Thursday, August 31, 2006

The 11 Best Bob DylanSongs (Part 2 of 3)

No one has had a career like Bob Dylan. The guy has 3 Greatest Hits collections all comprised of different songs (and one of them is a double album!). Some bands are barely lucky enough just to get to release 3 albums in their entire career, let alone build an archive of over 60 hits. So how do you slim down a list of over 500 songs to 11? Very carefully. I have decided to split Dylan's career into 2 phases. All songs prior to "Time Out of Mind" and all song that came after. So without much further ado, here are the 11 best Dylan songs.

1. Hurricane (Desire) - Though Rolling Stone is the universal favorite, it has become dated. On the other hand, Dylan's protest song for boxing great, Hurricane Carter, sounds as fresh and as alive as anything on radio today. It's ability to stay contemperary is the reason it remains as the most purchased Dylan song on itunes. The song sounds like it could be found tucked in on an Kings of Leon or a Drive-By Truckers album. Of course, either of those bands would be doing flip-flops to write a song one-tenth this good.
2. Like A Rolling Stone (Highway 61 Revisted) - After bagging on it, I'll still place it in here at number 2. Despite it's aging, the song is still an epic 6-minute pop masterpiece about...of all things...aging. Who ever thought throwing the bums a dime would be so singable?
3. Tangled Up In Blue (Blood on the Tracks) - When great artists go through gnarly break-ups and divorces that can only mean one thing for music fans...a deluge of brilliant songs. T.U.B. was written when Dylan's divorce was falling apart and instead of feeling sorry for himself, he broke out with one of his most energetic songs to date.
4. Lay Lady Lay (Nashville Skyline) - Dylan's froggy stage may have turned away a few folk fanatics but LLL became (and still is) a radio staple across all genres: country, rock, oldies, smooth hits, hip-hop (okay not the last one).
5. Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid) - The audio template to Sam Peckinpah's seldom seen movie is an emotional race car ride down that long dark tunnel to the bright light at the end. The scene in the film where the song is used, is one of the saddest, yet most touching moments in 70s cinema. It's worth the rent for that 2-minute clip.
6. Wedding Song (Planet Waves) MP3 - Dylan's serenade to love is as dark as it is romantic. Even the Masters of War were given a tune with lighter spirits. What's Dylan's saying about love? Everything and nothing. "I love you more than love, you mean that much to me."
7. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bringing It All Back Home) - Best known for it's destruction of Donovan's ego in the film "Don't Look Back." Of course, if any song has the power to destroy another artist's career, it belongs on this list.
8. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) - One of the most simple Dylan songs has the weight of a freight train. As Dylan's lyrics encompass loss of life and love at the same time, the music provides tongue-in-cheek traveling music. Touching? Absolutely. A tear jerker? Let's just say I dare you to listen to this one when saying good-bye to someone you love.
9. All Along the Watchtower (John Wesley Harding) - When Hendrix covered this song, he transformed it. But to Dylan, what Hendrix did was pre-determined. Dylan always believe it was Hendrix's song and he was the one covering it. It's rare an artist can openly give away something so personal as one of his creations to another artist to own. And it wasn't just talk, since Hendrix's version was released Dylan has gone to perform the song in Hendrix's style and never his own. That's class.
10. Idiot Wind (Blood On The Tracks) - A poem to a stupid woman. Shakespeare did it with flair, don't expect anything less from Dylan on this sarcastic 7-minute epic to the lesser intelligent.
11. Dignity (Greatest Hits Volume 3) - This was the last song Dylan recorded before his rebirth. In a sense, a farewell track to the personna he had donned for the past thirty years. The song is a celebration of his life looking forward to the future with a bright smile. It's dances it lives and it finds Dylan writing some of his freshest lyrics in over a decade.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The 11 Best Bob Dylan Albums (Part 1 of 3)

We are in the midst of greatness. There will never be another artist like Bob Dylan. Just as there will never be another Woody Allen or another J.D. Salinger. So the release of new Dylan album is an event unto itself. To celebrate, the next 3 days will be dedicated to Dylan. Today we will rank the 11 Best Dylan albums of all time. Tomorrow will be the 11 best songs of his career (prior to Time Out of Mind). And the third list will be the 11 best song from Time Out of Mind to the present. Without further ado...

