Top 100 albums 1970 1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack 2 of 3 [MP3 VRB]

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Name:Top 100 albums 1970 1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack 2 of 3 [MP3 VRB]

Total Size: 2.48 GB

Magnet: Magnet Link

Seeds: 6

Leechers: 10

Stream: Watch Full Movie @ Movie4u

Last Updated: 2010-12-25 10:11:04 (Update Now)

Torrent added: 2009-08-30 04:17:46

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Torrent Files List

034. Various Artists-1978-Saturday Night Fever (Size: 2.12 GB) (Files: 307)

 034. Various Artists-1978-Saturday Night Fever

  01 - Stayin' Alive.mp3

10.91 MB

  02 - How Deep Is Your Love.mp3

9.37 MB

  03 - Night Fever.mp3

8.16 MB

  04 - More Than A Woman.mp3

7.56 MB

  05 - If I Can't Have You.mp3

6.91 MB

  06 - A Fifth Of Beethoven.mp3

7.01 MB

  07 - More Than A Woman.mp3

7.55 MB

  08 - Manhattan Skyline.mp3

10.89 MB

  10 - Night On Disco Mountain.mp3

11.95 MB

  11 - Open Sesame.mp3

9.23 MB

  12 - Jive Talkin'.mp3

8.56 MB

  13 - You Should Be Dancing.mp3

9.73 MB

  14 - Boogie Shoes.mp3

5.27 MB

  15 - Salsation.mp3

8.82 MB

  16 - K Jee.mp3

9.68 MB

  17 - Disco Inferno.mp3

24.87 MB

 035. The Pop Group-1979-Y

  01 - She Is Beyond Good And Evil.mp3

4.66 MB

  02 - Thief Of Fire.mp3

6.31 MB

  03 - Snowgirl.mp3

4.62 MB

  04 - Blood Money.mp3

4.08 MB

  05 - We Are Time.mp3

8.92 MB

  06 - Savage Sea.mp3

4.19 MB

  07 - Words Disobey Me.mp3

4.75 MB

  08 - Don't Call Me Pain.mp3

7.70 MB

  09 - The Boys From Brazil.mp3

5.87 MB

  10 - Don't Sell Your Dreams.mp3

9.12 MB

 037. Elvis Costello-1977-My Aim Is True

  01 - Welcome To the Working Week.mp3

3.19 MB

  02 - Miracle Man.mp3

8.15 MB

  03 - No Dancing.mp3

6.24 MB

  04 - Blame It On Cain.mp3

6.64 MB

  05 - Alison.mp3

7.87 MB

  06 - Sneaky Feelings.mp3

5.07 MB

  07 - (The Angels Wanna Wear) My Red Shoes.mp3

6.49 MB

  08 - Less Than Zero.mp3

7.61 MB

  09 - Mystery Dance.mp3

3.74 MB

  10 - Pay It Back.mp3

5.99 MB

  11 - I'm Not Angry.mp3

6.98 MB

  12 - Waiting for the End of the World.mp3

7.90 MB

  13 - Watching the Detectives.mp3

8.63 MB

 038. XTC-1979-Drums and Wires

  01 - Making Plans For Nigel.mp3

9.70 MB

  02 - Helicopter.mp3

8.97 MB

  03 - Day In Day Out.mp3

7.20 MB

  04 - When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty.mp3

7.73 MB

  05 - Ten feet Tall.mp3

7.52 MB

  06 - Roads Girdle The Globe.mp3

11.11 MB

  07 - Reel By Reel.mp3

8.68 MB

  08 - Millions.mp3

12.95 MB

  09 - That Is The way.mp3

6.76 MB

  10 - Outside World.mp3

6.16 MB

  11 - Scissor Man.mp3

9.17 MB

  12 - Complicated Game.mp3

11.63 MB

  13 - Life Begins At The Hop.mp3

8.75 MB

  14 - Chain Of Command.mp3

5.87 MB

  15 - Limelight.mp3

5.62 MB

 039. Suicide-1977-Suicide

  01 - Ghost Rider.mp3

3.44 MB

  02 - Rocket U.S.A..mp3

6.27 MB

  03 - Cheree.mp3

5.45 MB

  04 - Johnny.mp3

3.08 MB

  05 - Girl.mp3

5.38 MB

  07 - Che.mp3

7.42 MB

 040. The Modern Lovers-1977-The Modern Lovers

  01 - Roadrunner.mp3

5.64 MB

  02 - Astral Plane.mp3

4.15 MB

  03 - Old World.mp3

5.58 MB

  04 - Pablo Picasso.mp3

6.00 MB

  05 - I'm Straight.mp3

5.93 MB

  06 - Dignified And Old.mp3

3.43 MB

  07 - She Cracked.mp3

4.05 MB

  08 - Hospital.mp3

7.69 MB

  09 - Someone I Care About.mp3

5.03 MB

  10 - Girl Friend.mp3

5.39 MB

  11 - Modern World.mp3

5.14 MB

  12 - Government Center.mp3

2.84 MB

 041. Fleetwood Mac-1977-Rumours

  01 - Second Hand News.mp3

6.64 MB

  02 - Dreams.mp3

9.83 MB

  03 - Never Going Back Again.mp3

5.17 MB

  04 - Don't Stop.mp3

7.41 MB

  05 - Go Your Own Way.mp3

8.41 MB

  06 - Songbird.mp3

7.76 MB

  07 - The Chain.mp3

10.36 MB

  08 - You Make Loving Fun.mp3

8.13 MB

  09 - I Don't Want To Know.mp3

7.47 MB

  10 - Oh Daddy.mp3

9.06 MB

  11 - Gold Dust Woman.mp3

11.54 MB

 042. The Specials-1979-The Specials

  01 - A Message to You Rudy.mp3

3.99 MB

  02 - Do the Dog.mp3

3.04 MB

  03 - It's Up to You.mp3

4.69 MB

  04 - Nite Klub.mp3

4.72 MB

  05 - Doesn't Make it Alright.mp3

4.73 MB

  06 - Concrete Jungle.mp3

4.56 MB

  07 - Too Hot.mp3

4.38 MB

  08 - Monkey Man.mp3

3.80 MB

  09 - (Dawning of A) New Era.mp3

3.38 MB

  10 - Blank Expression.mp3

3.79 MB

  11 - Stupid Marriage.mp3

5.29 MB

  12 - Too Much Too Young.mp3

8.40 MB

  13 - Little Bitch.mp3

3.53 MB

  14 - You're Wondering Now.mp3

3.61 MB

 044. The Clash-1977-The Clash

  01 - Janie Jones.mp3

2.95 MB

  02 - Remote Control.mp3

4.21 MB

  03 - I'm So Bored With The U.S.A..mp3

3.33 MB

  04 - White Riot.mp3

2.69 MB

  05 - Hate & War.mp3

2.92 MB

  06 - What's My Name.mp3

2.34 MB

  07 - Deny.mp3

4.29 MB

  08 - London's Burning.mp3

3.04 MB

  09 - Career Opportunities.mp3

2.63 MB

  10 - Cheat.mp3

2.91 MB

  11 - Protex Blue.mp3

2.46 MB

  12 - Police & Thieves.mp3

8.33 MB

  13 - 48 Hours.mp3

