Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

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Rob
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Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:36 pm

As I said before when the last update hit, I'm going to make a playlist of the top three songs of the top 3000 albums on Acclaimed Music. Today I started! Here it is; work in progress:



How do I pick the three songs? Similarly to my playlist for MegaCritic I pick the three best regarded songs. To keep things close to AM, I take this website first as a basis, so it goes like this:

- Songs from the album that rank in the top 10.000 songs get in first. Up til now, all albums I did had three songs ranked. Note that in the playlist they do not appear in their ranking order, but in the order they appear on the album, so as to keep some semblance of the albums flow.
- Bubblers are next. If I there are more bubblers eligible than I can fit in, Spotify decided. This means I'll check which of the eligible bubbler(s) has the most streams on Spotify, with the highest getting in.
- Lastly if spots remain, I will use the Spotify method. Streams are not similar to critical acclaim, but it is the best I can work with now. Finding the three most beloved songs per album based on critics could perhaps be done in someway, but will prove to be a too lengthy process for now.
- Many re-releases add bonus tracks to an album, like previously stand-alone singles, cuts or demos. These will not be taken into consideration for this playlist. I only regard songs from the original release.
- And yes, that brings us to the tricky question of what the original release is. Some albums, including a lot of sixties classics, where released in different versions across countries, with frequently differences between the US and Europe. I initially thought to combine them, but with already the first case, Are You Experienced, I got into a weird situation. I would have to pick Purple Haze, Hey Joe and The Wind Cries Mary, three tracks that are all absent from the European version, which came first! I switched back to keeping the first release (in this example the European one) as the original. I'm not sure if this is the right approach though, so opinions are welcome.

This does leave some odd situations: some albums have only three tracks or less and so will be presented here in full, like Tubular Bells and Close to the Edge. Very silly yes, but I love silliness, so there you go.

I'm not yet sure how to handle albums not present on Spotify. The only way I know I can add them (albeit unplayable) is by getting a version of it in my music library. Of course, I do not own every single acclaimed album that is not on Spotify - so I'm not sure if I will simply download the songs (which I don't like to do otherwise), ignore them or find another way to add them. Thoughts, anyone?

Finally, a question. If a new update ever comes the playlist will have to be updated, but I probably don't want to start over again. I think there is an easy way with spreadsheets to contain the link to each song, but I'm not sure how it works. Who knows?


Image
Two stars of our most acclaimed album.

This is still a work in progress. I will update on my own tempo, but will try to keep a reasonable pace. I have determined that I will work on the playlist for as long at a time as one album lasts. The album will always be the first one that I have to add to the playlist. Today that was obviously our number 1, Pet Sounds. Now I stopped at #36, so I will continue with #37: Massive Attack's Blue Lines. I'm sure later I will be able to discover some albums previously unknown to me this way (albeit not with full attention), making the process extra fun for me. I'll post here every update.


Any questions or comments?

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby StevieFan13 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:39 pm

Good luck with the Joy Division albums - last I checked, they only had a couple of acclaimed songs, and most of them were non-album singles!
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:55 pm

Updated from #37 (Massive Attack's Blue Lines) to #74 (De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising).

StevieFan13 wrote:Good luck with the Joy Division albums - last I checked, they only had a couple of acclaimed songs, and most of them were non-album singles!


No problem at all actually, as both albums have three tracks ranked! And besides, I could easily have used the Spotify method. Every album up til now had at least three albums on AM though, so I haven't had to use the Spotify method yet. In fact, There's a Riot Goin' On at #56 was the first I had to use a bubbler, so in general the top 100 albums deliver a lot to the song list.

I did run into a new situation though: a live album (in this case James Brown's Live at the Apollo). I could just pick the three highest acclaimed songs the act performs, but that seems wrong, so I will be using the Spotify method for live albums. Exceptions are when a live track is specifically mentioned on AM.

While compiling I listened to:
Massive Attack - Blue Lines

Image
Kirby Mass Attack is a game that somehow doesn't use Blue Lines as it's soundtrack, one of gaming's greatest mistakes.

I only heard Blue Lines for the first time at the beginning of this year, expecting it wouldn't be for me, but I actually like it a lot. Sometimes it is said that it hasn't aged well or that Mezzanine is clearly the better one. I disagree very much with the first statement at least.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Henrik » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:03 pm

Yes! This is awesome, Rob!!! :D

Rob wrote:Finally, a question. If a new update ever comes the playlist will have to be updated, but I probably don't want to start over again. I think there is an easy way with spreadsheets to contain the link to each song, but I'm not sure how it works. Who knows?

You can export data, including SpotifyID, to a spreadsheet using Spotlistr.
http://spotlistr.herokuapp.com/#/export/spotify-playlist
Let me know if you need further help with this.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:44 pm

Today I Updated from #75 (Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) to #127 (Dr. Dre's The Chronic).

I had to use the Spotify method for the first time, on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. It's still a rare occurrence though.

Henrik wrote:Yes! This is awesome, Rob!!! :D

Rob wrote:Finally, a question. If a new update ever comes the playlist will have to be updated, but I probably don't want to start over again. I think there is an easy way with spreadsheets to contain the link to each song, but I'm not sure how it works. Who knows?

You can export data, including SpotifyID, to a spreadsheet using Spotlistr.
http://spotlistr.herokuapp.com/#/export/spotify-playlist
Let me know if you need further help with this.


Thanks, Henrik. This is certainly useful.

While compiling, I listened to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco

Image
This is Marina City in Chicago. You can rent an appartement here. Let's live there!

To be fair, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has never totally clicked with me, but it has great moments.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:23 pm

Today I updated from #128 (Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True) to #161 (T.Rex' Electric Warrior).

While updating I listened to My Aim Is True:

Image
Did you know there are people who when hearing his name ask whether Elvis Costello is the brother of Elvis Presley. You can't make stuff like that up.

This was my first time listening to My Aim Is True, although I knew a couple of tracks. Costello needs some close listening to lyrics, which doesn't quite happen when I'm compiling a playlist, so I hardly have a good view of the album. It sounds rough and punchy, but less varied than the somewhat higher ranking This Year's Model, which I have heard quite a few times already (no I don't know why it took so long to get to My Aim Is True either).

