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This is where I regret not signing up and participating earlier. MM would be top 15, if not 10, material for me. I only got it for Christmas last year but it's like a missing link between a lot of the angular, arty records that I've grown up with this decade and the rock 'n roll records that preceded it; the connection is there, and it's magnificent.
31-40 was an amazing section. Obviously, NMH was my number one, and I love both the Joshua Tree and The Stone Roses. I'll have more to say later.
Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)
AM 3000 rank : 45
Appeared on 35 ballots / 68
Fans: schwah # 2, PierO # 2, nicolas # 7, snusmumrik # 13, David # 14, Tim O # 17, Dr. Robert # 20
Looking at the fans and the votes, we have another senior favorite here ! Why it is so, I don’t know... But being an oldie doesn’t stop him from going up and up in the poll trend : # 67 in 2005, # 45 in 2008. We should thank the new seniors
What makes it the best Neil young album ? I guess it has to do with the exceptionnal quality of the songs and the frailty of Neil's voice and the instrumental performance. It's the perfect singer-songwriter album : no technical virtuosity, just pure expression. It is simple, mysterious, nostalgic without being depressive, dark in moments, joyful in others, and very, very melodic.
Neil wanted to sound like the records froim the late fifties and early sixties, with a straightforward, country-like approach. That’s why this album was done quickly, between CSNY tours. Neil wrote the songs in his basement then recorded them at once, most of them live in the studio.
It contains (almost) all the Neil Young past, present and future. We have Buffalo Springfield pop (“Only Love Can Break Your Heart” ), C,S,N&Y harmonies (“Tell Me Why” ), aching piano-ballads (“After the Gold Rush” ), spectral country (“Oh Lonesome Me” ), soft-rock (“Don’t Let It Bring You Down” ) and furious rock with lengthy solos (“Southern Man” ). Who could ask for more?
A senior, according to AMF standards, is someone born in the seventies and before. So now everybody knows which side of the line he is (at the moment..)
"Only" #82 in my list, Marquee Moon is the latest entry in my top 100.
I did not like it first but it really grew on me to now stand as one of my favourite albums of the 70s (a decade I don't like much, despite hosting the poll). Really brilliant and influential guitar play through all the album.
Only 32 for Kind of Blue? I was expecting so much better (same thing for Graceland as well...both my #1&2 picks lost around 10 spots.) I know most people here are not into jazz as much as me, but Kind of Blue is jazz perfection, something we will never, ever see again. Its a record like Sgt. Pepper or Never Mind the Bollocks or Nevermind where we have a musical paradigm shift: Everything before KoB, and everything after. Before this, all jazz, even the coolest of jazz, seemed like it was on speed. The work of Davis, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Julian Adderly was monumental. It is the token representative from jazz to the all-time lists because of it.
This comment is too late, but Loveless is way too low, and I find it strange that it continues to drop in our forum poll despite its three number 1 votes.
Most of the other albums are great. I'm just starting to get into After the Goldrush and Purple Rain. I need to give Astral Weeks another listen. I love the rising ranks for Remain in Light and Low!
And to respond to ChrisF on the last page: I have been to Asheville before, but never for a show. Are any big acts coming?
The Who – Who’s Next (1971)
AM 3000 rank : 33
Appeared on 33 ballots / 68
Fans: Henry # 2, Stephan # 3, Penguin # 3, Rocky Racoon # 4, Harold Wexler # 7, Chevi # 11, Alex D # 14, Jonah # 14
Another highlight of the early seventies, Who’s Next has an impressive record, but no # 1. Anyway, this album seems to have found its right place, for it was # 26 in 2008.
The Who is an all-star team of a rock band, and this is their championship record. The most perfectly bookended album of all time.
How to mix power and melody, pop and rock. The Who are six years away from their debut album and they sound like another band, with a great mastery and confidence. They found a unique sound on this album, epic, powerful and ambitious, similar to nothing else. The sound that makes great albums.
They wrote songs in 1971 which have even more meaning today than back then.
