Counting Down

Wire Albums From Worst To Best

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


Aphex Twin Albums From Worst To Best

By Patric Fallon / October 10, 2014 - 9:42 am
As any dyed-in-the-wool Aphex Twin fan worth their weight in trivia answers will tell you, there's really no such thing as a bad album written by Richard D. James. Sure, some are better than others, and there are probably some you don't even like that much. But a bad record from modern electronic music's preeminent… More »


The Kinks Albums From Worst To Best

By Timothy & Elizabeth Bracy / September 24, 2014 - 11:59 am
In some ways, the story of the Kinks feels familiar: In 1962, four working-class London teenagers besotted with American R&B and country music unite. Their initial creative exertions hold a thrilling mirror back to their inspirations overseas, supercharging the sounds of Little Richard, Hank Williams, and the Ventures with the riveted anxiety of a post-war… More »


XTC Albums From Worst To Best

By Robert Ham / September 15, 2014 - 3:03 pm
Of all the bands that emerged from the British post-punk scene, XTC has been one of the hardest to pin down. You could peg them as an '80s dinosaur whose most recognizable tracks pop up on cut-rate compilations of new wave or classic alternative rock. Or they could slot into an adult alternative playlist, to… More »


AC/DC Albums From Worst To Best

By Phil Freeman / August 27, 2014 - 11:13 am
In the single greatest book ever written about rock music, 1991's Rock And The Pop Narcotic, Joe Carducci described AC/DC thusly: "They kind of took the lumpen stomp of Slade and sort of added the blues croak of early Savoy Brown (Chris Youlden) and came up with a raw, narrowly focused, grittily compacted hard rock… More »


The Afghan Whigs Albums From Worst To Best

By Joseph Schafer / August 12, 2014 - 11:52 am
Never trust a man who says he knows what the meaning of life is. That is unknowable, and maybe nonexistent. However, I know damn well what the point of life is: to procreate, and in so doing, fornicate. To the best of our scientific knowledge, six billion years of evolution has gone into making all… More »


Tom Petty Albums From Worst To Best

By James Jackson Toth / August 5, 2014 - 11:15 am
If so-called rockists ever decide to secede and form their own nation, Tom Petty is a shoo-in for the country's first presidential nominee. Petty's music advances the notion of rock and roll as utopian ideal, and the tremendous success of his band Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers proves that populism is not necessarily the byproduct… More »


Judas Priest Albums From Worst To Best

By Adrien Begrand / July 9, 2014 - 12:56 pm
Judas Priest is heavy metal personified. The most important innovator in the genre's progression after Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Judas Priest's influence looms immensely on not only heavy metal's music, but its visual presentation as well. Historically, the Birmingham band fits neatly in the genre's second wave alongside Scorpions, UFO, Rainbow, and KISS, a… More »


Prince Albums From Worst To Best

By Brad Shoup / June 25, 2014 - 10:37 am
In baseball, the five-tool player is kind of a bullshit concept, but it connotes a particular beauty. The five-tool player hits for power, hits for average, throws well, fields well, and roams the basepaths like a guerilla warrior; when the term "five-tool" is deployed, it implicitly presents these skills as equally weighted. As the greatest… More »


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