Browsing the "Lists" Category

Worst. Album Covers. Ever.

July 25th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[This is a popular topic around the Interwebs but special Aethetic Police correspondent Brent Chittenden wanted to weigh in.  Prepare for fugliness. - AC]

The one thing I (among many others) have missed about vinyl is the size of the album cover. Back in the day, album artwork was worked on and the size of the album cover was great for artists to work in detail.  But then again, some artists didn't. Some made monstrosities. And today we've collected these pieces of crap in a collection of the Top Ten Worst Album Covers Of All Time.


10) Creed – Weathered

This would have been tolerable except for the incredibly horrible photshop job done on the tree. I'm pretty sure my grandmother could have done a better job.


Guest Blog: 14 Artists Affected by the Early Deaths of a Parent

July 21st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

This list came about as the result of an email conversation with reader Marc MacMaster.  He brought up an interesting point about famous musicians being affected by having their parents die when they were still very young.  

To underscore his point, Marc provides this list.  Makes you think, really.

1. Bono: Lost mother when he was 14. Inspired "I Will Follow", and had an impact on "Mofo", "Lemon" and "Out of Control".

2. Larry Mullen Jr: Mother passed when he was 16 (almost 17). This happened about 2 years after the formation of U2. Internet sources claim that he was ready to quit the band after this happened, if it wasn't for Bono convincing him to stay (likely due to his ability to relate to the loss).

3. Dave Matthews: Lost his father at age 10. His biographer claims that this incident has influenced his "carpe-diem"-style lyrics.

The Top 10 Examples of Artwork That Would Make You Buy the Album Without Hearing It First

July 10th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Another list from resident listmeister, Brent Chittenden. - AC

I’m not huge on the vinyl band return bandwagon but the one thing that vinyl has over CDs, mp3s, iTunes and everything else is the space for album artwork.  Oh, I’m sure there has been plenty of good album covers since CDs came to the forefront but there just isn’t the amount of canvas that a record had.

In fact, there are a ton of albums out there with artwork that doesn’t let you know anything about the album or the band but yet makes you want to buy it. So in tribute to those album covers, we present my Top Ten Album Covers That Would Make You Buy The Record Without Knowing What It Sounded Like!

10) The Butthole Surfers – Electriclarryland

Taking a page out of the Frank Zappa hand book for album art, the Butthole Surfers had album art much like their music. Even if you knew who they were, the album artwork gave you no real indication of what was on the inside.

Just in Time for Father’s Day: 10 Songs About Dads

June 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[How timely!  A new list from special correspondent Brent Chittenden. - AC]

It’s Father’s Day this Sunday and what better way to celebrate then with some awesome tunes about Dads. Keep in mind, these song Dads might not be the best dads in the world... in fact most of the songs on this list are almost depressing but at least they make for good tunes.

10) Everclear – "Father of Mine"

Taken from Everclear’s Art Alexakis’s own life, the song is about a father abandoning his family and how Art won’t do that to his own kids.

Top Ten 8-Bit Cover Tunes

June 7th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[More listomania courtesy special correspondent, Brent Chittenden. - AC]

Growing up in the 80’s, I grew up with a Nintendo. To this day, I feel that some of the best video games ever made were for that 8-bit system. Sure I love Halo in its various incarnations, but Castlevania is still awesome.

But with people of my age group there has come this interesting trend on the internet to take popular music and turn it into 8-Bit cover versions. Radiohead, Metallica, Daft Punk have all been covered this way.

Interested? Here’s my top ten 8-Bit Cover tunes!

10) Metallica – "One"

The 8-bit version of this classic Metallica track would feel right at home in Castlevania or a Zelda game. [Could someone please do an 8-bit version of "Blackened?"  Thank you. - AC]

Top Ten Worst Sport Rock Stars

June 1st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Another list from special correspondent Brent Chittenden.  He says this one made his brain hurt.  Give him a "like" on his Facebook page, okay?  He deserves. it.

I’m not really a hockey guy (which I know as a Canadian is somehow wrong) but I do enjoy some sports.

I was raised on baseball and over the years I’ve become a fan of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and I’ve been a life-long fan of the athletic spectacle that is professional wrestling. But much like actors, sports celebs like to try out other jobs and music is no exception. There have been a ton of sports celebs and athletes over the years who have made albums and singles. Most of which have been terrible. So, without further ado, The Top Ten Worst Sport Rock Stars!

10) Shaquille O’Neil – Rapper

Basketball great Shaq released four hip-hop albums. Let that sink in. Four! Not only that, he appeared on a Michael Jackson tune as well.