2.22 MB

  14 - Garageland.mp3

4.42 MB

 045. Talking Heads-1978-More Songs About Buildings and Food

  01 - Thank You For Sending Me An Angel.mp3

3.31 MB

  02 - With Our Love.mp3

5.51 MB

  03 - The Good Thing.mp3

4.91 MB

  04 - Warning Sign.mp3

6.02 MB

  05 - Girls Want To Be With The Girl.mp3

4.41 MB

  06 - Found A Job.mp3

8.03 MB

  07 - Artists Only.mp3

5.89 MB

  08 - I'm Not In Love.mp3

7.46 MB

  09 - Stay Hungry.mp3

4.28 MB

  10 - Take Me To The River.mp3

8.06 MB

  11 - The Big Country.mp3

9.22 MB

 046. The Congos-1977-Heart of the Congos

  01 - Fisherman.mp3

8.05 MB

  02 - Congoman.mp3

8.68 MB

  03 - Open Up The Gate.mp3

5.62 MB

  04 - Children Crying.mp3

5.04 MB

  05 - La La Bam-Bam.mp3

4.70 MB

  06 - Can't Come In.mp3

6.24 MB

  07 - Sodom And Gomorrow.mp3

7.46 MB

  08 - The Wrong Thing.mp3

6.50 MB

  09 - Ark Of The Covenant.mp3

7.79 MB

  10 - Solid Foundation.mp3

7.04 MB

  11 - At The Feast.mp3

3.97 MB

 047. Al Green-1973-Call Me

  01 - Call Me (Come Back Home).mp3

4.27 MB

  02 - Have You Been Making Out O.K..mp3

5.19 MB

  03 - Stand Up.mp3

4.80 MB

  04 - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry.mp3

4.44 MB

  05 - Your Love Is Like the Morning Sun.mp3

4.43 MB

  06 - Here I Am (Come and Take Me).mp3

5.93 MB

  07 - Funny How Time Slips Away.mp3

7.71 MB

  08 - You Ought to Be With Me.mp3

4.59 MB

  09 - Jesus Is Waiting.mp3

7.73 MB

 048. Miles Davis-1972-Live Evil

  01 - Sivad.mp3

21.00 MB

  02 - Little Church.mp3

4.53 MB

  03 - Gemini Double Image.mp3

8.17 MB

  04 - What I Say.mp3

29.15 MB

  05 - Nem Um Talvez.mp3

5.58 MB

  06 - Selim.mp3

3.13 MB

  07 - Funky Tonk.mp3

32.26 MB

  08 - Inamorata And Narration By Conrad Roberts.mp3

36.40 MB

 049. Marvin Gaye-1971-What's Going On

  01 - What's Going On.mp3

8.96 MB

  02 - What's Happening Brother.mp3

6.26 MB

  03 - Flyin' High (In The Friendly Sky).mp3

8.77 MB

  04 - Save The Children.mp3

9.27 MB

  05 - God Is Love.mp3

3.90 MB

  06 - Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).mp3

7.44 MB

  07 - Right On.mp3

17.24 MB

  08 - Wholy Holy.mp3

7.17 MB

  09 - Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).mp3

12.53 MB

 050. Tim Buckley-1970-Starsailor

  01 - Come Here Woman.mp3

9.64 MB

  02 - I Woke Up.mp3

9.38 MB

  03 - Monterey.mp3

10.38 MB

  04 - Moulin Rouge.mp3

4.55 MB

  05 - Song To The Siren.mp3

7.97 MB

  06 - Jungle Fire.mp3

10.71 MB

  07 - Starsailor.mp3

10.55 MB

  08 - The Healing Festival.mp3

7.50 MB

  09 - Down By The Borderline.mp3

12.14 MB

 051. Sex Pistols-1977-Never Mind the Bollocks

  01 - Holidays In The Sun.mp3

4.65 MB

  02 - Bodies.mp3

4.20 MB

  03 - No Feelings 1.mp3

3.93 MB

  04 - Liar.mp3

3.71 MB

  06 - Problems.mp3

5.77 MB

  07 - Seventeen.mp3

2.82 MB

  08 - Anarchy In The Uk.mp3

4.87 MB

  09 - Submission.mp3

5.80 MB

  10 - Pretty Vacant 1.mp3

4.55 MB

  11 - New York.mp3

4.29 MB

  12 - EMI Unlimited Edition.mp3

4.45 MB

 052. Elvis Costello-1978-This Year's Model

  01 - No Action.mp3

4.55 MB

  02 - This Year's Girl.mp3

7.53 MB

  03 - The Beat.mp3

8.63 MB

  04 - Pump It Up.mp3

7.45 MB

  05 - Little Triggers.mp3

6.17 MB

  06 - You Belong To Me.mp3

5.46 MB

  07 - Hand In Hand.mp3

5.86 MB

  08 - (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea.mp3

7.20 MB

  09 - Lip Service.mp3

6.06 MB

  10 - Living In Paradise.mp3

8.91 MB

 053. Steve Reich-1978-Music For 18 Musicians

  01 - Pulses.mp3

8.75 MB

  02 - Section 1.mp3

6.40 MB

  03 - Section 2.mp3

8.39 MB

  04 - Section 3A.mp3

6.31 MB

  05 - Section 3B.mp3

6.06 MB

  06 - Section 4.mp3

10.63 MB

  07 - Section 5.mp3

10.95 MB

  08 - Section 6.mp3

7.89 MB

  09 - Section 7.mp3

6.95 MB

  10 - Section 8.mp3

5.77 MB

  11 - Section 9.mp3

8.68 MB

  12 - Section 10.mp3

2.99 MB

  13 - Section 11.mp3

9.23 MB

  14 - Pulses.mp3

9.93 MB

 054. Creedence Clearwater Revival-1970-Cosmo's Factory

  01 - Ramble Tamble.mp3

10.05 MB

  02 - Before You Accuse Me.mp3

4.30 MB

  03 - Travelin' Band.mp3

2.61 MB

  04 - Ooby Dooby.mp3

2.94 MB

  05 - Lookin' Out My Back Door.mp3

3.01 MB

  06 - Run Through The Jungle.mp3

4.41 MB

  07 - Up Around The Bend.mp3

3.82 MB

  08 - My Baby Left Me.mp3

3.24 MB

  09 - Who'll Stop The Rain.mp3

3.59 MB

  10 - I Heard It Through The Grapevine.mp3

16.09 MB

  11 - Long As I Can See The Light.mp3

4.73 MB

 056. Can-1973-Future Days

  01 - Future Days.mp3

12.97 MB

  02 - Spray.mp3

10.78 MB

  03 - Moonshake.mp3

4.08 MB

  04 - Bel Air.mp3

26.96 MB

 057. Paul Simon-1972-Paul Simon

  01 - Mother and Child Reunion.mp3

4.36 MB

  02 - Duncan.mp3

6.49 MB

  03 - Everything Put Together Falls Apart.mp3

2.80 MB

  04 - Run That Body Down.mp3

5.38 MB

  05 - Armistice Day.mp3

5.44 MB

  06 - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard.mp3

3.78 MB

