Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by Repo (2020)

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AMERICAN STEEL

Life ain't fair. You know it. I know it. It just ain't. Never has been. Never will be. Despite that, kids, particularly my kids, spend a gazillion hours lamenting about how things just aren't fair. How they’ve gotten the proverbial shaft. How their friends have it so much better. “Why do Hana and Jay get iPhones? And we don’t? Huh? Why, Dad?!?! Why? Why? Why? It’s NOT fair."

To which I always reply, “Yes, life isn’t fair. Get used to it!” And then I just start laughing like the crazy person I am. That shuts them up pretty quick, I tell ya. Hard to worry about life being unfair, when your Dad’s losing his grip on reality right before your eyes. And then I tell them this very story. This story about geography. The world is a big place. And our boys Riot were in the wrong place at the right time. New York City instead of Anywhere, UK.

Riot were one of the first bands to inject some molten metal into the 70s hard blues kettle mash. Along with Motorhead and Priest, they invented the whole NWOBHM sound. Yet, they've been excluded from the club! Just because some bozo rock critic from London didn't think how unfair it would be to exclude - oh, I don't know- THE REST OF THE WORLD from his pithy acronym. How imperliastic can you get? It's enough to send me into a tantrum.

So. If one band in the history of late 70s rock besides UFO have the right to squawk, it's Riot.

Riot put out an album in 1977 called Rock City that is a NWOBHM classic years before NWOBHM had even materialized. They did it again in 1979 with Narita. And then unleashed their best in 1981 with Fire Down Under. Three NWOBHM classics in a row!

And then their inimitable singer left them for a career as an exterminator. (That’s how metal his voice was! Black Flag has nothing on that!) And then they sank back down into bluesy generic rock on Restless Breed. Hell, the title track sounds like a cover of Bad Company's eponymous track. I ain’t kidding! Bad Company! That’s a slide. Luckily, they would reinvent themselves in a couple of years into one of the most influential power metal bands. But, that’s a story for another time. I got kids to tuck in. Squawking about water & melatonin gummies. Life ain't fair!

The THREE U Need!
1. Fire Down Under (1981) (E)
2. Rock City (1977) (HR)
3. Narita (1979) (R)
Year of Release:
1977
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Rank Score:
186
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Lo-fi DIY. Defiantly un-PC. Stupid & smart at the same time. Hardcore punk rock begins here, brothers & sisters with this band of fuck-ups from Washington DC! No wonder DC had such an amazing hardcore scene so early! An entire scene of 80s punk rock stems from the sound these guys created on this here platter. Do u like The Angry Samoans?! Then what are u waiting for? Throw this fucker on NOW! [First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1977
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Rank Score:
105
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Jonathan is not afraid. He tailored punk after himself not the other way around. Making something exuberant, youthful and full of wild-eyed joy. He is is the Tyler Herro of the class of '77. Undaunted by the rules. Not afraid of being it’s own thing. And that’s punk as fuck in my book. [First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1977
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Rank Score:
161
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An absolute fantastic & fun straight-up punk album that should be mentioned in the same sentence as The Damned's Damned Damned Damned, The Saints (I’m) Stranded and... dare I even say it... The Clash's debut! [First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1977
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Rank Score:
104
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Caress Of Steel

I remember waiting for them as a kid. The good part. That part in some rock n’ roll song that would just take me over the top. The anticipation would build & build then... BANG! Cirith Ungol knows all about it. Waiting for that good part. And they had an idea. A brilliant idea. Let's just make songs chock full to the brim with the good parts! Like a super satisfying ooey-gooey Snickers bar!

Well, kiddies, that’s how you get one of the coolest rock fests in America – Frost & Fire (in Ventura, California) – named after you even when you’ve only sold about six albums and no one outside of inner metal circles have ever even heard of you. In many ways, Cirith Ungol were an indie rock metal band. Having more in common with cult Portland garage rockers Dead Moon than traditional metal bands like Raven and Accept. Their songs brim with creativity and wit. Musically, they channel early Rush at their most metallic. But there’s a manic indie rock creative streak that runs through all their songs. Cool eerie keyboards straight from Goblin here. A gum popping bass line there. Good parts everywhere!

