Counting Down

The Doors Albums From Worst To Best

By Ryan Leas / 11:45 am
36

The Doors are part of a very specific category of classic-rock artists: the gateway artists. The bands that — assuming you weren’t around in the ’60s — are amongst the first names you explore when you start digging into pop music’s past. Though keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore were all… More »


INXS Albums From Worst To Best

By Alicia Kennedy / July 14, 2015 - 12:07 pm
7

“How can I call myself a straight man,” a barback asked me and my friend, “if I would rather look at Michael Hutchence than all these pretty girls?” He returned to his duties, collecting empty glasses and wiping down the bar, and we were left to ponder this question alone. A TV in the bar… More »


Stevie Wonder Albums From Worst To Best

By Timothy Bracy & Elizabeth Bracy / July 2, 2015 - 9:57 am
15

Steveland “Stevie Wonder” Morris is an indisputable icon of American music, but in many ways is best understood as a part of a separate tradition — that of the musical prodigy. Like Mozart, Mendelssohn, Earl Scruggs, and Alex Chilton before him, Wonder composed and performed songs as a young child that inextricably transformed the contemporary… More »


Royal Trux Albums From Worst To Best

By Brian Mock / June 25, 2015 - 1:52 pm
8

Royal Trux just might be the most misunderstood band in indie rock. But their influence can be seen in contemporary bands like Liars, the Kills, Sleigh Bells, MGMT, Primal Scream, of Montreal, and others. On the surface, they’ve never been the easiest to digest upon first listen, from Jennifer Herrema’s gravely grunts and growls, to… More »


The Black Keys Albums From Worst To Best

By Ryan Leas / June 11, 2015 - 11:44 am
88

Somewhere along the way, the Black Keys sneakily became one of the weirdest bands of the 21st century. Not stylistically, of course — and that’s where a whole lot of the weirdness is rooted. There are still famous rock bands in 2015, but the topic of their decreased relevance is by now its own cliché. More »


Faith No More Albums From Worst To Best

By Joseph Schafer / June 4, 2015 - 12:23 pm
16

When I saw San Francisco’s revenant Faith No More play Seattle for the first time in nearly 20 years, they closed their set with “Mark Bowen,” a song from their first album, named after their very first guitarist. Mark Bowen was there in the audience. It struck me as a classy move to reach back… More »


Yes Albums From Worst To Best

By Phil Freeman / May 20, 2015 - 10:21 am
28

Yes are one of the flagship acts of progressive rock. They’re also one of rock’s weirdest bands. Their best music is intense and aggressive, incorporating influences from jazz, folk, and country, but blending them with wild synthesizer explorations, crazed art-boogie guitar shredding, bass louder than most metal bands’, crushingly complex drumming, and Jon Anderson’s unique,… More »


Blondie Albums From Worst To Best

By Nate Patrin / May 6, 2015 - 12:41 pm
9

When music critics talk about the reasons “punk had to happen,” they’re usually making accusations about how bloated and corporate arena rock was getting in the mid ’70s, or about how music was losing its sense of rebellious teenage fun. But the fact is that little of that actually matters in the face of it… More »


Wire Albums From Worst To Best

By Jeffrey Terich / April 22, 2015 - 10:01 am
16

“There are those who say Wire was the best punk band ever because it broke all of the rules, didn’t stick with any of the blueprints and did actually what it wanted,” Colin Newman told Rolling Stone in 2013. “I just wouldn’t call that punk, personally. Punk is just one of those words that’s so… More »


Ariel Pink Albums From Worst To Best

By Raymond Cummings / March 31, 2015 - 11:51 am
43

As his band traveled through a lightning storm somewhere in the American Midwest, Ariel “Pink” Rosenberg yelled at me over the telephone. It was April 2005, and I was holed up in the spare bedroom of a rented house in York, PA, repeatedly posing pre-prepared interview questions in order to be heard over the noise… More »


Madonna Albums From Worst To Best

By Mary von Aue / March 18, 2015 - 10:32 am
33

Throughout Madonna’s four decade career, she’s pissed off a lot of people. Backlash against Madonna has brought otherwise divergent groups to consensus, from Pope John Paul II to Planned Parenthood. As an artist, she has given us so many iterations of herself that she’s been able to remain both relevant and agitating across generations. More »


Beck Albums From Worst To Best

By Ryan Leas / February 19, 2015 - 1:07 pm
152

As you might’ve heard, Beck won a Grammy for Album Of The Year about a week and a half ago, for his early 2014 release Morning Phase. I don’t know if your Twitter feed looked anything like mine, but let’s say people were less than supportive of this decision — because, of course, Beck beat… More »


The Fall Albums From Worst To Best

By Robert Ham / February 12, 2015 - 1:06 pm
26

“If it’s me and your granny on bongos, it’s the Fall.” So sayeth Mark E. Smith (MES), the mercurial, irascible, and incredible leader of the legendary post-punk band. It’s a quote that gets thrown around often in response to the parade of musicians (upwards of 60 by my rough count) that were hired and fired,… More »


Napalm Death Albums From Worst To Best

By Phil Freeman / February 4, 2015 - 10:38 am
34

Napalm Death are one of the most important bands to come out of the UK metal scene, period. Like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, they hail from Birmingham, one of the ugliest, most crushed-under cities in the country’s post-industrial West Midlands. Though they started out as a hardcore punk duo, they were calling themselves Napalm… More »


Steely Dan Albums From Worst To Best

By Nate Patrin / January 29, 2015 - 12:35 pm
99

Steely Dan are playing this year’s Coachella, they’ve been sampled by everyone from Kanye to Cities Aviv, and you can hear hints of their sardonic lyrical brilliance in indie rockers ranging from the Dismemberment Plan to Destroyer to Father John Misty. But for a band that made its name puncturing the remnants of the flower-child… More »


The Ramones Albums From Worst To Best

By Brad Shoup / January 22, 2015 - 1:06 pm
36

If everyone who ever bought a Ramones shirt bought a Ramones album, they’d be as big as fucking Aerosmith by now. But then, how many Aerosmith shirts do you see at shows? The glamour of cultdom was lost on the Ramones; they didn’t care about the margins. They wanted to be your Beatles. And i… More »


Pink Floyd Albums From Worst To Best

By Jonathan Dick / January 15, 2015 - 10:59 am
116

How appropriate that Pink Floyd would find their beginnings in the same year that saw the first person walk in space. It’s a fitting foreword to the band’s story which, over the last fifty years of their existence, has seen them embrace the rarity and mythos that is rock and roll legend with a disarming… More »


Genesis Albums From Worst To Best

By Ryan Reed / November 13, 2014 - 9:58 am
43

Genesis’ loyal fans and outspoken critics love and hate the band for the exact same reasons. During their prime-era prog-rock run in the early ’70s, with Peter Gabriel as frontman, Genesis either represented the genre at its peak of bloat or expressiveness; during the ’80s, with Phil Collins on vocals, they were selling out stadium… More »


Miles Davis Albums From Worst To Best

By Phil Freeman / November 6, 2014 - 12:10 pm
116

Miles Davis was one of the most important musicians of the 20th Century. How important? He’s one of the two or three jazz musicians non-jazz fans have heard of, and may even have heard something by. More »


Led Zeppelin Albums From Worst To Best

By Ryan Leas / October 29, 2014 - 12:11 pm
88

Led Zeppelin is a formative experience. They’re the kind of band you discover early on, that kicks open the door to a whole bunch of other things. It’s hard to separate those experiences, eventually. I can’t tell you the last time I listened to Nevermind or Appetite For Destruction the whole way through, and for… More »


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