Top 10 Animated Bands

May 25th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[Another fine list from special list-making correspondent Brent Chittenden. Give him a "Like,"okay?  He works on on these things--and he's just moved house.  He could use a hug. - AC]

If you live in Toronto, there's something weird happening this weekend.  Head up Airport Road and you will be confronted by a myriad of humans in outrageous costumes of all sorts, some of them good, some of them amazing. That’s because it’s Anime North, one of North America’s largest anime (anime being a term for Japanese animation) fan conventions.

This me thinking.  What are the top animated bands of all time? There are a surprising number of animated outfits, from those that start off in cartoons and become real (Dethklok, The Archies) to bands that exist as animated-only creations (Detroit Metal City).  And there's Gorillaz who live in both worlds..  

So, in honor of Anime North, here’s a list of the Best.  Animated.  Bands.  Ever.  

10) BECK (Mongolian Chop Squad)

While they never became a real musical act like Dethklok, BECK (as oppsed to Beck, the "Loser" and "two tables and a microphone guy") was a very popular manga and anime series from Japan which makes a ton of pop and rock music references through out. In their animated world, BECK is pretty awesome.

Top Ten Acts That Made the Hacienda Famous

May 21st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of The Hacienda, a club that was fueled by New Order’s money and helped juice Manchester’s importance in music. From The Smiths to the Stone Roses, to the rise of DJ culture, The Hacienda was the site of many incredibly important pieces of Britain and the world’s musical history. Adidas even made a limited edition sneaker in the style of the club!

But who were the most important bands that played there? Who helped turn the club from empty to not full? Well this list is designed to rank them. Welcome to the Top Ten List Of Artists That Made The Hacienda Famous!

Our List of 10 Ten Mother’s Day Songs

May 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

I won't be visiting Mom today because I'm flying home from the UK (I did sent some flowers, though).  in addition--with the help of intrepid list-maker Brent Chittenden--we present this list for ten songs just for mother. - AC

It’s Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate those woman in our life that helped bring us up right. And if you didn’t have a woman like that in your life please take time out to tell the person in your life who helped you make it to this point.

So with mothers there comes songs about moms. Which means we can do a great top ten list of songs about mothers.

10) The Shirelles – "Mama Said"

A song about a mother encouraging her child that yeah there will be terrible days but if you get through them, there are better days ahead.

Top 10 Super Hero Songs

May 7th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[With The Avengers big news at the box offise, list-meister Brent Chittenden took a look through his CD collection.  -AC]

In case you missed it, The Avengers made a ton of money over the weekend. Over $200 MILLION in three days.

Superheroes are big at the box office which has given me a great opportunity to combine my love of comics (feel free to read my column over at and my love of music into the top ten list of superhero songs.

Some of them aren’t necessarily about the hero in question, some were featured on soundtracks but all of these songs have a vague superhero connection of some sort. What I wanted to create was the superhero playlist that you can listen to before heading to the theater to watch The Avengers for the third or fourth time. Enjoy the top ten superhero songs of all time!

10) Five For Fighting – "Superman"

This came out around the same time Smallville started gaining some steam and in terms of Clark Kent, the song really goes well with a teenager who will eventually be the greatest of all DC superheroes.

Top Ten Lags Between Albums

April 25th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[Another stellar list from special correspondent, Brent Chittenden. -AC]

Alan handed me a challenge this week. A list of the longest durations between albums without breakups. Right off the bat, we had rules. Mainly that it couldn’t be from a band that had “officially” broken up.

The Eagles, for instance, are disqualified. Guns N Roses were okay.  Hiatus was also allowed.  The band also had to contain at least one original member or member that was in both the last album and the latest album. Live albums, b-side/demo compilations, box sets and greatest hits albums did not count, only official studio albums were to be used.

So here it is, the top Longest Durations Between Albums (without breakups).

10) U2 (5 years)

Encore: The 16 Greatest Songs About Records

April 21st, 2012 | by Alan Cross

With today being Record Store Day, I thought it appropriate to repost this item featuring the 16 greatest songs about the joys of vinyl and record collecting.

16.  Dead or Alive, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)"

I remember having a full on WTF attack when I first saw this clip featuring Pete Byrne in 1984.  It was the era of the gentle Boy George and I couldn't quite figure out what was happening here.  And what's with the eye patch?  Still, it's a classic.

The 10 Worst Live Albums of All Time

April 18th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[Another tidy list provided by special correspondent, Brent Chittenden. - AC]

Last week, I listed the Top Ten Live Albums Of All Time (well, so far, at any rate.  There is the possibility of another good live album coming out) but what about the WORST live albums of all time?

