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Music - Alternative Rock - 20 Notables Pre- 2001

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    Kid A
    Audio CD (03 October, 2000)
    list price: $17.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    How is it that Kid A's opening track, laden with an electronic vocal stuttering "bleh, bluh-bleh bleh bluh" is the most fascinating statement made in rock & roll this year? Because somehow, even when Radiohead blathers and blips nonsense, it's profound. The band's future-perfect musical grammar may be hard to decipher, and the melody is even more subliminal, but the journey traveled with Radiohead reveals them to be not only rock music's greatest adventurers in 2000, but teachers as well.--Beth Massa ... Read more

    Asin: B00004XONN
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $9.99

    Rage Against the Machine
    Audio CD (10 November, 1992)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    Not since the days of the Clash and the MC5 has rock seen such political force as in the uncompromising debut from this L.A. quartet. Expanding the hip-hop/metal style of bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage tap the spirits of vintage Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, coupled with hardcore punk intensity and Public Enemy-style grooves. "Bombtrack" opens the LP with a shot of adrenaline and singer Zack de la Rocha's infuriated chorus of "Burn, burn, yes, you're gonna burn!" The intensity doesn't let up an inch on the militant "Killing in the Name" (with the inspiring chant, "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!"), the ultrafunky "Bullet in the Head," and the engrossing "Fistful of Steel." Tom Morello combines time-honored metal guitar riffs with sounds that suggest a hip-hop scratcher over a rhythm section that simply takes no prisoners. Intelligent and aggressive, this is unimpeachably one of the best hard-rock records ever made. --James Rotondi ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B0000028RR
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Metal    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. Heavy Metal    4. Pop    5. Rap-Metal    6. Rock   


    $9.99

    Stankonia
    Audio CD (31 October, 2000)
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    Editorial Review

    Imagine if the ghetto got electrified. That's Stankonia, an album ofstreet smarts doused with gasoline and ready to burn. When a thundering electric guitarcollides with a relentless drumbeat on the molten "Gasoline Dreams," it dominates mindand body, setting the tone for the album. Dre and Big Boi spin a world of freaks, poets,preachers, and pimps, but most importantly, possibilities. This music messes with yourhead. --Lizz Mendez Berry ... Read more

    Features

    • Enhanced
    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B00002R0MA
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Dirty South    3. Hip-Hop    4. Pop    5. Rap    6. Rap & Hip-Hop    7. Southern Rap    8. United States of America   


    $14.99

    Simon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits
    Audio CD (25 October, 1990)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    Simon & Garfunkel have two 3-CD box sets collecting their entire career output, one with out-takes and live recordings, but the duo who were among the bestselling acts of the 1960s only recorded five studio albums throughout the entire 1960s! Their studio perfectionism is never better served than here. This greatest hits is simple and to the point, a perfect collection for anyone looking to get the basic idea (and hits) without committing to a more serious relationship. The harmonies, Paul Simon's masterful songwriting, Garfunkel's soaring choirboy voice, are all here. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

    Asin: B0000024YL
    Subjects:  1. Folk-Pop    2. Folk-Rock    3. Pop    4. Rock    5. Singer/Songwriter   


    $9.99

    Odelay
    Audio CD (18 June, 1996)
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    Editorial Review

    Beck brags here that he's "got two turntables and a microphone." He also has a sweeping aesthetic that sees no reason why musical allusions to hip-hop, the Beatles, James Brown, punk, Gram Parsons, cool jazz, and Dylan can't coexist in the same song. Throughout, he rap-sings with sincere irony--I bet he laughs at the sight of a jump-suited Elvis, then cries when the King starts to sing--and Odelay's rich collage of sound may very well prove a prediction of the future. If he ever finds the courage to can the loopy metaphors and just tell a story, he could take over the world. --David Cantwell ... Read more

    Asin: B000003TBP
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Indie Rock    3. Lo-Fi    4. Pop    5. Rock    6. Singer/Songwriter   


    $9.99

    Black on Both Sides
    Audio CD (12 October, 1999)
    list price: $16.98
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    Editorial Review

