200 Albums That I Really Enjoy

(note: To be on this list, I have to like the album front to back. Some albums were left off of this list because they have ups and downs. I like a lot more music than this but those were left off this list because they were individual songs or moments on albums and did not represent a whole)

THIS POST is going to be a living document that will update as I come across more albums that I really njoy

  1. ABBA: Gold
  2. Andrew WK: I Get Wet
  3. Arcadia: So Red The Rose
  4. Arctic Monkeys: AM
  5. The Band: Music From Big Pink
  6. The Band: The Band
  7. The Beach Boys: Summer Days (And Summer Nights!)
  8. The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  9. The Beach Boys: SMiLE Sessions
  10. The Beach Boys: Smiley Smile
  11. The Beach Boys: Friends
  12. The Beach Boys: Sunflower
  13. The Beach Boys: Love You
  14. The Beatles: Revolver
  15. The Beatles: The White Album
  16. The Beatles: Abbey Road
  17. Bitchin Bajas: Vibraquatic
  18. Black Sabbath: Master of Reality
  19. Bloc Party: Silent Alarm
  20. Blur: 13
  21. Blur: Think Tank
  22. Blur: The Magic Whip
  23. Bob Marley: Legend
  24. Bob Marley: Rastaman Vibration
  25. Boz Scaggs: Hits!
  26. Brian Eno: Ambient 1
  27. Brian Eno: Ambient 4
  28. Brian Eno: Another Green World
  29. Brian Wilson: Presents SMiLE
  30. Buckingham Nicks: Buckingham Nicks
  31. Cake: Comfort Eagle
  32. Cake: Prolonging The Magic
  33. The Cardigans: First Band on The Moon
  34. The Cardigans: Gran Turismo
  35. The Cars: The Cars
  36. The Clash: London Calling
  37. The Clash: Sandinista!
  38. The Cure: Bloodflowers
  39. Cyndi Lauper: She’s So Unusual
  40. Daft Punk: Discovery
  41. The Darkness: One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back
  42. Hall & Oates: Rock N’ Soul Part 1
  43. David Bowie: All Saints
  44. David Bowie: “Heroes”
  45. David Bowie: Low
  46. David Bowie: The Next Day
  47. David Bowie: Blackstar
  48. Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism
  49. Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Too-Rye-Ay
  50. DJ Shadow: Entroducing
  51. The Doobie Brothers: Best of the Doobies
  52. Eagles of Death Metal: Death by Sexy
  53. Earth, Wind, and Fire: Greatest Hits
  54. Electric Light Orchestra: Out of the Blue
  55. Electric Light Orchestra: Balance of Power
  56. Eric Clapton: The Cream of Clapton
  57. Faith No More: King For a Day Fool For a Lifetime
  58. Fantomas: Fantomas
  59. Fleetwood Mac: Rumors
  60. Fleetwood Mac: Tusk
  61. Flight of the Concords: Flight of the Concords
  62. Foo Fighters: Foo Fighters
  63. Foo Fighters: The Colour and The Shape
  64. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: Greatest Hits
  65. Genesis: Duke
  66. George Harrison: All Things Must Pass
  67. George Harrison: Cloud Nine
  68. George Harrison: Brainwashed
  69. George Michael: Faith
  70. The Good, The Bad, and The Queen: The Good, The Bad, and The Queen
  71. Iggy Pop: The Idiot
  72. Iggy Pop: Lust For Life
  73. Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression
  74. INXS: Kick
  75. The Jackson 5: Greatest Hits
  76. Jane’s Addiction: Ritual De Lo Habitual
  77. Japan: Quiet Life
  78. Jeff Lynne: Armchair Theater
  79. Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Ladyland
  80. John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band
  81. John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy
  82. Joni Mitchell: Blue
  83. Joni Mitchell: The Hissing of Summer Lawns
  84. Joni Mitchell: Hejira
  85. Kanye West: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  86. Kate Bush: The Dreaming
  87. King Crimson: Discipline
  88. KISS: The Very Best of KISS
  89. Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti
  90. Lindsey Buckingham: Go Insane
  91. Lindsey Buckingham: Gift of Screws
  92. Little River Band: Greatest Hits
  93. Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
  94. Liz Phair: whitechocolatespaceegg
  95. Lost Earth Lock: The Air at The Edge of Space
  96. Love: Forever Changes
  97. Madleen Kane: Cheri
  98. The Mars Volta: Frances The Mute
  99. Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On
  100. Michael Jackson: Thriller
  101. Michael Jackson: Off The Wall
  102. Miles Davis: Bitches Brew
