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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Year in Music History

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think Justin Bieber is the pinnacle of music genius.

Happy New Years!  2013 was a great year for The Dry Rub.  We achieved 20x the site views we had in 2012, highlighted by the Sandwich and Hamburger Tournaments. Personally it was a great year as well.

But it was also a great year in music too.  In a departure from our usual culinary flair, let's look at one of the great water cooler debates.  Which year was the greatest year in music history?

Unfortunately, music is not as clear cut as wrestling.
This is not a cop-out, but music is subjective not just in taste, but as in where you are in life at that certain point in time as well.  A certain melody can take you back to childhood, college or high school.  And just like cheap perfume, it can take you back to a relationship as well.

Here is a look at the contenders.

In 2013 we saw the following Albums released:
Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City (Their best work to date)

Kanye West- Yeezus (Possibly his best work and owner of the best celebrity feud between him and Kimmel)
Arcade Fire- Reflector (NOT their best work, but a great reinvention of their sound)
Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork (Their best work and this album snuck up on me.  It's the best rock album to come out in years)

The National- Trouble Will Find Me (I like this just as much as High Violet and yet somehow it's even more depressing)
David Bowie- The Next Day (Creatively brilliant and he's 70)
Beyonce- Beyonce (I've never heard this album, but the reviews say it's her best work)

We just had a great year in music.  I lot of established bands put together some of their best work.  But a little water under the bridge needs to occur to see how this group plays out.

Nirvana- Nevermind, (The album that not only killed hair metal, but defined the decade.  As well as a morally questionable album cover)
Pearl Jam- 10 (The best work of a band that is STILL relevant 22 years later.  Who would have thought they would have a better career than Mookie Blalock?) 
U2- Achtung Baby (Their best album and maybe my favorite album.  If you haven't scene the documentary, you are missing out.  Looking back at their career, they have always taken themselves a little too seriously)

Metallica- The Black Album (Some call this their best work, it's certainly their most commercial.  I'm a Master of Puppets flag carrier)
Guns n' Roses- Use Your Illusions I & II (The beginning of the end.  This should have been one incredible album, but their self aggrandizing led to releasing two albums and eventually their break up)  
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sex Sugar Magik (This put them on the map.  Which map, I'm not sure, but they are on some type of map somewhere....)
REM- Out of Time (not crazy about this album, but since I live in Georgia, I feel contractually obligated to include it.  Automatic for the People remains one of my favorite albums to date)
A Tribe Called Quest- Low End Theory (One of my top 5 rap albums ever)

Soundgarden- Badmotofinger (Thanks to Nevermind and 10, this album gets overlooked, but it's one of the great rock albums of my generation)

Prince- Purple Rain (His best album out of a brilliant career despite his movies.  Though Morris Day makes the movie somewhat bearable.)
Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA (His most misunderstood album that historically gets lost) 
The Smiths- The Smiths (I hated these guys back then, but have grown to be a fan)
Run DMC- Run DMC (The most groundbreaking work of the group)
Van Halen- 1984 (I wore this album out.  Apparently it wore Diamond Dave out too)

Madonna- Like a Virgin (One of the most successful all time albums)
Metallica- Ride the Lightening (eh, great album, but not their strongest)


Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run (His best Album and one of my Top 5 albums,
RIP Clarence Clemons, the Big Man could rock a sleeveless shirt though)

Bob Dylan- Blood on the Tracks (Not a Dylan fan, but I get it)
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here (Has there ever been better drug music?)

The Who- Tommy (The one and only "Rock Opera")
Queen- A Night at the Opera (The greatest lead singer of all time- the late great Freddy Mercury)

Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti (Zep's most critically acclaimed album, which basically means the critics finally got "it."  And Kashmir is their best song.)  Could we get a reunion tour?  What's the downside?  Oh yea, Robert Plant's an asshole.


Beach Boys- Pet Sounds (Sound perfection)

Beatles- Revolver (the album remains "Here, There and Everywhere.  I still am amazed by how prolific these guys were)

The Rolling Stones- Aftermath (Paint it Black is one of their best songs, but it's not their strongest album)
Simon and Garfunkel- The Sounds of Silence (Paul Simon's effort to pussify the world is continued)

Art Garfunkel's Jew Fro is one of the most underrated item's of the 70's
Bob Dylan- Blonde on Blonde (I still don't get it)

Any of these could win except for 2013.  But in 10 years, maybe we'll look back on 2013 as fondly as the others.  Only time will tell.  My favorite year?  1991.  That was when I went away to college, so that was a transcendant year in my life.  That fact knowingly and unabashedly weigh that into my decision.   

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