I'm not sure why this album is on the list. It's done well. The tracks are solid. But I don't know enough about the Country/Western world to know who it has inspired or influenced in the four years that it was released.
Musically it sounds a lot lot like the female Country artists my dad used to listen to a lot when I was around 10 or 11: Donna Fargo, Sylvia, etc. So far as I can tell it isn't notably differently lyrically.
Maybe mores have just changed and what the women of the Country/Western world are singing about these days has shifted so much topically that Lambert's album is now notable and influential.
Honestly, I dunno. It's not my cup of tea at all.
479 Selena - Amor Prohibido (1994)
This is another one I am unable to really speak to. As a white kid raised in the midwest, I don't really have any real feeling for Latin culture. I'll never really be able to understand just how influential Selena was. I don't have the sonic vocabulary or the cultural experiences to get it.
But it's good. It's very good. It's not enough to my tastes to put it on repeat but it's a solid album.
478 The Kinks - Something Else by the Kinks (1969)
I grew up thinking that I liked The Kinks. But when one of my kids added me to their Apple music family plan and started listening to some Kinks, it turns out that I really only liked two Kinks' songs: You Really Got Me and All of the Day and All of the Night. Notably the two punkest sounding singles they released. All the Kinks' albums I listed too last fall left me cold.
Well, Something Else wasn't one of the albums I listened to. It's really great. It has the country/folk influenced pop rock of their other albums that I'm not a fan of but done in a very varied and entertaining fashion. There's a lot of variety. A lot of clever musical turns. The psychedelia influence of the period runs deep.
I'll probably put this one into rotation.
Oddly enough, just as I was about to spin up this album, Google News brought up this headline for me Ray Davies says he never wanted to release ‘Waterloo Sunset’: “I just wanted it to be ours”
477 Howlin’ Wolf - Moanin' in the Moonlight (1959)
The masters for this album suffer from some of the problems that plague the Muddy Waters' anthology. There's a lot of distortion of the wrong kinds.
While this is a compilation album, it doesn't bug me like the Muddy Waters and Phil Spector boxed sets. Rather than a retrospective an artist's entire career released relatively recently, this is a collection put out in 1959 of a number of singles released between 1951 and 1953. Having been released in the 50s, this disc has had ample time to influence blues and rock musicians for six and a half decades. And with a scant 11 tracks all under 3 minutes - save for two - it doesn't require the time commitment to listen than the Spector and Waters compilations require.
I've dabbled in blues before. One of the first things I learned on bass guitar was how to play 12 bar blues. But I've never dug in deep. And I have to confess that I was entirely unacquainted with Howlin' Wolf's oeuvre. It's good. It's deep. Well worth the listen.
476 Sparks - Kimono My House (1974)
This was a surprising find from 1974. My first thought was that somewhere between a quarter to a third of alternative bands in the 80s and 90s sound a lot like this. Six songs in my second thought was the quarter to third of late twentieth century alternative bands that sound a lot like Sparks are the ones that I can only stand to listen to a song or two at a time. A full album is too much. But a lot of tracks would be really great on this or that mix tape.
Bits are reminiscent of Velvet Underground or Queen, but only reminiscent.
I'm not sure what to do with the blatant and tasteless cultural appropriation of the cover of this album.
475 Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow (1996)
This album surprised me a little bit. The Pink Floyd fan friend I mentioned yesterday is also a huge Sheryl Crow fan.
One thing that disappointed me is that on more than one track Sheryl Crow had a really interesting intro but then instead of expanding on the stylistic theme of the intro just transitioned into a more or less standard folk rock arrangement for the body of the song. That's a shame. So much could have been experimental and weird and different here but it just ended up being a traditional alt-pop-folk-rock album.
That said, it was a very good traditional alt-pop-folk-rock album. By the third song I thought I was going to get bored listening to the full album but it surprised me and kept my interest.
I don't like enough to add to my personal collection but it's worth listening to.
474 Big Star - #1 Record (1972)
An ironic album to listen to right after Sheryl Crow because stylistically, Sheryl Crow's eponymous album very much builds on some of the stylistic sensibilities as Big Star. Where Big Star doesn't serve as an antecedent into the sorts of alternative sensibilities of the likes of Sheryl Crow, they sound like the sort of generic pre British New Wave of Heavy Metal heavy metal that was used as background for old episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati.
I didn't know anything about this band before seeing this item on the list. Apparently they were never a commercial success but did influence various generations of rockers. The Rolling Stone blurb seems like a variation of the liner notes for the rerelease of Velvet Underground's Loaded which boasted that Lou Reed and Company only sold 500 copies from the original pressing but everyone that bought one went out and started a band.
Except this is far more anodyne than Velvet Underground.
Final verdict: not horrible and I can understand why they were included as one of the 500 most important albums of all time but it's probably not something I would seek out to listen to but I might on rare occasion queue it up.
473 Daddy Yankee - Barrio Fino (2004)
As I've mentioned before, I'm not the most conversant fellow when it comes to the hip hop and rap genres. I'm even less acquainted with the Latin sectors of those genres. I have no idea how to gauge the influence of Daddy Yankee on Latin hip hop.
But I can tell you that it's really damn listenable. There's a lot of variation of style. this isn't one of those albums where all the songs sound the same. There's a lot of change up of idioms. I can hear the Latin influence on a lot of tracks. But there's also boy band influence. And the core product remains very hip hop.
I quite like it. It kicks ass.
472 SZA - Ctrl (2017)
I had heard of SZA prior to this list but I've never listened. The beats and rhythms remind me of 21 Pilots. I can't make heads or tales of the lyrics.
But it's fun. I'll listen again. And look up more of
471 Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow (1967)
This is the only album I was familiar with on these ten. And, really, I'm surprised that JA only clocked in at 471 for this one. It's hard to understate just how influential this album is.
I haven't listened to this album from start to finish in a long time. Listening to it on the heels of SZA and Daddy Yankee, the rap-esque vocals on Plastic Fantastic Lover are notably early for that style. I usually peg Lou Reed with Walk on the Wild Side as the first white rapper. I think a fair argument can be made this song takes that title away. At the very least, it's proto-rap.
And then there is White Rabbit. Nothing more needs to be said.
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