Skip to main content

top 5 most overlooked albums of all time

A lot of people will ask you what your favourite albums of all time are. For most of us, this is a nebulous list that changes depending on our mood, or what we’ve been listening to lately, or what associations we have with certain pieces of music. You also see the variation of this question that runs something like: What albums would you keep with you if you were stranded on a desert island? I’m particularly fond of this one because of the implicit assumption that the desert island would have electricity and a functioning sound system. (At any rate, my answer has always been a fairly simple one: I would want any album that gave me clear and detailed instructions on how to get off a desert island.)

My point is that picking favourites, especially when you’re as much of a music buff as I am, is difficult. I am much more comfortable making lists with fixed parameters, so that I can focus my attention a little more clearly.

One of the frustrations of being a music buff, especially when your favourite styles of music tend to be well below the radar of all but a handful of music listeners worldwide, is seeing an album that is of excellent quality overlooked in favour of something that curries to a fad. An album can be missed by a wider audience or by critics, but what’s worst of all is when its natural audience either completely ignores the album or seems somehow to miss the point.

To that end, this week on the More Like Space blog, I’ll be presenting my own subjective list of the top five most overlooked albums of all time. I’m not apologizing for the subjectivity of this list, because it’s one that requires an intimate knowledge of the subject. I couldn’t do a top five underrated hip-hop albums list because I don’t have more than a passing acquaintance with the genre. So the list is going to reflect my taste in music. If you’re not sure what my taste is, you might want to have a browse through the archives at hellifax, where I’ve posted the odd music review.

My criteria for this list is pretty loose: I’m looking at albums that are not only good (although that is a natural prerequisite), but that were influential, unique and/ or ahead of their time. Because of the restrictions of talking about music in a certain genre, the albums will be fairly restricted in terms of time period. Again: this is a list relating to a genre where I have some expertise. Comments, as always, are welcome.

One little side note, something for which I will offer an apology: No one wants to sound like the grumpy old fart who keeps talking about how kids today don’t know what their progenitors did. Unfortunately, the nature of putting together a list like this means that for the next several days, that’s exactly what I’m going to sound like. There’s no way to say that the significance of an album was missed without saying that is was missed by someone in particular. So, keep in mind, I like most of the bands I’m criticizing and own their albums. That’s how I know what they’ve missed. No harm intended.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

fun-raising

no, i am not dead, nor have i been lying incapacitated in a ditch somewhere. i've mostly been preparing for our imminent, epic move, which is actually not so terribly epic, because we found a place quite close to where we are now. in addition, i've been the beneficiary of an inordinately large amount of paying work, which does, sadly, take precedence over blogging, even though you know i'd always rather be with you.

indeed, with moving expenses and medical expenses looming on the horizon, more than can be accounted for even with the deepest cuts in the lipstick budget, dom and i recently did something that we've not done before: we asked for help. last week, we launched a fundraising campaign on go fund me. it can be difficult to admit that you need a helping hand, but what's been overwhelming for both of us is how quick to respond so many people we know have been once we asked. it's also shocking to see how quickly things added up.

most of all, though, the ex…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …