As Long as There Are Pre-Teen Boys, We Will Always Need KISS

11.30 Kiss UK 70s

Back in the early-Seventies, the first musical artist that became an obsession was Alice Cooper. That band was the perfect entryway artist into rock music. First, the band had a cartoon image, so the jump from the Banana Splits, The Monkees, The Archies and The Partridge Family was not that big of a stretch, at least image-wise, though it goes without saying that the boys in Alice Cooper were a bit more on the Charles Manson side of provocative. Plus, the band played a muscular version of the bubblegum music on which I was weaned.

11.30 Alice Cooper, 1975

Now, I had a band allegedly named after a witch, doing a freak side show from the traveling vaudeville show coupled with a touch of the B-movie horror shows you could watch on the local TV station hosted by Central Indiana legend “Sammy Terry.” And, the band was playing that bubblegum music run through a touch of Black Sabbath/Deep Purple guitars. And, their lyrics were NEVER going to win a Noble Prize for Literature. Yet, the teens and emerging group of kids called “tweens,” who were too old for “kiddie stuff” but never cool enough to hang in the back of the school bus with the high school teens. Alice Cooper was the perfect music for the annoying pre-teen kids like me.

11.30 Kiss in concert 70s

So, following in Alice Cooper’s wake were a multitude of visually dazzling artists who garnered a small but fervent following. And, I am talking about the English glitter artists, none of whom caught the mass fancy of the Stateside kids like Cooper did. Then, in 1975, a live album exploded like an atomic bomb in the lives of kids my age, meaning around 12. This was must-listen music! The album was Alive! and the band was KISS.

11.30 Kiss Alive

My initial exposure to this album occurred down the street at my second home where my non-family sisters lived. The Dunwiddie girls were two of my closest friends in my neighborhood. Almost every day, I walked down to their house and hung out with Kim and Lori. We sat in the living room, talked, did homework and listened to music. Boy, did we ever listen to music! In retrospect, these moments seemed to last hours. But Kim and Lori were my free teenage therapists, as their home became a refuge for me from the stress of the meltdown of my own nuclear family. At their home, God bless their parents, I had some place to get away from the negativity that gnawed at me on a daily basis.

11.30 Kiss on That 70s Show

Anyway, it was at their home in which I was introduced to this Seventies pot of aural nirvana called Kiss Alive! I remember just being blown away by the energy of the sound of the crowd and the performance of the band. And, no, the current knowledge that all of it was doctored up in the studio will NEVER diminish the impact of that album after Kim cued it up on her family’s console stereo. I can only imagine what a hyperactive mess of pre-teen display of testosterone-driven tribal dance I was displaying. And, my own natural inclination to this music was reinforced when Kim’s varsity basketball star boyfriend told me he loved that album too as he cued it up on the console while he was visiting her.

11.30 Kiss in concert 2019

Let’s see! First, the girls, who owned it, loved it. Then, the older boyfriend who was a basketball hero of mine, said he loved it and that some of the team were going up to Fort Wayne to see the band in concert during Christmas Break, well, I must be cool because I LOVED this band. At that moment, I became truly obsessed with my first musical group. And, that’s when I started buying Creem, Circus, Hit Parader and Rolling Stone magazines, seeking more and more information on Kiss. And, within a year, I became a card-carrying member of the Kiss Army, complete with a Pacifica belt buckle and a T-shirt that my mom created for me.

11.30 Kiss Army logo

And, that light burned bright for the band until 1979. By then, I was struck by the punk/new wave bands of the era, that Kiss seemed more like sell-outs than a band ready to take on the world. Seriously, I did not need my favorite band on a lunch box, nor did I need to purchase G.I. Joe/Barbie-sized dolls of Kiss or a make-up kit. Like many kids my age, I did go down the initial supply-side rabbit hole of Kiss merchandizing, as I stated previously that I owned a belt buckle, all of their albums, a couple of posters and wore a homemade T-shirt. Oh, and I did have the first two or three comic books the band appeared in, like the two books of my favorite Marvel character, Howard the Duck, in addition to the band’s own comic book. But, those lame solo albums burnt me out on the band. Plus, I was beginning to hear new music from Elvis Costello, Blondie, The Cars, The Clash, The Police, Sex Pistols, etc., and they were a breath of fresh air when compared to the tiresome sound of Kiss. But, from Christmas time of 1975 through the fall of 1978, I was a huge Kiss fan. After that, I was never as passionate about another artist again, even though I grew to love Prince, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M. and Queen more than I loved Kiss back then. But, I was never as passionate about an artist the same way again.

11.30 Kiss pacifica belt buckle 1978

Whatever the reason, I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I pulled out the old Kiss vinyl, cleaned them up and began playing them. Then, I saw the snow coming down, reminding me of that snow flurry-ridden day on which I first heard the band on vinyl. So, I cranked up my little stereo and took a brief trip in the Wayback Machine. With the Christmas decorations up in our home and the first snow flurries landing on the warm ground outside, the music mixed with those visuals to conjure up some memories that are getting smaller in my review mirror of life. But, there’s just something about Paul Stanley’s yelps that moves my soul away from its darkness toward a lighter, brighter attitude.

11.30 howard the duck meets kiss

So, with that introduction, let’s take a look at My Top 50 Favorite Songs by Kiss. A quick disclaimer: I am by NO stretch of the imagination a Kiss expert these days. Today, I am more of a passing fan, so I am not a Einstein of Kiss Trivia. However, I do appreciate the band’s music. And one last admission: I have NEVER seen the band in concert. Always wanted to, but never had the right circumstances to see them. Oh well! At least I have this list.

