Chris Moore’s List

5-16-12          Chris Moore’s List

King Crimson / Robert Fripp born 1946, Singer / Songwriter Jonathan Richman born 1951; Cat Food.

Chris Moore:

Its really hard to do “top x” lists because there’s so much great stuff out there and my taste changes over time and swings wildly with my interest, but here’s a list to start. Top 20 albums, in no particular order.

Chris Moore:

1. Quadrophenia by The Who

This was one of the first albums I ever bought, and it remains one of my favorites. Quadrophenia combined sensitive and tuneful songwriting with a power, energy and a sonic attack that remains virtually unmatched even after nearly 40 years.

2. The Complete Live at Leeds by The Who

The next best thing to being there, this live album may well be the best live album ever. As a kid, I remember feeling ripped off after buying the original EP, since it only contained 6 tracks. It wasn’t until the 1995 CD release that I really began to love this album. Play it loud!

3. Machine Gun Etiquette by The Damned

The Damned remains one of my favorite bands of all time, and this is their best album. As much as I liked Brian James on guitar, his loss and Captain Sensible switching to guitar really made the Damned a great band. A little bit psychedelic, a little dark pop, and with punk energy provided by Sensible’s amazing guitar work and the great Rat Scabies on drums, MGE lets every member of the band shine.

4. Damned Damned Damned by The Damned

An incredible first album. These guys were talented right out of the gate, unlike many of their contemporaries. Hearing this album for the first time was a revelation for me. Fast, frantic and really fun, Damned Damned Damned deserves to be listed right alongside “Never Mind the Bollacks” as one of the seminal English punk albums.

5. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles

This album is a favorite with just about everyone. Rather than repeat endless superlatives, I’ll just say my favorite thing about this near perfect album is the way that it takes the listener on a musical journey so evocative that you can almost see it.

6. Revolver by The Beatles

Every member of the Beatles shines on this album, but Lennon’s contributions really stand out. I had to include it here, particularly because of my affection for “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

7. Never Mind The Bollocks  by The Sex Pistols

This album is rightly hailed as the hallmark for British punk. It remains a vital record even heard against the nearly 40 years of punk music it helped spawn. Although the Sex Pistols can seem merely rather snotty these days, its hard to convey how caustic and revolutionary this record seemed in the 1970s. Maybe you had to be there.

8. London Calling by The Clash

Smart, melodic, punk-ska-pop music for budding revolutionaries and teens of every age, this album really defined what The Clash were all about.

9. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Like many of my contemporaries, as a teen, I spent hours listening to this album through headphones. I think it is better than “Dark Side of the Moon” even though the two seem inexorably linked to me. WYWH is warmer and more emotionally satisfying, while retaining Floyd’s polished and dynamic audio sensibilities.

10. Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division

I didn’t discover Joy Division until after they were already gone. Dark, dreaming, punchy, and full of Manchester urban grit, this album doesn’t get the respect accorded to the more polished “Closer” but I enjoy it more.

11. In the Flat Field by Bauhaus

Its easy to dismiss Bauhaus albums as self indulgent, pretentious goth art rock. You say that like it’s a bad thing… Theatrical? Definitely. Over the top? Perhaps. I think of Bauhaus as King Crimson’s evil little brother. This first album is their best and worthy of more than one listen.

12. Los Angeles by X

X is mine. They belong to me and all the other kids who grew up bored and desperate in Southern California in the 70s and early 80s. You’re lucky I let you listen to them. Sure, there were other great bands. You couldn’t spit at an L.A. show without hitting one; The Blasters, The Dickies, The Plugz, The Minutemen, The Germs, The Zeros, Fear, Black Flag, The Circle Jerks, Red Kross, The Motels, The Weirdos. The Go-Gos even made it big. But X is the real deal. They are my Los Angeles.

13. Piper at the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd

This cat’s something I can’t explain… A great, great psychedelic album. Syd Barrett’s best work.  Break out those headphones again.