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and A Love Supreme are so much better than Kind of Blue
R.E.M. – Automatic For the People (1992)
AM 3000 rank : 51
Appeared on 35 ballots / 68
Fans: Vgrd # 2, Chris # 6, Dr. Roberts # 7, octopus # 8, Stephan # 9, Toni # 10, Chevi # 13, Vanilla Fire1000 # 14
R.E.M. gets a lot of love in this forum. Both Murmur and Automatic are well ahead of their AM rankings. And our opinion doesn’t vry much with time. In 2005 and 2008, this album was in the twenties too. Only thing with REM that stops them from being higher is the spreading effect between those 2 acclaimed albums.
“Berlin” in the seventies, “Nebraska” in the eighties and “Automatic for the People” in the nineties. Just when they were at the height of its popularity, R.E.M. were bold enough to release an album filled with moody and somber songs, with delicate arrangements and deeply cryptic lyrics. And, although it could be seen a commercial suicide, they succeeded again.
The top 25 is for later
thanks for your support
Everyone really loves Automatic and Murmur. I know I do. But it seems like everything else they did gets held down. I had 4 R.E.M. albums in my top 100, tied for second with Paul Simon. And that is out of five overall, and I really could of put 2 more in. Outside of The Beatles, R.E.M. were the most consistently great band ever.
I had Reckoning, Life's Rich Pageant and Document all in my top 200 in addition to the big two. R.E.M., Van Morrison, The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan and Neil Young all have 5+ in my top 200, with Wilco, Radiohead, Miles Davis and Bruce Springsteen scoring 4. I guess that's my top 10.
I do not much care for Automatic for the People. My top R.E.M. album was Document (#75), followed by Murmur (#113). But I don't think as much of R.E.M. as others on this board.
I like their Green -Out Of Time- Automatic For The People streak, and Out Of Time is maybe my favorite although hardcore REM fans tend to reject that album.
"Loosing my Religion" is a masterpiece of a song.
"Reconstruction of the Fables" is my favourite REM. I can't quite say why, except perhaps for personal reasons of just happening to have had my ears wide open when a copy hit my neighbourhood app. 23 years ago.
I agree, I absolutely love R.E.M., I had five albums including the big 2, LIfe's Rich Pageant, Reckoning and Document... And Out of Time and Adventures in HI-FI are just outside of the top 200 -- I agree Out of Time is a solid album and Losing My Religion is glorious... I put R.E.M. right behind Beatles, Radiohead and Dylan...
I never understood the fascination with Automatic for the People, which I consider to be a mediorce album and signaled the downfall of REM. I have 4 of their albums in my top 150: Murmur at 35; Reckoning at 63; Document at 80; and Life's Rich Pageant at 113. I also think that Out of Time was a better album.
Marquee Moon lower than Rubber Soul again - ridiculous. Looks like another Beatles-dominated top 25
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)
AM 3000 rank : 20
Appeared on 34 ballots / 68
Fans: Peter # 1, Jacek # 4, Henry # 4, Chevi # 5, Georgie # 6, Marc # 9, Alex D # 11, Steven # 11, pmickey # 14, Nick # 16
Pink Floyd’s most acclaimed album is the first (so it’s the last) of this top 25. It’s the first time this album is out of the top 20 : # 16 in 2005, # 13 in 2008.
I don't enjoy this as much as I formerly did, when it used to be in my top ten. But I still respect this work for all it accomplished: Dark Side of the Moon remains the most artistically ambitious album that also happens to be a sales blockbuster. "Us and Them" and "Time" are particuarly excellent, both lyrical and sonic achievements.
This record is probably the one you’d use to test a new hi-fi, but it’s much more than that. Looks like every note was studied, polished to create a perfect object. The musicians worked with the perfectionism of designers. But the best is that this record still conveys emotions and deepness. One of these records that I still enjoy after years and years, and still no song from Dark side would be in my top 100. It works as a whole.
