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I’ve seen Frozen II 11 times. Here are my thoughts.
🎵 Hits play on Frozen II soundtrack 🎵
First, let’s touch on who I am. I love my wife dearly and have two children (being Dad is the bomb). I own my own small business with several employees. I get up early each day and exercise long before the sun rises. My favorite color is blue and my second favorite is purple. I also like deep conversations that involve sharing of feelings and feel out of place in a room of all men. I saw a post recently in this subreddit asking if it’s okay for a boy/man to like Frozen. To me, my gender is irrelevant. Sure, it’s irregular for a guy to go see a movie 11 times... But that has no relevance to whether or not I will like it.
So here we go.
I loved Frozen when I watched it years ago. While I felt like some of the plot was random and weak, the two-sister focus and twist where it’s not about Anna finding a man but rather rescuing her sister...I was sold. Plus, Olaf and Kristoff are wonderful characters. Oh, and Kristen Bell? Yes, please. Both her and Menzel’s voices are heart-warming.
I wasn’t head-over-heels for Frozen, though. I liked it. But let’s face it, Moana is the best (in my mind). Well, she was. Now I am not sure who my favorite Disney Princess is, as I’ll share more of.
My wife and I took the kids to see Frozen II opening night in IMAX. I didn’t really have any expectations. I don’t make it to the theatre except perhaps once a year. I don’t really spend any time watching movies or television.
I loved Frozen II.
I’m a busy person who spends a lot of thoughts on maximizing my productivity. I don’t do things unless they enhance my life. Spending 25 hours at the theater means I am getting more than just a plot.
So here are some things I loved about Frozen II:
❄️❄️❄️ The animation is stunning. ❄️❄️❄️
You can tell the studio continues to push the limits of how animation can be both a “cartoon” while having insane detail. The dresses are out of this world. The colors are dazzling. Wow, I LOVE seeing this moving on the big screen.
❄️❄️❄️ The soundtrack is top-tier. ❄️❄️❄️
While I’m not an audio junkie, I do pay a lot of attention to sound quality, sound complexity, and as a musician, I listen a lot to the composition. This soundtrack simply has a big range in tones than the original Frozen.
The lullaby...who would have thought they’d have a lullaby I would want to listen to repeatedly and sing on my own? Some Things Never Change is cute, funny, and delightful. When I Am Older I have found gets quite old for me. Lost In the Woods was a delightful surprise. I’m glad Kristoff got his own song.
⛰️ Into the Unknown: a song all about stepping out and pursuing my path. I find this inspiring as an entrepreneur, I am frequently finding myself in situations where I must step into the unknown. Situations that are sometimes scary. Times where my fears kick in.
⛰️ The Next Right Thing: wow...a potent song about grieving. A solo-song for Anna was not just great...that contents and power. This added a depth to the movie I did not at all anticipate.
⛰️Show Yourself: ah, this is where we get to the absolute core of why I love this movie. More on that in a bit :)
Panic! At the Disco killed the credits song. And the outtakes are fantastic. I love listening to Get It Right and wondering how they might have envisioned that scene.
Summer from the original Frozen soundtrack, for me, stays enjoyable for a lot longer and is more clever. I find the theme of Olaf’s maturing quite entertaining, but his song wasn’t quite as great.
Yes, Let It Go is still a powerful song. My favorite song on Frozen is Love Is An Open Door, even if Hans is the bad guy.
The one thing this soundtrack was completely lacking in duets. One of my all-time favorite frozen songs is “When We’re Together.” The duets are where these singers shine. I wish we’d had some duets in this movie. And, for that matter, I’d have liked another song or two!
❄️❄️❄️ The plot ❄️❄️❄️
I never loved Frozen’s plot. I didn’t like that Hans gave no hint to the viewer that he might be bad and suddenly he is (I don’t need to debate this...that’s just my experience). I felt like it was a bit all over the place. The sister focus, the lack of focus on romance, and the twist at the end where Anna saves her sister to save herself...I LOVED that.
This plot feels like we’re moving in more of a direction as a whole vs. scene by scene, which was a little more of my experience of the first. While Elsa is still on her own journey, it feels like the group is on a journey as a whole, not just individuals.
I like Frozen II farrrrr more than the first. It’s hard to say it’s “better” as that’s so dependent on the viewer. I feel like Frozen II took all the beautiful values of the first movie and built on it. Frozen II could be a story about a group adventure because Elsa had worked through some of her fears.
