Payn's Ponderings... Top 10 Essential Albums


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
No worries. It's a nearly impossible list to make. Even with the restrictions I placed on myself, I still didn't put in any albums by the Beatles or Rolling Stones or Pink Floyd, I didn't have Nirvana or Hole, I didn't have Neutral Milk Hotel or Modest Mouse, I incorporated Brian Eno by reference but missed out on some of his classics, I didn't get any classic hip hop in there (Jay Z, Snoop, Dre, Tupac, Eminem), I didn't get Kedrick Lamar in, there isn't any 80s new wave, or 70s punk, and I couldn't list the Strokes or Cage the Elephant or Vampire Weekend and barely touched on Electronica and some 80s synth-pop revival.....

10 Albums is HARD.
Right its hella hard. I didnt get any The National on my list or Prince or....

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le Redoutable

Ich bin El Glouglou :)
what about
Frank Zappa
King Crimson
or the Duos
Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush
Aerosmith / Run DMC
Tina Turner / Bryan Adams
Pat Benatar
( during the mid-eighties I managed to hear the American Top 40,
and remember things like
Boys Don't Cry with " I wanna be a Cow Boy " )
Talk Talk
Tears For Fears
Duran Duran


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
So, Ill give you my thoughts Snarf style;
  1. Tom Waits-Rain Dogs; No best of list is complete without a Tom Waits selection. Rain Dogs is the ultimate Waits alabum becasue its the only one that has his jazz, vaudville, country, rock, spanish influence all in one place. It's liek agreatest hits album while being a kick ass album in its own right.
  2. George Harrison-All Things Must Pass; What happens when your two best friends are a couple of dicks and dont let you contribute your share of the music? You compile a list of kick ass songs about love, life, loss, sadness, and just general interreflection. No solo Beatle would top it.
  3. Led zeppelin II; What can I say? Zep was something totally special and this happens to be my favorite of a big list of options. Picking one is almost as hard as picking 10 of all time!
  4. Beastie Boys-Paul's Boutique; Beasties could have continued down the path of joksters with another license to ill, but they didnt. They proved to everyone that they have every right to be considered true hip hop artists. This is a master class in sampling something that likely will never be done again unless they start shelling out 25 mill for rights to make albums.
  5. Pharcyde-Bizarre Ride II; 90's hip hop had a revolution in Jazz influence. The beats were great, the lyrics were fun, edgy, emo, and all things nice. Its true you had a pack of contenders in De La Soul, Tribe, Diggable Planets, but nobody put together quite a fly album on the level of Pharcyde cementing a place on the best of all time list.
  6. Wilco-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; So, what is an Alt-Country rock band to do when their label drops them due to a "radio unfriendly" album? They say f it and find somebody to put it out because history just has to be made. This just redefined what the alt-country indie whatever you want to call it sound of the aughts was going to be.
  7. Buena Vista Social Club; Jazz is incredible, but its hard to really put a single album up as best of all time. These Cuban all stars are the best kept secret of the Jazz world. A straight up jam album from start to finish that shows how expertly crafted albums know no borders or limits.
  8. Johnny Cash-American Music Vol. IV; A country legend on his last round of the valley. The man just took a collection of fantastic songs and gave them a ghostly makeover that makes them immortal if they weren't already. A true gift he gave us with the last of his life.
  9. Dwight Yokham Guitars, Cadillacs, etc...etc...; They dont make country music like they used to. I mea, Dwight had to quit and become a movie star becasue the state of things is so bad. Though, if you want to hit the final days of great country music, you cant do better than DY.
  10. B-52's-Self Titled; Just a college band out of Athens. Taking the all but dead surf rock genre and giving it a defibrillator shock right to the chest. Funny, sheik, sexy, and fun. This is how you do retro folks, this right here.


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
This is a very difficult assignment. But if I had to limit myself to 10:

Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Cheap Trick - In Color
Billy Bragg - Back to Basics
Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We are Devo!
Jethro Tull - Benefit
Midnight Oil - Earth and Sun and Moon
Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Wow, nice! I think they are on a north American tour.
We saw them at Summerfest in 2002, shortly before they broke up, and they were awesome. I'd totally go see them again, but it looks like the closest they're coming to my area is Chicago.
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@Cadence So good to see some Warren Zevon appreciation here. My band (actually more of a coffeehouse duo akin to Tenacious D) covered several of those songs. We played "Excitable Boy" at our religious college's talent show, which raised a few eyebrows. Probably the strangest moment was playing "Gorilla You're a Desperado" while I was wearing only boxers, a cape, and a Viking helmet in a pool hall.

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