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:26 pm

Workdays make this progress go slower, but today I updated from #162 (Bob Marley & The Wailer's Natty Dread) to #197 (The Modern Lovers' self-titled album). I hoped to get further, but there were some complicated ones among this group (here's looking at you Saturday Night Fever).

Anyway, while compiling I listened to Natty Dread by Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Image
The term "Natty Dread" is another word for Rastafaria's, like this guy.

This is a very good Bob Marley and the Wailers' album. Like most of Marley's output it is a little complicated for compiling this playlist, as it is rather tricky to find out which songs originated here and which don't (a lot of songs appear on multiple Marley records - and I'm not talking about compilations or even live albums). Whatever the case, this one sounds like a good unity of songs and works very well as an album.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:31 pm

Today I updated the list from #198 (Neil Young's Tonight's the Night) until #239 (The Who's My Generation).

And I listened to Neil Young's Tonight's the Night:
Image
Bruce Berry, the subject of the song Tonight's the Night, Neil Young's roadie whose life was ruined and eventually ended by heroine.

I'm rather dedicated to a couple of Neil Young albums, but I think this is only the second time I listened to this one, perhaps because of it's heavy subject theme. There is more than that though, so I think I will revisit this one more often in the future. Young sings in a rawer voice than usual.
Last edited by Rob on Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby spiritualized » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:14 am

Subscribed to your list.
Great list to listen to when I don’t feel like listening to a particular artist or my faves... whilst keeping a smidgeon of discovery.

Does Spotify still have a max number of songs in their playlists ?

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:01 pm

spiritualized wrote:Subscribed to your list.
Great list to listen to when I don’t feel like listening to a particular artist or my faves... whilst keeping a smidgeon of discovery.

Does Spotify still have a max number of songs in their playlists ?


I don't know, but since the maximum used to be 10.000 (it still is?) this list won't be in problem, because even if all albums would have 3 songs (which is not the case), it would contain 9.000 songs.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:14 pm

Today I updated from #240 (Roxy Music by... Roxy Music) up to #285 (George Harrison's All Things Must Pass).

I was very annoyed about how Live at Leeds by The Who appears on Spotify. There are two special editions there, both with no regard of the original order of the songs. That doesn't matter much for the playlist, but the original songs now have different lengths than they had on the original release. I let it slide, but it is odd that they offer two different versions, but no way to listen to the original (admittedly, the extended version is very good).
Similarly, All Things Must Pass also has bonus tracks, all put slapdash in the middle, instead of at the end, right at the place were you had to change discs on original vinyl. So now you can't listen to it in one go as intended without personal action and have to go through two versions of My Sweet Lord before getting on with things. Whose idea is this nonsense?

Also, outside of the title track, I noticed that barely any song on Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove had any streams. The critics only voted one song in. What's up with that?

While compiling I listened to Roxy Music's self-titled album.

Image
This is electronic band Ladytron. They do not appear on the album, but a song named Ladytron does. I just thought I'd share.

So, Roxy Music. A band I never got into. My father had a compilation of their hits and these held no appeal to me so I never made checking out their albums a priority. From their debut I only knew Virginia Plain, also a song that does nothing for me. This album sounded weirder than I expected. I always thought of them as an extremely polished glam band, but what we have here is a raw, messy sound. Probably courtesy of Brian Eno. It has more appeal to me than their later sound, but I wasn't drawn into it in particular, even though I admit that my main focus is on making the playlist and the music is more background.
Last edited by Rob on Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:34 pm

Today I updated from #286 (Slayer's Reign in Blood) to #318 (Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson).
That's not a huge album, but since each update takes as long as the album I'm listening to, today just happened to have the rather short Reign in Blood.

Interestingly, all albums from 201 to 300 are on Spotify. Too avenge this, the numbers 301 (Joanna Newsom's Ys) and 302 (Pere Ubu's The Modern Dance) are not, although all top tracks of the latter are on Spotify regardless.

But yeah, while compiling today I listened to this undisputable forum favourite:
Image

It isn't the highest ranked metal album on Acclaimed Music, but certainly the highest ranked of it's kind: trash, with a good measure of blood and satanism thrown in. Like a lot of these album I enjoy the playing, but the enjoyment is somewhat destroyed by the vocals and especially the ragingly stupid lyrics (the first lines heard are "Auschwitz/ The meaning of pain/ the way that I want you to die!"). It's hardly stuff I can relate to, but at least the drums are amazing.
Last edited by Rob on Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:46 pm

Today I updated from #319 (The Who's The Who Sell Out) up until #347 (Dabe Brubeck Quartet's Take Five).
Again a relatively short update. But the playlist passed the 1.000 song mark! Only about 8.000 te go!

While updating I listened to The Who Sell Out:

Image
And if the The Who can sell out, so can I. So I urge you all to buy your bread at Bakkerij van den Bergh. Go do it: http://www.bakkerijvandenbergh.nl/aanbiedingen/
The True Baker!

Anyway, it was a while since I listened to this album. I always loved The Who, but this was never my go-to album of theirs. It only contains one of their real classics, I Can See for Miles. What struck me now was how odd an album it is and not just because of the commercials and radio jingles. I think they were searching for something new after the more straight-forward rock of My Generation and the new format provided by Tommy. The album flows very well, but the songs frequently sound just a little strange or else a bit silly. It is like-able for sure, but whether it will ever come close to Who's Next for me remains to be seen.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:28 pm

Today I updated from #348 (TV on the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain) up and until #395 (Grateful Dead's Live/Dead).

Point of annoyance: Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything is a double album, but oddly Spotify only has the 'first disc' available, a stupid error. Luckily I could get the two missing top tracks somewhere else.

Milestones: Tubular Bells is the first album I came across with only two songs and it is the first album to be fully included on the playlist. It was followed one spot later by In a Silent Way, which also has only two tracks. In a Silent Way's two tracks are also ranked on AM, making it the first album I come across were every track is both acclaimed and present in the playlist.


While compiling I listened to: Return to Cookie Mountain by TV on the Radio!

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This is where we have to return to boys! Not a bad idea actually.

