Today I launch a new category for this blog, Top 10 lists by interesting people. I have janked this Top 10 list of Classic Rock and Metal albums out of an upcoming RETROFUTURE feature with guitarist Michael Mojo Nilsson, to get things going. This is in his own words. Enjoy!
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Hard to make… Just the albums that were hugely influential to me… Some artists could have 10 albums of their own on this list.
1. Kiss – “Destroyer” (1976).
I found this LP at a friend´s room and I offered him two small comic books (with a war theme) for it. My buddy thought he had made a good trade because the disc was smeared with old sandwiches that had dried into the vinyl, and the pick-up just couldn´t find the track. I was devastated but my dad simply then washed the disc with a dishbrush and it was like new after that. The cover of this album is the best I´ve ever seen. I thought they were gods. This brought me into rock´n´roll and it´s the first record I ever bought… (Yeah I know, “Beth” is slicker than rat shit, but I was only 9 years old).
2. Deep Purple – “Burn” (1974).
What can I say, the opening riff of the title track may be the mother of all guitar riffs (yeah, it´s even cooler than “Smoke On The Water”). Enter the soaring vocals of my favorite rock singer, David Coverdale, and (Glenn Hughes) then add an Ian Paice-performance for the ages. This is my favorite DP-line up, although I love the Mark II era. There´s not a bad track on this album. Goddamnit, I even dig the weird instrumental “A 200”.
3. AC/DC – “Back In Black” (1980).
I´m not overlooking the band’s original vocalist, the wonderful “weasel on heat” Bon Scott. I love Bon, and prefer him, but this is a fantastic album. Every song is a classic, and a bunch of the greatest guitar riffs ever recorded are featured here. And the SOUND! The drums and the guitar!!! Thanx producer Mutt Lange, for making me wanna´eat large chunks of this vinyl for breakfast.
4. Judas Priest – “British Steel” (1980).
“Grinder-looking for meat- grinder -wants you to eat!” It´s not Shakespeare, but it´s the Metal God himself. Nuff said!
5. The Black Crowes – “Southern Harmony and Musical Companion” (1992).
Just the greatest retro-sounding band ever.
6. ZZ Top – “Eliminator” (1983).
The album that made me dig into the blues (I´ll try not to mention facial hair). I heard the ferociously grand, driving, pitiless grooving beat of the drum intro from “Gimme All Your Lovin´” oozing out from the tv-set at my grandma´s place. 1 minute of that made me run all the way to the local record store with all my savings (50 kr). Electronica and Blues combined to ecstasy. (BEARD!!!) Couldn´t help it…
7. Iron Maiden – “Killers” (1981).
The world´s second greatest LP cover, and the 2nd record I ever bought. Scared the shit out of me. Adrian and Dave hits hard with a twin guitar attack that I love to this day. My fav Maiden album. Love the rawness of Di´Anno combined with Harris´s galloping bass lines. Great drumming from Clive Burr too.
8. Yngwie J. Malmsteen – “Rising Force” (1984).
Grind your axe and shred to death! High soaring guitar leads in a neo-classical eargasm. In fact your ears sweat to this shredfest. This record set a new a standard for guitar skills, regardless of his sometimes “Larger Than Life”- persona. But there are tons of tasteful melodic playing too. Anyone who won´t admit that, is a lowdown, no good son of a banjo player.
9. Jimi Hendrix – “Axis: Bold As Love” (1967).
We all know what Jimi Hendrix contributed with for the art of electric guitar playing. Everything! I love his ballads more than anything: “Little Wing”, “Axis: Bold As Love” and “Castles Made of Sand” contains the most beautiful, tasteful guitar playing ever recorded.
10. The Allman Brothers Band – “Live at the Fillmore East” (1971).
Southern Rock pioneers at their most creative, bluesy, jazzy, psychedelic and virtuosic peak. Just before two of the members died in freaky motorcycle accidents.
Michael “Mojo” Nilsson