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The Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

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500 albums

par BoldBoy

Liste officielle du Rolling Stones Magazine datant du 06/08/2014

La route fût longue mais après une dizaine de mois voilà que j'achève d'écouter ce que le monde a donné de mieux musicalement (excepté pour la musique classique qui a elle seule peut remplir 10 fois cette liste). 500 albums où l'excellent côtoie le médiocre dans un éclectisme parfois injuste, souvent nécessaire. La tâche étant loin d'être une sinécure, je m'incline humblement devant les auteurs de cette liste et précise que les commentaires de chaque albums sont leur propriété intellectuelle. Les Stones, Springsteen, Dylan et les Beatles dominent largement ce classement en voyant presque la totalité de leur discographie listée parmi les meilleurs albums de tout les temps, ce qui laisse quand même assez de place pour dénicher des pépites. Ce qu'il faut retenir :

Top 10 Funk/ Soul :

1. Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
2. Greatest Hits - Al Green
3. Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5. Stand! - Sly and the family Stone
6. Star Time - James Brown
7. The Birth Of Soul - Ray Charles
8. Two Steps from the Blues - Bobby "Blue" Band
9. New Orleans Piano - Professor Longhair
10. Back Stabbers - The O'Jays

Top 10 Blues :

1. At Fillmore East (Live)- The Allman Brothers Band
2. The Anthology: 1947-1972 - Muddy Waters
3. The Complete Recordings - Robert Johnson
4. Live at the Regal (Live) - BB King
5. Moanin' in the Moonlight - Howlin' Wolf
6. Born Under a Bad Sign - Albert King
7. Rain Dogs - Tom Waits
8. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
9. Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton - Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton
10. Boz Scaggs - Boz Scaggs

Top 10 Hip Hop :

1. Ready to Die - The Notorious BIG
2. The Marshall Mathers LP - Eminem
3. Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers - The Wu-Tang Clan
4. Illmatic - Nas
5. The Black Album - Jay-Z
6. Straight Outta Compton - Straight Outta Compton
7. The Chronic - Dr Dre
8. The Low End Theory - A tribe Call Quest
9. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kayne West
10. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy

Top 10 Jazz :

1. Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
2. A Love Supreme - John Coltrane
3. Sketches of Spain - Miles Davis
4. Giant Steps - John Coltrane
5. Bitches Brew - Miles Davis
6. Getz/Gilberto - Stan Getz, João Gilberto et Antonio Carlos Jobim
7. Aja - Steely Dan
8. The Shape of Jazz to Come - Ornette Coleman
9. The Heart of Saturday Night - Tom Waits
10. 52nd Street - Billy Joel

Et enfin :

Top 30 Rock (dans toutes ses déclinaisons) :

1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles
2. London Calling - The Clash
3. Led Zeppelin
4. The Doors
5. Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience
6. The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
7. Nevermind - Nirvana
8. Exile on Main St. - The Rolling Stones
9. Chronicle Creedence Clearwater Revival
10. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
11. Rage Against the Machine
12. Who’s Next - The Who
13. Back in Black - ACDC
14. Harvest - Neil Young
15. Ramones
16. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
17. OK Computer - Radiohead
18. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs - Derek and the Dominos
19. Disintegration - The Cure
20. Cheap Thrills - Big Brother & The Holding Company
21. Appetite for Destruction - Gun's and Roses
22. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
23. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars - David Bowie
24. Raw Power - The Stooges
25. Marquee Moon - Television
26. Transformer - Lou Reed
27. Wheels of Fire - Cream
28. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
29. Master of Puppets - Metallica
30. Electric Warrior - T.Rex

Ces listes étant totalement subjectives et essayant de respecter au mieux la parité (un artiste par liste), ne vous étonnez pas de ne pas retrouver d'oeuvres qui auraient méritées leur place, aussi l'absence de certains genres comme le reggae, la country, l'éléctro, la pop ou le folk s'explique par le fait qu'ils sont monopolisés par les même artistes (Bob Marley, Dylan, etc ...). Ces albums feront évidemment l'objet d'une nouvelle écoute plus appliquée, ce qui modifiera certainement l'ordre avec le temps c'est pourquoi je vous serez gréé de ne pas me jeter la pierre en découvrant que Master of Puppets arrive "seulement" 29e ou que je sois consensuel en mettant le meilleur album du RSM en tête de classement.

Pour ceux qui voudraient se faire leur propre opinion je ne saurais que vous recommander de tous les écouter en vous souhaitant bon courage et bonne écoute !

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  • 1
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    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock 'n' roll et rock psychédélique. 13 morceaux.

    Album de The Beatles

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the most important rock & roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time. From the title song's regal blasts of brass and fuzz guitar to the orchestral seizure and long, dying piano chord at the end of "A Day in the Life," the 13 tracks on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are the pinnacle of the Beatles' eight years as recording artists. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never more fearless and unified in their pursuit of magic and transcendence.

