David Bash’s Musings


David Bash’s Favorite Albums of 2011


Hi Everyone,


Here are my lists of favorite albums of 2011. As is my usual custom, I’ve broken this down into several categories, as I’m just not comfortable ranking unlike entities on one list.


Contemporary Categories


The year 2011 marked the emergence of LP-only releases, as well as download-only releases (I’m not in favor of the download-only model, but I have to acknowledge it).  Those marked with an * are LPs and those marked with an ** are downloads.


I. Top 100 Albums


1. Kurt Baker-Rockin’ For A Living (Stardumb)*

2. The Secret Powers-What Every Rose Grower Should Know (Self-Released)

3. Wiretree-Make Up (Cobalt Works)

4. The Nines-Polarities (TAS GOLD)

5. Groovy Uncle-Play Something We Know! (State)*

6. Cirrone-Uplands Park Road (Escape)

7. Brandon Wilde-Hearts In Stereo (Self-Released)**

8. The Story UK-Joyride On Memory Lane (Rainbow Quartz)

9. Vegas With Randolph-Above The Blue (Caged Giant)

10. Long Play 33 1/3-Being Nowhere (Self-Released)

11. Pugwash-The Olympus Sound (EMI)

12. An American Underdog-Always On The Run (Pop Factory)

13. Fountains Of Wayne-Sky Full Of Holes (Yep Roc)

14. The Galileo 7-Are We Having Fun Yet? (Teen Sound)

15. The Red Button-As Far As Yesterday Goes (Grimble)

16. The Smithereens-2011 (Eone)

17. The Wellingtons-In Transit (Zip)

18. Pyewacket-1967 (It’s About Music)

19. Brandon Schott-13 Satellites (Golden State)

20. Greg Pope-Blue Ocean Sky (Self-Released)

21. Michael Oliver & The Sacred Band-Yin & Yanxiety (Self-Released)

22. Suzy & Los Quattro-Hank (B Core)

23. Supraluxe-The Super Sounds Of Supraluxe (Self-Released)

24. Ulysses-Everybody’s Strange (Self-Released)

25. The Breakdowns-The Kids Don’t Wanna Bop Any More (Rock Indiana)

26. Janey And The Ravemen-Stay Away From Boys (Soundflat)

27. Phil Angotti-People And Places (Our House)

28. The Grip Weeds-Under The Influence Of Christmas (Rainbow Quartz)

29. Meyerman-Who Do You Think You Are? (Pretty Decent)

30. Dwight Twilley-Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)

31. Beady Eye-Different Year, Still Speeding (Dangerbird)

32. Poplord-Poplord Vs. The Universe (Fowl Tone)

33. Jonny-Jonny (Merge)

34. Dum Dum Girls-Only In Dreams (Sub Pop)

35. Peter Berry & The Shake Set-Berry Go Round (Jansen Plateproduksjon)

36. The Liarbirds-Allegedly (Restless Wind)

37. The Turnback-Drawn In Chalk (Self-Released)

38. Daniel Wylie-Fake Your Own Death (Self-Released)

39. The Vinyl Skyway-Return Of The Dead Surfer (Self-Released)

40. The Dahlmanns-All Dahled Up (Pop Detective)

41. Trolley-Things That Shine And Glow (Easter)

42. The Pepper Pots-Train To Your Lover (Black Pepper)

43. Laurie Biagini-A Go Go Girl In A Modern World (Self-Released)

44. Meet Redondo Beat-Meet Redondo Beat (Self-Released)

45. R.E.M.-Collapse Into Now (Warner Brothers)

46. Simon Felton-Surrender Dorothy! (Pink Hedgehog)

47. Tan Sleeve-Too Big To Fail (Transparency)

48. Freddy Monday-Everything Anyhow (Self-Released)

49. Bubble Gum Orchestra-Out Of This World (Self-Released)

50.Tony Cox-On The Way (Self-Released)

