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Most unique albums of all time Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 13th September 2011
  #121
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white noise - an electric storm
Old 13th September 2011
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
Aside from all the crap and arguing about who knows more about music history, I'd like to thank the OP and all posters for sharing--these lists have lots of artists I've never listened to before, and obviously, I should---especially these folks I haven't listened to who seem to get mentioned again and again.
Just a reminder that there are major holes in my listening logs, and that I need to spend some money on more albums, instead of new speakers or a mic or something.

Maybe we need a 'mandatory listening' thread, where we post lists of all the recordings that one should listen to in order to get a grounding in good music, for the sorts of reasons doorknocker mentions above. This thread seems a good start.

If the suggestions thread wasn't closed (mod?), I'd also suggest a sub-forum dedicated to the deep analysis of a variety of musical tracks, of all types and genres, from technical and aesthetic standpoints, with discussions of recording and production techniques, as well as other non-tech details. I'd love to pick some brains on why so and so did this and not that, etc.
I would be seen in that forum as well.
Old 13th September 2011
  #123
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I have to put a link to a review of Never Mind The Bollocks that a friend just passed me written by an older guy he looks after.

Peter Kemp's Record Reviews
Old 13th September 2011
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnreverb View Post
People, it's "unique", not "cool", "favorite", "awesome", "best"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some of these artists you are listing are not unique. Just because you like them does not make them unique. Maybe we all need a crash course in unique. Maybe it's too much kindergarten psychology "everybody is special and unique in there very own way!". Unique is taking chances, doing something out of the norm, thinking way out of the box, doing music with NO concern for it's commercial value. I know Gearslutz does not have a lot of people with adventurous tastes in music, but some of the things you people are listing are soooooooo not unique it makes me sratch my head and wonder if really am "outnumbered" as one of you mentioned. WTF??????
This.

Also, 'unique' is not qualifiable. Something can not be 'quite unique' or 'very unique' or 'most unique'. It is either unique or it isn't.


Good call on Jimmy Guiffre btw.

Old 13th September 2011
  #125
Gear Guru
Quote:
u·nique
? ?/yu?nik/
adjective
1.
existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics
2.
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable
That's tough.
For something to be "unique" it would have to be one of a kind. Unlike anything before or since.
I can't think of anything that fills that bill.
Old 13th September 2011
  #126
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyGone View Post
This.

Also, 'unique' is not qualifiable. Something can not be 'quite unique' or 'very unique' or 'most unique'. It is either unique or it isn't.


Good call on Jimmy Guiffre btw.

I had an English teacher that I spent a whole term arguing this with.
I said things could have unique aspects, something could be more or less unique than something else.
He agreed with you. Something was either unique or it wasn't.

Which kinda contradicts my previous post.
Oh well.
Life is complicated. heh
Old 13th September 2011
  #127
Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
That's tough.
For something to be "unique" it would have to be one of a kind. Unlike anything before or since.
I can't think of anything that fills that bill.
I tried for the uniquest stuff I could think of.


I'm reminded of Ray Davies' take on Alister Crowley's neohermetic axiom: Every man and every woman is a star.

Old 13th September 2011
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
That's tough.
For something to be "unique" it would have to be one of a kind. Unlike anything before or since.
I can't think of anything that fills that bill.
Especially not Judas Priest, Janet Jackson, Scorpians, Jeff Beck
Old 13th September 2011
  #129
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These types of threads always turn out to be trainwrecks. I try to avert my gaze - I really don't want to look at the carnage - but I just can't seem to help myself.

Very few of the albums being nominated as "unique" are actually anything even remotely approaching what that word means. It seems that people are listing their favorite albums, or albums that they think are "important" in some way. This is not the same thing as "unique".

A lot of the albums that truly are unique, I don't even like. I'm not a big fan of Bjork, for example, but I think it's fair to say that some of her work, at the time it was released, sounded nothing like anything else before it. On the other hand, I love Pet Sounds, and absolutely acknowledge its significance in the history of pop music, but it could hardly be called unique.