The 11 Best Bob Dylan Albums

1. Blood on the Tracks - Not only the perfect Dylan album, it is definitely one of the greatest albums ever made. Songs like the cleverly tongue-in-cheek "Idiot Wind," the pop sensation "Tangled Up in Blue," and the sparse "Buckets of Rain" are just some of the iconic performances here. Even the weaker songs would be highlights on other albums.
2. The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - A practical greatest hits containing the rock solid classic "Blowin in the Wind," the uplifting "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," the straight-forward "Don't Think Twice It's Alright," and the menacing "Masters of War."
3. Bringing It All Back Home - Dylan's 5th release finds him evolving his own sound from Guthrie stripped down bare to what would eventually be the Dylan jangle. Highlights are the happy-go-lucky "Subteranean Homesick Blues," the Donovan downer "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," the wide-awake "Dylan's 115th Dream," and the lesser known track "Mr. Tambourine Man."
4. Blonde on Blonde - One of Dylan's most ambitious pieces with sonic hills and valleys, its sporadic nature keeps it from times of being completely accessible, but that doesn't mean it shines on tracks like "Rainy Day Woman," or finding rationality on "Just Like A Woman."
5. Planet Waves - Bob Dylan and the Band deliver an album that may not contain a well-known hit but every song is a solid as anything he's done. You have the eternal "Forever Young," the sunny bright "On A Night Like This," and the greatest love song of his career in "The Wedding Song."
6. Nashville Skyline - Dylan brings along his froggy voice and does country unlike any of those shit-kickers could ever dream of...he stands tall on "Lay Lady Lay" cashes in on "Girl From The North Country."
7. Time Out of Mind - After facing death, Dylan lives to tell the tale, which is morbidly shared on the album. We hear death knocking on "Tryin' To Get To Heaven" and learn to see the light on "Not Dark Yet."
8. Highway 61 Revisted - Young punk Dylan continues sticking it to the man on his masterpiece "Like A Rolling Stone" but brings the world together on "Desolation Row."
9. Desire - An often overlooked album that lives in Blood on the Tracks shadow. Contains the epic tornado "Hurricane" and the tender sonata "Sara."
10. Love and Theft - As Dylan gets older, his music becomes more alive, letting us wonder on "Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee," seranading us in the "Moonlight," and bring us back down on "Floater."
11. World Gone Wrong - The last Dylan album to illustrate his jangle sense of life before the mortality of his life set in. Emotions are plastered all through-out on the title track, the roaring "Broke Down Engine," visionary "Blood in My Eyes."

Dylan for the world to hear...

1. Idiot Wind from Blood On The Tracks

Monday, August 28, 2006

The 11 Best Black Crowes' Songs

The internet is God. Bow down and kneel before its power. Why? Sit and I will tell you the story, boys and girls.

Years ago, the Black Crowes cut an album for their 3rd release "Amorica." The label hated the songs and scrapped the album. The Crowes wrote some new songs and recorded others for what would be the official release. These were known as the "Tall Sessions." Raw and wicked, they instantly became legendary gold in the Black Crowes rare track trading circles. But mixed cassette bootlegs were barely something to raise an eyebrow about. A few years later, it happened again. The original recording sessions for "By Your Side" found itself becoming a bunkmate for the Tall Sessions. These new songs were known as "The Band Sessions." Again, the pile of rare track treasure trove grew. What does this have to do with the internet? Well, here it is...

About 9 months ago, the songs to both sessions found their way onto the internet. And the demand was incredible. And as we all know, music labels are idiots. They usually don't act until there's money being made and they're not part of it. In this case, there wasn't money being made...there was money "NOT BEING MADE." So as quickly as possible, the label slammed together a 2-disc set of both sessions called the "Lost Crowes" that will see its release next month. Thanks to the internet, this great music will finally see the light of day.

One more note: Of course, of the almost 50 songs from both sessions, only 25 are making it on the discs. So expect a follow-up in probably a few months when the rest of the songs start leaking.

Here are the 11 Best Black Crowes' Songs

1. Remedy (from Southern Harmony and Musical Companion)
2. Hard To Handle (from Shake Your Money Maker)
3. A Conspiracy (from Amorica)
4. Sister Luck (from Shake Your Money Maker)
5. Wiser Time (from Amorica)
6. Waiting Guilty (B-Side) MP3
7. Girl From A Pawn Shop (from Three Snakes and One Charm)
8. She Talks To Angels (from Shake Your Money Maker)
9. She Gave Good Sunflower (from Amorica)
10. Jealous Again (from Shake Your Money Maker)
11. Exit (The Tall Sessions)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The 11 Best Saddle Creek Albums

NOTE: On Septemeber 1st, I will be permanently moving to: - mark it down...feed it...bookmark know the drill.

They say music repeats every 15 years. Well, in 1991, there was a label named Subpop and a band called Nirvana. Now in 2006...we have Saddle Creek posed to make the same historical leap. Most likely it will come for label darlings, Bright Eyes...but that won't happen until next summer. But this week, Cursive, also on Saddle Creek released one of the most complex albums of the year, Happy Hollow. An indie concept album, filled with tortured characters and a fanciful horn section that brings back memories of days when Morphine banged it up with the best of them. If you stumble upon this album (Buy here) you won't regret the purchase. Hopefully, if anything, it turns you onto the plethera of other talented artists on the Saddle Creek label all waiting for the rest of America to catch up with what us bloggers already know.

