Muse-ik Musts for Your Inner Fan


Last month I was lucky enough to visit the Queen Studio Experience in Montreux, Switzerland. This November marks the 25th anniversary of the passing of Freddie Mercury. That’s an entry all by itself. Maybe later.

As we finished our Switzerland by train trip, Queen songs worked their way into every click and clack of the journey. One song more than any other – ’39. Now Freddie sings, but he isn’t the center of this work. Einstein is. Relatively speaking. Not familiar with the song? Then you have to give Brian May’s otherworldly acoustic performance a listen. The ’77 version is my fav.

Great song, and greatly underappreciated. And that got me thinking about scf-fi and fantasy thematic/concept albums. I’ve seen several Sci-Fi and Fantasy music/album lists before. Remarkably missing from pretty much every list I see is:

Replicas – Gary Numan [NewReplicas – Gary Nu Wave]

Now this made my Muse rather sad. I mean, seriously? Dystopian concept album androids machmen death war sex decay angst regret passion keyboard guitar and more keyboard… what is not to love?

Angry, sad, and somewhat jumpy after one or three too many Nantucket Nectars Squeezed Lemonades, my Muse rattled off a top twenty list of its own. Two more givens, according to said muse, and not part of the Twenty:

2112 – Rush [Progressive rock]

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

So – the trifecta of must listens–says the muse–are David, Rush, and Gary. After that, in somewhat ‘must hear’ order:

1. Hounds of Love – Kate Bush [Progressive pop]

2. Plastic beach – The Gorillaz [Alternative rock]

3. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots – The Flaming Lips [Psychedelic rock]

4. The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monáe [Alternative R&B]

5. Homogenic – Björk [Alternative rock]

6. Kid A – Radiohead [Experimental rock]

7. I Robot The Alan Parsons Project [Progressive Rock]

8. The Songs of Distant Earth – Mike Oldfield [Electronica]

9. The Elder – Kiss [Hard rock]

10. Nightfall in Middle-Earth – Blind Guardian [Progressive metal]

11. The Chapters – Saga [Progressive rock]

12. Fire of Unknown Origin – Blue Öyster Cult [Hard Rock]

13. Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 [Hip-hop]

14. Olias of Sunhillow – Jon Anderson [Progressive rock]

15. Brain Salad Surgery – Emerson, Lake & Palmer [Progressive Rock]

16. Time – ELO [Progressive Rock]

17. Terra Incognita: Beyond The Horizon – Roswell 6 [Progressive rock]

18. The Amory Wars – Coheed and Cambria [Progressive rock]

…and when your Muse needs a serious Shockabuku? Try:

19. Operation: Mindcrime – Queensrÿche [Progressive heavy metal]

20. Somewhere in Time – Iron Maiden [Heavy Metal]

Frank Herbert supposedly said (through his agents) of Iron Maiden “Frank Herbert doesn’t like rock bands, particularly heavy rock bands, and especially bands like Iron Maiden”. He may not have liked their work, but they liked definitely liked his…