Most of the stuff that is truly unique exists on the fringes of the pop universe or on the periphery of what most people would even call "music". Stuff like Robert Wyatt's Rockbottom or Fennesz's Black Sea or Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz.

On the other hand, more popular artists like James Brown (in the 60s), Joy Division, and Tom Waits (starting with his "trilogy" in the 80s) were also capable of producing "unique" music. Or think about how absolutely revolutionary Remain in Light sounded when it was released. (By that time, the Talking Heads had sold over a million records.)

There are lots of other truly unique albums (e.g., Loveless, Autobahn, The Drift), too many to name, but they certainly weren't made by Poison, Supertramp, Boston, or any of the dozens of other clueless and ridiculous suggestions listed in this thread.
Old 13th September 2011
  #130
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The qualities that define an object's uniqueness are not universally mandated - and perceptions vary.
Old 13th September 2011
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
The qualities that define an object's uniqueness are not universally mandated - and perceptions vary.

Very true, but it seems like reason would take hold at some point. Saying Judas Priest/Janet Jackson/Jeff Beck is unique is like saying Mcdonalds is unique because they got the Hamburglar.
Old 13th September 2011
  #132
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Actually, the Hamburglar's "Grab My Pickle as You Squeeze My Buns" is not only unique, but awesome and wholesome.
Old 13th September 2011
  #133
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The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Old 13th September 2011
  #134
Obviously no one can be unique once they are known, since then anyone else can try to be like them. And if they are well known, many people will try. And, to be fair, many people who wanted to be like that anyway will just suddenly find the door open to them. I think that it would be sufficient to say 'highly original at the time that they created it' plus perhaps 'not really matched or exceeded since then in the context of what it was trying to accomplish'.

I posted Joanna Newsom earlier. Has there ever been anything like that in popular music before? I'm not aware of it. It's some strange mix of midieval troubadour, modern cynical socio-political commentary, child-like presentation, and it's harp-based. That puts it out there. There might have been someone doing something like that at some point in the past, maybe in a mental hospital perhaps, but not in popular music that I know of.
Old 13th September 2011
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Syncamorea View Post
Who did the first artist in history build on?
Nature... which God made
Old 13th September 2011
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
I posted Joanna Newsom earlier. Has there ever been anything like that in popular music before?
Now that's someone who is totally unique.
Old 13th September 2011
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by days View Post
These types of threads always turn out to be trainwrecks. I try to avert my gaze - I really don't want to look at the carnage - but I just can't seem to help myself.

Very few of the albums being nominated as "unique" are actually anything even remotely approaching what that word means. It seems that people are listing their favorite albums, or albums that they think are "important" in some way. This is not the same thing as "unique".

A lot of the albums that truly are unique, I don't even like. I'm not a big fan of Bjork, for example, but I think it's fair to say that some of her work, at the time it was released, sounded nothing like anything else before it. On the other hand, I love Pet Sounds, and absolutely acknowledge its significance in the history of pop music, but it could hardly be called unique.

Most of the stuff that is truly unique exists on the fringes of the pop universe or on the periphery of what most people would even call "music". Stuff like Robert Wyatt's Rockbottom or Fennesz's Black Sea or Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz.

On the other hand, more popular artists like James Brown (in the 60s), Joy Division, and Tom Waits (starting with his "trilogy" in the 80s) were also capable of producing "unique" music. Or think about how absolutely revolutionary Remain in Light sounded when it was released. (By that time, the Talking Heads had sold over a million records.)

There are lots of other truly unique albums (e.g., Loveless, Autobahn, The Drift), too many to name, but they certainly weren't made by Poison, Supertramp, Boston, or any of the dozens of other clueless and ridiculous suggestions listed in this thread.
Total agreement... but I could list a number of records that are pretty much in the same vein as Free Jazz

I have to say, a lot of the citations I'm reading in this fine thread are not really what I'd call "unique" at all. They may have been unique when they first appeared, and then replicated by either the same artist or others later on. Hell, I'm not even all that confident about my OWN list, since there's probably something I haven't heard that might negate everything I cited.