    Issued in Britain on June 1st, 1967, and a day later in America, Sgt. Pepper is also rock's ultimate declaration of change. For the Beatles, it was a decisive goodbye to matching suits, world tours and assembly-line record-making. "We were fed up with being Beatles," McCartney said decades later, in Many Years From Now, Barry Miles' McCartney biography. "We were not boys, we were men... artists rather than performers.

    At the same time, Sgt. Pepper formally ushered in an unforgettable season of hope, upheaval and achievement: the late 1960s and, in particular, 1967's Summer of Love. In its iridescent instrumentation, lyric fantasias and eye-popping packaging, Sgt. Pepper defined the opulent revolutionary optimism of psychedelia and instantly spread the gospel of love, acid, Eastern spirituality and electric guitars around the globe. No other pop record of that era, or since, has had such an immediate, titanic impact. This music documents the world's biggest rock band at the very height of its influence and ambition.

    Yet Sgt. Pepper is the Number One album of the RS 500 not just because of its firsts – it is simply the best of everything the Beatles ever did as musicians, pioneers and pop stars, all in one place. A 1967 British print ad for the album declared, "Remember, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Is the Beatles." As McCartney put it, the album was "just us doing a good show."
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    Pet Sounds (1966)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock psychédélique et pop rock. 13 morceaux.

    Album de The Beach Boys

    "Who's gonna hear this shit?" Beach Boys singer Mike Love asked the band's resident genius, Brian Wilson, in 1966, as Wilson played him the new songs he was working on. "The ears of a dog?" But Love's contempt proved oddly useful: "Ironically," Wilson observed, "Mike's barb inspired the album's title." Barking dogs – Wilson's dog Banana among them, in fact – are prominent among the found sounds on the album. The Beatles made a point of echoing them on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band – an acknowledgment that Pet Sounds was the inspiration for the Beatles' masterpiece. That gesture actually completed a circle of influence: Wilson initially conceived of Pet Sounds as an effort to top the Beatles' Rubber Soul.

    With its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts. When Wilson sang, "Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?" on the magnificent opener, he wasn't just imagining a love that could evolve past high school; he was suggesting a new grown-up identity for rock & roll music itself.

    Wilson essentially made Pet Sounds without the rest of the band, using them only to flesh out the vocal arrangements. (He even considered putting the album out as a solo project, and the first single, "Caroline, No," was released under his own name.) Its luxurious sound conveys a heartbreaking wistfulness, and the deeply personal songs, which Wilson co-wrote primarily with lyricist Tony Asher, bid farewell to the innocent world of the Beach Boys' fun-in-the-sun hits. Unfortunately, Capitol Records proved no more enamored of Pet Sounds than had Love; the label considered not releasing it at all. Not yet vindicated by history, Wilson withdrew further into his inner world. "At the last meeting I attended concerning Pet Sounds," Wilson wrote about his dealings with the label, "I showed up holding a tape player and eight prerecorded, looped responses, including 'No comment,' 'Can you repeat that?' 'No' and 'Yes.' Refusing to utter a word, I played the various tapes when appropriate."
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    Revolver (1966)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock psychédélique et pop rock. 14 morceaux.

    Album de The Beatles

    "I don't see too much difference between Revolver and Rubber Soul," George Harrison once said. "To me, they could be Volume One and Volume Two." Revolver extends the more adventurous aspects of its predecessor – its introspection, its nascent psychedelia, its fascination with studio artistry – into a dramatic statement of generational possibility.

    The album, which was released in August 1966, made it thrillingly clear that what we now think of as "the Sixties" was fully – and irreversibly – under way.

    The most innovative track on the album is John Lennon's "Tomorrow Never Knows." Attempting to distill an LSD trip into a three-minute song, Lennon borrowed lyrics from Timothy Leary's version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and recorded his vocal to sound like "the Dalai Lama singing from the highest mountaintop." Tape loops, a backward guitar part (Paul McCartney's blistering solo on "Taxman," in fact) and a droning tamboura completed the experimental effect, and the song proved hugely influential. For his part, on "Eleanor Rigby" and "For No One," McCartney mastered a strikingly mature form of art song, and Harrison, with "Taxman," "I Want to Tell You" and "Love You To," challenged Lennon-McCartney's songwriting dominance.

    Part of the album's revolutionary impulse was visual. Klaus Voormann, one of the Beatles' artist buddies from their days in Hamburg, Germany, designed a striking photo-collage cover for Revolver; it was a crucial step on the road to the even trippier, more colorful imagery of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which would come less than a year later.

    Revolver signaled that in popular music, anything – any theme, any musical idea – could now be realized. And, in the case of the Beatles, would be.
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    Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock folk et blues rock. 9 morceaux.

    Album de Bob Dylan

    Bruce Springsteen described the beginning of "Like a Rolling Stone," the opening song on Highway 61 Revisited, as the "snare shot that sounded like somebody'd kicked open the door to your mind." Folk singer Phil Ochs was even more rhapsodic about the LP: "It's impossibly good... How can a human mind do this?"