14. Rum Sodomy & the Lash by The Pogues

I find the Pogues’ blend of punk & traditional Irish music irresistible. Joyous, sorrowful, rebellious and just plain fun. Drinking music you can dance to. Or sing to. Or fight to. Pogue Mahone!

15. Let it Bleed by The Rolling Stones

My favorite Stones album. Gimme Shelter gives me the chills every time. Boozy and bluesey, Keith Richard’s guitar is outstanding throughout.

16. Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones

My favorite Stones album. Except for the other ones that are also my favorite, like the one noted above, “Beggar’s Banquet” and “Exile on Main Street.” The hits are great, but “Moonlight Mile” is a gem.

17. Strange Times by The Chameleons

Emotional and magical, I always thought The Chameleons should have been huge. Maybe their songs were too personal or too dramatic for mass consumption. I was lucky enough to see them play live once. This is a great post-punk-pop album.

18. Raw Power by The Stooges

The Stooges are a force of nature here. Raw, demonic energy and controlled menace. Simply one of the greatest rock albums ever.

19. Rocket to Russia by The Ramones

Just pure fun, “Rocket to Russia” has all the things that made the Ramones so great; short, melodic, catchy songs played fast and loud. Break out your leather jacket and give it a spin. You know you wanna.

20. Kink Kronicles by The Kinks

I love the Kinks. This compilation album of late 1960s songs isn’t exactly a greatest hits, but it has a lot of great songs on its 4 albums. Anglophobes need not apply.

RK:  Only thing on Chris’ list I don’t know is the album by The Chameleons.


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2 Responses to Chris Moore’s List

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    Re: Bauhaus
    “King Crimson’s evil little brother” …Brilliant!! No argument here! I love Bauhaus but they were best right out of the starting gate and each subsequent album was a lesser event. “In The Flat Field” is a stellar piece of work. I had the original album but the 4AD CD had everything else that needed to be there as well! “Terror Couple Kill Colonel!” I should maybe get the DLX RM “Omnibus Edition?”

    Re: “Rocket To Russia”
    Nice to hear some love for the perfect “Rocket To Russia.” The fact that this earnest and heartfelt attempt at pop perfection was not a resounding success – even 35 years later – is a cosmic tragedy. “Chewing out a rhythm on my bubblegum, the sun is out and I want some!” Dee Dee Ramone was a genius, for an idiot.

    Re: “Strange Times”
    Ronkanefiles – You should hear the first three Chameleons albums. I’ve had them all at one time or another and should get albums #1 [Script Of A Bridge] and 3 [Strange Times] on CD. I have #2 [What Does Anything Mean, Basically?] on CD. Great Statik Records band. Good dark, guitar oriented Post-Punk. Speaking of which, I’ve noticed that all music I have released on the UK Statik label [Chameleons, Men Without Hats, Positive Noise, Gina X] features vocalists who don’t sing, per se, but bellow in a deep voice. Label A+R quirk of taste?

    Re: “Let It Bleed”
    I’ve only been wanting to own this album for 27 years now! One day I’ll go berserk and buy lots of Rolling Stones albums. But for now, I live on my comps. Mono and Stereo.

    Re: Pink Floyd
    We definitely share the same taste [limited] in Pink Floyd. I have “Wish You Were Here,” the best arena era Floyd album. It’s still not played out like the other one, and like Chris says, it has a humanity that Roger Waters usually lacks in his merciless screeds. More often than not, he’s shrieking at the converted. And is there a better psychedelic album that “Piper?” My problem with “Piper” is that I was first exposed to the US Tower faux stereo version which haunts me to this day. That’s why I don’t have any of the various CDs of this title. Looks like the Boxed Set [reasonably priced] will meet my requirements. “See Emily Play” is right up there with material from “Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack” as being my absolutely fave rave BritPsych ever.

    Re: Damned
    I am chastened to say I’m not familiar with early Damned and only have the fun “Phantasmagoria” on my racks. Tsk, tsk!

  2. I echo my colleague the Monk and compliment Mr Moore on his insight and taste!

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