51. Deleted Waverform Gatherings-Pretty Escape (Rainbow Quartz)

52. Allen Clapp & The Orchestra-Mixed Greens (Mystery Lawn)

53. Curtains For You-After Nights Without Sleep (Spark & Shine)

54. The Sugar Stems-Sweet Sounds Of The Sugar Stems (Dream On)

55. The Bad Examples-Smash Record (Waterdog)

56. The Higher State-Freakout At The Gallery (13 O’Clock)

57. Longplayer-Longplayer (Space Place)

58.Tommy Flake-Second Skin (Self-Released)

59. Maxi Dunn-The Neglected Gambit (Self-Released)

60. 8 x 8-The Anatomy Of An Apricot (Self-Released)**

61. Sara Lowes-Back To Creation (Self-Released)

62. The Jigsaw Seen-Winterland (Vibro-phonic)

63. Kelly’s Heels-Playing Into Your Hands (Warm Fuzz)

64. Brent Cash-How Strange It Seems (Marina)

65. Mumble-Happy Living (Marathon)

66. The Davenports-Why The Great Gallop? (Mother West)

67. The Anydays-Move! (Self-Released)

68. Kings Of Last Call-From Memory (Self-Released)

69. Peter Baldrachi-Tomorrow Never Knows (Prodigal Son)

70. Dropkick-Time Cuts The Ties (Sound Asleep)

71. The Ditchflowers-Bird’s Eye (Sunshine Drenchy)

72. The Foxes-Last Of Many (Self-Released)

73. The Real People-Think Positive (Self-Released)

74. The Red Plastic Buddha-All Out Revolution (Space Cat)

75. The Color Bars-Prosopopoeia (Self-Released)

76. The Latebirds-Last Of The Good Old Days (Second Motion)

77. The Bangles-Sweetheart Of The Sun (Down Kiddie)

78. The Wags-The Wags (Self-Released)

79. The Cleaners From Venus-In Chimp World (Kool Kat)

80. The Cry-The Cry (Self-Released)

81. Fortune 500-Flavor Of The Year (Self-Released)

82. Skeleton Staff-Psychomorphism (Swizzle)

83. The Real Numbers-Welcome To The Numberhood (Self-Released)

84. 54321-What We Did With Our Days (Crazeology)

85. The Brights-A Trivial Pursuit (Lemon Pop)

86. Your Gracious Host-Sleepers Awaken (Self-Released)

87. Richard Snow & The In Laws-Am I Really That Boring? (Valley)

88. The Feeling-Together We Were Made: Double Album Edition (Universal)

89. The Handcuffs-Waiting For The Robot (OOFL)

90. Sexy Heroes-InterroBang (Pop Detective)

91. Gary Ritchie-Hum, Sing…Repeat! (Fancy Two Tone)

92. The Skywalkers-Year One (Self-Released)*

93. Bowling For Soup-Fishing For Woos (Brando)

94. The Wind-Hear, Em Skear’em (Self-Released)

95. Richard X. Heyman-Tiers and Other Stories (Turn Up)

96. Dreaming In Stereo-2 (Forward Motion)

97. The Bye Bye Blackbirds-Fixed Hearts (Rainbow Quartz)

98. Captain Wilberforce-Ghost Written Confessions (Self-Released)

99. The Cleaners From Venus-The Stopping Train (Kool Kat)

100. China Syndrome-Nothing’s Not Worth Knowing (Self-Released)


Kurt Baker’s “Rockin For A Living” was also released on Oglio as a 6-song EP, but it’s the 10 song full-length LP I’ve ranked here.


II. Top 5 Compilations-Various Artists


1. International Pop Overthrow Vol. 14 (Pop Geek Heaven)

2. Pop Geek Heaven Presents Power Pop Prime Vol. 7 (Pop Geek Heaven)

3. Hi Fi Christmas Party Vol. 3 (Vandalay)

4. Pop Garden Radio Presents-The Rock On The Road Tour Season Two (Pop Garden Radio)

5. It’s Happening, Vol. 2 (Shindig)**


III. 2012 Releases I’ve Heard And Am Excited About (In Alphabetical Order)


Peter Buzzelle-Museum Of Peter Buzzelle (Self-Released)

David Myhr-Soundshine

Secret Powers-Album #5 (not actual title)

Stew & The Negro Problem-Making It

Throwback Suburbia-Shot Glass Souvenir

Uncle Green-Rycopa

The Well Wishers-Dreaming Of The West Coast


Reissue Categories


Those marked with an * are LP-only.


