The Texas 30: The Third Runners-Up, Albums 60-51

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Friday, Rocks Off told you about our "Texas 30" project, compiling a list of the best 30 albums of the past 30 years. Today we're about to show you the first of three bubbling-under appetizer lists we did just to put a little oil on the gears.

Here, starting with No. 60, is where it gets interesting, because here is right about where the albums started clotting, and getting mentioned multiple times in our poll of almost 25 newspaper and magazine music writers across the state. You could say that before this came about a 400-way tie, more or less. We forgot how exactly many albums got mentioned (hey, maybe we'll count), but it's a lot. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 500, probably.

Our first ten runners-up might give you a hint of what's to come later on this week. Or they might not. Either way, we hope it helps us all appreciate how much great music there really is in Texas, and how many different kinds of great music there is in Texas, all on top of each other. Enjoy.

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60. Lift to Experience, The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads (2002)
The well-remembered Denton band turned in a mouthful of a concept album here, full of spiraling Spiritualized guitar figures, about the Second Coming and onset of the George W. Bush era, which were not in fact one and the same thing. And then that was it.

59. Albert Collins, Robert Cray & Johnny Clyde Copeland, Showdown! (1985)
Everybody wins on this hair-raising triple-threat album featuring Bay Area bluesman Cray going toe to toe to toe with two of Houston's short-list guitar legends.

58. Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You? (1983)
Featuring the famous frog also painted on the side of Austin's Sound Exchange on the cover, this 1983 album (tape, really) confirmed Johnston's eccentric pop genius, gave Austin one of its biggest '80s folk heroes, and features some of his best-known tunes like "Walking the Cow." Those original cassettes must be worth a king's ransom, but Hi was also reissued as a vinyl LP by Eternal Yip Eye Music in 2007 and is no doubt just about as expensive now.

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