Monday 11 August 2014

The Ten Musicians Who've Played On The Most AAA Recordings

We're returning to normal for this week's top ten and taking a break from the 'Beach Boys Ebook' I'm currently writing to bring you an entry that includes a whole host of AAA bands. A lot of my work during April and May has included writing out lots of 'band line-ups' for each album which sets me thinking: by the time I finish this site (having reviewed every AAA studio and solo album - for now live albums, covers albums and compilations don't count or the 82 Hollies best-ofs on the market allow them to win by default!) hopefully by the end of 2017, who will I have written about the most? The results are surprising, with appearances not relegated to a band's own appearance but any AAA LP they are a part of. So without further ado, whose the winner?!

1) 44 Albums: Neil Young (36 solo, 3 CSNY, 1 Crosby, 1 Nash, 2 Monkees, 1 Stills-Young Band)

No real surprise here, given that I've just finished the layout for my Neil Young Ebook with 35 main albums in it which has taken forever! (one of them a 'live' on of mew material which doesn't count here, plus two 'covers' albums)In addition to those solo albums (which work out at one every 15 months since Neil went solo in 1969), plus three studio records with Buffalo Springfield, three studio records with CSNY, one as the Stills-Young Band and two over appearances within the CSN 'family' (on Crosby's 'If Only I Could Remember My Name' and Nash's 'Songs For Beginners'). In addition Neil has guested on two separate Monkees tracks: 'As We Go Along' (from 'Head') and 'You and I' from 'Instant Replay' - Neil got the job through CSNY partner Stephen Stills, who was best friends with Monkee Peter Tork before he joined the group.

2) 37 Albums: Paul McCartney (13 Beatles, 7 Wings, 12 solo, 1 with Linda, 3 Firemen, 1 Brian Wilson)

Next up comes the prolific Paul McCartney, who mainly thanks to his two-albums-a-year Beatles period has now released 37 albums in just 51 years (or ever so slightly under the same record every 15 months as Neil) - impressive stuff! The ones you might not recognise from that list include the three 'avant garde' albums as 'The Fireman', which just about count as solo albums (we felt a bit meaning for banning 'Run Devil Run', a covers album with three new songs, and five orchestral works anyway!) and a duet with Brian Wilson on the latter's 'A Friend Like You', a rather misguided song from the Beach Boys' solo album 'Gettin' In Over My Head'.

3) 35 Albums: Jerry Garcia (16 Grateful Dead, 10 solo, 2 other solo Dead albums, 1 CSNY, 1 Crosby, 1 Nash, 2 Perro, 1 Airplane, 1 Garfunkel)

Jerry Garcia made a point of playing with everybody and anybody and if you add up all the albums he played on he would no doubt win this list (even reduced to AAA sanctioned albums he was on course to top this list had he not died so young). His output amounts to an album every 10 months between his first release in 1967 and his last in 1995! As well as the expected Dead and solo albums there are several guest appearances: Jerry played pedal steel on CSNY's 'Teach Your Children', plays lead guitar on various tracks from Crosby's 'If I Could Only Remember My Name' and 'Songs For Beginners', plays on (and produces) Jefferson Airplane's 'Surrealistic Pillow' and plays guitar on 'Down In The Willow Garden', a song from Art Garfunkel's debut solo record 'Angel Clare'. The 'PERRO' acronym that crops up a few times on this list stands for 'Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra' - the loose band of San Franciscan musicians organised by the Airplane's 'Paul Kantner for his 'solo' projects 'Blows Against The Empire' and 'The Empire Blows Back', with Garcia playing a key role on both records.

4) 34 Albums: Brian Wilson (27 Beach Boys, 7 solo)

This next appearance is based on album accreditation alone: so desperate were The Beach Boys to make sure that Brian Wilson's name was on their records that they took to adding him even when he wasn't there (1992's 'Summer In Paradise' being the lone Beach Boys record he definitely doesn't appear on). With an entry dominated by Capitol's stomach-churning record contract (demanding four albums a year - though not all of them eligible for this list), Brian scores higher than his fellow band members thanks to his renewed creativity since his first solo record in 1988. His score works out to approximately one album every 18 months in the 52 years between 1962 and 2014.

5) 33 Albums: Graham Nash (7 Hollies, 8 CSN/Y, 4 Crosby-Nash, 5 solo, 1 perro, 2 Crosby, 3 Stills, 1 Young, 1 Garfunkel, 1 Gilmour)

Graham Nash comes next and he arrives virtue by having done a bit of everything: seven albums with the Hollies, five solo, four with partner David Crosby and eight as part of CSN and/or Y. In addition Nash has appeared on all sorts of other AAA artist's LPs including Perro's 'The Empire Blows Back' , David Gilmour's 'On An Island' and Art Garfunkel's 'Break Away' as well as various CSY solo projects. That little lot amounts to one album every 17 months (with 33 released across 50 years).  

