Saturday, April 21, 2012


Today is Record Store Day! A day when all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music! While there are very few independent record stores around today and with the increase of downloadable music, record stores are in decline. Even large retail stores like Best Buy or Sam Goody are hurting and they offer very few CD's or albums anymore. I grew up during the time when vinyl records and LPs were still being widely sold and CD's had just started to dominate the music industry, and my family and I had many records, tapes (even 8 Tracks!) and CD's. Although i admit I do use iTunes and Amazon MP3 a lot these days, I still remember the days when you would got to the record store and actually buy vinyl and CD's when they were sold in those long cardboard cases (much like original PlayStation games too). As a fan of music of many kinds (although not all kinds and not just Metal too!) I wanted to celebrate Record Store Day with my list of some of my favorite albums...CHERNOBOGS LAIR PRESENTS: MY TOP 10 FAVORITE ALBUMS! Rock on! \m/

#10 Linkin Park, Meteora (2003) Along with the wave of Nu-Metal and Rap-Metal bands in the 1990's like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park stands out as the most original and innovative bands to emerge in the new millennium. After their debut Hybrid Theory (2000), they built up a huge following and commercial success which would allow them to evolve and experiment musically. With the release of Meteora in 2003, it gained them new notoriety and success. Although i was not a fan of the Nu-metal scene, Linkin Park impressed me and after seeing them live supporting Metallica in Dallas (Live in Texas (2003) I began to follow their music. The deluxe enhanced CD of Meteora includes a documentary of the "Art of Meteora". Songs Include: "Somewhere I Belong", "Lying From You", "Faint", Breaking the Habit", and "Numb".

#9 The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) - This double disc concept album was the soundtrack to my high school years. Although I was a growing metal head, I could not ignore the alternative rock revolution of the 1990's (I.e. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) as I came of age right in the middle of it. The two discs entitled "Dawn to Dusk" and "Twilight to Starlight" was their third album and a major highlight of the bands musical career in defining their virtuosity and unique style of frontman Billy Corgan. Songs Include: "Tonight, Tonight", "Zero", "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" and "1979".

#8 Joe Satriani, Surfing with the Alien (1987) - Instrumental rock guitarist Joe Satriani IS a genius! In 1987 he released his second album Surfing with the Alien which is his most successful album to date and earned him a reputation as a respected and virtuoso guitar-player. Surfing with the Alien features Marvel Comics' character 'The Silver Surfer' on the album cover. Songs Include: "Surfing with the Alien", "Crushing Day", Satch Boogie", and "Hill of the Skull".

#7 Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (1977) The 1970's Punk-era was one of the most profound and misunderstood of the musical genres. With bands like The Ramones, The Misfits, and Black Flag over in the U.S. the punk scene began over in the U.K. with bands like The Clash and of course The Sex Pistols. Released on October 28, 1977, Never Mind the Bollocks is the Sex Pistols most successful and notable album. With Johnny Rotten's vocals, Steve Jones guitar and Sid Vicious bass it is a brutal, intense and high-energy experience. Songs Include: "Holidays in the Sun", "No Feelings", "Problems", and "Anarchy in the U.K."

#6 AC/DC, Back In Black (1980) - After the death of AC/DC's singer Bon Scott in 1980, the Australian Hard Rockers considered quitting but they knew Scott would have wanted them to continue. The Young brothers soon hired Brian Johnson and revitalized the band as they rose to worldwide fame and acclaim. Back in Black marks both the revival of the band and a milestone in hard rock. The album was certified platinum three months after its release and currently is the 4th highest-selling album ever in the U.S. Songs Includes: "Hells Bells", "Shoot To Thrill", "Back In Black", and "You Shook Me All Night Long."

#5 Star Wars - The Original Soundtrack (1977) - Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Williams. Without the music Star Wars would not have had as much impact on popular culture than it did. The music is what makes Star Wars great, it's operatic, it's timeless, it's iconic! Songs Include: "Main Title", "Princess Leia's Theme", "The Last Battle", and "The Throne Room and End Title".

#4 Led Zeppelin, IV (1971) - Released on November 8, 1971, the fourth Led Zeppelin album features no title, only 4 occult symbols and a picture of an old man with a bundle of sticks on his back! Led Zeppelin IV was a huge critical and commercial success and is one of the best selling albums worldwide! Songs Include: "Black Dog", "Rock and Roll", "Stairway to Heaven", and "Misty Mountain Hop".

#3 Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath (1970) - Their first self-titled debut album released on Friday the 13th, 1970 and cost only $1,200 to make and took only 8 hours to record. The albums cover had a very strange cover of an unidentified woman (not Ozzy!) at the Mapledurham Watermill, a historic watermill on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England. The album reached number 23 on the Billboard 200, where it remained for over a year. The inside album art features an upside-down cross with liner notes. Songs Include: "Black Sabbath", "The Wizard", and "N.I.B.".

#2 Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz (1981) - After Ozzy Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, he would have been lost in musical obscurity to drugs and alcohol abuse, if not for the daughter of producer Don Arden, and now wife of Ozzy: Sharon. Sharon helped Ozzy get back on his feet and paired him with guitar virtuoso Rand Rhoads. The two made heavy metal history with his new band The Blizzard of Ozz (later renamed simply Ozzy Osbourne). Sadly Randy Rhoads died tragically after the release of the second album Diary of a Madman in 1982. Songs Include: "I Don't Know", "Crazy Train", "Suicide Solution", and "Mr. Crowley".

#1 Metallica, Metallica (1991) - Having already built up a huge following without major commercial support from radio or MTV Metallica embarked what was to be a year and half musical journey which would change the band forever. Simply titled Metallica, the "Black Album" was their 5th studio album. After the death of bassist Cliff Burton in 1986, Metallica recruited Jason Newstead for their 1988 album "...And Justice For All" which gained them commercial success for the first time and they even produced their first music video for "One". After that album and a successful tour, Metallica went back into the studio and with a new producer, Bob Rock. The "Black" album so called comes from the simple all-black design of the album with a "Don't Tread On Me" coiled snake. The album would go on to be the #1 selling album in the world debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 and has sold over 28 million copies worldwide!Songs Include: "Enter Sandman", "Sad But True", "The Unforgiven", and "Wherever I May Roam".