As Promised: My Top 73 Since ’73

[Thank you, Mark Prindle, for getting me to think through this stuff. I will surely realize I’ve forgotten massively important records soon. Also, I did my very best to give a straight account of “rock” records I listen to and love the most and not more canonical/obscure albums I could/should be listening to. Now please, readers, use the comments section to tell me which of these albums you would most like to hear me review, and also to comment on weird patterns, trends, and what does/doesn’t surprise you. So begins a new era for the Prisonship, largely devoted to rock-writing either about specific albs mentioned herein, the process of choosing them, or my own embarrassingly un-reformed ‘early 90s indie rock’ allegiances.. Other rock/art/lit/non sequitur programming will return to the beloved OG. ps – I have a (more expedient than justifiable) rationalization for excluding Grateful Dead music that I’ll try to explain later.]

Big Star, Radio City
Big Star, Third/Sister Lovers
Boys’ Life, Departures and Landfalls
Braid, Frame and Canvas
Breeders, Pod
Canyon, Empty Rooms
Chisel, 8am All Day
Come, Eleven: Eleven
Dinosaur, You’re Living All Over Me
Dylan, Bob, Blood on the Tracks
Dylan, Bob, Biograph
Eno, Brian, Music for Airports
Eno, Brian Music for Films
Gastr Del Sol, Upgrade and Afterlife
Grifters, One Sock Missing
Fall, Hip Priest and Kamerads
Flying Saucer Attack, Further
For Carnation, Fight Songs
Fugazi, In on the Killtaker
Grifters, One Sock Missing
Guided By Voices, Propeller
Guided By Voices, Bee Thousand,
Guided By Voices, Get Out of My Stations,
Guided By Voices, Vampire on Titus,
Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes,
Husker Du, Zen Arcade
Jawbreaker, 24-hour Revenge Therapy
Labradford, A Stable Reference
Mission of Burma, Signals, Calls and Marches
Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
Morrison, Van, Veedon Fleece
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless
New ‘Bomb’ Turks, Destroy! Oh Boy!
‘New’ Terror Class, Did You Hear that We Fucked?
Nirvana, Nevermind
Palace Bros., Days in the Wake
Palace Songs, Viva Last Blues
Pavement, Slanted and Enchanted
Pavement, Watery, Domestic
Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance
Pixies, Surfer Rosa
Prekop, Sam, s/t
Roxy Music, For Your Pleasure
Slint, Spiderland
Slowdive, Souvlaki
Smog, Kicking a Couple Around
Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.
Son Volt, Trace
Son Volt, Straightaways
Son Volt, Wide String Tremolo
Sonic Youth, Sister
Sonic Youth, Evol
Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation
Spencer, Jon, Extra Width
Springsteen, Bruce, Darkness on the Edge of Town
Springsteen, Bruce, Nebraska
Springsteen, Bruce, Born to Run
Sugar, Copper Blue
Sugar, Beaster
Tall Dwarfs, Hello, Cruel World
Teenage Fanclub, Songs from Northern Britain
Television, Marquee Moon
Thin Lizzy, Vagabonds of the Western World
Unwound, New Plastic Ideas
Unwound, The Future of What
Velvet Underground, 1969: Live
Walkmen, A Hundred Miles Off
Whiskeytown, Faithless Street
Wire, Pink Flag
Wood, Ron, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do
Young, Neil, Zuma
Young, Neil, Tonight’s the Night
Young, Neil, On the Beach

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23 Responses to “As Promised: My Top 73 Since ’73”

  1. lexdexter Says:

    jesus, there’s no Gang of Four on this list.

  2. schmidrew Says:

    Braid, Frame and Canvas– really?

  3. schmidrew Says:

    also, what about Bossanova over Surfer Rosa?

  4. schmidrew Says:

    not dissing Braid, mind you; have the Frame & Canvas 12″
    so, please review this one…

  5. schmidrew Says:

    Morrissey (Viva Hate)?
    Fleetwood Mac (Tusk)?
    Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)?
    ZZ Top (Tejas)?

  6. schmidrew Says:

    nevermind all that blather above– these are personal faves, i see, not “best” albms

  7. Kat Says:

    No Fleetwood Mac? Shocking.

  8. lexdexter Says:

    lack of Mac is another really obvious, embarrassing mistake. this was harder to do than you’d think, especially with no access to my record collection.

  9. wobs Says:

    I’m noticing a distinct lack of late-Hagar era Van Halen, an oversight on your part, I’m sure.

  10. gabbagabbahey Says:

    only one DC album? heresy!

    I would have chosen different albums by Dinosaur jr. and Jawbreaker, but’s that just me (I love my Bug/Beyond and Dear You).

    and I see you snuck in VU on the live album loophole… no Lou Reed, e.g. Blue Mask?

    interesting choice on the For Carnation, too.