50. “Let’s Put the X in Sex” (Smashes, Thrashes & Hits, 1988)

49. “I’m a Legend Tonight” (Killers, 1982)

48. “Shandi” (Unmasked, 1980)

47. “Psycho Circus” (Psycho Circus, 1998)

46. “Unholy” (Revenge, 1992)

45. “Forever” (Hot in the Shade, 1989)

44. “Hell or Hallelujah” (Monster, 2012)

43. “God Gave Rock and Roll to You II” (Revenge, 1992)

42. “Creatures of the Night” (Creatures of the Night, 1982)

41. “Modern Day Delilah” (Sonic Boom, 2009)

40. “Rocket Ride” (Alive II, 1977)

39. “Plaster Caster” (Love Gun, 1977)

38. “Shock Me” (Love Gun, 1977)

37. “Ladies Room” (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)

36. “Tears Are Falling” (Asylum, 1985)

35. “I Stole Your Love” (Love Gun, 1977)

34. “Rock Bottom” (Dressed to Kill, 1975)

33. “100,000 Years” (Kiss, 1974)

32. “Hard Luck Woman” (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)

31. “Goin’ Blind” (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

30. “Makin’ Love” (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)

29. “She” (Dressed to Kill, 1975)

28. “Great Expectations” (Destroyer, 1976)

27. “Got to Choose” (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

26. “Nothin’ to Lose” (Kiss, 1974)

25. “I Love It Loud” (Creatures of the Night, 1982)

24. “King of the Night Time World” (Destroyer, 1976)

23. “I Want You” (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)

22. “Parasite” (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

21. “Heaven’s on Fire” (Animalize, 1984)

20. “Crazy Crazy Nights” (Crazy Nights, 1987)

19. “Christine Sixteen” (Love Gun, 1977)

18. “Cold Gin” (Kiss, 1974)

17. “Firehouse” (Kiss, 1974)

16. “Beth” (Destroyer, 1976)

15. “Calling Dr. Love” (Rock and Roll Over, 1976)

14. “Lick It Up” (Lick It Up, 1983)

13. “Black Diamond” (Kiss, 1974)

12. “Hotter Than Hell” (Hotter Than Hell, 1974)

11. “Let Me Go, Rock ‘N Roll” (Hotter Than Hell, (1974)

10. “Do You Love Me” (Destroyer, 1976)

9. “C’mon and Love Me”(Dressed to Kill, 1975)

8. “Strutter” (Kiss, 1974)

7. “Love Gun” (Love Gun, 1977)

6. “God of Thunder” (Destroyer, 1976)

5. “I Was Made for Loving You” (Dynasty, 1979)

4. “Deuce” (Kiss, 1974)

3. “Detroit Rock City” (Destroyer, 1976)

2. “Shout It Out Loud” (Destroyer, 1976)

1. “Rock and Roll All Nite” (Alive! 1975)

Even though Kiss no longer is my favorite rock artist, they remain a band that continues to strike a pleasant chord for a day or so of nostalgia. Maybe this list will give you the subtle push to put a little Kiss back into your life. Until next time, peace.

My Quarantine Thanksgiving Playlist

Thanksgiving Peace Love & Rock

Back in the early-Eighties, while taking a college history/political science class, I was required to read a relatively new book at the time by a professor named Howard Zinn. That book was People’s History of the United States. That book changed my life. I had been aware of various “forgotten” stories in our nation’s history since my dad and uncle were both history teachers. Additionally, my favorite high school teacher, next to another one of my moms-away-from-home, journalism teacher Imy Rhule, who was the mother of a set of twins with whom I ran track and cross country for YEARS, American History teacher Denny Wallace encouraged me to delve deeper into the history of this country. Between those three men, I really got the sense of America’s atrocities in addition to her triumphs. Then, I read Zinn’s book.

Well, I bring this up because the American holiday of Thanksgiving is fast approaching. And as I aged, I came to appreciate this holiday. While I no longer buy into the American myth of Christopher Columbus “discovering” this continent or the Pilgrims coming to America in “peace.” I am fully aware of how white European settlers committed genocide on and unwittingly introduced their diseases to Native Americans that we could never repay those people.

Thanksgiving Norman Simmons

Instead, I chose to enjoy this holiday as a day of family. When I was younger, I would have two Thanksgivings celebrations, with each relatively small side of my family. After getting married, I then spent the next 25 years or so celebrating with my in-laws, until my mother-in-law became in capacitated. Still, my wife’s side of the family kept things going in the 2010s by holding the ever-expanding celebration at various places. First, after my mother-in-law passed away, things were weird. But, we kept going, with my wife attempting to hold her family together. Now, as of August, her father has left us, so Thanksgiving was going to be especially strange this year.

But, now, with this country putting stupidity ahead of science, COVID-19 is EVERYWHERE! I cannot believe how many people I know who are either positive or have full-blown symptoms. Fortunately, none have been hospitalized, but those that have symptoms say they have never felt worse. Unfortunately, every one of those people refused to wear masks in public, mocking much of what the science says. So, because of COVID and all the idiots who think mask-wearing is weakness or being a socialist (those people were stoned during Government classes!), we will not be having our annual large gathering.

Thanksgiving Stones

As a matter of fact, we are not even having our little immediate family gathering this year. My dad is 85 and his wife is 87. While he is physically healthy, he is showing mental signs of aging, and she is beginning to have some physical problems. Therefore, they are staying home. My aunt is staying home as well, even though she does not have any kids. She’s elderly as well, so she is out. Likewise, my older son, his wife and daughter are still quarantining away from us (I haven’t seen Sloane since August and that drives me crazy!), so they’re out too. That leaves my younger son, his wife and son to come over. We watch Crosby one or twice a week as the two work different shifts. So, they are included in our bubble. So, Thanksgiving will be so different this year.

