The 5 Best Rock Albums of All Time

best rock albums

The very title “5 Best Rock Albums of All Time” is nothing more nor less than the equivalent of rhetorical gunpowder intended to set off an explosion between a limitless supply of opposing viewpoints. Let’s face it: you cannot possibly hope to win more friends than enemies by taking on such an appallingly subjective concept. So why waste any more time? Let’s set this bomb off.

 

Gang of Four - Entertainment

Entertainment!: Gang of Four

Most assuredly not for every taste; if you consider the current batch of pop stars to have perfected the rock lyric, then the intricate Marxist political message of every song on Gang of Four’s first album, “Entertainment!” will leave you a slack-jawed yokel. If you prefer your rock lyrics subtle enough to glean some new facet or meaning the 40th time you hear them, then the real question is why you don’t already own “Entertainment!”

 

The Clash - London Calling

London Calling: The Clash

This spectacular two-disc album covers everything from the Spanish Civil War to the tragic end of actor Montgomery Clift. In between, the British punk icons experiment with everything from hardcore guitar-based garage rock to the soaring horns of ska to comment on subjects as disparate as drug addiction and consumerism.

 

Pink Floyd - The Wall

The Wall: Pink Floyd

Interestingly, one of factors that stimulated the punk rock movement that reached its apex with the two bands previous mentioned were “concept albums” like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” You can look at this two-disc release that tells a unified story by linking the endings and beginnings of certain songs and coming back to present a different version of previous songs on the album as the ultimate in rock star indulgence. Or you can just stay cool and admit it’s pretty much a one of kind experience.

 

Joy Divison - Closer

Closer: Joy Division

Whereas “Entertainment!” can make your head hurt from the sheer subtlety of the message that requires multiple listenings to piece together, “Closer” makes your heart hurt the very time you listen to it. Just before it’s official release, Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis committed suicide. Listening to the songs on what would be both the band’s second and last album before regrouping as New Order, it seems impossible that nobody saw the hanging coming. “Closer” is an example of why rock can be breathtaking.

 

Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley

There is a very good reason why the album cover of “London Calling” strongly recalls the album cover of Elvis Presley’s first album. The self-titled debut album of the King of Rock & Roll set the stage for quite literally every rock album that you will ever find on a list of the Top 5 Rock Albums of All Time. The songs on “Elvis Presley” are almost an afterthought; it is the spirit of the rock and roll that Elvis ignites in those songs that really matter.

 

From the moment that Elvis belts out that it’s one for the money to the deadened ritualistic repetition of “where have they been” that closes out the brief but brilliant career of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, the one aspect tying all five of these candidates for best rock album ever together is passion. The passion can range from the fiery political stances of Gang of Four and The Clash to Pink Floyd’s career-defining experiment to see how far rock and roll can go before it transforms into an altogether different animal.


Five Pieces of Gear Every Rock Band Should Own

music gear

While there are hundreds if not thousands of different “survival” items for any roadie and his band there are 5 that truly stand out amidst the rest. For each member of a band to fulfill their role in making quality sounding music, they must have the proper equipment.
For every talented band, there must be a great P.A system. Typically these range in sizes from that of a shoe box to 3-4 feet tall. Some P.A systems face outward from the stage and into the crowd so as to project the singer’s voice as far back into the crowd as possible. This allows the band to hear any “off-pitch” sounds or discrepancies in the sound system. The P.A system typically recommended is the small active systems. Especially if the musician is new to the trade, they are relatively easy to set up and require very little maintenance.
The next vital piece of equipment would be the floor monitor. This wonderful piece of equipment sits at the head of the stage, but facing the musicians. This equipment projects the musician’s sounds back to them so they can hear how they sound in real time. This allows the bands to be able to address tonal discrepancies or pitch mistakes. The size of the floor monitors can range from small boxes 12 inches by 12 inches to 2.6 ft. by 3.7 feet. This is dependent on the musician’s preferences.
The third piece of equipment is of course the microphone. There are several models available in both corded and cordless set ups. Some models are equipped with voice altering technology as well as some flashy fun things for show. This depended on the musician. When setting the stage with both types of microphones, or exclusively wireless, the musicians must be mindful of the distance between each one. More common in the wireless microphones, when brought to close together the feedback can be deafening and even result in permanent hearing loss.
The fourth piece of equipment would be the guitarist’s pedal boards. With the capability to be as easily set up as plugging a cord in to advanced computer programming of individual boards, these innovative pieces of equipment allow the guitarist advanced controls for maintaining quality sound or altering his sound to the specifications of the piece playing. Some pedal boards are small in size, only requiring a toe tap to a switch to play around with the sounds. They can get as advanced as an individual pedal per each sound relayed from the board. The later setup is not used as often as the first due to price and the high consumption of power.
The final piece of equipment carries the majority of the band. This would be the bass drum pedals. Odd yes, but the bass drum keeps the base beat for the entire band. Most drummers are in charge of the counts, while the rest of the band uses those beats to base their time counts off as well. A good set of pedals, be those singles or doubles, can make or break a drummer. While most drummers opt to design their own you can purchase double pedals and top of the line single pedals at most instrument retailers. When choosing your pedals ensure that your foot is not overlapping or being engulfed by the pedal itself.
In closing there are so many pieces of equipment that as a whole, make the band sound wonderful and an enjoyment to watch. Being choosy with your selections ensures that your equipment will last and is worth the investment.