  11. Octivitron Says:

    no T. Rex, or Joy Division? What about Neil Diamond?

  12. Confusor Says:

    Say more about Big Star albums, particularly they’re influence on those 4 ad volk.

  13. schmidrew Says:

    oh yeah– Hot August Night just squeezes in there!!

    this is impressive for not having yr records, pat…

  14. schmidrew Says:

    Tigermilk 4 emo danceparty?

    & how does The Setting Sun and Its Satellites stack up against Frame and Canvas in yr mind?

  15. evil r + b guy Says:

    The Ron Wood album sounds rockin’. It’s good huh? I like the “albums I love the most” framework of this list as opposed to canonical, critical landmarks. Sometimes they coincide, though. I haven’t heard about a third of your selections, man.

    Also perplexed by the Eno selections in a rock list. But you’re stickin’ yr neck out here, so don’t worry, I’m not trying to pull some kind of bland grad schooly parameters point.

    Tom Waits: Rain Dogs? Late 70’s Stones? Any Tortoise?

    I also think it’s interesting that starting in ’73 effectively removes the majority of the “classic rock” acts (at least in my world). Best Zep albums were before. Sabbath. Hendrix.

  16. evil r + b guy Says:

    Other question: have you ever owned albums that you listened to pretty often cuz you somehow felt sorry for them?

  17. kile Says:

    Bands that (specifically) you might have forgotten:

    Sea + Cake
    Joan of Arc
    ELO greatest hits
    No Doubt

  18. Guillermo Shirley Says:

    Three Son Volt albums, not one Ryan Adams? (Not that I’m a huge fan, but I know you are.)

    I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it there.

  19. sal paradise Says:

    sup w/ GBV?

  20. lexdexter Says:

    Octivitron: I honestly haven’t gone steady w/ Joy D. or the Bolan stuff for it to truly qualify among my most-beloved, though they’d doubtless be in contention for a “Best of” list.

    Gabba: Soon I’m going to reveal the other 50-75 albums that were in contention (or “on the bubble,” in USA-sports speak) for this list. That list is DENSE, DENSE with DC and Rodan-related albs.

    Kile: Somehow I have to take the Prekop s/t over The Biz or Oui, which’re both on the aforementioned bubble. You have that one? Probably influenced my gtr playing as much as any post-Spiderland “Chicago” record I can think of. None of the JOA albums – oh shit, maybe Live in Muenster – pass the “awesome all-the-way-through” test enough to make it, despite my Kinsella worhship.

    Guillermo: Ry-Ry is represented via the Whiskeytown LP. The first three Son Volt records are infinitely better and more consistent than any of his. Also, no matter how often _Trace_ is name-checked, the first three SV installments are way less “genre albums:” often times the best shit on ’em is electric guitar-based and way more SST-y than Johnny Cash-y. Each of those records are unfuckwithable all the way through.

    R+B: Thanks for giving me an excuse to slash the Eno albs and replace ’em with obvious memory lapses. One of those obvious omissions, in fact, is a late 70s Stones album.

    }THAT’S RIGHT, KIDS. There’s a revised/redacted version coming soon!{

    Schmidrew, I have good times with Belle and Sebastian, but none of their albums came close to coming close to this list. And that Firebird album is one of the worst albums I’ve ever loved. The Braid shit, I’d say, stands up. The predecessor, “Age of Octeen” almost made it. Though truth be told, the “Lucky to Be Alive” farewell alb may be THE jam as far as they go.

    Confusor, I hope I know enough about 4ad to explain the Big Star inf. thereupon. Big Star reviews a-comin’.

    Sal Paradise, GBV went on one of the greatest runs of any rock band ever (1991-1997), imho opinion, and i was lucky enough to be on the scene for it. They were so prolific, and I was so intent on following them, however, that I was done with ’em pretty much by the time I got to college. “Bee Thousand” and “Alien Lanes” are probably THE ONES, but mostly I go back to “Get Out of My Stations” and “Vampire on Titus” when I’m “feeling it.” Those records have some of the truly weirdest, garage-floating-through-haunted-outer-space vibes I’ve ever heard on any record.

    R+B, i never know whether being a record collector has influenced my being an anthropologist or whether being an anthro has shaped my musical tastes. i guess it’s probably one of them “dialectics” they talk about. anyway, i LOVE to rationalize why bad records are secretly great, and i love to do so with records that’re universally maligned. but you knew that, c’mon. i’ll try to bring a thread along these lines to the OG soon enough.

  21. confusor Says:

    Also, no ‘metal’ rock albums?


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