But, one thing we can turn to in order to escape the bummer of this coronavirus pandemic is music. Today, I created a Thanksgiving playlist and thought I would share it with you good people. Of course, I have removed ALL of the little kids Thanksgiving songs from this list. Anyway, if you want to add “Thanksgiving Shark,” you can, but it is as annoying as the original version. So, this Thanksgiving, let’s bring a little peace, love and understanding to the world and try to unite to make things better.

Thanksgiving Filter

  1. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” — George Winston
  2. “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” – Arlo Guthrie
  3. “Almost Thanksgiving” – Graham Parker
  4. “American Pie” — Don McLean
  5. “Autumn in New York” — Billie Holiday
  6. “Be Thankful for What You Got” – William DeVaughn
  7. “Biscuits” – Kasey Musgraves
  8. “Check It Out” – John Mellencamp
  9. “Cooking Up Something Good”—Mac DeMarco
  10. “Cornbread” – Dave Matthews Band
  11. “Dinner” — Blood Orange
  12. “Do the Mashed Potato” — Danny & the Juniors
  13. “Family Business” — Kanye West
  14. “Family Tradition” — Hank Williams Jr.
  15. “Flying Turkey Trot” – REO Speedwagon
  16. “Give Thanks & Praises” — Bob Marley & the Wailers
  17. “Give to Live” – Sammy Hagar
  18. “Harvest Moon” — Neil Young
  19. “Home” — Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  20. “Home” – Phillip Phillips
  21. “I Thank You” – ZZ Top
  22. “I Want to Thank You” – Otis Redding
  23. “I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For” — Bing Crosby
  24. “Keep the Family Close” — Drake
  25. “Kitchen”—Mary J. Blige
  26. “Let’s Turkey Trot” – Little Eva
  27. “Macy’s Day Parade” — Green Day
  28. “Ode to My Family” — The Cranberries
  29. “Red Red Wine” – UB40
  30. “Roll Plymouth Rock” — Brian Wilson
  31. “Shower the People” — James Taylor
  32. “Sweet Potato Pie” — Ray Charles
  33. “Thank U” – Alanis Morissette
  34. “Thank U, Next” — Ariana Grande
  35. “Thank You” — Dido
  36. “Thank You” – Led Zeppelin
  37. “Thank You for Being a Friend” – Andrew God
  38. “Thank You Friends” – Big Star
  39. “Thank You Too!” — My Morning Jacket
  40. “Thankful” – Kelly Clarkson
  41. “Thanksgiving” – Loudon Wainwright III
  42. “Thanksgiving Day” – Ray Davies
  43. “Thanksgiving Prayer” – Johnny Cash
  44. “Thanksgiving Song” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
  45. “The Thanksgiving Filter” — Drive-By Truckers
  46. “The Thanksgiving Song” — Adam Sandler
  47. “Thursday Girl” — Mitski
  48. “Turkey Dog Coma” — Flying Lotus
  49. “We Are Family” — Sister Sledge
  50. “Young Pilgrims” — The Shins

Happy Thanksgiving! Peace.

Let’s Spice Up Record Store Day Again

11.13 RSD Logo

As if we need more heartache in 2020, the mother of my longest friend passed away a couple of days ago, and it honestly has me back in a funk. Judy was a good woman who tolerated so many shenanigans from Mike and me as we were growing up. Not to mention that she was the mother of my friend, she cut my hair all through middle and high school. It seemed like she cut my hair whenever she could corral me for twenty minutes or so each month I was there. What I didn’t realize at the time was she was the hairstylist for the high school basketball team. By getting my hair cut by her back in middle school get me in with the varsity players who went to her. When you are an awkward teen getting on the “good” side of the older guys was always a plus. And, it got you picked in pick-up games.

As Mike and I went to college, we drifted apart, mainly because I was attempting to break away from my hometown, and he was splitting too much of his time between the two worlds. I know he regrets this now, but why should he? He’s had one helluva a career and currently lives in St. Louis. Around 2000, we had a chance meeting at the hometown high school and renewed our friendship as if we never missed a beat. It seems we have a connection that is rare, from our senses of humor to our obsessions with music and sports. Still, my heartbreaks for him, and for me too since she was another of my away from home moms. Likewise, I mourn with his dad, brother and sister and all the spouses and grandchildren. Plus, the man drove all the way back from the Arch for my mom’s funeral, so how can I not be there for him when I’m right here. So, here’s to Judy! Godspeed!

11.13 RSH Black Friday

Now, Monday, I was suggesting a series of seven-inch singles that could be released to spark new interest in Record Store Day. In all honesty, the record companies could rotate odd releases by the Grateful Dead, Phish and Kiss, and that would awaken giant fan bases every three years. Then, you could always do something with the current darlings of the industry, like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and the rest.

But, what would interest the money from the Boomers and Xers? First, you could due a little series with all the old MTV Unplugged shows. If Pearl Jam’s recent release of their legendary set was any indication, there is a market for the vinyl versions. But, there are a bundle of unreleased albums by established artists from over the years that was excite vinyl collectors to get their hands on these albums. So, here is my next suggestion of vinyl that could be released on future Record Store Days.

