By Steve Moyer
I’ve decided that the best testament I can give to my existence is to review my entire music collection (including these), because I have been absolutely intimate with the good stuff, not like some music critic dude who listens once and writes. I will do this little by little. So here’s the teaser. Obviously, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the albums that are “supposed to be” in everyone’s top 20 (not that I don’t like some of those, they’re just not in my top 20). Oh well. These are what I’m taking to the desert island.
If you’re interested in checking this stuff out, PLEASE don’t download, or worse yet, youtube one song and then pass judgment. Buy the whole thing, preferably a bricks and mortar version. Listen to it at least five times, in its entirety. Look at the pictures. Read the liner notes. That’s how albums are meant to be enjoyed. Enough is enough.
I reserve the right to change this list any time for any reason.
1) Supershit 666 – Self-Titled (2002) – Not a bad second to be found. Best ever six songs in a row. Perfect. Expensive. Worth every penny.
2) Apocalypse Dudes – Turbonegro (1999) – If all the songs on “Raw Power” were as good as “Search and Destroy” and “Gimme Danger.”
3) Supershitty To The Max – Hellacopters (1997) – “Hell, hell’s exactly what they raised.”
4) Ass Cobra – Turbonegro (1997) – I thought I had outgrown hardcore until I heard this a few years ago. Late to the party.
5) Masters Of Reality – Self-Titled (1988) – They’d be Guns And Roses if Chris Goss wasn’t fat and ugly. Salvages ‘80s music all by itself.
6) Hydromatics – Parts Unknown (2003) – Soul meets kick ass. Expensive. Worth every penny.
7) Queens Of The Stone Age – R (2000) – Makes you feel like you’ve done something bad. Really bad.
8) Cream Of The Crap Volume I – Hellacopters (2002) – Primo mostly Dregen-era Hellacopters. Extraordinary cover material.
9) Cream Of The Crap Volume II – Hellacopters (2004) – Primo mostly later Hellacopters. Extraordinary cover material.
10) Second Thoughts – Split Enz (1976) – Very weird and mostly mellow. Nothing like their later stuff. Never heard an album like it before or since.
11) High Voltage/Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap/Let There Be Rock/Powerage (1976-1978 – impossible to sort them out) – Bon Scott AC/DC. Boogie woogie rock ‘n’ roll at its best. “Highway To Hell” omitted on purpose.
12) Mott The Hoople – The Hoople (1974) – Critics always favor the Mick Ralphs stuff, but this is the best and most rocking.
13) Slade – Sladest (1973) – I teethed on the American version of this album, which doesn’t really exist anymore. More boogie woogie rock ‘n’ roll.
14) Blue Oyster Cult – Secret Treaties (1974) – Made me feel like I was doing bad things when I was 14. Really bad. Still really good.
15) The Specials – More Specials (1980) – Grooves heavily beginning to end. Appreciated more now than when released. Never heard an album like it before or since.
16) Angry Samoans – Back From Samoa (1982) – Very offensive, catchy, next-to-perfect SoCal hardcore album. The 80’s weren’t so bad if you went looking, I guess.
17) David Bowie – Hunky Dory/Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (1971-1972) – Sorry, can’t sort these out either. There were other pioneer oddball rockers, but never better than this.
18) Devo – Are We Not Men? (1978) – A bunch of geniuses far ahead of their time. Often wrongly dismissed as a joke.
19) Judas Priest – Sad Wings Of Destiny (1976) – Really heavy in a Black Sabbath kind of way. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
20) Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak (1976) – Includes two very overplayed songs, but it’s not their fault. Lizzy’s other albums are uneven, but this is excellent throughout.
This is an excellent list, Steve. I most enjoy your naming More Specials, which is a fabulous elpee that for some reason was the death knell for these guys.
This was a great band that was better than their genre niche. I have a 12 inch of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning that I never play anymore because I don’t have a diamond tipped stylus in my house these days, but I’ll swear it is almost as good as the dubby b-side, Ghost Town. A great band.
One extra great thing about this record is they got great Jamaican players to fill in all the parts. Rock stars buying authentic players? Incredible.
This is great, Steve, mostly because I know 1/2 of these discs, and own maybe 1/3.
But, I know virtually nothing in the Top 10 save Turbonegro, and I only know them thanks to you.
I don’t know the Splint Enz, though I loved a couple of their disc (Waiata, True Colors which had some laser etching on it, and Conflicting Emotions, though by then the group had almost morphed into Crowded House (whom I also dug).
I think you nailed it too on the first Devo album, which is vastly underrated (Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy Back soooooo goood).
I saw the Hoople, and Thin Lizzy (open for Queen, no less, on the Jailbreak tour).
Anyway, the best thing about the list is new shit to mine.
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I bet if there was a Moyer Actual Play Count here, Split Enz would be last by a mile. And I also bet that if he was on a desert island, Second Thoughts would be first disc he’d try to fashion into some sort of tool.
I gave this list a lot of honest thought and, if what Mike says is true, then the Split Enz would be #20. I discovered that album probably in 1977 and have been listening to it regularly since. Unfortunately, I guess, purely on ranking, the first album I’d fashion into a tool is Thin Lizzy: “I am just a cowboy, fashioning a tool.”
I just can’t get you liking Split Enz. It does not seem to be your style at all. But then you liked Belle and Sebastian, at least for a while. And you really dislike early Peter Gabriel Genesis (I’m not a fan either, but I respect it, for whatever that’s worth). And to me SE s0unds like a Genesis album. But maybe it’s the screwy costumes on the cover. Another reason why you should not look at covers while you’re listening to albums. (Ducks.)
You have to look at the cover while you listen. That is a substantive part of the experience. CDs screwed things up (small image, credits in minitype). Digital means you have to search out every image and all the data. This is hard, not impossible, but it kills the “unwrapping” aspect of music.
Maybe that’s old fashioned.
I was mostly joking with the album covers but if there’s one cover you shouldn’t look at while listening, it’s probably that one. Devo covers, too, maybe, if you think they were underrated because they seemed like a joke.
Mike, you are lost in the sea of mainstream. When I read Gene’s article on the Heartbreakers, I wondered if you’ve ever experienced anything like that – down, dirty, sweaty, grimy rock ‘n’roll. Seems to me you’re way more of a safe, stadium rock kind of guy. If I’m wrong, please tell me about it.
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