Confession, I didn't consciously know about the existence of this album til relatively recent. During the 2000's poll for the year 2006 someone commented that Return to Cookie Mountain was fading with critics. My mental reaction: "There is an album called Return to Cookie Mountain". I'm afraid that this album and TV on the Radio are indeed fading somewhat. But I discovered them only recently and I really like them. I guess this album doesn't have to the immediacy that appeals to the mainstream, while for the indie crowd it might be too raw. For me, it hits a sweet spot.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:26 pm

Today I updated from #396 (Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends) until #421 (Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets).

A short update, the album I listened to lasted less than 30 minutes. But that is a good thing this time, because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten around it and every bit of work done is welcome.

So I listened to Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends:
Image
Here's to you Mrs. Robinson.

This is the album with Mrs. Robinson of course and also A Hazy Shade of Winter. Two all-time favorites! There is also America, which I like, but don't consider a huge personal favorite. The other tracks here don't seem to be that well-known, although my sister at least LOVES At the Zoo. I think other Simon & Garfunkel albums have more outright classics and I'm surprised that it ranks quite a bit higher than Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, which has both more classics and seems to capture the sound of this duo probably more perfectly than any of their other albums.
That is not to say I don't like this album. It is a weird album, with Simon trying out some new sounds. He wants to be more rock and he frequently sounds harsher. This is doesn't come natural to him as he later admitted. That's why he never returned to this sound. The result actually works even if it might explain why this is the Simon & Garfunkel album I return least to save for the debut.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby FrankLotion » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:09 pm

Just wanted to go out on a limb and say this is my favorite thread on this forum right now, thanks for the insightful (and funny) journaling you’ve been doing along with the playlist!

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:13 pm

FrankLotion wrote:Just wanted to go out on a limb and say this is my favorite thread on this forum right now, thanks for the insightful (and funny) journaling you’ve been doing along with the playlist!


Thanks, FrankLotion! I also write this stuff to keep myself entertained through this big task, but I'm glad others enjoy it too.

Today I updates from #422 (Buena Vista Social Club's self-titled album) to #468 (Ian Dury's New Boots and Panties!!)
For the first time I got an album (two in fact), that are not on Spotify and also don't have enough song on Acclaimed Music to pick from. The missing picks that are included are a little random I am afraid.

Also, I added a song named Smack My Bitch Up to the playlist, something I'd rather avoid. Please note that the content of the songs (or their titles) do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the compiler.

Anyway, today I listened to something more benign than The Prodigy, namely Bueno Vista Social Club:
Image
The most famous song from the album is named Chan Chan. This is an image of the historic Peruvian city Chan Chan. Both have nothing to do with each other.

But yeah, Chan Chan, I've known that one for quite some time and I love it. Still, I never got around the whole album before, so it was nice this landed on there. It is a nice and gentle Summery album, although it didn't lift my spirits as much as I hoped after that big single. As relaxing albums go, you can do far worse than this one though. It has for better or worse become something of an emblem of world music. Kind of cool that such status is given to an album made by old people, even if the inclusion of Ry Cooder might have helped to give this extra attention.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:23 pm

A big update today, easily the biggest yet! I went from #469 (Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous) to #534 (Moby Grape's self-titled album).
That Thin Lizzy live album is long so that made it possible to get a lot done.

We also hit another milestone, as we passed the 500 albums border. One sixth done! All albums I come across now are eligible for the Moderately Acclaimed album game!

As said, I listened to Live and Dangerous by Thin Lizzy while compiling today:
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Live and dangerous, plain to see.

I like this band quite a lot. They aren't the most innovative rock group around, but they knew how to be wild and their playing tends to be top notch. This album captures that. The soloing is great and the group sounds on fire the whole 76 minutes. Phil Lynott is one hell of a front man. The sound quality of this concert isn't all that great actually, but the atmosphere shines through. An easy recommendation to hard rock fans.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:17 pm

Today I updated from #535 (The Undertones' self-titled album) to #559 (Bee Thousand by Guided by Voices).
Yes, after the big one of yesterday this was only a small update, but The Undertones' debut lasts less than half an hour, so there you go. Plus I had great difficulty with Thelonius Monk's Genius of Modern Music, which already comes in many forms and Spotify decided to make a messed-up, unholy lovechild out of all them.

Also a milestone: The Rolling Stones' self-titled is the first non-live album I came across that didn't have a single song on Acclaimed Music! Never expected that one would be the first. If I had counted English Newest Hitmakers - the American variant - I could have counted one entry, Not Fade Away, but I try to keep my rules here consistent so the debut of these hitmakers from across the pond end empty-handed. Many tracks have got quite some play on Spotify though.

And today I listened to The Undertones by The Undertones:
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The Undertones might tone it under, but they don't tone it down.
(For some reason it is hard to actually find a concert picture of this band, at least from back in the day).

This band always feels like it is of a piece of The Buzzcocks. They have the same pop-punk feel that comes across as rather upbeat even when rocking hard and sounding angry. Not for the punk purists who think punk is only for channeling rage, but for the rest of us this is very enjoyable. Like many I suspect, I only knew them from Teenage Kicks (not on the original version of the album and so not in the playlist), but it turns out they can turn in a very good album indeed. This is one punk rock album that just keep rocking along, consistent in mood yet never repetitive.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Today I went from #560 (Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do) until #592 (The Beatles' Help!).
And if you, like me, would like to have seen a larger update, blame Phil Spector for getting a Various Artist album on AM (his christmas gift for us...), meaning I had to check song by song whether it was ranked on AM. Of course only one was, at the bottom of the album.
Special shout-out too to Ellington At Newport which is only on Spotify in an extended version with changed song titles... I'm pretty sure this is all done specifically to annoy me. I'm suddenly feeling like an album purist.

Milestone, an odd one: I came across an album for the first time I think I never heard of before - Lloyd Cole & the Commotions' Rattlesnakes. I vaguely know the band name, but if I was pressed to ask what they were I would have said either a fifties group or a new wave act. It's an 80's jange pop album. Hopefully, I didn't hurt any fan's feelings here. I'm sure it is amazing.