  103. Miles Davis: On The Corner
  104. Mr. Bungle: California
  105. My Bloody Valentine: Loveless
  106. My Bloody Valentine: mbv
  107. Neil Young: After The Gold Rush
  108. Neil Young: Trans
  109. Neil Young: Prairie Wind
  110. Neil Young & Crazy Horse: Sleeps With Angels
  111. Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
  112. Nick Drake: Pink Moon
  113. Nirvana: Nevermind
  114. Nirvana: In Utero
  115. Pantera: Far Beyond Driven
  116. Patrick Cowley: Megatron Man
  117. Paul McCartney: McCartney
  118. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney: Ram
  119. Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in The Backyard
  120. Paul McCartney: Flaming Pie
  121. Paul McCartney: McCartney II
  122. Paul McCartney & Wings: Band on the Run
  123. Peter Gabriel: So
  124. Phish: Farmhouse
  125. Phish: Billy Breathes
  126. Phish: The Story of The Ghost
  127. Pink Floyd: Dark Side of The Moon
  128. Pink Floyd: Animals
  129. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  130. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
  131. The Postal Service: Give Up
  132. Prince: Controversy
  133. Prince: 1999
  134. Prince: Purple Rain
  135. Prince: Around The World In A Day
  136. Prince: Dirty Mind
  137. Prince: Sign O’ The Times
  138. Queen: Greatest Hits Volumes 1-3
  139. Queen: The Game
  140. Queen: A Night at The Opera
  141. Queens of the Stone Age: Songs For The Deaf
  142. Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyze
  143. R. Crumb and The Cheap Suit Serenaders: Singin’ in The Bathtub
  144. R. Crumb and The Cheap Suit Serenaders: Chasin’ Rainbows
  145. The Rentals: Return of The Rentals
  146. The Rentals: Seven More Minutes
  147. The Replacements: Let It Be
  148. Ringo Starr: Photograph (The Very Best of Ringo Starr)
  149. The Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street
  150. The Rolling Stones: Tattoo You
  151. The Rolling Stones: A Bigger Bang
  152. Roy Smeck: Plays Hawaiin Guitar
  153. Sade: The Best of Sade
  154. Scissor Sisters: Night Work
  155. Sigur Ros: ( )
  156. Sly & The Family Stone: There’s A Riot Goin’ On
  157. The Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream
  158. The Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and The Infinite Sadness
  159. The Smashing Pumpkins: Adore
  160. The Space Twins: The End of Imagining
  161. Sparks: No. 1 In Heaven
  162. The Special Goodness: Land Air Sea
  163. Spring: American Spring
  164. Squirrel Nut Zippers: Hot
  165. Squirrel Nut Zippers: Perennial Favorites
  166. St. Vincent: St. Vincent
  167. Steely Dan: Countdown To Extinction
  168. Steely Dan: Aja
  169. The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
  170. Stone Temple Pilots: Purple
  171. The Stooges: Raw Power
  172. Sweet: The Best of Sweet
  173. System of A Down: Mezmerize
  174. T. Rex: The Essential Collection
  175. Talk Talk: The Colour of Spring
  176. Talking Heads: Fear of Music
  177. Talking Heads: Remain In Light
  178. Tears For Fears: Songs From The Big Chair
  179. Tegan & Sara: So Jealous
  180. Tegan & Sara: The Con
  181. that dog: Retreat From The Sun
  182. Them Crooked Vultures: Them Crooked Vultures
  183. Thin Lizzy: Jailbreak
  184. Tom Petty: Wildflowers
  185. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits
  186. Tool: Lateralus
  187. The Traveling Wilburys: Volume 1
  188. The Traveling Wilburys: Volume 3
  189. A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory
  190. A Tribe Called Quest: Midnight Maurauders
  191. Van Halen: The Best of Both Worlds
  192. Various Artists: La Bamba Soundtrack
  193. Various Artists: Xanadu Soundtrack
  194. The Wallflowers: Bringing Down The Horse
  195. Ween: Chocolate And Cheese
  196. Weezer: Blue Album
  197. Weezer: Pinkerton
  198. Weezer: Everything Will Be Alright In The End
  199. Wilco: A Ghost Is Born
  200. ZZ Top: Greatest Hits

2016 Year In Review

PAST YEARS: 2015, 2014, 2013

Let’s get it out of the way before we jump into everything: 2016 wasn’t a great year for most of us and there are way too many reasons out there to put here into this blog so I’m not gonna do that. Let’s try something else, something that we all remember from way back in 2014-2015: positivity.

