Kurt Cobains Top 50 Albums List

Kurt Cobains Top 50 Albums

1982

1. The Stooges

2. Pixies – Surfer Rosa

Kurt says: A die-cast metal fossil of misplaced draft, with or without the fucking production. Everyone who has ever commented on ‘Surfer Rosa’ has said that the production’s amazing. I agree with that, but the songs are so strong that it wouldn’t have mattered if you’d listened to it through a boom-box.

I was completely nihilistic up until about four or five years ago, when I first heard this. It changed my attitude. It made me finally admit, after being into punk rock for so many years, that I finally liked other stiles as well. It made me finally admit that I’m a music lover. Their music reminded me of the music that I always wanted to do – and was doing – before I got into punk rock eight or nine years ago.

3. The Breeders

4. The Vaselines Son Of A Gun

Kurt says: I just have this feeling Eugene and Frances had a really cool relationship. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think it’s a really amazing thing when a couple can get on together and write some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. They’re kind of sharing their life with people. Eugene and Frances are the Captain & Tennille of the underground.

5. The Shaggs – Philosophy Of The World

Kurt says:  It’s so obviously the real thing. I heard this one live song – a Carpenters song, maybe? – where they must have been playing a day centre, and the screams in the background are louder than the music. The Shaggs are another archetypal K band.

6. Fang – Landshark

7. MDC – Millions Of Dead Cops

8. Scratch Acid – Scratch Acid

9. Saccharine Trust – Paganicons

10. Butthole Surfers – Pee Pee The Sailor

11. Black Flag – My War

12. Bad Brains – Rock For Light

13. Gang Of Four – Entertainment

14. Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks

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Kurt says: A million times more important than The Clash. How do I explain that? Hmm. Both were always a bad imitation of The Rolling Stones, in love with America. But at least they took their girlfriends on tour with them (The Slits). Their music was terrible, though. I blame Sandinista! for not letting me get into punk until years after I should have done – it was so bad.

The Pistols’ album has the best production of any rock record I’ve ever heard. It’s totally in-your-face and compressed. All the hype The Sex Pistols had was totally deserved – they deserved everything they got. Johnny Rotten was the one I identified with, he was the sensitive one. The only reason I might agree with people calling our band “The Sex Pistols of the 90’s” is that, for both bands, the music is a very natural thing, very sincere. But in terms of influence, fuck, no! Rock is too exhausted for that. We haven’t produced a totally original sound like that. We might be uncompromising, but that’s about it. We’re an obvious metamorphosis.

15.The Frogs – It’s Only Right And Natural

16. PJ Harvey – Dry

17. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation

18. The Knack – Get The Knack

19. The Saints – Know Your Product

20. Kleenex – Kleenex/Liliput

21. The Raincoats – The Raincoats

22. Young Marble Giants – Colossal Youth


1981

Kurt Says: The music relaxes you, it’s total atmospherics. It’s just nice, pleasant music. I love it. The drum machine has to have the cheesiest sound ever. We’re going to be on a Young Marble Giants compilation, doing ‘Credit In The Straight World’. I had a crush on the singer for a while – didn’t everyone? I didn’t know much about them – the Moxham brothers, right? I heard they might be getting back together again recently. Isn’t it weird how, when you hear something like that, you still get excited, even though you know you shouldn’.

23. Aerosmith – Rocks

24. Various – What is it?

25. R.E.M. – Green

26. Shonen Knife – Burning Farm

1983Kurt says: This was the first cassette that came out on K. Eventually, after a week of listening to it every day, I started crying. That’s how much it affected me. I just couldn’t believe that three people from a totally different culture could write songs as good as those, because I’d never heard any other Japanese music or artist who ever came up with anything good.

Everything about them is just so fucking endearing. They’re not too cute! That’s part of the charm. Do I think there’s a paedophiliac element to their appeal? I think in Japanese culture in general there’s a paedophiliac element – most of the women there dress op as young girls. It’s weird.

