Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My top 10 albums/cd's whatever

We interrupt your regularly scheduled running blog post with a little music talk. I was thinking the other day, if I could only have 5 cd's which ones would hey be? so I started making a list and the first two were easy but after that I was really having a hard time leaving out some so I made it a top 10. Well even that was really difficult so I finally did a list of 30. I know , the title says top 10. So I made a top ten and then a 20 runners up. Many of these artist put out a whole lot of great music and a large catalog of albums but for this list I limited myself to just one from each band or artist. Although I like a lot of different types of music, I'm a rock n roller from the time I was pre-kindergarten listening to Buddy Holly, Elvis and Chuck Berry. All of these albums are from my teens and were a major influence on me.

# 1
Captain Beyond

This was their first album and really the only one of their 3 studio albums that is any good. but this one is FANTASTIC ! I'll never forget the first time I heard it. I was in high school and at a party when someone put this on the stereo. When it got to the amazing guitar riff on "Myopic Void", I ran into the room asking who is that !?!. I was standing over the record player moving my head around in circles trying to read it on the turntable. Went and bought it the next day and have never been without it since.

Spirit- The 12 Dreams of Dr.Sardonicus

An old friend Wesley introduced me to this album when I was 14. No two songs song alike on the whole album. One of the first "concept albums" but I don't think anyone knows what the concept was. Nobody cares. It's just some great music.

Alice Cooper- Killer

I was already a huge AC fan with the release of the "Love it to Death" album and it was a hard choice between the two but when I finally was able to see them in concert the first time it was a life changing experience for me. I've seen him 9 times now but this was still the greatest live show he ever did and that's why I chose this album. Tough to leave off "School's Out" too.

Deep Purple-In Rock

Another tough choice. this band put out some great albums. There most famous one of course was "Machine Head" and some of my favorites songs like "Highway Star" and "Lazy" are on it but the first time I saw them in concert was before that was released. the reason this one gets the nod is because of one song, "Child in Time". to this day every time I hear the guitar solo I get a chill down my spine. Richie Blackmore is still one of my all time favorites. Lots of other great albums including "Burn"

Uriah Heep- Look at Yourself

Funny thing is I saw these guys the first time at the same show as Deep Purple. their first 5 albums were all fantastic but this one, their 3rd is my favorite. It had just been released before the concert. The title song is just amazing like a thundering stampede of sound with the big Hammond Organ and great percussion. And Mick box's wahwah drenched solo is just wicked.

Cream- Wheels of Fire

I wasn't even a teenager (11) and still in elementary school when I heard "Sunshine of your Love" in 1967 off the "Disraeli Gears" Album but it was 1968's double album that is the top choice from this short lived super-group. The first disc was in the studio and has some great music but the second disc was from Live at the Fillmore and it was live and jamming that this band was at their best. Featuring just 4 songs but they remain some of the best jamming ever recorded. "Crossroads is the only short one and remains a staple of oldies rock stations but it's the long jam on "Spoonful" that puts this one over the top. Throw in "Toad" featuring Ginger Bakers amazing drum solo which influenced just about every rock drummer since and "Traintime" featuring some great harmonica playing by the multi-talented Jack Bruce and I can still enjoy this album 43 years later

Johnny Winter-And

The first thing I heard by Johnny was "Highway 61 Revisited" from the "Second Winter" album and it is my favorite song so it was very hard to leave that album off but his next released where he teamed up with Rick Derringer is my favorite. Some great rockers, blues and a couple for just for fun tunes. Two great guitarist with distinct but complimentary styles. Close call with "Still Alive and Well" which many consider his best.

Rush- Fly By Night

Saw these guys on their first American tour as the opening act for REO and Blue Oyster Cult. They stole the show and played mostly off this album. Incredible catalog of music over the past 40 years but this will always be my favorite. "2112" a close 2nd.

Neil Young- After The Goldrush

Neil is probably the one artist I would choose if I had to choose just one. So many incredible albums over the years and I have about 20 of them and they are all great. Such diversity with easy listening, hard rockers, country and folk and he makes it all sounds great. So many good ones to leave off. I really like "Ragged Glory" a lot too but I had to take this one as my first choice. I'd heard a little bit of him from my cousin Theresa and I liked it but preferred the harder rock stuff like most of the above choices but then I saw him on a TV show, may have been Johnny Cash. He played "After the Goldrush", just him and the piano and it was so beautiful and I became a huge fan after that and bought the album for myself.

Ted Nugent- Tooth, Fang and Claw

Uncle Ted. First heard of him with the hit "Journey to the Center of the Mind" when he was with the Amboy Dukes when I was 11 years old and had the 45rpm. Didn't hear anything from him for several years until was about 16 when I read an interview in Cream magazine. Loved his attitude so I bought his album "Call of the Wild" Total awesomeness. TF&C was the next release and it was freakin amazing. I used to have a deafening stereo in my little green Pinto and I would sit in the backseat with the speakers blaring "No Holds Barred" before heading into work in the afternoons after school. Lots of great music over the years and he puts on a great live show. Got to see him in Detroit back in 1997 on New Years Eve in his home court. Awesome !

Hate to leave off so much great music off the list but the good thing is I really don't have to limit myself to just these 10. I own them all !!!!!

here is the lst of runners up in no particular order

Joe Cocker- Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Saw the movie and it became an instant favorite. Introduced me to another great one Leon Russell

AC/DC- Let There Be Rock

First heard them in a commercial advertising them in concert at Dorton Arena. sounded good so I went. It was their first time in the USA. Paid $3.oo and only about 300 people were there. Amazing show. Bought the album and although they put out a lot of great stuff this is still my favorite. Love all of them with Bon Scott.

