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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Favorite Rock Albums

Well, it shouldn't be jazz all the time. Rock music has brought some marvels too. Here are my favorite albums.

Jimi Hendrix - Blues

(I'm sorry guys, but this "Here My Train A'coming" is beyond belief - I do not think that any musician went deeper into the essence of the blues than Jimi), but all of his other official albums should figure here as well.

Hendrix is on the same level as Bach, Beethoven and Coltrane.

The Allman Brothers Band - Live At The Fillmore East

This is possibly the best rock live album ever, next to the Rolling Stones "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out" and the "J. Geils Band Live". But also listen to Goin' Down Slow on the Duane Allman Anthology 1 to get an idea about Duane's absolute mastership : less is more : how a few notes can tell it all : the sign of a true master.

King Crimson - The Court Of The Crimson King
and Red (including the phenomenal "Starless")

I should also not forget.

Frank Zappa : Hot Rats

The Soft Machine : Third

Gong : You

The mad French-British space-rock band brought something unique and unparallelled in music history.

© stef


Anonymous said...

Hot Rats!! Amen! Great rock record.


Anonymous said...

Interesting list of classics. It gives the impression that you may only lisen to popular/rock music from the seventies. I think there's a lot of stuff out there that's rich enough to appeal to a fan of free jazz even if rarely features improvisation. A list of recent 'classics' off the top of my head:

- Modest Mouse: Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)
- Any Radiohead since 1997
- Sonic Youth: Murray Street (2002)
- Bjork: Vespertine (2001)
- Yo La Tengo: And Nothingness Turned Itself Inside Out (2000)
- Gnarls Barkley: St. Elsewhere (2006)
- Neutral Milk Hotel: In the Airplane Over The Sea (1998)

Anonymous said...

Hear here to the Crimson King! I think them and Coltrane are the two biggest reasons I started getting into Jazz.

An addendum to that list of recent "classics", Scott Walker: The Drift. This may be up the alley of some free-jazzers.

Stef said...

Thanks guys!
As you may have guessed, I grew up in the seventies. I will check out those more recent suggestions.

I must say that in my more recent highly appreciated rock albums, Portishead and Massive Attack also have a prominent place.

Anonymous said...

King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Jimi...Tom Waits...William Parker and Tzadik. I see we have similar taste in music :)

Anonymous said...


I got Hendrix's "Blues" - what other albums would you recommend to me? I'm looking for something similiar :)

Stef said...

I would recommend all "official" Hendrix albums : electric ladyland first & foremost. then Axis : bold as Love, Are you Experienced and Band of Gypsies. For all the rest, there is lots of crap to be found : bad recording quality, bad performances, etc. So if you're new to Hendrix, I would recommend you stick to his initial and official albums.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

WOW! Just found this.I live in the Southeast.Saw Hendrix and Duane at The Atlanta Pop Festival July 4th weekend 1970.NOBODY could play live like The Allman's.That you're a fan....makes me feel like crying...


Anonymous said...

Hendrix is amazing improvisor. Not just he's best blues but overall best guitarist. Electric version of Hear My Train A Comin is unbelievable psychedelic. I would say his most deep and emotional blues jam is Bleeding Heart performed at Albert Hall, the craziest are Midnight and of course Voodoo Child :)