I really like "Beyond Here Lies Nothin" and "Jolene," too, and also put "I Feel a Change Comin' On" in that top tier. Those three would be on any modern (TooM and after) Dylan comp I'd assemble. To me, they are good enough to put the album into that high-mediocre/low-good area. But I also found some of the others a little better when I relistened to the whole Dylan catalog last summer (fall? whenever that was that we went through those) than I'd remembered them.
Still, don't get me wrong. It's not a great album, and I only begrudgingly called it good for our purposes here. Otherwise, like you, I'd say Modern Times.
Last Great - A Matter of Life and Death (2006) - The first three post reunion albums are all great IMO. This one was so impressive that the band opted to play it from start to finish on tour.
Last Good - The Book of Souls (2015) - A little trimming could've made a good album very good.
First Bad - The X Factor (1995) - This is Maiden's first album without Martin Birch since their debut, so there was nobody to reel in Steve Harris's prog leanings. The end result is a bloated 77 minute affair. It's got some really good songs, and ones that just plod.
Last Great - Trout Mask Replica. I actually like most of the Captain's output, but "great" is a strong word, and I'd argue Beefheart only hit it twice: once with his debut, Safe as Milk, and again with his best known album, the infamous Trout Mask Replica. Why is it great? Because it's a joyful, chaotic, noisy bundle of fun. However, I also gave some very serious consideration to...
Last Good - Bat Chain Puller. This the last one in terms of release date, though not recording date: the album was recorded in 1976 by Frank Zappa's DiscReet Records, but financial finagling led Zappa to withhold the master tapes. Beefheart re-recorded much of the material for his Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) in 1978. But I'm talking about the original, the one that was unreleased for decades, finally officially released in 2012. That 1976 album--his last studio album released, though not recorded--is very, very good. But I didn't quite go with great. For what it's worth, I would have selected the previous "last studio album," Ice Cream For Crow (1982) as the last good album if BCP were considered by recording instead of release date.
First Bad - Unconditionally Guaranteed. Coincidentally, when this 1974 album was much maligned by Beefheart's hardcore fans but still didn't make any impression on casual pop fans, Beefheart was quoted as telling fans to return the albums and request refunds. I guess that would be an unconditional guarantee. But the spirit of the thing is more in the cover, showing the Cap'n holding wads of cash. Alas, the sellout failed (as did its successor, his second bad album, Bluejeans and Moonbeams), as it peaked at #192 on the Billboard charts.
Last Great - Angel of Retribution (2005) - Other than a misguided 13 minute slog called Lochness, Priest's reunion album sees the band firing on all cylinders.
Last Good - Firepower (2018) - Unimpressed on the first couple listens, this one is really growing on me.
First Bad - Jugulator (1997) - The late 1990s were not a great time for music, heavy metal in particular. Tim Ripper Owens does an admire job filling in for Rob Halford, but the songs are just very weak.
Kapitan: Yes, let's keep it going. If you're not sure which years we've covered, check the first post of the thread: I've edited it to list each year we've touched upon.
Sept 22, 2021 13:10:08 GMT
jk: If no one jumps in soon, I'll go for 1997, which is 13 years back from 2010. Fact is, we haven't had a '90s year yet.
Sept 22, 2021 13:46:32 GMT
Kapitan: No, but we do have a whole '90s thread that covered a lot of that territory. (In fact, that's what inspired the idea, to some extent)
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:28 GMT
Kapitan: Not that I'm opposed to a '90s year, mind you
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:58 GMT
jk: I see where you're coming from, Cap'n. I even did a double-take when looking through 1997 albums and songs (these look familiar!). My next suggestion is that we go back 13 years from 1972 to 1959.
Sept 22, 2021 17:04:34 GMT
jk: OK, it's one of the "doldrum years" but it was crammed full of goodies that even register with folks who weren't born for another 20 years. Of course, if anyone has a better idea, I'm all for it.
Sept 22, 2021 17:05:59 GMT
Kapitan: That would make sense; we also haven't really touched the early to mid 80s, which I'm sure people (mostly) recall. And of course EVERY year in the '60s seems loaded...
Sept 22, 2021 17:06:53 GMT
jk: Yes, the early-ish '80s also came to mind. But let's see who else joins in...
Sept 22, 2021 17:08:04 GMT
Kapitan: So far we've had me, jk, kds, and carllove choosing years. Would love to expand that circle.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:20 GMT
Kapitan: Which, I guess with four of us so far, is more a square.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:38 GMT
jk: Ha, yes. Sheriff? B.E.? sockit? The Kid?... We'll see.
Sept 22, 2021 17:16:41 GMT
The Cincinnati Kid: I might come up with something. I love those kind of threads, but am terrible in participating. I still haven't posted anything for 2010.
Sept 22, 2021 19:26:41 GMT
lonelysummer: 1959 is a doldrums year? Hmm....
Sept 22, 2021 19:44:28 GMT
jk: That's what they say... you know, that period from *cough* "the day the music died" to the arrival of the British Invasion. Like you, I couldn't agree less with that notion, hence the inverted commas!
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:30 GMT
Kapitan: I assume he means the stereotype that between early rock and roll and the British Invasion, nothing happened. But that it was in quotes (plus his actual comments) make me think it was an ironic usage.
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:54 GMT
Kapitan: Whoops, near-simultaneous post. But it confirms my suspicion.
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:21 GMT
jk: Great minds and all that!
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:34 GMT
sockit: I would like to showcase the year 1983. That's the year I graduated high school and I was all in on what was current.
Sept 23, 2021 0:07:54 GMT
carllove: I was in College then. Sounds like a good year! Go for it! It’s a group effort!
Sept 23, 2021 4:31:48 GMT
carllove: BTW - I’d be down for 90’s years. I like the years being broken out. Meanwhile we can move to 1983 with sockit’s help. 1972 has ended its interest.
Sept 23, 2021 4:34:56 GMT