Saturday, April 26, 2014

75 Manly Albums!!!

Pass the scotch, and beef jerky, and roll up the sleeves of your flannel.  In March 2009, Esquire Magazine published a list of the 75 Albums Every Man Should Own!  Cigars and donkey punches for everyone!!

I'm not sure how Esquire has the credentials to make a list of the top manly anything, but this list is pretty badass.  They are missing a few good ones though...  the list is as follows, followed by my critique of course:

  • Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Willie Nelson: Phases and Stages
  • The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
  • Iggy Pop: Lust for Life
  • David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
  • James Brown: Live at the Apollo
  • Marvin Gaye: Whats Going On?
  • Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
  • Nas: Illmatic
  • Dire Straits: Dire Straits
  • Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  • Minor Threat: Out of Step
  • The Rolling Stones: Aftermath
  • Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique
  • Led Zeppelin: 1
  • Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom
  • The Cars: The Cars
  • Wilco: Being There
  • Kiss: Destroyer
  • Radiohead: the Bends
  • The Temptations: Gettin Ready
  • ACDC: Highway to Hell
  • Otis Redding: the Dictionary of Soul
  • Cody Chessnut: The Headphone Masterpiece
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Soundtrack
  • Bod Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
  • Taj Mahal: Take a Giant Step
  • Bob Marley: Catch a Fire
  • Nirvana: MTV Unplugged
  • The Best of Mississippi John Hurt
  • Traveling Wilburys: vol 1
  • Townes Van Zandt: Live at the Old Quarter
  • Bill Callahan: Woke on a Whaleheart
  • The Beatles: Rubber Soul
  • The Velvet Underground and Nico
  • Ike and Tina Turner: Working Together
  • Explosions in the Sky: The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
  • Talking Heads: True Stories
  • Pulp: This is Hardcore
  • Guns n Roses: Appetite for Destruction
  • Frank Sinatra: in The Wee Small Hours
  • Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain
  • The Clash: Combat Rock
  • Ramones: Road to Ruin
  • Television: Marquee Moon
  • Pink Floyd: Animals
  • The Pixies: Doolittle
  • The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
  • The Notorious BIG: Ready to Die
  • Hank Williams: The Unreleased Recordings
  • Pearl Jam: Ten
  • Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys
  • Drive by Truckers: Brighter than Creation's Dark
  • Ray Charles: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
  • Metallica: ...and Justice for All
  • Van Halen: Fair Warning
  • Jay Z: Reasonable Doubt
  • Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  • Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
  • Joe Jackson: Look Sharp!
  • Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
  • Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine
  • The Who: Who's Next
  • Vic Chessnut: Left to His own Devices
  • Beethoven: Symphony number 5
  • Sam Cooke: Night Beat
  • Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen
  • Luna: Penthouse
  • Buena Vista Social Club: Buena Vista Social Club
  • Tom Waits: Small Change
  • Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
  • Neil Young: Harvest
  • Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony number 5
  • Jeff Buckley: Grace

cover to the March 2009 issue
That is a lot to take in.  Let me start with the few pieces I'd throw out from the list of most manly records.
We can toss out the classical music, it predates records anyway, and at this point takes up space for actual records.  If you want to experience Beethoven or Mahler, actually go to a symphony.  With the same line of thinking, The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a film to be watched, not listened to.  Get that crap out of here, what man buys a movie soundtrack, anyway?
Since this is a manly man's list of albums to own, we can toss out Radiohead, as they make you feel less of a man, and more of a girly alien.  Ike and Tina can be tossed out also, since Tina Turner is a chick, and there is nothing manly about wife beating.  Speaking of women, Liz Phair can also go, men need not be shamed, feminism tries their best as it is.  Also, Cody Chessnut?  What the hell?  and Luna can go away too, there isn't much manliness in indie/pop.  And because their music is horrible, and no self respecting guy should be wearing clown makeup and glitter, Kiss needs to be thrown on a fire.

This means there are now 9 empty spots to be filled.

  1. We would be less manly without some Van Morrison.  I nominate Moondance.  
  2. George Thoroughgood and the Destoyers Bad to the Bone ought to be included for being the manliest sounding record ever made.  
  3. Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic is obviously missing here
  4. so... James Brown is on here... this list definitely needs more Bootsy Collins.  Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young should be included.   
  5. How about Loudon Wainwright III: I'm Alright?  or Steve Goodman's Somebody Else's Troubles?  or John Prine: John Prine?  I feel like at least one of these ought to be included.  
  6. Black Flag: Damaged.  
  7. Motorhead: Ace of Spades
  8. If you still want to argue about Beethoven or Westerns, I see your classical music and soundtracks and raise you Frank Zappa: Joe's Garage.  fuck you.  
  9. Public Enemy: It takes a Nation of Millions, because there isn't enough righteous angry rap on this list. 
In addition to these additions, I'd swap out a few of the choices made here.  For example, The Rolling Stones record Some Girls is way superior to Aftermath.  Elvis Costello made Liz Phair cry with My Aim is True, so... since Liz Phair makes us ashamed of being men...