6=) 29 Albums: Carl Wilson (27 Beach Boys, 2 solo)

The next Beach Boy to make the list is Carl Wilson. Similar rules apply except for the fact that the only LP he sadly missed was 2012's 'That's Why God Made The Radio' and the youngest Wilson also made two hard-to-find solo LPs. We should really be counting his 'guest' appearances on his two brother's work but we've decided not to count them a) because Carl isn't technically credited on Dennis' 'Pacific Ocean Blues' and b) Carl's appearance on 'Soul Searcjin' from Brian's album 'Gettin' In Over My Head' was posthumous (and thus done without his permission, although chances are Carl would have appeared on everything Brian made had he had a chance to). That little lot still amounts to an impressive album every   15 months or thereabouts though (or 29 in 36 years between 1962 and 1998).

6=) 28 Albums: Mike Love (27 with The Beach Boys, 1 solo)

Equal with Carl comes fellow Beach Boy Mike Love, who arrives on this list courtesy of the sheer amount of Beach Boys LPs there are in the world (Mike is the only person to have played on all of them: Brian missed one, Carl missed one, Al missed the first three and Dennis missed the last three) plus one 'proper' bona fide solo LP 'Looking Back With Love' (although two more were recorded and never properly released). For Mike that works out at one album every 23 months (or 28 albums in 52 years).

8=) 28 Albums: Dave Davies (23 Kinks, 5 solo)

Next up, we have another tie - but with members of different groups this time! Dave Davies beats his elder brother on this list (who would have been 14th) by courtesy of releasing more solo LPs than him, as well as appearing on every single Kinks album released between 1964 and 1995.Along with five solo records (live ones don't count remember or the tally would be a lot higher) that adds up approximately to one album every 23  months (or 28 albums in 50 years).

8=) 28 Albums: David Crosby (6 Byrds, 8 CSN/Y, 2 CPR, 4 Crosby-Nash, 4 solo, 1 perro, 1 Stills, 1 Nash, 1 Young)

Amazingly it's Crosby who comes third out of the CSNY guys and beats the far more prolific Stephen Stills despite a drugged-out period in his life (roughly 1978-88) when he stopped making music more or less completely. Crosby beats Stills (who would have been 13th) courtesy of 'his' five albums with The Byrds compared to Buffalo Springfield's three, the four Crosby-Nash records and the sudden creative spurt since Croz's release from prison in 1987 that has seen him release more albums since then than Stills or Nash (though not quite enough to match Young!) You can also add to that more session work (in purely AAA terms) than Stills, with Crosby guesting on Art Garfunkel's 'Break Away', David Gilmour's 'On An Island' and the first of the two 'Planet Earth Rock and Roll band' albums (Crosby was in prison at the time of the second or no doubt he'd have been on that too!) as well as the usual SNY family solo stuff. That lot amounts to one album every 21 months (or 28 albums in 49 years).

10) 27 Albums: Nicky Hopkins (2 Who, 4 Kinks, 9 Stones, 1 solo with some Stones, 1 Airplane, 1 Garfunkel, 1 Beatles, 1 Harrison, 2 Lennon, 1 Garcia, 1 McCartney, 1 Carl Wilson, 1 Nils Lofgren, 1 Gene Clark)

Finally on this list, a name you might not have been expecting! originally when I started putting this list together I expected session musicians to dominate it - I seemed to be writing the names of Jim Keltner, Hal Blaine and Steve Gadd an awful lot in my layouts and yet to my surprise only one Nicky played on enough records to qualify. Pianist Hopkins plays on all sorts of key AAA albums: to give you a sample that's him roaring his way through The Who's 'My Generation' debut LP and playing on 'Won't Get Fooled Again'; that's him on just about every Stones LP somewhere between 1967's 'Between The Buttons' and 1981's 'Tattoo You', that's him Ray Davies wrote his scatching song 'session man' about on 'Face To Face' (although Nicky doesn't seem to have taken it to heart and appears on the next the previous Kinks album and the next two as well) plus the 'Jamming With Edward' LP (credited to Nicky along with Stones Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman plus guitarist Ry Cooder), the first Jerry 'Garcia' album, 'Revolution' from The Beatles' 'White Album' plus solo records by all four Beatles: Lennon's 'Mind Games' and 'Walls and Bridges', McCartney's 'Flowers In The Dirt', Harrison's 'Living In The Material World' and a whole heap of Ringo's records, the first eponymous 'Carl Wilson' LP, Nils Lofgren's 'Night Fades Away', Jefferson Airplane's 'Volunteers', Art Garfunkel's 'Fate For Breakfast' and Gene Clark's last posthumous LP. Given that Nicky died incredibly young (at the age of 50 in 1994) and his first recorded album for 'us' is The Who's 'My Generation in 1965 that amounts to one album approximately every 13 months  (or 26 albums in 29 years). Remember: the AAA discography is just a sample of what Hopkins played on across three decades: he also worked with Quicksilver Messenger Service, Joe Cocker, Marc Bolan, Carly Simon and recorded his own solo LPs. By the way he might have been even higher up the list had Decca physically credited him for appearing on Cat Stevens' debut 'Matthew and Son' - most sources say that's him on the title track but as there's no accreditation on the record or any re-issues we've decided not to 'allow' that one for now!

So there we have it! The ten musicians who, more than anyone else, have contributed to this website - all I have to do now is keep up with them and fill in the missing reviews! Another of those - and the first is another occasional series of top tens, featuring the best of the 'solo/.compilation/live album' mini-reviews I've been fleshing out for my Beach Boys book, will be along next week...

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

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