While we don’t really like to crap on anyone at this site, sometimes there are things so bad they should be listed if for nothing else but safety.  Unlike our first list, this list will contain some bootlegs and unofficial releases that have made it into the larger public consciousness (ie a ton of people have heard of them as opposed to just a few music geeks).

So really, think of this as more a public safety message than a list.

Ready?  Let us begin.

Top 10 Live Albums

April 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

Once again "Mr. List"  Brent Chittenden- AC

The live album has been a staple of everyone’s music collection since the soundtrack to the Woodstock movie came out. But how can one decide what is a good live album and what is a bad one? Which ones are worth picking up and which ones are worth tossing? Well here’s a little list of what are my top ten live albums of all time.

10) Daft Punk – Alive 2007

It may seem odd to a lot of people to place an electronic act such as Daft Punk anywhere close to this list but the proof is in the pudding. Alive 2007 not only gives you the best of Daft Punk (up until that point) but also shows how they changed and remodelled songs for a live setting and really bringing it to their audience. High energy and just great tunes.


Top 5 Friday The 13th Songs

April 13th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

It’s Friday the 13th. A day of superstition, movies about Jason Voorhees possible bad luck, motorcycle rides to Port Dover and there is music to go along with it. So for all of your spooky, superstitious, Friday the 13th needs, the top five songs for Friday the 13th!

Honorable Mention: Alice Cooper – He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)

Taken from Friday the 13th VI – Jason Lives, the pairing of Alice Cooper and Jason just makes sense doesn’t it?

10 Lost Gems from the Britpop Era

April 8th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

it was about this time 20 years ago when the UK felt the first stirrings of what would eventually be called Britpop. With that anniversary and the music-centric nature of the 2012 Olympics in London, this is a good time to recall what Britpop sounded like beyond Blur, Elastica and Oasis.

10.  Menswe@r, "Daydreamer" (1995)

Suffering from too much pre-release hype and shoved into the public eye far too soon, these refugees from the back room at The Good Mixer in Camden never did live up to their potential.  But for one single, they were pretty awesome.

Top Ten Most Depressing Alternative Rock Songs

April 6th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

In his most recent newsletter, radio consultant Sean Ross asked for nominations for the most depressing hit song of all time.

It began with a discussion with a program director about a song that tested well, but happened to be incredibly depressing. In Thursday's ROR, we'll revisit some of radio's biggest downers. And we'll look at whether radio can still find love with a hopeless lyric in the tempo-loving PPM era. And we're taking your nominations for most depressing hit song now.

This got me thinking:  What are the most depressing alt-rock songs of all time?  Specifically, what songs from the alt-rock canon can (1) kill any good buzz; and (2) provide the perfect soundtrack to your sad, depressed state? Let me begin with a few thought-starters:

1.  The Smiths, "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want"

If someone has been able to express self-pity and whininess better than this song, I haven't heard it.  How many kids have sobbed along with this song in their bedroom?

Top Ten Actors Turned Musicians

March 29th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[Another fine list of special correspondent, Brent Chittenden.  Do you have a request for a list?  Drop me a line and we'll do our best. - AC]

Ever notice the large amount of people from popular music who become actors? Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith, Henry Rollins, Mark and Donny Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Ice T, Jack White, Flea and tons more.

But what about the actors who become musicians? They seem to slide further back in our minds, mainly because other then the fact an actor is involved, they aren’t very memorable Here’s a list of my favourites (all for different reasons). Top Ten Actors Who Are Also In Music.

10) Zooey Deschanel (She & Him)

She’s quirky and cute and that pretty much describes the music of her indy duo She & Him. She also does a beautiful job with songs on the latest Winnie the Pooh movie.

10 Artists That Namecheck Canadian Towns and Cities

March 24th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

There are hundreds of songs about Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and London.  You can probably name songs that namecheck places like Paris and Tokyo.  Think hard enough and you'll quote lyrics that involve Kansas City, Galveston and Phoenix.  

Whilst sitting in a bar during Canadian Music Week, someone at the table started a game with a simple premise: How many songs can you name that namecheck Canadian towns and cities?

1.  Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, "Helpless"

Okay, so the "town in north Ontario" isn't identified in the lyrics but when pushed in an interview years later, Neil seemed to admit that he was thinking largely of Omemee, which is just west of Peterborough.  Not exactly "north Ontario," but we'll take it.


Top 10 Drinking Songs

March 16th, 2012 | by Alan Cross

[A worthy list compiled by contributor Brent Chittenden. - AC]

Saturday is St. Patrick’s Day. The day a Jebediah Springfield drove the snakes of Ireland into the sea.  Or something like that.  I always get that story mixed up with the Whacking Day episode from The Simpsons.

In honour of this day of snakes and drinking, here’s a list of the top ten drinking songs.

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