Radiohead – Kid A (2000)
AM 3000 rank : 78
Appeared on 38 ballots / 68
Fans: John # 2, pop elton # 3, BillAdama # 4, Steven # 6, Jem # 6, Chris # 8, Michael P # 10, Jacek # 11, Michael # 12, Brose # 15
“Kid A”, thanks to the end of decade polls, is one of these records that climbed an impressive number of stairs after Henrik’s last update in AM 3000. It’s a favorite of these polls that tend to acclaim recent music more easily. But in 2008, at # 14, Kid A’s performance was much better. This year, after a tremendous start that had it settle in the top 20, the machine suddenly stalled at midcourse : the last voter to have it in his top 20 (popelton) was the 38th out of 68.
Seeing legions of bands mimicking every detail of its previous production (there’s no need to name one, is there? ), Radiohead were forced to find a completely new direction. And they found it in avant-garde, electronica and IDM (Intelligent Dance Music ), depicting a world ever weirder, stranger and more alienated than the world showed in “OK Computer”. And that’s saying a lot.
Every time I listen to it it grows on me a little. As soon as critics get over their neo-phobia, this will probably rocket up the AM top 100.
Try as I might, I can't deny this as one of the definitive albums of this decade. Creative, daring, strange--Kid A is basically everything the critics have said about it. What gets to me is the sheer emotion of the album, ranging from the loneliness of "How to Disappear Completely" to the apocalyptic uncertainty of "Everything in Its Right Place." On some days, I even find this better than OK Computer.
I don't know why, but I expect a lot of comments after this last post, as the recent records seem to get a lot more comments than the old ignored classics.
Hope this doesn't change things, but I actually had Purple Rain at #6, not #18 (that was "Sign o' the Times")
Wow! I'm very happy to see Dark Side of the Moon out of the T20 (no pink floyd in my 100) and just as happy to see Kid A at 24th. I thought it would land just outside T10 (considering radiohead's consistent performances) but it's now closer to where I have it on my list. I also see that it racked an impressive 38 votes. This list has seen a very strong performance from the classics, so I think it will be interesting to see just how high Funeral climbs.
So, on this forum, "Funeral" is better than "Kid A"? I'm surprised (but also happy), since many of us seem to love Radiohead.
I'm guessing In Rainbows impressive performance in this poll probably hurt Kid A a little (split a few of its votes).
Love – Forever Changes (1967)
AM 3000 rank : 47
Appeared on 38 ballots / 68
Fans: EdAmes # 3, Tim O # 8, otisredding # 8, Georgie # 8, Beans “ 10, Harold Wexler # 11, Mark # 14, lagire # 15, Rune # 17, Mitchell Stirling # 18, Snusmumrik # 18, Jackson # 20, Pop elton # 20
This lesser-known 60’s gem’s being 24th could be a surprise if it hadn’t made the top 20 in 2005 (13) and 2008 (17).
Forever Changes is so great not because of its reflection of the music of its era, but rather due to its contrasts with it. In a time where sunny psychedelia was all the rage, Arthur Lee and Love produced an album that was filled with disillusionment and alienation. Sure, it contains bizzare, obviously drug-influenced lyrics that are a hallmark of the genre, but there are more serious, self-aware undertones on this album that set it apart. Combining this with arrangements that expertly integrate acoustics guitars with strings, and you have a true masterpiece of psychedelic music.
A cult album, misunderstood and ignored when it was released. At the exact time (1967) and place (California) of hippie splendour there was Arthur Lee, a man who didn’t share that cosmic happiness. “Sitting on a hillside / watching all the people die / I’ll feel much better on the other side”. And he found the right way to express it, with acoustic guitars and strings. But nobody wanted to hear it at the time…
This is a beautifully orchestrated album with strings and horns embellishing the acoustic-based pop tunes. An enduring product of the Summer of Love, but under the surface the darkness foreshadows what was to come.
I should have voted for Love ! Great album, although I think it wears a little bit in the end. But the 3 first tracks are fantastic.
Ok guys it's the end of a long posting day for me.
See you tomorrow for the # 22.
