A.k.a. "Top Whatever Number of Records that are the Shit to Me"
Black Sabbath (1970)
As you will soon realize, I'm a bit of a metal fan. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan and appreciator (is that a word?) of all types of GOOD music. As it goes for rock 'n' roll and metal, Black Sabbath did it first. The whole dark bluesy 'world is ending' sounding riffs just clicked with me immediately. I wouldn't be a true hard rock/metal fan if I did not pay tribute to some of the founding fathers. Once you jam to Sabbath, you'll realize just how much they inspired today's rock. Also, if you or someone you know doesn't have a clue what metal is, I suggest renting/buying the documentary "METAL: A Headbanger's Journey" and buying this record... done.
Crucial Cut: Black Sabbath
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
This album is a classic and if I did not include it on my list I would feel as if I disrespected the almighty music gods... Are there music gods? You know what I'm trying to say... But seriously, Led Zeppelin could do no wrong and this album just drives that point home. The big sound of "When the Levee Breaks" is so epic that anywhere you hear that beat kick off, automatically your ears perk up and it sounds brand new. This album is another great reminder of how insanely important the blues are to rock music. If you can't feel a single song on this album, you are not alive.
Crucial Cut: When the Levee Breaks
I'm Ready (1978)
Muddy, along with the help of other blues legends, gave birth to rock and roll. The combination of the pain and suffering from his early acoustic country blues days to the fierce howling guitars of his latter electric blues days, cemented him into the archives of music history. Muddy Waters' I'm Ready is a real record, 'nuff said. Close your eyes and you'll believe Muddy's guitar is laying all his problems out for you on "Screamin' and Cryin'". Every song on this record creates that goose bump sensation that you have each time you hear your favorite tune (you know what I'm talkin' about). Try this one out with an ice-cold beer... *best if heard in a bar*
Crucial cut: Screamin' and Cryin'
True Democracy (1982)
There is a ton of reggae out there, but not often do you come across an entire album that's great from start to finish. True Democracy does that, and it's fucking amazing. When you have this album, there are no worries when you're looking for the best CDs to bring along for that car ride to the beach. Shit, this album even makes a sunny day in Wisconsin feel like Malibu. The melodies and the lyrics are so infectious, I guarantee you'll jam this shit loud in your car/iPod and become part of the band as background vocalist and/or hype man. No, seriously....
Crucial Cut: Marcus Say
Chaos A.D. (1993)
After helping to mix it up in the early days of death metal, Sepultura re-introduced groove back into the mix. If you listen to any of the metal and hardcore bands out now, no one can hold a candle to the breakdowns on Chaos A.D.. It's one of the few metal records you can listen to start to finish and never get sick of the intensity. The rebellious nature of the Cavalera brothers is just one of many factors behind the mighty beast that is Sepultura. The sheer brutalness of "Territory" and the memorable double bass in "Propaganda" give me goose bumps... The Brazilian-inspired beat on "We Who Are Not As Others" opened me up to a whole new level of extreme music...
Crucial Cut: Nomad
Slaughter of the Soul (1995)
At The Gates
Needless to say, heavy metal was the first of any type of music to grab me by the head and completely take over. When I first entered college, I believed I had already heard the heaviest of heavy; the most metal shit out there... I couldn't have been more wrong. As soon as I heard the sounds of "Under the Serpent Sun" blaring from the end of the hall, it was the beginning of a beautiful and brutal relationship. This record has been ripped off as much or more than James Brown. Now that metalcore is the new bubblegum pop, many white belt wearing young bands of have taken At The Gates inspired riffs and blurred them all to hell. Don't mess with imitators, Slaughter of the Soul is the originator! (sorry for the cheesy finish)
Crucial Cut: Under the Serpent Sun
Time Heals Nothing (1995)
The moment I heard Crowbar, I was hooked. I had never before experienced anything this thick and drawn out, yet so driving. Time Heals Nothing dishes out some of the chunkiest riffs that force you to make that constipated look and shake your head to the deepest pocket groove ever. Crowbar remains king of the sludge sound and this record lays it on fucking thick.
