There has been a recent trend going around on Facebook apparently in which people put up 10 albums that influenced them.  The problem is that it’s supposed to be just one album at a time and you’re not supposed to list the reasons why it influenced you.  What’s the point of that?  Why list something that was influential but not give any idea as to why?

Well, my brother Kelly thought the same thing.  He put together a list of the 10 albums that really influenced him.  Except there are a few things.  1 – He didn’t want to put up just one a time because it works better as one story.  2 – He wanted to make certain to include that story as part of it.  And 3 – Like me, he’s not on Facebook.  So when he sent me his list to read, I offered to put it up on the blog for him.  So here, in my older brother (six years) Kelly’s own words, are his 10 albums that influenced him: (more…)

“She stood again in front of Lecter’s cell and saw the rare spectacle of the doctor agitated.  She knew that he could smell it on her.  He could smell everything.”  (p 25)

My Top 10

  1. The Silence of the Lambs
  2. JFK
  3. The Commitments
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Europa Europa
  6. The Indian Runner
  7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  9. My Own Private Idaho
  10. Fried Green Tomatoes

note:  Down at the bottom are the other films in my list which don’t make the Top 10 but the list is much shorter than the year before (even accounting for the fact that one of them, The Prince of Tides, is reviewed because of award nominations).  This is one of those years where the Original screenplays are fantastic and Adapted aren’t nearly as strong (certainly after the Top 5).

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In my 80’s post, I made a lot of specific lists.  I didn’t do a specific list post for the 90’s, so I will address some of those lists here.  Among the 250 songs in this post, you will find songs that would fit the following lists, so there will at least be a #1 for all of these lists, just by going through this list: Best Song Written for a Film, Best One-Hit Wonder (using this list), Best Song by a One-Hit Wonder that Isn’t Their ‘Hit’ (I count seven and in four of those cases their ‘hit’ doesn’t make my list), Best B-Side, Best Cover (every decade from the 50’s through the 90’s has at least one and even the 30’s has one), Best Long Song, Funniest Song, Best Billboard #1 Single (because of changes to how music was sold and tracked, there were a lot fewer #1’s in the 90’s because they stayed on the list longer, but still, there are only 5 #1’s on the list, as opposed to 37 in the 80’s), Best British #1 That Didn’t Hit #1 in the US, Grammy Winner for Song of the Year.  There is no list for Best Cover of a 90’s Song post 1999 because of the songs on the list, only two of them have covers I can honestly recommend and both of those covers were recorded in the 90’s.  There is no Worst Billboard #1 Single because so many of them are so terrible, though the Brits sent “I Wanna Sex You Up”, my second least favorite song of the decade to #1 (thankfully, my least favorite song ever, “Wonderwall” stalled at #2 on the British charts).

Some other ones that aren’t addressed are Best Television Theme (Malcolm in the Middle), Best Song Written for a Stage Musical (“Sunset Boulevard” followed by “The Heat is on in Saigon”), Top Use of a Song in 90’s Movie, Top Video (“Losing My Religion” but other contenders would include “Black or White”, “Right Now”, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “Tonight Tonight”), Best Recorded Live Performances (in theory, this automatically goes to “About a Girl” because it really technically belonged on the 80’s list but it’s the Unplugged version that I think is so far superior that it ended up on this list, but there are some other live versions on here that are covers and I do want to point out “Throwing It All Away” on The Way We Walk and “Pocahontas” on Unplugged – there are others that will be pointed out because those songs make the list in their original version), Best Christmas Song (“Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Grammy Winner for Record of the Year (“Tears in Heaven” – it was a terrible decade for this category). (more…)

For the second decade in a row, my #1 album has some awesome black and white photography from Anton Corbijn.

Introduction:  So these are my top albums of the 90’s.  Once again, these are studio albums only, so no live albums and no compilations of greatest hits, though both of those will be discussed here in this introduction.

Because I didn’t do a big massive post with all sorts of lists like in the 80’s, there are a number of subcategories that I didn’t already address.  For instance, the best debut albums of the decade, which, going down the list, would obviously be lead by Ten, followed, depending on your definition, by Little Earthquakes.  Other debut albums on this list include August and Everything After, New Miserable Experience and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  Jagged Little Pill is only the first album by Alanis Morissette released in the United States, not her actual first album and the massive success of Nevermind, Dookie, Throwing Copper and Siamese Dream often make people forget the much lesser known first albums by Nirvana, Green Day, Live and Smashing Pumpkins.  Ten is among the greatest debut albums of all-time and Little Earthquakes is up there if you count it as Tori’s first solo album but none of the others approach the list in my 80’s post. (more…)

Before I get into the song list, I’ll go ahead and throw out my favorites from the other decades that I won’t be writing long comprehensive posts about. (more…)

Without doubt, my #1 album of the decade.

Introduction:  I once had the thought of doing a Top 100 Albums of All-Time post.  But, the problem with that is that, aside from the large swaths of music that I don’t listen to that would have earned me crap from various people who like that music (and since this is an 80’s post, I’ll go with Prince fans as an example), there is the fact that since leaving Borders in 2009 (where we sold music) the new music I have listened to (other than a few artists) has gone drastically down.  So, there will never be a post of my Top 100 Albums.  I will give a brief list here though for a few other decades.  Please note that these lists are all studio albums only, no live or compilation albums.  For top examples of live albums or compilation albums from the 80’s, please look at my original 80’s music post. (more…)

*:  Or, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, depending on your 80’s movie frame of reference.

 

Introduction:  This wasn’t intended to be a multi-part post or to be so damn long.  In fact, it was originally just going to be a list of my Top 100 Songs of the 80’s.  Then it grew and grew and Veronica kept saying I had to post it or I would never stop adding new lists.  Well, I finally got to writing the most significant part, the first list (the top albums) and the last list (the top songs).  Then, as I added more details in those lists and made them both countdown lists (ending with #1 instead of starting with it), I realized each of those really needed to be their own posts, for length reasons, if nothing else.  So, those two have been spun-off into their own, more detailed posts.  This post is mostly just lists, though there are a lot of them. (more…)

js-quotesIn the Spring of 2000, I went to the Rose Garden and saw Bruce Springsteen on his reunion tour with the E Street Band. In the second encore, he played an awesome song that I had never heard. That song kind of fell into the background until the following March when a live version was released on Live from New York City. It was called “Land of Hope and Dreams“. The guitar riff at the beginning of the song instantly became one of my all-time favorites. In spite of its 9:46 length, it ended up on several of my mix tapes, including my best of Bruce Springsteen, even though its length meant at least one other song wouldn’t make the cut. In those days when not every song at a concert ended up on YouTube the next day (when I updated my Top 100 U2 Songs a couple of days after seeing them last month all the songs from my concert were already available), I looked for more versions of the song. But, unlike “American Skin“, the other new song on the Live album, there didn’t seem to be a studio recording. I kept hoping for one and really felt it should have been on The Rising, the brilliant Springsteen album that followed in 2002. I kept buying Springsteen bootlegs and it still kept not appearing. (more…)