Help me tear apart some classic albums

01:10, Oct 18 2013

First of all I must offer my apologies at the delay in choosing/announcing the winners to Right This Blog! As the comments thread there reveals, there was a trolling issue that resulted in the green/red-thumb voting system being reset and that meant I had to choose the winners rather than relying on the public vote. I've tried to pick a range of topics.

So, the five winners and wild card have been added to the comments thread of the Right This Blog! post but here again I'll tell you that the five winners are:

1. Darryl - Evolve or Die
2. Waldo Jeffers - expat writing about five years of living in NZ and NZ music
3. ChrisJW - Rockquest
4. Durhamfrewin: Blind Melon the best band of the 90s/underrated
5. Nathan: 45 years of Richard Thompson.

Wild Card: Dave (not Doug) - an imaginary interview with Simon Sweetman

Those are the topics. These writers/righters have this weekend and until the end of next week to get their posts to me. They can email me: my name, with a dot in the middle, at

Now, with that out of the way I wanted to try to create some sort of topic. And I need your help. (Many of you will have been thinking that for some time of course).

I have a weekly series on the Phantom Billstickers Facebook page - the new one, started last week, is It Was the Best Gig Ever. A series of stories about favourite gigs. Pretty straightforward. By the time you read this the second post in that series will be available to read.


Before that I wrote about Great Kiwi Albums to revisit. And I started with a series of Classic Albums I Can't Ever Listen To Again.

This was a lot of fun. I've recently added the dozen posts to Off the Tracks so that everyone (who wants to) can read them.

It seems like a series that might have some legs. It's been suggested by a few readers that I carry on with it. And I think I'll do that. Maybe turn it into an e-book one day. There are one or two obvious albums that stick out for me, that I haven't yet written about but would easily be candidates.

Most obviously I think of Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell. And Tubular Bells.

Remember, the idea here isn't so much that they are terrible albums, just albums that have been done-to-death, and/or unfairly elevated as the best album in the artist's catalogue when I think otherwise. All highly opinionated of course. All of it is just my opinion. That should go without saying, but it never seems like you can do that. You have to remind/justify.

Some previous suggestions I can't write about - much as I'm in no rush to listen to Nirvana's Nevermind I am pretty sure I could enjoy that now and then. Same with Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which is top-heavy, gets a little tedious toward the end and some days it's nauseating/entirely the wrong choice but it is still an album I can take some joy from. Worth it, I think, for Chad Smith's performance. Also John Frusciante shines. And some days that's enough. Hey, I'm certainly no fan of The Red Hot Chili Peppers; not anymore. And that's unlikely to change but I reckon Blood Sugar is not on the list.

I realise, right there, it's problematic me asking for your help - you suggest Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and I tell you I still like it (save for one awful, awful song). You tell me Michael Jackson's Thriller and...actually, no, wait, that's probably a good choice.

As is Neil Young's Harvest. I've no real interest in ever hearing that one again; truth is I was never really much of a fan. Actually, as I said here, it's an album I struggle with; I'm kinda baffled by it as I like most of it in excerpts but have no interest in listening to it right through.

So I'll leave you with the links to the 12 existing posts. A bit of fun Friday/weekend reading for you - remember this is supposed to be fun. These angry rants were certainly great fun to write. And if you can think of any other classic albums you'd like to see in the firing line then leave your suggestion below.

1. Pink Floyd, The Wall
2. The Beatles, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
3. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street
4. Captain Beefheart, Trout Mask Replica
5. U2, The Joshua Tree
6. Radiohead, The Bends
7. Eagles, Hotel California
8. Jeff Buckley, Grace
9. Metallica, Metallica (aka The Black Album)
10. Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
11. Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A
12. Pearl Jam, Ten

So what should be number 13? And 14? And so on...

I'll keep adding new Classic Albums I Can't Listen To Again to the Off the Tracks site.

Have a great weekend. And thanks all for reading. Today's post is another milestone in the life of Blog on the Tracks. The 1600th post.

I'd like to dedicate this post to Nick. And thank him for all his hard work and advice. I've really appreciated it. He's been a big part of this blog.

Blog on the Tracks is on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also check out Off the Tracks for The Vinyl Countdown, reviews and other posts.