If you’re into underground metal, it really doesn’t get any better than this. And it's easily one of my favorite finds yet on this journey. Essential (E)!
[First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1980
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Rank Score:
102
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SLAYER’S BABIES
Extreme Metal: 1985 E1

It was meant to be an insult. Slayer’s babies. But I hoped they owned it. Bandied the smear with pride. Because this is easily one of the best darkened thrash/speed metal albums of the entire 80s!! I’ll certainly take it over Anthrax’s Fistful Of Metal any day of the week.

And yet virtually no one talks about it. Luckily, the few that do, talk LOUDLY. And I just happened to have my ear to the wall. In my searchings and scorings for all things extreme metal. "They" speak of this being perhaps the first first death metal album. It’s not. But it very well may be the third best speed metal album of the 80s. They leap on the shoulders of the two unequivocal best from the genre. Those two towering pillars of Speed From ’83 – Metallica’s Kill 'Em All and Slayer’s Show No Mercy - and somehow make the din even darker. Faster. Gene Hoglan’s drumming is pure sickness, and it’s not surprising he would go on to man the kit for such metal luminaries as Death and Testament among others. If you love early Slayer, give some love to their babies! They had more than arrived. They had ascended!
[First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1985
Appears in:
Rank Score:
99
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Phase 1

Before you try to sell me some lame-ass tripe posing as steak that Rush isn’t metal, I’ve got three things to say to you: 1) Side 1 of 2112 is one of the top five metal moments of the entire 70s. 2) Geddy Lee was perhaps the third best pure metal vocalist of the 70s (just behind Rob Halford and Dio and right ahead of Klaus Meine. And 3) I don’t give a fuck. Rush easily had the some of the heaviest albums of the 70s, and they are beloved by old, grizzled, my-denim-jacket-no-longer-fits-but-I-keep-it-anyways-because-I-can't-bear-to-get-rid-of-th e-patches metalheads, such as myself, everywhere.

Rush’s music can conveniently be broken up into different phases that are bookended by their live albums. While there’s no question that Phase 2 (the Exit Stage Left era) was Rush at their peak, Phase 1 (the All The World's A Stage era) was their heaviest stuff.

And All The World's A Stage live album is the perfect introduction to this metallic hard rock/prog metal phase. Except it’s missing "Necromancer" (from the (mildly) underrated Caress Of Steel). "Necromancer" contains the secret ingredient behind Rage Against The Machine’s formula if you're a nu-metal kid. I’m not kidding. Check it out tag-team style live with "By-Tor & The Snow Dog" (from Fly By Night) If you want to hear just how balls to the wall HEAVY Rush could get...


Link


Rush (Phase 1) Rankings
1. All The World’s A Stage (E)
2. 2112 (E) – "Temple Of Syrinx" is one of the defining metal moments of the 70s
3. Fly By Night (HR)
======================================================================================
4. A Caress Of Steel (R) – "Bastille Day" is essential! Necromancer, & The Fountain of Lamneth are Highly Recommended!
5. Rush – s/t – Rush is still Finding Their Way!

Numbers 1, 2 & 3 are The THREE You Need!!!
[First added to this chart: 09/25/2020]
Year of Release:
1976
Appears in:
Rank Score:
159
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Swiper, Stop Swiping
1983, Speed Metal and the Great White North

