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100 Favourite albums you will not find on other lists (21-40)


 

There are many lists of best of albums on the internet. What is interesting for me, is the fact that I might agree with many of them, they are not my favourite albums. Even though I agree to the merits of Pet Sounds and Seargent Pepper, I very often listen to them. Now what is the albums that I enjoy listening to the most. Here they are.  If you have any comments, please e-mail us. These albums are alphabetically. Here are the second twenty albums.

Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Stranger In Us AllRitchie Blackmore's Rainbow - Stranger In Us All: This was released in 1996 and was Rithie Blackmore's last rock album. On average perhaps not as good as his albums with Dio, but there are songs on here that are totally brilliant. And with Dougie White (Praying Mantis) on vocals he could do anything. Hunting Humans is for me the best Rainbow song ever. This is one of the few songs where Ritchie was prepared to share the attention on an equal basis with his bass player and drummer. Imagine what would have happened if he took this template and did another album. But it was not to be. Other goods songs are: Ariel, Still I'm Sad, Hall of the Mountain King and Stand and Fight. (8/10)

Blaze - Blood and BeliefBlaze - Blood and Belief: Blaze has a very impressive history as vocalist. He was with Wolfsbane and then also with Iron Maiden. During the time with Iron Maiden they recorded the underrated Virtual X. Blood and belief was his 3rd outing as a solo artist. That is if you don't take the live album into consideration. But does this man have vocal pipes. Unbelievable. Blood and belief - the title track is possibly the metal track that I have listened to the most the last year. Everything is in there. Hard Riffs, emotional vocals, melody, aggression. Once you've heard this song, it stays in your memory. There are a few other good songs on here like: Alive, Tearing yourself to pieces and Hollow Head. Pure metal enjoyment. Never get tired of this album (8.5/10)

David Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From MarsDavid Bowie - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars: What can I say that has not been said about this album from the chameleon of rock. Is it difficult to emphasize just one thing. The songs are brilliant: Starman, Rock and Roll Suicide, Suffragette City to name just a few. The instruments are so fresh. And the vocals unbeatable. This is one of the few concept albums ever made where there are no fillers on the album. Glam Rock per excellence. He takes you into the world of Ziggy and you can never leave. Or rather you never want to leave. He got rid of the Spiders, but can't get rid of all the fans. Bowie never equalled this album. (10/10)

Bread -  Guitar ManBread - Guitar Man: Bread - the ultimate soft rock band from the seventies. They defined soft rock. If it is your genre, listen to Guitar Man and it will give you an idea of how a perfect soft rock album should sound like. All the elements are here. There should be tear jerker's like "Yours for Live" and "Sweet Surrender", then the slightly more biographical semi-rock song like "Guitar Man" and the attempt at rock " Fancy Dancer". The voice should be covered in syrup, lots of acoustic guitars, piano and strings. And lastly good songs. There is your perfect soft rock album. It's name is Bread and the album Guitar Man. I still enjoy it. (9/10)

Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's MorningBright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning: This was an Indie release. Indie for me meant bad albums under the impression that it increases artistic freedom. This was not a bad album. But Bright Eyes had the distinction that they had in one year the best and the worst album of the year. This was the best. Progressive Folk music at its best. It reminds me a lot of the Progressive folk rock bands of the early seventies like Steeleye Span, Pentacle, Ramases etc. There is not one bad track on here. Every song is a gem. 10 Songs and everyone of them gets a 10. The live album that followed this one a year later is just as good. I will still be listening to this album in 20 years. (10/10)

Budgie - Never Turn Your Back On A FriendBudgie - Never Turn Your Back On A Friend: Budgie is for me a much better band than Rush. The songs are better, the instruments are more rock and the voice - just like Rush - high pitched. Every song on here is a gem. Who does not know Breadfan? Even Metallica covered it. "Baby Please don't go" is the ultimate cover song. Take a song, make it your own and blow the people away. And then to end the album is the ultimate rock epic - "Parents". To see them perform these songs live, was an experience. I saw them live in 2003 in Europe. The only bad thing is, that you have the worst track titles on here that you can imagine: "Youre the biggest thing since powdered milk" and "In a Grip of a Tyre fitter's hand". But I can forgive them. (9/10)