  1. Amy Winehouse – unreleased material. The rumor is that there is more shelved material from Ms. Winehouse not included on the odds-and-sods collection that was released shortly after her untimely passing.
  2. Andre 3000 – solo album. Allegedly, the big personality of OutKast has a solo that is in the can, but has been shelved indefinitely.
  3. Ariana Grande – This lady has improved with each release. Still, she released a couple of EPs of Christmas music for downloads only. I bet her fans would love it on vinyl.
  4. Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash – The Dylan/Cash Sessions. Even the Johnny Cash biopic alluded to this collaboration. C’mon Bobby! This is one people have been pining for since reports of the two working together got out.
  5. Bruce Springsteen – Electric Nebraska. The Boss’ first solo album, Nebraska, was essentially the demos of the songs. Legend has it that the E-Street Band initially fleshed these stark tunes together, but Bruce shelved the tapes. The Springsteen Nation would LOVE this one.
  6. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Human Highway. Of course, this one remains on the shelf since Neil Young was going through one of his cantankerous moments. Now that Homegrown finally saw the light of day, let’s get this one out.
  7. D’Angelo – James River. After the success of Voodoo, D’Angelo began working on this album which supposedly is 95% finished. Of course, mental health and addiction problems shelved this one.
  8. Dr. Dre & Ice CubeHelter Skelter. Word on the street was the the two former N.W.A mates had collaborated on this one after their individual solo successes. Who wouldn’t want to hear these two at the height of their powers?
  9. Duran Duran – Reportage. By the middle of the 2000s, The Beatles of the Eighties had made a dramatic comeback with a well-received tour of the original line-up. So, they went in the studio and created an album that all members felt finally represented how they sounded on stage. Then, the label wanted them to be produced by some current hot-shot producers who ruined everything, causing guitarist Andy Taylor to leave the band again.
  10. Ghostface Killah & MF Doom – Swift & Changeable. Two of alternative hip hops best forces of nature joined forces to create an album that piques the interest of the hip hop world.
  11. Green Day – Cigarettes & Valentines. According to the story, this album was ready for pressing, when the tapes were stolen. Distraught, the band went back and wrote a completely new album, which ended up being their crown jewel American Idiot. Still, it would be cool to hear this if the guys would re-record the songs.
  12. Jeff Beck – The Motown Album. In the late-Sixties/early-Seventies, Beck went to Detroit to work with the Funk Brothers in order to come up with a combo of their funk and his metal. The trouble was Beck brought HIS drummer, eschewing the great timekeepers of all those terrific Motown hits. Of course, tensions ensued, and Beck took off with the only copy of the tape.
  13. Jimi Hendrix – Black Gold. This was the album that Hendrix was working on when he died. I cannot count how many times I have heard that this album was poised to be finally released. There’s no better time…
  14. Marvin Gaye – Love Man. Leave it to Gaye to plan a “dirty” album in which to stage his comeback. Unfortunately, he got divorced instead and released Here My Dear, an album whose royalties went to his ex-wife in a divorce agreement.
  15. Mick Jagger – The Red Devils collaboration. Back during the Nineties, producer Rick Rubin suggested to Jagger that he team up with an up-and-coming band called The Red Devils. They hit the studio and allegedly created some magic. Then, everything stopped, including the Red Devils’ career.
  16. OutKast – 10 the Hard Way. Here is the follow-up to their huge album, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.
  17. Paul McCartney – Cold Cuts. Who wouldn’t love to hear the best outtakes by Sir Paul from his best years of the Seventies and early Eighties? I know I would.
  18. Pink Floyd – Household Objects. After the game-changing The Dark Side of the Moon, the Floyd wanted to get back to their experimental roots. So, the idea was to create music with ordinary objects found around the house. Seriously!
  19. Prince (or is it The Artist?) – The Dawn. For some reason, the Purple One had a running fantasy to release a triple album, which he finally fulfilled with Emancipation. In the year or two before that aforementioned album, Prince had The Dawn, which part of it ended up as The Gold Experience and another part as Chaos & Disorder. Bootlegs are around with the whole thing on CD. It is a tour de force and would be terrific on vinyl in a box set.
  20. Prince – Dream Factory. After Prince broke up The Revolution, he went nuts in the studio. During that time, he created THREE complete albums: the altered vocals on Camille, a triple album opus called Crystal Ball (not to be confused with the 3-CD set of unreleased material he released in the late-Nineties) and a double-album called Dream Factory. All three were cannibalized for the terrific Sign ‘o’ the Times double album. At the end of September, his Estate released a super deluxe set that contains many of the songs supposedly recorded for Dream Factory. What would it take to just release the damn thing?
  21. The Beach Boys or Brian Wilson solo – Adult/Child – It is said that during lead Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s mental breakdown, he actually created this album that has been attributed to being a solo album and a Boys album. Either way, since SMiLE was finally released, this is the next Holy Grail in America’s first great band’s vault.
  22. The ClashRat Patrol from Fort Bragg. So, as The Clash were hitting the big time in 1982, the band was suffering from extreme tensions between its two creative forces, Joe Strummer (the rocker) and Mick Jones (the pop artist-turning-into-a-hip hop-aficionado).  Initially, the sessions that would become Combat Rock were more like the one-off single “This Is Radio Clash,” a mash-up of hip hop and punk rock, not unlike what was being heard in the NYC hip hop clubs drawing mixed crowds of punks, new wavers and hip hoppers. The Clash’s manager gave the tapes to a different producer who stripped much of the experimentation of the original recordings. Who would have needed Big Audio Dynamite if this one had been released?
  23. The Killers – The best Eighties band of the 21st century spent the first decade of their career releasing download-only Christmas originals to raise money for AIDS research. Now, it would be fantastic for the Christmas music crowd to get this material on vinyl.
  24. The Strokes – Post-First Impressions of Earth recordings. These recordings were intended to be on their third album. Then, all the usual rock star problems cropped up, ending the sessions. We all know now how lackluster that third album was. This stuff had to have been better because they were in a groove at the time.
  25. Weezer – Songs from a Black Hole. Ah, that nutty musical genius-nerd Rivers Cuomo. His original idea for the second album was to create a sci-fi rock opera. Then he changed his mind when it was completed. The band recorded new material, and we got the lasting classic Pinkerton. Oh, but what might have been…

So, there’s a few shelved albums that might get people back to attending Record Store Day, be it on its usual day in April or on Black Friday. Either way, just go support your local independent record store. I can’t wait to go bin diving again! Peace.