But I didn't listen to Rattlesnakes today - although it sometimes sounded like it -, but to Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (yes, I'm insisting on using the full title, out of spite to both Spotify and even Acclaimed Music who refuse to do so).

Image
The thing in the middle is an idler wheel. This was an English word I was unfamiliar with, so I had to look it up. It is a wheel that is specifically there as a connection between two or more main wheels so that they keep rotating. They are also wiser than the driver of the screw, apparently.

This wasn't the first time listening to this record, although it was some time ago that I heard in full. I'm rather dedicated to Hot Knife (#735 on my recent top 1000), one of those songs that is both very weird as well as very catchy. This isn't the best way to get re-acquainted to it, as this is an album that demands more careful attention than as a background sound for compiling a list. Still, these crazy rhythms keep working an Fiona Apple has really developed her singing style with each album. To me this album feels like vocal jazz, but perhaps because of her previous work she will never been credited as such.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:55 pm

Today I updated from #593 (Roxy Music's Avalon) to #620 (Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians).

Now Music for 18 Musicians is interesting here, not just because it is very different musically to what we usually find here, but also because it is the first album I add to this playlist that consists of only one song. Some versions break the album in multiple tracks and a case can be made for that, but the original recording is only available as one piece, which equally seems right. Rate Your Music, usually the purists take on such things, breaks it into two tracks, for which also a case could be made. But for now, you have to make due with all 56 minutes and 31 seconds of it.

Also, earlier I mentioned that The Rolling Stones' debut album was the first without songs on Acclaimed Music, but that was by ignoring the US version of the album. Music for 18 Musicians is the first album without songs on Acclaimed Music even with a loophole. I guess it didn't deliver any hit singles.

But today I didn't listen to Steve Reich, but to Roxy Music's Avalon:
Image
A painting by Edward Burne-Jones of the death of King Arthur in Avalon, a mist-covered, hidden castle on an island. A place of legends.

My least favorite album I listened to for this project was the Roxy Music debut, so fate decided to give me another one of theirs. Earlier I said I equated the band more with a slick sound than the debut actually showcased, but ten years later that ultra-slick sound has been fully developed. Avalon might be the most polished and clean album of all time. In fact, it reminds me of colorful clothes that have been washed perhaps a hundred times too many, having long lost all of its beauty and color. People really seem to love this album, but to me it is as lifeless as it gets. It's empty prettiness that seems to go on and on forever. There is a place for hyper-polished albums, but this one sounds to me like it is made in deadly fear of anything spontaneous. The real Avalon had more sense of mystery. Not for me, this one.


On another note: it seems I've been doing this for a month already! Didn't get too far yet, so I might finish this within the year, especially as this will slow down in October and November when work will be more busy. Oh well, i never claimed this would go fast.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby DocBrown » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:56 pm

Rob wrote:Music for 18 Musicians is the first album without songs on Acclaimed Music even with a loophole. I guess it didn't deliver any hit singles.


:laughing-rollingyellow:

I am really enjoying your humour in this series, Rob. Funniest man on AMF!

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:37 pm

Today I updated from #621 (Wire's Chairs Missing) to #653 (Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Lynx...)

I have to admit that I took an easy way out with the Woodstock soundtrack album. It isn't on Spotify and outside of Star Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix (which I included here) no songs of it are specifically on Acclaimed Music as far as I can tell. Finding out which performances are on Spotify and which are most popular there is a fool's errand, so I went with two performances that are famous: Santana's Soul Sacrifice and Sly & the Family Stone's Dance to the Music. I don't like doing it this way and hope this will be an exception.

I listened to Wire's Chairs Missing today:
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A silly visual joke around a game that revolves around missing chairs. I learned today that this game is called "musical chairs" in English. That's the second time I learned new English terms through this process. In Dutch it is called "stoelendans", which translates as "chair dance". Now you know. Apparently, a person "missing a few chairs in his front room" is a slang for someone who is somewhat crazy, which fits Wire better than musical chairs.

I seem to draw quite a few 70's punk, post-punk, art-punk and new wave guys in this series and I'm happy that Wire is now included in this group. I like this group's more famous and more acclaimed Pink Flag quite a lot. Chairs Missing is lesser known, although it contains their popular Outdoor Miner (popular for Wire that is) and the great I Am the Fly. It basically continues in the same vein of its predecessor, but there is enough exploring to do in that sound to keep it fresh. So besides punchy rockers and oddities there is also room for a ballad or two and even an attempt at vocal harmonies. Anything seemed to go for these guys and even better: everything went well. A special shout-out to Practice Makes Perfect, one of the great album openers.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:50 pm

Today I went from #654 (George Michael's Faith) to #690 (Garbage's Garbage).

Milestone: we passed 2.000 songs! Only about 7000 to go!

Rarely an update had gone by without some madness and today is no different. Roni Size/ Reprazent's album New Forms is on Spotify. That is a rather long album, running over two hours and has always been put on two discs. That's nothing special, but usually we get the two discs combined as the same album on Spotify. This one however only has New Form (Disc Two) on Spotify, with Disc One completely absent. To make matters more ridiculous the one they name Disc Two is actually Disc One. Luckily, there is also an unwieldy anniversary edition that runs over 5 hours, on which you can access every track of the original album and much, much more.

Sadly, this wasn't a new form day, but time for old-fashioned faith, as I listened to George Michael's Faith:
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You gotta have faith sure, but some albums unintentionally make me wish I was listening to an album by The Satanist instead.

