Ten Great Records by Bands or Artists Primarily Known for Other Records
10.) THIRTEEN by Teenage Fanclub
BANDWAGONSESQUE is the record that gets mentioned if you ask someone their favourite Teenage Fanclub album but their next album THIRTEEN is infinitely better. For one, they have grown considerably and are much better musicians and songwriters. For another, this record just sounds so much better. Stuff like “Hang on” and “The Cabbage easily beat out any songs on their other records.
9.) VEEDON FLEECE by Van Morrison
Ask anyone their favorite Van Morrison record and they’ll usually say either ASTRAL WEEKS or MOONDANCE but VEEDON FLEECE is my favorite Why? Well I love ASTRAL WEEKS too and VEEDON is like ASTRAL WEEKS for grownups. Same spontaneous organic style but instead of jazz influences, here he gets back to his Irish roots. This record also contains some of his best vocals.
8.) THE FRAGILE by Nine Inch Nails
THE FRAGILE is Nine Inch Nails biggest record. Simply put, their largest number of good songs and for that reason I think it’s a better record than THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL. Both are great but FRAGILE wins due to quantity.
7.) CANDY O by The Cars
The first Cars album is enjoyable and was their most successful release but I actually think they sound better on CANDY O. The futuristic sheen on their music was more in the forefront. It’s a much better produced record than their debut and I think the songs are more streamlined. This really is new wave!
6.)THE CLASH by The Clash
LONDON CALLING was named the best record of the 80’s by many critics but truth is I find it a bit dull especially side’s 3 and 4 which have a bit too much Springsteen influence. Much better is their debut – Far better than their contemporaries The Sex Pistols and really angry. Also they rock.
5.) STATION TO STATION by David Bowie
While STATION TO STATION is a well thought of record , usually people will say ZIGGY STARDUST or HEROES or LOW if asked Bowie’s best record. I go with STATION TO STATION because I think it’s Bowie most important and trendsetting record – A bridge between his glam earlier days, the soulful YOUNG AMERICANS period, and the krautrock to come. The title track is THE David Bowie tune.
4.) WAITING FOR THE SUN by The Doors
The Doors debut record is normally the record people go with but I think WAITING FOR THE SUN their third album is their masterpiece. Full of great tunes (Love Street, No To Touch the Earth, The Unknown Soldier, Hello I Love You), it is measured, mature, and smart. Jim Morrison well under control and no 11 minute songs here.
3.) MEAT IS MURDER by The Smiths
Sandwiched between two albums that normally show up on greatest records of all time lists that is THE SMITHS and THE QUEEN IS DEAD, The Smiths 2nd album MEAT IS MURDER contains my favourite Johnny Marr guitar part (How Soon is Now?) a number of my favorite Smiths songs (I Want The One I Can’t Have, The Headmaster Ritual, What She Said) and my favorite set of Morrissey lyrics (That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore). They never sounded as swinging or as free as they do on this record.
2.) ABBEY ROAD by The Beatles
For favorite Beatles album, it’s usually a toss-up between SGT PEPPER and REVOLVER. I love both records but ABBEY ROAD is the Beatles record I listen to the most. Coming at the end of their time together it’s the sum total of their excellence, everything they’ve learned. The song cycle at the end of side two (Mean Mr Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came in Through the Bathroom Window) is one of my most favorite pieces of music.
1.) TRUST by Elvis Costello and The Attractions
Everything Elvis Costello did between 1977 and 1986 (when he temporarily stopped working with the Attractions and changed record labels) is brilliant. There might be any number of albums singled out as EC’s best but I don’t hear very many people talking about TRUST. Too bad as it is his most stripped down record, his most "naked" record and in doing so we see what a great singer he is and what great songs he writes. I consider this his best collection of songs – You’ll Never Be a Man, Pretty Words, Fish N Chip Paper, Watch Your Step.