Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #65-#61

Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#65: Blue Record by Baroness

After being thoroughly impressed with Baroness’ major label debut Red Record I had high hopes for the GA boys. They have a unique prog metal sound filled with a deep haze of psychedelia and sludge and a style that was heavy as hell but never overpowering, but quite graceful. Blue Record was able to take everything that made Red Record so great and just build and improve on it. The songs are all meaningful and catchy and each one memorable. As the years go by since its release in 2009 I find myself listening to it on a pretty regular basis still with now signs of slowing up. Signs of a timeless record.

#64: Purple Onion by The Les Claypool Fearless Flying Frog Brigade

When the discussion of best bass guitar players of all time comes up I will bet money that Les Claypool’s quirky and funky style of playing will always weasel their way into said discussion. And along with being one of the best bassists of all time he’s one hell of a songwriter. Of all his solo/collaboration bands he was part of during Primus’ hiatus, The Frog Brigade was his most solid imo, and Purple Onion showcases another shade of his nutso musical brain quite well. Amid all the quirkiness there is a great amount of variety on this record as he plays dark and moody tunes as well as upbeat bluesy funk tracks. If you get just one post-Primus record from Claypool, Purple Onion is where it’s at.

Trivia: For the song “Whamola” Les built a unique instrument (the Whamola) to obtain the bouncy and reverby sound that is the highlight of that song. It is a long wooden pole with a thick bass string attached to it at an incline which he uses a drum stick or violin bow to strike and he frets on the upper parts and controls pitch with a tension apparatus on the instrument.
The song “Whamola” also became the new theme song in the opening of South Park.

#63: Rising by Rainbow

Such an unconventional name for a pioneering rock band, but one that fits them very well as throughout their existence Ritchie Blackmore’s project has been one big revolving door of musicians with Ritchie as the sole constant. Their most line up was their the one that contained the legendary Ronnie James Dio on vocals and in my opinion contain some of the best work that Dio has ever done, namely the album Rising. Between the huge classic rock riffs and Dio’s soaring and immaculate voice this album has everything a rock and roll fan could want. And “Stargazer” what a hell of an awesome tune.

#62: Official Live:101 Proof by Pantera

One really needs to experience a Pantera live show to really understand what I mean when I say the energy and power they bring to the stage is unmatched. They may not be note perfect, but their shows are so raw and electric when you walk away from a Pantera show you will be forever changed. Pantera was my first legit metal show and life since then just hasn’t been the same, it’s been better.

When it comes to live albums, none in my collection match the sheer intensity that was captured on ’97’s Official Live, which is hands down my pick for best live album of all time. The recording of Phil’s rants, the selection of songs, and the fact that they mic-ed the crowd just send this record over the edge. You can really catch the power that this band brought to the stage. I may never be able to see Pantera for a 5th time due to some crazed subhuman, but at least I can relive some of my best concert memories over and over again with this album.
(note: the youtube clips do not do this record justice, listening to it on CD on a decent soundsystem or with good headphones makes a HUGE difference)

#61: Junta by Phish

Everything and everything in the world needs balance to maintain a healthy energy. For my heavy metal counter-balance there is my love of hippie jam band music. Of all of my favorite hippie jam band albums Phish’s debut record Junta takes the cake as the one I find most enjoyable and have listened to in and out of a deep haze more than the others I own. “Fee” is one of my favorite ‘happy’ tunes and “David Bowie” is filled with fat, crunchy grooves. “You Enjoy Myself” has more guitar noodling than a Yngwei Malmsteen album and “Esther” is one hell of a dark trip (controlled substances optional). Beyond being the archetypical hippie jam band, Phish are also great songwriters and musicians, so if you’re interested in some quality tree-hugger music, I definitely recommend this record.

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About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on August 27, 2012, in Matt's Top 100 Albums, Metal Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You always seem to get a band or two on your list that’s new to me or something I haven’t heard in a long time. I guess it goes to show that metal and anything related to metal runs pretty deep.

    I have been sampling that Blue Baroness album here and there, I think it will be my next purchase from them soon after I get Katatonia tomorrow and whatever else comes out.

    I haven’t heard much of Claypool’s side projects or projects other than Primus. I know very little of classic bands such as Rainbow. I should refresh my memory with some of that stuff. great list! Next week I am all over the place boucing between 1985 and 2012.

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