    Recorded in a staggering six days, Highway 61 Revisited – named after the road that runs from Bob Dylan's home state of Minnesota down through the Mississippi Delta – is one of those albums that changed everything. In and of itself, "Like a Rolling Stone," rumored to be about Andy Warhol acolyte Edie Sedgwick, forever altered the landscape of popular music – its "vomitific" flow (Dylan's term), literary ambition and sheer length (6:13) shattered limitations of every kind. "Ballad of a Thin Man" delivered the definitive Sixties comment on the splintering hip-straight fault line: "Something is happening here, but you don't know what it is/Do you, Mister Jones?" If anyone questioned whether or not Dylan had truly  "gone electric," the roaring rock & roll of  "From a Buick 6" and "Tombstone Blues" – powered by guitarist Mike Bloomfield – left no doubt.

    The album ends with "Desolation Row," a surrealist night journey that runs 11 minutes. Dylan evokes a Hieronymus Bosch-like season in hell that seems to foretell all the Sixties cataclysms to come. "The Titanic sails at dawn," he sings wearily. "Everybody is shouting, 'Which side are you on?'" That "Desolation Row" is an all-acoustic track – a last-minute decision on Dylan's part – is one final stroke of genius: a spellbinding new vision of folk music to close the album that, for the time being at least, destroyed folk music.
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    Rubber Soul (1965)

    Sortie : . Pop, rock et pop rock. 14 morceaux.

    Album de The Beatles

    In 1965, radios were abuzz with such groundbreaking singles as "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Like a Rolling Stone." That December, the Beatles met their peers' challenge head-on with Rubber Soul, a stunning collection that preserved the taut pop focus of the band's earlier LPs while introducing newfound sophistication and depth. Producer George Martin described Rubber Soul as "the first album to present a new, growing Beatles to the world," and so it was.

    The moptops were evolving in remarkable ways. "Drive My Car" is a comic character study of a sort not previously in the Beatles' repertoire. More profoundly, however, Bob Dylan's influence suffuses the album, accounting for the tart emotional tone of "Norwegian Wood," "I'm Looking Through You," "You Won't See Me" and "If I Needed Someone." (Dylan would return the compliment the following year, when he offered his own version of "Norwegian Wood" – titled "4th Time Around" – on Blonde on Blonde, and reportedly made John Lennon paranoid.) Lennon's "Nowhere Man," which he later acknowledged as a depressed self-portrait, and the beautifully reminiscent "In My Life" both reflect the more serious and personal style of songwriting that Dylan had suddenly made possible.

    George Harrison's sitar on "Norwegian Wood" – the first time the instrument was used in a pop song – and Paul McCartney's fuzz bass on "Think for Yourself" document the band's increasing awareness that the studio could be more than a pit stop between tours. Harrison called Rubber Soul "the best one we made," because "we were suddenly hearing sounds that we weren't able to hear before." And as for why the band's hearing had grown so acute, well, that was another aspect of the times. "There was a lot of experimentation on Rubber Soul," said Ringo Starr, "influenced, I think, by the substances."
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    What’s Going On (1971)

    Sortie : . Soul et funk / soul. 9 morceaux.

    Album de Marvin Gaye

    "In 1969 or 1970, I began to re-evaluate my whole concept of what I wanted my music to say," Marvin Gaye said. "I was very much affected by letters my brother was sending me from Vietnam, as well as the social situation here at home. I realized that I had to put my own fantasies behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of people. I wanted them to take a look at what was happening in the world." The masterpiece that followed Gaye's awakening revolutionized black music. From its rich, string-suffused grooves to its boundless sense of possibility, What's Going On is the Sgt. Pepper of soul.

    Gaye was determined to shatter Motown's pop formula and address pressing social issues. Motown founder Berry Gordy was not pleased. He claimed that "What's Going On" was the worst song he had ever heard. As for "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," Gordy asserted that he didn't even know what the word "ecology" meant. Gaye responded that he would never record for Motown again unless "What's Going On" was released as a single. After initially being rejected by Motown's quality-control committee, it was; when the song became a Top Five hit, the album – and a burst of socially conscious music from Motown – followed soon after. Working amid a haze of marijuana smoke, Gaye made one intuitively brilliant decision after another – from letting the tapes roll as his friends mingled to recording the rehearsal exercises of saxophonist Eli Fontaine. When Fontaine told Gaye that he had just been goofing around, Gaye replied, "Well, you goof exquisitely. Thank you." And that's how the plaintive saxophone line that announces What's Going On came to be.
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    Exile on Main St. (1972)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock 'n' roll, blues rock et rock classique. 18 morceaux.