I’m sure that I was twice as nervous to meet them as they were to meet us. I didn’t want to offend or scare them in any way, because I know I’m a scruffy, slimy person who might scare them off – and that’s exactly what I did. They were afraid of me. In fact, on one of our first dates together, they saw me walking towards them and they screamed at the top of their voices, turned around and ran away, and then peeked their heads out of their dressing room. I was trying to reassure them that I was harmless. The communication we had with them was deathly silence and a lot of smiling.
In many ways, they’re the ultimate K band, because they are sincere, they are real. They don’t’ purposely put their guitars out of tune and they don’t purposely sing out of tune.

27. The Slits – Typical Girls

28. The Clash – Combat Rock

29. Void/Faith/Split EP

30. Rites Of Spring – Rites Of Spring

31. Beat Happening – Jamboree

32. Tales Of Terror – Tales Of Terror

33. Leadbelly – Last Sessions Volume 1

1980

Kurt says: William Burroughs turned me onto that guy. He said that if you want to hear true honest music, you should hear Leadbelly. The songs are just amazing heartfelt.
Leadbelly was this poor black man in the early 1900s who went to jail a few times for wife-beating and robbery and getting into fights and bootlegging liquor. While he was is in prison, he started playing the guitar, and he sang so well that the governor started to like him, and let him out of jail. Leadbelly became an apprentice with Blind Lemon Jefferson and started recording songs, but none of the commercial recordings he made ever captured his true essence, except for these late sessions. They happened when this guy who’d been following his career for a few years caught him on a two-track tape recorder one night when they were hanging out at this hotel. It’s just really cool.

I hope that my songs approximate that honesty. That’s what I strive for. He was like the first punk rocker: he’d get into town, walk into an all-white bar, try to have a drink, get beat up and then go to jail because of it. So it’s really cool to hear this music, especially the air of the recordings themselves, because it’s so eerie to hear it on this crackly two-track. But that’s what Folkway records are like – they’re awesome. They even have the entire Watergate tapes available as a 10-album set. I’m gonna get a Folkways tattoo next to my Black Flag tattoo.

34. Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff

35. Daniel Johnston – Yim Jump Music

36. Flipper – Generic Flipper

37. The Beatles – Meet The Beatles

38. Half Japanese – We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love.

Kurt says: I like to listen to Jade Fair and Half Japanese with headphones on, walking around shopping malls – in the heart of the American culture. I just think that, if people could hear this music right now, they’d melt, they wouldn’t know what to do, they’d start bouncing off the walls and hyperventilating. So I turn up the music really loud and pretend it’s blasting through the speakers in the mall.

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39. Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician

40. Black Flag – Damaged

41. The Record

42. Flowers Of Romance

43. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

44. The Marine Girls – Beach Party

45. David Bowie – The Man Who Sold The World

46. The Wipers – Is This Real?

47. The Wipers – Youth Of America

48. The Wipers – Over The Edge

Kurt says: Is This Real? Yes it is. The Wipers released maybe four or five albums. The first two were totally classic and influenced The Melvins and all the other punk rock bands. They’re one of the bands I tried to assimilate. Their songs were so good. Greg Sage was pretty much the romantic, quiet, visionary kind of guy. What more can I say about them? They started Seattle grunge rock in Portland, 1977.

49. Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly

50. Swans – Young God EP

1984

-Punk Monday

 

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Maty’s Corner # 6

Maty’s Corner Issue # 6

Skate Rock San Jose- Steve Caballero and The Faction

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The first incarnation of The Faction were Steve Caballero, Gavin O’Brien, Craig Bosch, and Russ Wright. This lineup only lasted through a couple of practices when Craig Bosch left to join local punk band The Unaware. Bosch was replaced by Adam Segal who also became the band’s de facto manager.

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10434The Faction were a hardcore punk rock band. Pioneers of the skate punk era during the early 1980s many band would follow their after.

Starting on Halloween 1982 out of the streets, pools and ramps of San Jose California was The Faction!  Though they only lasted 3 years to the day Halloween 1985.

10435They would forever set a blueprint for the entire skate punk scene which birthed the Warped tour and X Games.  This wasn’t some bunch of posers, this was music by skaters for skaters.  First off you had Steve “Cab” Caballero on bass then guitar.  That’s right, the Bones Brigade legend and man behind the Vans half cab (a pair of which I’m rocking at the moment) as a founding member of this band.

