Monday, May 17, 2010

The Essentials

This turned out to be harder than I thought. I got to 12 before I knew it, and had to do some editing. So here it is, my stranded-on-an-island-with-only-15-albums list

“The Crow” Soundtrack. For years, one of my favorite soundtracks, until it was replaced by...

“Lost Highway” Soundtrack. NIN, Bowie, Ramstein, Lou Reed covering 'This Magic Moment,' and some great instrumentals. I still haven't seen the movie, but the album takes you on enough of a journey in and of itself.

Aerosmith, “Honkin' on Bobo.” Here, they cover some blues standards that influenced them in their formative years. Up-beat energy, and great musicianship.

The Beastie Boys “Check Your Head.” With this album, they explored a Hip Hop/Punk/Jazz hybrid that really worked for them, featuring several instrumentals. I found the bass playing really inspirational.

Korn “Greatest Hits.” How can I choose one? When I first heard the guitars re-enter after the bridge on 'Freak On A Leash,' it was like being hit with the broad-side of a van.

The Tea Party “Transmission.” If you aren't so lucky as to know The Tea Party, they're a Canadian trio who's single “Temptation” got them the most attention. They stayed on the radar for another three albums, but got a less fickle following in Europe and Australia. Their first two albums (“Splendour Solace” and “Edges of Twilight” sound like Led Zepplin with Jim Morrison singing; easy to market, but easier to write-off as “wanna-be's.” Truth is the music is beautiful and intricate. “Transmission,” their third, added synth/industrial tones to the mix, and boy howdy, it worked!

The Tea Party “Interzone Mantras.” Their fifth album, and their best. Their Acoustic/Electric/Blues/Eastern hybrid had matured and gelled into something wonderful.

Alanah Myles “A-La-Nah.” She's mostly remembered for her late-Eighties first album hit “Black Velvet,” but her third album saw her doing a lot more of the song writing. It had a more European flavor, and I hear something new every time I give it a listen.

Sinead O'Conner “The Lion and the Cobra.” She's mostly remembered for her late-Eighties tearing of the Pope's picture on SNL. But her first album has aged well.

Prince “Ultimate Collection.” How do I pick just one? This collection has all my favorites (Including “7,” “Thieves in the Temple,” and “Alphabet Street.”), and a disc of re-mixes.

Nine Inch Nails “The Fragile.” Another double CD, with my favorite NIN song, “We're All In This Together Now.” And plenty of other great songs.

Undercover “Devotion.” This Christian band was more punk in the Eighties, but by the early '90's, they were recording what sounded like prog-rockers attempting mainstream. With “Balance of Power,” they seemed to be exploring a pretty serious crisis of faith, very honestly. With “Devotion,” they had made their peace with their Maker, and it resulted in a timeless album.

Rage Against The Machine “Battle of Los Angeles.” Again, how do I pick one? I had to go with the most favorite songs.

Fear Factory “Archetype.” About ten years into their career, FF are exploring the relationship between Humanity and their machines. Possibly the heaviest music I listen to, they still strike a good balance between screaming and singing.

Johnny Cash. “The Legend of...” One of the few JC collections with old hits and new, including his song with U2, one with The Highwaymen, and the Soundgarden & NIN covers he did. I dare you to watch the video for “Hurt.” without tearing-up.

With that, I'll also bring a guitar, so I can try to mimic all of the wonderful music I had to leave behind. “Try” is the operative word.


  1. Oh, msn. These are some good ones! I loved Rage, too. Came out when I was in high school, I think--if this is the album of which I'm thinking. I was such a wannabe. I used to blast it in my little preppy Mustang convertible!


  2. Thank you for calling by and may I congratulate you on a most impressive list.I know sinead O Connor,and Johnny Cash of course but there were a few I didn'tknow likewise with my list.
    It has been fun.

    Take care. If you're playing guitar I play my tambourine.


  3. Wow! LOVE your list! I too have a Tea Party Album :) 'Splendor Solis'. I forgive you for the spelling error ;) I adored 'Transmission' too, but had to choose :) Looks like we got similar tastes!

  4. Great list. Most are new to me, but love what you had to say about Johnny Cash. The video is great. Personally, I think at the end John should have quit, his voice was not what it was. But singing was all he knew and he couldn't. Glad he did't!

  5. I've heard of all your artists except for Tea Party which I've now seen on two lists. From your description I may need to check them out. A lot of Canadian artists seem to get snubbed in the U.S.
    Lost Highway is one of my favorite movies--it is zonkers and totally bizarre and I love it. I have the soundtrack, I like it, but I rarely listen to it--I have to be in the right mood for it.

    I agree about the "Hurt" video.

    Tossing It Out

  6. Interesting to see your top picks, although I'm only familiar with a couple names.

  7. Wonderful list! I love the Crow soundtrack. NIN made my list too! Hope you get a chance to get over to my blog today and peruse my list. :)

  8. A couple I have never heard of and most I am unfamiliar with, I feel so shameful.

    As for Prince, I don't understand the fasination.

  9. Prince is a musical genius. I can't believe I forgot to put him on my list!

  10. I just realized you're in Barrie. I'm in Orillia! Small world. I've got the Undercover one somewhere.

  11. That's an impressive list. I liked the "The Crow" soundtrack too. I better look at all the others I have missed.

    Have a good day!:)

  12. Nope, no, and nah ... you can't "try" and do anything. You either do it or you don't. So DO it. (wink)

    Marvin D Wilson

  13. Um? I commented right after Michele yesterday morning! Blogger ate it, I guess. I thought that's what prompted you to come comment on mine. Sheesh! I'll have to go check if I'm really a follower, too.

    What I said (or close):

    I loved Rage. I love most of these bands. And I am so going to have check out that soundtrack, anything with NIN/Trent rocks.

    The name of your blog rocks, too.

    Well, it went something like that anyway :)

  14. Very diverse list and interesting choices. Prince is AWESOME!

  15. Thanks Will on your visit of my latest blog. As to how would I know which direction I'd be going.
    I spend most of my time not knowing whether I'm coming or going, I was tagged asked to do it in a poem which I did, I am not a lover of being tagged as they're very time consuming, but did this one as a challenge.
    Have a lovely day.