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

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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

One of my favorite reviews in those RS record guide is for the first three U2 albums and the writer calls them "one of the freshest new sounds of the decade." It must've been really exciting to be alive in the early 80s.

Also, Chase: "Flee."
Also, Pyramyd: "Wyse gys."

Mr. Snrub, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:27 (one year ago) Permalink

PSB - Discography isn't an album and shouldn't have been included in this list, but since it was, I voted for it.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Since I'm nitpicking, I've probably only listened to Horses a handful of times since I first heard it. My go-to Patti Smith album is always Wave, but it's never on any lists. :(

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 13 March 2017 23:28 (one year ago) Permalink

It must've been really exciting to be alive in the early 80s.

It was a joy just to get out of bed every day.

clemenza, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:33 (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.

i have absolutely no memory of the existence of light blue, and i apologize to you and the other ilm dudes within. is it good?

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:35 (one year ago) Permalink

"dogshit" edition, besides being not good, was riddled with more factual errors than the average sean spicer press conference.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 13 March 2017 23:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Puzzlement over Marquee Moon and Horses is one of ilm's most charming running jokes

duped and used by my worst Miss U (President Keyes), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:30 (one year ago) Permalink

why do people like music

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:37 (one year ago) Permalink

I found good records out of all of those guides. I had the Trouser Press guides (blue and red), Rolling Stone (dark blue & red) books and the Spin book. I also had a zine version of "bands missed by the Trouser Press" I found somewhere that had some good punk LP reviews in it.

I'm pretty sure the Spin book led me to check out Swell Maps, Fela and probably many others. Some of the total "bullet" reviews in the Rolling Stone guides would make you wonder more about what they were like than something with two stars. I know Bloodrock was a bullet review that made me want to check them out.

earlnash, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:46 (one year ago) Permalink

the rolling stone book i had was this one

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51272EWJ3KL._SX305_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:49 (one year ago) Permalink

why do people like music

^New borad description

Got Your Money Changes Everything (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 00:51 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm torn between the Ramones debut and ChangesOneBowie (though that's cheating a bit). I read SPIN quite a bit during this period of time, and it's weird because looking at the list now the choices of what to include seem rather random, but at the time it did feel like it cohered into some aesthetic one could call "alternative". Also, at the time, a lot of these things were rarities known only to true heads, whereas now of course any kid with an internet connection has heard all of these. It seems like a somewhat idiosyncratic list of the currently popular, the undeniably influential, and then a kind of personal smattering of overlooked shoulda-been-classics. I feel like any list done today would include a lot more disco and experimental krauty stuff.

o. nate, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:14 (one year ago) Permalink

While we're generally talking about it in this thread, I still can't believe there's no Melvins or Fishbone entries in this book

Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:17 (one year ago) Permalink

I was all excited to go dust off my copy of the Spin guide, but it's nowhere to be found. i must have given it away somewhere along the line.

In any case, this reminded me of another SPIN list which coincided with my first forays into the critical pantheon: Spin magazine's 25 greatest albums of all time (April, 1989)

And, d'oh, there's fucking Marquee Moon again. Couldn't agree more about that one being overrated.

enochroot, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:24 (one year ago) Permalink

"Marquee Moon" on paper sounds like something I should be totally into, yet it's never really clicked with me. Lots of people whose taste I respect seem to love it though.

o. nate, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:26 (one year ago) Permalink

Though to be fair, about 40% of this list is stuff that's never really clicked with me, though I can see why it's admired.

o. nate, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:29 (one year ago) Permalink

also had a zine version of "bands missed by the Trouser Press" I found somewhere that had some good punk LP reviews in it.

Badaboom Gramaphone, they did a great job of it. The Trouser Press guides were invaluable for me, and remarkably reliable in (most) calls on which records were bands best work.

Before the Trouser Press, the NME Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock was where it all started for my buying. I still find myself buying records whose covers featured there.

Marquee Moon is great.

by the light of the burning Citroën, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Julian Cope's "Krautrocksampler" was another book of the same time period that was hard to find even then that led me to search for many records.

I can't see going for any other Husker record but Zen Arcade. That record was raising the bar big time on what a punk band could try to do I think. Flip Your Wig is more pop and more the future sound of grunge to come. New Day Rising is buried in reverb and while intense, is only part of what they pulled off in Zen Arcade. Kinda doubt it would be #4 in any similar list now. Meat Puppets seem to be perhaps just as less known now although I saw some pretty cool live semi-recent stuff by them on line a few days back. Too High to Die is out of print.

The thing that really stands out looking at that list 20+ years down the line is how little electronic music is in the list, considering all that was going down at the time and still resonates now. It seems like there "should" be something Detroit techno or from Warp on that list, but you know post rock and electronic music really blossomed some in popularity really in the year or two after this book came out.

earlnash, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:53 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, this thread inspired me to pull Marquee Moon out again and the first two songs still sound like magic.

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:56 (one year ago) Permalink

Title track is obv unstoppable.

My Body's Made of Crushed Little Evening Stars (Sund4r), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 01:58 (one year ago) Permalink

No Spacemen 3 is kind of weird.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:04 (one year ago) Permalink

I think Can was probably the band that {all of these various record guides] led me to listen to, in spite of all obstacles. Faust would be #2.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:12 (one year ago) Permalink

shags
Fugs
Elevators

just felt like posting those bands' names

These days I'm feeling the banana album pretty hard for some reason

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Those Spacemen 3 records were pretty obscure in the US I think. Pretty sure they got an entry in the book. It seemed to me that the Spaceman 3 stuff got reissued around the same time Spiritualized records were getting out there a year or two later.

The Birthday Party was also a band where you had to look to find their records for a while that Hits comp was the only thing 'easily' found in the US. They all got reissued around the mid 90s by Mute as Cave's profile rose.

earlnash, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:15 (one year ago) Permalink

Sometimes I forget and think spacemen 3 are from texas

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:17 (one year ago) Permalink

Rolling stone alt rock book had goo goo dolls list of worst bathrooms in America

a but (brimstead), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:18 (one year ago) Permalink

I used to browse this book endlessly at the store but never bought it, which I still regret. Love all 50 albums, basically.

geoffreyess, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:36 (one year ago) Permalink

(Spin guide that is.)

geoffreyess, Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:36 (one year ago) Permalink

Fun House or Marquee Moon

example (crüt), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:49 (one year ago) Permalink

or uh Loveless

example (crüt), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:50 (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 5:11 PM (five hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

damn, son!!!!!!!!!

example (crüt), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 02:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Those Spacemen 3 records were pretty obscure in the US I think. Pretty sure they got an entry in the book.

...The Birthday Party was also a band where you had to look to find their records for a while that Hits comp was the only thing 'easily' found in the US.

― earlnash, Monday, March 13, 2017 7:15 PM (thirty-six minutes ago)

The Perfect Prescription and Junkyard seem like obvious omissions. Along with The Fall, Can, Sex Pistols. Maybe bottom 50?

Not raving but drooling (contenderizer), Tuesday, 14 March 2017 03:02 (one year ago) Permalink


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