Posted by: Kaushik | August 3, 2005

30 Greatest Rock Albums ( Part 2)

I�ve gotten a fairly good response to what I�ve written. Encouragement from a couple of friends and useful suggestions and praise has been accepted as well. Here�s my second installment of the top 30 rock albums of all time. You all know the drill, there is no particular order followed and here I go for broke again.11. Deep Purple- Machine Head (1972)

Need I say more? �Machine Head� has to be one of the coolest albums available. It brought to the fore rock classics like �Smoke On The Water� and Ian Gillian screaming out albeit very nicely the lyrics of �Highway Star.� This album has the genius of Richie Blackmore and Ian Gillian, which seems to be the very embodiment of Deep Purple and set the tone for the Purple set lists and tracks, which we now associate with them and have come to revere.

12. The Who- Tommy (1969)

Pete Townshend called Tommy the first �rock opera� and said these bits just came together and fell into place while dismissing the Beatles work on Sgt. Pepper�s as trash. The Who fell into that category of obnoxious violent musicians who broke instruments on stage as a novelty experience following in the same mould as the Rolling Stones who used to abuse people in the audience. Keith Moon, who would later die of a drug overdose of a drug weaning him away from alcohol, John Entwistle who actually coined the name for �Led Zeppelin�, Pete Townshend who once was working in child pornography for a �project� & Roger Daltrey were a talented set of individuals who would take rock by storm and would without doubt hand over the mantle of the best bands to the Brits. �Tommy� is an album where every song follows logically and the all the bits are connected. Songs of note on this album are� Pinball wizard and Tommy, Can You Hear Me?�

13. Pearl Jam � Ten (1991)

This selection would bring about a hotly contested debate as to which album is the best one made by Pearl Jam. My personal favourite is VS. This album has to be there because �Pearl Jam� is arguably one of the best rock acts to hit the stage in the 1990�s. With cult classics like �Jeremy, Alive and the soulful �Black�, this album ranks up there with the very best. �Even Flow� a song about the homeless has to be the track of the album where one can see Vedder prancing around in his shorts and jumping from the rafters on to a live crowd 20 feet below him. Other underrated tracks include �Garden & �Oceans�. But this album started the journey of transition for Pearl Jam from grunge act to mature rock band embracing classic rock influences like Otis Redding, Neil Young, The Ramones, The Who & The Doors whose sounds become very evident in their later albums.

14. Metallica- The Black Album (1991)

It�s always a problem making lists like this. More or less, people will end up disagreeing with the selections or have problems with which album of that particular artist should be featured. It was tough to choose between this album and �Master Of Puppets� but the former triumphed. �Nothing else Matters� which has to be without doubt the biggest yo-homie song ever. But with classics like �Of Wolf & Man, Enter Sandman & The Unforgiven�, this album has some amazing material with all the songs having a real catchy feel to them. My personal favourites are Struggle Within & Hetfield�s god level track �The God That Failed�. All in all the embodiment of what Metallica stands for.

15. Creedence Clearwater Revival- Cosmo�s Factory (1970)

This album gets its name after one of the band members who last name was funnily enough �Cosmo�. CCR started out big in the late 60�s with John Fogerty on vocals which along the way gave us classics like �Suzie Q, Fortunate Son & Lodi. This album has classics like �Ooby Dooby, Run Through The Jungle and Looking Out My Backdoor among others. But the track of the album has to be �I Heard It Through the Grapevine�, a dazzling 11 minute piece with some insane guitaring and numerous bands have tried to cover it albeit unsuccessfully. They became a really successful act selling over 20 million copies before disbanding in 1974.

16. The Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)

These guys are one of my most favourite bands. I used to listen to them even before I tuned in to retro rock. This album is definitive work in an era ruled by grunge bands. �Blood Sugar Sex Magik� has landmark tracks like �Give It Away & the electrifying �Suck My Kiss� with heavy bass lines. �Under The Bridge� marks the beginning of a Peppers obsession for San Francisco and it has to be one of the greatest bits of guitaring of all time. This album marks �Kiedis�s� maturing as a vocalist when he deals with the problems of rape and violent abusive relationships in �Breaking the Girl, I Could Have Lied and the like. This album is much softer than some of the previous works of RHCP and from then on marked the transition of RHCP to a softer rock band which can be observed in later albums like �By The Way.� Their a great band and should be ranked up there with the very best.

17. Jeff Beck- You Had It Coming (2001)

Jeff Beck has to be one of the guitaring greats of this world. He gained notoriety when he first played for the Yardbirds along with Jimmy Page & Eric Clapton. Being a temperamental sort, he quit after 18 months. He formed �The Jeff Beck Group� with Rod Stewart on vocals and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones on drums. After 2 successful albums as well as opening for �The Grateful Dead� amongst others, the group disbanded. This album is one of his later works and shows us how he uses the guitar to get sounds not normally expected from a guitar. �Nadia� which came about after he heard a track by the Asian, Nitin Sahwney and this is a masterpiece with a distinct Hindustani tune. �
Rolling & Tumbling� is Beck�s long awaited cover of the Muddy Waters original. This album is purely instrumental but still finds a place in my top 30.

18. The Grateful Dead- American Beauty (1970)

I learnt that fans of the Grateful Dead were called �Deadheads�. I came to the erroneous conclusion that they were a heavy metal band. I heard them first when I got an album called �American Beauty.� They blew me away with their CSNY type numbers. They had acoustic guitaring mainly with soft bluesy melodies and distinct vocals. I listened to them when I was 18 and songs like �Box Of Rain, Friend Of The Devil, Sugar Magnolia & Attics Of My Life� just blew me away. They�re great to listen to when you want to chill out at home and hit back with a beer. Do get their greatest hits compilation if you can.

19. R.E.M.- Automatic For The People (1992)

�Automatic for the People� is one of the eight R.E.M. albums I own. It is by far the best of the lot. My favs on this album include �Man on The Moon, Nightswimming, find the River & Everybody Hurts.� Michael Stipe irritates me after a point when I listen to too much of him but this album is a great effort and is a critically acclaimed best selling success as well. �Everybody Hurts� was written on request for the state of Nevada to curb the suicide rates in that state and later proved to be extremely successful.

20. Bob Dylan- The Essential Bob Dylan (2000)

Here also I believe Dylan is too good an artist to be left out of this list but his compilations are mind blowing but his individual albums are not too much to write home about. Dylan�s classics include the all-famous �Blowing In the wind�, which would learn fully by the age of eight. But I was 12 till I realized Bob Dylan sang that song. His stand on peace and the anti war movement as well as his advocacy of the use of pot have made Dylan a shining star hardly ever shy of the media and the epitome of what the 60�s movement was all about. He inspired a cult following in that time and does so to this day now.

Man, looks like I will put in a different post after this one. This one took nearly eight to nine hours to put together. But, I�m happy with the earlier responses and life is good, pa.


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