Essential Albums: The Donnas
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 14:43:22
Say what you will about "chick musicians," just don't say it about The Donnas. Since starting the band at 14, this punk rock sorority have been playing together for over 10 years and, well, they know their rock. On the release of their eighth studio album, the self-descriptive Bitchin', we caught up with guitarist Allison Robertson (um, we mean... Donna R.) to ask her which albums keep her fire for all things rock 'n' roll still burning.
Van Halen - Van Halen
From top to bottom this album rips. Where do they get the balls to do this?? I have no idea. "Jamie's Cryin'," "Eruption," "Ice Cream Man," "On Fire"—they ALL kick your ass. This record is the one to put on in your bedroom and practice your scissor kicks jumping off the bed!
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
I'm sorry, but if you haven't been lucky enough to have discovered this gem yet I feel so very sorry for you. Glenn Buxton and Michael Bruce's dual guitar leads are mind blowingly original, yet classic. The lyrics are gleefully disturbing; Alice always has just the right amount of sarcasm in his voice to counter act the darkness. One of my favorite guitar albums of all time. "I Love The Dead" should not be missed on side B.
Guns N Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Yes, most hard rock fans will have this on their list and I will tell you why: it is maddeningly killer. No one knows how Slash learned to play like that, but I'm pretty sure Slash gets magic powers from his pet snakes. Every yelp and "yow!" out of Axl's mouth makes me feel his pain and Adler, Stradlin and McKagan are the most bad ass rhythm section ever. Please check out "Rocket Queen" as well as "Nighttrain," "Welcome To The Jungle" and of course "Out Ta Get Me", my all time fav. Feel the leather and smell the whiskey.
Cinderella - Night Songs
Here's an album that has absolutely no filler in my opinion. Tom Keifer's songwriting is superb, and we got some guitar work on here that really gets my blood pumpin'—not to mention how the album art, videos and intro track all tie together amazingly well for great visuals. "Night Songs" itself is a great way to open the album. "Shake Me" is a raunchy little AC/DC tribute with an updated rawness I appreciate. "Nobody's Fool": one of the greatest love songs EVER. If you don't have this album, may I suggest checking out "Once Around The Ride" and "Somebody Save Me"? Yummy.
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World
This album starts off with one of the greatest riffs on "Width Of A Circle". The general good timey feeling of classic rock mixed with odd chord changes and creepy ideas is a constant on the whole album. Bowie's vocals are beautiful, strong and strange. No one can tickle them strings on the guitar quite like Mick Ronson. What I like most about this album is that it rocks hard and yet is so mellow you can fall asleep to it and have some wild dream-age. "Black Country Rock," "She Shook Me Cold," "Lightnening Frightening" and the title track are all must-hears.
Dead Or Alive - Youthquake
This album cannot go wrong. Not only is it killer on the dance floor, it rocks in an unexpected way. Pete Burns has a bad-ass smoker growl that is harder than most metal singers—not to mention the attitude and swagger you would expect from a pirate. Everyone knows the classic "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)," but some other gems off the album include "D.J. Hit That Button," "In Too Deep" and "Lover Come Back To Me".
Dandy Warhols - Welcome To The Monkey House
This album is produced by Nick Taylor of Duran Duran. I bought it when it came out and listened to it over and over for months. Just recently it came on when I had my music on shuffle, and I was reminded not only of how classic every single track is, but how well they all meld together into one great feeling: slammin' beats, interesting guitar, keyboard licks and fun vocals. It's slick, slick, slick in a great way. "The Last High" is my favorite track, but you can't go wrong with any of 'em. Some other standouts are "We Used To Be Friends," "Dope ( Wonderful You)," and "I Am A Scientist".
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Because I bought it when it came out. Because I listened to my cassette on my little kiddie boombox over and over and loved the smell of the new tape. Because every single song is a masterpiece with new hidden surprises that reveal themselves to your ears upon each listen. Because the guitars sound like the strings are made of spun gold and the vocals sound like an army of people. Because the melodies make me feel great joy. Because the guitar solo in "Animal" makes me want to cry every time I hear it. You must hear: "Rocket," "Women," "Animal," "Hysteria," "Gods Of War" and "Armageddon It".
Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record
Oh, this album: beautiful, sad and joyous. Beatlemania on another planet. "Rockaria!" is epic and "Living Thing" and "So Fine" are classics. The use of classical instruments arranged seamlessly amongst the rockin' tracks is mind bogglingly original. "Telephone Line" and "Tightrope" are galactically saddening. Bliss on headphones.
INXS - Kick
Sometimes you kick, sometimes you get kicked. The late, great Michael Hutchence was one of the sexiest voices I've ever heard. I had INXS posters all over my room in 4th grade and tried to turn everyone onto this album. "New Sensation" fills me with the need to dance. "Never Tear Us Apart" is heart wrenchingly hot and bluesy. "Mystify" adds a touch of piano to the album that you didn't think needed it until it comes on late in the game. "Need You Tonight" is straight up sexy, and "Devil Inside" offers one of my favorite rock riffs ever. And, killer guitar work in general is abundant on this album!
—The ARTISTdirect Staff