    Black on Both Sides is a manifestation of compelling, honest hip-hop. The genre's underground torchbearer, the mighty Mos Def (half of Black Star), injects intellect, humor, and knowledge into all of his rhymes. Overall, the album has an understated quality, but pure enjoyment comes with discovering the clever lyrical gems Mos drops. The expansiveness of his mindstate is showcased best on "New World Water," in which he fully limns our uses of, needs for, and exploitation of water. On "Ms. Fat Booty," a love tale with unexpected twists is woven intricately around Aretha Franklin's wailing vocals. Whether rapping, singing, or lecturing, Mos Def is firmly rooted in African American consciousness and examines social issues with great ease. Black on Both Sides will endure for many years; it's an album worthy of numerous listens. --Celine Wong ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B00001XDNV
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop   


    Disintegration
    Audio CD (01 May, 1989)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    Disintegration is a pop album realized on an epic scale. Most of its 12 songs are long mood pieces that develop slowly around the listener. Anchored by complex drum patterns, the layered guitars, soaring bass lines, and rich keyboards blend to create a lush, evocative soundscape that captures the ear immediately; and for all its length, the album is never boring. The lyrical focus is intensely personal throughout, and, with the exception of "Love Song," the mood is overwhelmingly dark and brooding. Here are songs of remembrance that, through their deep candor, transcend the individual level to explore universal longings and fears. Robert Smith, his vocals plaintive or angry or despairing, unfolds a tapestry of loss. Broken bonds, old lies, missed opportunities, belated realizations. Anyone who has experienced the joy and sorrow--especially the sorrow--of love will find his or her deepest sentiments, noble and petty alike, echoed poetically here. --Al Massa ... Read more

    Asin: B000002H70
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative/Indie-Rock    3. College Rock    4. Goth Rock    5. New Wave    6. Pop    7. Post-Punk    8. Rock   


    $13.99

    Weezer
    Audio CD (10 May, 1994)
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    Editorial Review

    There's a classic episode of The Little Rascals where one of the gang can't join everybody else on the ballfield because he has to stay home with his younger brother, who has the croup. "I can't come out and play," he whines. "I've got to stay home and grease Wheezer!" Nobody at Geffen Records knows whether this was the inspiration in naming Weezer, but it makes sense. Like many of their peers, the members of the Los Angeles quartet seem to have spent their formative years in front of the TV; when they were a little older, they were just as entranced by college rock. Finally, ala the Rascals, one of the gang said, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!," and the result is Weezer's uplifting, unpretentious, and extremely endearing debut.

    The self-titled Weezer is lean and mean at 10 short, punchy tunes, but nearly every one is powered by a larger-than-life chorus or a simple but effective lyric. "Undone-The Sweater Song" uses an unraveling sweater as a metaphor for a relationship on the rocks; "Buddy Holly" pays heartfelt tribute to the '50s rocker, and "In the Garage" paints a scene of suburban teens jamming while surrounded by posters of Kiss. Producer Ric Ocasek of Cars fame pushes the vocals and rhythm guitars, and this bare-bones approach may earn comparisons to fellow garage-pop band Green Day. But Weezer has more in common with the late, lamented Big Dipper, another group of slacker wiseguys that you just had to love. --Jim DeRogatis ... Read more

    Asin: B000003TAW
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock    3. Rock/Pop   


    $9.99

    Abbey Road
    Audio CD (25 October, 1990)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.49
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    Editorial Review

    The Beatles' last days as a band were as productive as any major pop phenomenon that was about to split. After recording the ragged-but-right Let It Be, the group held on for this ambitious effort, an album that was to become their best-selling. Though all four contribute to the first side's writing, John Lennon's hard-rocking, "Come Together" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" make the strongest impression. A series of song fragments edited together in suite form dominates side two; its portentous, touching, official close ("Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"/"The End") is nicely undercut, in typical Beatles fashion, by Paul McCartney's cheeky "Her Majesty," which follows. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Asin: B000002UB3
    Subjects:  1. Album Rock    2. British Psychedelia    3. England    4. Hard Rock    5. Pop    6. Pop/Rock    7. Prog-Rock/Art Rock    8. Psychedelic    9. Rock    10. Rock & Roll    11. Sunshine Pop   


    $13.49

    Legend (New Packaging)
    Audio CD (21 May, 2002)
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    Features

    • Original recording remastered

    Asin: B0000669JL
    Sales Rank: 262
    Subjects:  1. Jamaica    2. Political Reggae    3. Pop    4. Reggae    5. Roots Reggae   


