Rate all of their albums (1 Viewer)

hermie

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Evol has never grabbed me as much as the other early albums. It doesn’t have the ferocity of the self-titled or Confusion is Sex nor are the songs as good as Sister/Daydream Nation (DN is my favourite).
I think I'd struggle to argue it's actually better than Daydream Nation but I love it. A lot of people would see Evol through to Goo as sort of their golden run with them peaking in the middle somewhere. But I think the production is better than Sister and it's got fewer dud moments. For me it's a good time for the band. It's still connected to that artiness of the early stuff which I love but Steve Shelley just adds so much in terms of propelling the songs forward. A lot of the things they often struggle with they get right on it. Lyrics for one thing. A coherent, consistent record (except the CD version with 'Bubblegum' tacked onto the end). They have a habit of front-loading albums with a fair amount of filler outside of that and while the bangers definitely are the first 3 and final tracks, the sort of salad and dressing outside of those add a lot more than on other records. Stuck it on last night and I still think it's my favourite. It's got an over-arching mood and everything down to the artwork is just on the money.

A few people have said that about Rather Ripped so I must go back to it. But I hated it. I thought it was just lazy and that they missed Jim O'Rourke a lot when he left. And lyrically, where normally I wouldn't pay too much attention, they're just so poor on this one as to grate. Almost the opposite of Evol where the words are quite evocative and add to the richness of the songs over time even if you don't take them in initially.
 

Burgerbarbaby

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Killing Joke (from memory. Maybe others could add stuff if I'm missing bits)

Killing Joke
- 9. Brilliant debut.
What's THIS For...! - 11. Furious. One of my Desert Island discs, and one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. I never get sick of it. First heard it on tape in the late eighties, and it has never sounded quite as good on any other version. The album that got me into repetitive music, and made me love Geordie Walker. Brutal psychedelic dance-punk.
Revelations - 9 - Conny Plank's production is darker than the production on What's THIS for, which somehow softens the impact slightly. Still fantastic.
Fire Dances - 8. Bit of 80's pop creeping into the songwriting, no bad thing. Still got belting drums though.
Night Time - 7. Production and grooves occasionally heading towards the disco. Their first hits. Good album.
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns - 7. Good too.
Outside The Gate - Dumbass contractual extrication.
The Courtauld Talks - Talking in riddles about his personal cosmology...I listened to it a good few times, but it just makes me think less of Jaz, which I don't want to do.
Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions - 9. Somehow managing to get the fury onto tape again for the first time in years...really good. Martin Atkins on drums, somewhere between the sloppiness of PiL and the sharpness of Ministry. He's no Big Paul, but this lineup really works.
Pandemonium - 8. Very metal, sharp production offsets the sludgy riffs. Doesn't seem to be generally loved, but I love it.
BBC In concert - 5. Doesn't sound great to me.
Democracy - 7. People love this one, not me so much. Lots of good songs though.
Killing Joke - 9. Youth at the controls, doing a great job collaging Dave Grohl's drums. Blistering album. One of their best.
Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell - 9. Production is a step down from the above, but it's another great one.
Absolute Dissent - 7.5. 'S a good album. Cheap production diminishes it a bit, and the lyrical content occasionally crosses the line to funny. Feels like not their best, and isn't one I go back to a huge amount. Might need reappraising.
Pylon - 8.5. Haven't heard it since it came out, but I liked it a lot at the time, and the gig they did here for it was one of their very best.
 

