[Part 5 of a series of posts where I look at a handful of favorites from my own record collection from the past 30 years. A version of desert island discs, if you will.]1988
Another great year in music. But what records do I own and which of them do I choose? We're 5 years in so let's recap the criteria:
A. I must own a physical copy of the record in question.
B. Compilations, archival releases, EPs and live albums should be avoided if possible.
C. No more than one release per artist per year.
Albums will be presented in alphabetical order by artist.Danzig
Can't go wrong here - Danzig has arrived. Probably one of the manliest records ever. Makes you just want to bash your head against the wall. Yup, one of those records. I can't even put together any worthwhile sentences while listening to this. Something's rattling loose upstairs. Better turn it off for a moment. There we go, back to my senses. So anyway, I just got disappointed with myself again since I'm traveling abroad while Danzig is playing near home this summer. Doesn't matter I've already seen him live twice - Danzig kicks ass! Even in his old age, I suggest you go see him while you still can. Worth every cent. And if you're not familiar with Danzig, you just start right here. The most classic songs on one album. And there's even better things to come after this. You can bet Danzig will make the list again soon enough.Napalm Death
- From Enslavement To Obliteration
No original members were left in Napalm Death by the release of debut album Scum but that would not hinder the band. The only change from the lineup that recorded the second side of Scum is the introduction of bassist Shane Embury, who would go on to become the longest standing member of the band. From Enslavement To Obliteration is just as good if not better than Scum. It certainly has more memorable riffs than it's predecessor and while continuing down the same path, Napalm Death has grown as a band and you can definitely hear it in the end result. You can actually bang your head to this one instead of just spazzing out in general. Check out "Lucid Fairytale
", "Unchallenged Hate
" and "Mentally Murdered
" for starters.Sonic Youth
- Daydream Nation
Sonic Youth is one of those bands that I admire from a safe distance. I have a handful of their releases but I really don't know what the band has been doing as of late nor could I talk at any length of their storied history. Band members? Uhhh... Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and some other people. So why pick Daydream Nation then? Well, I feel I would be doing such a landmark album a grave injustice if I picked something else. And it is a terrific record, I just don't play it enough. One reason could be the daunting double LP length. Sonic Youth is a challenging band to listen to and a single LP can be quite enough. But they are fun. If you're up for a challenge, give Daydream Nation a spin.Tangerine Dream
- Optical Race
Ah yes, another entry from the Dream. Getting tired yet? I'm not. However this will likely be their last album on these lists for a while as TD is not that well represented in my record collection as far as the 90's are concerned. And while I almost picked Saint Vitus' Mournful Cries over this one, I just can't go without choosing Optical Race. Awesome tracks throughout, starting with the 8+ minute opener "Marakesh
" (I've been there, the real place is nothing as glorious as this song - sorry). Another highlight not to be missed is the absolutely beautiful "Sun Gate
" which is definitely my favorite off this album. Being the first album without long time member Christopher Franke and the first of the "Melrose years" era which saw TD move ever further from their prog rock roots, Optical Race does not get the love it deserves. Even if you can't compare it with classic releases like Phaedra, Rubycon and Stratosfear, Optical Race is a perfectly good album in it's own right. For some people it is undoubtedly easier to get into than the more spaced out releases.Traveling Wilburys
- Volume 1
Definition of a supergroup - Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. I don't think anyone could have come up with this combo when thinking about possible supergroups, even in 1988. Yet it happened. In retrospect, the band seemed quite indulgent and obviously the members were too big on their own to stay together for long but they did put out one truly remarkable album. If you're a fan of any of these men then Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 is well worth checking out. The group recorded a follow-up album in 1990 albeit without the late Roy Orbison but it did not reach the same heights.**********************************************
**********************************************The Lounge Lizards - Voice of Chunk
Really sucks I missed out on this one. My favorite Lounge Lizards album was a shoe in but I discovered while writing the entry for 1998 that despite the date on the CD back cover (reissue, of course!) it was actually released in 1988. However I'm not going to rewrite this entry so I'll try to rectify this grave mistake with an honorable mention.