    $9.99

    Aenima
    Audio CD (01 October, 1996)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.99
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    Editorial Review

    With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is a heavy metal band for the '90s. Rather like Metallica circa ...And Justice for All, the sound is focused heavily on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other, and heart-pounding drums underlying everything. There's not a whole lot of variety on Tool's second full-length album--most of the songs start off fairly low-key, kicking into high gear for the chorus, and repeat--but Maynard James Keenan's distinctive voice, the prog-rock stylings over a heavy metal base, and a supremely unhealthy dose of vitriol make this the perfect album to bang your head to. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B00000099Y
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $13.99

    Mingus Ah Um [Bonus Tracks]
    Audio CD (16 November, 1999)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $18.98
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    Editorial Review

    Mercurial bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus was signed to Columbia Records for the briefest of time during 1959. His Columbia recordings, however, remain some of the most inspired, mood-jumping jazz in history. The flowing sadness of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" (unedited here for the first time on CD!) rings like a funeral chorus that pitches headlong into a celebration of Lester Young's life and improvising flexibility, rather than his death. And there's the funky furnace blast of "Boogie Stop Shuffle" (also unedited!), which reaches its glory with Booker Ervin's Texas tenor sax, wrapped tight in bluesy tone. With the index of emotions captured, these songs nail why Mingus is possibly the most relevant jazzer for the '90s generation. He swings and shouts and hollers and somersaults. His tunes either induce foot-stomping with their intensity or reach for poignant yearning with their lyrical tapestry of orchestral colors. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Features

    • Original recording remastered
    • SACD

    Asin: B00004S873
    Subjects:  1. Avant-Garde    2. Bass    3. Hard Bop    4. Jazz    5. Pop    6. Post-Bop    7. United States of America   


    $18.98

    London Calling
    Audio CD (25 January, 2000)
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    Editorial Review

    Bursting at the seams with creative energy, the Clash's stunning 1979 double album more than made up for the artistic and commercial disappointment of its predecessor, 1978's tried-too-hard Give 'Em Enough Rope. With ex-Mott the Hoople producer Guy Stevens harnessing their sound as never before, the band yielded what proved to be the best work of their career. Bouncing from hard rock (the apocalyptic vision of the title track) to rockabilly ("Brand New Cadillac") to reggae ("Rudy Can't Fail") topop (the Top 40 hit "Train in Vain"), the Clash knocked down all musical walls and, in the process, ended the argument over punk's viability in the U.S. --Billy Altman ... Read more

    Features

    • Original recording remastered

    Asin: B00004BZ0N
    Subjects:  1. Britain    2. British Punk    3. England    4. Hard Rock    5. New Wave    6. Pop    7. Punk    8. Punk/New Wave    9. Rock    10. Rock & Roll   


    $10.99

    The Mark Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back)
    Audio CD (07 November, 2000)
    list price: $19.99
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    Editorial Review

    Punk rock is meant to be played loud and snotty. Blink 182 are a San Diego punk rock threesome whose interest in arrested development has led them to a sparkling array of sex jokes that cover everything from anal sex to masturbation to... Well, you get the idea--and that's just the between-song banter. This limited-edition live collection--a holding pattern until the band's fifth studio album is released in 2001--features a slam-dunk collection of the band's hits, fan favorites from their various studio albums, and new tunes ("Blew Job" among the enlightened tracks). One additional studio track, "Man Overboard" (already a hit on a radio near you), packs a harder punch than most, thanks to the studio finesse. But mostly these are revved-up versions of songs to break a skateboard by. With the added appeal of a color booklet and about seven minutes of "stage banter" tacked on at the end, guaranteed to either leave you in stitches or have you grounded for a month. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics
    • Live

    Asin: B00004Z30Y
    Subjects:  1. Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Punk Revival    3. Punk-Pop    4. Rock/Pop   


    The Wall (Deluxe Packaging Digitally Remastered)
    Audio CD (25 April, 2000)
    list price: $34.98 -- our price: $27.99
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    Editorial Review

    The Wall is less a collection of songs than a single work, which is sometimes frustrating; the plot lacks enough coherence to hold the snippets of music together. However, there are occasional flashes of brilliance on what ranks as Pink Floyd's most ambitious project. Most of these come from the fully developed songs, which have become classics in their own right. "Hey You," "Mother," and especially "Comfortably Numb" are subtle, incredible pieces of music. Though complex, they move at a relaxed pace, allowing the listener to absorb them slowly; this kind of pacing was something Pink Floyd excelled at. Also worth noting is the "Another Brick in the Wall/The Happiest Days of Our Lives" medley, which has become a staple of rock radio. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