I thought Forever Changes, Dark Side of the Moon, and Kid A were all sure things for T20. If Rubber Soul doesn't come soon then we're looking at a T20 that's 25% by The Beatles.
I'm in the camp that just doesn't 'get' Neutral Milk Hotel. I mean, the vocals are pretty good, the instrumentals are mediocre. I guess I can see the emotional aspect of the appeal but to me it doesn't stand out very far from the rest of the suburbanly-existential indie pack.
Glad to see Bringing It All Back Home outdo it's surprisingly low AM ranking.
In the past few weeks I think Kid A has eclipsed OKC for me. They'd both have been in my top 5 but there's something so moving about Kid A. It's only since the tail-end of the summer that I've considered it a true work of brilliance (before the whole package didn't click properly, I was honing in on How To Disappear Completely and Idioteque) but it'd be my second favourite of the 00s behind Turn On The Bright Lights now. It's tremendously moving, sad but impossibly beautiful too.
Hard to believe that 35 of the submittals didn't include Who's Next on their list at all. Every track is a winner. Even the Entwistle vocals on My Wife work.
Wow, three straight albums not in my top 200. Only time this happened in the entire top 50. I will never get Pink Floyd (and almost all prog in general), Kid A is growing on me but I still don't really like it that much (post rock is total snore) and Love...never, ever understood the fervor about Forever Changes. Even more so than Astral Weeks (an album I enjoy, but not to the level of those hardcore fans of it.)
don't worry, it's almost guaranteed that Abbey Road, the White Album, Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper's will all place.
Hmmm... disappointing showing for Forever Changes. My fave 60s album: strange, beautiful and dark, the feel-bad hit of the Summer of Love.
I'll accept a 25% Beatles top 20, just as long as we get the 5% Soulja Boy as predicted in Nassim's spoiler. I don't see Dylan or Yorke matching lyrics like the one about how he's going to "Superman dat 'ho'". Genius.
Is anyone else a little disappointed at how similar the top of this list is to the `08 one? Obviously, a little similarity is a given since it's the same forum voting, but all of our likely top 22 placed top 29 in `08. I wish albums like Odessey and Oracle, Kid A, and Forever Changes had continued to rise to make the results more unpredictable and interesting than they might turn out to be.
I was wondering if someone would care to explain the big move by Arcade Fire's Funeral album in the latest top 3000 - from 112 to 55. There are some very good tracks on this album in my view, including: Rebellion, Neighborhood #3, and Neighborhood #2. I would greatly appreciate if the other folks from AM would provide their views regarding other tracks on this album that are considered exceptionally good.
For me: "Neighborhood #1", "Wake Up" and "Rebellion (Lies)" are my favs by far. Those are 3 of the best singles of the decade. Even though I don't think Funeral is as great front to back as Kid A or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, those 3 singles hold upto anything this decade.
It was in my top 15. I'm pretty sure it's coming.
The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
AM 3000 rank : 29
Appeared on 41 ballots / 68
Fans: John # 1, Alex # 3, Peewee # 4, Henry # 9, Brose # 14, Jonathon # 16, Peter # 19, SR # 20
One key figure : 41 ! That’s a record ! Not so many fans who put it in their top 20 (but 3 top 5 scores). This album was partly helped by our shifting from top 100 to top 200 ballots.
It might not be an epic achievement like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or the White Album, but I prefer Rubber Soul to those two simply because it's more consistent and enjoyable to listen to. "Drive My Car" is one of the group's best album-openers, and the quality never really lets up, with the group's first (and some its finest) appeals to emotion in "Nowhere Man," "Norweigan Wood," and my favorite Beatles song, "In My Life."
The perfect “bridge” album. Between the funny but slightly trivial Beatlemania and the innovations of “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper’s”, “Rubber Soul” was the turning point of a inquisitive and creative musicians who were about to break its limits. But in that exact point they were able to create songs that would serve to explain to an extraterrestrial what is pop music.
Rubber Soul was my # 29.
Just listen to it a,d you'll understand it deserves a place in the 20s. Full of great great songs.
