After a bad experience at a "Make your own Top 10 list" website (which shall go nameless here), I've decided to post my All-Time Top 11 Albums here and invite y'all to join in by posting your faves and criticizing mine, because criticizing each other's musical taste is one of the great un-taxed joys of life.
If you survive this list, feel free to submit a list of your favorites in the "Comments" section below. I don't care about format, toss in all the commentary you want. The more, the merrier. Because this is all supposed to be about discussion, community, sharing, communication. You can all join in. Don't be shy. Don't be lurking, now. Here we go.
TAD'S TOP 11 (this week):
1. Beach Boys: PET SOUNDS. Best pop album ever. Even if half the first side drags. The second side's almost pure gold. Timeless magic.
2. Beach Boys: SMILE SESSIONS. Gorgeous, amazing song fragments, sketches, even completed songs! Brian Wilson was a friggin musical genius. He shoulda been composing movie soundtracks. Too bad about some of those deadheads he hung out with....
3. Gryphon: RED QUEEN TO GRYPHON THREE. Best instrumental rock album ever. "Lament" itself will change your life ... if you can sit still long enough to hear all of it.
4. Go-Go's: TALK SHOW. More great pure pop for then people. Their best, punchiest, rockiest album. Much more than cheery good times, some stress and heartbreak too. And amazing tunes that will stay with you forever.
5. Bangles: DIFFERENT LIGHT. Still more pure pop. I admit I'm a sucker for women singing catchy songs. The second side's just about perfect.
6. Moody Blues: THE PRESENT. Their best, most consistent album ever. Mellow, nostalgic, reflective, gorgeous. They should have retired after this.
7. Pretenders: (First album.) Got me through 1980 alive! Great lyrics, amazing guitar, and the Attitude! "Lovers of Today" and "Mystery Achievement" will change your life.
8. Nick Drake: BRYTER LAYTER. Gorgeous folk-rock mood-music. Almost every song works its amazing magic. And it's not dark and it's not depressing.
9. Beatles: ABBEY ROAD. Well, what can I say?
10. Yes: YESSONGS. Best live album ever. So great you can throw almost half of it away and not miss a thing.
11. Providence: EVER SENSE THE DAWN. A kinder, gentler Moody Blues album full of great, unforgettable songs. Put it on and fool your Moodies-fan friends.
* Fleetwood Mac -- TUSK. Perfect to do housework by.
* Caravan -- FOR GIRLS WHO GROW PLUMP IN THE NIGHT. Swingin', rockin' big-band arrangements, sweeping melodies, great vocals, hilarious lyrics.
* Happy the Man -- CRAFTY HANDS. Gorgeous progressive rock.
* Group 87 -- (First album.) The second-greatest instrumental rock album ever. Soundtracks for your dreams.
* Gryphon: TREASON. A kinder, gentler Jethro Tull album for the punk-rock era.
* Renaissance -- LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL. Stuck-up, snobby classical-rock with beautiful tunes.
* Illusion -- OUT OF THE MIST. Modest, quiet classical-rock with beautiful tunes.
* Sky -- SKY2. Two discs of virtuoso progressive rock that could have used a sense of humor. But check out the hilarious liner notes....
* The Who -- WHO'S NEXT. "Lifehouse" could maybe have been better than this, but the charge and punch and melodies and playing are all unbelievably great. If you're not sick to death of hearing it all over and over on Classic Rock radio....
* King Crimson -- THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON. Two-record set of most of their best from the '60s and '70s. Screeching, rocking, powerful, out-of-control guitar and twisted intellectual lyrics. This stuff will Change Your Life. And some of their very best work ISN'T HERE....
* King Crimson -- THE GREAT DECEIVER (LIVE 1973-74). Second-best live album ever, with some amazing playing. They weren't always inspired, but they were always powerful. And whatta sense of humor....
OK, there's a 22-item "Top 11" list for you to think over. Now it's your turn. I know this will require a little thinking, but no more than a minute or two. After all, why do we do this stuff if it isn't to strain our brains and show off a little?
I'll be looking forward to your lists....
(This means more than just you, Crabby. But you're invited too, of course....)