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10433Steve Caballero was known for so many insane air variations and tricks and even has many trick variations named by him.  He’s also set a long standing record for highest air out of a pipe along with being Thrasher’s Skater of The Century.  Though being born with scoliosis he never really suffered from other than a kink in his neck and head position, it has never been evidenced by his career in the legendary Bones Brigade.

7761Along with Steve Caballero you had vocalist Gavin O’Brien who could skate anything and was a heavy hitter in the local punk rock.and growing skate rock scene. Lead singer Gavin O’Brien was also a notable skateboarder, popular at local Winchester Skate Park.

Drummer Craig Bosch has a skateboard trick named after him, called “the Bosch” aka invert to blunt. Pro skater Jeff Kendall would play with The Faction during 1989.
Adam Bomb who was known for crazy high top Vans and being one of the first to do switch tricks.  Rounding out the talent was Bosch who has a trick named after him which is an invert to blunt.

10452The Faction rocked as hard as they skated.  Their music sounded like a fucking bomb going off. I’d imagine their shows felt like one.  The Faction was the real deal for skate punks. An often judgmental scene that will call out a fake from a mile away! They’ve been the soundtrack to many a skate session with their biggest hit “Skate And Destroy” will go down in punk rock history. Faction will continue to be heard in garages and at back yard ramps as long as there are skateboarders.

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9066Steve Caballero At Age 16. 30 years earlier than the photo below, amazing!

8754Steve Caballero Front Side Invert At Age 46

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10435Their first album, the 7″ Yesterday Is Gone, was released on the band’s label IM Records in 1983. According to the band’s official bio, this generated a bit of resentment in the local punk scene. Some people thought The Faction’s popularity was only due to Steve Caballero’s status outside of the band. This would prove to be untrue, however, after embarking on a small summer tour of California. They quickly discovered that their album had reached a wider audience when they were greeted with much enthusiasm all through out the California large city arenas..

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10458The band’s next album, No Hidden Messages, was also released in 1983. The song “Skate And Destroy” became wildly popular as background music at skate parks, pools, ramp sessions, and early skateboard videos. “Skate And Destroy” was also featured on the official soundtrack to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 video game. Proving the band’s staying ability through time, The song has long been considered the official “anthem” for skateboarding and skateboarders everywhere. As the band’s manager, producer, and head of IM Records, Adam went to work booking a national tour in support of No Hidden Messages during 1984. The tour was a success and saw them play the infamous punk club CBGB for the first time.

10460The next album, Dark Room, was released in 1985. The punk sound wasn’t gone but the heavier side of the band was very apparent. As its title suggests, Dark Room indeed had a dark feel to it. Thanks to a generous helping of metal infused punk resounding. Dark Room would be the last album before the band’s breakup. The band played their final show on October 22, 1985 at the Keystone in Palo Alto, California on Halloween.

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The band’s final EP, Epitaph, recorded during the summer of 1985, was eventually released in 1986 on Thrash Records. A somewhat thrown together mix of songs, Epitaph does have a couple of standouts. Epitaph would be the last album for 10 years. A three word slogan on the back sleeve would prove quite prophetic, however. The slogan reads, “We’ll Be Back”.”

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In 1989, for reasons even unknown to the band, they reunited and played two sold out shows at the Cactus Club in San Jose. Demand for the shows was so high that club owners had to turn away a crowd of approximately 300 waiting outside on the first night. This was after they filled the venue. The shows featured the band’s final lineup minus Adam Segal. Pro skater Jeff Kendall took over Adam’s spot. This reunion spawned a four song demo tape. Two songs, “Looking For You” and “Pet Squirrel”, appeared in the Santa Cruz Skateboards video, “A Reason For Living”. This reunion didn’t last much longer and the band again called things off.

10419The band recorded new material during the early part of the new millennium and four tracks surfaced. “The Whistler” on a split 7″ with J.F.A. released in 2003, “Cut It Out” on another compilation, “Aisle Seat” and “Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?” The last two were never officially released with “Aisle Seat” ending up on the band’s MySpace page. The Faction continued to play in and around California as a foursome.
The final four were Gavin, Cab, Ray, and Keith.

-Maty Almost.