I must admit that I never watched Frozen Fever or Olaf’s Frozen Adventure until after seeing Frozen II and completely falling in love with this series.
❄️❄️❄️ Constant, tiny moments of personality shining through. ❄️❄️❄️
I’d like to comment on some reviews I’ve read across the web. One reviewer commented on Elsa taking her own path and sending Anna and Olaf away saying, “Did she not learn anything?”
I feel like the creators of Frozen II were very intentional in building Elsa’s character and personality. Yes, she had some dramatic transformation in the first film. However...she’s still Elsa. She loves to be with her friends and family, and yet she still feels a natural response to push them away at times.
Consider the scene of charades. I love it when Olaf does his Elsa impression, Kristoff shouts, “Ooo, Elsaaa!” Not only is Anna’s reaction comical, Elsa laughs and nods her head a bit like, “Yeah, that’s about right.” Then when it’s her turn to get up for charades, she’s still clutching her pillow. Holding onto a physical object like that is often a sign of protecting ourselves from something.
The look on Elsa and Anna’s faces after Olaf says, “One born power...less.” Elsa’s complex emotions she feels as she enters the depths of Atohallan as she sings, “Oh show yourself. Let me see who you are.” Just before she makes her symbol on the ground.
And the initial interaction with Bruni the fire spirit...sheesh… Every single frame in that scene is just pure delight.
I could go on and on and on of all these tiny moments and how they create a complex experience that goes above and beyond the plot. The nuance is beautiful and sucks me in. It makes it exceptionally rewatchable.
❄️❄️❄️ Empowering those with grief. ❄️❄️❄️
I touched on this earlier. I just want to give it another shout out. Anna’s “The Next Right Thing” song is not a “cute” or “feel good” song. A friend has been going through horrible things in life. She’s been plagued by the actions of others and the road ahead is dark. Her response to this song? “I found it so empowering. I can do that. I can do the next right thing. I can’t look ahead. I can look down the road. But I can at least do that much for me and my kids.”
I just read someone’s comment on another thread this morning about how they’ve dealt with grief and this song gave them something to stand on. This isn’t’ just a cute story. This is Disney giving us our beloved characters with so, so, so much more. This furthers my love for the movie. While I am not dealing with grief presently, I now have a song to come back to to give me light. That people are finding any amount of peace from this makes me so grateful to Disney and the team behind this for giving us so much more than a kids movie.
❄️❄️❄️ Olaf Continues ❄️❄️❄️
Olaf continued his role from the first movie with precision. His humor cracks me up. I was laughing all throughout the movie the first time. His retelling the first movie was soooo funny. And him dressed up at the end? Ha, YES! Every time, I love it.
Losing Olaf was something I didn’t expect Disney to do. But they did. And as a result, we were given “The Next Right Thing”.
I’m so glad water has memory.
🎆❄️❄️❄️ And...drumroll...Elsa’s journey ❄️❄️❄️🎆
I did not at all connect with Elsa from the original film. While I loved the values and sister-focus, I didn’t find her memorable beyond “Let It Go”. She was distant (which was the whole point of the movie) and pushing everyone away.
But in Frozen II...Elsa’s journey was not just something I enjoyed. Going to the theater and watching her is a near-spiritual experience, for lack of better words.
While I am an entrepreneur with a successful business, a beautiful wife, two darling kids, and an extremely fulfilling life, I am faced with fears at so many steps along the way. I experience self-doubt, anxiety, and a feeling that I am not enough.
Elsa’s entire journey in this film was an incredibly inspiring journey. It was a story of stepping out, embracing herself, trusting her instincts, and excitedly seeking her own path.
That is the story I want to tell myself every day. The story that I am enough. That I am beautiful and powerful. That I don’t need to be someone else...just me! Discovering more about who I am and being that.
When I find myself in a sales role, I so often feel like I’m not good enough as I travel to business events. The lyrics of “show yourself” and “grow yourself into something new” are what I want (and do) tell myself every day.
And then there’s the absolute pinnacle of this series…
Well, JUST before that, I love the, “come, my darling, homeward bound” followed by Elsa’s, “I am found!” Like...THAT! That’s what I want for my life. That’s what I want to feel. When I step out into a business environment...I want to just be me. To be in my element. I also relate to it in that I must discover my own path. As an entrepreneur, I don’t have a straightforward job description and my path ahead is a thrilling one (not always the fun thrills!).
