Top 100 Greatest Music Albums by Romanelli (2021)
With production credits (because producers are important, too).
- Chart updated: 03/01/2021 19:15
- (Created: 06/01/2012 04:29).
- Chart size: 100 albums.
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Produced By BRIAN PAULSON & SON VOLT
2. Live Free
3. Tear Stained Eye
5. Ten Second News
7. Loose String
8. Out Of The Picture
9. Catching On
10. Too Early
11. Mystifies Me
In the aftermath of the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, the race was on to see which member was going to come out with the best first album: Jeff Tweedy's Wilco, or Jay Farrar's Son Volt. The winner was, in a landslide, Son Volt. Trace is not only a great album, it's one of the greatest alt country albums of all time. Farrar shows an uncharacteristic optimism here that shines throughout the album.
"Windfall" is a beautiful opener with it's blessing of a chorus: "May the wind take your trouble away". "Tear Stained Eye", "Loose String" and "Drown" are among Farrar's best songs. The album rates almost as high as Tupelo's swan song, Anodyne, and should be a must for anyone who loves alt country. This is Farrar at his peak, and it should not be missed. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
Produced By CODY DICKINSON & LUCERO
1. Little Silver Heart
2. My Best Girl
3. Wandering Star
4. A Dangerous Thing
5. Drink ‘Till We’re Gone
6. Raising Hell
7. Banks Of The Arkansas
8. All Sewn Up
10. Hold Fast
11. Better Than This
12. All These Love Songs
13. No Roses No More
14. It Gets Worse At Night
If you walked into the darkest, loneliest bar in the southern United States, ordered up a beer and a shot, and settled into a night of drinking alone, the voice you would hear singing all night would be that of Lucero’s Ben Nichols. A band that is described as having a very Memphis sound, they were helped early along by benefactors Luther and Cody Dickinson of North Mississippi All Stars: both played on this album, and Cody helped produce irt. After working in Memphis for a number of years, they released this record and began a trip that continues today as one of the hardest working rock bands in the world.
This album, their first full length release, is alt-country at its most alt. Containing additional elements of punk and soul while maintaining the raw sound that defines Lucero, the band is as good as can be…but the real star is Nichols. His voice creaks through every song, bring a unique quality and toughness to the songs…a big reason why Lucero stands out as much as they do. Technically a debut album, this is a great start to a Lucero collection that so far includes 8 studio albums. And they tour almost non stop, so getting to see them shouldn’t be a problem. This is a fine first effort, and there were even better ones to come. [First added to this chart: 12/06/2013]
Produced By DAVID BARBE
1. Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife
2. 3 Dimes Down
3. The Righteous Path
4. I’m Sorry Huston
5. Perfect Timing
6. Daddy Needs A Drink
7. Self Destructive Zones
9. Home Field Advantage
10. The Opening Act
11. Lisa’s Birthday
12. That Man I Shot
13. The Purgatory Line
14. The Home Front
15. Checkout Time In Vegas
16. You And Your Crystal Meth
17. Goode’s Field Road
18. A Ghost To Most
19. The Monument Valley
So, how did Drive-By Truckers survive losing their up and coming songwriting star Jason Isbell? They went back in the studio and recorded a double album, that’s how. And while this album may not have the immediacy and power of previous albums like Decoration Day, A Blessing And A Curse and The Dirty South, it does stand up very well on its own. The band returns to a more country oriented sound here, and the songs are a bit simpler, but there are plenty of gems to be found. Mike Cooley, in particular, steps up and helps fill the shoes left vacant by Isbell. He makes the most of his seven contributions to the album, and his best lines are classic: “Bob ain’t light in the loafers/He might kneel, but he never bends over” (from “Bob”), and “Skeletons ain’t got no place to stick their money/Nobody makes britches that size” (from “A Ghost To Most”). “Self Destructive Zones” and “Perfect Timing” are high quality, as is the refreshing “Lisa’s Birthday”.
