Essential Steve Moyer: The Rest of His Best

Steve Moyer got this ball rolling with his all time list of top 20 albums. He added 30 more to create his Top 50, which he proudly points out is quite unlike any boring same old list of rock fuddy duddies. I don’t think he said “fuddy duddies.”

21. Fucked Up, David Comes To Life — Got this when my wife started playing head games with me and I can’t listen to it anymore. But you can. Hate to admit it, but a little like U2 gone hardcore.

22. Hellacopters, By The Grace Of God — The best of the more restrained post-Dregen Hellacopters.

23. Masters Of Reality, How High The Moon — Best live album of all-time. Several songs are better than the studio versions.

24. T. Rex, Electric Warrior — So tough to choose between this and “Slider.”

25. T. Rex, The Slider — Essential Remnant #33
26. The Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks — Essential Remnant #23.
27. Hellacopters, Rock & Roll Is Dead — The Hellacopters at their most poppy and Fender-y. And it’s great. Don’t come expecting Marshall Crenshaw though.

28. The Depressions, Self-Titled — Completely ignored and vastly underrated English punk. Trying-too-hard misanthropic lyrics may have done them in. Who needs lyrics anyway?

29. Mott The Hoople, All The Young Dudes — “Ready For Love/After Lights” is a clunker for me (good riddance Mick Ralphs) but most of the rest kicks.

30. Blue Oyster Cult, Tyranny & Mutation — Right behind “Secret Treaties” in the excellent black & white Cult period. Made umlauts cool.

31. Hellacopters, Payin’ The Dues — Crazy-wild Gibson/Marshall Dregen early Hellacopters. All-in-all the best kind of Hellacopters.

32. Wire, Pink Flag — So influential. So great. So unknown by your average musical moron.

33. The Queens of the Stone Age, Self-Titled — QOTSA was at their best with Nick Oliveri playing Charles Manson to Josh Homme’s suave pseudo-Bowie. The second-best Oliveri album.

34. MC5, Back In The USA — Terribly produced (no bass), but way more consistent than any other MC5 album. Rocky and actually quite poppy.

35. The Ramones, First Three Albums — Essential Remnants #11, 12, and 32.
36. Various: Soundtrack Rushmore — I even like the Cat Stevens and Yves Montand. Most of the soundtrack is very melancholy. The movie’s real good too.

37. Hellacopters, High Visibility — This is the album that turned me on to the Hellas (went berserk over it) and now it’s my fifth-favorite. It just goes to show ya.

38. The Vibrators, Pure Mania — What pop-punk should be. “Keep It Clean” is the only punk song I know about being good.

39. Turbonegro, Small Feces — An expensive comp and the pre-Hank stuff is throwaway. But the best stuff is as good as anything the Turbo’s have ever done.

40. Stiff Little Fingers, Inflammable Material — Political fury, loud guitars, abrasive catchy vocals and a great reggae cover. Sorry Clash fans, but I like this even better.

41. The Queens of the Stone Age, Songs For The Deaf — Everyone knows “No One Knows.” The last Oliveri album, for now at least.

42. The Rezillos, Can’t Stand The Rezillos — Crazy bubblegum punk. I dare you to find more manic bass playing anywhere.

43. ZZ Top, Tres Hombres — So cool before the silly beard electronic stuff. They have returned to their senses, thank God.

44. Deep Purple, Machine Head — Excellent from start to finish, from a band whose other albums are loaded with filler. A gem.

45. Black Sabbath, Master Of Reality — “Sweet Leaf”? “Children Of The Grave”? “Into The Void”? Are you kidding me?

46. Bryan Ferry, Dylanesque — A bunch of great Dylan songs without having to listen to him sing.

47. The Ruts, The Crack — Another way underrated and forgotten classic from the first wave of British punk.

48. Gang Of Four, Entertainment! — Boy, talk about influence. Another band most knuckleheads know nothing about.

49. Wolfmother, Self-Titled — Like all the best Sabbath and Zep compressed into one tight unit.

50. Iggy And The Stooges, Raw Power — Producer Bowie must have fallen asleep with the bass knob on zero. But James Williamson creates my favorite all-time guitar sound here.

14 thoughts on “Essential Steve Moyer: The Rest of His Best

  1. Let’s hang with Steve’s list for a while. First of all I want to hear a lot of it for the first time. I’m listening to The Depressions as we speak. They rock but Steve join the club, you like pop music. You just like it with loud bass/guitar/drums, in that order if I’m not mistaken. Speak up for the bass players.

    You have to listen to LAMF straight through and tell me why it doesn’t belong on this list.

  2. I’ll admit, I don’t know LAMF, but I will get it. Pardon my ignorance. You are correct in that there’s usually pop buried somewhere underneath the stuff I like. Interesting that you say bass means the most to me though. Drums mean a lot to me (not Neil Peart/Keith Moon wanking drums), as do guitar (boogie-woogie duel rhythm guitar interplay gives me a boner) and vocals (not to be confused with lyrics – a nice bonus at best). I could probably count the albums on one (maybe two) hands on which the bass truly makes a difference to me.

  3. I’m a Hellacopters and Queens of the Stone Age fan because of Moyer, and I like Turbonegro and Fucked Up and Supershit 666 because of Moyer, too, and have said as much. I spent a lot of time yesterday making sure this list got posted quickly, since it is such an awesome contrast to our consensus list.

    I haven’t had a chance to listen to the Depressions or Rezillos or check out the Mark Mothersbaugh stuff on the Rushmore soundtrack, but I’m sure I’ll like it all too. We all seem to like songs and the rock attitude, even if we vary on the specifics.

  4. what do i know? i am just a cranky old man who likes joni mitchell as much as i like the sex pistols.

    i actually have a rezillos poster a friend ripped off a telephone pole for me.

    and, yeah, i am just slow getting around to listening to “new” (as in to me) stuff. cos i am a slow and cranky old man.

    i think…

  5. Queens of the Stone Age. Hispanic Impressions/Manic Depression, I get it. I find them in general a little slow and therefore a little heavy. The singing has nice free-ranging melody and his tone avoids The 90s Whine. The lead player is inventive without being annoying, heaviness suits him, the rhythm player really kicks, and who cares about the bass player. Actually, he’s all over the place in the best possible ways. The drummer is a technician and that’s fine but he should be playing faster.

    They like the I Wanna Be Your Dog chords, points for good taste. I especially like “If Only.”

    • I don’t remember listening to the Rezillos when it came out, but I remember when I first heard Wire’s Dot Dash, a great single, and when Pink Flag went on display in the window of a record store on 8th Street I coveted it. When I scraped up enough coin to buy a copy for myself, it became a permanent fixture on the turntable. A great album with mostly short songs that leave you gasping for more.

      While the Roxy influence on Wire is apparent and welcome, I think the Rezillos embrace all the wrong parts. Not that they don’t play tight and energetic, and the sound of this album’s music–with it’s bubbling bass lines popping off all over–is strong and agreeable. But I find the theatrical funny-voiced vocals and absurdist lyrics on top of the song’s punky, elastic and spastic changes of chord and rhythm, wearying–and not in a good way.

  6. Yeah, I like Masters of Reality. I like what they do with blues licks. Tilt a Whirl goes off the rails into Mean Town Blues and comes out better. Good words too. The singer reminds me of Jack Bruce. The song It’s Shit is killer.

  7. Freelancer, thanks to Sam Walker. Been doing it for a little while, but today’s article is really big. Thanks for looking at it.

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