    Album de The Rolling Stones

    A dirty whirl of blues and boogie, the Rolling Stones' 1972 double LP "was the first grunge record," guitarist Keith Richards crowed proudly in a 2002 interview. But inside the deliberately dense squall – Richards' and Mick Taylor's dogfight riffing, the lusty jump of the Bill Wyman-Charlie Watts rhythm engine, Mick Jagger's caged-­animal bark and burned-soul croon – is the Stones' greatest album and Jagger and Richards' definitive songwriting statement of outlaw pride and dedication to grit. In the existential shuffle "Tumbling Dice," the exhausted country beauty "Torn and Frayed" and the whiskey-soaked uplift of "Shine a Light," you literally hear the Stones in exile: working at Richards' villa in the South of France, and on the run from media censure, British drug police (Jagger and Richards already knew the view from behind bars) and the country's onerous tax code. Exile is rife with allusions to their outsider status: The album's cover is a collage of freakish American characters, and on "Sweet Black Angel" they toast imprisoned activist Angela Davis – one set of renegades to another. The music rattles like battle but also swings with clear purpose on songs like "Rocks Off" and "All Down the Line." As Richards explained, "The Stones don't have a home anymore – hence the Exile – but they can still keep it together. Whatever people throw at us, we can still duck, improvise, overcome." Great example: Richards recorded his jubilant romp "Happy" with just producer Jimmy Miller on drums and saxman Bobby Keys – while waiting for the other Stones to turn up for work. Exile on Main Street is the Stones at their fighting best, armed with the blues, playing to win.
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    London Calling (1979)

    Sortie : . Rock et punk. 19 morceaux.

    Album de The Clash

    Recorded in 1979 in London, which was then wrenched by surging unemployment and drug addiction, and released in America in January 1980, the dawn of an uncertain decade, London Calling is 19 songs of apocalypse, fueled by an unbending faith in rock & roll to beat back the darkness. Produced with no-surrender energy by legendary Seventies studio madman Guy Stevens, the Clash's third album skids from bleak punk ("London Calling") to rampaging ska ("Wrong 'Em Boyo") and disco resignation ("Lost in the Supermarket"). The album was made in dire straits too. The band was heavily in debt and openly at war with its record company. Singer-guitarists Joe Strummer and Mick Jones wrote together in Jones' grandmother's flat. "Joe, once he learned how to type, would bang the lyrics out," Jones said. "Then I'd be able to bang out some music while he was hitting the typewriter." Strummer, Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon spent nearly three months rehearsing and demoing songs in a garage in the Pimlico section of London – "with one light and filthy carpet on the walls for soundproofing," recalled Strummer in 1989. "We felt that we were struggling," he said, "about to slide down a slope or something, grasping with our fingernails." But Stevens was on hand for inspiration. He threw chairs around the room "if he thought a track needed zapping up," according to Strummer. The album ends with "Train in Vain," a rousing song of fidelity (unlisted on the back cover because it was added at the last minute) that became the sound of triumph: the Clash's first Top 30 single in the U.S.
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    Blonde on Blonde (1966)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock folk, r'n'b et blues. 14 morceaux.

    Album de Bob Dylan

    Released on May 16th, 1966, rock's first studio double LP by a major artist was, as Dylan declared in 1978, "the closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind... that thin, that wild-mercury sound." There is no better description of the album's manic brilliance. After several false-start sessions in New York in the fall of 1965 and January 1966 with his killer road band the Hawks – "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)" was the only keeper – Dylan blazed through the rest of Blonde on Blonde's 14 tracks in one four-day run and one three-day run at Columbia's Nashville studios in February and March 1966.

    The pace of recording echoed the amphetamine velocity of Dylan's songwriting and touring schedule at the time. But the combined presence of trusted hands like organist Al Kooper and Hawks guitarist Robbie Robertson with expert local sessionmen including drummer Kenneth ­Buttrey and pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins created an almost contradictory magnificence: a tightly wound tension around Dylan's quicksilver language and incisive singing in barrelhouse surrealism such as "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again," the hilarious Chicago-style blues "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" and the scornful, fragile "Just Like a Woman," still his greatest ballad.

    Amid the frenzy, Dylan delivered some of his finest, clearest songs of comfort and desire: the sidelong beauty of the 11-minute "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," recorded in just one take at four in the morning after an eight-hour session, and "I Want You," the title of which Dylan almost used for the album.
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    The Beatles (1968)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock 'n' roll, expérimental, rock psychédélique et pop rock. 30 morceaux.