Okay...where, for me, Frozen reaches its highest height…
“You are the one you’ve been waiting for,” sung to Elsa by her mother.
Every. Single. Time. I. Watch. This. Tears. Roll. Down. My. Face. (Boom, 11 words for 11 times XD)
It’s that feeling that wells up inside me that says, “Hey you, you’re enough. You don’t need to be someone else. You don’t need to wonder who you should be, because you’re the one you’ve been looking for. Stop trying to make others happy. You are it!”
That’s what I want to feel and know deep down. That’s the song that those I love sing to me. The song I want to sing to myself. And the song I want to sing to others.
You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
I am the one I’ve been waiting for.
I am enough.
The feelings deep down that threaten to tell me I’m not enough are held at bay. And, with time, they start to fade as I learn to tell a new story. Elsa’s story is the story I seek to live.
Elsa is the story I live.
I will show myself. I will grow myself. I am the one I’ve been waiting for.
P.S. I never really use Reddit. This subreddit came up in a Google search when I was looking for something else a couple of days ago. It is delightful to be able to share my passion for this movie with others who feel the same.
It's been wrongly labeled as the first krautrock album before, but that doesn't mean it isn't the first great one. For an album pioneering a genre that was still in its infancy, Phallus Dei is already heavily experimental. Most of it is pretty much tribal-esque free form rock. Krautrock would get better, but it still had a remarkable start.
49: DAVID BOWIE - SPACE ODDITY
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48: OS MUTANTES - OS MUTANTES
Os Mutantes is a nice, very ahead of its time piece of tropicalia from Brazil. It combines psychedelia, electronic music, samba, and pop rock to make for a manic, catchy and unique album.
47: FRANK SINATRA & ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM - FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA & ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim is a twenty-five minute collection of bossa nova covers (some of which were written by Jobim himself) sung by Sinatra with Jobim on guitar. Every song here is elegant and beautiful, and though he may not have the world's highest vocal range, Sinatra's baritone could make any song better.
46: THE SONICS - HERE ARE THE SONICS!!!
Here Are the Sonics is a very early piece of proto-punk from my hometown. Some of these songs sound like they could even have been on Rocket to Russia. The originals like "The Witch" are the best songs of course, but the punk-ified covers of old soul and R&B tunes like "Have Love Will Travel" kick ass as well.
45: MILES DAVIS - SKETCHES OF SPAIN
As the follow up to the classic Kind of Blue Miles Davis finally makes his first album - of many, thankfully - to make people ask "Is this jazz? What even is it?" Sketches of Spain is a love letter to the music of Spain, reworking a few classic songs into a more modern, jazzier sound. Sketches of Spain sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a 60s Spanish film - or a Western - and a damn good one too.
44: PRINCE BUSTER - FABULOUS GREATEST HITS
Ska isn't exactly an album oriented genre, so this short 1968 best of will do you fine for one of the pioneers of the genre's first wave. Like most of the great music to come from Jamaica, Prince Buster's songs were cheerful and catchy and his lyrics were progressive and political. Oddly enough though, the best song here may just be the instrumental "Freezing Up Orange Street."
43: CAN - MONSTER MOVIE
Monster Movie is the second great krautrock album, even if it's around half krautrock and half proto-punk. Even without Damo Suzuki and his iconic voice in the band, they do just fine with African-American artist Malcolm Mooney as their lead vocalist. They'd grow as a band but they already have that hectic intensity and groovy repetitiveness down here, and it's nearly as good as the albums in the Suzuki trilogy.
42: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - WHITE LIGHT / WHITE HEAT
Easily the weirdest of the four Velvet Underground albums, White Light / White Heat brings the punkishness and abrasiveness hinted at in the debut to the forefront. It's a hazy, distorted mess of an album. The highlights are the weirdest songs, the bizarre spoken word story "The Gift" and the out of its mind seventeen minute "Sister Ray," where the only thing saving it from losing control is Moe Tucker's repetitive drumbeat.