Rory Gallagher-Live in Europe

Never heard of him before I saw him. He was a substitute at an outdoor rock festival in 1971 and played after the headliner Alice Cooper. Most people had left before he played. Boy Howdy did they miss an amazing show. My brother brought back this album from England later that year and it is about the same set list as the show we saw.

Led Zeppelin-Physical Graffitti

Wow, it was hard to leave these guys off the top 10 list and just as hard to pick a favorite. Everyone one of their studio albums with the exception of their last could have been the one but this has got it all. "In My time of Dying" puts it over the top.

Tool-Undertow ( the only one not from the 60's or 70's on the list)

I was introduced to this band by Beavis and Butthead. Yep they were watching the video of "Sober" and I loved what I was hearing. Best stuff I'd heard in over decade from a new band at the time. I had to wait until the end of the video to see who they were and then found the cd.

Black Sabbath- Black Sabbath

Another band my friend Wesley turned me onto. Loved all of their Ozzy albums but this first one remains #1 but a tough choice leaving out "Paranoid" and " Master of Reality"

Savoy Brown- A Step Further

Yet another one I owe to Wesley. First time I heard it was at his house when I was 14. One side is a 22 minute live version of "The Savoy Brown Boogie" Love it ! A hard choice not to take "Hellbound Train"

Jimi Hendrix- Band of Gypsy's

His first ,"Are You Experienced" was his best studio album but Jimi was at his best live and this is my favorite performance. "Machine Gun" is probably the greatest guitar song ever and Joe Satriani agrees with me on that.

Blue Oyster Cult- Tyranny's and Mutations

The first time I heard these guys was at NCSU. they were a substitute for some one and me and my friends had never heard of them in 1971. Well they put on a great show and I had the pleasure of seeing them 7 times before they went pop rock with , those two hits I won't mention here. This album rocks !

Allman Brothers- The Fillmore Concerts.

Another band that's best heard live and this is the best from the days when Duane Allman was alive.

Judas Priest- Screaming For Vengeance

Ok, another one not from the 60's and 70's. Loved "British Steel" but The Hellion/Electric Eye put this one over the top.

J. Geils Band- Full House

Just a fun live album that rocks from start to finish. Wish I had been at the show this recorded at. Hate what they did in the MTV era.

Mc5-Kick Out the Jams

Would you believe another intro from Wesley?
Another live rocker from a band that influenced a lot of bands in the Motor City.


Their first. they put out four great albums before the singer and guitar player both left the band. All were good but this was my favorite. Some great rock and Lee Pickens piercing guitar style make the album but it's a long mellow mysterious song that is my favorite, "Fantastic Piece of Architecture"
These guys opened up for Grand Fun Railroad at Dorton Arena after the release of their 2nd album and stole the show. Oh and guess who turned me on to this band? Yep Wesley had a big influence on my early exposure to some great stuff.

Jethro Tull- Aqualung

Another band with a large catalog spanning 40 + years but this is still the best. Saw them live in Dorton Arena playing this stuff and "Thick as a Brick".


One more from the 90's. These guys just ROCK ! Nothing fancy here. No amazing virtuoso's. Just plain simple @#% kicking rock n roll. Put "I Stand Alone" on the stereo as loud as you can and if you don't like that then you just don't like rock and roll.

King Crimson- In The court of the Crimson King

Just the opposite of Jackyl, these guys are virtuoso musicians. 21st Century Schitzoid man is amazing rock and jazz but is totally different from the remainder of the album. A real head trip. One to listen too with no distractions.

Trapeze- Medusa

This is some great stuff and I love the sound of the recording. very basic with the three instruments of this trio coming out very distinct and balanced. Almost a live recording with practically no over dubs.

Ken Hensley- Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf

Almost bending the rules here with this choice. Hensley was the keyboardist, slide guitarist and sometime vocalist with Uriah Heep and wrote most of their music. He recorded this when he left the band playing everything but the bass and drums which he used his former bandmates Gary Thain on bass and Lee Kerslake on drums. Kerslake played with Ozzy on his first solo albums and Thain died. But anyway, next to Neil Young this guy remains one of my favorite songwriters and this album was very hard to leave off the top 10. "Cold Autumn Sunday" is my favorite and would probably be in my top 10 songs. Hmm maybe another list sometime.

And last,
Pink Floyd- Meddle

Why not Darkside of the Moon? Ask me sometime in private. Love a lot of Pink Floyd with these two being my favorites but I liked Umma Gumma a lot too. The wall has a few good songs on it but overall I was never a big fan.

Ok, stay tuned for more running stuff soon.


Michael said...

Glad to see you've got some love for RUSH. This band just doesn't get very much respect.... I suspect coming from Canada doesn't help. The runners up list is almost as good at the top ten. The Filmore Concerts are the best!

gene said...

Rush and Tool.... You taste is impeccable my friend!!

Konstantinos said...

Hi Joey,

The Uriah Heep concert you attended just after the release of "Look At Yourself" (with Buddy Miles & Deep Purple) took place in January 1972.

Could you please share any memories you have of Uriah Heep's performance?

You can use the e-mail address of this page:

Thanks in advance & best regards