  07 - Peace Like a River.mp3

4.66 MB

  08 - Papa Hobo.mp3

3.57 MB

  09 - Hobo's Blues.mp3

1.86 MB

  10 - Paranoia Blues.mp3

4.09 MB

  11 - Congratulations.mp3

5.30 MB

 058. Miles Davis-1971-A Tribute to Jack Johnson

  01 - Right Off.mp3

49.32 MB

  02 - Yesternow.mp3

46.85 MB

 059. Ramones-1977-Rocket to Russia

  01 - Cretin Hop.mp3

3.04 MB

  02 - Rockaway Beach.mp3

3.03 MB

  03 - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.mp3

4.32 MB

  04 - Locket Love.mp3

3.20 MB

  05 - I Don't Care.mp3

2.39 MB

  06 - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.mp3

4.21 MB

  07 - We're A Happy Family.mp3

3.92 MB

  08 - Teenage Lobotomy.mp3

2.92 MB

  09 - Do You Wanna Dance_.mp3

2.62 MB

  10 - I Wanna Be Well.mp3

3.49 MB

  11 - I Can't Give You Anything.mp3

2.94 MB

  12 - Ramona.mp3

3.87 MB

  13 - Surfin' Bird.mp3

4.01 MB

  14 - Why Is It Always This Way_.mp3

3.25 MB

 060. John Lennon-1970-Plastic Ono Band

  01 - Mother.mp3

12.85 MB

  02 - Hold On.mp3

4.22 MB

  03 - I Found Out.mp3

8.33 MB

  04 - Working Class Hero.mp3

8.73 MB

  05 - Isolation.mp3

6.62 MB

  06 - Remember.mp3

10.37 MB

  07 - Love.mp3

7.81 MB

  08 - Well Well Well.mp3

13.60 MB

  09 - Look At Me.mp3

6.65 MB

  10 - God.mp3

9.60 MB

  11 - My Mummy's Dead.mp3

1.92 MB

 061. Beach Boys-1971-Surf's Up

  01 - Don't Go Near The Water.mp3

6.23 MB

  02 - Long Promised Road.mp3

8.20 MB

  03 - Take A Load Off Your Feet.mp3

5.79 MB

  04 - Disney Girls (1957).mp3

9.61 MB

  05 - Student Demonstration Time.mp3

9.24 MB

  06 - Feel Flows.mp3

11.06 MB

  07 - Lookin' At Tomorrow (A Welfare Song).mp3

4.51 MB

  08 - A Day In The Life Of A Tree.mp3

7.29 MB

  09 - 'Til I Die.mp3

6.28 MB

  10 - Surf's Up.mp3

9.63 MB

 062. The Cars-1978-The Cars

  01 - Good Times Roll.mp3

5.17 MB

  02 - My Best Friend's Girl.mp3

5.22 MB

  03 - Just What I Needed.mp3

5.14 MB

  04 - I'm In Touch With Your World.mp3

4.05 MB

  05 - Don't Cha Stop.mp3

4.21 MB

  06 - You're All I've Got Tonight.mp3

5.81 MB

  07 - Bye Bye Love.mp3

5.79 MB

  08 - Moving In Stereo.mp3

6.60 MB

  09 - All Mixed Up.mp3

5.87 MB

 063. Cluster-1974-Zuckerzeit

  01 - Hollywood.mp3

8.75 MB

  02 - Caramel.mp3

5.53 MB

  03 - Rote Riki.mp3

11.15 MB

  04 - Rosa.mp3

7.56 MB

  05 - Caramba.mp3

7.23 MB

  06 - Fotschi Tong.mp3

7.86 MB

  07 - James.mp3

6.18 MB

  08 - Marzipan.mp3

5.92 MB

  09 - Rotor.mp3

4.89 MB

  10 - Heisse Lippen.mp3

4.34 MB

 065. Neil Young-1974-On the Beach

  01 - Walk On.mp3

4.98 MB

  02 - See The Sky About To Rain.mp3

9.24 MB

  03 - Revolution Blues.mp3

7.45 MB

  04 - For The Turnstiles.mp3

5.97 MB

  05 - Vampire Blues.mp3

7.79 MB

  06 - On The Beach.mp3

12.81 MB

  07 - Motion Pictures.mp3

8.06 MB

  08 - Ambulance Blues.mp3

16.38 MB

 066. Big Star-1978-Third_Sister Lovers

  01 - Kizza Me.mp3

4.86 MB

  02 - Thank You Friends.mp3

5.33 MB

  03 - Big Black Car.mp3

6.18 MB

  04 - Jesus Christ.mp3

4.73 MB

  05 - Femme Fatale.mp3

5.83 MB

  06 - O, Dana.mp3

4.43 MB

  07 - Holocaust.mp3

6.29 MB

  08 - Kangaroo.mp3

6.24 MB

  09 - Stroke It Noel.mp3

3.44 MB

  10 - For You.mp3

4.47 MB

  11 - You Can't Have Me.mp3

5.56 MB

  12 - Nightime.mp3

5.03 MB

  13 - Blue Moon.mp3

3.49 MB

  14 - Take Care.mp3

4.80 MB

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Torrent description

[SIZE=12][color=blue]Pitchforkmedia top 100 albums of the 70's[/SIZE][/color]

Il pack 2 contiene gli album da 34 a 66
Pack 2 includes the album 34 - 66

Top 100 albums 1970-1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack 1 of 3 [MP3 Variable] .torrent

Top 100 albums 1970-1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack 1 of 3 [MP3 Variable] rel

34 #s Saturday night fever (soundtrack) 1977
35 Popgroup Y 1979
36 Pink floyd Wish you were here 1975
37 Elvis Costello My aim is true 1977
38 XTC Drums and wires 1979
39 Suicide Suicide 1977
40 Modern lovers The Modern lovers 1976
41 Fleetwood mac Rumours 1977
42 Specials The Specials 1979
43 Michael Jackson Off the wall 1979
44 Clash The Clash 1977
45 Talking heads More songs about buildings and food 1978
46 Congos Heart of the Congos 1977
47 Al Green Call me 1973
48 Miles Davis Live evil 1972
49 Marvin Gaye What's going on 1971
50 Tim Buckley Starsailor 1970
51 Sex pistols Never mind the bollocks, here's the Sex pistols 1977
52 Elvis Costello This year's model 1978
53 Steve Reich Music for 18 musicians 1978
54 Creedence clearwater revival Cosmo's factory 1970
55 Nick Drake Bryter layter 1970
56 Can Future days 1973
57 Paul Simon Paul Simon 1972
58 Miles Davis A tribute to Jack Johnson 1970
59 Ramones Rocket to Russia 1977
60 John Lennon John Lennon/Plastic Ono band 1970
61 Beach boys Surf's up 1971
62 Cars The Cars 1978
63 Cluster Zuckerzeit 1974
64 Iggy Pop Lust for life 1977
65 Neil Young On the beach 1974
66 Big star The third album/Sister lovers