41: GRATEFUL DEAD - ANTHEM OF THE SUN
Anthem of the Sun is the pinnacle of the Grateful Dead's psychedelic era, combining studio recordings with live recordings. It sets itself apart from the rest of the psychedelic rock of the time by planting the seeds of their folk and country rock future here, which gives its mixture with psychedelic rock a uniqueness. The best song here is the opening suit, but they're all absorbing pieces.
40: THE DRIFTERS - GOLDEN HITS
With many lineup changes and songs written by everyone from member Ben. E King to future stars like Carole King, this pop soul group was more of an idea than an actual band. That said, they knocked out some killer (if a tad cheesy) tunes - I don't know if I've ever heard something as moving as Ben E. King's vocals on "This Magic Moment."
39: THE BEATLES - REVOLVER
Many say it's their best album, but I'm inclined to disagree as it has a few weak points. "Taxman" sounds pretty whiny when it's coming from a few millionaires and some of the songs on side two are a little weak. But that doesn't stop this from being a great album because the high points are very high, namely "Eleanor Rigby" and my personal favorite "I'm Only Sleeping."
38: STAN GETZ, JOÃO GILBERTO & ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM - GETZ / GILBERTO
Bossa nova creator João Gilberto joins forces with Stan Getz to make nice bossa nova / jazz crossover. It's chill and its songs are memorable. It has quite an odd story behind it however. The reason a sequel never came to be was because João's wife Astrud Gilberto (the singer on "The Girl from Ipanema") left him for... Stan Getz.
37: THE KINKS - FACE TO FACE
Face to Face was the Kinks' first concept album and their first front to back classic. There's a few indications of their sunshine pop future, but it's still mostly proto-punk. It's got a few rocking classics like "Party Line" and "House in the Country" and then there's the slow satirical classic "Sunny Afternoon."
36: THE BEATLES - MEET THE BEATLES!
Please Please Me may have come first, but it was 1964's Meet the Beatles! that would serve as an introduction to the Beatles for five million Americans, and the value of that can't be underestimated. It took out all of the covers from With the Beatles and added in the classics "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There." It's twenty-five minutes of fun original pop rock and is all killer, no filler.
35: THE BEACH BOYS - SMILEY SMILE
Smiley Smile has received far too much hate, and I'd go as far as to say it's as good as what SMiLE was going to be. After a year spent relentlessly polishing SMiLE Brian Wilson realized what we wanted may never come to be, so the Beach Boys went back to basics and quickly recorded a lo-fi not very basic at all EP length album with different takes on most of the songs that would've appeared on SMiLE. The hazy atmosphere is easy to fall in love with and songs like "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains" will forever remain classics.
34: BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S - THE BEST OF BOOKER T. & THE M.G.'S
Booker T. & the M.G.'s are probably better known as the backing band for many legendary artists at Stax, but they had many a damn good tune to their own names. Their albums aren't particularly good, but their best songs are groovy as hell, and this half hour compilation gives you all the soul jazz you need from them. We all know "Green Onions," but the rest of the songs are worth hearing as well.
33: THE KINKS - THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY
Comprised mostly of old outtakes, The Village Green Preservation Society is the Kinks' sunniest and most poignant and emotionally resonant album. The melodies and lyrics are undeniable, and every song (especially the first three) is very charming. Sounds like Disneyland but if it was actually cool and in the U.K.
32: JOHNNY CASH - AT SAN QUENTIN
The second of Cash's prison albums is shorter, doesn't contain obnoxious fake cheering overdubbed in it, and has Cash performing more of his classics. Cash's commentary is constantly entertaining and the songs are performed with infectious energy. "A Boy Named Sue," is an unforgettably fun song.
31: THE ROLLING STONES - NOW!
Now! is the first classic Stones record, even if it's two thirds covers. The covers here are phenomenal compared to those on their first two albums, and the originals (mainly "Heart of Stone") show progress in their songwriting as well. Now! sounds like a smokey bar with a damn good covers band playing. By that I mean that it's great.
30: THE BYRDS - SWEETHEART OF THE RODEO
On Sweetheart of the Rodeo country rock pioneer Gram Parsons joined the Byrds and helped them reinvent their sound. Even if there's only two originals (both written by Parsons), the covers are all improvements over the originals. Sweetheart of the Rodeo is a perfect, mellow summer record.
29: SANTANA - SANTANA
Santana's debut is their best in my eyes (or ears). It's chill, improvisation heavy, lyrically sparse music and endlessly listenable. It's both sophisticated and accessible. It's uniqueness is mostly from its merging of Latin rock and the west coast psychedelic rock scene, but Greg Rollie also has a damn good voice.