Let’s Inject Some Excitement Back into Record Store Day

11.13 RSD Logo

After that epic exercise in daft listing, I thought I would take a break. Oh, sure, I threw my two-cents in about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and its increasingly maddening nomination process as well as its insane backlog of worthy candidates for induction. To be honest, I did not become a big fan of the Hall until my family visited it back during the summer of 2001. After that, we were all hooked, though due to my being on the autism spectrum I get a little more hooked than the rest of my gang. All of which brings us to my favorite economically-driven holiday, Record Store Day.

This new “holiday” was started in 2008 in an attempt by a consortium of independent record stores to get people back in their stores. Originally, the day was intended for artists to release limited edition vinyl versions of rare and unreleased material. Personally, I had not heard about it since my vinyl-purchasing days seemed to be a distant memory. But, it seems now that the holiday may have sparked a vinyl revival. But, I also have to give credit to the college-aged millennials back in the first decade of the 21st century who made it hip to listen to vinyl again. Once my older son moved back from San Diego, he told me about this holiday in 2010. So, my three boys and I decided to take an afternoon to see what it was all about.

Prior to that day in 2010, I had not been bin diving for vinyl since we moved from Oxford, Ohio, back in 1990 when the boys were five and one. Of course, the three of us had a fantastic day hanging out together. That day, we walked away with a special release of an unreleased single by The Rolling Stones called “Plunder My Soul,” which happened to be a terrific song that did not make their Some Girls album back in 1978. Additionally, I picked up a clear blue vinyl version of R.E.M.’s legendary debut EP, Chronic Town, that was released in small quantities that day. From that day onward, this day, and its more recently added Black Friday version, is an annual event for the Keller boys.

11.13 RSH Black Friday

Over the years, we have purchased some winners, like Seth’s 7-inch special edition Wu-Tang Clan single that is cut in the band’s logo shape or Graham’s special edition of an OutKast album. Initially, I focused on 7-inch releases, with the occasional album by one of my favorite artists, though, since I no longer have to pay for college tuition for anyone, I now have a bigger budget. Perhaps, my most favorite memory has nothing to do with any purchases, but the morning we stood in line for an hour with my boys doing one of their patented back-and-forth dialogs about they hoped a Goo Goo Dolls’ box set would still be available when they got in the store. Of course, it was all  pure Monty Python-esque sarcasm with band member quotes from their VH-1 Behind the Music episode thrown in for good measure. They had a small crowd around them laughing hysterically. Honestly, it is during those moments when I wished they had become writers for SNL, The Daily Show or some other late-night comedy show because they can create some brilliant bits right on the spot.

11.13 8.MC5 AB - Kick Out the Jams

Lately, though, Record Store Day seems to have gotten itself in a little rut. No longer are some little gems from major artists are getting released to the public, even if it was a little fad release like Jimmy Fallon’s “Tebowie” or something I thought was more substantial like a re-release of Carl Douglas’ 1974 novelty hit “Kung Fu Fighting.” And, then there are two purchases that remain my favorites to this very day, a DVD of a documentary about collecting Christmas Music called Jingle Bells Rock! or the triple-LP version of the Raspberries’ early 2000s reunion concert with each record being a different primary color. Lately, what we have been offered have been first-time offers of vinyl versions of albums that were only released on CD. The creativity and excitement are missing these days.

11.13 1.HD.GD - Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely

Back in 2011, Rhino records started a brilliant seven-inch single series of songs by the original artist and a cover version by another on some colored vinyl. Three singles were released that year with the pairings of Hüsker Dü and Green Day, Ramones and Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gram Parsons/Jenny and Johnny. It was a nice change of pace. So, I started to collect that series until it ran out of steam in 2018 with some uninspired pairings of newer bands that are way outside of the mainstream.

11.13 15.Misfits Lemonheads - Skulls

Today, I would like to suggest some pairings that I feel would revive that Record Store Day series, known as the Side-by-Side Series. I would LOVE to see all of these released over the next decade on some exciting colored vinyl.

  1. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – The Rolling Stones/Otis Redding/Devo
  2. “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” – Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello & the Attractions
  3. “Africa” – Toto/Weezer
  4. “American Skin (41 Shots)” – Bruce Springsteen/Mary J. Blige ft. Kendrick Lamar
  5. “Blinded by the Light” – Bruce Springsteen/Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
  6. “Closer” – The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey/Boyce Avenue ft. Sarah Hyland
  7. “Doin’ Time” – Sublime/Lana Del Rey
  8. “Easy” – Commodores/Faith No More
  9. “Every Time You Go Away” – Daryl Hall & John Oates/Paul Young
  10. “Freedom Highway” – The Staple Singers/Rhiannon Giddens ft. Bhi Bhiman
  11. “Funky Town” – Lipps Inc./Pseudo Echo
  12. “Gin & Juice” – Snoop Doggy Dogg/The Gourds
  13. “Hooked on a Feeling” – BJ Thomas/Blue Swede
  14. “Hurt” – Nine Inch Nails/ Johnny Cash
  15. “I Feel Love” – Donna Summer/Sam Smith
  16. “I Fought the Law” – The Bobby Fuller Four/The Clash/Green Day
  17. “I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor/Cake
  18. “In Bloom” – Nirvana/Sturgill Simpson
  19. “Killing Me Softly” – Roberta Flack/The Fugees
  20. “Lady Marmalade” – Labelle/Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Maya & P!nk
  21. “Landslide” – Fleetwood Mac/The Smashing Pumpkins/The (Dixie) Chicks
  22. “Midnight Rider” – The Allman Brothers Band/Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
  23. “My Way” – Frank Sinatra/Sid Vicious
  24. “Shake It Off” – Taylor Swift/Ryan Adams
  25. “Superstar” – Carpenters/Sonic Youth
  26. “Take Me to the River” – Al Green/Talking Heads
  27. “The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley/The Ataris
  28. “The Man Who Sold the World” – David Bowie/Nirvana
  29. “Tim McGraw”- Taylor Swift/Maggie Rogers
  30. “Wonderwall” – Oasis/Ryan Adams

And, that 30 pairings is just a start as I have a total of 116 pairings that I would love to see in this series. And, that does not even count any new brilliant covers that are happening right now, such as Chris Cornell covering Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience” or his cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” both of which would make brilliant additions to the series.