34 Various Artists - Film Soundtracks 1975-79
Saturday Night Fever (1977) [Compilation]
Top 100 albums 1970 1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack  2 of 3 [MP3 VRB] preview 0
If disco had a Beatles it was certainly The Bee Gees, although they never should have tried to make it official by raiding the wardrobe of a certain lonely hearts club band. The Bee Gees and The Beatles overlapped for a while in the late 1960s and early 70s, anyway, but who knew then that Maurice and the Brothers Gibb were busting with dance beats? Maximum R&B, indeed. The first five songs on this double LP could be considered the greatest album side of all time-- or at least, the public thought so, sending four singles to #1. At this point, The Bee Gees were hitting home runs every time they stepped to the plate (they have six dingers here) and there are enough good songs by other artists to make you forget the fluffy zeitgeist bombs that are David Shire's instrumentals. In the record-as-cultural-event sweepstakes, no subsequent release has topped Saturday Night Fever. --Mark Richardson
The Pop Group
Y (1979)
25 years after their untimely implosion, The Pop Group's lacerated funk has begun to make a noticeable dent in the indie strata. Y, the Bristol post-punk band's trainwrecked opus, has been co-opted and realigned by the more nefarious members of the disco-punk revival-- most notably Liars on 2001's They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top. Yet, neither Liars nor any of their contemporaries have come close to matching the effectiveness of Y's arid doomsaying. Unlike most of the late-70s' no-wave types (and perennial imitators), The Pop Group were less concerned with eschewing convention than with vehemently eviscerating it. Listen to how they tear apart a boxy, reverb-laden surf riff on "We Are Time" with Dadaist malice and contempt. It's impossible to ignore Mark Stewart's incessant Thatcher-bashing, but Y is so convincing in its hectoring that one can easily imagine it arising from even more amicable circumstances. This is a record of dire necessity, armed for combat against a long litany of ills-- none more than typicality. --Sam Ubl

36 Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here (1975)
Top 100 albums 1970 1979 Pitchforkmedia's pack  2 of 3 [MP3 VRB] preview 1
Flush and exhausted from the unexpected success of Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd resolved to shake things up a bit. For the follow-up, they entered the studio with no conventional instruments, intent on recording a new record comprised entirely of ostensibly normal songs composed on common household objects. Thankfully, they realized after a couple of weeks that it wasn't working out. One of their experiments with wine glasses is audible under the initial surge from Rick Wright's magisterial synthesizer, but the rest of the album finds the band spinning road-tested material into studio magic. They bookended three of their finest songs with an epic tribute to Syd Barrett, who himself made a tragically confused appearance at the studio during the sessions. Despite its cinematic sweep and cosmic jamming, Wish You Were Here is ultimately the sound of four men caught in the grinding of a wheel much larger than themselves and striving to understand it, only to find that they know its machinations all too well. --Joe Tangari
Elvis Costello
My Aim Is True (1977)
If substance always won out over style, the world would endure fewer arguments about the significance of this album, held by many as the most impressive debut in pop music history. Though Costello had spent years honing his craft-- stealing early-70s off-hours from his day job and family life and later working as a roadie for Nick Lowe's band-- My Aim Is True is so far beyond clich?s like "arrives fully formed" and "hits the ground running" that it's agonizing to hear them used. Costello enjoyed the prevailing punk prototypes-- he listening to The Clash constantly while recording My Aim Is True-- but stuck to his folk and blues roots, slashing through 13 heartbroken rock 'n' roll rants in just over half an hour.
Made a star by the AOR vibes ballad "Alison", the song's dolled-up presentation can't even dent the resilience of Costello's stunning narrative gift (made clearer in menacing solo performances). Even at this early stage, Costello rivals Bob Dylan in his poetics and damning insight, delivered in alternately seething and sorrowful tones ("revenge and regret" were his exact words regarding inspiration). From its hilarious alarm clock opening ("Welcome to the Working Week") to the dub-doting send-off "Watching the Detectives", there's just one song on My Aim Is True anyone could say a bad word about ("I'm Not Angry"). In every other regard, this album's title is deadly accurate. --Chris Ott
Drums and Wires (1979)
The method is there in the title: By ditching their keyboardist and adding a second guitarist, XTC defined themselves by propeller-armed drums and a skin-cutting guitar sound. It's pure pop disguised as jittery post-punk, all played with teeth-chattering intensity. The aesthetic is so tight that even the forgettable tracks serve it, but the album also boasts some of the band's strongest early material. Colin Moulding's biggest single ("Making Plans for Nigel") serves as the commercial front for outro, neo-political epics on which Partridge wrings his vocals like laundry and spits out vowels like golf balls. Here, XTC also defined their version of a love song: Stuttering boys are so staggered by the sight of spectacular girls that their feet don't touch the ground. Dozens of other contemporary bands were more extreme in every way-- angrier, more danceable, more adventurous or primitive or whatever-- but this triple-jointed sock hop out-charms them all. --Chris Dahlen
Suicide (1977)
Nothing about Suicide made sense. Nihilist electro-rockabilly? In 1977? And what was up with the sunglasses? We've all heard what a glorious shithole New York City was in the 70s, and Suicide's highly theatrical project wallowed in the filth. The blood-curdling screams in the 10-minute murder fantasy "Frankie Teardrop" (aka Taxi Driver: The Musical) get most of the ink, but the pretty stalker anthem/prom night bloodbath theme "Cheree" is just as disturbing. Most of the above comes courtesy of Alan Vega's expressionist vocal performance, but Martin Rev's churning electronics were of equal importance. His unusual keyboard tone referenced the sound of 50s rock 'n' roll in a brilliantly subliminal way while the cheap drum loops pointed to a future of relentless, trance-inducing repetition. Suicide have been called the American Kraftwerk but every one of their highways led to a dead-end piled high with twisted metal and charred bodies. --Mark Richardson
The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers (1976)
If there's one thing this world will always need, it's a late-night driving anthem, and Modern Lovers features one of the best. Two chords are enough gasoline for "Roadrunner" to soundtrack any expedition and reaffirm a weary traveler's will to push ahead. Although Jonathan Richman is something of a weary traveler himself, his knack for extracting love and humor from portraits of mundane Americana and teenage disarray goes unmatched. Patched together from various sessions with John Cale in 1973, The Modern Lovers were defunct by the time their self-titled record had its belated release three years later, but its emotional honesty and musical prescience hadn't (and hasn't) waned.
Richman laid the pretext for the wry, self-deprecating indie icons of the 1980s and early 90s; he was the first to stiff-arm rejection, exalt the suburbs and topple rock stardom's lofty pedestal of unattainable coolness. It's difficult to listen to Slanted & Enchanted without feeling Richman's shockwaves in Stephen Malkmus' beer-slackened laments, or appreciate Spoon without hearing the honky-tonk piano pop of "Hospital" or the hand-clapped hustle and bustle of "Someone I Care About". Collegiate and consciously sophomoric, there are few rock albums today so refreshingly unalloyed or innocently timeless. --Sam Ubl
Fleetwood Mac
Rumours (1977)
Many an artist has bled off some pain by writing a breakup album, but few have the guts to chart out their anguish and anger and then draft their ex to sing backup. Yet that is what happens when When Band Relationships Go Bad, and Rumours will forever be the pace car for such artistic ten-vehicle collisions, a musical interpretation of those late-night emails you immediately regret sending. Whether cruelly harmonizing or addressing one another with low-pH valentines, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks circle each other like boxers chained together at the wrist. [LB:] "Packing up, shacking up is all you wanna do (jab!)." [SN:] "Listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness/ Like a heartbeat drives you mad (uppercut!)." Meanwhile, Christine McVie tries to play optimist/referee ("Hey guys, you make loving fun!") and Fleetwood and Mac try to forget they were once some kind of wanky blues band. Like a David Lynch L.A., Rumours is all bright treble sing-alongs, bowling lane-slick production, and campaign theme songs on the surface, but foreboding bass, cocaine hangovers and bitter, broken love underneath. --Rob Mitchum
The Specials
Specials (1979)
Second-wave ska is perhaps the one instance when a pop/rock revival bested the original-- in large part thanks to The Specials. While The Clash were chomping at the bit for a "White Riot" in London, Coventry's multicultural The Specials were finding plenty of things wrong with contemporary England regardless of one's race. Two years after their formation, The Specials articulated their disenchantment, uncertainty and ennui on their debut album. Dressed in their distinguished two-tone color scheme and featuring the iconic Walt Jabsco, The Specials recycled the jaunty, staccato rhythms and horns of ska (Prince Buster, in particular) but juxtaposed that upbeat sound with biting, sometimes polemical, examinations of race, class and small-town life. It was a unique approach at a time when being British and looking toward Jamaica meant the dubby death rattles of PiL, This Heat, The Slits, and The Pop Group; and, through bandleader Jerry Dammers' 2-Tone label, it sparked a cottage industry and an unforgettable string of records. --Scott Plagenhoef
Michael Jackson
Off the Wall (1979)
Wherein Michael ducks into Quincy Jones' closet to shed his boy-suit and emerges as a superhero. His special powers must come from the optic white socks that inexplicably glow beneath the LP fold. Apparently when he wears these radioactive cotton tubes, he writes the best melodies of his career and sings them with a gripping tick-laden vocalese which was still two albums away from annoying. When Michael wants us to dance, we are powerless; "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" could coax a quadriplegic out of his wheelchair. When he wants us to cry on "She's Out of My Life", we do so because of deal-closing vocal salesmanship and the song's understated sentiment. Of course, now we feel even more sadness because Michael has for so long been incapable of anything approaching direct human expression. Off the Wall sounds so good, but it's hard not to go back to that cover: The handsome face smiling at us at a time when a quick and blurry snapshot in an alley was good enough. --Mark Richardson

