The Bells' Toll on Rock 'n' Roll:
Albums to live and learn by
Posted May 18, 2007

“They love it like you love Jesus, it does the same
thing to their souls” –Tom Petty

Every time we purchase an album, new or old, box set or single, we applaud all those bad girls and boys who play that rock ‘n’ roll. We love our records like some love Jesus; they do the same thing to our souls.

And no matter how many artists we accumulate for documentation and pure rock ‘n’ roll sake, the flame still burns. We doubt that our musical lust will ever be satisfied, perhaps because blowing $300 in a record store at once, a la John Mayer, is never an option.

No, we like to cultivate our audio assortment in much smaller increments on Amazon.com. The more we buy, the more we want.

We give our record collection plenty of thought, some might say too much, as it is important for us to own every important, not-so-important, kind-of-important, and might-be-important-someday album of the founding past, murky present and promising future.

Chris Robinson’s solo efforts? Need them both.

Ability to channel the Dandy Warhols whenever bashing the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll cliché — heroin is so passé!

Don’t be a lamestain, it is absolutely necessary.

Tom Petty’s “Long After Dark?”

Well it is our own Heartbreakers’ beach party.

And how could we slip into red shoes, dance for inspiration or have the best time of our purple lives without David Bowie, Madonna or Prince to get us into the groove?

We may not be as cool as Kim Deal but if you wanted to get your Led out, you could call us.

We are metal heads, batcavers, loverockers, soul divas, goobers and alt-country snakeskin cowgirls; whatever the label, it’s all rock ‘n’ roll to us.

We preach Dylan, Bon Jovi-ism and black majik, and are currently recruiting members for KISS Army and Aero Force One. Sorry, but the Ten Club is full, reserved for those in kickers and wack slacks; there is only so much of Eddie Vedder to go around after all (and when it comes to the Jam, we are pretty indifferent about sharing).

Life’s a harsh realm, we know.

So, name a few bands and we will sing you some tunes, or at least attempt to explain, in 50 words or less, why we worship them.

In a perfect world we might be able to name 10 albums, perhaps 20 songs that are “essential” to rock ‘n’ roll history, but this might cause an argument over the meaning of the word “essential” and that would defeat our purpose.

The focus should be on the songs, so we will try not to sing out of key.

Be forewarned that despite this reference, made for our love of “The Wonder Years” and nothing else, not one Beatles song or album will make an appearance.

Yet several Led Zeppelin efforts definitely will.

Maybe on one not-so-fine day, when we’re faced with a last coconut on a deserted island situation, we might have to pick just 10 friends to lessen the pain of the unplanned sojourn. They would most likely be selected from a carry-on of 700 occupying the seat next to ours on the downward-spiraling plane.

But for now, when faced with a final space to fill situation, we will name all that we can.

Rock on, that’s grunge speak for a happy goodbye.

Reader’s Note: The following list is in no specific order, is by no means definitive and could never be complete.

“Achtung Baby”-U2: “The Unforgettable Fire” and “The Joshua Tree” sometimes rank above this classic, but we could not live with or without “Acrobat.” Let Bono ride your wild horses, or at least let him ask you about them.

“Playback”-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: OK, so this is a six-disc set, but once you go box, you will never go back.

“Houses of the Holy”/“Physical Graffiti”--Led Zeppelin: Need we say more? The Zoso Four were more than “IV.”

“Vs.”/“Ten”-Pearl Jam: Everything grunge was cracked up to be. Dance to “Go” then cry an even flow to “Indifference,” a sure fire method to feel alive.

“Dizzy up the Girl”-Goo Goo Dolls: It was the most successful album of their career, more important to us for non-radio hits like “All Eyes on Me” and “Bulletproof.”

“Superstar Carwash”-Goo Goo Dolls: The band’s fourth album was a precursor to post-punk days, memorable for “Fallin’ Down,” “String of Lies,” “Domino” and “Stop the World.”

“Sign ‘O’ the Times”/“Purple Rain”-Prince: Keep this hot thing forever in your life.

“The Things We Do”-Angela McCluskey: One of the things you should do is look into the Stevie Nicks of our time. Trust us, we are well-meaning know-it-alls.

“Tusk”/“The Dance”-Fleetwood Mac: Some things never change: women are still too trusting and the Mac is still too good.

“Bookends”-Simon and Garfunkel: Look at their eyes. They’re on pot.

“Hatful of Hollow”-The Smiths; Show some respect, or Morrissey will spit in your eye.

“Pronounced Lehn-nerd Skin-nerd”-Lynyrd Skynyrd: All we can do is write about it.

“Rust Never Sleeps”/“Mirrorball”-Neil Young: Whether fading into the black or blue, only Neil Young can break your heart. Visit the Big Green Country.

“Highway 61 Revisited”/ “Blonde on Blonde”- Bob Dylan: It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry and it takes many Dylans to satisfy.

