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Old 5th August 2002
Lives for gear
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Originally posted by Dave Martin

A bunch of records... But why do you think that they're important? Some of them I would happily agree with, but the Dixie Chicks "Fly"? Other than the fact that they didn't use any artificial reverbs and sold a bunch of copies for Sony (the only Sony Nashville act that did sell anything, why might that someday be an important record to know? In the category 'neo-traditional country with female vocals and acoustic instruments playing a dominant role', I'd tend to look at the Judd's first album, - the one that Don Potter played acoustic guitar on, and thereby created the sound of the the Judds. Or, to be fair, Emmylou Harris did all that 20 years before the Chicks.

Part of my interest in this subject is to learn about music I missed. So 'fess up - why do you think that the records you mentioned should be part of the common heritage of rock music?
I was hoping not to spend 3 hours on this, but fair enough... (but I don't think my list was meant to be limited to the common heritage of rock music) I'll try to be breif.

Beatles - Sgt Pepper's - George Martin is more popular than jesus to me...brilliant overdubs, sing-a-long melodies, and fairytale-ish lyrics
Atari Teenage Riot - 60 Second Wipe Out - Andy Wallace's most underrated work. Complete digital anarchy, it almost gives you an aneurysm
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds - Incredible harmonies, Set a standard for the way records were made.
Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory - One of my favorite records by my favorite hip hop engineer, darker mixes than a lot of hip hop of the time
Shark Quest - Battle of the Loons - Incredible banjo and mandolin sounds. One of the members of F.D.P. is in this group (I believe recorded at Ben Fold's place)
Rodger's Waters - Amused to Death - Ahhh, one of the Q-Sound records... When Rodger left Pink Floyd, a part of me died inside, when this record came out, it changed the way I listened to day-to-day sounds
The Pixies - Doolittle - Frank Black's vocal wails, radio effects, huge impact on the way a lot of indie rock style bands made records
The Byrds - Sweetheart of the Rodeo - From Turn Turn Turn to THIS?! The stereo imaging of this record is much better than other records of that time. Amazing lapsteel guitar sounds... This is how I'd like every country record to sound
Slayer - Reign In Blood - Very intense, and not many producers (Rick Rubin) can go from Beastie Boys, to Tom Petty, to Slayer and pull it off
Family Dollar Pharoahs - Haunted -My favorite record. It's instrumental. Guitar sounds I'd kill my 1st born for
Archers Of Loaf - Icky Mettle - This is one of the greatest indie rock records IMHO It sounds DIY, not like some dude did it in his bedroom.
Beastie Boys - Paul Boutique - This album shook a lot of trees because of it's intense use of sampling (and openly PAYING for the samples used)
The Who - Who's Next - The bass and drum sounds on this record make me kill my parents and worship the goatlord
The Clash - London Calling - Rude sounding, the mixing compliment the aggression of the songs
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers - Keith's hangin out with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons seemed to sneak into this record. There's so many great Stones records, I figure I'd just pick one
Violent Femmes - Self Titled This is one of the "punkest" records ever, AND IT'S ACOUSTIC
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left - Very "dark" acoustic sounds...Very Dark, Melancholic, Pessimistic, Bitter and cold.
Peter Gabriel - So / 3 "In Your Eyes" is one of the cleanest mixes ever. Stwert Copeland's hi hat on "RedRain" is intense as hell
Iggy Pop - Lust For Life - The drums on Lust For Life are exciting as hell!!! Background vocals are perfect "sing along" vocal, even for the most tone deaf.
Portishead - Dummy -groundbreaking 'trip hop', crazy tremolos, theremins used musically instead of like a cheezy effect
Blackstreet - Another Level - For a record that's like 6 years old, it still sonically blows anything on the radio away (which is unheard of in the R&B market which has a very short shelf life)
Blake Babies - Sunburn - Much more Elaborate and Sophisticated than their earlier records
R.E.M. - Murmur - ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics, a big growth for the group from Chronic Town
Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Blackstar - DJ Hi Tek makes this record "bang" while still being 'true to the streets'... I beg other hip hop acts I work with to do segways like between "Definition" and "Re DEFinition". This record thrust Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and HI tek into the ranks as one of hip hop's most influencal groups
Dixie Chicks - Fly - I love the vocal 'sound', the ambience to the instruments, the mixes aren't cluttered every though there are a lot of things going on in the songs, regardless of how many units they've sold
Bjork - Homogenic - Incredible Lo Fi / Lo Bit drums, very dynamic and experimental (with pay offs)

These are records that I believe taught me a lot. I'm sure other people's mileage will vary.