#80 - Lifer - Lifer (2001)
Not many people watched MTV as much as I did. At least, no one I knew did. At one point in 2000, they had a special called "MTV's Ultimate Cover Band Battle". There was a band I took notice to named, "Strangers With Candy". They did a cover of A-Ha's "Take On Me". It blew me away. I was an instant fan and waited for their cd to come out from that day forth. Well, it never came... or at least I thought. For 2 years I waited and waited. One day in the Napster era of music, I downloaded one of their songs from that show. Well. It brought back some other results with a new name... "Lifer". Oh my GOD, I thought to myself as I listened... IT WAS THEM!!! So that's why I didn't know. They changed their name. I wondered why everyone always thought I was talking about the lady on the Comedy Central show. Haha. So here we are, #80 on my list. Lifer has always been that band for me that I rediscover every 5 or so years and it makes me happy everytime! Check them out, maybe you'll like them too!
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#13 - Perfect - Hidden Track)
#79 - Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair (1985)
Tears For Fears was quite possibly one of my top five favorite bands in the 80's growing up. They were always on the radio and some of their songs were the first songs I memorized every lyric to. This was the cd that really did it for them. It had so much great music and that music still follows me to this day. Anytime I hear, "Shout" or "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" I always still sing along. I'm willing to bet most of you do too. However... I never listened to the whole album until my friend Justin told me to watch "Donnie Darko". I heard this song playing and completely missed it in the 80's!!! Easily one of the best, overlooked 80's songs, if you don't know it, Youtube it immediately!
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#7 - Head Over Heels)
#78 - Archive - Lights (2006)
2006 was a weird, transitional year for me. I had just landed a new job, I released my debut personal album, "The Rise And Fall Of Jack Willowbee" and I finally started to embrace adulthood. I was 23 and social media was beginning to flourish. Around this time I started to search out new bands from all over the world. I stumbled onto this band accidentally looking for archived "Pink Floyd" concerts I had never heard. I sat down and checked them out. I was HUGE into songs that lasted 15 minutes plus and here I was presented with a brand new band to me from England. I was captivated by them. Their music was so hauntingly beautiful. They were almost like a medicine to me in 2006. Their cd "Lights" was just coming out and I may have been one of the first people in America to know about it. I love that about me. I have always been one to not dismiss someones music after first listens and because of that, I have been rewarded tenfold. If you have never heard of Archive... I suggest you check them out. They may change your life. Seriously. If you ever feel down and out, listen to "Lights". It always makes the day brighter for me.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#6 - Lights)
#77 - The Butterfly Effect - Final Conversation Of Kings (2008)
I just found out about these guys last year! I was hanging out on Youtube, as usual... and BAM! Suggested videos on the right hand side pointed me the way! So I heard one song, liked it and decided to burn a cd of theirs. Me & my wife listened to it for a good month straight. This cd was easily likable and had us singing along in no time. It truly is a great album. It's just a shame that these guys broke up. This cd had a magical feel to it. I never realized these guys were Australian either! Besides "Men At Work", I couldn't tell you another Australian band. Very good album. I don't say this disrespectfully but it kind of gives you a Richard Marx rocking out kinda vibe.
SUGGESTED LISTENING - (#5 - Window And The Watcher)
#76 - The Doors - The Doors (1966)
With The Doors, it can be hard to narrow it down to a favorite cd of theirs, all were great, but this one really sticks out more to me than the others. It could be "The Lost Boys" fault for introducing them to me in 1987 with the song, "People Are Strange". But even though that is my favorite song of theirs, "The Doors" is by far my favorite album. After watching the Val Kilmer movie based on them, I have grown a huge love for the song "The End". Once again, a song clocking in at almost 12 minutes long! Songs like that have the power to take you to another world. All you have to do is close your eyes, relax and just clear your mind.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#11 - The End)
#75 - Rage Against The Machine - Evil Empire (1996)
Everyone who listens to rock music, likes at least ONE Rage song. For me that songs is, "Bulls On Parade". There was just something about Tom Morello's guitar playing style along with Zach's vocals that made them a band to remember. This album was EVERYWHERE in 1996. Produced by one of the greats, "Brendan O' Brien" and released on the Epic label. This album was destined to be GREAT from the start. Not to mention, "Bulls On Parade", turned out to be the first song I got 100% on expert in Guitar Hero. HAha.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#2 - Bulls On Parade)
#74 - System Of A Down - System Of A Down (1998)
In 1998, NO ONE, knew what to think of this band. They weren't even on the Frank Zappa weirdness level. But for some reason, "Sugar" hit and they became HUGE. One of my favorite bands to this day, System Of A Down are quite possibly the weirdest rock band in the history of rock. This album was their debut and was loaded with great, short masterpieces. "Spiders" was the sleeper track here and has always been my favorite song of theirs on this album. This however, is an album you have to have an open mind with while listening. It's different from everything else that came out in the mainstream 90's.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#5 - Spiders)
#73 - Huey Lewis & The News - Sports (1983)
This was the prequel to their "Back To The Future" success. This was the album they released right before "Back To The Future" made them the success they are internationally today. "Heart & Soul" & "If This Is It" are easily 2 of the greatest 80's songs ever recorded and they just happened to be on the SAME CD! If you grew up in the 80's you know how inescapable this band was. They were in one of our favorite movies, they owned the radio & our parents liked them. This to me, is the album that catapulted their career. "Back To The Future" would not have been the same without this album being made first. Very important album.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#7 - If This Is It)
#72 - Muse - Origin Of Symmetry (2001)
When I heard about Muse in 2002, they were still virtually unknown. I happened along the song, "New Born" and saw the fire in their live performance and saw another "Nirvana" unfolding right before my eyes. Unfortunately as of late they have went more electronic, but this cd shined. It was a masterpiece and in my opinion their best work. "Feeling Good" was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the 1964 musical "The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd" but made famous by the legendary jazz singer Nina Simone. Their version is by far better and on this cd, it shined. If you like Muse and have not heard this album, what are you doing with your life? Seriously?
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#1 - New Born)
#71 - Radiohead - OK Computer (1997)
In 1997, when MTV still played music videos, "Paranoid Android" was given to the world. The music video was as weird as Tool's and it made me a true Radiohead fan. "Karma Police" was equally as important and both remain in heavy rotation on radio stations around the world. Radiohead bust onto the scene in 1992 with their hit, "Creep" but this was the album that really showcased their talent. One of it's greatest praises came this year when it was declared to be, "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for inclusion in the National Recording Registry". Pretty high honors if you ask me.
SUGGESTED LISTENING (#2 - Paranoid Android)
70 albums to go and it feels like were still just getting started. I'd love to know what everyone thinks so far! Don't be afraid to comment, like, share or follow me! I could use some more eyes and it all starts with all of you! So happy reading and until next time, i'm Jack Willowbee.