I'll pick on just one:

Quote:
Leonard Cohen -- Songs of
Really? Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE that record, LOVE it -- but is it really that unique from say "The Circle Game" or "Fred Neil" or even "Pink Moon" for that matter? Not to mention scads of artists since then, like Mary Gautier or Greg Brown.
Old 13th September 2011
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
I had an English teacher that I spent a whole term arguing this with.
I said things could have unique aspects, something could be more or less unique than something else.
He agreed with you. Something was either unique or it wasn't.

Which kinda contradicts my previous post.
Oh well.
Life is complicated. heh


I nearly qualified my post by saying something similar!

Also, i nearly started rambling on by saying that, in a sense, every single album ever recorded is unique in so far as no one else has ever recorded exactly the same album as somebody else. Not even Todd Rundgren.

heh
Old 13th September 2011
  #139
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by days View Post
These types of threads always turn out to be trainwrecks. I try to avert my gaze - I really don't want to look at the carnage - but I just can't seem to help myself.

Very few of the albums being nominated as "unique" are actually anything even remotely approaching what that word means. It seems that people are listing their favorite albums, or albums that they think are "important" in some way. This is not the same thing as "unique".

A lot of the albums that truly are unique, I don't even like. I'm not a big fan of Bjork, for example, but I think it's fair to say that some of her work, at the time it was released, sounded nothing like anything else before it. On the other hand, I love Pet Sounds, and absolutely acknowledge its significance in the history of pop music, but it could hardly be called unique.

Most of the stuff that is truly unique exists on the fringes of the pop universe or on the periphery of what most people would even call "music". Stuff like Robert Wyatt's Rockbottom or Fennesz's Black Sea or Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz.

On the other hand, more popular artists like James Brown (in the 60s), Joy Division, and Tom Waits (starting with his "trilogy" in the 80s) were also capable of producing "unique" music. Or think about how absolutely revolutionary Remain in Light sounded when it was released. (By that time, the Talking Heads had sold over a million records.)

There are lots of other truly unique albums (e.g., Loveless, Autobahn, The Drift), too many to name, but they certainly weren't made by Poison, Supertramp, Boston, or any of the dozens of other clueless and ridiculous suggestions listed in this thread.
I agree with the general sentiment of your post, but pet sounds not unique? I mean I could make an album where each track was simply saying "you're a sucker for buying this album" in a different language, spanning every language known to man kind. I'm pretty sure that's never been done before, but would it deserve to be included on this list? Pet Sounds combined compositional sophistication with adolescent nostalgia in a way that had never been done before in pop music, and probably not equaled since IMO. I would say Smile would be more obscure than pet sounds as far as the Beach Boys/Brian Wilson, but given the impact and substance of pet sounds as a whole, to me it is more unique and definitely deserving of that title.
Old 13th September 2011
  #140
First, huge props on your list, as I already noted.

But then on to current biz...
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnreverb View Post
Very true, but it seems like reason would take hold at some point. Saying Judas Priest/Janet Jackson/Jeff Beck is unique is like saying Mcdonalds is unique because they got the Hamburglar.
You're saying it's not?
Old 13th September 2011
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
Total agreement... but I could list a number of records that are pretty much in the same vein as Free Jazz

yes and no. at that point (1960) there really was not any album quite like it. Sun Ra possibly, but in 1960 there really was not in the jazz realm. Coltrane's Ascension was five years later. Cecil Taylor was still playing his take on bop and the New Thing had not really started until just a few years later. Never liked that record though, but it certainly stood alone in 60'.
Old 13th September 2011
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
First, huge props on your list, as I already noted.

But then on to current biz...You're saying it's not?