At the time of this writing, I have successfully arisen from my slumber on 337 out of the 366 days in 2016. I’ve spent most of the time I have been awake during those 337 days doing two things: spending it with my family or working for my community. I don’t have a fancy photo or some numbers to show you to back this up. I can just promise you that my family, our home, and the Benson Memorial Library continue to exist, thrive, and go about doing things that have a positive impact on the world. It’s the only thing that we know how to do.

I have enjoyed listening to all kinds of music. I’ve played so much Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I’ve got to watch some great films. I can’t recall what their titles were but they were enjoyable in the moment.

I did eat way too much food and I didn’t go on enough walks. I am going to do my best to fix that in 2017.

I really enjoyed meeting lots of new people this year as I did some traveling. I think traveling is the best…you get a chance to connect with people you have never met before, and in doing so your world grows and you grow as a person. I never want to stop growing and being a better Justin. I think that’s where my recent obsession with cyborgs comes from. Cyborgs can upgrade and change. I’ve been trying to figure out a way that I can do that myself as a human being. I think I’ve got it!

Goodbye to you 2016. I can’t think of a better way to say au revoir than Bowie’s Lazarus.

This way or no way
You know, I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now ain’t that just like me

Justin Hoenke’s Weezer Song Rankings (Winter 2016 Edition)

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To read the Winter 2016 Edition of my Weezer Song Rankings, please click here!


I listened to quite a bit of Weezer in October-November 2016 which then prompted me to update my song rankings to see how my Weezer listening habits changed over a few months (click here for the Summer edition of these rankings)

THE ALBUM RANKINGS

  1. Pinkerton
  2. The Blue Album
  3. Songs from the Black Hole
  4. The White Album
  5. The Green Album
  6. The Red Album
  7. Everything Will Be Alright In The End
  8. Make Believe
  9. B-Sides
  10. Maladroit
  11. Unreleased Music
  12. Raditude
  13. Death to False Metal
  14. Album 5 Demos
  15. Alone I-III
  16. Hurley

The White Album made a huge leap in the rankings, jumping from #8 to #4. This album really grew on me over the past few months. The songwriting on it is a great combination of the best of early Weezer and post Green Album Weezer. I find myself going back to the songs quite a bit. I’m not 100% sure of why Everything Will Be Alright In The End dropped in the rankings, as I’ve grown to love that album even more than I did before. It may be due to the fact that I think Green and Red just have some amazing songs that rank really high (for the song rankings, see below) and Everything Will Be Alright In The End did not have as many of those. However overall, that album is much more solid (in my opinion) than both Green and Red.

THE SONG RANKINGS

I made some slight tweaks to most of the song rankings, but what I really focused on was trying to hone in on what I considered to be “perfect 10” songs. Here’s my list of those perfect 10 songs:

Crazy One 10 Alone (I-III)
Miss Sweeny 10 B-Sides
Mykel And Carli 10 B-Sides
The Prettiest Girl In The Whole Wide World 10 B-Sides
Cleopatra 10 EWBAITE
Across The Sea 10 Pinkerton
El Scorcho 10 Pinkerton
Falling For You 10 Pinkerton
The Good Life 10 Pinkerton
Tired Of Sex 10 Pinkerton
Why Bother? 10 Pinkerton
Trippin’ Down the Freeway 10 Raditude
Longtime Sunshine 10 Songs from the Black Hole
My Name Is Jonas 10 The Blue Album
Say It Ain’t So 10 The Blue Album
Island In The Sun 10 The Green Album
The Angel and the One 10 The Red Album
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) 10 The Red Album
L.A. Girlz 10 The White Album
Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori 10 The White Album
Baby 10 Unreleased
Mad Kow 10 Unreleased
My Brain Is Workin’ Overtime 10 Unreleased

These are the Weezer songs I find myself listening to and enjoying the most. They’ve got everything I look for in a great Weezer song: melody, chords, quirky arrangement, rawness, and emotional power. Everyone’s list of their favorite Weezer songs is going to be different and it’s going to grow and change. I really look forward to seeing what some of your favorite songs are!

