SPIN Alternative Record Guide (1995) Top 100 Alternative Albums (1-50)

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voted Flying Burrito Brothers because huh?

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Monday, 13 March 2017 19:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Since micci0 doesn't post here any more, I'll have to be the guy who points out that the Madonna GH was only given an 8 and knocked in the write-up for not having truncated, non-12-inch versions to fit it all on a single disc.
― Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, March 13, 2017 11:14 AM (four hours ago)

the same guy (Sheffield) who reviewed PSB also said their comp was OK and gave it a 7 or 8.
― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, March 13, 2017 11:24 AM (four hours ago)

I always was more intrigued by the 10s that made the list: Cut! This Nation's Saving Grace! The Queen is Dead! AR Kane's 69! Dub Housing! Soon Over Babaluma! Throwing Muses' first album! Suicide's first album! etc etc etc

(FWIW both Madinna and PSB had studio albums ranked as 10s--Like a Prayer and Introspective iirc--but I assumed Weisbard pulled editorial rank and included the lower-scored comps instead)

jorts l0chinski (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:04 (one year ago) Permalink

pavement/young/big star made other records i feel stronger about so voted double nickels

devvvine, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Thought it might be a difficult decision, but then I saw Loveless and the choice was obvious.

Chantilly Bass, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:14 (one year ago) Permalink

I made an google sheet of all the 9s and 10s if anyone has any questions

Whiney G. Weingarten, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:14 (one year ago) Permalink

A necessary corrective.

to someone raised on the rolling stone guides, this whole book was a welcome, necessary and wonderful corrective. it had its own weird and unexplained exclusions, none of which i can remember off the top of my head, but that's the price of admission for anything like this. also, the personal top 10s sprinkled throughout the book were great.

that said, i can no longer endorse any list that thinks sign o' the times is only the 24th best of anything.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:15 (one year ago) Permalink

I think I'm the first one to say this "Parallel lines."

Bee OK, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:17 (one year ago) Permalink

this'll have a nice spread i feel

flappy bird, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:19 (one year ago) Permalink

the Duran Duran entry is LOL.

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:20 (one year ago) Permalink

#77 Freedy Johnston - Can You Fly

I've never even heard of this artist.

jmm, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:24 (one year ago) Permalink

to someone raised on the rolling stone guides, this whole book was a welcome, necessary and wonderful corrective.

Many of the records on this list were released years after the last RS guide in 1983 (unless you're counting the '92 RS guide, which is irredeemable dogshit). And most of these records that did appear in the '83 RS guide got 4 or 5 stars (PiL, Roxy, Pretenders, Velvets, Patti Smith, Wire, Neil Young, Richard & Linda Thompson).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:25 (one year ago) Permalink

i'm referring to the classic RS red and blue guides, not the irredeemable dogshit one that came later. they were invaluable to me. but there's a sea change between them and the spin guide. RS devotes three times as much space to the first four southside johnny albums as it does to the first four ramones albums, which, combined, get one short paragraph. and gives one star to the entire black sabbath catalog. etc. it's different people on a different planet writing for different readers who breathe different ear.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:33 (one year ago) Permalink

...who breathe different *air*.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:34 (one year ago) Permalink

it's different people on a different planet writing for different readers who breathe different air.

Interesting way to put it. I'd have to think about this.

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:39 (one year ago) Permalink

(The Southside Johnny vs. Ramones comparison is definitely a strong argument in support of that formulation...I think there's probably more continuity there than you might initially think, though.)

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Voted SIGN O'THE TIMES

Coolio Iglesias (Turrican), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:47 (one year ago) Permalink

#77 Freedy Johnston - Can You Fly

I've never even heard of this artist.

― jmm It's scruffy folk-rock and (to me) kinda power-pop too--anyway it's catchy enough, melancholy but not too navelgazing--he's from the farm, he's lived in the city, not overly impressed with either one, but the city's good for material---and sometimes exhilarating. Lot of other good albums too (and some a bit off), but this still seems like his peak.

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:49 (one year ago) Permalink

Think somebody compared him to 70s Jackson Browne, but Johnston's a better singer and not as wordy---to me, closer to The Go-Betweens.

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:54 (one year ago) Permalink

Could rep for almost half of these, but my gut says Gang Of Four. I still find it thrilling how these sounds work together.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:55 (one year ago) Permalink

Love Freedy's "Trying to Tell You I Don't Know."

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9hTt43AD_U

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 20:56 (one year ago) Permalink

freedy was critically adore in the early 90s, era of liz phair & gbv. never really understood the appeal, but singer-songwriter "americana" escapes me, by and large.

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Ask Lucinda Williams

jorts l0chinski (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 13 March 2017 20:59 (one year ago) Permalink

There's entries for Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakam, and Roseanne Cash, along with Parsons and Jimmie Dale Gilmore (no Uncle Tupelo though!)

jorts l0chinski (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:01 (one year ago) Permalink

Minutemen

billstevejim, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:02 (one year ago) Permalink

Anyways, I voted for Fun House, no question

jorts l0chinski (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:03 (one year ago) Permalink

pavement/young/big star made other records i feel stronger about so voted double nickels

This was also my logic.

billstevejim, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:04 (one year ago) Permalink

it's different people on a different planet writing for different readers who breathe different air.