44 The Clash
The Clash (1977)
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Eternally contrasted with the Pistols, The Clash rose from the same chaos but never set out to profit by it, instead banking on rock 'n' roll as a career opportunity. As Joe Strummer often put it, The Clash rebuilt everything the Pistols tore down, empathizing with audiences rather than shaming them by chic example. Aesthetic differences aside, The Clash is easily the superior article when compared to Bollocks, more daring in its diversity and tolerance for tradition. While there's no question the Pistols inspired Strummer, Jones and Simonon to take up arms (see "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.", a nod to "Pretty Vacant"), The Clash were far more humanitarian and realistic, a breath of fresh (rather than rotten) air.
"No Elvis, Beatles, or the Rolling Stones/ It's 1977," was the rallying cry, putting heroes who'd slid into self-absorbed idiocy up against the wall. The endlessly contested U.S. reissue from 1979 offered killer (if more commercial) cuts from that year's Cost of Living EP-- including The Clash's immortal version of The Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought the Law"-- but the original 1977 release, deemed "unlistenable" by CBS, is far more indicative of U.K. punk's formative days, still hungover from the wonky pub-rock of Strummer's 101ers on "Cheat" (enough flange!) and "Protex Blue". Feigning with relatively melodic openers "Janie Jones" and "Remote Control", The Clash swings for the fences on "White Riot", "Hate and War" and "London's Burning", every one a commanding political statement to undercut the Pistols" sloganeering. --Chris Ott
Talking Heads
More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)
More Songs About Buildings and Food transformed the Talking Heads from a quirky CBGB spectacle to a quirky near-unanimously regarded "it" band. New producer Brian Eno can take his due credit for the album's success, smartly tightening up the rhythm section's energy for more dance-oriented beats and a more prominent role in general, though without taking the limelight off head Head David Byrne's nervous sputters. Byrne's own songwriting was, as the album titled suggested, in the same quotidian vein as '77, though perhaps Buildings and Food has slightly more vitriol, especially on album closer, "The Big Country", Byrne's indictment of the South. More Songs About Buildings and Food probably could have survived as a cult album by a cult band, but what really opened up the Talking Heads for a national audience was the band's slinky cover of Al Green's famous "Take Me to the River", which put them on the top 30 singles charts for the first time. --Nick Sylvester
The Congos
Heart of The Congos (1977)
In 1962, Jamaican independence speeded the process of urbanizing the island nation's social fabric and music. Fifteen years later, producer Lee Perry reinjected pastoral sounds and a rural spirit into Jamaican music via Heart of The Congos. It was just one of many chances Perry took at his Black Ark studio, where he combated his financial limitations with a spirit of invention and, sometimes, an impatience and/or lack of quality control.
Heart of The Congos is arguably the only Black Ark album on which only the positive results of Perry's methodology are manifest. Collaborating with The Congos-- one of that era's greatest harmony groups-- Perry dodges cow patties and muddy, dubby pools as Cedric Myton's falsetto and Roydel Johnson's rich tenor contemplate spiritual awakening, cultural pride and human weakness. Perry practices a sort of addition by subtraction-- refraining from some of his often superfluous ambient noises or sometimes overly whimsical sounds effects-- as the vocalists keep on knocking, burning, fishing and crying. The important thing is that they keep on keeping on-- until they "reach a higher ground." --Scott Plagenhoef
Al Green
Call Me (1973)
Greatest Hits is the only Al Green album most people own (including me for a long time), but the songs on Call Me live up to the standard set by his run of classic singles, even though only a few of them were released as 45's. Green's voice is a wonder, sure, but what kills me about Call Me is the overall sound. The presence on this record is as intimate as the contents of a bedside table drawer: It's about sex and the bible. Even when the tempo picks up, everything feels personal and close. At his peak, Green was an excellent argument against musical diversity. Call Me-- like most of his music at this time-- is remarkably uniform in vibe and overall sound. Green recorded a range of covers during this period (including country and rock 'n' roll standards-- Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is represented here) but they all sounded like Green originals by the time he was through. Green and Mitchell found R&B perfection and strove to pour the rest of pop music into their pristine mold. --Mark Richardson
Miles Davis
Live-Evil (1971)
From the first snare roll and Mike Henderson's stone-fucked bassline, it was clear Live-Evil wasn't just your everyday live Miles set. Released in the wake of Bitches' Brew and Tribute to Jack Johnson, listeners might have been expected to be ready for the muscular, chaotic force of Davis and his band. However, rather than present a straight live document of the December 1970 performances, Davis issued cut-up sections and fragments, augmenting them with enigmatic studio tracks featuring a completely different line-up of musicians. The end result was that Live-Evil stood up next to any of the trumpeter's great fusion-era works as a recklessly inspired testament to his genius and the interplay of his musicians. Better yet, it absolutely destroys: Any randomly chosen moment during "Sivad" or "What I Say" returns blistered, runaway impressions of horsemen tearing through a fertile landscape without remorse, evaporating anything in their paths with the hooves and fiery breath of their steeds. Live evil? We love Miles. --Dominique Leone
Marvin Gaye
What's Going On (1971)
Marvin Gaye wasn't asking a question with title of his 1971 masterpiece; he was making a declaration. The record marked the apotheosis of the Motown sound, and Gaye's treatise on poverty, war, pollution and civil strife brims with passion and soul. If it were up to Berry Gordy, Gaye would have cut a few more clones of "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and called it a day, but the singer saw so much tragedy and injustice in Nixon's America (and LBJ's, for that matter) that he felt must be addressed.
Gaye felt so strongly, in fact, that he refused to record anything else until Motown released the masterful protesting title track, with its incidental saxophone magic (a grafted snippet rescued from the cutting room floor) and jaw-dropping vocal performance. "What's Happening Brother"-- Gaye's triumphantly melancholy tribute to his brother's readjustment to civilian life-- is leant a second melody by the fretwork of James Jamerson and the veteran genius of the Funk Brothers, who rose to the challenge of its complex, fluid arrangements. It's telling that Gaye never attempted to make another record like What's Going On-- it was too perfect a statement to be equaled. --Joe Tangari
Tim Buckley
Starsailor (1970)
What exactly is the legacy of Starsailor? Beyond the fact that no other music sounds much like Tim Buckley's abstract expressionist, jazz-laced folk, I'd be hard-pressed to name many artists before or since that are capable of his conceptual range, much less are in a position to be influenced by him. Starsailor is a masterpiece in every sense. It captured its maker at his freest and most willing to throw caution and sales to the wind, while simultaneously at his most creative and most capable of pulling off songs and moods that, from practically anyone else, would sound cartoonish, clumsy and confused.
Buckley's sixth album (in four years) soars from the guttural, wildly romantic force of his singing and the exploratory nature of his band (led by guitarist Lee Underwood). If you need a legacy, search for it in the damaged nightmare-collage of the title track or the furious, desperately emotional performances throughout. As an artistic document, Starsailor stands virtually alone. --Dominique Leone
51 Sex Pistols
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)
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A gorgeously packaged catchall, Never Mind the Bollocks documents the most infamous gang of teenage nihilists to ever pick up a guitar. Built around three culture-shock top 10 singles and the Sex Pistols' glorious top 40 debut "Anarchy in the U.K.", the November 1977 release of Never Mind the Bollocks was actually derided as a greatest hits cash-in by many critics ("Anarchy" was a year old, "God Save the Queen" more than six months). Still, fans couldn't buy it fast enough-- especially in America, where Bollocks was the first widely available piece of Pistols product, and prefaced an infamous U.S. tour. The album is more easily interpreted as a fait accompli in the UK, where Bollocks shouldered a spurious banning lawsuit, Sid and Nancy's bloody hotel bust-up, and the Who Killed Bambi? film disaster.
But Never Mind the Bollocks was recorded long before the band devolved into such fame games and ego wars, and though it wants for Glen Matlock's deft playing (Steve Jones laid all the bass tracks), this is the Sex Pistols as they should be remembered, as pretty and vacant as it got. Sparked by the arrival of Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten's delivery is markedly more confident, and it goes a long way to sell the overproduced Alice Cooper effrontery of "Bodies", the fetid, asinine "New York", and "EMI", the last good Sex Pistols song. Though infected with the vainglorious self-righteousness that destroyed the band, Never Mind the Bollocks has all the hit singles, the joyous glam throwback "Seventeen" (aka "Lazy Sod") and "Submission", the only evidence of musical growth in the Sex Pistols' two years together. --Chris Ott