Who would win a fistfight, The Burger King or Ronald McDonald?
Old 13th September 2011
  #143
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PIL- Metal Box
My Bloody Valentine - Isnt anything
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (saw them in 1985 at the zap club in brighton...witnessed a lot of confused goths!)
Velvet Underground & Nico
Adam & The Ants - Dirk wears white sox or Kings of the wild frontier
Birthday Party - Junkyard
Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Ramones - 1st album
Cardiacs - Sing to God
Old 14th September 2011
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnreverb View Post
Especially not Judas Priest, Janet Jackson, Scorpians, Jeff Beck
The early Scorpions with Ulrich Roth were unique. Ulrich Roth himself is unique to the absolute definition of the word. Without him, guitarists like EVH, Yngwie, etc, and bands like Metallica would not exist. Do your homework my friend. Let's not turn this into Snobslutz! Cheers
Old 14th September 2011
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yfoiler View Post
Your attempts at cynicism aside, I would have to agree with you. Metallica, Pantera, Sabbath really cannot say they owe much to the Beatles musically. If you analyze there compositions from a harmonic standpoint, they are nothing but quite primitive and musically lacking in sophisticated harmonic content. How many power chords and pentatonic scales can one really put up with before the tears of boredom stream... It is what it is. But more to the point of this thread, where is their uniqueness? I mean seriously, rushing pentatonic scales for days backed up by bar chords with no third bores one to tears. Some of this nonsense is admittedly assembled with flair and contrived towards excitement, and It appears that to the young and musically uneducated it might indeed be exciting. Perhaps this is why their crowds are full of middle school pubescent males, I don't know, but... if you had mentioned Hendrix I might have agreed with you for that particular genre...for HE was completely unique, groundbreaking, and to this day still is. So while the groups you mention surely have their followers that would disagree with me, I fail to see anything they did as worldly ground breaking, or even unique musically for that mater. I'll give you Elvis as being unique, but he never grew beyond his "fluff". In fact when his career died, my ex-boss of 13 years had to write songs for him to get another hit. And luckily Elvis made a comeback with them. (Thanks Mac! In the Ghetto, Don't Cry Daddy, Memories...fluff? your call)

As far as the Mamas & Papas being world class unique? Surely you jest. I have some personal observations on this one. I was there. Google "The Lamp of Childhood". Yeah, we hung out with them. Our lead singer, James Hendricks was married to Mama Cass, and he, Denny and John were totally in awe of the Beatles, and I mean totally, but admittedly couldn't come close. The M&P's were really just a very good studio vocal group doing vanilla Laurel Canyon hippie folk music. Though I am glad you call it meaningful stuff. Perhaps to you it was, and there's nothing wrong with that. We were doing that too, but we never happened---meaningfully that is. Heck, the M&P's didn't even play any instruments except for John. They had to rely on Larry Knectal, Joe Osborne and Hal Blaine (and others in the Wrecking Crew) to back them up and how the heck are you going to be ground breaking and worldly unique with friggin' Jay Lasker (VP at ABC Dunhill) screaming "you HAVE to cut three backing tracks in three hours!!!" Budget!! Budget!! Budget!! Sorry...but that was the way they had to work. And not to take anything away from the studio cats, I think the tracks they cut for Dunhill show it. So there was no unique recording technique going on with the Mama & Papas and Bones Howe's engineering was as stock as it comes in those times. At least the Beatles (for the most part) played their own axes and anyone with a musical education can certainly see the very high level of their totally unique harmonic compositions and that couple with unique production was indeed world class and ground breaking for it's time. I am reasonably certain a guy named George Martin had a hand in their education too!

As slight digression on my part here but perhaps of interest to M&P fans; I worked at Gold Star Recording Studios during that period and was also with the group The Lamp of Childhood. We spent a lot of time in Studio 3 at United Western with Bones Howe (M&Ps engineer) more times than I can remember, and seriously, during the time of that fluffy Beatles HELP album the M&P's just wanted to go hide, and it wasn't long after that that Sgt Pepper laid waste to all of use trying to be "unique". I got the feeling it was a mini-version of Brian Wilson's reaction to hearing Sgt. Pepper's, but I may have been reading more in to it at the time.