Well that didn’t take long. Anvil were quickly dethroned as the speed metal champs of the Great White North only a year into their reign. They gave it a good fight. Upping their own metal game with Forged In Fire but that was no match for Exciter. Many still consider Heavy Metal Maniac the quintessential speed metal album. The bench post by which all speed metal is gauged & tallied. It’s basic, brutal no holds barred metal with zero commercial aspirations. It is Priest and Iron Maiden on steroids. All bulked out and full of brawn. You could even call it simple minded, but that would just make you a killjoy. A compact & tight brick of a band that just wanted to rock out, drink some beer and have fun. So not that far removed from Anvil. lol. Kind of makes me want to move to Canada. The older I get, the more I appreciate that approach to life. Don’t over think things. Drink a few beers on a Saturday night with friends. And, of course, rock out!
[First added to this chart: 09/06/2020]
Year of Release:
1983
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Rank Score:
104
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Class of '76?! Eddie & The Hot Rods and Pub Rock
– A Footnote No More!!!

Tha1ChiefRocka wrote: Eddie and the Hot Rods debut, Teenage Depression, may be a bit more raw, but their songwriting solidifed on the second album Life on the Line.

Great call, 1Chief! Pub Rock has completely gotten the shaft! I’ve seen countless punk lists and charts over the years, and pub rock bands always get left off which is bullocks plain & simple. They built the concert circuit, established the back to the basics movement, and most importantly released some of the best rock & roll albums of the mid 70s. So I’m psyched to see that both dihansse and 1Chief are NOT making the same mistake that I and countless other list makers have made over the years by leaving them out. Because Eddie & The Hot Rods' Teenage Depression belongs in the conversation of first punk rock albums ever!

Just like Nirvana didn’t suddenly come from nowhere, neither did the Sex Pistols and The Clash.

Blimey, mate, just check out their cover of The Who’s "The Kids Are Alright." It's a fricken' punk landmark spray painted on the bathroom stall. A harder, rougher, & rowdier version of The Who. Which sounds like a pretty apt definition of mid-70s British punk to me when you get right down to it.

Essential (1976)!

So I will absolutely be considering their follow-up from 1977 - Life On The Line - for the top ten and thus a Hall Of Fame slot. Just like Motörhead's Motörhead it will be close.
[First added to this chart: 09/06/2020]
Year of Release:
1976
Appears in:
Rank Score:
137
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Detroit Down Under!

“I don’t think there’s an Australian sound to Radio Birdman. I think there’s a Radio Birdman sound to Australia.” – Pip Hoyle, longtime keyboard player for Radio Birdman

American expat. ER doctor. US Navy flight surgeon. Deniz Tek – the lead guitarist of Radio Birdman - is the most interesting man alive. Ready but, oh, so not willing, to star in the next battery of Dos Equis commercials. Tek has little patience for such pampering. When asked about the tough life of being a rock and roller, Tek nonchalantly replies..

“Touring’s not difficult. When people talk about the hardship of the road, that’s a bunch of crap. Touring is spending all day getting to the next place and then having someone buy you dinner. Then you work for an hour and a half, and go to sleep. The next morning, you go to the next place. I mean, what could be easier than that?

Growing up on the outskirts of Detroit in the 60s, the son of a University of Michigan professor, Motor City madness runs through his veins. He recounts...

“The annual Ann Arbor Blues Festival brought in Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Hound Dog Taylor… even Led Zeppelin played there. It was cool, Led Zeppelin got kind of a lukewarm response, then One String Sam came up and brought the place down. It was like One-String Sam blew Led Zeppelin off the stage. Everyone thought that was really cool.”

A lot of people describe Radio Birdman as proto-punk. While not entirely inaccurate, it’s not entirely accurate either. A better descriptor would be proto-American Underground. Or Proto-Australian Rock. Or even proto-Kiwi Rock. More akin music evolutionary-wise to the impact of The Velvet Underground. Their sonic descendants were not so much punk bands but the broad swath of 80s American Underground bands that made up such kindred scenes as the Paisley Underground and Cowpunk. Bands like The Dream Syndicate, The Feelies, The Meat Puppets and Eleventh Dream Day.