Elvis Costello
This Year's Model (1978)
While in his late-70s prime, Elvis Costello was one of pop's most winning characters: Ever dejected yet stubbornly undeterred, the unobtrusive troubadour turned his calamities of love into ingratiating melodies. One of his most deceptive rock records, This Year's Model avoids the oft-cloying bitterness of emotional politics by erecting an unflappable fa?ade of proto-punk virtuosity. Unless you're listening carefully, it"s difficult to recognize the venom behind the limpid cadence of "Hand in Hand" or the deconstructed balladry of "Little Triggers". But at this album's core are lyrics sharper than an Iggy Pop needle. Costello always got the last word, and This Year's Model features some of his most searing (and underhanded) indictments. --Sam Ubl
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (1978)
At some point in the past three decades, Steve Reich's most famous composition was heralded as a subdued, relaxing proto-trance piece. This is patently absurd: 18 Musicians brims with vitality and diversity, a wild shimmer of voices and genres after Reich's infamous minimalist works. Although he based the piece's mingled group dynamic on African rituals and Javan Gamelan, 18 Musicians also manages to delve into somber sea shanties, daydreaming folk strains, and prismatic jazz interludes. Lowing clarinets and flitting xylophones spin around in some sort of tropospheric frenzy. Blinking melodies emerge precipitately and almost accidentally, churned by sweltering marimbas and chilled vibraphones. Here, Reich uses some of the most ancient rhythms to produce huge, thrusting propellers that chart whirlwind histories and humid reposes. After 30 years, this album's influence has inevitably spread from Philip Glass to DJ Shadow, but it remains one of the most unique compositions in Western music, an effortlessly accessible introduction to global vibrations, visionary repetitions and our own internal patterns. --Alex Linhardt
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Cosmo's Factory (1970)
Released two years before the brittle rockabilly of pub-rock and seven years before the succinct fury of punk, Creedence's last great album was a climactic bid to reinvigorate the smoldering, dour dust-ups of 1950s rock. By 1970, rock and pop were becoming ever more electronic or fixated on progression. In stark contrast, Creedence felt timeless; they could have been Andrew Jackson's house band or funded by the Works Progress Administration. John Fogerty's perpetually doomed histrionics and ragged blues were played at the speed of ignorant, adolescent rage and at the depth of a dying man's last words. It's a critic's wet dream: an existential Eddie Cochran filtered through a deep knowledge of everything from Delta jug bands to Stax Records. Fogerty is conceivably the only singer that could have injected panicked dread into both Sun Records party-thumpers and wistful soul jams.
Although no one listens to Creedence for diversity, Cosmo's Factory -- with the blustering, Sabbath stairmaster riffs of "Ramble Tamble" and the voodoo handclaps of "Run Through the Jungle"-- is as "experimental" as the band ever got. And the 11-minute "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" is simultaneously Creedence's most menacing, torrid, soulful, and yes, monotonous song. Finally, "Lookin' Out My Back Door" features one of the best single rock verse since Chuck Berry's "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man", lyrics drowning in hermetic blues, teeny-bopping idiocy, psychedelic sophistication and self-reflexive nostalgia: "There's a giant doing cartwheels/ A statue wearin' high heels/ Look at all the happy creatures dancin' on the lawn/ A dinosaur Victrola listenin' to Buck Owens/ Doo, doo, doo." --Alex Linhardt
Nick Drake
Bryter Layter (1970)
Consciously or not, Nick Drake was slowly ripping himself apart. After debuting with one of the most fully realized folk albums of its time (1969's Five Leaves Left), Drake spent his remaining years honing in on two distinct elements of his sound. Bryter Later shows an emboldened, perhaps unwillingly extroverted Drake, one who is less intimate but no less essential. With help from folk-rock icons Fairport Convention, the album reiterates the ornate arrangements of Five Leaves Left while blunting Drake's potent emotional edge by downplaying his devastating voice.
Featuring a handful of almost too-placid instrumentals, the album is perhaps some of the classiest easy listening ever penned. Though Drake's ingratiating personality was somewhat lost amidst the ostentatious orchestral jags and blindingly gilt sax jams, Bryter Layter can't help but foreshadow some of the hissing analog rawness of Pink Moon. Slicked-back tunes such as "Poor Boy" and the title track may be sedative, but the unchained, Morricone-esque guitar playing on "Hazey Jane I", the perfectly maudlin "Fly", and the bucolic, city-weary "Northern Sky" all show Drake in the messianic mold into which he's been deservedly lionized. --Sam Ubl
Future Days (1973)
The judgment for "Caldron"-- the I Ching hexagram that appears in the middle of the royal purple cover for Can's fifth album, Future Days-- reads: "Supreme good fortune. Success. Thus the superior man consolidates his fate by making his position correct." That man is Japanese busker-turned-singer Damo Suzuki, who on this album makes his final appearance with the German group.
On Future Days, Suzuki's once-prominent role as band catalyst dissolves in the ambient washes (think In A Silent Way), and gurgling polyrhythms (think Bitches Brew), his voice wafting through like phantom transmissions. It is the correct posture, and the scarce vocal appearances throughout make it feel all the more human. Can's least schizophrenic album, it's also their most satisfying as a whole, as well as their most gorgeous and blissed-out. Bassist/producer Holger Czukay speeds or splices tape, pushes Jaki Liebezeit's percolations to the fore, and mixes in field recordings to further the pastoral feel. As the side-long closer "Bel Air" suggests, it's all effervescence, transcendence, pleasure. It's a hell of a make-out record. --Andy Beta
Paul Simon
Paul Simon (1972)
In a folk-rock genre that ostensibly valued authenticity over chart success, Simon & Garfunkel were sometimes accused of being too calculated, too polished, if only in reaction to their unprecedented commercial success. Paul Simon's songwriting contributions to the group were praised, but his pop roots and staid compositions frequently gave the impression that they'd been intensely labored over, as if focus-grouped to appeal to audiences. After their eventual split, without the collaborative influence of the man he had worked with for half his life, Simon was finally able to flourish as a songwriter. Simon's commercial sensibilities were as strong as ever before, but by shedding the more conservative demeanor of Simon & Garfunkel and becoming one of the earliest folk musicians to embrace the sounds and rhythms of Jamaica, South America, and Africa, what once sounded forced began to take on new life. His self-titled debut is a masterpiece of breezy eclecticism, pop hooks, and at times, paradoxically in its seeming effortlessness, a greater emotional resonance than almost any of his previous work. --Eric Carr
Miles Davis
A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1971)
At least in attitude, Miles Davis's A Tribute to Jack Johnson is something of a bitter bastard child. The soundtrack to the William Clayton film of the same name never received the initial marketing push from Columbia that the record company gave to At Fillmore, and after just a year of shelf time, the jazz-rock masterpiece fell into relative obscurity. The film is about the rise to fame of turn-of-the-century heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson: Both the trials of racism Johnson faced throughout his career and the lavish standard of living with which Johnson reacted to these trials were points of inspiration and sympathy for Davis, and the music here mirrors this iconoclastic spirit.
With Jack Johnson, the confrontational Davis intended to make a rock 'n' roll album better than any other white musician's, and some might say he succeeded. The passion informing the album finds counterpart in the mythical story of its spontaneity: In the studio, guitarist John McLaughlin had stumbled into a simple blues-rock groove that drummer Billy Cobham and bassist Michael Henderson soon picked up on, and Miles, who had stepped out from the studio at the moment, suddenly rushed back and belted out perhaps the most clear-throated and magical solo of his entire career. --Nick Sylvester
Rocket to Russia (1977)
Some revisionist (they'd say "realist") historians would, in the revealing light of our refined, modern sensibilities, have you believe that "all the Ramones songs sound (whisper now) pretty much the same," as if that isn't what made the Ramones famous in the first place. The Ramones made music safe for anyone who could yank two chords-- three, in a pinch-- out of a guitar at warp-speed and whose lyrical aspirations didn't go too far beyond the wide world of inhalants. Mindless, directionless enthusiasm can go a long, long way, so long as you have a sense of humor about it.
As the first band to be officially slapped with the "punk" tag, the Ramones had built their fake-family name on 1960s power-pop dreams rooted in a foundation of distilled, high-octane rock 'n' roll. The thing is, you can only bang on a guitar for so long before you start to pick up a few things, and by the time of Rocket to Russia-- the Ramones' third album-- you could almost call them musicians. They even slowed down a couple of songs long enough to show off their newfound chops. Hooks, structure and some power ballads round out their most fully realized album-- all without losing one ounce of their flamethrowing aggression. --Eric Carr