BlackGrape

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U2

Boy 9/10 - Cracking Debut sound like The Strokes copying U2
October 4/10 Not so great folow up although does contain the magnificent Gloria
War 9/10 Anthemic politically strident U2
Live Under A Blood Red Sky 9/10 Amazing live album showcasing Bono's charisma as a great frontman even with that corny white flag
Unforgettable Fire 9.5/10 Eno's and Lanois magical soundscapes are all over this album, an album where U2 went from Boy(s) to Men ..(Not to be confused with Boyz to Men..obviously)
Joshua Tree 10/10 Wow Just wow..that into to WTSHNO name and then the album takes off with tune after fucking tune. Kudos to the late Kirstie McColl for arranging the tracklisting. Absolutely perfect
Rattle & Hum 7/10 " AM I buggin' you?, don't mean to bug ye" Bono went full retard on this album but still has some incredible moments.
Achtung Baby 10/10 Perhaps the greatest rock n roll reinvention since Bowie went from Ziggy to Thin White Duke.
Zooropa 8/10 Fantastic title track - bold, brave and innovative record. I can some of this albums influence in OK Computer
Pop 8/10 Under rated , U2 go all village people and pop out some techno Mofo
All That You Can't Leave Behind 8.5/10 Back to classc U2 sound yet managing to still sound fresh
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb 5/10 U2 stay safe agin with this one, not one of my favorites
No Line On The Horizon 9/10 Very underrated album, Edge and Clayton boss this album.
Songs of Innocence 7/10 - Quality scrapbook album of songs from their life as a young band growing up in 70's Dublin
Songs of Experience 8/10 - Still banging out monster tunes in this companion piece to SOI charting their life experiences as they became full blown superstasr. Lights of Home in particular is perhaps one of my favorite U2 songs of all time.

Ok Bono is a pox but I still love this band and always will.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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Slayer

Show No Mercy - 8
Hell Awaits - 8
Reign in Blood - 10
South of Heaven - 8
Seasons in the Abyss - 9
Divine Intervention - 7
Undisputed Attitude - 6
Diabolus in Musica - 7
God Hates Us All - 7
Christ Illusion - 7
World Painted Blood - 7
Repentless - 6
 

pete

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Slayer

Show No Mercy - 8
Hell Awaits - 8
Reign in Blood - 10
South of Heaven - 8
Seasons in the Abyss - 9
Divine Intervention - 7
Undisputed Attitude - 6
Diabolus in Musica - 7
God Hates Us All - 7
Christ Illusion - 7
World Painted Blood - 7
Repentless - 6
Live Undead? Decade of Aggression?
 

GARYXKNIFEDX

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Haunting the Chapel 12" is the best Slayer record, after that,I'd be happy with

Hell Awaits
Show No Mercy
Reign in Blood

In that order.

They arent awful after that,they just peaked early.


Undisputed Attitude is an abomination,best to pretend it doesn't exist
 

nuke terrorist

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did Slayer ever do a good cover ?
never listened to much of their stuff after Decade of Aggression.
Cornu's ratings of the early stuff is about right.
Seasons in the Abyss isn't worth 9 though.
 

nuke terrorist

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yeah i know the IRON BUTTERFLY cover, it's OK. probably their best cover alright.
and i like IRON BUTTERFLY.
also there's grindcore band called IRON BUTTER.
there's another cover of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, from the same era that
i think is much better by Texan crossover band DRESDEN 45 but as it was
only a bonus track on a CD discography i can't find in on the internet.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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Haunting the Chapel 12" is the best Slayer record, after that,I'd be happy with

Hell Awaits
Show No Mercy
Reign in Blood

In that order.

They arent awful after that,they just peaked early.
I agree with this. They’re one of those bands who I’m happy with having 2-3 representative albums and leaving the rest.
 

nuke terrorist

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again same with the PRIEST cover - didn't really add anything to great original tune.
you just expect more from SLAYER but covers weren't a strong point.
 

Lili Marlene

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Ok, @hiadudiad?, with some brief thoughts on each album

Sparks - Part 1


1) Self Titled
- 9/10 - back when they were still called Halfnelson and were a band of equals. Produced by Todd Rundgren if that means much to you. As good as anything they ever did. There's a song on here called Simple Ballet that is about putting on a ballet that becomes really famous, including some controversies that are good for the ratings. It really sums up their oft-used lyrical approach of describing odd situations and purposefully avoiding any kind of reflection in favour of just descriptions of the events at hand. It's a 10/10 album really except it's maybe a little hesitant sounding, there's a sense of "are we really getting away with this?" about it.