I. Top 75 Proper Albums


1. The Beach Boys-The Smile Sessions (Capitol)

2. The Association-And Then…Along Comes The Association: Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (Now Sounds)

3. The Left Banke-Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina (Sundazed)

4. Material Issue-International Pop Overthrow: 20th Anniversary Edition (Hip-O Select)

5. The Kinks-Something Else: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

6. The Kinks-Arthur: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

7. Harper’s Bizarre-Feelin’ Groovy: Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (Now Sounds)

8. The Hollies-Evolution (Guerssen)*

9. The Resonars-Bright And Dark (Burger)*

10. R.E.M.-Life’s Rich Pageant: Deluxe Edition (Capitol)

11. Paul McCartney-McCartney: Deluxe Edition w/book (MPL)

12. Sandy Salisbury-Sandy (Rev-ola)*

13. The Byrds-Younger Than Yesterday: From The Original Master Tapes (Audio Fidelity)

14. The Monkees-Instant Replay: Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade)

15. The Association-Insight Out: Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (Now Sounds)

16. The Supremes-More Hits By The Supremes: Expanded Edition (Hip-O Select)

17. Nick Heyward-Tangled (Cherry Red)

18. The Webstirs-Re Present: Smirk (Ginger)

19. The Beau Brummels-Bradley’s Barn: Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade)

20. Gerry Rafferty-City To City: 2 CD Collector’s Edition (EMI)

21. The Wombles-Keep On Wombling (Dramatico)

22. The Hollies-Butterfly (Guerssen)*

23. The 13th Floor Elevators-Easter Everywhere: Deluxe Edition (Charly)

24. The Kinks-Face To Face: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

25. The Mamas And The Papas-If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears (Sundazed)

26. Sugar-Copper Blue (RykoDisc)*

27. Traffic-John Barleycorn Must Die: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

28. The Hollies-Bus Stop (Sundazed)*

29. Gilbert O’Sullivan-Himself (Salvo)

30. Spirit-The Original Potatoland (Retro World)

31. The Kinks-The Kink Kontroversy: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

32. The Pretty Things-S. F. Sorrow: Collector’s Edition (Repertoire)

33. The Hollies-Beat Group! (Sundazed)*

34. Billy Joel-Piano Man: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

35. The Left Banke-The Left Banke Too (Sundazed)

36. Tudor Lodge-Tudor Lodge (Esoteric)

37. Gunhill Road-Gunhill Road (Wounded Bird)

38. The Leopards-Magic Still Exists (Bomp)*

39. The Modulators-Tomorrow’s Coming (Kool Kat)

40. The Kinks-Kinda Kinks: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

41. The Association-Renaissance: Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (Now Sounds)

42. Dulcimer-And I Turned As I Had As A Boy (Repertoire)

43. Donovan-Sunshine Superman: Stereo Special Edition (EMI)

44. Sleepy Hollow-Sleepy Hollow (Aurora)

45. Ike & Tina Turner-River Deep, Mountain High (Hip-O Select)

46. The Wombles-Superwombling (Dramatico)

47. July-July (Guerssen)*

48. Caravan-In The Land Of Grey And Pink: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Deram)

49. The Collage-The Collage (Now Sounds)

50. Apple-An Apple A Day… (Guerssen)*

51. Tee Set-Emotion (Pseudonym)

52. Blues Magoos-Psychedelic Lollipop (Sundazed)

53. Phil Seymour-Archive Series Vol. 2 (Fuel)

54. Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera-Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera (Repertoire)