60 John Lennon
John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970)
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Rock stars are, almost innately, liars. They lie about their incomes, lovers and histories. When The Beatles broke up in 1970, John Lennon was as recognizable as Mao or Nixon. With a few lies, he could have conquered entire hemispheres . Instead, he sat in a small room and yelled. Plastic Ono Band, for all its structured simplicity and pretension, is the most sincere album you will ever hear. Lennon had been practicing primal scream therapy, and the way he bares himself is gripping, often profound, and probably indecent. Even the sarcastic weariness of "I Found Out" and the decrepit self-deception of "Working Class Hero" sound eminently pure and honest.
Although the album's emotional core has somewhat diminished under the weight of innumerable Lennon imitators, the sequences of throttling, atomic screams at the end of "Mother" and "Well, Well, Well" are as horrifying as they ever were, a wall-of-sound of hate and despair. It's a noise you never hear on an album; it belongs in an emergency room or a church. These are simple songs, composed of two or three easy chords on a lonely piano or grizzled guitar, but even the flotsam is memorable: the clanging bells that start the album, the infamous "Cookie!", the implosion at the end of "Remember", the litany of disbeliefs on "God". They are iconic effects that transform the most personal pop confessional into grand, social myths. Ever the dreamweaver, Lennon would refine his image on Imagine, but Plastic Ono Band still stands as the least expected and most rewarding album an ex-Beatle would ever release. --Alex Linhardt
The Beach Boys
Surf's Up (1971)
Where were the Beach Boys in 1971? Years after both their fun-in-the-sun heyday of the early 60s and their masterpiece, Pet Sounds-- and one album removed from Brian Wilson's first "return" (the erratic Sunflower)-- the band appeared to be at a crossroads. Mike Love had yet to grab hold of the group's reins, but was exerting a much greater influence on their public persona via message songs like "Don't Go Near the Water" and the grating "Student Demonstration Time". Furthermore, the band's most ambitious music was being resuscitated from the five year-old Smile sessions. Yet, Surf's Up practically defines flawed greatness, via Carl Wilson's introspective, exotic folk-pop, manager Jack Rieley's devastating vocal on Brian's "A Day in the Life of a Tree", and Brian's own gorgeous "'Til I Die"-- which might very well go down as his last truly great production. Today, the eclectic, relaxed sound of this album is reflected in the work of Super Furry Animals, Stereolab and Sufjan Stevens, but its power comes from the shy passion and sincere, spiritual convictions of its creators. --Dominique Leone
The Cars
The Cars (1978)
When Fountains of Wayne topped the charts last year with "Stacy's Mom", Ric Ocasek could have sued for custody. The Cars' debut record provided a template for effortlessly catchy, hook-filled and radio-friendly rock that has proven every bit as effective now as it was then. While songs like "Stacy's Mom" use limp verses to justify exuberant choruses, The Cars still stands as an album that never sacrifices its momentum for cheap thrills. From the immortal synthline of "Just What I Needed" to the playful guitar of "My Best Friend's Girl", nothing is taken for granted here. And though The Cars has become one of the definitive archetypes for pop music, it's a record that still has yet to be bested on its own terms. --Matt LeMay
Zuckerzeit (1974)
Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Dieter Moebius had only recently begun experimenting with pop structures on 1974's Zuckerzeit. Their previous albums as Cluster (and the trio of releases with Conrad Schnitzler as Kluster) were spacy exercises in cosmic ambience, often with dark undertones and spooky, unidentifiable sound effects. However, by this point, they had settled into concise tablets of electronic pop, using primitive drum machines and analog synthesizers to create pastel-colored robo-pop a sight more "human" than that of their D?sseldorf peers in Kraftwerk. Zuckerzeit lurches along with the unbalanced gait of a homemade music machine, yet is ever peaceful, perhaps curious about its own piecemeal construction. As their percolating parts rattle with analog grins, songs like "Marzipan" and "Hei?e Lippen" seem perfectly content to drift by in effortless propulsion. Brian Eno (among others) picked up on the earthbound ambience at the heart of this music, but Zuckerzeit's voice can also be followed through to Cologne and Kompakt, much of IDM and any other atmospheric dance music you care to name. --Dominique Leone

