The 50 Greatest Albums
not to make the Greatest Albums Lists

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Propagandhi - How to Clean Everything (1993) 40. Propagandhi - How to Clean Everything (1993)
This band brings punk back to where it belongs and this is their best release. Formed in Winnipeg in the late 80's, Propagandhi is a punk band who is not shy in telling you what they think of the world. They shoot down everything capitalist and even piss off their audiences occasionally. The band can be best described as anarchist, pro-gay, pro-environment, pro-vegetarian, pro-feminist, anti-capitalist and anti-facist. Other great albums include: Less Talk, More Rock (1996), Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes (2000)
Portishead - Dummy (1994) 39. Portishead - Dummy (1994)
The group that brought a more beautiful sound to trip hop, Portishead was instrumental for bringing this genre of music to the attention of the mainstream (along with Tricky and Massive Attack). Dummy is a slow melodic cool jazz injected masterpiece that lulls the listener into a trance like stupor. The groups self-titled release of 1997 would be the other must listen in their discography.
Massive Attack - Blue Lines (1991) 38. Massive Attack - Blue Lines (1991)
The beginning of trip hop's move to the mainstream began with this album. Blue Lines took a mix of hip hop and soul and dub added to a dance groove that made Massive attack a massive success. Other albums to check out are: Protection (1994) and Mezzanine (1998).
The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta (1980) 37. The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta (1980)
Why the Police are left off the lists is beyond this writer. One of the greatest bands of the '80s who released two gems even before the decade started. Mixing in reggae influenced/punk minded rock sound, the Police both surprised and inspired listeners the world over. Zenyatta Mondatta is the band's best album and contains the classic songs: "Don't Stand So Close to Me," "Canary in a Coalmine," "Driven to Tears," and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da." Other albums worth your listening ear are: Outlandos d'Amour (1978), Reggatta de Blanc (1979), Ghost in the Machine (1981) and Synchronicity (1983).
Pixies - Doolittle (1988) 36. Pixies - Doolittle (1988)
The band that foreshadowed the indie rock explosion of the '90s, The Pixies took eclectic music to a new level. Mixing in everything from punk to pop, the Pixies were erratic and destructive. Doolittle is their most accessible, if you can call any of their releases accessible, and most refined. Other must hear albums are: Come on Pilgrim (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), and Bossanova (1990).
The Offspring - Smash (1994) 35. The Offspring - Smash (1994)
They kept saying they were a punk band and signing to Epitaph, one of the great indie punk labels was ample proof for many, but they sound more like a hardcore/metal band with punk tendencies on this release. This album became one of the best selling albums of '94 and off an independent record label it was unheard of. Fueled by the teen fight anthem "Come Out and Play," this album was a full on assault to the senses. These albums never make a list but before the Offsping became influenced by other genres of music (as a song like "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" demonstrates) they showed what hardcore could accomplish. They have no other releases that compare to this one.
LL Cool J - Radio (1985) 34. LL Cool J - Radio (1985)
As a 17 teen year old, LL Cool J released one of the greats of the hip hop genre. With just a beatbox and some scratching, Radio was all about the basics in this soon to be mainstream form of music. Because of its simplicity, the rap on the album became the focal point; and LL Cool J spit some of the best lyrics of the time period. Classics of the genre include: "I Can't Live Without My Radio," "Rock the Bells," and "I Need a Beat." Other albums to check out are: Walking with a Panther (1989) and Mama Said Knock You Out (1990).
The Chirping Crickets - The Chirping Crickets (1957) 33. The Chirping Crickets - The Chirping Crickets (1957)
Where Elvis may break into a list (esp. his Sun Sessions compilation), when the '50s aren't totally ignored, Buddy Holly always seems to miss the boat. The Chirping Crickets were Holly's band before he was marketed as a solo artist less that a year later. Staples of early Rock and Roll songs by Holly that are on this release are: "Maybe Baby," "I'm Looking for Someone to Love," "That'll Be the Day," and "Oh, Boy!" Holly's only other release during his short life is his self titled album from 1958 containing his other classics: "Peggy Sue." "I'm Gonna Love You Too," "Listen to Me," "Everyday," "Words of Love," and "Rave On."
Queen - A Night at the Opera (1975) 32. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992)
Electronica rarely makes the top lists but along with The Orb, Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) was instrumental in making the sub-genre: ambient-techno, a viable listening form. This album is his best and contains many of his experimentations with his home constructed equipment. Other albums to get: Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2 (1994) and Richard D. James Album (1996).
The Orb - The Orb's Adventures beyond the Ultraworld (1991) 31. The Orb - The Orb's Adventures beyond the Ultraworld (1991)
The Orb was the originators of the sub-genre of Electronica called ambient house. This was their first album and it encapsulates, in about two hours, everything that was to define the sub-genre. It takes you on a journey beyond the earth and you will be better for the experience. Other great albums include: U.F.Orb (1992) and Orblivion (1997).


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ARTICLE BY:
Full Spectrum Staff