1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1985 – 1986

Dedicated to my brother, Bobby Camp (1969-2015) who introduced me to more bands than I can count. Frank Zappa (among others) once said something along the lines of writing about music is like dancing about architecture. That’s wrong. If listening to music is an experience, then writing about said experience is just as valid as writing about a trip to India. You can write about … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1985 – 1986

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1983 – 1984

To be honest, I didn’t know what the hell was going on in 1983-84, and I was hoping that 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die was going to bring some clarity to my confusion. Generally speaking, the self-awareness of a 16-year-old boy is limited to his immediate sight and grasp. At least, that’s how it was for me. What I do know about … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1983 – 1984

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1981 – 1982

Every so often, it’s important to stop, take a look around, stare out the window for a while, change the channel, get up and stretch your legs. The last four years in popular music have witnessed a series of sea changes, which ultimately sank a bunch of ships. The disco backlash has reached critical mass, and the genre is now relegated to the adult contemporary … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1981 – 1982

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1979 – 1980

1979-1980 is the first period of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not in which I had heard every record prior to writing the associated essay. In some cases, I was listening to the record for only the second time, but there were no surprises, only disappointments and hasty generalizations. On the other hand, this period also has the fewest strikethroughs and the … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1979 – 1980

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1977 – 1978

Rock music is about to get interesting. I’m excited. Good stuff is about to happen. Key: Strikethrough indicates what you probably think it does Green indicates highly recommended listening Underlined indicates questionable but ultimately acceptable record Blue bold italic indicates ABSOLUTELY MUST HEAR BEFORE YOU DIE Note: Suggested alternatives are from the same year as the contested entry unless otherwise indicated. Also, anything in Red … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1977 – 1978

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1972 – 1974

In hindsight, it seems that I’ve been a little too generous with certain artists, letting some slide with multiple albums when one would suffice. At the same time, I’ve made some egregious oversights. For instance, the first three records by the Meters are Potential Must Hear Albums, but both me and Robert Dimery missed them the first time around; added embarrassment as we’re about to … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1972 – 1974

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1969 – 1971

It’s a fact: What goes up doesn’t always come down. All hell broke loose in the late 60s – early 70s, and in spite of (or maybe because of) the chaos, some remarkable music was made. Equally important, we’re now seeing a phalanx of splinter genres reaching maturity: psychedelic, folk rock, country rock, heavy metal, hard rock, acid rock, jazz fusion, jazz rock, progressive and … Continue reading 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die…Or Not: 1969 – 1971

The Delightful Sounds and Incomparable Life of Moondog, The Viking of Sixth Avenue

Out in the fringes you’ll find the most resourceful of humankind. It happens so rarely that I don’t remember the last time I stumbled upon an artist-in-obscurity like Moondog, who absolutely, completely blows me away. Serious audiophiles are free to scoff and say, “I’ve been on the Moondog tip for years, man.” Nevertheless, I’ve been freshly annihilated. And it feels good. At the same time, … Continue reading The Delightful Sounds and Incomparable Life of Moondog, The Viking of Sixth Avenue

100 Greatest Rock Songs of All-Time, More or Less

From an informational perspective, opinion-based “Best Of” lists, especially related to music, are generally worthless. For instance, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs [Of All-Time], contains neither surprise nor revelation, yet abounds in cringe and grimace. Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums is another story altogether, and I’ll get to that some time in the future. While the online version of 500 Greatest Songs features a nifty … Continue reading 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All-Time, More or Less