Best Albums of 2016 So Far

Best Albums of 2016…So Far

We're barely halfway through the year and already there's an overwhelming amount of great new music to enjoy. Jim and Greg share their lists of the Best Albums of 2016…So Far. Plus, they discuss the "Stairway to Heaven" plagiarism verdict and pay tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell.

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Music News

The copyright infringement lawsuit over Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" now has a resolution. As we've previously covered, the trust of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe sued Zep, alleging that“Stairway”plagiarized the 1968 track "Taurus." A California jury didn't hear enough similarity between the songs and decided in favor of Led Zeppelin. And as we wind on down the road from the decision, intellectual property attorney Jeffrey Brown tells us this probably won't change the legal standard for copyright infringement. Even when the plaintiffs win – like in the "Blurred Lines" trial – the legal fees are too high to be worth it for anyone but the wealthiest of artists. These cases will continue to be primarily worked out in backroom deals.

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Best Albums of 2016…So Far

Greg and Jim just couldn't wait until December to talk about some of their new favorite albums. They discuss some of the best records of 2016 so far. Here are their complete lists:

Music News

Remembering Bernie Worrell This episode has been all about celebrating the first half of 2016, but Jim and Greg also want to acknowledge the many losses the music community has had recently. This week we pay tribute to four more musical greats: Elvis Presley's guitarist Scotty Moore, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley of the Stanley Brothers, "Mustang Sally" songwriter Mack Rice, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Worrell was a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic and played keyboard for such bands as Talking Heads and Black Jack Johnson. He was a pioneer known for using the Moog synthesizer to make funk music long before the Moog was considered funky. While Worrell's additions to music history are often overlooked, Jim predicts that his legacy will live on for years as artists continue sampling his indelible synth melodies.

Featured Songs

  1. Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin IV, Atlantic, 1971
  2. Spirit, Taurus, Spirit, Epic, 1968
  3. Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Matthew Garber, Chim Chim Cher-ee, Mary Poppins, Buena Vista, 1964
  4. The Style Council, You're the Best Thing, Cafe Bleu, Polydor, 1984
  5. Beyonce, Freedom, Lemonade, Columbia, 2016
  6. PJ Harvey, The Ministry of Defense, Hope Six Demolition Project, Vagrant, 2016
  7. The Gotobeds, Cold Gold (LA's Alright), Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, Sub Pop, 2016
  8. Mavis Staples, If it's a Light, Livin' On A High Note, Anti-, 2016
  9. Savages, Adore, Adore Life, Matador, 2016
  10. Tacocat, Dana Katherine Scully, Lost Time, Hardly Art, 2016
  11. David Bowie, 'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore, Blackstar, Columbia, 2016
  12. Anderson .Paak, Put Me Thru, Malibu, Steel Wool, 2016
  13. Lucinda Williams, Can't Close the Door on Love, The Ghost of Highway 20, Universal, 2016
  14. Eleanor Friedberger, He Didn't Mention His Mother, New View, French Kiss, 2016
  15. Tina Turner, The Best, Foreign Affair, Capitol, 1989
  16. Weezer, L.A. Girlz, The White Album, Atlantic, 2016
  17. The Coathangers, Make it Right, Nosebleed Weekend, Suicide Squeeze, 2016
  18. Kendrick Lamar, untitled 06, Untitled Unmastered, Aftermath Entertainment, 2016
  19. Elvis Presley, That's All Right, That's All Right / Blue Moon of Kentucky, Sun, 1951
  20. The Stanley Brothers, Man of Constant Sorrow, The Lonesome River / I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow, Columbia, 1951
  21. Wilson Pickett, Mustang Sally, The Wicked Pickett, Atlantic, 1967
  22. Parliament, Flash Light, Funkentelechy Vs. the Placebo Syndrome, Casablanca, 1978
  23. St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Call Me, Half the City, Single Lock, 2014
  24. Kanye West, Ultralight Beam, The Life of Pablo, GOOD Music, 2016
  25. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Breakdown, Pack Up the Plantation, MCA, 1985
  26. Pink Floyd, Hey You, The Wall, Columbia, 1979
  27. Jay Reatard, Death is Forming, Blood Visions, In the Red, 2006

Footnotes

chicagotribune.com Greg's“Stairway”coverage soundopinions.org SO on the initial“Stairway”suit soundopinions.org Pre-trial coverage of“Stairway”trial michaelbest.com Jeffrey Brown soundopinions.org Lucinda Williams on SO soundopinions.org Savages on SO soundopinions.org Wire on SO soundopinions.org Parquet Courts on SO soundopinions.org Bob Mould on SO soundopinions.org Eleanor Friedberger on SO soundopinions.org Rivers Cuomo on SO