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Top 25 albums

by kbrecordzz April 22, 2024 lists, albums

Some artists make collections of songs that they call "albums", and some make ALBUMS. If you view it like this, an album can become more than just a collection of songs. Then it's more like a movie, a book or a symphony, than it is like a 40-60 minutes long song. Sometimes it's the album as a whole thing that makes it great, and sometimes it's the separate songs. Sometimes the album says something about the world, comes in the right time, and gives off an energy that just feels right. And sometimes you just love the album and you can't explain why. Some albums fit personally right for you at a specific time and then fade away, while others stay with you forever. Here are the 25 best albums ever (no, I don't like much from the 50s, 60s and 70s):

#25. Sublime - 40 Oz. to Freedom (1992)

#24. Weezer - Pinkerton (1996)

#23. Fugees - The Score (1996)

#22. In Flames - Soundtrack To Your Escape (2004)

#21. No Fun At All - No Straight Angles (1994)

#20. Seiko Oomori (大森靖子) - Kintsugi (2020)

#19. Pantera - Cowboys From Hell (1990)

#18. Viktor Olsson - Stenungsund (2015)

#17. Kanye West - Yeezus (2013)

#16. Melody Club - Music Machine (2002)

#15. N.W.A. - Efil4Zaggin (1991)

#14. Green Day - Dookie (1994)

#13. Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986)

#12. Gwen Stefani - Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (2004)

#11. Jakob Hellman - ...och stora havet (1989)

#10. Sublime - Jah Won't Pay The Bills (1991)

#9. In Flames - The Jester Race (1996)

#8. Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)

#7. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

#6. Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

#5. Magnus Ekelund & Stålet - Svart Flagg (2011)

#4. Mami Yamase (山瀬まみ) - Oyayubihime (親指姫) (1989)

#3. Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction (1987)

#2. In Flames - Whoracle (1997)

#1. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)

(read some sketch-like reviews of the albums here)

What did I learn from listening to all of these? Some albums are very definitive, like how 36 Chambers is THE album for Wu-Tang, THE album for all the members who became successful on their own later, and THE album for hiphop, and like how Guns N Roses' Appetite For Destruction is arguably THE album for hard rock. Pantera's four albums in their prime (Cowboys From Hell, Vulgar Display of Power, Far Beyond Driven and The Great Southern Trendkill) may be the best "period" of albums at all. You're not supposed to make four of the best albums ever, right after each other, with almost no bad song in them at all. Only Red Velvet comes close to this "not having any bad song at all" thing, but they don't really make albums... Other than that, I sharpened my intuition for how, when, where, what, and why to make great and timeless pieces of art (be with the right people at the right time, which largely comes down to luck, create what you really want to create, and then don't forget what you really want somewhere down the line, because of external/internal pressure?)

Rick Rubin said this in his book "The Creative Act":
"One musician, I’m told, would add his newest track to a playlist along with the most beloved songs of all time to see if his work stood up in this context. If not, he would set it aside and keep working toward greatness."

So, now I have a list to compare my creations to, to reach greatness and timelessness (practically two words for the same thing?).

(Before listening through these albums, I listed my favorite decades in music (from best to worst: 90s, 80s, 10s, 00s, 60s, 70s), and the album list somewhat corresponds to this. Maybe there's too little data to conclude much, and I've listened to way more 2010s albums than from other decades. The only bulletproof conclusion is that the 90s made the best music (yet).)

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