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Top Twenty Albums issue 1
mike

This here is a list of what are obviously the greatest recordings the world has ever heard.
Okay, so it's just albums that I think are the best of the best. I placed them on this list because of their originality first and foremost, but also the production quality, their influence in/on musical history, and the outright brilliance of musicianship.
Enjoy.

#20. Quicksand - Slip

1993
Fontana Island
Produced by Don Fury and Steve Haigler
Engineered by Don Fury and Steve Haigler
Assistant Engineers: Andrew Smith, Fran Flannery, Mike Thompson, Edward Douglas, Jesse Henderson

Quicksand's Slip is a stroke of genius. This album was recorded and released in the midst of the grunge movement, when the public consciousness was flooded with scores of mediocre releases from bands full of teen-angst. Makes me shiver just thinking about it. Amidst this flurry of radio friendly grunge, Quicksand delivered a fresh metal/punk statement. There is an urgency and honesty in the songwriting and production style. The production is fairly raw, allowing the energy and brutality of the riffs and vocals to come through unimpeded.


#19. Daft Punk - Homework

1997
Virgin Records
Produced by Daft Punk
Mastered by Nilesh Nilz Patel

Easily one of the greatest electronic albums ever produced. Nothing else on earth sounds like Homework - not even Daft Punk's subsequent releases. This album took the world by storm at a time when dance music was feeling very tired. Not only did Homework rip up every club in the world, it single-handedly spawned the past 10 years of house music, from funk-house to minimal/tech-house to new disco. A monumental and revolutionary album.


#18. Yes - Close to the Edge

1972
Atlantic Records
Produced by Yes and Eddie Offord
Mastered by Barry Diament

Close to the Edge is the most powerful album in the Yes discography. Not the most ambitious, not the album with the hits, but the most fully realized and cohesive of them all. Following the phenomenal Fragile, Yes was obviously determined to reach an even higher level of composition. And they did. Close to the Edge is a tour de force from the group as a whole and from the musicians individually. The performances are intricate and unbelievably creative.


#17. Radiohead - Kid A

2000
Parlophone, Capitol
Produced by Nigel Godrich and Radiohead
Engineered by Nigel Godrich, Gerard Navarro, Graeme Stewart
Mixed by Nigel Godrich
Mastered by Chris Blair

Yes, we all know how good OK Computer is: it's insanely good. But Kid A is better. It's better precisely because of the fact that OK Computer is so damn great. How could Radiohead possibly follow up? Well, they went in a direction that no one could have guessed. The sounds on Kid A are baffling. Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich manage to take these cold, computerized sounds and make them somehow soulful and heart wrenching. The experimentation and strangeness of the album does not keep it from speaking to people's feelings, and thus it is successful in myriad ways.


#16. Patton/Kaada - Romances

2004
Ipecac Recordings
Produced by Mike Patton and John Kaada
Engineered by Mike Patton and John Kaada
Mixed by Mike Patton and John Kaada
Mastered by Jjorn Englemann

This is a lush, beautiful, but somewhat disturbing album. Possibly the strangest album on this list, but beautiful and moving on a level with The Beach Boy's Pet Sounds. Romances mixes beautiful orchestration with haunting (even downright creepy) melodies and bizarre instrumentation. Mike Patton delivers one of his best and most understated performances in years. This album has to be heard. It's next to impossible to compare it to anything else.