PREVIOUSLY: 15 Essential Rock Artifacts Unearthed In 2005
By Jonathan Valania
1) Patti Smith Horses: 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition (Arista)
As the high priestess of punk, Smith revived the shamanistic notion that words could be strung like Christmas lights, and — when whipped around like whirling dervishes atop three-chord garage rock — could open the portal of the ecstatic.
2) Bruce Springsteen Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Three-Disc Set (Sony)
After two commercial duds, the suits demanded a hit or else. Written as a time-lapse snapshot of one long summer night in the teenage jungleland of Jersey.
3) Donovan Try for the Sun (Sony)
Deathless acid-folk from the land of peace, pot and microdot.
4) No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (Paramount)
Best thing on public television since Sesame Street.
5) Talking Heads Brick (Rhino/Wea)
All eight studio albums remixed to sound like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Just kidding.
6) Flaming Lips Fearless Freaks (Shout! Factory)
Unflinching home movie about a bunch of Okie space cadets who clicked their heels three times and wound up somewhere over the rainbow.
7) DJ Shadow Endtroducing … : Deluxe Edition (Island)
Alchemical turntablist clones groovy Frankensteins out of the recombinant DNA of semiprecious vinyl. Nine years later beat scientists are still trying to figure out how he made this monster mash.
8) Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Domino Reissue)
This is still the king of carrot flowers. Come back wherever you are.
9) Dig! (Palm Pictures)
The Dandy Warhols’ guitarist nails it when he predicts that in 10 years his band will likely be forgotten but people will still be buying Brian Jonestown Massacre albums.
10) James Segrest and Mark Hoffman Moanin’ at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin’ Wolf (Pantheon)
Documenting the hard-time-killing-floor life of the spookiest-voiced bluesman to crawl out of the Delta ooze and walk like a man in Chicago.
11) The Man Who Fell to Earth (Criterion)
Red-haired, lizard-eyed and cocaine-thin, David Bowie plays the titular extraterrestrial in Nicholas Roeg’s navel-gazing 1976 study of the metaphysics of alienation and ambiguity.
12) Peter Guralnick Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke (Little, Brown)
He sang like an angel and died like a pimp: naked, chasing a hooker and staring down the wrong end of a gun. He was only 33 when he went to oldies heaven.
13) Various Artists One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found (Rhino/Wea)
She’s goin’ to the chapel and she’s gonna get married and she’s gonna cut that bitch Sheila if she even looks at her man again.
14) Ramones Weird Tales of the Ramones (Rhino/Wea)
Their genius wasn’t that they really only had one song. It’s that you can listen to it 85 times in a row and never get tired of it.
15) Stooges Fun House (Elektra/Wea)
Thirty-six years old and they still make Metallica sound like pussies.