...separated by 12 years. I mean, sure, the RS guide overall has a different bent, but the writers being older and being maybe more pro-Southside than pro-Ramones (or pro-Sabbath -- the Sabbath bit was by longtime TV critic Ken Tucker, oddly enough) is still notable for how much agreement there is with the Spin guide.

(tbh, I've only thumbed through the Spin guide; the Trouser Press Guides were always my go-to for "alternative," and at least three editions appeared before the Spin dealie)

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:08 (one year ago) Permalink

If we're doing worst on the list as well, it's this

28 Television Marquee moon 1977

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:11 (one year ago) Permalink

longtime TV critic Ken Tucker

was a longtime rock critic first!

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, wrote for Creem and the Voice in 70s, and of course overshadowed by the fabled Noise Boys, Bangs-Meltzer-Tosches.

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:20 (one year ago) Permalink

mild-mannered reporter

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:21 (one year ago) Permalink

classic RS red and blue guides = dave marsh's POV.

veronica moser, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:32 (one year ago) Permalink

A lot of great records on that list, but Double Nickels will always get my vote.

scattered, smothered, covered, diced and chunked (WilliamC), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:35 (one year ago) Permalink

(xpost) The red, definitely. Didn't they really try to soften that in the blue (which I have but hardly ever looked at)?

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:42 (one year ago) Permalink

never owned this book or even knew it existed I don't think, '95 was kinda peak Who Cares About Yr Critical Hegemony times for Joan Crawford

voting either Don't Break the Oath or Seven Churches

though the tempest rages, (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:47 (one year ago) Permalink

dark blue in like 82/83 still was marsh's work in the main. red one in the 90s ("dogshit") was the work of like four writers, one of whom has been a very active ILM-nik over the years. Light blue was in 04: me and several ILM dudes are therein.

veronica moser, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:53 (one year ago) Permalink

Kneejerk vote for Fear and Whiskey

JoeStork, Monday, 13 March 2017 22:13 (one year ago) Permalink

I agree Johnny, "Marquee Moon" should get the vote for most overrated album ever. Hardly ever has guitar play sounded so boring and uninspired. I hate that album and all the critics who made me buy that rubbish.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 13 March 2017 22:33 (one year ago) Permalink

voting either Don't Break the Oath or Seven Churches

― though the tempest rages, (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, March 13, 2017 2:47 PM (forty-seven minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

otm

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Monday, 13 March 2017 22:35 (one year ago) Permalink

(xpost) The red, definitely. Didn't they really try to soften that in the blue (which I have but hardly ever looked at)?

Marsh liked Sabbath, which got trashed in both editions. He hated Pere Ubu, whom he trashed in the first edition, but handed over to someone else for the second, who praised them to the skies. He hated the Doors, who were comically lauded by Billy Altman in the first edition, so Marsh wrote a necessary corrective for the second. Marsh hated Rush, but co-editor Jon Swenson dug them, and their post-2112 records all got 4 stars in the second edition.

So...no, it's not as simple as DAVE MARSH WROTE ALL THE WORDS AND THEN ATE ALL THE WORDS AND THEY HAD TO CLOSE THE RESTAURANT.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 13 March 2017 22:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I knew you were gonna swan in here and defend his honor. Is he yr pal or something?

veronica moser, Monday, 13 March 2017 22:50 (one year ago) Permalink

The one name that comes to mind is Neil Young--he got a more sympathetic writer in the first blue one, no?

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 22:52 (one year ago) Permalink

He's my Robert Christgau.

xp

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 13 March 2017 22:53 (one year ago) Permalink

If we're doing worst on the list as well, it's this

28 Television Marquee moon 1977

― Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, March 13, 2017 2:11 PM (one hour ago)

I agree Johnny, "Marquee Moon" should get the vote for most overrated album ever. Hardly ever has guitar play sounded so boring and uninspired. I hate that album and all the critics who made me buy that rubbish.

― it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, March 13, 2017 3:33 PM (seventeen minutes ago)

is this some late-emerging backlash or just you two? mm may not live up to its rep, but it's at least half a great guitar album. side one's flawless.

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Monday, 13 March 2017 22:57 (one year ago) Permalink

PERE UBU
✸Dub Housing / Chrys.1207
Art rock with a New Wave face is no less pompous, pretentious or irrelevant because of its claim to association with Johnny Rotten. Anti-rock for anti-rockers. Boo. DM

^^^This is the totality of the Pere Ubu entry in Red. Filed under U, which is not where I would file it. He's no Christgau. Boo.

mark s, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:01 (one year ago) Permalink

I thought we all got "overrated" out of our system already

For the love of god

a but (brimstead), Monday, 13 March 2017 23:03 (one year ago) Permalink

is this some late-emerging backlash or just you two?

heh Alfred doesn't like it either iirc

Οὖτις, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Boo Ubu.

jmm, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:06 (one year ago) Permalink

I got my first copy of Marquee Moon when I was probably 17 or 18 and I've tried to figure out why people like it for the last 25-ish years and idgi sorry

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 23:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Murmur was loved by critics the moment it was released. Christgau’s write-up that year in Pazz & Jop (where it came in second to Thriller) was titled “Who Else? A Goddamn Critics’ Band, That’s Who Else”. It feels like it has the best aspects of both the enigmatic sound of Chronic Town and the more straightforward rock of Reckoning

Marquee Moon is one of the best albums on this list imo

It seems like very little I hear these days sounds iconic in the way that so many of these records did…

Dan S, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:26 (one year ago) Permalink


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