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Friday, Oct 17, 2014
Well, I remember seein’ some ad so I turned on my Conelrad but I didn’t pay my Con Ed bill so the radio didn’t work so well. Turned on my record player—it was the 929th most acclaimed album of all time. Dylan's 1963 breakthrough is this week's Counterbalance.

Klinger: It seems like it’s been forever since we checked in with our old friend Bob Dylan. Bob has an astonishing 20 albums on the Great List of the most acclaimed albums of all time, although the triptych of LPs he released in 1965 and 1966 (Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde) established Dylan as a critical force and have always garnered the lion’s share of critical acclaim. We’ve covered all three of them, as well as the 1975 Blood on the Tracks, and you have been, to put it charitably, a tough sell regarding the works of His Bobness, so I’m curious as to how you’ll respond to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, his pre-electric second album and the one that launched him into the public consciousness.


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Friday, Oct 10, 2014
Don't save the complaints for a party conversation. The world is loaded—it's lit to pop and nobody is gonna stop talking about the 420th most acclaimed album of all time. Further dispatches from the Alternative Nation in this week’s Counterbalance.

Mendelsohn: I’m almost done torturing you with my early 1990s nostalgia. One more and then it’s over (at least until I work up the courage to go back to Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral). This week it will be Jane’s Addiction’s Ritual de lo Habitual. When I picked this album, both Ritual and Jane’s Addiction’s first album Nothing’s Shocking were relatively close on the Great List, hovering in the back half of the top 300. Not wanting to talk about two Jane’s Addiction albums and since they were both ranked about the same, I flipped a coin. Ritual de lo Habitual won. But since the last revision, both albums have taken a little tumble. Nothing’s Shocking currently resides at No. 391 while Ritual de lo Habitual fell to No. 420. Not a big deal, I thought. But now I’m starting to second guess myself. Would you have preferred to listen to Jane’s Addiction’s major label debut? Or the record that helped cement their status as figureheads of the Alternative Nation?


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Friday, Oct 3, 2014
And though they were sad, the 137th most acclaimed album of all time rescued everyone. They lifted up the sun. A spoonful weighs a ton. A 1999 neo-psychedelic masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

Klinger: I’ve made no secret of the fact that as the 1990s wore on and on and on, I found myself increasingly tired of what alternative rock had become. I couldn’t hear much beyond the unrelenting bleakness and/or the chamomile acoustic stylings that were all symptomatic of the times. At least that’s the way I remember it. Anyway, imagine my surprise when I started hearing that the Flaming Lips, a group I had only been half-paying attention to, had just released an unabashed classic that mixed sunny psychedelia with gigantic beats, and in the process had created their masterpiece nine albums into their career. Then imagine my surprise when I heard the album and bought into the hype 100%.


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Friday, Sep 26, 2014
Ain't nobody as dope as the 124th most acclaimed album of all time, so fresh and so clean. It loves it when you stare at it. A hip-hop game changer is this week's Counterbalance. Break!

Mendelsohn: While perusing the Great List one day I happened to notice Outkast’s Stankonia sitting respectably in the back half of the top 200. That was a couple of months ago — when I went to check the list again today (after the recent update), Stankonia had jumped all the way up to number 124. That’s a huge jump in terms of the Great List, meaning the full effects of the “Best Of 2000s” lists are now being felt throughout the Critical Industrial Complex as they reevaluate the last decade. It had been nearly 15 years since I’d listened to this record but I had some fond memories of a couple of the songs, namely the ones about apologizing to Ms. Jackson and practicing good hygiene in order to stay fresh and clean.


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Friday, Sep 19, 2014
This week's Counterbalance takes on the 1,377th most acclaimed album of all time, Paul and Linda McCartney's 1971 joint effort. Have another look, have a cup of tea and a butter pie. (The butter wouldn't melt so we put it in a pie.)

Klinger: As someone who came into Beatle fandom right about the time that the 1970s were turning into the ‘80s, I came to understand a couple of pieces of received wisdom. The first was, of course, that the Beatles were completely unassailable in every way, and the second was that there were only a couple solo Beatle albums worth listening to. John Lennon had two, both of which we covered during our Great List years, while Paul McCartney had only one, his 1973 effort Band on the Run, the album that almost singlehandedly, albeit temporarily, saved his critical reputation.


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