    Album de The Beatles

    They wrote the songs while on retreat with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India, taking a break from the celebrity whirl. As John Lennon later said, "We sat in the mountains eating lousy vegetarian food and writing all these songs." They came back with more great tunes than they could fit on a single LP, and competed fiercely during the sessions. "I remember having three studios operating at the same time," George Harrison recalled. "Paul was doing some overdubs in one, John was in another, and I was recording some horns or something in a third." The sessions became so tense that Ringo Starr quit the band in frustration for two weeks. Yet the creative tension resulted in one of the most intense and adventurous rock albums ever made. Lennon pursued his hard-edged vision into the cynical wit of "Sexy Sadie" and "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," but also infused "Julia" and "Dear Prudence" with childlike yearning. Paul McCartney's playful pop energy came through on his inversion of Chuck Berry's American values, "Back in the U.S.S.R.," and he showed off his raucous side in "Helter Skelter." Harrison's spiritual yearning led him to "Long, Long, Long" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," featuring a guest guitar solo from Eric Clapton. Even Starr contributed his first original, the country-tinged "Don't Pass Me By." "I think it was a very good album," said McCartney. "It stood up, but it wasn't a pleasant one to make."
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    The Sun Sessions (1976)

    Sortie : 1976. 16 morceaux.

    Compilation de Elvis Presley

    Many believe rock & roll was born on July 5th, 1954, at Sun Studio in Memphis. Elvis Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black were horsing around with "That's All Right, Mama," a tune by bluesman Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, when producer Sam Phillips stopped them and asked, "What are you doing?" "We don't know," they said. Phillips told them to "back up and do it again." The A side of Presley's first single (backed with a version of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky"), "That's All Right" was issued by Sun on July 19th. It may or may not be the first rock & roll record. But the man who would be King was officially on wax. Bridging black and white, country and blues, his sound was playful and revolutionary, charged by a spontaneity and freedom that changed the world. "It's the blues," critic Greil Marcus wrote in his classic book Mystery Train. "But free of all worry, all sin; a simple joy with no price to pay." Presley released four more singles on Sun – including definitive reinventions of Wynonie Harris' "Good Rockin' Tonight" and Junior Parker's "Mystery Train" – before moving on to immortality when Phillips sold his contract to RCA for $35,000. Incredibly,it took more than 20 years for Presley's Sun output to be properly collected on a 1976 LP – which has since been superseded by this 1999 double-CD chronicle of the King's beginnings at Sun. It collects everything he cut at the studio, including alternate takes and the 1953 acetate he recorded as a gift for his mother as a shy and awkward recent high school graduate.
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    Kind of Blue (1959)

    Sortie : . Jazz et musique modale. 5 morceaux.

    Album de Miles Davis

    This painterly masterpiece would become one of the most important, influential and popular albums in jazz. But at the time it was made, Kind of Blue was a revolution all its own, a radical break from everything going on. Turning his back on standard chord progressions, trumpeter Miles Davis used modal scales as a starting point for composition and improvisation – breaking new ground with warmth, subtlety and understatement in the thick of hard bop. Davis and his peerless band – bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Jimmy Cobb, pianist Bill Evans, and the titanic sax team of John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley – soloed in uncluttered settings, typified by "melodic rather than harmonic variation," as Davis put it. Two numbers, "All Blues" and "Freddie Freeloader" (the latter featured Wynton Kelly at the ivories in place of Evans), were in 12-bar form, but Davis' approach allowed his players a cool, new, collected freedom. Evans wrote in his original liner notes, "Miles conceived these settings only hours before the re­cording dates and arrived with sketches which indicated to the group what was to be played. Therefore, you will hear something close to pure spontaneity in these performances." Or as the late critic Robert Palmer wrote, "Kind of Blue is, in a sense, all melody – and atmosphere." The bass line in "So What" is now among the most familiar obbligatos in jazz, and there is no finer evocation of the late-night wonder of jazz than the muted horns in "All Blues."
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    The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

    Sortie : mars 1967. Art rock et rock expérimental. 11 morceaux.

    Album de The Velvet Underground et Nico

    "We were trying to do a Phil Spector thing with as few instruments as possible," John Cale, the classically trained pianist and viola player of the Velvet Underground, said of this record. It was no idle boast. Much of what we take for granted in rock would not exist without this New York band or its seminal debut: the androgynous sexuality of glitter; punk's raw noir; the blackened-riff howl of grunge and noise rock; goth's imperious gloom. Recorded dirt-cheap at a studio that was literally falling apart, it is a record of fearless breadth and lyric depth. Singer-songwriter Lou Reed documented carnal desire and drug addiction, decadence and redemption, with a pop wisdom he learned as a song-factory composer for Pickwick Records. Cale introduced the power of pulse and drone (from his work with minimalist composer La Monte Young); guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker played with tribal force; Nico, a German vocalist added to the band by manager Andy Warhol, brought an icy femininity to the heated ennui in Reed's songs. Rejected as nihilistic by the love crowd in '67, the Banana Album (so named for its Warhol-designed cover) is the most pro­phetic rock album ever made.
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    Abbey Road (1969)

    Sortie : . Rock et pop rock. 17 morceaux.

