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NewsKim Jensen's Favorite 'Desert Island' CDs

Posted on Wednesday, August 03 2011 @ 20:20:29 CDT by Duncan Glenday
General

Iron Maiden: Somewhere in Time - although I grew up with The Beatles, The Stones, Deep Purple, Led Zep and other 60s and 70s rock icons as the sound track of my childhood (thanks to my father), it was this album which really sparked off my interest in music. When I heard it the first time at the age of 11 during a fishing trip (we didn't catch any fish), it clicked immediately with me, and Iron Maiden has been my favorite band ever since, and Somewhere in Time my favorite album. Other Maiden albums that are really special to me are Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, Powerslave, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Brave New World, Dance of Death, and A Matter of Life and Death.

AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Highway to Hell, Back In Black, For Those About to Rock... We Salute You, The Razor's Edge - AC/DC is another band that was prominent in my formative years, and: while I like virtually all of their output: these albums have made a special impression on me (actually, the first AC/DC album I heard was Flick of the Switch).

Megadeth: Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction - very different in sound but equally impressive, both of these albums really display Dave Mustaine's genius and capture the Mustaine/Ellefson/Friedman/Menza line-up, and there's some pretty amazing guitar work from Mustaine and Friedman on both albums.

Metallica: Master of Puppets, ... And Justice for All - perhaps the black album was Metallica's commercial breakthrough, but these two thrash metal classics represent Metallica at their artistic peak, being melodic, complex, aggressive and, in a way, progressive at the same time.

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band - this album is legendary in so many ways and took popular music to a completely new level. Plus this was one of the albums I grew up listening to, so it is very significant to me.

Fates Warning: Inside Out - Fates Warning have released many magnificent albums, and the Arch-fronted The Specte Within and Awaken the Guardian incredible, as are No Exit, Perfect Symmetry, and Parallels, but this album with its blend of melody, melancholy and complexity and odd time signatures is really outstanding.

Dream Theater: Scenes from a Memory - with a far out lyrical concept and incredible music composition and top notch performance by the entire band, this album is very much the epitome of the branch of progressive metal spearheaded by Dream Theater.

Yes: 90125 - yes, the dreadful poppy album that all progheads hate. Well, Yes progressive rock classics like The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from the Topographic Oceans and Relayer are albums that I emjoy immensely, but this is the Yes that I grew up with and, despite many proghead's decrial, I do find that this album contain many interesting, progressive elements which are unusual of the popular music of the 80s. I also like its sleak and crips production.

Genesis - Invisible Touch - basically this same story as with Yes' 90125 applies here. I love classic Genesis albums like Nursery Crime, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound, Trick of the Tail and Duke, but the Genesis that I grew up with is the more pop music-oriented Genesis of the 80s. As with 90125, this is an album that is decried by many progheads, but, the title track and 'In too Deep', this album contains a lot of interesting things that were unusual for 80s pop, and, for my money, this is a fine progressive pop album.

Queensr˙che: Operation - Mindcrime, Empire - progressive and thought-provoking, yet very accessible and rocking, these two albums are always a joy to listen to.

Death: Symbolic - while the main attraction is Chuck Schuldiner's unique genius, there is some pretty amazing drum work by Gene Hoglan. There is no weak track on this album, and it is well nigh the perfect progressie death metal release.

Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters - this legendary jazz-funk release is a milestone in jazz fusion, and I never get tired of listening to it.

Chick Corea Elektric Band: Beneath the Mask - another favorite jazz fusion release of mine: I especially like the imclusion of rock elements and the its overall mellow feel.

Carcass: Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious - another nearly perfect progressive death metal album, Necroticism is a cornucopia of extreme metal elements combined with elements from outside of metal (rumor has it that the band actually lifted parts from Vivaldi's work and used it on this album), and stitched it all together into complex songs. Also, the morbidly humorous lyrical concept of creative ways of disposing of dead bodies is cleverly takes the piss out of gore metal.

Pantera: Cowboys from Hell, Vulgar Display of Power - seminal releases in the subgenre of groove metal and by far the best groove metal releases pairing pure aggression with top notch musicianship.

Artillery: By Inheritance - fast and furious technical thrash metal with sick vocals and memorable guitar melodies, this has to be one of my favorite thrash metal releases.

Invocator: Weaving the Apocalypse, Dying to Live - progressive, technical and complex with several groovy parts and top notch musicianship across the board, these two albums by Invocator are truly impressive and virtually unbeatable.

Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty - kitch, cheesy, alternative and totally un-gangsta, this is hip hop at its best.

Helloween: Keeper of the Seven Keys pts I & II - the best Euro power metal releases, I think, and I like how, despite the band's obvious musical brilliance and talent, Helloween make use of both light-heartedness and humor in many of the lyrics... and Michael Kiske's voice is brilliant.

John Arch: A Twist of Fate - one EP, two songs, 28 minutes it's epic, it's progressive. And John Arch's voice sounds better than ever.

Rush: Retrospective I - yes, this is a compilations album, but it contains most of my favorite tracks by Rush, as I tend to prefer their pre-Signals output.



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