So no, I don't like Faith. Not even a little bit and my heart sank when fate (so closely related to faith - possibly no coincidence) brought me to this album. I already heard it once and never thought I would sit through it again. There have been albums in this topic before that don't appeal to me, like the Roxy Music ones, but at least I can easily listen to them. Faith, heck George Michael in general, is insufferable to my ears.
This is blasphemy of course, especially since Michael died and seems to have found a whole lot of new appreciation. I remember reading his obituaries. At the time I only knew him as a hit singer from just before my time, who made songs I thought hadn't aged well and didn't even seem to have to be picked up by the eighties revivalists. But those obituaries revealed more about his personal life, the chances this guy took and his daring responses to controversies he caused. The guy suddenly became interesting and I decided to listen to his whole (if rather small) solo discography. I never got beyond Faith. All interest in him evaporated after sitting through that thing. All the context I got for that album through the obituaries couldn't make actually hearing it worthwhile. I tried some later singles, as well as the earlier Careless Whisper, but he is a rare famous artist of whom I can't find a single song I like.
When meeting Henrik earlier this year we talked about George Michael, whom Henrik loves and who he described as a singer who feels like a close friend. I have the opposite reaction. There is something cloying about Michael that also feels like fake affection to me. His singing style is overwrought to me, like a player who doesn't even hide through his seduction that he is setting you up. What's worse is the actual sound of his songs, which is as thin and unsurprising as pop music gets. There is just very little there there. To say nothing of the frequently bad lyrics (is naming Monkey here a cheap shot? I shoot anyway). Even a popular track like I Want Your Sex seems like a cheap, overlong Prince rip-off, with Prince's musicality and showmanship removed.
Probably among my ten least favorite albums I've heard of the top 3000 so far. I respect the man for the way he handled his life, but I'd rather leave his discography alone if I can help it.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Henrik » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:28 am

Haha, it seems that every time you (have to) write about George Michael, he is becoming less and less likable to you.

You weren’t that negative about him when we met. I suppose you didn’t want to ruin our evening. ;)

I also want to add that ”Faith” is far from my favourite album of his.
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:26 am

Henrik wrote:Haha, it seems that every time you (have to) write about George Michael, he is becoming less and less likable to you.

You weren’t that negative about him when we met. I suppose you didn’t want to ruin our evening. ;)


Haha, maybe. Or I just hadn't listened to him recently. He strikes me as a likeable guy off-record, but sadly it doesn't translate it's way into the music for me.

I also want to add that ”Faith” is far from my favourite album of his.


I hear you, but unless this game makes me listen to Listen to Prejudice, Vol. 1 I probably won't be trying it out soon.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:07 pm

Updated from #691 (Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush the Show) to #730 (Jeff Beck's Truth).
That's quite a big update considering the length of the album I listened to, but sometimes things just go smoothly.

Today I listened to Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush the Show:
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James Cagney, being arrested in the film Public Enemy, presumably for bum rushing the show. James Cagney died in the year Public Enemy formed. Coincidence? This reminds me that I want a hip-hop album full of Cagney vocal samples.

This is the debut album of one of the most influential hip-hop groups and although slightly overlooked in favor of the two albums that followed, it already proved the talent of these guys. Later efforts had a bit more variety in production, but the flows and power of Chuck D come fully formed and the jokey nature of Flaver Flav has always worked for me. There are some smashers here that still break anything that comes in it's path, including the title track, Timebomb, the manifesto Public Enemy No. 1 and the acclaimed two-punch You're Gonna Get Yours and Sophisticated Bitch. Opinions may vary, but I really prefer hip-hop from that time over the contemporary takes on the genre. This one stills sounds dangerous, while few nowadays do.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:43 pm

Updated from #731 (Buzzcock's Another Music in a Different Kitchen) up and until #757 (John Hiatt's Bring the Family).

Milestone: We passed album no. 750 today, which means I'm a quarter done!

Otherwise a small update, thanks to a rather short album. But hold on, the next one is going to be a lot bigger.

Today while updating I listened to Buzzcock's Another Music in a Different Kitchen:
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Since Henrik wants to keep this site at least somewhat safe for work I decided not to upload a picture of an actual buzzcock, but rather the most inoffensive picture of the band I could find.

I already remarked that the listening element of this job seems specifically designed to land me on every punk and new wave band available, especially the lighter ones. I actually wondered whether Buzzcocks would be left out, but of course I get to listen to them on the first possible moment (and no, I didn't secretly plan this). I always thought that Buzzcocks and The Undertones (which I already wrote about above) were actually the same band, just with different members (which is a minor detail of course). But I only know the few hits by the former, most of which seem to come from Love Bites. Another Music in a Different Kitchen was less hit-friendly. Indeed, it still one of the rare albums I came across to have not a single song on Acclaimed Music, not even bubbling. This is less pop punk than they are famous for. It sounds harder, wilder and faster. The vocals are still more gentle and friendly than we find in Sex Pistols or The Clash and the rhythm section doesn't desperately hide the fact that they are actually solid players, but otherwise this is very straight punk and although it doesn't particularly stand out to me on first listen it is very enjoyable.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:24 pm

You want a big update? You get a big update! A record 63 albums were added to the playlist today as I went from #758 (Nick Cave's Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus) to #820 (The Kink's Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)).

Odd fact: the numbers 798 and 799 are both live albums: Sam Cooke's Live at the Harlem Square Club and Van Morrison's ..It's Too Late to Stop Now. Both cover the song Bring It On Home To Me on their album. And in both cases it was one of the three most streamed tracks, so both are now near each other on the playlist. What are the odds?

Today while compiling I listened to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Abattoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus:
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Orpheus with his lyre, playing for some animals. I originally wanted to post a picture of an abattoir, but suspected that might not go over as well. Be warned though, as The Lyre of Orpheus is just as dark a song as Abattoir Blues.

A very massive album. Despite liking Nick Cave a lot, I never dived into this album in full, so I only knew the supposed highlights. It is a lot to take into probably even with full focus. While doing something else, well, it doesn't feel right to write about it yet. Still, as per usual with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds there isn't a dull spot and his singing combined with the lyrics are so immediately compelling that it becomes hard to concentrate on the actual task. This might well become one of my favorites by these Australian devils in the long run.

The next update will be at a more normal length I suspect.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:02 pm

Today I updated from #821 (R.E.M.'s Green) up and until #853 (Deerhunter's dual release Microcastle & Weird Era, Cont.).
No songs of the latter are included however. A bit of odd one that. Weird Era, Cont. was basically a bonus disc for the fans, but it is the only bonus disc ever mentioned specifically here on AM as part of the album. Spotify holds them apart however. I followed Acclaimed Music however and my rules for this playlist left Weird Era, Cont. empty-handed, with no songs ranked on AM, nor any songs that have been streamed as much as the Microcaste favorites.