    Album de The Beatles

    "It was a very happy record," said producer George Martin. "I guess it was happy because everybody thought it was going to be the last." Abbey Road – recorded mostly in two months during the summer of 1969 – almost never got made at all. That January, the Beatles were on the verge of a breakup, exhausted and angry with one another after the disastrous sessions for the aborted Get Back LP, later salvaged as Let It Be [see No. 392]. Determined to go out with a sense of recaptured glory, the group reconvened at EMI's Abbey Road Studios to make its most polished album: a collection of superb songs cut with an attention to refined detail, then segued together (especially on Side Two) with conceptual force. There was no thematic link, other than the Beatles' unique genius. John Lennon veered from the stormy metal of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" to the exquisite vocal sunrise of "Because." Paul McCartney was saucy ("Oh! Darling"), silly ("Maxwell's Silver Hammer") and deliciously bitter ("You Never Give Me Your Money"). George Harrison proved his long-secret worth as a composer with "Something" and the folk-pop diamond "Here Comes the Sun," written in his friend Eric Clapton's garden while playing hooky from a business meeting. And Lennon, McCartney and Harrison reputedly sang more three-part harmony here than on any other Beatles album. Let It Be was the group's final release, but this album was its real goodbye.
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    Are You Experienced (1967)

    Sortie : . Rock, blues rock, rock psychédélique et blues. 11 morceaux.

    Album de Jimi, The, Experience Hendrix

    This is what Britain sounded like in late 1966 and early 1967: ablaze with rainbow blues, orchestral guitar feedback and the personal cosmic vision of black American émigré Jimi Hendrix. Rescued from dead-end gigs in New York by ex-Animal Chas Chandler, Hendrix arrived in London in September 1966, quickly formed the Experience with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell and in a matter of weeks was recording the songs that comprised his epochal debut – which stands four and a half decades later as rock's most innovative and expressive guitar record. Hendrix's incendiary playing was historic in itself, the luminescent sum of his chitlin-circuit labors in the early Sixties with Little Richard and the Isley Brothers and his melodic exploitation of amp howl. But it was the pictorial heat of songs like "Manic Depression," "I Don't Live Today" and "The Wind Cries Mary" that established the transcendent promise of psychedelia. Hendrix made soul music for inner space. "It's a collection of free feeling and imagination," he said of the album. "Imagination is very important." Widely assumed to be about an acid trip, "Purple Haze" had "nothing to do with drugs," Hendrix insisted. "'Purple Haze' was all about a dream I had that I was walking under the sea."
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    Blood on the Tracks (1975)

    Sortie : . Rock, acoustique, rock folk et ballade. 10 morceaux.

    Album de Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan once introduced this album's opening song, "Tangled Up in Blue," onstage as taking him 10 years to live and two years to write. It was, for him, a pointed reference to the personal crisis – the collapse of his marriage to Sara Lowndes – that at least partly inspired this album, Dyl­an's best of the 1970s. In fact, he wrote all of these lyrically piercing, gingerly majestic songs in two months, in mid-1974. He was so proud of them that he privately auditioned almost all of the album, from start to finish, for pals and peers including Mike Bloomfield, David Crosby and Graham Nash before cutting them in September – in just a week, with members of the bluegrass band Deliverance. But in December, Dylan played the record for his brother David in Minneapolis, who suggested recutting some songs with local musicians. The final Blood was a mix of the slow, pensive New York sessions and the faster, wilder Minneapolis dates. Together, they frame the gritty anguish in some of Dylan's most passionate, confessional songs – from adult breakup ballads like "If You See Her, Say Hello" to the sharp-tongued opprobrium of "Idiot Wind," his greatest put-down song since "Like a Rolling Stone." "It's hard for me to relate to people enjoying that type of pain," Dylan said after the album became an instant success. Yet he had never turned so much pain into so much musical splendor.
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    Nevermind (1991)

    Sortie : . Rock, rock alternatif et grunge. 12 morceaux.

    Album de Nirvana

    The overnight-success story of the 1990s, Nirvana's second album and its totemic first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," shot up from the nascent grunge scene in Seattle to kick Michael Jackson off the top of the Billboard album chart and blow hair metal off the map. No album in recent history had such an overpowering impact on a generation – a nation of teens suddenly turned punk – and such a catastrophic effect on its main creator. The weight of fame led already troubled singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain to take his own life in 1994. But his slashing riffs, corrosive singing and deviously oblique writing, rammed home by the Pixies-via-Zeppelin might of bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, put the warrior purity back in rock & roll. Lyrically, Cobain raged in code – shorthand grenades of inner tumult and self-loathing. His genius, though, in songs like "Lithium," "Breed" and "Teen Spirit" was the soft-loud tension he created between verse and chorus, restraint and assault. Cobain was a pop lover at heart – and a Beatlemaniac: Nevermind producer Butch Vig remembers hearing Cobain play John Lennon's "Julia" at sessions. Cobain also fought to maintain his underground honor. Ultimately, it was a losing battle, but it is part of this album's enduring power. Vig recalls when Cobain was forced to overdub the guitar intro to "Teen Spirit" because he couldn't nail it live with the band: "That pissed him off. He wanted to play [the song] live all the way through."
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    Born to Run (Single) (1975)

    Sortie : 1975. Rock et pop rock. 2 morceaux.

