The best album from my top fifty favorite rock bands, part 1

It is time for a new list. I am counting down the best album from my top fifty favorite rock bands. This week I will count down from #50 to #41.

Here are the three criteria I used to create it:

  1. I must own the album on vinyl.
  2. The album cannot be a greatest hits compilation
  3. No live-in-concert albums are allowed.

For example, Squeeze singles is an excellent album. It is a collection of their greatest hits, so it is not on the list.

Let’s start the list with the best album by Oingo Boingo. This band produced a lot of albums. Dead Man’s Party is their best one. It includes the title track, plus several other good songs like “Stay”, “Another Day”, and “Weird Science” which is from the 1980s teen comedy movie.

At #49 is Kiss. This choice is a little tough because there are so many albums in their catalog. My pick is Destroyer. Three reasons — original members, make-up with costumes, and great songs. It opens with “Detroit Rock City”, and includes the surprise hit ballad, Beth. “Shout it Out Loud” is also on this record.

At #48 is Squeeze. Another hard selection because their hit songs are scattered across an array of albums. My pick is Argybargy. One main reason — it contains their best song, “Pulling Mussels from the Shell”.

At #47 are Talking Heads. My favorite album by this band is Speaking in Tongues. It includes the hit song, “Burning Down the House”. Along with several other good songs like “Girlfriend is Better” and “Swamp”.

Next up is The English Beat. I enjoy their debut album, I Just Can’t Stop It, the most. Lots of great songs on this one.

At #45, the Pretenders. Once again, several great albums to pick from. My choice is Learning to Crawl. This album includes the hit songs “Middle of the Road”, and “Back on the Chain Gang”.

The best album by Echo and the Bunnymen goes by the same name. It includes the songs “Lips Like Sugar”, and “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo”.

At #43 is one of the original punk bands from London, Generation X. The band that launched Billy Idol. This pick is easy. The best Gen X album is their debut. Much better than their other two.

At #42 is a lesser-known band from NYC, the Smithereens. I really like three of their albums, Especially for You, Green Thoughts, and 11. I am picking Green Thoughts. It has the highest number of great songs.

At #41 is the Romantics. There are two great albums to pick from — their debut, or In Heat. I prefer their self-titled debut album. It includes the wildly popular party song, “What I like About You”, and “She has everything”. The second side of this album is end-to-end awesomeness. Besides, look at the album cover. Red Leather suits, bad hair, and skinny ties. That is the 1980s in a sentence.

There you have it — part 1 of my brand new list. If you recommend a band — let me know in the comments. All feedback is welcome. Feel free to post your own list.

I am Doug Keating and this is my letter to sons.



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