3. The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street
The Beatles, The White Album
The Who, The Who Sell Out
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV
Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
I recently got an email from a Mad City fan, hungry for me to resume my countdown, who asked if one of the "Big Three" was going to be at the top. And by that, I think he meant the first 3 bands here. And I know there's been a lot of curiosity and anxiety out there about the remainder of the Top 5, and who was I going to leave out. Because I think some of you were expecting one or more of these albums or bands to make an earlier appearance; and obviously, if I was at Number Three, I couldn't include all of them.
Or could I? I guess my Number Three proves once again that I didn't come from the mold: I broke it. Or something along those lines. You know what I mean, right? Basically, what I'm trying to say is that you cannot predict what's next with me. I'm unpredictable. And this proves it.
So here's my way of thinking: you can't do a Top 50 Albums and leave any of these artists out. They're lodged in there. They're like the Mt. Rushmore of Rock, if Mt. Rushmore had 5 presidents on it. These are monster albums. But let's face it: these guys are also dinosaurs. They're like Godzilla: part dinosaur, part monster. And if you know you have to include them, and you only have 50 spots to work with, that's like 10 percent of your list, and that doesn't leave a lot of room for new or unconventional picks. Voila! Let's lump them all together, near the top. That way, they're all included (as is admittedly necessary), but I've also got like 98 percent of my list to play with still.
As for the individual selections here, I guess there might be some controversy. I guess there are some people out there who don't think The White Album is the Beatles' greatest effort, etc. But I also guess that I'm a sucker for a good double album. But even then, there's controversy: The Who Sell Out over Tommy? It's a tough call, but I think Sell Out is an under-recognized gem, and something about Tommy always freaked me out a little. Just a little too psychedelic and self-indulgent for my taste.
So who's stoked for my final two? All of you, I bet. So, here's a little preview: coming up next is the greatest double album of all time. And at the top is the greatest album of all time, period. And remember the term "Godzilla." Godzilla Godzilla Godzilla ...