Anyway, perhaps subjective and to each his/her own, but the M&P's were the ones in awe of the Beatles and the direction they were taking it. Funny, they wanted to know how the Beatles always sang so "in tune" all the time! That used to crack me up, because like it or not the M&P's had some serious pitch problems, and more than once in a while too. In fact, California Dreamin' comes to mind, but they kept it in. Jay Lasker was screaming $$$$! tutt
What a snob.

Rage Against the Machine #1
Korn (not that I really like them, just an original sound)
Too many to think of off the top of head.
Old 14th September 2011
  #146
Quote:
Originally Posted by days View Post
Now that's someone who is totally unique.
Joanna Newsom. You're right. But Carol Channing comes to mind as far as the singing goes. eek.

My vote for modern goes to Iceland, the country. Sigur Ros, Mum and Bjork.
Old 14th September 2011
  #147
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnreverb View Post
Who would win a fistfight, The Burger King or Ronald McDonald?
OK... I call foul. You're switching champions in mid-field!

I
thought we were talking about the Hamburglar, weren't we? I'm thinking that with his wily street smarts he'd have Burger King's wallet and crown in hand within 20 seconds of pulling out his Hamburglar Switchblade.

I'll admit, I may be a little hazy on the particular character traits embodied by the various burger joint icons.

Back in my day we went inside and hung out with Bob, the Big Boy. OK, sure the occasional onion ring was hung on his upraised thumb -- but he never broke his cheery demeanor, even as the shop manager was hustling us out past the pretty, poodle skirted waitresses.
Old 14th September 2011
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
Aside from all the crap and arguing about who knows more about music history, I'd like to thank the OP and all posters for sharing--these lists have lots of artists I've never listened to before, and obviously, I should---especially these folks I haven't listened to who seem to get mentioned again and again.
Just a reminder that there are major holes in my listening logs, and that I need to spend some money on more albums, instead of new speakers or a mic or something.

Maybe we need a 'mandatory listening' thread, where we post lists of all the recordings that one should listen to in order to get a grounding in good music, for the sorts of reasons doorknocker mentions above. This thread seems a good start.

If the suggestions thread wasn't closed (mod?), I'd also suggest a sub-forum dedicated to the deep analysis of a variety of musical tracks, of all types and genres, from technical and aesthetic standpoints, with discussions of recording and production techniques, as well as other non-tech details. I'd love to pick some brains on why so and so did this and not that, etc.
Totally agree and the interesting thing is for me that. There are two others on here whose lists i felt i was merely adding an adjunct to and that it's no coincidence we ended up making music for a living as those albums obviously were so "unique" they inspired us to seek out our own path.

I'd also point out that many of the albums i was listening to as a teen fell into the.."What do you want to listen to that crap for?" category. Funny' how decades later, they are the albums still listened to and often revered, whilst many of the biggest selling artists work from that era is a tad...well, cringe inducing on reflection.

Can, Hawkwind, Kraftwerk, Eno, etc etc from my own end of the music scene, are classic examples of that. Those bands and artists are all pretty much legends, in several other modern genres outside of their own lil niches, that is down to their *unique* musical vision. .
Old 14th September 2011
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
Really? Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE that record, LOVE it -- but is it really that unique from say "The Circle Game" or "Fred Neil" or even "Pink Moon" for that matter? Not to mention scads of artists since then, like Mary Gautier or Greg Brown.
At the time Songs Of Leonard Cohen was released I'd say it was pretty unique. (Pink Moon and Circle Game came later.)
Old 14th September 2011
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beyersound View Post
The early Scorpions with Ulrich Roth were unique. Ulrich Roth himself is unique to the absolute definition of the word. Without him, guitarists like EVH, Yngwie, etc, and bands like Metallica would not exist. Do your homework my friend. Let's not turn this into Snobslutz! Cheers
Snobslut here. I bought Beyond The Astral Skies when it came out in '85. Much props to you for pointing out that Uli was unique. The opening to Sails Of Charone is one of my all time favorite rock intros. However, once Uli is done its back to the old hard rock formula. The Scorps are not unique.
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