Next time, I have a list of shelved albums that I would love to see be released on vinyl for this holiday, all of which would make record collectors salivate in anticipation of getting their mitts on these.

So, until next time, peace.

Batting in the Third Spot: My 100 All-Time Favorite Third Albums by an Artist

On several occasions I have heard or read an interview with Interscope Records head person and producer extraordinaire Jimmy Iovine state that he feels like an artist’s third album tends to be the most important album during an artist’s career. Generally, Iovine believes that if the artist had not yet established his/her/their vision on the first two albums, then the pressure was on them to produce a winner with their third album. In defense, he always uses three Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artists, all with whom he worked on their third albums, to make his case. Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were all critically acclaimed musicians and songwriters but none had broken through to the masses on their first two albums. In each case, these artists broke through to the masses on their third albums, propelling their careers into legendary status.

In all honesty, most rock artists make their artistic and commercial marks on their first three albums. What separates the legends from the “good” artists is how well those first three albums are received, followed by some truly fantastic albums. Back in the Seventies and, to a certain extent, the Eighties, artists were generally given three or four albums to produce hit songs/albums before their company would pull the plug on their contracts and drop them. So, the pressure was there to perform while still given time to develop their talents. Today, it seems that an artist is given three songs to create a hit before they are dropped. Plus, generally speaking, albums are not important to Millennials and Gen Z-ers due to streaming and downloading. But, to the Boomers and Xers out there, the album remains the ultimate musical artform.

Now that I have my silly introduction out of the way, let’s take a look at my 100 favorite third albums of all-time.

100. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet (1986)

99. Madonna – True Blue (1986)

98. KISS – Dressed to Kill (1975)

97. Missy Elliott – Miss E…So Addictive (2001)

96. The Offspring – Smash (1994)

95. Bruno Mars – 24K Gold (2016)

94. Halsey – Manic (2020)

93. Haim – Women in Music Pt. III (2020)

92. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City (2013)

91. Huey Lewis & the News – Sports (1983)

90. The Black Keys – Rubber Factory (2004)

89. Ice Cube – The Predator (1991)

88. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – Album (1983)

87. The Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall (1992)

86. Tool – Lateralus (2001)

85. The Verve – Urban Hymns (1997)

84. Supertramp – Crime of the Century (1974)

83. New Order – Low-Life (1985)

82. Tears for Fears – The Seeds of Love (1989)

81. Squeeze – Argybargy (1980)

80. Pat Benatar – Precious Time (1981)

79. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required (1985)

78. Pearl Jam – Vitalogy (1994)

77. X – Under the Big Black Sun (1982)

76. Patti Smith Group – Easter (1978)

75. The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

74. The Who – The Who Sell Out (1967)

73. The Psychedelic Furs – Forever Now (1982)

72. The White Stripes – White Blood Cells (2001)

71. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet (1990)

70. The Human League – Dare (1981)

69. Primal Scream – Screamadelica (1991)

68. ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973)

67. Faith No More – The Real Thing (1989)

66. The Stooges – Raw Power (1973)

65. Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger (1991)

64. Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story (1971)

63. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3 (2017)

62. The Jacksons – Destiny (1978)

61. Eurythmics – Touch (1983)

60. Weezer – Weezer (“The Green Album”) (2001)

59. The Replacements – Let It Be (1984)

58. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (2014)

57. Dire Straits – Making Movies (1980)

56. No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom (1995)

55. Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy (1978)

54. 2pac – Me Against the World (1995)

53. Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (2016)

52. Chic – Risqué (1979)

51. Paul Weller – Stanley Road (1995)

50. Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002)

49. The Cult – Electric (1986)

48. Radiohead – O.K. Computer (1997)

47. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders (1993)

46. Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection (1970)

45. Blink-182 – Enema of the State (1999)

44. Devo – Freedom of Choice (1980)

43. Slayer – Reign in Blood (1986)

42. The Pretenders – Learning to Crawl (1984)

41. Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!” (2016)

40. OutKast – Aquemini (1998)

39. Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend (1991)

38. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast (1982)

37. Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)

36. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III (1970)

35. R.E.M. – Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

34. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality (1971)

33. The Police – Zenyatta Mondatta (1980)

32. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush (1970)

31. Nirvana – In Utero (1993)

30. The Jam – All Mods Con (1978)

29. Def Leppard – Pyromania (1983)

28. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)

27. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

26. Queen – Sheer Heart Attack (1974)

25. Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

24. The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

23. Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic (1975)

22. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head (1992)

21. Big Star – Third/Sister Lovers (1978)

20. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland (1968)

19. Bob Marley & the Wailers – Catch a Fire (1973)

18. Talking Heads – Fear of Music (1979)

17. Paul Simon – Still Crazy After All These Years (1975)

16. Janet Jackson – Control (1986)

15. Hüsker Dü – New Day Rising (1985)

14. The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead (1986)

13. Run-DMC – Raising Hell (1986)

12. U2 – War (1983)

11. Ramones – Rocket to Russia (1978)

10. Todd Rundgren – Something/Anything? (1972)

9. Green Day – Dookie (1994)

8. Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight (1978)

7. Prince – Dirty Mind (1980)

6. Blondie – Parallel Lines (1978)

5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Armed Forces (1979)

4. Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (III: “Melting”) (1980)

3. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes (1979)

2. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)

1. The Clash – London Calling (1980)

And that wraps up my mini-series on the best of the first three albums of an artist. I hope it triggered some thoughts. If you have any, please let me know. Until next time, peace.

