One of my favorite bands growing up in the 70’s was the Canadian power-rock trio, Rush. I even remember asking my parents to buy me the 2112 album for Christmas (afraid they were going to turn me down because of the pentagram logo on the album cover). I think Rush is one of those bands that one either loves or hates. In my experience, I haven’t found too many people who were lukewarm about them. Rush is a great tribute to band stability and cohesiveness as the band lineup — consisting of Geddy Lee (vocals and bass), Alex Lifeson (guitar), and Neal Peart (drums) — has remained the same since their second album (Fly By Night) back in 1975. Each member of the band is a virtuoso at their respective instrument: Lee is a master bassist, Lifeson is one of the most versatile guitarists around and Peart is arguably the best drummer in rock.
For Christmas 2010, I received the CD box set of the official Beatles albums; 16 CD’s in all! The compilation contains all the Beatles studio albums (with their original UK track listings) along with Past Masters volumes 1 & 2 to round out the collection. Every Beatles’ song ever recorded is on this set, and the packaging is outstanding. This truly is a must have set for any Beatles fan. With the exception of Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine, every Beatles’ album hit number 1 on the charts. Not to mention that they also have the record for most #1 hits in both the US (20) and the UK (17). They are also the biggest selling musical artist in popular music history.
What makes the Beatles so good? Clearly there are other musical artists who are better song writers or better musicians. I think the greatness of the Beatles can be summed up in one word: Groundbreaking. If you listen to their music, even their earlier Mersey Beat music, they don’t sound groundbreaking compared to modern pop music. Until you factor in that they were usually the first ones to come up with some new sound or technique that was copied by everyone else. Most of their early music from 1963 thru 1965 didn’t vary much, though you could still discern the maturation of their sound by 1965. This period was marked by constant recording, promoting and touring. They recorded six LP’s in their first three years. Nowadays musicians are lucky to crank out six albums in 20 years.
I am about to embark on a journey that is bound to create all sorts of controversy. Is it a rant about political topics? No. Is it a diatribe into religious issues? No. It’s a top ten list of my favorite rock albums of all time.
A few things to get out of the way. First, this is my top ten list. If you don’t like it, get your own blog and make your own list! 😉 As the saying goes, “Opinions are like … (fill in the blank) … everyone’s got one.”
Second, this list is an approximation of what my top ten rock albums are as of this day. Ask me next week and you might get another list.
Third, the order is based on my feelings as I write this. Ask me tomorrow, and the order might be different.
OK, without further ado, and with some slight commentary along the way, here is the list beginning with #10…