Slash spends too much time playing Guitar Hero, but this work still stands of a fine achievement in rock and roll. Some songs are better than others, but none are really worth skipping over. I would choose “Night Train” or “Mr. Brownstone” over some of the more popular tracks, but that’s just me.
83. The Beatles: Let It Be
I was tempted to give this a huge deduction for Phil Spector’s horrendous additions, but since The Beatles didn’t like his work, I opted to forgive them. Still, there’s obviously some collateral damage, because ranking a set of Beatles originals this low will be considered blasphemy by many. I love The Beatles, I really do. But I think this album is vastly overrated, as is Abbey Road. I just provoked many to rage, but I don’t care. Keep in mind that this is still on a list of albums that I like. It’s just that I like it less than 82 other albums.
82. Ben Harper: Fight For Your Mind
Ben Harper is like the Rolling Stones, in that when he is good, he’s really, really good. It’s just that there are too many songs that make me want to jam pencils in my ears. I discovered in my quest to identify my top 100 albums that, in general, I hate slide guitar. It works only one time in twenty. The rest of the time, it makes me spit with indignation. This album scores relatively high because there seems to be less slide guitar than his other albums (or at least less pain-inducing), and it contains several outstanding songs, most notably “Power of the Gospel.”
81. The Beatles: Abbey Road
I already gave away that I don’t like this album as much as most people, so no big surprise here. Again, I say: overrated. There are some good, catchy songs here, yes. But it’s definitely a band that was ready to break up. It saddens me to say this; I would have loved to see where The Beatles went in the 70s, and maybe beyond that. But it was time to end it. It is too bad they didn’t get around to playing a reunion show, but if John Lennon hadn’t been killed, I think it would have happened some time in the 90s. May we ever curse Mark David Chapman’s name.