Some people have asked me what exactly the ratings mean and where "Crank It" and "Rock It" are separated, etc. Well...there is no real scientific method to my ratings system...I merely compare these albums to others of a similar style and then rank them according to my preferences. Additionally, I own originals of everything you see here, so I can (and do) pull them out and spin them even as I am writing the reviews.
As to the "Crank It", "Rock It", "Turn It Down" and other such labels, my dividing line is as follows:
11--Tap-esque... (true fans know what I mean). An "11" album is one that goes "one more louder" than all the rest and is a true gem. This rating is nearly impossible to attain.... Paying $40 to $50 for an import version is not unheard of to get this type of special album, especially if there is bonus material involved!
7-10--Crank Worthy. These albums are the ones that really stand out in a crowd, usually containing multiple top-notch songs, exceptional musicianship, top-notch songwriting, etc. An album doesn't have to have a lot of Top 40 radio singles to be Crank Worthy, and there is no real bonus OR deduction for radio-friendliness. Depending upon rarity, these albums are often worth tracking down even if they venture into the $15-30 range for USED copies...
5-6.5--Rock Worthy. These albums tend to be pretty hit-or-miss, usually containing a significant amount of filler material that detracts from the 2 or 3 truly good songs. Still, the Rock Worthy album is above average for the most part and is still worth seeking out unless you have to pay ridiculous amounts of money for them.
3.5-4.5--Turn It Down. Not the worst stuff ever released, but not the kind of stuff you put on to improve your mood, impress your friends, or for much of anything except background noise or to mix in with your all-time faves. There may be one, and rarely two, better than average song on these albums, but not often, and the rest of the material pretty much kills off the strongest stuff. Spending more than $3-5 in the cut-out or used bin for something here is likely done because the album is a catalog filler from a favorite band.
3.0 or lower--Turn It Off!!! Not sure why an album was even made? No clue why someone would listen to a CD? This is where it would be rated. Quite often, these are the CD's that are used as mirrors in an emergency, maybe hung up as part of a mobile over a baby's crib, maybe on an outdoor Christmas tree, or glued to a wall as part of a collage or mural. Not worth listening to and not worth spending more than a dollar for...ever... And, yes, I own a few of these...
Keep in mind, also, that a "10" rating for a record does not necessarily mean it is the greatest album you will ever hear. Rather, this is a reflection of the album on its own merits, and some "classics" may not fare as well through the passage of time as some newer efforts do. The important thing to remember is that these ratings are MY OPINION and are merely there to help you decide whether or not to seek out and purchase these classic recordings from old favorites or to track down some of these newer, younger bands' albums.