It was my idea. I thought it would be fun for each of us to make a list of what we thought the essential albums of rock were, then compare them and make an Essential Top 50 Rock Albums. My idea, the way I explained it to the lads, was that if Mork were to land on our doorstep, these are the albums we would use to explain rock and roll to him. Then we would create Amazon links and make a minuscule amount of money when people bought them.
The methodology was jury rigged. Each of the five of us made a Top 50. Some of us ranked them, some did not. Some of us limited our lists to only one album per artist, to give Mork a broader range of musics, while others felt free to list five or six albums by favorites like the Beatles and the Hellacopters because these are among the best albums of all time. Most of us seemed to enjoy the experience. One of us railed about the stupidity and un-rock and rollness of commonality. He was certainly right about that.
But I think the list we came up with together demonstrates the power of the classic music, and also the veins of taste and enthusiasm that course out of it. In any case, if you’re from Mars and want to know what rock and roll music to listen to, this is a good place to start. But first, before we start, here are the six albums that got votes in the final round, but didn’t make the Top 50.
We’ll be counting down the Top 50 over the next two weeks or so, right here. Feel free to comment.
56. The Crystals, Best of the Crystals
Listening to this set, I find myself trying to argue that this is the greatest rock music ever created. (PK)
55. Kanye West, The College Dropout
The world’s biggest asshole isn’t the story. He didn’t start out that way. This incredible music made him famous, and was just the beginning of an amazing run of innovative and challenging popular music that rocks. (PK)
54. Lucinda Williams, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
All songs so well written, and then so wonderfully delivered by Lucinda. (LM)
53. Devo, Q:Are We Not Men?
A bunch of geniuses far ahead of their time. Often wrongly dismissed as a joke. (SM)
52. The Beatles, For Sale
I forgot this one. It’s the best of all. They rocked. (GM)
51. The Pillows, Happy Bivouac
Nirvana meets the Beatles and the Pixies at the Ramones’ house. You know who you are. (GM)