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Frankie's Top 30 Albums (#26 - #23)

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#26 Radiohead IN RAINBOWS


WHO:  Well, everyone knows who Radiohead is. That really weird band from the UK that became so unpopular that all you’re really weird friends became diehard fans. You say to them –  “No, no, no – Smashing Pumpkins is where it’s at!”


And they say: “Pffft. Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were good, but Radiohead have been able to transform from an indie rock band into true musical geniuses. And Thom Yorke is nowhere near as up himself as Billy Corgan.”



WHAT: Yes I like Radiohead. And I’m a little embarrassed to say it. Some of my closest SP friends um and ah whether or not Radiohead is better. There is only one correct answer.

Don’t get me wrong. When I was sixteen my third favorite band was Radiohead too. I LOVED OK Computer and The Bends. They’d gotten really messed up with Kid A, but even that was OK. Then there was Amnesiac and Hail, and Radiohead just seemed to be slipping further. Even Pablo was better than those albums.


Wasn’t it?


My best friend at that time actually, was Radiohead diehard. We got the tickets to a show in April of 2004. I remember sitting around Pizza Hut with all these other Radiohead T-shirt wearing fans a couple of hours before the show. Pizza Hut was right across the street. After we left there, and we walked up to Rod Laver Arena, the bouncers politely told us Radiohead would not be performing tonight. Thom had a sore throat.


From that day forward I realized Ok Computer was crap. The Bends was crap. Nobody liked Pablo or Amnesiac, but strangely enough I still loved Pablo. And Amnesiac can go fuck itself.


In 2003 Radiohead released Hail to the Thief.

In 2004 they didn’t show up to their concert.


So Radiohead were dead as a band to me. I couldn’t care less. Around that time there were also a lot of other new bands emerging, and I didn’t have time for these precious brittish rock stars.


And in 2007 came In Rainbows.


As much as I HATED Radiohead, I could not bring myself to hate this album. It was instantly addictive. Weird Fishes and Nude – were simply outstanding. Some of the most emotional pieces of music I’d ever heard from Thom’s exhausted windpipes. Then there were songs I ‘discovered’ like All I Need, Videotape, and In Rainbows disc two. These songs could be played five times a day and not wear thin. I played them in the morning. I played them when I was writing. I played them after and during late night drinking sessions, and I saw God.


WHEN: Released 2007.


Present Listening Status – Once a month.


WHERE: Finally in 2011, this album has become repetitive and boring. It doesn’t ring the same way it did in 2007 -09. But at least it isn’t annoying. OK Computer used to be one of my favorite albums, but now I can’t bear to listen to it. It’s so pretentious even my Aunt is cringing.


So now I’m listening to this album very rarely… Usually when I’m sick of everything else. Don’t get me wrong. In Rainbows is still great. In Pearl Jam’s terms, it’s Radiohead’s TEN. In Smashing Pumpkins terms, it’s their SD.


WHY: I feel sorry for Radiohead. It’s not their fault they’ve become expired faster than almost any other alternative band.

But the only way to save them until till their next great album, is to release In Rainbows Disc 3.


Frankie’s Track Picks


All I Need

Last Flowers


Weird Fishes




#25 Wolfmother WOLFMOTHER


WHO:  I first heard of Wolfmother from my younger brother. He was talking about one of his nerdy friends being obsessed with this new Australian band called, “Wolfmother”.

Called what?


What a daggy sounding name. And on top of that my brother said on first listen they sounded like a D-Grade version of Led Zepplin. “Close your eyes. Listen to Wolfmother. And you’re there.”


What happened was a bunch of Led Zepplin fans had just found the CD they’d been waiting on, twenty years ago. And suddenly wherever you went, all you heard about was Wolfmother. It was everywhere. On T.V. In your local shopping centre. Every party you have and one guy just appears with the Wolfmother album.




The only band they started playing more than Wolfmother on the radio, was Led Zeppy.


WHAT: From whatever car ride you were in when you were first forced to listen to the Mother, it made you cringe. But eventually it started to grow on you. You were saying about other shit that was getting played – “Even Wolfmother are better than this.”

Their debut album, ironically titled ‘Wolfmother’, is a very strong album. Rock anthems Colossal, Woman, and Pyramid made you pick up an imaginary pair of drum sticks. White Unicorn and The Joker & the Thief, made you buy a brand new air guitar.


And the epic standout Mind's Eye, made you grab another beer after you swore you were done for that night.



WHEN: Released 2005, but became a hit in Aussieland in 2006.