2) A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing - 9/10

The most Sparks album going, you either get behind them or you don't on this one. Also the last "band" album they ever did, after this they very much became the two Mael's only. Suffers on cd and streaming from the last four tracks being sped up by a few percentage points, originally to help it fit on a cd with the debut, kinda wrecks the album. Girl from Germany is about bringing your German girlfriend home to your jewish parents (I believe the Mael brothers are jewish, for what it's worth)


3) Kimono My House - 9/10

The big one. They sacked their entire band and moved to the UK and formed a new one that lasted all of one album (bassist was sacked just after this was released and while they stayed as a band for a few more albums this was the last attempt to record as any kind of equals). Some people say it's all anyone needs from Sparks. I think In My Family ain't a great song, but the b-side Barbecutie is fantastic. Here In Heaven is a song from the perspective of a person in heaven pissed off that the girl in their suicide pact didn't follow through. oh there's that Ron Mael quote about This Town:

"This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us" was written in A, and by God it'll be sung in A. I just feel that if you're coming up with most of the music, then you have an idea where it's going to go. And no singer is gonna get in my way."

4) Propaganda - 10/10

Joint favourite Sparks album. More of the same but flows better imho. "Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth" is an environmental song that feels pretty prescient here in 2020. "Something for the Girl with Everything" is a song about blackmail from the perspective of the blackmailed. B.C. is a song about being jealous of the relationship your kid has with their mother. God this album is so good. Ex-Thumped member MDR's novel makes a side-eyed reference to this album that I DID NOT APPRECIATE.

5) Indiscreet - 8/10

Tony Visconti produced, a big BIG album in musical scope. I think there's a few tracks on here that might pass you by if you don't listen to the lyrics (Without Using Hands is astonishing but I slept on it for years because I wasn't paying attention to the lyrics, another Sparks resisting meaning thing where the lyrics are literal, not metaphorical) Looks, Looks, Looks is a song about how looks are the most important thing, that's it.

6) Big Beat - 6/10

They sacked their band (again), moved back to LA and recorded this album with session musicians. It's kind of an attempt to go hard rock, starts to grate over a whole album, I like it whenver I listen to it but I rarely put it on tbh. I Like Girls is about a closeted gay man.

7) Introducing Sparks - 8/10

Another sessions musican album, a kind of forgotten release that's possibly too varied in sound, some people see it as Sparks treading water, I say it's a solid selection of songs. Occupation is about how everyone needs a job except the rich, that's it. Over the Summer is one of my favourite ever Sparks songs, a Beach Boys pastiche about a girl becoming attractive "over the summer," I used to think it was about plastic surgery, and it might be, but I think now it's actually about being jealous of a person you used to look down on.


8) No. 1 in Heaven - 10/10

Sparks and Geogio Moroder. A visionary album frankly, joint favourite. Just listen already. Tryouts for the Human Race is a song from the perspective of a sperm, which would probably be a bit much if the lyrics weren't written as well as they are. They also did a strange non-stop disco album with someone called Noël at the time, called Is there More to Life than Dancing and is worth a whirl.


9) Terminal Jive - 8/10 - their second with Moroder, but I believe i was mostly recorded with his second in command Harold Faltermeyer. Not quite as good as No. 1 in Heaven but a solid album. When I'm With You was a massive hit in France as is that rarest of Sparks songs, a heartfelt love song - the twist being that the lyrics are about how he can't find anything to say about love because it's so overwhelming.

10) - Whomp that Sucker - 7/10
Their first with a real backing band since Indiscreet, jumping straight into their new synth pop sound. Huge operatic backing vocals on this album. Tips for Teens is literally a list of tips for teenagers. The album kind of overstays its welcome by the end but the good parts are good. Contains Upstairs, a) the catchiest song ever, b) a song that details all the things that can happen in the brain.

11) Angst in My Pants - 8/10

I find the title cringey as hell - the title track is a song about erectile dysfunction - good piece of music but jesus, lads. Still though, a very strong album, includes a song about people mistaking Ron Mael's Charlie Chaplin moustache for a Hitler moustachet. I think they had a few college radio hits off this in America, I Predict seems to have gotten a fair bit of airplay
 
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Lili Marlene

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sorry, ran into character limit

Sparks Part 2

12) In Outer Space - 7/10

Their third synthpop album with the live band, things are starting to get a bit thin and lightweight at this point but this album skates by on sheer fun. Includes the minor hit duet with Jane Wiedlin - Cool Places - a song about hanging around in cool places, obviously.

13) Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat - 2/10

I'd call this their first real dud, the synth pop thing is played out but they're squeezing the last drops out of it. I haven't listened in ages but I remember Pretending to Be Drunk getting by on its vocal delivery and Sparks in the Dark possibly being good. Cannot remember any of the lyrics.

14) Music That You Can Dance To - 9/10

The most underrated Sparks album, probably because they returned to being a duo on this and went full-on High NRG dance and that pivot was probably too much for people. The title track is a song about itself, and if it wouldn't work if the music wasn't so pitch-perfect in that style. Includes one of their greatest covers, Fingertips Part two by Stevie Wonder, a famously live track turned into a robotic dance track, amazing.

15) Interior Design - 7/10

Another underrated album, usually considered their worst album - I find it pretty good actually. It's pure 1988 dance though, the stuff being made just before house music took over, probably an acquired taste. Weirdly most of the songs on here seem to be heartfelt love songs, The Toughest Girl in Town is about falling in love in the toughest girl in town.

Then they fecked off for years working on some film project that never happened, there's a few one-off singles like Singing in the Shower and Change released around here that are quite good. Change in particular has this strange spoken-word aspect to it, I've seen Sparks say in interviews that they consider the song to be the best thing they ever did.

16) Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins - ?/10

Right, this got and gets glowing reviews and is considered one of their best albums but I can't stand it myself, mostly because it's doing Pet Shop Boys-esque 90's dance, techno and rave (i guess?) and I don't really like that stuff. Some good song titles here, "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing", "Now That I Own the BBC". I'm not in a place to judge it meself.

17) Plagiarism - 6/10

A self-cover album. Some of it is pretty good but a lot of it is more 90's dance that I don't like. Two songs with Faith No More on here that should work but don't.

18) Balls - 5/10
Every now and then Sparks follow an idea too long and so it is here, dance music circa 2000. The title track is pretty good but yeah I dunno, I never really play this album.

19) Lil' Beethoven - 8/10

Another return to form. Their shtick on this one is reversing their music from repetitive beats and complicated lyrics to repetitive lyrics and complicated, classically inspired, music with no beats. I don't know if I actually like this album, it kind of drives me insane when I put it on but possibly that's the intended affect. Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls and What Are All These Bands So Angry About? both seem to be about nu-metal, Ugly Guys sounds like a breakdown happening in real-time. The last track, Suburban Homeboy, is probably one of the few actual comedy tracks they've ever written, the rap lyrical references are dated but it's still very funny.

20) Hello Young Lovers - 6/10
The musical ideas of the last album extended into slightly more straight forward songs. Dick Around got a lot of airplay at the time and I remember this was when they were playing gigs with Morrissey and getting a lot of good reviews. The album is mostly good but almost every song is too long.

21) Exotic Creatures of the Deep - 5/10
Kind of more of the same, i'm not really big fan of either this or the previous album so don't have a lot to say. This one has "Lighten Up, Morrissey" on it, a better song title than song but sure here we are.

22) The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman - ???
Sorrrry, I have never listened to this. I know it's a concept opera/radio musical kind of thing that is apparently being turned into a film. read about it here - The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman - Wikipedia

23) FFS - 4/10
Their album with Franz Ferdinand. I was disappointed in this one, finding it mostly boring, although the whole thing is worth it for Piss Off, which is fantastic.

24) Hippopotamus - 7/10

Too many tracks but a decent album. Probably Nothing is a song about losing your memory and not wanting to talk about it, which is probably saying something considering Ron Mael is in his mid 70s. When You're a French Director is hilarious and includes actual French Director Leos Carax singing lines.
 
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prefuse

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Fair play. I must admit to only knowing a few songs. Must have a proper listen.
This thread makes me realize that I'm just not a completist. I onlty know the full catalog of a handful of bands.
 

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