Today, while compiling, I listened to R.E.M.'s Green:
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This is the color green. You probably think this is obvious, but R.E.M. and cover art designer Jon McCAfferty managed to make the album cover look orange-yellowish. They had an excuse though. The idea was that if you stare at the cover for some second, after closing you will see a green negative, that resembles grass. Which I guess a lot of people will do without instruction.

This album is part of R.E.M.'s incredible 8 classic album run that went from Murmur to Automatic for the People (some go all the way to 10, by including the divisive Monster and more appreciated New Adventures in Hi-Fi). Of course it is great, but simply because the high quality of this run, Green along with Fables of the Reconstruction gets easily overlooked. And frankly, it is really R.E.M. doing R.E.M., with little to make this one specifically stand out. There are also no real big classics, although Stand, Orange Crush and personal favorite World Leader Pretend do tend to get some love. This all doesn't matter too much, because when you start listening you just get another captivating and consistent album, full of memorable songs. Turn You Inside-Out is one of their hidden gems.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:40 pm

Today I updated from #854 (Gene Clark's No Other) to #884 (Flamin' Groovies' Teenage Head)!

So, this band The Gun Club released an album called Fire of Love in 1981. In the same year they released a song named Fire of Love. This song is not on the album of the same name of the same year! Instead it appears on a totally different album a year later. Why? I spend minutes to figure out if Spotify didn't make a mistake. Didn't these guys know that 37 years later someone would make a playlist which featured their album?

Anyway, today I listened to Gene Clark's No Other:
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This is no other than Gene Clark. No, I had never heard of him either, but somehow he got an album in the top 1000.

This is what it's all about in the end: discovering new music. I didn't make a joke when I just said I never heard of Gene Clark and as such also not of No Other. Only the second album I came across here that didn't ring a bell, but last time I at least vaguely heard of the band. Perhaps the bland name and bland album title have something to do with it: these don't stick out.
But here is the thing: even after listening to this album only ones while focusing on something else I became deeply moved by it. Not even the words, but the singing and music. This is a country rock album, but something about the feel makes it come across as the What's Going On of country. There is something ethereal and soothing, yet also deeply felt here. I'd very much like to explore this one further. Probably one of the best albums I came across here!

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Henrik » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:45 am

This is no other than Gene Clark.

You have such a talent for jokes. I love how they just seem to be coming to you. Keep up the good work! :happy-partydance:
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:28 pm

Thanks Henrik :)

Though mostly now I'm ashamed that I didn't know who Gene Clark was. A founding member of The Byrds I read today...

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:55 pm

Today I updated from #885 (Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album) to #919 (Guns 'N Roses' Use Your Illusion I).

Landmark: all Beatles albums are now present on the playlist. Yes, all their albums are in the top 1000. They aren't the first to hit that landmark exactly, but they do it with a lot more albums. Check them out if you've never heard of them.

Today I listened to Fleetwood Mac's Fleetwood Mac:
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Warning: real landslides hit harder than the song Landslide on this album!

Ah yes, Fleetwood Mac, the indisputable masters of the soft rock genre. With this album and Rumours they basically perfected a sweet sound that sounds pleasant from start to finish. Sonically, the two albums are perfect companions and I don't think the one is obviously better than the other. Still, the eponymous one has been slightly under the shadow of it's follow-up, probably because it lacks the break-up backstory of the latter. Not that the relational strife made Rumours sound any tougher or emotional. That's not these people's jam. I have an odd relationship with this band as they are the perfect embodiment of a type of music that I always like when listening to it, but I never actually feel the need to listen to them. From a distance, it's hard to remember what the big deal was. From close by, the skill involved cannot be denied. In a way there is something non-committal about them (they channeled heartbreak into easy listening; a feat in itself when I think of it) that makes me always want to make fun of them, even if I know they don't deserve it, because these are skillful people. Like Rumours the self-titled album has one great song: Rhiannon (it's Dreams for me on the other one). Landslide is the big favorite among audiences however, judging on it's massive Spotify. And what do you know, like Go Your Own Way, it captures everything I like and dislike about Fleetwood Mac.

The next time there is another double album waiting for me, so expect a bigger update tomorrow.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:20 pm

Today I went from #920 (XTC's English Settlement) to #976 (Jerry Lee Lewis' Live at the Star Club, Hamburg)

Fun fact: I came across both West Side Story and East Side Story today. It's things like this that keep me going even when I'm actually to tired to update.

I also notice that completely unknown albums (to me, that is) are getting slightly more frequent. Did you know there once existed a man name Alexander Skip Spence and that he released something with the completely unappealing title Oar? Now you do.

While updating I listened to English Settlement by XTC:
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This is an English settlement; quite possibly older than this album. Whether you can get xtc there I don't know. You can always go there and ask.

In fate's attempt to let me listen to every British pop punk and new wave band during this crazy venture, fate outsmarted itself by giving me the inevitable XTC, but not with one of their actual new wave records. Instead, this pop rock album is a surprisingly funky outing, with the band having fun with grooves, stutters and vocal bounces. It seems closely related to the stuff Talking Heads were putting out, but I was more reminded of a band of much later: Spoon. If Spoon revealed that this was their favorite album and that they listened to this ten times before recording each of their songs, I would not just believe it, but would actually call them liars if they said this wasn't the case. Now I like Spoon a lot, so this massive double album clicked with me too. It just has a lot of swagger and an endless feeling of fun. It seems to be on the verge of being forgotten: it's Spotify streams are mostly very low and I have a feeling it will drop over time. It was only ever slightly big in the UK, which probably doesn't help. But I think it has aged very well and if this would have been brought back in the spotlight during the indie hype of the 2000's I think it could have become big again. Some songs run a little long, perhaps, but that could be my fatigue speaking. This is a great discovery for me!

Tomorrow's album is half as long and the update won't be too big, but I hope to cross the magical 1000 line.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby StevieFan13 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:42 pm

XTC is one of my new favorite bands. Would love to listen to more of them. (And Andy Partridge's son Harry is also a talented animator!)
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:16 pm

Earlier today I updated from #977 (Heartbreakers' L.A.M.F.) to #1006 (Elliot Smith's From a Basement on the Hill).

