Hit a pretty significant speed bump with the album this week...a mix wasn't working, so it's back to the drawing board for one of the songs.  Leave it to life to set you back a bit when things are going well, and perhaps coming too easily.  It's interesting how much a small set-back can grow in size with something as emotional as recording an album.  Some would say to separate yourself from your work, but in my case that's always been far easier said than done. After reacting reflexively at first, I came to see that the song did need more work.  So more work will be done.  And next week we'll be back on schedule.

That is life.  You've simply got to do the work.

As for this project, I've been doing the work.  Next week we're breaking into the fifties--almost reaching the midway point of the list.

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

62: Guns N' Roses -- Appetite For Destruction (1987)

I was 11 when this album came out...I have vague memories of being in sixth grade and people being really into this album.  It seemed so edgy and raw and...completely rebellious.

I am very familiar with the three colossal hits from this album Welcome To The Jungle, Paradise City, and Sweet Child O' Mine.  I was actually looking forward to spending time with this album, and getting in touch with my alternate universe rebellious six grade self.

I was surprised to realize that there's not much here that I like.  Axl's vocal persona is all over the place.  I will say that I can hear him as a bridge between AC/DC and Nirvana, which is an expansive and unlikely bridge indeed.

Aside from the three songs mentioned above, I don't find any others even remotely noteable...and that's all I'll say here.

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Sly & The Family Stone - Greatest Hits

61: Sly & The Family Stone -- Greatest Hits (1970)

This is the fourth hits collection on the Rolling Stone list (following Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, and Phil Spector).  I haven't had much exposure to Sly & The Family Stone until I listened to There's A Riot Going On as # 99 on this list.  I loved that album...and have listened to it several times since purchasing it on vinyl (for a sum I won't mention here).

While there are some really great songs here, I have to say I still prefer Riot--as it is a true album.

It's interesting to me that the production here is not perfect, there are some muddy mixes, some vocals lines barely captured, some vocal flubs, etc.  It only makes the recordings work better...which has been an education for me for sure...That perfection could truly be the enemy during the recording process has been proven to me thus far on this list over and over again.  Don't get me wrong--the musicianship here is perfect and timeless.

Some of the background vocal lines and nonsensical lyrical creations are the most inventive I've ever heard.  For instance, I love the ba-ba-ba-Ba-ba-ba-ba lines from Everybody Is A Star.  Or "so on and so on and scooby-dooby doo" from Everyday People--an unquestionable classic.  It's so interesting how that song has so successfully made an infectious hook out of a single line--no chorus.  Sing A Simple Song--that perfect ya-ya-ya-ya-ya line.  All good stuff.

You Can Make It If You Try is a psychedelic soul funk gem.   I love Hot Fun In The Summertime.  How can each of these songs be so good without seeming repetitious of previous ideas or grooves?  Those drums are perfect on every song, not to mention the bass lines.

I like the Thank You version here--but still prefer the mellowed version from Riot (Thank You For Talking To Me, Africa).

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I'm no fan of Guns N' Roses after all.  I can live with that.

Sly & The Family Stone, however?  How is it that I made it to this year in life without already loving them throughout?  Well, it's never too later to find out what you've been missing.  You truly can make it if you try.

Up Next

60: Captain Beefheart -- Trout Mask Replica (1969) -- which seems to be unavailable anywhere?? 59: Creedance Clearwater Revival -- Chronicle (1976)