These are superalbums by the few really great and timeless masters of rock: the cream of the cream of the cream. These records set the highest standard for all those that follow them and they probably won’t be superated by anybody, not in the nearest couple thousand years. And yes, maybe I’m a fool for giving the highest mark roger McGuinn, The Byrds – Plugged And Unplugged five Beatles’ albums in a row, but fifteen years of Beatle-listening haven’t cured me of the attitude. Nearly every one of these records either introduced a universally new type of sound or helped ‘define the era’.
All of them are milestones in the band’s own history, and deservedly so: the level of songwriting is at an all-time high. If there are one or two slightly less captivating tracks on the album, they are entirely overshadowed by the splendour of the glorious majority. Another case is that the record might sound slightly monotonous, with brilliant songs which resemble each other too closely and don’t feed your ear properly – not on first listen, at least. Rolling Stones: Exile On Main St. This is ‘your average great album’ – that is, a record that cannot be called neither a ‘chef-d’oeuvre’ nor a ‘routine album’. The songs may lack the inescapable thrill of the better records, but they’re nevertheless all melodic and catchy, usually well-produced and guaranteed to give you a good time.
There’s usually little or no filler, but the ‘milestone’ factor is not there, if you know what I mean. Art Of Noise: Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise? Cranberries: Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can’t We? The last group of albums which you can enjoy freely, with little or no effort. Not a ‘classic’ or ‘milestone’ by any means, all of them are eminently listenable. You might see that this group includes the biggest selection of Bob Dylan and Neil Young albums, and it’s understandable: this is the type of ‘user-friendly’, but not ‘ground-breaking’ record.
This is where the filler slowly starts to take over – it was possible not to notice it before, but on here it can’t but remind you of its existence. These albums are still ‘good’ rather than ‘bad’, but their listenability, at least, the listenability of a large chunk of their material, starts to fall under question. Frank Zappa: Just Another Band From L. Grand Funk: All The Girls In The World Beware! Tom Waits: The Early Years Vol. This is where you should feel free to stop forking out your money if you’re not a hardcore fan.
It’s the first group of records that find their way onto my CD player maybe once in a couple of months. The amount of filler is at a very dangerous level, so that the good sections do not always compensate. Art Of Noise: In No Sense? Grateful Dead: History Of The Grateful Dead Vol.