Present Listening Status – I reckon the last time I heard this was back in 2008. But it’s definitely getting back into my rotation after this listen!


WHERE: Well, everywhere. Annoyingly so. But if you’re listening to the album in it’s entirety, it’s equally good for an afternoon rock out by your lonesome, or showing your mates a trip down memory lane.



WHY: Ultimately, some of the greatest CDs in my albums are ‘best ofs’. So many bands I love won’t be mentioned here including: Dire Straits, Bon Jovi, Dashboard Confessional, Guns and Roses and even the almighty Zepplin themselves… because they haven’t impressed me with an individual album.


Wolfmother does impress me. It might be daggy attempt to rip of a band that’s already had their day, but this bunch of daggy songs sounds as good as any best of.


Frankie’s Track Picks


Mind’s Eye


White Unicorn


The Joker & the Thief





#24 Metallica METALLICA


WHO:  Some heavy metal band from a long, long time ago. They’re getting pretty old now. Back for me in high school (the90s) the ‘cool’ kids used to like Metallica. I wasn’t into death metal and screaming though. So I gave them a miss. Until…


WHAT: My best friend lent me the ‘Black’ album. On storms Enter Sandman, a dark apocalyptic anthem from hell, and I can hear the heavy metal instruments pounding. Then it’s Sad but True (which isn’t as good) and a few more tracks which the crapper they sound, the cooler I feel. Later on I started noticing some of those supposedly ‘crap’ songs, were classics. Namely The Unforgiven, My Friend of Misery, and who could forget … Nothing Else Matters.


WHEN: Released 1991 – The same year as Gish, Nevermind, Blood Sugar Sex Magic – and another album I have yet to reveal here. What the hell was it about that year???


Present Listening Status – Once in one to four months.


WHERE: Well, it’s been overplayed by this day and age. It’s definitely not one of my encores. But every now and again, it’s just nice to chuck something like this on random.


WHY: This album was the first album I actually didn’t buy. Meaning the first album I burnt to CDR. I mean, I wanted the album. I wanted to listen to it. But was it really good enough to shell out $30 for? I remember around that time also hearing about Metallica suing Napster and becoming enraged at people ‘stealing’ their music.


And this is a great album. And it is worth your hard earned dollars.

But the look on James Hetfield’s face is priceless



Frankie’s Track Picks


Enter Sandman

Nothing Else Matters

The Unforgiven

My Friend of Misery



#23 The Cranberries NO NEED TO ARGUE


WHO: The proud owner of this album was my dear old stepfather. Who also liked Barbara Streisand. And Cyndi Lauper. And the Beatles (sorry kj)


I’d heard Zombie on the radio a bunch of times, and their other hit single Lovefool. Oh … wait a second. Lovefool wasn’t by the Cranberries – it was by the Cardigans!


Could have fooled me.



WHAT: The last album my stepdad got me into was Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors. Don’t worry guys. It won’t be appearing in this countdown ;)


So I guess he had a bad track record. When I showed up sporting my Girls Just Wanna Have Fun T-shirt to my fellow Metallica fans, I was definitely going to be in for a beating. So I can understand everyone’s reaction to my latest stepdad recommendation – except for one small problem…


No Need To Argue is a bloody good album.

Yes. I’m giving this an 8.7 which is the highest score so far, but it almost deserves more than that. This album, and the albums that follow it, are dramatically better than the previous albums I have reviewed.


First of all, there is no bad song on this album. Not one. There isn’t even an average song. They’re all Great! Dolores O’Riordan has a brilliantly unique and sensational voice. (Yes I had to wiki her name. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?)


The band does light rock, which is ultimately disposable to rock and heavy metal imo, but for some reason they manage to pull it off. It’s not just about Dolores’ great vocals / lyrics. The songs are intimately, and complicatedly layered. They have risen beyond average.


WHEN: Released 1994.


Present Listening Status – Once every three or four weeks.


WHERE: Like REM, it’s an intro album. An intro to your big night. An intro to your small day. It is not epic or life defining, but it is very pleasant, uplifting and enjoyable. Dolores has something to say beyond what the repetition implies.



WHY: Well, like REM I haven’t listened to any other Cranberry albums. But I’m going to. One day. Someday after I get through Ryon and KJ’s top 30, the King of Limbs and other recommended albums, the entire Porcupine Tree / Steven Wilson / No Man discography and of course… Oceania.

Hm. I forgot what album I’m listening to again. Please remind ;)


Frankie’s Track Picks



Ode To My Family

Yeat’s Grave




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