Music Article

Rhett's Bets

Songsmith Miller picks 12 albums you've gotta get -- by any means necessary -- right now!

Rhett Miller: 12 albums you must get...now!

The Kinks, The Kink Kronikles (1971, Reprise)
''I didn't include [the Beatles'] Revolver or [Bob Dylan's] Highway 61 Revisited in my list because I figure y'all know about those already. It seems the Kinks never quite get their due, though, so I won't take it for granted that you know about Ray Davies. Um... he's, like, awesome.''

David Bowie, Hunky Dory (1971, Virgin)
''Bowie whipped this one out while getting ready to make Ziggy Stardust, and it's only THE GREATEST ALBUM EVER MADE.''

T. Rex, The Slider (1972, Rhino)
''The perfect music to play while getting it on. Unless you can't help but to sing along, like me, which can be awkward.''

Pixies, Doolittle (1989, 4AD)
'''Wave of Mutilation' is the best song ever written. Oh, and how about a little number called 'Here Comes Your Man'?''

Ramones, Road to Ruin (1978, Sire/Rhino)
''Nobody ever talks about how pretty their songs are. I was lucky enough to get to see them play in the '80s a few times, and man, oh man. I try to give a tenth of the energy they gave every night, and it's exhausting.''

X, Under The Big Black Sun (1982, Elektra)
''Exene and John (and DJ and Billy) at what I consider their peak. Totally different from anything that preceded it. And the lyrics? Poetry, man.''

Francoise Hardy, The Vogue Years (2001, BMG)
''This chanteuse wrote her own songs in the '60s and sang like an angel. Even if you don't speak French you'll get worked up listening to her beautiful voice and casually elegant delivery.''

Palace Music, Viva Last Blues (1995, Drag City)
''This came along right when I needed it. It's the sound of a sad, lost soul getting drunk and trying to get laid (by a mountain, in one song).''

Pernice Brothers, Yours, Mine & Ours (2003, Ashmont Records)
''Joe Pernice's albums are consistently fantastic. This is my favorite today. The opening track, 'Weakest Shade of Blue,' slays me. Especially when he sings, 'I'll be tender till the day I die.' It's not a promise, but a lament.''

The Wedding Present, Bizarro (1996, Manifesto Records)
''Talk about underrated. If there was any justice, you'd all be playing air guitar to this album right now.''

Aztec Camera, High Land, Hard Rain (1991, Reprise)
''Scotland makes some great music. These days it's Belle & Sebastian (whom I love), but years ago it was Roddy Frame and his band. Check out 'Oblivious.'''

The Zombies, Odyssey and Oracle (1968, Big Beat)
''I've been singing a particular song ['This Will Be Our Year'] off this record to my very pregnant wife Erica lately. 'The warmth of your love, is like the warmth of the sun, and this will be our year, took a long time to come.' Here's hoping.''

The second solo disc by ex-Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller, The Believer (Verve Forecast), is out now.

Originally posted Apr 19, 2006
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