The Second Time Around – Did the Artist Improve? My 1000 Favorite Sophomore Albums

The dreaded second album – will that new artist grow or will they flame out? It’s the old sophomore jinx adage, be it a rock artist, an athlete or a television show. The bottom line is can they be as good as they were the first time around? Back in 1976, Major League Baseball was toasting a new wunderkind pitcher by the name of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The guy was a folk hero with some strange on-mound antics, such as getting on his knees to clean off the pitching rubber, and a terrific win-loss record for the then-hapless Detroit Tigers. After being name Rookie of the Year and influencing a group of pre-teens in my neighborhood to recreate his antics while playing baseball in the one of the many empty lots, Fidrych dealt with a serious of injuries that truncated the promise he showed that rookie year.

On the musical side, in 1979 there was The Knack, who released one of my favorite albums that year. Unfortunately, the band made a series of stupid, self-caused errors during what should have been a triumphant rookie year. Instead of performing on the Grammy Awards program, Saturday Night Live AND American Bandstand, the band tried to move from small venues to arenas while on tour. Then came the requisite backlash, reliance on cocaine, the inflation of egos AND the dreaded rushed second album, which was just the rejected songs from the debut album. Second rate songs meant a second rate album, all of which translated into a shortened career. And that was too bad for such a talented L.A. band to have flamed out so quickly. Unfortunately, the sophomore slump is more common than one might think.

However, there are a number of artists who created better seconds albums, or at least one that was nearly as good as the first. And, it is those terrific sophomore albums that I am celebrating today. So, on with the countdown (once again, I will eschew the synopsis since many of these albums appeared in my 1000 favorite albums series).

100. Roadmaster – Sweet Music (1978). Indy’s favorite sons were poised for the big time after this terrific Styx-influenced album. Unfortunately, musical tastes were about to abruptly change, leaving my boys wondering what had just happened.

99. Heart – Little Queen (1977)

98. Neil Young – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)

97. The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow (2003)

96. Ryan Adams – Gold (2001)

95. The Cranberries – No Need to Argue (1994)

94. Nick Lowe – Labour of Love (1979)

93. The B-52’s – Wild Planet (1980)

92. Run-DMC – King of Rock (1985)

91. Raspberries – Fresh (1972)

90. Randy Newman – 12 Songs (1970)

89. Ramones – Leave Home (1977)

88. Rickie Lee Jones – Pirates (1981)

87. System of a Down – Toxicity (2001)

86. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless (1991)

85. Iggy Pop – Lust for Life (1977)

84. Warren Zevon – Warren Zevon (1976)

83. Lionel Richie – Can’t Slow Down (1983)

82. The Monkees – More of the Monkees (1967)

81. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold as Love (1967)

80. X – Wild Gift (1981)

79. Billy Joel – Piano Man (1973)

78. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (1981)

77. The Psychedelic Furs – Talk, Talk, Talk (1981)

76. The Cult – Love (1985)

75. Kanye West – Late Registration (2005)

74. The Smithereens – Green Thoughts (1988)

73. Stone Temple Pilots – Purple (1994)

72. Vampire Weekend – Contra (2010)

71. Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)

70. M.I.A. – Kala (2007)

69. Radiohead – The Bends (1995)

68. The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (1992)

67. Gin Blossoms – New Miserable Experience (1992)

66. The Police – Regatta de Blanc (1979)

65. Paul McCartney – Ram (1971)

64. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)

63. Sugar – File Under: Easy Listening (1994)

62. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral (1994)

61. Pearl Jam – Vs. (1993)

60. George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990)

59. The Bangles – Different Light (1986)

58. Hole – Live Through This (1994)

57. Foo Fighters – The Shape and the Color (1997)

56. Queen – Queen II (1974)

55. Prince – Prince (1979)

54. New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)

53. Fine Young Cannibals – The Cooked & the Raw (1988)

52. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014)

51. Billy Squier – Don’t Say No (1981)

50. The Stooges – Funhouse (1970)

49. Chic – C’est Chic (1978)

48. Wham! – Make It Big (1984)

47. Metallica – Ride the Lightning (1984)

46. The Cars – Candy-o (1979)

45. Lady Gaga – Born This Way (2011)

44. Jellyfish – Spilt Milk (1993)

43. The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)

42. Daft Punk – Discovery (2001)

41. D’Angelo – Voodoo (2000)

40. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – You’re Gonna Get It! (1978)

39. TLC – CrazySexyCool (1994)

38. The Smiths – Meat Is Murder (1985)

37. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique (1989)

36. Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade (1984)

35. Taylor Swift – Fearless (2008)

34. Elton John – Elton John (1970)

33. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (2007)

32. Duran Duran – Rio (1981)

31. Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)

30. The Beatles – With the Beatles (1964)

29. Carole King – Tapestry (1971)

28. A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory (1991)

27. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

26. Joy Division – Closer (1980)

25. Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)

24. Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)

23. Adele – 21 (2011)

22. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II (1969)

21. Sinead O’Connor – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (1990)

20. Culture Club – Colour by Numbers (1983)

19. Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair (1985)

18. The Time – What Time Is It? (1982)

17. Paul Weller – Wildwood (1993)

16. Cheap Trick – In Color (1977)

15. Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent & the E-Street Shuffle (1974)

14. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)

13. Madonna – Like a Virgin (1984)

12. Weezer – Pinkerton (1996)

11. Chicago – Chicago II (1970)

10. Marshall Crenshaw – Field Day (1983)

9. Big Star – Radio City (1973)

8. Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

7. R.E.M. – Reckoning (1984)

6. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)

5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions – This Year’s Model (1978)

4. Daryl Hall & John Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)

3. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)

2. Pixies – Doolittle (1989)

1. The Band – The Band (1969)

And, that, my friends, are my favorite sophomore albums in an artist’s catalog. See you next time with the best third albums list. Peace.