    Asin: B000006TRV
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $27.99

    Buena Vista Social Club
    Audio CD (16 September, 1997)
    list price: $18.98 -- our price: $13.49
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    Editorial Review

    Ry Cooder's name has helped bring attention to this session, but it's the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they're putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn't mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres's laoud solo on "El Cuarto de Tula" is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a quote from "Stormy Weather" and some very distinct parallels to Hawaiian styles remind us of why it's called "world music." --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Asin: B000005J56
    Subjects:  1. Latin    2. Tropical   


    $13.49

    2Pac - Greatest Hits
    Audio CD (24 November, 1998)
    list price: $24.98 -- our price: $20.99
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    Editorial Review

    An indispensable and definitive collection showcasing the passionate genius of the late rapper. The album's nonchronological sequence highlights the contradictory impulses that made Tupac's music so commanding; the 21 well-loved "hits," some slightly reedited for legal reasons, are accompanied by four previously unheard songs. Of the new material, the raw-sounding "God Bless the Dead" has been the subject of the most speculation, owing to its subject matter: a eulogizing of the late Notorious B.I.G.--a mysterious feat, since Tupac was killed six months before Biggie. And, making its first proper appearance on a Tupac album, the B-side "Hit 'Em Up" stands as the most intense outburst of pure venomous rage ever captured on tape. Whether he's waxing political, philosophical, or just plain paranoid, Tupac's empathetic, charismatic style remains unmatched. --Charley Gothic ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B00000FCBH
    Subjects:  1. G-Funk    2. Gangsta Rap    3. Hardcore Rap    4. Pop    5. Rap & Hip-Hop    6. West Coast Rap   


    $20.99

    The Joshua Tree
    Audio CD (15 June, 1990)
    list price: $13.98 -- our price: $9.99
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    Editorial Review

    Having nearly exhausted their capacity for pop-song politics on War and The Unforgettable Fire, U2 turned toward themes of personal identity and complex relationships on The Joshua Tree. Not that the group was willing to come down off the barricades entirely: "Mothers of the Disappeared" and "Bullet the Blue Sky" turned a jaundiced eye toward Central America and the United States' role there. But the predominant mood here is one of self-discovery and the hunger for something more on tracks like the pulsating "Where the Streets Have No Name" and the gospel-ish "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The album's masterstroke, however, is "With or Without You," a nasty love song dressed up as an ode of devotion and care. It ranks with the Police's "Every Breath You Take" as the most misread smash hit of the '80s. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

    Asin: B000001FS3
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $9.99

    This Desert Life
    Audio CD (02 November, 1999)
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    Editorial Review

    Two years in the making, This Desert Life is the kind of collection that will please the Counting Crows faithful and leave doubters unconverted. Adam Duritz's recognizably emotive vocals and the group's classic-rock stylings remain in the fore as the Crows stick near the nest with their third studio outing. The Mellencamp-like opener, "Hanginaround," is one of the strongest tunes here, thanks to its laid-back passion and catchy piano and percussive elements. The familiar feeling "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby" is another lively offering, but at nearly eight minutes it's too long. The emotional, Van Morrison-like lament "All My Friends" feels self-pitying, while the balance of the album is simply bland. The sound is appealing (witness the spare "Colorblind" and the waltzing "Amy Hit the Atmosphere"), but This Desert Life is, on the whole, rather dry. --Katherine Turman ... Read more

    Asin: B00002JXF8
    Subjects:  1. Adult Alternative Pop/Rock    2. Alternative Pop/Rock    3. American Trad Rock    4. Pop    5. Rock   


    $14.99

    Fashion Nugget
    Audio CD (17 September, 1996)
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    Editorial Review

    The twisted cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is a statement of intent, while the cool jazz riffs from the band's trumpet player are part of what makes tracks like "Daria," "It's Coming Down," and "Frank Sinatra" so original. "The Distance" is a funked-up jam with a Chili Peppers chorus.--Jeff Bateman ... Read more

    Features

    • Explicit Lyrics

    Asin: B000003CKH
    Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rock   


    $9.99

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