Milestone: an obvious and predicted one, I finished the top 1000 today! Along with it, I also crossed the 3000 song mark! So that's one third out of the way, in slightly less than two months. I probably won't be finishing this in 2018 this way, but it all seems just more feasible now. This is shaping up to be one weird playlist: listening to it on random is as recommended at listening to it straight.

Today I listened to L.A.M.F. by Heartbreakers:
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No not these Heartbreakers, this isn't the Tom Petty band.

These Heartbreakers:
Image
The same time, the same name, but a very different band.

Another band I never listened to before, although it turns out that ringleader Johnny Thunders was already knows to me as the guitar player of the New York Dolls. That was proto-punk, where future punk was still hidden by a sound that was half Rolling Stones, half glam. That future was realized with the album L.A.M.F. (which stands for Like A Mother-Fucker). I've already said too much about how this project leads me to various outings of pop punk. This decidedly isn't pop punk. This is vile, raw and kicking punk of the type you think of when you hear the genre mentioned. It's closer to Sex Pistols, The Clash debut and especially Ramones than Buzzcocks or The Undertones, bless their little hearts. It isn't political like the British bands, but also not as cartoonish as Ramones. This feels like it comes from the gutter, ferociously trying to drag people in it with them. There is an undeniable cool here, but of the disaffected kind, as if the band makes as much noise as possible to let you know how hard they don't care. In it's genre, it is one of the fastest and most energetic entries I have yet heard and easily one of the most consistently engaging. I feel like punk is getting less and less popular, but works like this still have a way of kicking people were it hurts, I suspect. This might end up to become on of my go-to punk albums.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:55 pm

Today I updated from #1007 (Stevie Wonder's FulFillingness First Finale) to #1039 (Wire's 154).
Though I still did 30+ albums I hoped to get much further today, but this was a frustratin update, with more albums not on Spotify than ever before.

Oddity: in this relatively short update I did all Built to Spill albums. The three ranked on AM are very, very close to each other. They are also part of the reason this update took so long, as two of these albums aren't on Spotify. I know this band is popular with Nassim and some other people here, but due to their lack of cooperation I hereby declare them to personal enemies.

But today I didn't listen to these betrayers of collective listening, but to the the more likeable Stevie Wonder, through his album Fulfillingness First Finale:
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I just looked up what Stevie Wonder looked like and he looks strangely familiar, but I can't place why.

Not much to say about this I or anyone else have said about Stevie Wonder before (I got over this somewhat in my 10.000 Songs series, when I got to You Haven't Done Nothing). This isn't the collection that contains the most famous songs, but it is very consistently engaging. Mostly more mellow work, but still with room for spirituality, politics and some deeper emotion. They Won't Go When I Go did not make the playlist, sadly, but I consider it the stand-out. Just another good Stevie Wonder record.

Next time fate plays one of its stupid tricks on me again.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby StevieFan13 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 2:10 pm

Now isn’t that a handsome man.
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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Nassim » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:01 pm

Rob wrote:Oddity: in this relatively short update I did all Built to Spill albums. The three ranked on AM are very, very close to each other. They are also part of the reason this update took so long, as two of these albums aren't on Spotify. I know this band is popular with Nassim and some other people here, but due to their lack of cooperation I hereby declare them to personal enemies.


Yes, I actually thought of warning you yesterday, "you're gonna have all 3 Built to Spill albums on the next batch but only one of them is available on Spotify" but then I saw a squirrel or something and got distracted.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:13 am

Nassim wrote:
Rob wrote:Oddity: in this relatively short update I did all Built to Spill albums. The three ranked on AM are very, very close to each other. They are also part of the reason this update took so long, as two of these albums aren't on Spotify. I know this band is popular with Nassim and some other people here, but due to their lack of cooperation I hereby declare them to personal enemies.


Yes, I actually thought of warning you yesterday, "you're gonna have all 3 Built to Spill albums on the next batch but only one of them is available on Spotify" but then I saw a squirrel or something and got distracted.


I see now how you could misread this, but with "their" and "personal enemies" I meant the people of Built to Spill.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Nassim » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:12 pm

Rob wrote:
Nassim wrote:
Rob wrote:Oddity: in this relatively short update I did all Built to Spill albums. The three ranked on AM are very, very close to each other. They are also part of the reason this update took so long, as two of these albums aren't on Spotify. I know this band is popular with Nassim and some other people here, but due to their lack of cooperation I hereby declare them to personal enemies.


Yes, I actually thought of warning you yesterday, "you're gonna have all 3 Built to Spill albums on the next batch but only one of them is available on Spotify" but then I saw a squirrel or something and got distracted.


I see now how you could misread this, but with "their" and "personal enemies" I meant the people of Built to Spill.


Oh don't worry, that's what I figured out ! :romance-kisscheek:

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:55 pm

Today I updated from #1040 (Roxy Music's Country Life) to #1069 (The Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall).

Frustrating update. There were a lot of albums in this group that either aren't on Spotify or are represented in a strange version. Thought I would get quite a bit farther.

While updating I listened to... You got to be kidding me... These guys again? Yes, I listened to Roxy Music's Country Life:
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This is country life; an image evoked by not a single Roxy Music track in existence.

So, why would Roxy Music make an album titled Country Life? Isn't it a bit like AC/DC making an introspective, acoustic album and calling it Among the Flowers or something? Few artists sound as metropolitan as Roxy Music, but Avalon already learned me that these guys somehow love to pose as old-time castle dwellers, so why not pretend to be farmers too? They are not convincing anyone, probably least of all the ladies on the album cover, who scream as much "country" as I scream "gangster rap". Granted one of the tracks - It Takes All Night - does contain a harmonica, but apparently these guy think that justifies this title. Enough of that, this is a rather solid I admit. I still wish it was a little less polished, maybe a bit less glam if you will, so that things could sound more alive, but it wasn't a bad listen overall. It seems that mostly their squeaky-clean hits are the one that tend to rub me the wrong way and these aren't here.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:35 pm

Today I went from #1070 (Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy) to #1106 (INXS' Kick)

And whaddaya know, I have nothing special to say about this update. It just kind of happened.

What did happen, though, is that I listened to Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy:
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I know how you feel, my boy.