Crucial Cut: Leave it Behind
For those of you that have heard this record, your life has been changed. Every track on this record is an example of sampling genius. The fluid mastery of DJ Shadow always will take you places and this record is perfect for any time you need to lose yourself to reflect. I know that sounds cheesy, but seriously, the overall gigantic sound of the beats and melodies on this record are irresistible. I try to branch out to other DJs or other artists with similar styles but nothing has the same complete dark sounding groove as Endtroducing... does. Definitely a record that makes you nod your head unknowingly.
Crucial Cut: Building Steam with a Grain of Salt
Medeski Martin and Wood
It's almost as if a '60s organ trio took acid and hung out with James Brown and The Meters a bunch, then invited DJ Logic over to add his two cents to the discussion. Best if heard while lying in bed, not sleepy, but just not doing anything else. Each time around something else is picked up in every song that makes you realize why you are moving your head and tapping your thumb on your thigh. This is another one of those 'musical journey' albums; get it and go for the ride!
Crucial Cut: Everyday People
The Roots Come Alive (1999)
So it's not a studio record and it's almost like a 'best of' of The Roots' older tunes but it's the one album I go to most for my fix. Each song sounds like it has new life on this recording; the rearrangements and improv elements make this record a solid listen. Real music with real feel-- no drum machines, no loops, just fucking real. Try and find that in the music aisle at wal-Mart.
Crucial Cut: Love My Live
"When the scientists find our remains, what will they say?" Tragedy will tell you their beliefs and will back up everything they sing about. This record is monumental. It is not only the catchiest damn record ever, but it happens to be the truest hardcore band and hardcore record. Punk... Hardcore... whatever you are going to label it, you will know it's genius. Each song is an anthem of aggression and every kid who gives a fuck can relate to this album. Get ready to pump your fist and storm around your room like you can't hold it in!
Crucial Cut: Beginning of the End
You ever have those records that calm you down or put you somewhere other than the problems in front of you? Was that too personal? Whatever, when you listen to Oceanic, you start to visualize almost a virtual movie to yourself. It's depth and huge sound give you this sense of something big-- the quiet quiet loud loud routine never gets stale. From start to finish, you'll experience beautiful melodies and massive head stomp riffs that transition into the most hypnotic head bobbin' groove known. Film score for the quiet folk.
Crucial Cut: False Light
Catch for Us the Foxes (2004)
I had this album for a bit before I realized its full potential. It was the day after a brutal goregrind show that happened at a place in southern California that most people call "The Happiest Place On Earth". The morning after I was in particularly rare form. I'll spare you the gooey details of why but let's just say it was life changing... sort of. All I had in the car was brutal death metal and this album. Fearing the worst with my headache, I popped this in and was nursed back to normal. From start to finish this record will keep you interested. The spoken word vocal style is performed with so much conviction that you can't help but be swept by it. I knew this record was gonna be part of my list when I couldn't think of one time that when I started the record I didn’t finish it. Puts a content look on my face while in the car.
Crucial Cut: Seven Sisters
Annihilation of the Wicked (2005)
FYI: this is a death metal record. In my eyes it's one of the most solid examples of the future of death metal. Take the amazing thick groove emphasis of old, add in the most insane tightest drums on record, throw in the bottomless vocal pit of Dallas and Karl and welcome to hell. If you don't automatically make the "sour taste" face with your bottom lipped a lil' poked out, then you're not listening to it loud enough. Each song can stand on its own brutality, but this record should be listened straight through for maximum heaviness.
Crucial Cut: Annihilation of the Wicked
October 9, 2007
A.k.a. "Top Whatever Number of Records that are the Shit to Me"
Spewed by beatmasterspeech at 1:30 PM