Plain text complete list to date here.
86. Run DMC – King of Rock
I just spent an hour watching Run DMC videos, groovin’ and rhymin’ and laughing at some of the memories that go hand in hand with these songs. But in the end, there can be only one:
I’m the king of rock, there is none higher..Sucker MCs should call me sire.
For the rhymes, for the bass line, for putting rock and rap together in a way that bands like Limp Bizkit thought they could but never did.
87. Public Enemy – Rebel Without A Pause
Long Island represent! Before rap became about bling, before Chuck D annoyed the hell out of me, before Flava Flav went crazier, there was Terminator X and horns and heaviness and a song that was so simple yet so complex.
88. The Police – Synchronicity II
This whole album defines the summer of 1983 for me. Everyone I knew was listening to it. The punks, the metalheads, the disco geeks – even my mother was in love with it. It was at times beautiful and at times dark and ugly. But the entire album – even the songs a lot of people write off like Miss Gradenko and Mother - were perfect musical specimens, showing off the talent of each individual band member and bringing everything together – music, lyrics, stories, emotion – in what I always described as a masterpiece (the overplayed and misunderstood Every Breath You Take notwithstanding). For me, the pinnacle of the album came on Synchronicity II, a tale of the darkness that looms under the surface in the life of a suburban family; how all the little things become big things when lived day to day, every single day of your entire life and sometimes it’s enough to turn you into a monster that slowly creeps toward madness (my take, anyhow).
There are pop rhythms thrown in with intense drumming and a foreboding bass line and the way the chorus and verses switch up pace is like moving between between chapters of a story. I always loved the line “The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street,” more for the way he breathlessly sings it than the words, and my favorite part is when Stewart Coupland’s drumming perfectly punctuates the line ” a humiliating kick in the crotch.”
I really wish Sting didn’t go off and fall in love with himself after this album. Then again, the band put out five near-perfect albums. Maybe they knew enough to quit while they were ahead (and before Sting inflicted his penchant for pretentious pop tunes on the rest of the band).
89. Sick of it All – Potential For A Fall
This is NY Hardcore. A voice as mean as the South Bronx, music heavy as Hell’s Kitchen. Whatever that means. I’m just trying to make an analogy here. This is part punk, part metal, all aggression. I think it’s about materialism, but really, sometimes it’s just about needing the right kind of music to play when you’re feeling all aggro
90. Supersuckers – Rock Your Ass
If anyone ever tells you rock is dead, just sit them down and make them listen to the Supersuckers. This is the kind of music that makes you believe there is life after nu-metal and emo and boy bands, that there is no such thing as the day the music died, that the negative aura left by every niche and novelty rock band out there can’t kill rock and roll because as long as Eddie Spaghetti and the Supersuckers exist, rock and roll will still be around to kick ass and take names.
There are so many good songs to choose from. I could sit here all day and tell you about the virtues of each one. I ended up with Rock Your Ass simply because it epitomizes what the Supersuckers are all about: I said I’m Eddie Spaghetti, here to rock your ass steady.
91. The Kinks – Victoria
Do you know how many great songs this band had? It’s really a shame that so few people mention them when making lists of the greatest rock bands of all time. Look over there catalog – they tried a little of everything, fast, hard, mellow, groovy, conceptual – and almost all of it worked. They were really a brilliant band whose work spanned almost 20 years before I started to wish that they would stop.
Victoria is everything that was great about 60′s music, with none of the bullshit. It’s groovy and funky and it’s got great harmonizing laid over some cool rock and roll.
92. Pearl Jam -Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
It’s funny, I always say that Ten was Pearl Jam’s greatest work and how they were never able to repeat the awesomeness of that album, but when pressed for my favorite Pearl Jam song, I always revert back to this one from VS. Maybe because it’s one of the few songs where you can actually understand what Vedder is singing. Or maybe I just like the sad poignancy of it.
Eight more to go and I reach my goal for the weekend. Below is an updated list of what’s coming up…but….I need more if I’m going to get to 300! I know there’s still a few bands I’m waiting for that haven’t been suggested yet. Also, the suggestions are now being left all over the place in the comments and I can’t keep up, or find the new ones readily. So if you left a suggestion in, say, the last two or three days and it’s not on the list below, please add it again.
LL Cool J
Rocket from the Crypt
New Bomb Turks
The English Beat
System of a Down
For those just joining us, explanation here.