Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: Nos. 10 to 1

Categories: Lists

For the past 18 years, faithful readers of the OC Weekly have counted on our music section for the continuous cycle of sniffing out the local albums. It goes something like this: We search for them (yeah, we get a shit ton in the mailm too), we listen to them, separate the wheat from the chaff, remind you of their release dates, champion them when they sell a bajillion copies and remind you who told you to give them a listen in the first place. Along the way, we've also made sure to pay tribute to the classic albums that paved the way for OC music culture as we know it. Though there are literally thousands of OC-based offerings worthy of our admiration, there are always going to be a handful of albums that immediately pop into our brain when someone asks us to rehash the best albums that define OC music and also represent both a time and place in our native sound. Love it or hate it, this is what we came up with. Without further ado, here is our list of the Top 20 Greatest Albums of All Time.--Nate Jackson

See Also: Top 20 Greatest OC Albums of All Time: #20-11


10) The Offspring, Smash (1994)
The best-selling independent album ever pressed, the Offspring's Smash became a cornerstone of '90s punk and a rite of passage for every seventh grader with a destructive side. While the group would spend the decade continuing to have substantial crossover success, their formula of sending up social issues and personal anxieties with a distinctly OC punk sensibility was first perfected on Smash. One of the few punk albums to spawn several high-school pep-band staples, tracks such as "Come Out and Play" and "Self Esteem" crossed over to a mainstream rock audience without even trying, resulting in one of the most successful and influential albums to ever emerge from Orange County. (Chaz Kangas)

9) Local Natives, Gorilla Manor (2010)
It's strange to think a band that was constantly being singled out by the Weekly thrived on existing as a tight unit without a singular front man. Since their days as Cavil At Rest, Kelcey Ayes, Ryan Hahn, Taylor Rice and Matt Frazier (former Weekling!) carved their own lane in the indie-rock realm, incorporating thunderous percussion, world music and pop music à la Talking Heads. As a matter of fact, their cover of that band's classic '80s tune "Warning Signs" remains one of our favorite tracks on this album littered with catchy FM gems. (Nate Jackson)

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Mommys Little Monster is the better Social Distortion album; The Creeps, MLM, Anti Fashion, Moral Threat, Another State of Mind, all Orange County themed songs. 

Vandals Peace Through Vandalism; All songs about OC, Wanna Be Manor, Urban Struggle, The Legend of Pat Brown, and of course Pirates Life (Seven hits of L and nobody can tell so I spent every dime just to get to Anaheim).

I would also include TSOL Weathered Statues and though not technically an album The Middle Class Out of Vouge.


I'd put Offspring's Smash a little higher and I would include War's Why Can't We Be Friends in the top 20. Other than that, a solid top 20

Bobby D. Lux
Bobby D. Lux

Snoop Dogg? Seriously? You can at least make an argument about Sublime because of the punk/ska scene in OC, but Snoop? Nonsense. Or, maybe he was influenced by the emerging OC Gangsta Rap scene in the early 90s?

Tony Guillory
Tony Guillory

This is pathetic. By listing No Doubt as the best album to ever come out of this pathetic little suburb of Los Angeles, you have disgraced and insulted many talented musicians. Your opinion of "best" is so utterly flawed, you truly harm the reputation of the OC Weekly as a source of quality "alternative" arts.

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