Caravan - In The Land Of Grey And PinkCaravan - In The Land Of Grey And Pink: In the Land of Grey and Pink is considered by many to be a pinnacle release from Caravan. The album contains an undeniable and decidedly European sense of humour and charm. In addition, this would mark the end of the band's premiere line-up. Co-founder David Sinclair would leave Caravan to form Matching Mole with Soft Machine drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt in August of '71. As a group effort, In the Land of Grey and Pink displays all the ethereal brilliance Caravan created on their previous pair of 12" outings. Their blending of jazz and folk instrumentation and improvisational styles hints at Traffic and Family, as displayed on "Winter Wine," as well as the organ and sax driven instrumental introduction to "Nine Feet Underground." These contrast the decidedly aggressive sounds concurrent with albums from King Crimson or Soft Machine. In fact, beginning with the album's title, there seems to be pastoral qualities and motifs throughout. Another reason enthusiasts rank this album among their favourites is the group dynamic which has rarely sounded more singular or cohesive. David Sinclair's lyrics are of particular note, especially the middle-earth imagery used on "Winter Wine" or the enduring whimsy of "Golf Girl."  (8/10)

Climax Blues Band - Gold Plated

Climax Blues Band - Gold Plated (1976): After a series of nine LPs, CBB finally enjoyed a serious hit single with "Couldn't Get It Right," which hit number three on the American charts and led to this album and then two years of almost constant touring. The group is at its most laid back here, slipping more into a funk than a blues groove for most of Gold Plated's length. They keep some elements of their earlier sound, such as Peter Haycock's searing guitar solo on "Mighty Fire", but those looking for the group's unabashed older style will have to content themselves with just three numbers here, "Berlin Blues", with its chiming overlaid and over-amplified guitars, or the slow, Chicago blues-style "Rollin' Home", and the high-energy "Extra". Most of the album, however, is oriented toward the less high-energy, slightly more pop-focused sound exemplified by "Couldn't Get It Right", which still sounds irresistible a quarter century after its original release. (8/10)

Leonard Cohen - The FutureLeonard Cohen - The Future (1992): Cohen moved away from the one-man-band theme to a more modern album. For that he adds chiming synthesizers and eerie orchestrations. This served a purpose and that purpose was to concentrate on the two sides of life. The concentration is however on the darker side of life. The satire is brilliant. Take for instance the song: "Closing time" where he creates the atmosphere of people in a bar and talk about the "Johnnie Walker wisdom". I a very satirical way he describes the tragedy of alcoholism. Brilliant song. (8.5/10)

Cream - Disraeli GearsCream - Disraeli Gears (1967): This was Cream's second album. But more than that. This is the ultimate rock album. The best. For myself it was never a question of what is the best ever rock album, but what comes after Disraeli Gears. With Clapton's blues-laden rock guitar at his best, Bruce with his thick-Bach laden baselines and the smashing drums, the album cover was a metaphor of what is inside - a colourful experience with a kaleidoscope of songs - from the best riff ever - "Sunshine of Your Love" to the tempo changing "Tales of Brave Ulysses." Cannot believe that this album is 40 years old. (10/10)

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg - Twin Sons Of Different MothersDan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg - Twin Sons Of Different Mothers (1978): Much like Joni Mitchell, Fogelberg, primarily a singer-songwriter, sought to continue his musical growth on this release by adding jazz to his sound. Rather than simply employing jazz musicians as his musical backing, Fogelberg here went for an all-out collaboration with jazz flutist Tim Weisberg, even to the point of having him co produce the album with Fogelberg. As experimental as the album appeared on the surface, it was the perfect mix of jazz-tinged instrumental music and folk- and country-inspired pop/rock. Proving that ambitious collaborations between artists who seek to mix genres needn't result in the commercial disappointment that many expect, the album yielded the hit "Power of Gold," which further augmented Fogelberg's commercial clout. The album, like its predecessor, Netherlands, is beautifully produced, is best listened to as a complete effort, and still sounds strong all these years later. (7.5/10)

Neil Diamond - Hot August NightNeil Diamond - Hot August Night (1972): This is this far the biggest selling record in South Africa so far - and still selling. Every household has at least one. Many has 3: the lp, the first 22 track cd and now the 25 track cd. The reason is that this is the ultimate live show. Make the weaker songs strong by a good performance. Fill it with stories and end with a bang. I have never hear a better end to a live recording that with Hot August Night. With "Holly Holy", "I am said" and "Sollamon" you are being blown away. If you don't like the more singe/songwriter stuff, buy it just for the last 3 songs. It is worth it. (9.5/10)

The Doobie Brothers - Toulouse StreetThe Doobie Brothers - Toulouse Street (1972): This was the album by which most of their fans began discovering the Doobie Brothers, and it has retained a lot of its freshness over the decades. Producer Ted Templeman was attuned to the slightly heavier and more Southern style the band wanted to work toward on this, their second album, and the results were not only profitable — including a platinum record award — but artistically impeccable. Toulouse Street is actually pretty close in style and sound at various points to what the Eagles were doing during the same period, except that the Doobies threw jazz and R&B into the mix, as well as country, folk, and bluegrass elements, and (surprise!) ended up just about as ubiquitous as the Eagles in peoples' record collections, especially in the wake of the singles "Listen to the Music" and "Jesus Is Just Alright."