Patterson Hood’s highlights include “Two Daughters And A Beautiful Wife”, about musician Bryan Harvey, who was murdered with his family in a home invasion: “Daddy Needs A Drink”, and “You And Your Crystal Meth”. Bassist Shonna Tucker brings three songs herself, including the fine “The Purgatory Line”. There’s a bit of filler here (a double album was certainly an ambitious idea), but Brighter Than Creation’s Dark is a nice transitional album for the band, a return to their roots, and a glimpse of what was to come in the future. And they have stayed busy: since this album, they have released three studio efforts, three live albums, and a pair of compilations. Drive-By Truckers have always released listenable records, and this one is certainly no exception. Always consistently good…this is one of those bands that you just can’t go wrong with. Carriers of the torch for Southern rock, for damn sure. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
Produced By JIM SCOTT
1. Inn Town
2. Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight
3. Yesterday's News
4. 16 Days
5. Everything I Do
6. Houses On The Hill
7. Turn Around
8. Dancing With The Woman At The Bar
9. Waiting To Derail
12. Somebody Remembers The Rose
13. Not Home Anymore
Whether Ryan Adams call himself by his name or Whiskeytown, the results are about the same. He couldn't keep a lineup together for the short lived Whiskeytown, but with the 2nd album, Strangers Almanac, he hit paydirt. Covered in great harmonies and equally great songs, this is one of alt country's greatest records. "Inn Town" opens the door, and there's no closing it after "Excuse Me". This never wavers, and gets even better with "Dancing With The Woman At The Bar" and the hypnotizing "Losering".
Whiskeytown was done after this album, although Pneumonia was released after the breakup. Adams has gone on to great solo success. Strangers Almanac remains an essential record. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
Produced By T-BONE BURNETT
1. Po’ Lazarus (James Carter & The Prisoners)
2. Big Rock Candy Mountain (Harry McClintock)
3. You Are My Sunshine (Norman Blake)
4. Down To The River To Pray (Alison Krauss)
5. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (Radio Station Version) (Soggy Bottom Boys & Dan Tyminski)
6. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Chris Thomas King)
7. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (Instrumental) (Norman Blake)
8. Keep On The Sunny Side (The Whites)
9. I’ll Fly Away (Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch)
10. Nobody But The Baby (Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch)
11. In The Highways (Leah, Sarah, & Hannah Peasall)
12. I Am Weary, Let Me Rest (The Cox Family)
13. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (Instrumental) (John Hartford)
14. O Death (Ralph Stanley)
15. In The Jailhouse Now (Soggy Bottom Boys & Tim Blake Nelson)
16. I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (With Band) (Soggy Bottom Boys & Dan Tyminski)
17. Indian War Whoop (Instrumental) (John Hartford)
18. Lonesome Valley (The Fairfield Four)
19. Angel Band (The Stanley Brothers)
One of my favorite films of all time. Also, one of the most consistently fine soundtracks you’ll find. The music assembled here by T-Bone Burnett fits perfectly into the depression era 1930’s. Old Timey music. As an album, it’s amazing, and as a soundtrack, it’s flawless. Great performances from the likes of Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Ralph Stanley, and the rest are a perfect match for the film’s retelling of The Odyssey. Even Tim Blake Nelson, one of the film’s starts (he plays the born again Delmar) gives a fine performance on “In The Jailhouse Now”.
The central song is, of course, “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow”, represented here with 4 different versions. Which is okay, as the song plays a big part in the story. This soundtrack got a lot of people to discover this lost music, and brought some great forgotten songs back into public view. And again…a great film. A rarity when both the film and the soundtrack are top notch. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
Produced By GEORGE MARTIN
1. Come Together
3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus's Garden
6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
7. Here Comes The Sun
9. You Never Give Me Your Money
10. Sun King
11. Mean Mr. Mustard
12. Polythene Pam
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
14. Golden Slumbers
15. Carry That Weight
16. The End
17. Her Majesty
Abbey Road was the last album recorded by The Beatles, although it was released before Let It Be. The album shows that the group was back on the same page, yet seriously divided. The first half is a normal song cycle to appease John Lennon, while the second half is bits and pieces as Paul McCartney wanted to do. The album is still amazing. Every track is golden, the production spotless, and even the continuous song flow on the second half is flawless. George Harrison is in full swing as a writer here with his two contributions being among his best as a Beatle. Even the Ringo song is good. A powerful, timeless work. This album cemented The Beatles place in history, and is still better today than most records made since.