MY TAKEAWAYS

I’ve liked Weezer for a long time. I still continue to like Weezer quite a bit. They’ve contributed many songs to my personal soundtrack. I hope everyone has this kind of band in their lives.

SONGS: Black Little Face by Zomo

I write pop songs and I put them out as albums on the internet for free or little charge because I have things that I want to sing about. Writing songs also helps me understand myself and helps me become a better human being. It is very healthy for all humans to have an outlet which they can use to discuss topics, grow, and make an impact on the world. I really believe that when songwriters say that they “write songs to make people smile and enjoy life” that they mean it just a little bit but at the same time what they’re really doing is creating art to better understand themselves. Part of creating art is selfish and I have learned that it is OK to say and believe that!

blf

My wife Haley and I got a tattoo of this face from Hedwig And The Angry Inch shortly after we met. It was done in that moment of both of us saying “hey, yeah we really want to go through life together as a team”. From that tattoo grew the Zomo song “Black Little Face”, which appeared on the 2008 album Triangle of DrunkI wanted to write a song about marriage and partnership but I did not want to write the typical boring “oh now I’m married and life is perfect” song because that’s not how life works. When my friend Dustin Miller and I wrote this song, he asked me if the tattoo hurt. I replied that it did not, and he came up with the only line in the song “Black Little Face, on the back of your arm, will not cause you any pain”. From that I told him that it would be neat to have that be the only line in the song and to have the chord changes be simple and easy. I came up with the G to Am to C to C/B to Am to G chord change. The lyrics and the chord changes all felt cyclical and wonderful. Our first take at this song featured myself on vocals and guitar while Dustin played the triangle. We only had a few days to put the basic tracks down so we made a version of the song repeating the chords and lyrics that went on for about 4-5 minutes.

Dustin was the one who came up with the lush orchestration and backing vocals for the song. I added nothing but the idea, the chords, and the basic track. I was really impressed by the work he did on the song and to this day it remains one of my favorite pieces of music that Dustin and I worked on.

I really enjoy listening to the music that Zomo wrote and recorded during our 10 year run. It is good to be proud of what you do!

 

THREE THINGS 2016.11

MUSIC

 

I’ve recently been feeling a burst of inspiration when it comes to music. All throughout 2017 I have been working on writing and recording the first album for a project I am calling ABIGAIL FOSTER’S PHOTOSYNTHESIS MACHINE. I am really excited about the project and the songs on this first album. I have a lot of thoughts on how I’d like for this album to go and right now I am just trying to keep the original focus of it being an album of simple, easy to digest songs. I want to restart my musical brain and this seems like a good place to start.

And just like I do every time I have a musical project happening, I add another one. This one is the completion of the 2002 Zomo album Waiting For The Green. You see, this album was being worked on back in 2001-2002 and was going to be the debut album for the band Zomo (which went on to record and release two other albums). However, things happened and it never got finished. This has always been something that has bugged me and held me back a bit musically, so recently I made the decision to look at what we had finished and cobble together a version of the album. Is this the album that it was supposed to be? No way. It will never be that album. But that’s not the point…the idea was to finish something that deserves to be finished and put it out into the world. So over this weekend I hope to put the finishing touches on this collection of songs and release it to the world. More to come.

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF

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I spend a lot of my time playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf on my Nintendo 3DS. I find the game to be wonderfully pleasant, well made, and extremely relaxing. There’s really no goal in the game other than to exist in your faux town and go about your daily tasks but for some reason these are the things I search for in a video.

I am extremely happy that even though the game was released 4 years ago that Nintendo has decided to continue to support the game. Just this week, an update was released that adds a lot of neat new abilities and features to the game. You can read about some of those big changes here and the smaller yet equally as important changes here. Considering that I would usually give this game 2-5 hours of my life every week before the update, I expect that I’ll be visiting my town a lot more in the next few weeks.

WINDING DOWN

Once November hits I feel like the rest of my year is gonna be smooth sailing. September and October 2016 were quite hectic, full of book sales, budgets, book challenges, and much much more. Those things have been taken care of and now for the rest of the year I can collect my thoughts and plan for 2017. I think that it is extremely important to budget yourself enough time to sit back and think big. November and December are months where everyone is occupied with the holiday season so for me these months are a great time for that. Mental relaxation and health are so very important. Take care of yourself. I need to follow my own advice!