Angel Dust - BleedAngel Dust - Bleed (1999): This is German Power metal at its best. On this album is possibly the best metal ballad ever recorded. It is a huge epic that goes over 2 tracks. Track 4: Follow Me (part1) and track 5: Follow me (part2). The song consist of a mellow firts half and proceeds with one of the best metal riffs in part 2. You can hear, smell and feel the guys love and pain. It is a song that you hvae to listen on repeat for at least 10 times to get enough of it. If you move Metallica's black album and love November Rain, get this - it is right in between. And it is not the only good tracks on the album. The title track with the heavy organ is right up there and then also Black Rain that is very similar to Nevermore. (9/10)

Bob Dylan - DesireBob Dylan - Desire (1976): Many articles have been written about "Blood on the Tracks" being the best album from Dylan since 1970. It might be true but this album is the most beautiful album. You can listen to it, while dining, in the car, in bed - everywhere. Not one song is better than the rest. How do you choose between Hurricane, Isis, One more Cup of Coffee, Sara etc. You cant. The beauty of the album lies in 4 things: The great songs, the violin, Emmy Lou Harris on background vocals and the storyline in all the songs. From the tragedy of the Hurricane to the love for Sara. And in the middle of all these songs you can have time for a cup of Coffee. (10/10)

Europe - Start from the DarkEurope - Start from the Dark (2004): Europe's comeback album in 2004. Much darker and more modern than previous efforts. And what an effort it was. John Norum showed that with him back on the team, it does make a difference. The fist 4 songs leave you breathless: "Got to have faith" , "Start from the Dark", "Flames" and "Hero" are all songs that you expect from the band who has written the best pomp rock song of all time. And luckily that synth is nowhere in sight. This was my album of 2004 and with a reason - it not only good you can also enjoy it. (9.5/10)

Far Corporation - Division OneFar Corporation - Division One (1985): Question is: How can anybody by his right mind try to a cover of "Stairway to Heaven"? It is a holy grail. You don't touch it. Steve Lukather and his friends thought different. And then the second question is: "If you try it, how can you put a disco beat to it and get away with it"? They did it. And they succeeded. Possibly the best cover of any song ever done. The success was: Keep the guitars close to the original, but change the beat. And it worked. What about the rest of the songs? Don't care. I never listen to them. (8/10)

Foghat - Fool For The CityFoghat - Fool For The City (1975): Don't look at the cover. The worse rock cover ever. But the guys, previously from Savoy Brown, had a masterpiece here. They take you from Rock, to Soul to Blues without you knowing it. Because it is all Foghat. Already with the first song Fool for the City, the intentions are clear - rock without limits. And the ultimate rock experience is to be found in Slow Ride. What an epic. And with Terraplane Blues they just want to show that they have not forgotten their roots. Still fresh today. (9/10)

Frijid Pink - Frijid PinkFrijid Pink - Frijid Pink (1970): Just like with Far Corporation, this is not really a great album. It is more known for possibly the second best cover version of all time. And that is "The house of the Rising Sun". How do you do cover of a song sung by Eric Burdon? Change it - and concentrate on a more psychedilic -pre grunge guitar song. That is exactly what the guys did and I still love it after 36 years. Pity the rest of the album is mediocre though. But the one song makes it worthwile putting it on my top 100 list. (8/10)

Gamma Ray - Heading for TomorrowGamma Ray - Heading for Tomorrow (1990) : I will be first to admit that the best Power Metal album ever is Helloween's 2 Seven Keepere's albums. The template was created there. But Kai Hansen took that template and applied it in his new band in 1990 and created for me the most enjoyable Power metal album. Every song is a gem and you can sing to it. "Heaven can Wait", "Silence", "Free Time" and the epic title track are the highlights. One point of critic though. I think the album would have been better without the "Look at yourself" at the end. Otherwise - perfect. (9.5/10)

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