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Clay’s Best Albums Ever… and I mean ALBUMS.

I thought this would be an interesting piece, considering how our society has become very single-driven since the advent of the MP3. 

Full albums have lost their appeal to many people, and with things like iTunes available, you can simply download the one track you like from any given record. 

But how many of you remember buying a record/tape/CD because you liked one or two songs form the radio or MTV? The format forced you to learn the rest of the body of work. Even if you didn’t mean to, you still would end up learning what the rest of the album sounded like.

So, I decided to put together a list of what I think are the best albums I’ve ever heard

*Please note: this doesn’t mean that these are necessarily my favorite bands… I’m talking strictly about ALBUMS here. I’m talkin’ front-to-back, no skipping songs, most solid records in my collection that have stood over time.

(these will not be listed in any particular order, as that would just be too difficult)

 

SoundgardenSuperunknown: track after track here is (to me) the essence of this band. The sluggish songs drag you in, and the rockin’ ones leave you wanting to hit repeat.

Suggested YouTube view: Let Me Drown

 

LiveThrowing Copper: One of the biggest records of the 90’s. Fun fact here… this record came out in 1994, but didn’t hit big until 1995. “Lightning Crashes” is still in radio rotation today.

Suggested YouTube view: White, Discussion

 

 

SeLFBreakfast with Girls: This guy (Matt Mahaffey) is a pop-song genius. He was mildly big in the 90’s, with SeLF, as well as writing for television, producing, and even wrote the jingle for Expedia.com. Many have said that he is the direction that they wish Weezer had gone. This record is quirky, groovy, and brilliant from start to finish.

Suggested YouTube view: Callgirls

 

Arctic MonkeysFavourite Worst Nightmare: The newest band on my list, these UK kids can write some damn catchy (but stunning) tunes. Their sophomore record here is without a doubt one of the strongest I’ve ever heard, and some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard as well.

Suggested YouTube view: D Is for Dangerous

 

Our Lady PeaceHappiness is Not a Fish that You Can Catch: Our good Canadian friends here in OLP created something special with their 3rd record. A perfect blend of alt/pop and moments that make your ears go “…wait, what?”

Suggested YouTube view: One Man Army

 

 

Ben Folds FiveWhatever and Ever Amen: This band holds a special place in my heart. I always said to new fans that they were a “punk rock band forced into a jazz trio”. Funny, heart-crushing, and groovy… Ben Folds Five was a rare breed. Not to mention the lyrics are so well written that it’s ridiculous, and they’re some of the best instrumentalists in the business. I admit, this record took about a year to sink in for me, but now it’s my desert-island pick.

Suggested YouTube view: One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces

 

 

Radiohead OK Computer: What can I say about this record that hasn’t been said a million times? It’s flawless, and has been the inspiration for many many bands since.

Suggested YouTube view: Paranoid Android

 

Red Hot Chili PeppersBlood Sugar Sex Magik: A perfect blend of funk, rock, and rap… no song here is dispensable. And 17 tracks… are you kidding me? They used ever minute of that CD.

Suggested YouTube view: Give it Away

 

 

Foo FightersThe Colour and the Shape: Ok, this is still one of my favorite records of all time. The production is top notch, Dave’s voice is strong as hell, the guitar tones are thick, and the drum sounds are heavy. I mean, come on. 

Suggested YouTube view: Wind Up

 

WeezerWeezer (Blue Album): Ok, just try to not enjoy one of these songs. It’s probably the most classic record on my list.

Suggested YouTube view: Say it Ain’t So

 

There you have it… what I think are the top 10 most solid albums I’ve ever heard.

What are yours? And remember, I’m not asking what your favorite bands are. When you try to show a friend a song from an album, and you have trouble picking the best one… that’s what i mean.

-Clay Lancaster

http://www.claylancaster.com

 

 

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