The 11 Best Saddle Creek Albums

1. Bright Eyes - LIFTED or The Story is in the Soil
2. Rilo Kiley - The Execution of all Things
3. Cursive - Happy Hollow
4. The Faint - Blank Wave Arcade
5. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake And It's Morning
6. Criteria - When We Break
7. Azure Ray - Hold On Love
8. Cursive - The Ugly Organ
9. The Good Life - Album of the Year
10. Son, Ambulance - Key
11. The Faint - Danse Macabre

See, what I mean...

1. Cursive - Nonsense MP3

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The 11 Best Outkast Songs

It's rare that a band that is so far ahead of the game that they catch up to the rest of the genre by coming up from the past. Outkast's last few releases have ventured into the future with unique and groundbreaking song experiments, where they have found incredible success. But what do you do when you've gone so far forward that the rest of the world still hasn't caught up with you? Well, you go back in time. Their new release a 1920s song-and-dance throw-back. While we're waiting for these new songs to sink in and become everyday standards, let's
take a look back at the best they've delivered.

The 11 Best Outkast songs

1. Mrs. Jackson (From Stankonia)
2. Hey Ya! (from Love Below)
3. Rosa Parks (from Aquemini)
4. The Way You Move (from Speakerboxxx)
5. Player's Ball (From Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik)
6. The Whole World (from Big Boi and Dre Present...)
7. Roses (from Love Below)
8. Flip Flop Rock (from Speakerboxxx)
9. Atliens (from Atliens)
10. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (From Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik)
11. Humble Mumble (From Stankonia)

And a spicy track you may not know...

1. Speedballin' MP3

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The 11 Best Samples Used in Girl Talk's Night Ripper CD

*** Make sure you don't forget to bookmark, feed burn or remember my new site (" We'll be moving there permanently soon***

Scrap booking is the "in" thing right. It's taking images and items that we have collected in our lives and slathering them up with Elmer's glue and sticking them into a book. By placing hundreds of items on page and adding shinny colorful stickers we can look back at our mundane lives through revisionist goggles. "Wow, wasn't Thanksgiving 1997 fun? I have no idea what happened that year but here's a sparkly turkey sticker here to prove it must have been a blast!" Well, now scrapbooking has transcended into the world of music in the form of mash-ups. Leading the pack is an artist known to the collective world as Girl Talk. His newest CD (Night Ripper) boasts over 150 samples smashed together to create some of the most exciting music you've heard in awhile. Part of its addicting appeal is that you've heard it all before and most importantly you love all the songs. Well, most of the songs. If you like 50 Cent's "In Da Club" and you like Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" you'll love them mashed together. You know that's got your attention.

Night Ripper is an 80s ADD kid's dream. It's like an audio treasure hunt. Every spin unlocks a new hidden sample treasure from Pilot's "Magic" to Weezer's "Say It Ain't So." Not since the Beastie Boys "Paul's Boutique" has their been an album to masterfully exhibit the art of sampling. So in honor of the good work, here's a list of the 11 best use of samples (not the actual samples or songs themselves) on the Night Ripper CD. I've listed the band and song used with the song where it's found in parantheticals.

1. "Little Lies" Fleetwood Mac (Overtime)
2. "Tiny Dancer" Elton John (Smash Your Head)
3. "Valerie" Steve Winwood (Bounce That)
4. "Round the Way Girl" LL Cool J (Minute By Minute)
5. "Where Is My Mind?" The Pixies (Hold Up)
6. " Regulate" Warren G (Minute By Minute)
7. "Heartbeat" Annie (Warm It Up)
8. "Magic" Pilot (Summer Stroke)
9. "I Can't Go For That" Hall & Oates (Give and Go)
10. "25 Or 6 To 4" Chicago (That's My DJ)
11. "We Want Pussy" 2 Live Crew (Peak Out)

For the thieves...

1. The Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" (Live in Los Angeles 2005)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The 11 Best Sex Pistol Songs

This week saw the release of the last Sex Pistols material to come to CD in the form of the infamous Spunk bootleg. For most bands this would be a mere footnote but for this band that recorded probably not more than 22 songs in their entire career, this is momumental. Most of the song are pre-Bullocks demos in which Malcolm McClaren claims to actually be better than the stuff that actually ended up on the album. He's entitled to his opinion...but he'd be wrong. The demos are nice piece of Pistols history but after a listen or maybe'll have heard all you'll ever need to hear. Let's stick to what the punk pioneers did right.