“Exile on Main St.”/“Sticky Fingers”-Rolling Stones: If you love the Stones as much as we do, we must be on the same boat, at the same time, on the same sea, feelin’ the same breeze.

“Shake Your Money Maker”-The Black Crowes: With Chris Robinson by your side, you may start talking to angels, thanking Sister Luck and asking how you could have been so blind.

“New Earth Mud”-Chris Robinson: This Crowes leader is better than the sun on his first solo endeavor. You could really love him, too.

“Led Zeppelin III”-Led Zeppelin: We love to stomp around with these men on celebration days, speaking French and singing of the way things ought to stay.

“Appetite for Destruction”/ “Use Your Illusion I”-Guns N’ Roses: “Chinese Democracy,” where are you?

“Paranoid”-Black Sabbath: When we first “got into” Sabbath, we told everyone we had sold our souls for rock ‘n’ roll. We still think it was a worthy cause.

“The Definitive Collection”-Chuck Berry: Roll over Beethoven, this anthology features 30 tracks.

“Facelift”/“Nothing’s Safe: The Best of the Box”-Alice in Chains: There are no excuses for staying away.

“Skid Row”-Skid Row: Sebastian Bach, we remember you.

“Open Up and Say Ahhh. . . .” Poison: Poison is nothing but a good time.

“Van Halen”-Van Halen: We’re talkin' 'bout love. David Lee Roth all the way.

“Are You Experienced”-Jimi Hendrix: An essential album if there ever was one.

“Urban Hymns”-The Verve: It is a little known fact that Richard Ashcroft holds the keys to the world, flying solo or swingin’ on the flippity-flop with his band.

“Mother Love Bone”- Mother Love Bone: Allow The Wood to introduce you to Shangri-La.

“Temple of the Dog”-Temple of the Dog: Meet Chris Cornell, a man of golden words.

“Welcome to the Cruel World”/“The Will to Live”- Ben Harper: We want Mr. Harper on both sides of the gun at all times. Give him your forever, not a day less will do.

“Grace”- Jeff Buckley-You know everyone here wants him. Hallelujah.

“Pleased to Meet Me”-The Replacements: On our honor, we are in love with their songs. Which album is the best? We don’t know, but these are the boys we cannot ignore.

“Head on the Door”-The Cure: A gateway to Goth heaven.

“Wildflowers”-Tom Petty: One listen will have you crawling back for more. More Tom, that is.

“Welcome to the Monkey House”-The Dandy Warhols: Visit the Odditorium while trading tales from urban bohemia. Otherwise, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah to your trip.”

“Madman Across the Water”-Elton John: The words we know, the tunes we hum.

“Synchronicity”-The Police: Every little thing they do is magic.

“Violator”-Depeche Mode: D’Mode is the world in our eyes.

“Twilight as Played by the Twilight Singers”-The Twilight Singers: We smell a sweet fragrance about them.

“Back in Black”-AC/DC: Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution.

“I Walk the Line”-Johnny Cash: He always wins.

“Heartbreaker”-Ryan Adams: Play it on repeat with a candle burning.

“Cold Roses”-Ryan Adams: If Adams is a stranger now to you, he will always be.

“Rumours”-Fleetwood Mac: We don’t want to know the reasons why you don’t own this album.

“Never a Dull Moment”-Rod Stewart: If loving him is wrong, we don’t want to be right.

“Gentlemen”-The Afghan Whigs: Find out what jail is like.

“Speaking in Tongues”-The Talking Heads: Only David Byrne could make a house fire sound fun (though this song should not be taken literally). Watch out, you might get what you’re after.

“Slippery When Wet”-Bon Jovi: Never say goodbye to any Jon or John.
“Alive II”-KISS: Of all the “Alives,” this is the best.

“Pump”-Aerosmith: The reason we joined the Aero Force. Of course we were five, and Janie had a gun.

“Face Value”-Phil Collins: “Miami Vice” theme song or not, it is hard to beat “In the Air Tonight.”

“Nothing’s Shocking”-Jane’s Addiction: Because we do what Jane says.

“SO”-Peter Gabriel: Every time we hear “In Your Eyes,” we picture John Cusack holding a ghetto blaster up to Ione Sky’s window.

“The River”-Bruce Springsteen: Well, he’s the boss.

“Dreamboat Annie”-Heart: They are a magic band, Mama.

“HOWL”-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Peter Hayes went where The Brian Jonestown Massacre could not. So grab a helmet and ride into the future.

“August and Everything After”- The Counting Crows: Three-thousand five-hundred miles away, but what would we change about the Counting Crows if we could? Nothing.

This list could go on and on and on. Visit www.myspace.com/bells_toll to read more. An official Web site coming soon.

Jessica Bell, a senior communications major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jbell@ulv.edu.

Kady Bell, a senior communications major, is web editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at kbell@ulv.edu.

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The Bells’ Toll on Rock ‘n’ Roll:
Albums to live and learn by


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