MY TOP TEN: Patrick Thomas, 47, Grass Valley |

MY TOP TEN: Patrick Thomas, 47, Grass Valley

Thomas is a poet from Grass Valley.

“My top 10 are rock records. I enjoy music a lot. Here they are, and let’s rock on.”

1) Jimi Hendrix – “Band of Gypsies”

The most funkiest hard-rock album ever made. Jimi, Billy Cox- and Buddy Miles at their very best. Each track is superbly done, especially “Machine Gun.” It’s a tour de force. It was this album that inspired me to write poetry. I had copied and read Jimi’s poem from the album. The class knew where it came from.

2) Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

Sabbath’s finest hour. A true metal masterpiece with classic songs like the title track, “The Wizard,” and “Wicked World.” It was the spooky album cover that inspired me to write my first poem, “It’s the Witching Hour.”

3) Santana – “Santana”

My brother had the reel-to-reel tape version of the album of “Santana.” I loved it. The fusion of rock and Latin music is so good. All the songs are great, like “Evil Ways,” “Savior,” “Jingo” and “Soul Sacrifice.” I was in a Latin percussion band in my school during that time. I played maracas.

4) Deep Purple – “Made in Japan”

This is a long-time favorite. The live album has a raw intensity, no overdubs, just straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll. So many highlights, “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Child in Time,” “Smoke on the Water” and “Space Truckin’.”

5) The Beatles – “Abbey Road”

I listened to this album while I was in school. Really enjoyed it. So many good songs by each of the Beatles, like “Come Together”,”Something,” “Oh, Darling” and “Octopus’ Garden.” The Beatles at their best before the break-up.

6) Aretha Franklin – “Amazing Grace”

The complete recordings. I’ve listened to several gospel albums, but this one is so outstanding. Aretha’s biggest triumph! A tour de force with the blazing title track, “Wholy Holy,” “Climbing Higher Mountains” and “Precious Memories” with the Rev.James Cleveland.

7: Stevie Wonder – “Innervisons”

“Innervisons” is superb. Every single song is a gem. The man is amazing. Unforgettable songs like “Higher Ground,” “Living in the City,” “All in Love is Fair” and “Golden Lady.”

8) The Who – “Live at Leeds”

The Who at their finest. Every song is so good, like “Summertime Blues,” “My Generation,” “Young Man Blues” and “Substitute”. A classic live album.

9) Big Brother and the Holding Company – “Cheap Thrills”

This may be a Big Brother album, but it’s Janis Joplin who steals the show. Both live and studio songs are outstanding, including “Turtle Blues,” “Ball and Chain,” “Summertime” and, of course, “Piece of my Heart.” The lady sure sang the blues.

10) Queensyche – “Operation Mindcrime”

I’ve listened to several excellent concept albums like Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Dio’s “Magica.” But I love this one. Every song is great like the title track, “Revolution Calling,” “I Don’t Believe In love,” and “Eyes of a Stranger.” I call this album a hard-rock answer to “The Wall.”

“My Top Ten” appears each Tuesday. Want to share your top 10 – songs, movies, TV shows, books, whatever? Send your list to My Top Ten, The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945 or e mail it to Include a phone number where we can reach you.

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