So here are the 11 best Sex Pistols songs:

1. Holidays in the Sun (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
2. Bodies (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
3. Anarchy in the U.K. (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
4. I Did U No Wrong (B-Side) MP3
5. No Feelings (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
6. God Save The Queen (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
7. Pretty Vacant (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
8. Liar (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
9. Problems (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
10. Seventeen (Nevermind the Bullocks...)
11. Satelite (B-Side)

Honorable Mention to "My Way" by Sid Viscious (it was on a Sex Pistols album but it was really a solo song)

PLEASE NOTE: I'm moving websites soon. The Good, Bad, and Unknown has been picked up for publication. But the Top Eleven will have its own site here:

It's already live so go check it out.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Songs By Members of Jane's Addiction (that are not Jane's Addiciton songs)

Part 2 from yesterday's post, I'll further delve into the career of the Jane's Addiction members since their break-up in 1991. Yes, they reunited in 2003 but let's just forget about that for the time being.

Jane's Addiction was like that elusive "cool" group of friends from high school that everyone liked and always seemed to be at the cool parties. Everytime you hung out with them you had the best time. But no one was actually friends with them. They were just kind of there to spice up a party or use their hijinks to make a math class more entertaining. Then as soon as school ended they fell off the face of the map. And though you were never close with them in school, you always wondered what happened to them. Well, here's a quick run down of the highlights from Jane's Addiction's member's post high school (the band) career.

The 11 Best Songs By Members of Jane's Addiction (that are not Jane's Addiciton songs):

  1. Song Yet To Be Sung - Perry Farrell (Song Yet To Be Sung)
  2. Tahitian Moon - Porno For Pyros (God's Good Urge)
  3. Hungry - Dave Navarro (Trust No One)
  4. 100 Ways - Porno For Pyros (God's Good Urge)
  5. Coffee Shop - Red Hot Chili Peppers & Dave Navarro (One Hot Minute)
  6. Pets - Porno For Pyros (Porno For Pyros)
  7. Oh My God - Guns N Roses & Dave Navarro (End of Days Sdtk.)
  8. Infecto Groovalistic - Infectious Grooves & Stephen Perkins (The Plague That Makes Your Body Move)
  9. Hot Lava - Perry Ferrell (South Park Soundtrack)
  10. Porno For Pyros - Porno For Pyros (Porno For Pyros)
  11. Iris - Deconstruction (Deconstruction)

ipod fodder:

1. Ripple - Jane's Addiction (Grateful Dead cover)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Bands By Jane's Addiction Members post-Jane's Addiction

Back in the late 80s people listened to bands like the Pixies, Minor Threat, and Jane's Addiction to escape the bland ilk of mainstream radio. Complex song structures combined with thought-provoking lyrics created a world more than they created a jingle that would get stuck in your head. Like Pink Floyd before them, when you listened to a Jane's Addiction album, you were transported to another this instance it was Perry Ferrel's urban landscape inspired the jungle terrain of Hollywood. It was fascinating, romantic, disgusting, and "addicting" all at the same time. But almost 20 years later, that band has ceased to exist. Instead, today, we are inflicted by the band's (minus Perry) newest collaboration...the Panic Channel. A straight-forward, uber-produced rock outfit. the new singer isn't bad, he just sounds like any average alt. rock singer. This band is a perfect example of why good singers are never a good thing for a band. If your singer sounds like everyone else then why should they listened to you over every other band? Perry Ferrell had personality. This ex-MTV VJ does not. Basically, they have become the band that they used to be the alternative to.

The post-Jane's Addiction years have been far more productive than the actual 4 year career of the band. So here are the 11 best projects by ex-Jane's Addiction members:

1. Porno For Pyros (featuring Perry Farrell & Stephen Perkins)
2. Dave Navarro solo
3. Perry Farrell solo
4. Infectious Grooves (featuring Stephen Perkins)
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers (featuring Dave Navarro)
6. Guns N Roses (featuring Dave Navarro)
7. Panic Channel (featuring Stephen Perkins and Dave Navarro)
8. Satelite Party (featuring Perry Farrell)
9. Banyan (featuring Stephen Perkins)
10. Deconstruction (featuring Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, and Stephen Perkins)
11. Polar Bear (featuring Eric Avery)

No MP3 today since EZArchive has crashed yet again.

Tomorrow - Part 2: The 11 Best song by Jane's Addiction members that are not Jane's Addiciton songs.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

THE ELEVEN: Best Cure Songs

I'm finally back from vacation and ready to get back into my blog. Sorry to those who had been checking in without seeing anything new. I'll have more ready to go all week before I go out of town again.

This past week, Rhino put out 4 new deluxe editions of Cure albums, including the rare Glove sessions. To celebrate, here are the 11 best Cure songs:

  1. A Forest
  2. 10:15 Saturday Night
  3. Disintegration
  4. Love Song
  5. Just Like Heaven
  6. A Night Like This
  7. How Beautiful You Are
  8. Pictures of You
  9. Killing An Arab
  10. Harold and Joe
  11. The Same Deep Waters As You