Okkervil River is another one of those bands I only knew by name, but I'm not sure I had heard a song by them earlier. This is a good introduction. Although the lyrics seem obviously important here and as usually during this project I didn't really focus on them, I was already struck by the music and the performance. The lead singer sounds a lot like Conor Oberst; both in style as vocal quality. I'm not sure I would be able to tell them apart. There is also the same kind of gritty, down-home, existential despair emanating from everything, as is also the case with Oberst's projects. At the same time, I don't know if Oberst was ever this good musically. Certainly deserves a further listen.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:57 pm

Today I updated from #1107 (Sampha's Process) to #1138 (Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band).

Milestone: Today I added 808s & Heartbreaks to the playlist, which means every Kanye West album is present. Why is this a milestone? I don't know, but all Kanye news needs to be reported on this site. At least it made me marvel again over the fact that The Life of Pablo and Watch the Throne are apparently top 1000 albums. If you think his latest, Ye, might not make it based on mostly bad reviews, think again.

But enough about Kanye, let's get to someone who actually has the right voice for soul, namely Smapha, whose Process I heard while updating today:
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Sampha contemplating his hairstyle choice.

I already knew this album, as it made my best of list of last year. I initially entered it skeptically, as I don't have a general fondness of neo soul; certainly not the likes, but not even people like Frank Ocean really worked for me. But Sampha convinced me when his songs came on while playing the Taste of MegaCritic list randomly. The two-punch opener with Plastic 100°C and Blood On Me goes straight for the kill and what follows is a collection of moving soul songs that sounds very modern, but is also grounded in beautiful singing, something that is missing in much neo soul if you ask me.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:40 pm

Today I updated from #1139 (John Coltrane with Thelonious Monk's Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane) to #1171 (Miles Davis' On the Corner)
Yes, that is a lot of great jazz heroes in one sentence.

Note: Toots & the Maytals' album Funky Kingston proved a problem, as there are two albums under that title. First there was a 1972 release for Jamaica and the UK and three years later one for the US market. They both have the same cover. Usually I immediately go with the original here, but it seems that consensus is that the US one is thought off as the best (and most well-known version). On Spotify that is the one that keeps the original album cover, whereas the earlier release got another one. Nonetheless, the US edition seems more of a compilation. I went for the original now, but if a Funky Kingston fanatic can make another case, feel free.

Today I listened to an album named for it's two performers: Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane.
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John Coltrane (sax) with Thelonious Monk (piano) with Shadow Wilson (drummer) with Ahmed Abdul Malik (bass) at the Five Spot. Not actually a picture of this recording, but atmospheric all the same.

I'm not even going to pretend that I have to say anything about this. I'm not well-versed enough in the styles of Monk and Coltrane to know what this meeting means and I couldn't pay close attention to the playing anyway. It was fine music to work with, that's all I can say now.

The next few days there won't be an update, but there is a big one on the way again.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:53 pm

Today I updated from #1172 (Kurt Vile's Wakin on a Pretty Daze) to #1222 (Ramones' It's Alive).
That was a big update after a slow week for this. Hope to get more done next done. Should work out.

Note: Today was Kurt Vile Day! Yes, he released a new album this week and fate has decided I should celebrate by adding three of his albums to this playlist (that's three out of four, only his collaboration with Courtney Barnett is still missing), while also listening to his most acclaimed (by few points) album: Wakin on a Pretty Daze. So without further ado:

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Happy Kurt Vile Day, you all!

But how do we actually feel about Kurt Vile? For me the jury is still out. I like some of his work and think at least Pretty Pimpin (yes, from another album) is perhaps the greatest deadpan, stoner existential song. But too frequently I find his work a bit too unassuming. That fits his persona, but it also makes his songs somewhat too much just background music. I tend to love lengthy guitar solos, but his hardly register. This album has quite a few of those, including his most popular from the almost title track. It's pleasant, but it fails to connect a bit to me. It's the songs were he opens up his style a bit that stand out to me: Shame Chamber or Air Bud.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:09 pm

Today I updated from #1223 (Eric B. & Rakim's Follow the Leader) to #1261 (Faces' A Nod Is As Good As a Wink... To a Blind Horse)

Note: Frank Zappa's Uncle Meat sucks! I mean, I never actually heard it, but the way it has been reissued over the year with new tracks put right in the middle and how they even renamed a song title... By now people should know that this makes my job much harder. I'm starting to get the feeling that both Spotify and music distributors (and perhaps Frank Zappa's ghost) don't care about this project at all.

Let's forget about that. Today I listened to some decent people: Eric B. & Rakim, through their Follow the Leader.
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An expanded version of the famous album art of Follow the Leader. What few people know is that the duo behind classic hiphop album Paid in Full invented nu-metal next, some ten years before the genre became popular.

Yes, I can post the usual stuff here about not being able to focus on lyrics and yes, that is an important element of much rap, but there is production and flow too. What I sometimes get when listening to some of these older hiphop albums is that even with all the sampling they sound more straight-forward. Perhaps people didn't think so at the time, but there is a clarity in sound and perhaps even intent that is refreshing if you mostly hear modern hiphop. Not that one approach is better than the other, but it was nice listening to Eric B. & Rakim now, whom I only knew through the much more relaxed song Paid in Full.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Rob » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:14 pm

By the way, does anybody keep track of albums being removed from Spotify? My last update I noticed I was missing three songs all of a sudden, but the fault wasn't in that update (and I always check if the count is still correct after each update). I can't figure out a quick way to decide which album has gone missing, so perhaps someone knows before I have to through the whole list to find the missing songs.

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Re: Playlist: A Taste of Acclaimed Albums (work in progress)

Postby Henrik » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:25 pm

Rob wrote:By the way, does anybody keep track of albums being removed from Spotify? My last update I noticed I was missing three songs all of a sudden, but the fault wasn't in that update (and I always check if the count is still correct after each update). I can't figure out a quick way to decide which album has gone missing, so perhaps someone knows before I have to through the whole list to find the missing songs.

Go to settings and tick off hide unplayable tracks. I don’t know how many people I have told this over years - why isn’t this setting standard?
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.


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