55. Butterscotch-Don’t You Know It’s Butterscotch (Angel Air)

56. The Kinks-Kinks: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

57. Abba-Super Trouper: Deluxe Edition (Polar)

58. Rainbow FFolly-Sallies Fforth (Guerssen)*

59. Wichita Fall-Life Is But A Dream (Tune In)

60. Hot Knives-Hot Knives (Grown Up Wrong)

61. Thin Lizzy-Jailbreak: Deluxe Edition (Universal)

62. Nick Heyward-The Apple Bed (Cherry Red)

63. The New Wave-Little Dreams: The Canterbury Recordings (Now Sounds)

64. Suzy Quatro-Suzy Quatro (7T’s)

65. Jethro Tull-Aqualung: 40th Anniversary Special Edition (EMI)

66. 13th Floor Elevators-Bull Of The Woods: Deluxe Edition (Charly)

67. Neighb’rhood Childr’n- Neighb’rhood Childr’n (Sundazed)

68. Wadsworth Mansion-Wadsworth Mansion (Fuel)

69. The Merchants Of Dream-Strange Night Voyage (Tune In)

70. The Wombles-Remember You’re A Womble (Dramatico)

71. Suzy Quatro-Quatro (7T’s)

72. The Leaves-All The Good That’s Happening (Grapefruit)

73. The Offhooks-Outside Looking In (State)*

74. Blues Magoos-Electric Comic Book (Sundazed)

75. The Wombles-Wombling Songs (Dramatico)


II. Top 10 Two-Fers and Three-Fers: Proper Albums


1. New Musik-From A To Be/Anywhere (Lemon)

2. The Hollies-Bus Stop/Stop, Stop, Stop (BGO)

3. Design-Design/Tomorrow Is So Far Away (RPM)

4. Al Stewart-Images: His First Three Albums (EMI)

5. Peter & Gordon-Lady Godiva/Knight In Rusty Armour/In London For Tea (BGO)

6. The Long Ryders-10-5-60/Radio Tokyo/5 By 5 (Primo)

7. The Lovin’ Spoonful-Do You Believe In Magic/Daydream (Edsel)

8. Design-Day Of The Fox/In Flight (RPM)

9. The Lovin’ Spoonful-You’re A Big Boy Now/Everything Playing (Edsel)

10. The Lovin’ Spoonful-What’s Up Tiger Lily?/Hums Of The Lovin’ Spoonful (Edsel)


III. Top 25 Compilations, Single Artist


1. R.E.M.-Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 (Warner Brothers)

2. Roy Wood-Music Book (EMI)

3. The Zombies-Odessey & Oracle: The CBS Years 1967-1969 (Repertoire)

4. Dave Davies-Hidden Treasures (Universal)

5. Lesley Gore-Magic Colours: The Lost Album With Bonus Tracks 1967-1969 (Ace)

6. Katch 22-Major Catastrophe: The Katch 22 Story 1966-1969 (RPM)

7. Neil Diamond-The Bang Years: 1966-1968 (Legacy)

8. The Zombies-Begin Here: The Complete Decca Mono Recordings 1964-1967 (Repertoire)

9. The Critters-Awake In A Dream: The Project 3 Recordings (Now Sounds)

10. The Herd-Paradise Lost: The Complete UK Fontant Recordings (Grapefruit)

11. Nino Tempo & April Stevens-Hey, Baby! The Nino Tempo & April Stevens Anthology (Ace)

12. Jackie DeShannon-Come And Get Me: The Complete Liberty & Imperial Singles Vol. 2 (Ace)

13. The Poets-Wooden Spoon: The Singles Anthology 1964-1967 (Grapefruit)

14. Kippington Lodge-Shy Boy: The Complete Recordings 1967-1969 (RPM)

15. The Five Stairsteps-The Complete Curtis Mayfield Years (Outta Sight)

16. Kyle Vincent-C Sides: Rare & Unreleased Vol. 3 (SongTree)

17. Kiki Dee-I’m Kiki Dee: The Fontana Years 1963-1968 (RPM)

18. The Caravelles-You Don’t Have To Be A Baby To Cry (RPM)

19. Rescue Co. No. 1-Life’s Too Short: The Singles Anthology 1971-1975 (Angel Air)

20. The Roosters-All Of Our Days (Break A Way)

21. The Girls From Petticoat Junction-Sixties Sounds (Real Gone Music)

22. The Pleasure Seekers-What A Way To Die (Cradle Rocks)

23. Mike Stuart Span-Children Of Tomorrow (Grapefruit)

24. Sandy Denny-19 Rupert Street (Witchwood Media)