64 Iggy Pop
Lust for Life (1977)
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Iggy Pop was all the young dudes' hero, the self-destructive template for rock 'n' roll as willful confrontation. But in the 1970s, no matter how you look at it, he was also David Bowie's boy; by 1976, determined to get back on track after years of his own unsustainable self-abuse, Bowie brought the equally damaged Pop to Paris, where the duo started work on The Idiot. Dominated by Bowie's hand, The Idiot was the first album on which Iggy Pop had appeared to chart in either the UK (where it reached #32) or U.S. (#72).
Flush with this renown, Pop reclaimed the reigns for Lust for Life, and though Bowie's presence is still unmistakable-- particularly during the "Tonight"/"Success" midsection-- the booming, raw production, blues scales and writhing vocals heard in highlights "Neighborhood Threat", "Some Weird Sin" and the incomparable carnival ride "The Passenger" outshine the best Stooges tracks. Famous first and foremost for its enduring title track smash, Lust for Life is so much more: Beneath the toothy, cleaned-up cover is the sound of an artistic resurrection, the justification of Iggy Pop's iconic status alongside Bowie-- the man who most believed in him-- and quite possibly, Iggy's biggest inspiration, Lou Reed. --Chris Ott
Neil Young
On the Beach (1974)
For decades, Neil Young refused to release On the Beach (along with a handful of other, equally noteworthy 1970s albums) in digital format, citing what he considered to be the questionable integrity of 1s and 0s. Warner Brothers finally "convinced" Young to drop his objection, and On the Beach's first compact disc plopped onto a conveyor belt just last year, forever rescuing it from the distracting buzz of (what had long been considered mandatory!) crackles and spits. Ragged, contradictory and oddly poignant, On the Beach is a hazy swirl of steel guitar, dobro, Wurlitzer, slide and Young's high, lonesome whine. All of Young's trademark ugly solos, self-implicating lyrics and cantankerous charm remain intact, but the songwriting here is vaguely softer, an almost apologetic (and certainly dissatisfied) homage to nasty, mid-70s America. --Amanda Petrusich
Big Star
Third/Sister Lovers (1992)
Years of rubberneckers have treated this as a document of Alex Chilton's professional breakdown, with substance abuse compounding professional failure to break his voice and hunch him to a fragile state. The bleak core of the album, "Holocaust" and "Kangaroo"-- which, crassly, are its most covered songs-- capture a darker hour than most would care to eavesdrop on. But the album would be tedious if Chilton didn't put up a fight: All three Big Star albums mixed pure honey power-pop with melancholy reflection. If this record's frustrations skew it toward darkness, they also yield wild give-a-shit piano solos and unrepeatable squalls, as well as sterling melodies and the pure bliss of "Stroke It Noel". Third/Sister Lovers's many imitators only want to be gawked at; the record works because Chilton lets us in and allows us to grasp his experience. --Chris Dahlen

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