    Single de Bruce Springsteen

    Bruce Springsteen spent everything he had – patience, energy, studio time, the physical endurance of his E Street Band – to make his masterpiece. There are a dozen guitar overdubs on the title track alone. "The album became a monster," Springsteen recalled. But in making his third album, he was living out the central drama in its gun-the-engine rock & roll: the fight to reconcile big dreams with crushing reality. He found it so hard to re-create the sound in his head – the Jersey-bar dynamite of his live gigs, Phil Spector's grandeur, Roy Orbison's melodrama – that he nearly gave up and put out a live album. But his attention to detail produced a timeless record about the labors and glories of aspiring to greatness.
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    Astral Weeks (1968)

    Sortie : novembre 1968. Rock, jazz, acoustique, rock classique et musique improvisée. 8 morceaux.

    Album de Van Morrison

    Van Morrison never sounded more warm and ecstatic, more sensual and vulnerable, than on his enigmatically beautiful solo debut. Fresh off the success of "Brown Eyed Girl" and newly signed to artist­friendly Warner Bros., he explored the physical and dramatic range of his voice during extended poetic-scat singing, and set hallucinatory reveries on his native Belfast to wandering Celtic-R&B melodies. The crowning touch was the superior jazz quintet convened by producer Lewis Merenstein to color the mists and shadows. Bassist Richard Davis later said that Morrison never told the musicians what he wanted from them or what the lyrics meant. Maybe he didn't know how to. He was going deep inside himself, without a net or fear.
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    Thriller (1982)

    Sortie : . Pop, soul, disco et funk / soul. 9 morceaux.

    Album de Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson towered over the 1980s the way Elvis Presley dominated the 1950s, and here's why. On Thriller, the child R&B star ripened into a Technicolor soulman: a singer, dancer and songwriter with incomparable crossover instincts. He and producer Quincy Jones established the something-for-everyone template with 1979's Off the Wall, a crisp fusion of pop hooks and dance beats. On Thriller, the pair heighten the sheen ("The Girl Is Mine"), pump up the theater ("Thriller") and deepen the funk. But the most thrilling thing was the autobiography busting through the gloss: the hiss of denial on "Billie Jean"; the to-hell-with-haters strut of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'." Jackson was at the peak of his art and adulthood.
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    The Great Twenty-Eight (1982)

    Sortie : 1982. Pop rock et blues. 28 morceaux.

    Compilation de Chuck Berry

    In the latter half of the Fifties, Chuck Berry released a string of singles that defined the sound and spirit of rock & roll. "Maybellene," a fast, countryish rocker about a race between a Ford and a Cadillac, kicked it all off in 1955, and one classic hit followed another, each powered by Berry's staccato country-blues-guitar gunfire: "Roll Over Bee­thoven," "School Days," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Johnny B. Goode," "Back in the USA." What was Berry's secret? In the maestro's own words, "The nature and backbone of my beat is boogie, and the muscle of my music is melodies that are simple." This collection culls the best of that magic from 1955 to 1965.
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    The Complete Recordings (1990)

    Sortie : . Pop rock et blues. 41 morceaux.

    Compilation de Robert Johnson

    "You want to know how good the blues can get?" Keith Richards asked. "Well, this is it." The bluesman in question was Robert Johnson, who lived from 1911 to 1938 in the Mississippi Delta, and whose guitar prowess was so great, it inspired stories that he had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his amazing gift. In his only two recording sessions, Johnson cut just 29 songs, but their evanescent passion has resonated through the decades, crucial inspiration for everyone from Chicago blues originator Elmore James to British blues inheritors like the Stones and Eric Clapton. Every one of his songs (along with 12 alternate takes) is included here – a holy grail of the blues.
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    John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)

    Sortie : . Rock et pop rock. 11 morceaux.

    Album de John Lennon et Plastic Ono Band

    Also known as the "primal scream" album, referring to the painful therapy that gave rise to its songs, Plastic Ono Band was John Lennon's first proper solo album and rock & roll's most self-revelatory recording. Lennon attacks and ­denies idols and icons, including his own former band ("I don't believe in Beatles," he sings in "God"), to hit a pure, raw core of confession that, in its echo-drenched, garage-rock crudity, is years ahead of punk. He deals with childhood loss in "Mother" and skirts blasphemy in "Working Class Hero": "You're still fucking peasants as far as I can see." But consigning Sixties dreams to the rubbish bin, there's also room for a fragile sense of possibility (see "Hold On"). Plastic Ono Band is the sound of Year Zero.
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    Innervisions (1973)

    Sortie : . Soul et funk / soul. 9 morceaux.