25. The Velvet Illusions-Acid Head (Tune In)


IV. Top 10 Compilations, Various Artists


1. Sugar, Sugar: The Birth Of Bubblegum Pop (Sony)

2. Fading Yellow Volume 13-Lazy Days: U.S. 60s Pop Sike & Other Delights (Flower Machine)

3. Picadilly Sunshine, Part Six: British Pop Psych And Other Flavours 1967-1970 (Particles)

4. Fading Yellow Volume 11-A Palette Of U.S./Canadian ‘60s Pop Sike & Other Delights (Flower Machine)

5. Fading Yellow Volume 12-A Lighhearted Life: Another Collection Of Euro, UK & Australian ‘60s/Early ‘70s Pop Sike And Other Delights (Flower Machine)

6. Picadilly Sunshine, Part Five: British Pop Psych And Other Flavours 1966-1969 (Past & Present)

7. Our Loves Are Shaped By What We Love: Motown’s Mowest Story 1971-1973 (Light In The Attic)

8. Northern Soul’s Guilty Secrets (Kent)

9. Fading Yellow-Timeless Pop-Sike and Other Delights: Euro 45s 1968-1972 (Flower Machine)*

10. Where The Boys Are: The Songs Of Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield (Ace)


V. Top 20 Box Sets: Single Artist


This was one helluva year for box sets!


1. The Beach Boys-The Smile Sessions Box Set (Capitol) (As If It Could Be Anything Else!)

2. The Hollies-Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years: The Complete Hollies April 1963-October 1968 (EMI)

3. The Kinks-The Kinks In Mono (Sanctuary)

4. E.L.O.-The Classic Albums Collection (Sony Music)

5. The Byrds-The Complete Columbia Albums Collection (Sony Music)

6. Elvis Presley-Young Man With The Big Beat: The Complete ’56 Masters (RCA/Legacy)

7. Diana Ross & The Supremes-50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1969 (Hip-O Select)

8. The Who-Quadrophenia: Director’s Cut Super Deluxe Ltd. Edition Box Set (Universal)

9. The Temptations-50th Anniversary: The Singles Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-O Select)

10. Michael Mazzarella-Songwriter (Kool Kat)

11. Pink Floyd-The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Box Set (EMI)

12. Nivana-Nevermind: 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition (Universal/Sub Pop)

13. Barclay James Harvest-Taking Some Time On: The Parlophone/Harvest Years 1968-73 (EMI)

14. Be Bop Deluxe-Futurist Manifesto 1974-1978 (Harvest)

15, Derek And The Dominos-Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Polydor)

16. The Smiths-Complete (Rhino)

17. Lindisfarne-The Charisma Years: 1970-1973 (EMI)

18. The Robbs-Before, Then, & After (Wet World)

19. Marshmallow Overcoat-The Complete Sound (Garage Nation)

20. 13th Floor Elevators-The Albums Collection (Charly)


The Michael Mazzarella collection isn’t actually a box set, but as it’s made up of five discs I really didn’t know where else it could go.


VI. Top 10 Box Sets: Various Artists


1. Circus Days: The Complete Series Volumes One-Six (Otherside)

2. Dutch Invasion-10 CD +DVD (BR Music)

3. Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets (RPM)

4. Phil Spector Presents: The Philles Album Collection (Legacy)

5. Electric Sound Show-An Assortment Of Antiquities For The Psychedelic Connoisseur (Particles)

6. Titan!: It’s All Pop! (Titan)*

7. Electric Psychedelic Sitar Head Swirlers Vol. 6-10 (Past & Present)

8. Electric Psychedelic Sitar Head Swirlers Vol. 1-5 (Past & Present)

9. Filling The Gap Volumes 1-5 (Psychic Circle)

10. Ember Rock (Fantastic Voyage)

My favorite album of 2011!

My favorite Box Set of 2011 (as if it could have been anything else!)