When people talk about Neil Young's best albums, I never hear this in the discussion. That may be in large part because the album was never released in CD format until 2003. But this is easily one of Neil Young's strongest albums, especially the somber closing songs "Motion Pictures" and "Ambulance Blues".
While Brian Wilson largely controlled the creative process early in The Beach Boys' years, this album showcased the talents of the other band members. Carl Wilson especially emerges with his two tracks "Long Promised Road" and "Feel Flows". What makes this album truly special though is Brian Wilson's trio of songs that close the album. They're some of his best and most creative.
See the full review, "Just one look at the cover makes it obvious this isn't your average Beach Boys album.".
Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys only released this one solo album in his career, but what an album it is. At this point Wilson's voice had began deteriorating due in large part to his substance abuse, but it adds a certain fragile vulnerability that helps lift each song.
I'm sure most people don't even know this band. They were part of the Krautrock movement in Germany; I like to think of Krautrock as progressive rock meets psychedelic music. The results on some fairly lengthy songs, but they were both complex and catchy. And the lead vocalist at the time, Damo Suzuki, has a voice unlike any other you've heard before. Whether or not that's a good thing is for the listener to decide.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records this is the first ever album to be recorded entirely from samples. Joshua Davis, a.k.a. DJ Shadow, went through his massive record collection and took little bits from all kinds of genres, whether it be hip-hop, funk, or electronic music. The result is a mash-up of all kinds of music that manages to sound entirely unique.
Much of The Velvet Underground's praise comes from pushing the boundaries of alternative rock. Just listen to some of their earlier stuff and it sounds unlike anything else other bands were making at that time. But my personal favorite album of theirs is definitely Loaded. This album showed Lou Reed is capable of writing songs that are radio-friendly, and that certainly didn't make the band any worse. In fact, it opened them up to a new audience.
This concept album from Pink Floyd was based on the fantastic George Orwell novel, "Animal Farm". The concept alone makes this album a winner, but the great tunes certainly help. It's only five songs long but three of those clock in at 10+ minutes. This is progressive rock at its finest, and it's right up there with the other great albums Pink Floyd recorded.
It pains me to say this since The Beatles are my favorite band, but the best album with the title Let It Be goes to The Replacements. Deeply rooted in punk rock early in their careers, The Replacements started incorporating elements of alternative rock into their albums. Rather than relying on fast paced guitar attacks, Paul Westerberg started focusing more on songwriting, and it really payed off. Plus, they do a kickass cover of "Black Diamond" by KISS, so that can only improve things.