28: JIMI HENDRIX - ARE YOU EXPERIENCED
The moment "Purple Haze" begins, you know you're in for one helluva ride. Hendrix's insanely inventive guitar work is mind bending on every moment of this album and the riffs are undeniable. It almost plays like a Jimi Hendrix greatest hits record, with four of his classic songs here. And for 1967, this is heavy as fuck.
27: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO - THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO
The Velvet Underground & Nico might just be the beginning of "alternative" music as we know it. There's a ton going on her, from simple pop songs like "Sunday Morning" to proto-punk rockers like "Waiting for the Man," to long art rockers like "Heroin." Add in Nico's oddly deep voice for a woman on beautiful tracks like "Femme Fatale" and "I'll Be Your Mirror" and you've got an influential classic. And it's all good (except "European Son").
26: THE KINKS - WELL RESPECTED KINKS
Coming at the heels of their first great album Face to Face, Well Respected Kinks is an EP of singles and b-sides. Of course singles like "All Day and All of the Night" and "You Really Got Me" are classics, but the b-sides here like "Gotta Move" and "Wait Till the Summer Comes Along" will surprise you with how amazing they are. Top to bottom, this is perfect.
25: MILES DAVIS - FILLES DE KILIMANJARO
Filles de Kilimanjaro is Davis's first foray into electric instruments and shows a glimpse into his fusion filled future. Even though it's barely fusion at this point, it's already hypnotic and atmospheric.
24: THE BEACH BOYS - PET SOUNDS
Pet Sounds is the first great Beach Boys album. Enough's been said about it, but I will say that the Beach Boys were my first favorite band when I was six. I remember hearing "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and being covered in goosebumps. I was blown away that something could be so beautiful. And I still feel that today when I hear it.
23: MC5 - KICK OUT THE JAMS
The commentary's a tad annoying (although as someone from the ghetto, the "This is the high society!" part always made me feel a little proud for a second). But the music just rocks a fucking raw energy like I've never heard. The first time I heard this I just couldn't go back to most punk for a week, because this was it. This raw as shit avant-garde explosiveness was what I had always been searching for, and I'd found it. Oh yeah, and this shit's from 1968.
22: KING CRIMSON - IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING
Prog rock begins right here. Robert Fripp's incredibly distinct guitar work has already taken form here. The virtuouso musicianship is insanely fun to listen to, especially in parts like the very long improvisational bridge to "21st Century Schizoid" whose simple but thoughtful lyrics angrily shit on the Vietnam War. All five songs here are good, even the noodling "Moonchild."
21: CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - GREEN RIVER
In a string of four great albums from Creedence, Green River is the first - and the best. The swampiness comes in within the first few seconds of the opening title track (one of their best songs) and keeps going through some rockers like "Commotion" and poignant ballads like "Wrote a Song for Everyone" and "Lodi."
20: BOB DYLAN - THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'
The last of Dylan's protest era, but also the best. The whole album sounds so damn angry and I love it. The classic opening title track is a song that will always resonate for as long as the world remains a place that be a bit better. The fourth verse is particularly amazing. The rest of the album's nearly as good, with haunting folk tunes like "Ballad of Hollis Brown" and "With God on Our Side."
19: THE BEATLES - ABBEY ROAD
Abbey Road truly feels like the finale to the Beatles; the closing sixteen minute suit may be my favorite Beatles song. But along with their grand finale, they also cover tons of areas they'd previously mastered, with goofy children's music like "Octopus's Garden" (the best individual song here I might add) to dull elevator music like "Something." But with songs like "Come Together," "Here Comes the Sun," "I Want You," and of course the songs I already mentioned, you have nearly an A+ record.
18: THE BEATLES - HELP!
Help! is the first "sophisticated" album from the Beatles, merging their obvious knack for memorable melodies and catchy pop hooks with the newly born folk rock craze. The result is, at times, beautiful. It'll be a miracle if I ever hear another song as good as "I've Just Seen a Face."