    Album de Stevie Wonder

    Stevie Wonder's high-flying musical experimentation and penetrating lyrical insight made Innervisions a textured, but never self-indulgent, work of soulful self-discovery. Fusing social realism with spiritual idealism, he brings expressive color and irresistible funk to his keyboards on "Too High" (a cautionary anti-drug song) and "Higher Ground" (which echoes Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of transcendence). The album's centerpiece is "Living for the City," a cinematic depiction of exploitation and injustice. He brought his most innovative music to life in the nick of time: Three days after Innervisions was released, Wonder was put into a four-day coma after the car he was traveling in collided with a logging truck.
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    Live at The Apollo (24-10-1962) (Live) (1963)

    Sortie : 1963. Soul, funk / soul et r'n'b. 15 morceaux.

    Live de James Brown

    Perhaps the greatest live album ever recorded. From the breathless buildup of the spoken intro through terse, sweat-soaked early hits such as "Try Me" and "Think" into 11 minutes of the raw ballad "Lost Someone," climaxing with a frenzied nine-song medley and ending with "Night Train," Live at the Apollo is pure, uncut soul. And it almost didn't happen. James Brown defied King Records label boss Syd Nathan's opposition to a live album by arranging to record a show himself – on October 24th, 1962, the last date in a run at Harlem's historic Apollo Theater. His intuition proved correct: Live at the Apollo – the first of four albums Brown recorded there – charted for 66 weeks.
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    Rumours (1977)

    Sortie : . Pop, rock, arena rock et pop rock. 11 morceaux.

    Album de Fleetwood Mac

    On Rumours, Fleetwood Mac turned private turmoil into gleaming, melodic public art. The band's two couples – bassist John and singer-keyboard player Christine McVie, who were married; guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks, who were not – were in the midst of breakups during the album's protracted sessions. This lent a highly charged, confessional aura to songs like Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way," Nicks' "Dreams," Christine's "Don't Stop" and the group-composed anthem to betrayal, "The Chain." The Mac's catchy exposés, produced with California-sunshine polish, touched a nerve: Rumours became the gold standard of late-Seventies FM radio and the seventh-bestselling studio album of all time.
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    The Joshua Tree (1987)

    Sortie : . Rock, electronique et pop rock. 11 morceaux.

    Album de U2

    "America's the promised land to a lot of Irish people," Bono told Rolling Stone. "I'm one in a long line of Irishmen who made the trip." On U2's fifth studio album, the band immersed itself in the mythology of the United States, while the Edge exploited the poetic echo of digital delay, drowning his trademark arpeggios in rippling tremolo. One of the most moving songs is "Running to Stand Still," a stripped-down slide-guitar ballad about heroin addiction, but for the most part this is an album that turns spiritual quests and political struggles into uplifting stadium singalongs: See hits like "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," a rock anthem with a gospel soul.
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    Who’s Next (1971)

    Sortie : . Rock, mod et hard rock. 9 morceaux.

    Album de The Who

    Pete Townshend said he suffered a nervous breakdown when his planned follow-up to the rock opera Tommy, the ambitious, theatrical Lifehouse, fell apart. But he was left with an extraordinary cache of songs that the Who honed for what became their best studio album, Who's Next. "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Bargain" and "Baba O'Riley" (named in tribute to avant-garde composer Terry Riley and Townshend's spiritual guru Meher Baba) all beam with epic majesty, often spiked with synthesizers. "I like synthesizers," Townshend said, "because they bring into my hands things that aren't in my hands: the sound of the orchestra, French horns, strings... You press a switch and it plays it back at double speed."
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    Led Zeppelin (1969)

    Sortie : . Rock, blues rock et hard rock. 9 morceaux.

    Album de Led Zeppelin

    On their first album, Led Zeppelin were still in the process of inventing their own sound, moving on from the heavy rave-ups of guitarist Jimmy Page's previous band, the Yardbirds. But from the beginning, Zeppelin had the astonishing fusion of Page's lyrical guitar-playing, Robert Plant's paint-peeling love-hound yowl, and John Paul Jones and John Bonham's avalanche boogie. "We were learning what got us off most and what got people off most," said Plant. Yet the template for everything Zeppelin achieved in the 1970s is here: brutal rock ("Communication Breakdown"), thundering power balladry ("Your Time Is Gonna Come"), acid-flavored folk blues ("Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"). Heavy metal still lives in its shadow.
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    Blue (1971)

    Sortie : juin 1971. Pop, acoustique, folk et ballade. 10 morceaux.

    Album de Joni Mitchell

    "The Blue album, there's hardly a dishonest note in the vocals," Joni Mitchell told Rolling Stone in 1979. "At that period of my life, I had no persona defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world, and I couldn't pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy." With song after song of regrets and sorrow, this may be the ultimate breakup album. Its whispery minimalism is also Mitchell's greatest musical achievement. Stephen Stills and James Taylor lend an occasional hand, but in "California," "Carey," "This Flight Tonight" and the devastating title track, Mitchell sounds utterly alone in her melancholy, turning the sadness into tender, universally powerful art.