My favorite 100 albums of all time: #91 ("Red Sails in the Sunset")

Midnight Oil album cover for Red Sails in the Sunset Midnight Oil's breakthrough in the United States came with "Beds Are Burning," off Diesel and Dust. That's a fine album, as are many in Midnight Oil's catalog, but Red Sails in the Sunset is the album I reach for most often.

Sunset preceded Diesel by three years, and while both albums are excellent representations of the band, Sunset is rawer and a more interesting piece.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #92 ("Vivid")

Album Cover - Living Colour "Vivid" How much was I into Living Colour's 1998 debut album, Vivid? I was willing to go to a concert with my mother just because Living Colour was the opening band.

Sure, you think, that doesn't sound so bad. But at 19, going to a Rolling Stones concert with my mother and two of her friends was the pinnacle of things I definitely didn't want to do. And yet, I girded myself for the inevitable embarrassing spectacle of my mother screaming her head off in public at Mick Jagger, just so I'd get to catch like 40 minutes of Living Colour from nosebleed seats. Yeah, it was worth it.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #93 ("Bricks Are Heavy")

L7 - Bricks Are Heavy (album cover) Let's turn up the volume a little bit, shall we? This one needs to be played loud. L7's Bricks Are Heavy, from 1992, is today's top 100 pick.

L7, apparently slang for "square," features Donita Sparks, Suzi Gardner, Jennifer Finch, and Demetra Plakas. Sparks wrote most of the songs and handles vocals, with Gardner taking lead on "Slide," "Monster," and "This Ain't Pleasure." Bassist Finch does lead vocals on two tracks, and wrote "One More Thing" and co-wrote "Everglade."

Coming along soon after Nirvana's breakthrough, it was tagged "grunge," though it would have been equally at home in the "metal" category.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #94 ("World Outside")

Album Cover: "World Outside" by the Psychedelic Furs The Psychedelic Furs' 1991 swan song, World Outside has been one of my go-to albums since its release.

The Furs snuck this one in just before grunge, industrial, and second (or maybe third) wave punk took over the alternative music world. Released in July 1991, Pearl Jam's Ten and Nirvana's Nevermind came out in September and crowded out the old school new wavers like the Furs.

Critically, World Outside was dinged (basically) because the band had the audacity to mature a bit, and because it didn't have another "Pretty in Pink" on it. While it's fair to say none of the songs are quite worthy of a John Hughes film, it's a solid album from start to finish.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #95 ("All the Roadrunning")

Album cover: All the Roadrunning by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris Mark Knopfler has a tendency to make magic when he picks up a guitar. If he's written a bad song or recorded a dud, I'm not aware of it. His work with Dire Straits, his solo work, and work composing film scores (I love the Wag the Dog soundtrack) is all fantastic. So when I say that All the Roadrunning is a stand-out in Knopfler's career, that's saying something.

I've been familiar with Knopfler since "Money for Nothing" was a big hit, but hadn't delved into the Dire Straits catalog or his solo work deeply until about 2010.  Continue reading "My favorite 100 albums of all time: #95 ("All the Roadrunning")"

My favorite 100 albums of all time: #96 ("Lungs")

Album Cover for "Lungs" by Florence and the Machine Yesterday I said that we'd be getting into some newer music, and I do like to keep my promises. Coming in at 96 on the list is Florence and the Machine's Lungs released in 2009.

Not sure where I first heard about Florence and the Machine, but (according to Last.fm) the first time I checked it out was in 2011. It's been a staple ever since.

Lungs seems an appropriate title for Florence and the Machine's first outing. Vocalist Florence Welch has a hugely powerful, and beautiful, voice, She expertly moves between delicate passages and a soaring and almost operatic delivery. Continue reading "My favorite 100 albums of all time: #96 ("Lungs")"

My favorite 100 albums of all time: #97 ("Deep")

Album Cover - Peter Murphy, "Deep" We're on the fourth cut into the top 100, and haven't gotten out of the early 90s yet. Don't worry, we will shortly.

Yet again, I have MTV to thank for discovering Peter Murphy's Deep. Clearly, my tolerance for cheesy videos was as high as my ear was keen for great tunes. "Cuts You Up" was an alt-rock staple when this album was first released. Silly video aside, Murphy's baritone, sampled viola, and driving bass really made this track an instant favorite.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #98 ("Bat Out of Hell")

Bat_out_of_HellI deliberately posted the first entry in this series without having the entire list finished. Mainly because I knew that once the list was closed, I'd keep finding albums I had missed or questioning choices. 100 albums? Only 100? Yeesh.

Bat Out of Hell, though. It had to be on this list, somewhere. It has been part of my musical life for damn near 40 years. When Bat Out of Hell was first released, I was just seven years old, and heard it all over the place.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #99 ("Prison")

Album cover for Steven Jesse Bernstein's "Prison" The second entry in my top 100, Steven Jesse Bernstein's Prison, takes a sharp and dark turn away from the late-80s poppy techno vibe of Information Society.

Sometime in the early 90s, after learning about my love of Charles Bukowski's work, and Henry Rollins' books, gave me a dubbed cassette of Prison. If you like those, he said, you'll love this. And he was right.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #100 ("Information Society")

41i6l9IF6RLThings have been a little too quiet on the blog front lately, so I decided I needed a project that would motivate me to write a little bit each day.

So I decided to compile a list of my "desert island" albums. I'm not claiming these are the best 100 albums of all time, even by my own reckoning. But these are the 100 that, if I could only have 100 CDs (remember those?) or 100 albums on my media player, it'd be these.

The goal? 100 posts in 100 days with at least 100 words (probably more) about each album.

First up? The eponymous major-label debut album from Information Society.

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