Now who missed the top 20 by an inch ?
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973)
AM 3000 rank : 41
Appeared on 39 ballots / 68
Fans: sonofsamaian # 2, schwah # 5, BillAdama # 6, Toni # 8, Henry # 8, Honorio # 9, otisredding # 13, SR # 15, Brose # 16, Jon Marck # 19, Midaso # 19
So it is Stevie who stops at the treshold. Innervisions beats its AM score, contrary to Songs in The Key Of life. And it holds its record position in AM polls (it was in the twenties as well in 2005 and 2008, but lower).
When Stevie Wonder tried to write a traditional ballad, like "Visions" or "All in Love is Fair," the results are tedious. But the rest of the album is outright soul/R&B/funk excellence. "Living for the City" is a well-realized anthem, while "Higher Ground" establishes his best groove short of "Superstition." Considering Stevie played virtually all of the instruments on this album, this certainly stands among the all-time best one-man albums.
In a word: prodigy. All in Stevie Wonder is prodigious. His prodigious mastery playing almost every instrument on the album, being a particularly gifted vocalist, keyboardist and harmonica player (not forgetting his astonishingly qualities as a drummer!). His prodigious song-writing achieves the paradox of making catchy and easy-listening his intricate and complex harmonies. And his prodigiously clear (inner) vision about social issues and human feelings. Innervisions. It’s impossible to find a more appropriate title.
The only album in my top 8 that isn't by Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, or Radiohead. I don't think anybody's ever done what Innervisions does as well as Stevie Wonder. Accessible without being lame, political without being alienating. Just an incredible album.
The Evolution in AM Forums
21 - 27 - 22 - Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
22 - 23 - 37 - The Beatles - Rubber Soul
23 - 17 - 13 - Love - Forever Changes
24 - 14 - 29 - Radiohead - Kid A
25 - 13 - 16 - Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
26 - 21 - 27 - R.E.M. - Automatic for the People
27 - 26 - 45 - The Who - Who's Next
28 - 45 - 67 - Neil Young - After the Goldrush
29 - 24 - 14 - Television - Marquee Moon
30 - 39 - 18 - Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain
Bears : Forever Changes, Marquee Moon
Bulls : After the Gold Rush, Rubber Soul
The big classics are blue chips here, and the critics faves are going down.
Is this poll less and less snobbish ? (just a joke, no offense meant of course)
My internet connection broke down for two days, I only was able to see this at work (and I don't have time at all). I'm really sad for not being able to participate live.
Anyway congrats everyone, an excellent list (although quite predictable as I expected). It seems that all the widely considered great albums are written in stone for us, including our usual quote of 25% Beatles albums in the Top 25.
And great work Nicolas!
I have news for you (I'll try to send you a message on Face if I got the time)
Innervisions was my big glarinig overisght from the poll two years' ago. I have to take issue with what Jackson wrote. Stevie Wonder's ballads often are tedious, but for some reason I don't find the ballads on Innervisions to be so at all.
My lists tend to be mutable, so I may not have it at #5 next time out, but right now I consider it a gem... a towering embodiment of everything that makes Wonder more than great, without any of his sins (or most of them at least).
Visions is my favorite from Innervisions. I don't think of it as a traditional ballad at all. More like an smooth offspring of Astral Weeks.
My recollection is that Superstition is on the Talking Book album. One of my favorites on Innervisions is Golden Lady.
I've gotta stick up for "All In Love Is Fair" -- just the vocal alone, good god!
Thinking about it, "Jesus Children of America" is probably my least favorite song on Innervisions. "Jesus Children of America" is a great song.
Wish it would've made Top 20.
I understand and appreciate your comments.
I also highly recommend The Song Is Over and Bargain for another listen. Going Mobile and Getting in Tune did not impress me much at first, but they did grow on me. Love Ain't for Keeping and My Wife work for me, but are not exceptional in my view.
I need to get the mono remaster of Rubber Soul. I've heard it's a lot better than the version I've been listening to.