Rookie Years: My 100 Favorite Debut Albums

Recently, a friend from way back in the day (we met in sixth grade), Mark Kline, suggested that I should write about my favorite second and third albums by artists that I loved. And, I thought that was a fantastic idea, but why not take it a step further and do a list of debut albums? His suggestion allowed me to put the stupid election on the back burner and waste time on researching these topics.

Debut albums have always been a curious proposition for artists. As all of them will tell you, they have had their whole lives to write for their first album, while every subsequent album has far less time for preparation. And, some of these debut albums were so magical that the artist had a difficult time every following it up (Am I not correct Hootie & the Blowfish, who, unfortunately, is not on this list?). While many others tried to follow the very same formula that brought them success or simply used recordings that had been discarded while making that debut. On the other hand, many artists had the ability to transcend that rookie season and build a solid career on it.

During this brief research, I discovered that the debut album thing is nothing new. In fact, it seems to be verge of becoming a cliché in the rock blogosphere, which has never stopped me before. Second, or sophomore, albums were a path a little less traveled. While, the third album was a topic rarely touched. So, this whole mini-series is the brainchild of Mr. Kline, once again, the opinions are all mine. Now, I am sure you will be happy about this, but since most of these albums were part of my sprawling 1000 album waste-of-time, I will forgo my silly synopses and just print my countdown, beginning at 100. I hope you all enjoy this and don’t be afraid to let me have it about my rankings.  Let the countdown begin!

100. Queen – Queen (1973)

99. Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes (1983)

98. The Black Crowes – Shake Your Moneymaker (1990)

97. Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine (1989)

96. Phil Collins – Face Value (1981)

95. Adele – 19 (2008)

94. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman (1988)

93. Television – Marquee Moon (1977)

92. King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

91. Sheryl Crow – Tuesday Night Music Club (1994)

90. LL Cool J – Radio (1985)

89. New York Dolls – New York Dolls (1973)

88. Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones (1979)

87. Suicide – Suicide (1977)

86. The Go-Go’s – Beauty and the Beat (1981)

85. Heart – Dreamboat Annie (1976)

84. The Monkees – The Monkees (1966)

83. Kanye West – The College Dropout (2003)

82. Fine Young Cannibals – Fine Young Cannibals (1985)

81. Joe Jackson – Look Sharp! (1979)

80. Patti Smith Group – Horses (1975)

79. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Texas Flood (1983)

78. U2 – Boy (1980)

77. Lynyrd Skynyrd – pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd (1973)

76. Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (1993)

75. Steely Dan – Can’t Buy a Thrill (1972)

74. Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt (1996)

73. The Stooges – The Stooges (1969)

72. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)

71. The Pretenders – The Pretenders (1979)

70. Dire Straits – Dire Straits (1978)

69. Nas – Illmatic (1994)

68. Rush – Rush (1973)

67. Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

66. Fitz & the Tantrums – Pickin’ Up the Pieces (2010)

65. Dead Kennedys – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)

64. Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (1978)

63. Eric B & Rakim – Paid in Full (1987)

62. Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago Transit Authority (1969)

61. Lady Gaga – The Fame (2008)

60. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog (1991)

59. MGMT – Oracular Spectacular (2007)

58. The Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die (1994)

57. Black Flag – Damaged (1981)

56. X – Los Angeles (1980)

55. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

54. Arcade Fire – Funeral (2004)

53. The Traveling Wilburys – The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (1988)

52. The B-52’s – The B-52’s (1979)

51. Terence Trent D’Arby – Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby (1987)

50. The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)

49. Run- DMC – Run-DMC (1983)

48. Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)

47. The Clash – The Clash (1977)

46. Whitney Houston – Whitney Houston (1985)

45. Crowded House – Crowded House (1986)

44. Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)

43. Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley (1956)

42. Ramones – Ramones (1976)

41. Pearl Jam – Ten (1991)

40. Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)

39. The Doors – The Doors (1967)

38. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine (1992)

37. Madonna – Madonna  (1983)

36. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin (1969)

35. Sugar – Copper Blue (1992)

34. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)

33. Blondie – Blondie (1977)

32. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

31. The Smiths – The Smiths (1984)

30. Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna (1981)

29. Eminem – The Slim Shady LP (1998)

28. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls (2012)

27. Dr. Dre – The Chronic (1992)

26. The Strokes – This Is It (2001)

25. Raspberries – Raspberries (1972)

24. Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986)

23. The Knack – Get The Knack (1979)

22. Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

21. Bob Mould – Workbook (1989)

20. Big Star – #1 Record (1972)

19. The Band – Music from Big Pink (1968)

18. The Killers – Hot Fuss (2004)

17. Jellyfish – Bellybutton (1991)

16. Nick Lowe – Jesus of Cool (1978)

15. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)

14. Talking Heads – Talking Heads: 77 (1977)

13. Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw (1982)

12. Van Halen – Van Halen (1978)

11. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (1987)

10. Weezer – Weezer (“The Blue Album”) (1994)

9. George Michael – Faith (1987)

8. Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977)

7. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1976)

6. New Radicals – Maybe I’ve Been Brainwashed Too (1998)

5. Elvis Costello – My Aim Is True (1977)

4. Boston – Boston (1976)

3. R.E.M. – Murmur (1983)

2. The Cars – The Cars (1978)

1. The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods (1984)

And, that wraps up my 100 favorite debut albums. See you next time with my 100 favorite sophomore albums. Peace.