I'm going to blame it on Australia. On the wide-open spaces. On the surf. For there's a decided pastoral element to their music. They are less city than they think they are. Or pretend to be. And that juxtaposition is what makes them stand out compared with so many of their Class of '77 brethren and ultimately makes them essential listening.

Tldr: If their record company Sire hadn't gone belly-up, they probably would have been one of the biggest names of the Class of '77. Instead they're one of the biggest & most legendary cult bands of indie rock. These are...

The TWO you NEED
1. Radios Appear (1977)
2. Living Eyes (1981)
[First added to this chart: 08/17/2020]
Year of Release:
1981
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Rank Score:
102
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Total albums: 100. Page 1 of 10

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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums composition

Decade Albums %


1930s 0 0%
1940s 0 0%
1950s 1 1%
1960s 6 6%
1970s 28 28%
1980s 43 43%
1990s 3 3%
2000s 9 9%
2010s 10 10%
2020s 0 0%
Artist Albums %


Real Estate 3 3%
Saint Vitus 2 2%
Accept 2 2%
Trouble 2 2%
Bert Jansch 2 2%
Venom 2 2%
Townes Van Zandt 2 2%
Show all
Country Albums %


United States 47 47%
United Kingdom 33 33%
Germany 5 5%
Mixed Nationality 3 3%
Canada 3 3%
Jamaica 2 2%
Switzerland 2 2%
Show all
Compilation? Albums %
No 99 99%
Yes 1 1%
Live? Albums %
No 99 99%
Yes 1 1%

Top 100 Greatest Music Albums chart changes

Biggest fallers
Faller Down 1 from 1st to 2nd
Music To Kill By
by The Afrika Korps
Faller Down 1 from 2nd to 3rd
Rock 'N' Roll With The Modern Lovers
by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Faller Down 1 from 3rd to 4th
TV Tube Heart
by The Radiators From Space
New entries
New entry Rock City
by Riot

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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums ratings

Average Rating: 
94/100 (from 61 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
where:
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06/24/2020 02:59 Exist-en-ciel  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,34480/100
  
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04/30/2020 09:45 ssteve  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 13992/100

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This chart is rated in the top 1% of all charts on BestEverAlbums.com. This chart has a Bayesian average rating of 94.4/100, a mean average of 94.7/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 96.2/100. The standard deviation for this chart is 9.7.

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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums comments

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Rating:  
100/100
From 07/16/2020 21:20
Going into this chart is like stepping into a new strange country, yet nevertheless endlessly beautiful! Meaning only 1 album in common, but your chart is quite frankly (in terms of your writing) a work of art in itself
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
80/100
From 05/28/2020 16:56
It's a bit too biased towards satan metal, but the other albums still managed to surprise me. It's obvious that you've branched out despite the obvious preference.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 05/25/2020 12:03
that's a lot of metal \m/
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 01/03/2020 16:55
Wow I'm impressed by your explanations. You get points just for that alone haha. It's cool you have Donovan at number one and then Mum. Mum is one of the most unique bands out there. I've always liked that McCartney album because it's a bit stranger than most Beatles albums and not as pop oriented as his other stuff which I still enjoy. It contains some of the coolest instrumentals ever recorded. I'll have to check out The Durutti Column for sure, goth rock from the 80s? Heck yes!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 09/17/2019 15:16
Outstanding chart with outstanding write-ups! You make me want to listen to everything at once, but unfortunately I can't. Will undoubtedly come back for a good read and to pickup recommendations.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From 07/18/2019 08:32
I have no book to read these days, so please go on and raise your chart to 100 entries !
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 03/10/2019 09:11
This chart is a work of art. I really enjoy your writing style and especially the titles you've given each album. The artists that we have in common also really encourage me to check out the records I haven't heard. Kudos
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
85/100
From 11/09/2018 21:26
A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Yes!
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (1 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
Rating:  
90/100
From 10/22/2018 23:29
very individual chart and donovan on no1 brings a smile to my face.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +2 votes (2 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From 10/18/2018 22:42
so good
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