17: PINK FLOYD - THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn couldn't be more different from the Pink Floyd we all know. Fronted by Syd Barrett whom the band would soon lose to mental illness, it's like a somewhat dark, somewhat dreamy book of children's poetry sung over manic, bizarre, unstructured, and occasionally surf influenced rock music. Where post Barrett Floyd is meticulous, Barrett Floyd is haphazard and jammy. It's like the Doors mixed with the Kinks mixed with the Beach Boys mixed with Pink Floyd.
16: THE ROLLING STONES - BETWEEN THE BUTTONS
Coming from a time when the Stones were experimenting with psychedelia, Between the Buttons is packed with so many beautiful tunes. "Let's Spend the Night Together," "Ruby Tuesday," "Connection," "She Smiled Sweetly," "Something Happened to Me Yesterday;" all too good for words.
15: THE BEATLES - RUBBER SOUL
Other than the opener "Drive My Car" any of the "old Beatles" sound that was still there on "Help!" is gone here and replaced with a poppy folky hazy atmosphere. Plus it's got "In My Life." That's the highest praise an album can receive.
14: THE ANIMALS - THE BEST OF THE ANIMALS
The Animals weren't ever much of an album band, but a singles band they were indeed. Sure, all but one of these songs are covers, but when the Animals did a cover, it definitively became their song. Is there any reason for anyone to make another cover of "House of the Rising Sun," when Eric Burdon's deep bellowing voice and Alan Price's organ have already changed it from a simple traditional folk standard into one of the most visceral, sinister and intimidating songs ever recorded? Is there anything as blissful as Burdon's voice when he sings "Girl there's a better life for me and you" on "We Gotta Get Out of This Place?" It's called The Best of the Animals, but it may as well be called The Best Covers of All Time, Vol. 1.
13: THE ROLLING STONES - OUT OF OUR HEADS
For the first time, the Stones had made an album that was half originals, but the covers also shine here - in fact, all of the best Stones covers that aren't "Love in Vain" are here. The covers are mostly on side one while the originals are mostly on side two. On the opening track "Mercy Mercy," there's something undescribably amazing about the way Mick sings "But please don't say we're through!" And their cover of Sam Cooke's "Good Times" is such a joyous rocker. But the highlight here is of course, "Satisfaction." "Satisfaction" may not be punk in sound, but it's the punkest pre-1976 song out there in attitude, with its themes of consumerism and frustration.
12: DR. JOHN - GRIS-GRIS
A bit of a shock that the guy that did New Orleans R&B better than anybody else is white, but what can I say. Gris-gris is amazing. From weird chant songs like to "Danse Kalinda Ba Doom," to "pop" songs like "Mama Roux" and "Jump Sturdy," to instrumentals like "Croker Courtbullion," to the badass psych-rock closer "I Walk on Guilded Splinters," this album's near perfect.
11: FRANK ZAPPA - HOT RATS
Just after Miles Davis's In a Silent Way Frank Zappa came out with the second major jazz fusion record. It's like the weirdness of Zappa taken into instrumental form. There's something off about these songs - in a good way - but it's hard to pinpoint what. The first three songs are the best, with Captain Beefheart's uncannily Tom Waits-esque voice on "Willy the Pimp;" and the cheeriness of "Son of Mr. Green Genes."
10: THE STOOGES - THE STOOGES
The Stooges' debut is easily their most important album, even if it hasn't aged as well their other two. Still, the moment I hear 1969 I'm pumped - and reminded that somehow, what I'm listening to is from 1969. And then that opening feedback in the intro to "I Wanna Be Your Dog?" Chills, everytime. The rest of the songs are fun, if not as good, and "We Will Fall" is at least two minutes too long.
9: THE ROLLING STONES - AFTERMATH
The first Rolling Stones album of all originals comes swinging right out the gate with "Mother's Little Helper," a hilarious psych-pop tune. The rest here are some of the best songs during the Stones' pop period, like "Lady Jane," "Under My Thumb," and "Out of Time." And for an album that's just under an hour long - a very long running time for 1966 - Aftermath doesn't overstay its welcome in the slightest.
8: THE BEATLES - MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
Despite being two EPs packaged together, Magical Mystery Tour does everything Sgt. Pepper's set out to do, but better. It's a pop epic shrouded in fantasy. To hate Magical Mystery Tour is to hate happiness. From the welcoming intro to the charming "Fool on the Hill" to the floaty instrumental "Flying" to the iconic tracks like "I Am the Walrus," "Hello Goodbye," "Strawberry Fields Forever," and "Love Is All You Need," this is the Beatles' masterpiece. But the best song here of course is "Penny Lane," the best chorus of all time and a song filled with an innocent joy and odd lyrics only Paul McCartney could write.