 

Arbacarba Records

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I am making an attempt to organize and restart the musical part of my life. To do so, I’ve created Arbacarba Records as the banner under which the three musical projects I have been a part of can exist together. Like every single thing that exists these days, there is a website and a Facebook page.

THE WEBSITE 

THE FACEBOOK PAGE 

From these two pages you can get to one of the three musical projects which I have been involved in so far in the 36 years of my life:

Zomo
Belsapadore
Abigail Foster’s Photosynthesis Machine

Do whatever you would like with this information and if you feel like listening to some music you can do that to I really don’t give a crap.

 

Justin Hoenke’s Weezer Song Rankings (Summer 2016 Edition)

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To read the 2016 Edition of my Weezer Song Rankings, please click here!

As any completely obsessed Weezer fan may do, I’ve spent a good part of this year rating and ranking all (I think I’ve got them all) of Weezer/Rivers Cuomo’s catalog of songs that I have heard. Having been a devoted fan since 1994, a lot of my personality and history is tied into this band. I wanted to understand my listenings habit and decided that this song rankings list was the best thing for me to do to help me in my quest!

THE METHOD

First and foremost, I organized the songs by proper album releases. If the song was not on an album, I did my best to fit it into a category that made sense to me. Most of these songs ended up as B-Sides or Unreleased, but some went into the specific category of Album 5 Demos. Perhaps when I do my second pass at these rankings I will get into further detail but for now, the songs rest where they are. I decided on a simplified “1-10′ rankings style instead of getting into decimals and very specific song rankings. Perhaps those very detailed rankings are for another list, but for now I’d rather spend that extra time with my family. Songs only went into one album category. While I understand this may throw off the rankings a bit, I did this out of ease. One example of this is Longtime Sunshine. I placed this song on the album Songs From the Black Hole instead of listing it on Alone I-III or Pinkerton. Tracks on deluxe editions were mostly placed into the B-Sides category.

THE ALBUM RANKINGS

  1. Pinkerton
  2. The Blue Album
  3. Songs From the Black Hole
  4. The Green Album
  5. Everything Will Be Alright In The End
  6. Make Believe
  7. The Red Album
  8. B-Sides and The White Album
  9. Maladroit
  10. Unreleased
  11. Death to False Metal
  12. Raditude
  13. Album 5 Demos
  14. Alone I-II-III
  15. Hurley

The top and bottom of this list came as no surprise. Albums 1-3 have consistently ranked this way for me. Albums 11-15 came out pretty much as expected, other than Alone I-II-II ranking at #14. Alone is listed as one collection, and being a demos collection suffers from some less than exceptional songs or sketches of songs. I believe this is the main reason that the set of 3 albums ranks so low.

Albums 4-11 surprised me considerably. I had long thought that I did not hold The Green Album in high regards, but these rankings changed my mind. I expected The Red Album to be ranked higher, but in review of my ratings I see that what I really like from that album are two songs specifically: The Angel and The One and The Greatest Man That Ever Lived. Albums 4-11 also suggest to me that I am more of a fan of albums that contain more straight-forward pop songs (Green, Make Believe) than albums that branch out a bit (Maladroit, The Red Album). Individually, I may like some songs on the albums that branch out more but as a whole I enjoy the straightforward pop albums more.

THE SONG RANKINGS

Songs from Pinkerton and The Blue Album ranked the highest as expected. The rest of the songs that were ranked between 7-10 were quite a mix of songs from all different eras of Weezer. This confirms something to me that I’ve thought long about Weezer: a good song is a good song no matter the era it came from. Weezer’s music from 1994 to present has varied greatly in style and composition, but at the core the good songs stand out. The songs at the bottom of the rankings stand out to me as well because a lot of them are fragments or demos. This suggests that I prefer more complete recordings over demos.

MY TAKEAWAYS

  • Despite the fact that The Green Album is very much a straightforward collection of pop music with songs containing very similar structures, it turns out that I like it quite a bit! I will listen again to this album over the next few months and report back.
  • At the time of its release, Make Believe was widely panned by critics and fans alike as being a “sell out” album. It is easy to see this with the success of Beverly Hills and Perfect Situation as singles. However as a whole the album stands up as a great collection of songs. Most of the songs on the album have ratings of 7 or 8.
  • The song rankings on Maladroit are very interesting, with all of the songs either ranking at 6  or 7 (Two songs get a five and Possibilities gets a 2).
  • No song from Hurley ranks higher than a 6.

 

Curious about my past writings on Weezer? You can read them by clicking here