They’ve never sold DRM’d tracks, the music is encoded at high quality variable bit rates (which equals quite good sound – not “rip a CD to FLAC” good, but good all the same) and MP3 is the gold standard of compatibility. The fact that you can snag a boatload of records every month for only a fin just makes the whole thing that much better.
This month’s list has quite a few excellent selections, six of which I’ve listed here. I’m not saying these are the best records on Amazon.com; I’m not even saying that they’re the best on the list. But I do think that if you don’t have them, they’re well worth the cost of a cup of coffee and some pumpkin cake from Starbucks.
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs: I much enjoyed Funeral. I like The Suburbs even better.
Beastie Boys – Solid Gold Hits: Despite how I usually feel about greatest hits records, anything with “Shake Your Rump,” “No Sleep Til Brooklyn,” and “Sabotage” on it is worth anyone’s time. Plus 12 more!
The Who - Who’s Next: Young and hipper-than-thou set: dismiss this as dad rock to remind us of your idiocy (in case that stupid flavor-saver facial hair isn’t enough proof). Everyone else: c’mon. It’s Who’s Next for Jeebus’ sake.
Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf: This is simply one of the best records released this millennium. Or last. Its a concept album I suppose, but it totally works: a drive in a car from LA to Joshua tree while flipping radio stations. Every song is great, Homme sounds fantastic, guests include the mighty Dave Grohl, and the fake radio station excerpts pull the whole damn thing together. Easily one of my favorite records ever.
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream: Another fave from the 90s, it still stands up. Totally worth picking up if you haven’t heard it in a while.
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
: Instead of grabbing a greatest hits record (told you I wasn’t a fan) treat yourself to a brilliant reggae album with only a couple of hits (“Jamming” and “Three Little Birds”) that pop up in the context of the full song list. “Exodus” and “Rastaman Vibration” are my two favorite Marley records, and this one’s only five bucks. Grab it and some cush immediately.
Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City: I was in Austin for SXSW last year when the news broke that Alex Chilton had died; not a single musician I spoke with was unaffected by the news. Such was the impact of Chilton, particularly with these two Big Star records. If you don’t know Big Star, you even remotely consider yourself a music fan, and you’ve listened to any music since the 70s, you absolutely must own #1 Record and Radio City. Period.
Those are six picks I like, though there are 94 more to choose from (including a classic Queen record and a worthwhile REM hits CD that thankfully only covers from ’82 – ’87). Check out the the full list of 100 here.