7: THE ROLLING STONES - BEGGARS BANQUET
Beggars Banquet would be the Stones' last album with Brian Jones, and the best as well. After deepening the psychedelia of Between the Buttons on Their Satanic Majesties Request - and failing - the Stones went in a different direction and started making roots rock. Everyone's heard the classics "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Street Fighting Man" but nothing matches the beauty of the piano outro on "No Expectations" and the gospel-esque outro of "Salt of the Earth." Only thing wrong with this is some disturbing lyrics on "Stray Cat Blues."
6: MILES DAVIS - IN A SILENT WAY
In a Silent Way is the first major fusion record, thus making it incredibly influential, but it's also so... chill? It's the best ambient album ever made, and one that I would put on before I went to sleep every night for a month. He would go on to make much rockier albums like Jack Johnson and Get Up With It, but none would ever top this.
5: BOB DYLAN - JOHN WESLEY HARDING
Following his "motorcycle crash" Bob Dylan went back to making simple acoustic folk rock. Even if it doesn't have any of his classic songs ("All Along the Watchtower" would be performed much better by Jimi Hendrix) it still has some of his best songs. The lyrics are a lot simpler than on Blonde on Blonde but that doesn't make them any less amazing. The story song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" has always been one of my favorites, and "I Pity the Poor Immigrant," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," and the title track all have some very poignant lyrics as well.
4: THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
On their self titled album, the Velvet Underground (mostly) drop their experimental side after the departure of John Cale and turn into a folk pop band with a garage rock edge. And honestly? They get better. This and Loaded are their two best albums. The garage rockers like "What Goes On," and "Beginning to See the Light" are two of the best, but "Pale Blue Eyes," "Jesus," and "I'm Set Free" are goosebump evoking beauties. With its incredibly inventive use of the (at the time) new stereo technology "The Murder Mystery," is one of the most fascinating experimental rock songs I've ever heard. And there's no song that makes my heart sink deeper than "After Hours" when Moe Tucker sings "Oh, someday I know someone will look into my eyes and say hello, you're my very special one!"
3: BOB DYLAN - BLONDE ON BLONDE
At over seventy minutes long, Blonde on Blonde was the first double album in major label history, and it has every right to be that long. "Visions of Johanna" is obviously one of Dylan's prettiest songs, yet I don't think it's the best here. That would be the simple pop tune "I Want You," a song that gives me chills every time I hear it. It also has some of Dylan's goofiest and most endearing songs like the repetitive opener "Rain Day Women #12 & 35" and "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat." Then there's the upbeat rocker "Stuck Inside of Memphis with the Memphis Blues Again." But the second side is even better than the first, with a few more upbeat rockers; and Bob Dylan does the cliched "side long epic" better than anyone with "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands."
2: THE KINKS - SOMETHING ELSE
Front to back, Something Else is A+ tune after A+ tune. Their proto-punk sound? Completely gone in favor of music hall and sunshine pop. But this is undescribably amazing. Ray Davies isn't the world's best singer, but could anyone else make "Afternoon Tea" into such an eargasm? This album makes me feel everything, from laughs to sadness to love. "Hairy Rag" and "Tin Soldier Man" are hilarious, but it's not till you've heard eleven of the greatest songs of all time that you get to "Waterloo Sunset" and realize that - somehow - there's a song a million times better than anything else the Kinks (or anyone else) have ever done. It's oddly relatable, a mix of melancholy, a feeling of content, and a feeling of hope. There's nothing that's ever captured the feeling of being alone - and a bit happy - better.
1: THE ROLLING STONES - LET IT BLEED
"Gimme Shelter" is the greatest rock song ever made, no doubt in my mind about that. But it's everything else here that keeps me coming back to this album time and time again. The passionate cover Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain" is beautiful, the country-fied version of "Honky Tonk Woman" is even better than the original, "Live With Me," is a bangin' hard rocker, the title track is an oddly sweet and endearing (if a little gross) song, "You Got the Silver" is another sincere love song from Keef, "Monkey Man" has the most badass intro ever and a beautiful ending, and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is simply perfect and has gotten me through some tough times. Perfect album.