Ron’s Top 20 (in 2012)

5-31-12          Ron’s 2012 Top 20

Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham born 1948, rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels    born 1964; I own music by neither, but Bonzo wins.

Little has change in what I still consider my favorite recordings.  Lately, I have been contemplating retirement from the blogosphere upon my 10th anniversary – at the end of July, 2012.  Heck, I have to have something to write on !

I have to say “In no particular order” – just 20 fantastic titles today!

Split Enz – Mental Notes (Mushroom Australia / White Cloud NZ, 1975) – an NZ band makes the final nail in the coffin of progressive rock in the English language.  And it made me go to NZ 7 x times.

Hermeto Pascoal – Slave’s Mass (Warner Brothers Brazil, 1976) – the world’s foremost multi-instrumentalist even plays a pig on this LP.  Fantastic sound, great songs.  Best live show I ever saw.

Hugh Hopper – Hoppertunity Box (Compendium England, 1977) – the bass player of The Soft Machine, with Dave Stewart (of Egg, Hatfield & The North, National Health and Gaskin & Stewart) – British jazz?  Yes, through the Soft Machine’s 1970’s filter.

Frank Zappa / Mothers of Invention – We’re Only In It For The Money (Verve USA, 1968) – If I had to pick just one, it would be this album.  I understood it exactly, at exactly the right time for myself.  It changed me, and the course of my life.

Watermelon – Cool Music (Alfa Japan, 1984) – Toshio Nakanishi predicted the ‘lounge craze’ of the 90’s in 1983/4.  I love the songs on this album, particularly “Sexanova”.

Procol Harum – Procol Harum (Regal Zonophone England, 1968) – I want this LP played at my funeral; that way, you’ll know I would’ve wanted to be there!  Cut me, and this is what I bleed.  And I still don’t ‘get’ the lyrics!

The Lodge – Smell Of A Friend (Antilles England, 1988) – One of the very few records that ever woke me up at night, demanding to hear it again immediately (“The Little Match Girl”).  Peter Blegvad!

Aksak Maboul – Onze Danses Pour Combaittre Le Migraine (Kamikaze Belgium, 1977) – Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis – two of the guys behind Crammed Records!  The moist beautiful album on this list.  My GF thought it was classical music.  It is.

Arthur Brown / Kingdom Come – Galactic Zoo Dossier (Polydor England, 1971) – For all who thought Arthur stopped at “Fire!”: this album is the bomb.  Buy immediately and understand!  We want your brains to pay for further education…

Family – Music In A Doll’s House (Reprise England, 1968) – I got this LP when I was about 12 years old.  Roger Chapman is one of the world’s great vocalists; Family is simply one of the best British bands that ever existed; and this is their best album.

Dick HeckstallSmith – A Story Ended (Bronze England, 1972) – My favorite record of 1972, not “Ziggy Stardust”!  I love all of the songs, and I got to meet Mr. Heckstall-Smith in England, before he died – he signed his book for me (“Safest Place In The World”).

Basil Kirchin – Worlds Within Worlds Parts 3 & 4 (Island England, 1974) – I prefer this LP to Parts 1 & 2, which is also amazing.  But Parts 3 & 4 are even more amazing; his masterpiece.  20th century modern classical music – but it doesn’t sound anything like that at all.  Listen and believe.

Supersister – Spiral Staircase (Polydor NL, 1974) – R.I.P. Sasha van Geest!  Before there was Gruppo Sportivo or The Nits – Robert-Jan Stips and Supersister ruled the Earth.  Alas, we can no longer ask Sasha what any of this album is “about”.  Love?

Can – Landed (EMI Germany, 1975) – I once read that this record was the alternate universe’s “Sgt. Peppers” – can’t put that thought into the mirror – As “Sgt. Peppers” is not my alternate universe’s Can “Landed”!  Half Past One! (in 5.1 on the Can DVD set).

Hajime Tachibana – H (Yen Japan, 1982) – This LP didn’t sound like anyone from The Plastics.  It is 100% it’s own thing.  I know of at least one other person who told me, “This record changed my life!”.  I met Tachibana in Tokyo, a few years ago.

John Cage / David Tudor – Indeterminacy (Folkways US, 1959) – I bought this 2LP boxed set in a Thrifty drug store for $2.- when I was a lot younger.  I listened carefully to all of Mr. Cage’s stories, and wanted to know who all of those people were.  I still wonder.  This is a spoken word album with music.

I Am Joe’s Music – self-titled debut (Mushroom Australia, 1983) – For years, I’ve been saying that if I ever started a re-issue label, I would issue this album first.  I got to meet Fane Flaws in NZ in 1987.  He explained this album to me in person.

Lio – self-titled debut (Ariola France, 1980) – I fell in love with these songs as the new decade dawned.  Later, I learned they were all written by Jay Alanski.  The production style is 100% perfect (again, Jay Alanski).  I should’ve married Lio when I had the chance!

Ivor Cutler – Dandruff (Virgin England, 1974) – It was my pleasure to live on the same planet as Ivor Cutler for roughly 32 years – actually, I was 48 when Cutler died, and he was here before me.  I just knew who he was for 32 years while he was alive.  I never got to meet him or see him perform live – though I ostensibly had the chance to do both.

Wally Badarou – Echoes (Island Visual Arts England, 1984) – Wally played keyboards for Grace Jones and Marianne Faithfull.  This is his instrumental  ’84 album that reminds me more of the 1980’s than almost any other album.

This entry was posted in List, Listening, Playlist, Progressive Rock, Record Collecting, Ultimate Collection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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