The breakup was soon to come. McCartney tried to follow in the same vein as Abbey Road, but never matched it. If you look at this as The Beatles final album, then there couldn't be a better way to go out. An absolute classic. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
Produced By DAVID BARBE
1. Where The Devil Don’t Stay
3. The Day John Henry Died
4. Puttin’ People On The Moon
5. Carl Perkins’ Cadillac
6. The Sands Of Iwo Jima
8. The Boys From Alabama
10. The Buford Stick
11. Daddy’s Cup
12. Never Gonna Change
13. Goddamn Lonely Love
If you ask me what my favorite album is, I can’t answer that. If you ask me what my favorite song is, I’ll put on “Danko/Manuel” by Drive-By Truckers and tell you that this is as close as it gets. In fact, if you’re going to be in a band with me, being willing to play this song is the first test. The Dirty South, the Truckers fifth album, is as good as they get…and that’s pretty damned excellent. Having a songwriter like Jason Isbell limited to just four songs speaks volumes about how loaded the Truckers really were. A loose concept album about the downside of Southern living, The Dirty South marks the peak of the career of this excellent Southern rock and alt-country giant. It’s all good here.
Mike Cooley delivers some of his most memorable material in “Where The Devil Don’t Stay”, “Daddy’s Cup”, and the brilliant story song “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac”. Patterson Hood brings “Puttin’ People On The Moon”, about people driven down by environmental pollution. “Tornadoes” and “The Sands Of Iwo Jima” are excellent, and “The Boys Of Alabama” gives you the “other side of the story” of Buford Pusser and Walking Tall. And Isbell, along with the perfect “Danko/Manuel”, brings the rollicking “Never Gonna Change”, and closes things with this perfect lyric: “I’ll take two of what you’re having/I’ll take all of what you’ve got/To kill this Goddamned lonely, Goddamned lonely love”. This is a great album. Please go buy it. [First added to this chart: 04/19/2017]
Produced By BUTCH VIG
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit
2. In Bloom
3. Come As You Are
7. Territorial Pissings
8. Drain You
9. Lounge Act
10. Stay Away
11. On A Plain
12. Something In The Way
Is Nevermind an unbelievably great album, or the best example of right place at the right time ever? Regardless of the answer to the former, the latter is undeniably true. The music landscape of 1991 was a wasteland of power ballads by day glow wearing long hairs with their underwear on the outside of their clothes, Michael Jackson cavorting with child actors and panthers, and the wind of change in the air (not just the Scorpions song) that would usher in a whole new sound and change what we listened to overnight…thankfully. And even though Pearl Jam’s album Ten was released a month before this, it was “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that ended the madness, made flannel cool again, and made listening to music a whole lot better. In one five minute song, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Skid Row, Poison, and everything we now know as classic rock was made irrelevant, and all of the great music that had been bubbling underneath the surface for years was set free to be heard by an entire generation that had grown weary of their parents taste in music.
Nevermind is so much more, though. The sheer energy of the band, in particular Kurt Cobain, is enormous, and shines through on every single track on the album. The use of Pixies-like dynamics and Cobain’s emotional snarl made this group of exceptionally well written, yet simple songs, the perfect music at the perfect time. So, is Nevermind an unbelieveably great album? I say yes. One track after the other, listening through this shows that they were really on to something big, that the songwriting was top notch, and that the sound was the perfect soundtrack for the new music generation. One review stated, “Anyone who hates Nevermind is just trying to be cool, and needs to be trying harder”. It’s true. And it still sounds amazing today. Nevermind is timeless, even if the band that made it wasn’t. This is the rarest of things: a perfect rock album that was released at the exact right moment in time. This is as perfect as an album can get. [First added to this chart: 05/31/2012]
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by Tom Petty
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Top 100 Greatest Music Albums ratings
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This chart is rated in the top 3% of all charts on BestEverAlbums.com. This chart has a Bayesian average rating of 88.6/100, a mean average of 87.5/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 88.9/100. The standard deviation for this chart is 12.7.
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perfect soundtrack to being the only guy left in the rural middle-of-nowhere bar at 4AM (this may sound backhanded but I assure you it's high praise)
Still Crazy (good) after all these years.
very interesting stuff, could use some more 2010s or look into 1950s
No real big on country rock, the exceptions being the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead but 14 albums in common is about as much as i have had with another chart.
Nice write ups
I like that you put Traveling Wilburys at #10. Also, apart from Abbey Road, your top 10 is fresh compared to what we usually see.
23 albums in common !!!! Travelling Wilburys Vol 1 deserves is a hidden underrated gem !!!
I like your chart. And Band of Horses is a album that should be in the top 1000. The other i can agree with Son Volta but i never heard of them but i know Wilco and the other bands like Sugar or Tupelo so good rankin not the best but very close.
I like the adding of a synopsis to the albums. As well as not being afraid to explore your own personal feeling for each album.
How can BitUSA be your least favorite Springsteen album and the only one appears in your top 100?
guess I'm going to be listening to Lucero this week
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