Music: The Next 15 Favorite Albums of All Time
On vinyl, on CD or just digital if you have to – but what are your 10 …or 20?
My last MUSIC post was my top 10 → Music: Favorite Albums of All Time
Here is my other 15… you have an opinion- chime in….
11 Chicago Transit Authority: In high school, I was in a rock band that had a horn section. This was as good as anything we knew for white boys and with a horn section. And we played a lot of it when we gigged. We were entranced with the Introduction song- and The Beginning. Just art in a great way. The band was never that good again after the first albums. BTW: Check out Terry Kath’s guitar, it is very good.
12 Bob Marley: Rastaman Vibration Nothing was ever, ever, ever the same after I heard this album. Nothing. This was epiphany for a part of music that became the rhythm of life, then the rhythm of a nation, then a rhythm of a movement which has never died. I still stop to listen to this album. I stop. I smile. Gave 2 of my kids a copy of the Legend CD. I think from time to time they listen to it, and feel what it says. I bought every other album he and the Wailers had. Exodus– okay that could be in the list.
13 Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers: It would be too hard to pick one, but I picked one that has so many memories for me that I can’t shake it. From the actual zipper on the Warhol cover- to the magic of Keith’s guitar on “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin” or Mick’s voice on “Wild Horses”. I know, I know- Exile on Main Street. Let It Bleed could be there too- this just captured it for me.
14 Police: Synchronicity: For me, it just captured everything that was that “time”. Music was getting more sophisticated and more stupid at the same time. This was proof that intelligent music could be made, with songs that had musicians playing that knew what made a song a solid song end-to-end. I was pleased to have seen them at the beginning and then again many years later during their reunion.
15 Led Zeppelin II: For me –I had listened to Led Zep 1, I loved it and wondered what would be next. I bought LZ2 right around the same time that I had to buy my Blind Faith album for the second time (because some guy had puked on my first copy at one of my parties). LZ 2 was so tight – so dynamic- blues, rock, Robert’s voice, Jimmy’s guitar and a drum line that was one of Bonham’s best. Just my fave. I know LZ fanatics would probably argue. But this was the most influential for me in my musical career and as a “rock” album.
16 The Doors – their first album. This album just screwed me out of listening to the Beatles for a while. It was just that different; I was listening to After Bathing At Baxter’s from Jefferson Airplane at the time. I caught “The End” on an FM radio station while was taking a break from it … I ran out and got the album. I didn’t think that it would do what it did to me. LA Woman was like that too, this was just first.
17 Copeland: Beneath the Medicine Tree: Okay one from this last decade (2004 I think). Not classic rock. This is a VERY personal choice. Only no one else will care than me. There is a set of songs that are so perfect that I can’t believe that they are from some emo band from Florida. But they are so good. There is a song: “Sing with your head up, with your eyes closed, not because you love the song, because you love to sing. “ Or “Paula Sparks”. Aaron Marsh is the band leader- the guitar riffs are wonderful. It is pop to some extent, just well constructed. Took a break, but they have a new album coming out in October. Been together for 25 years? Wow.
18 Joni Mitchell: Hejira – I could have put Court and Spark, or Blue… but I think this choice was just because of the time of my life, the way the songs sowed together in a jazz, blues, folk sort of way. It just worked for me at the time, and her voice is one of a kind. Nothing like it –nothing since. And her standing on the ice in Madison Wi on the cover. (my home state) Its all good. I just listened to it again the other day.
19 Sly Stone: Everyday People– the funk that lead me to Tower of Power, Prince and so much more. As a friend of mine said at the time “unlock the rock box and expand your head to new things” or something like that… over 60% of my high school was black, and I had so much of this music and the other stuff it spawned- G Clinton, Funkadelics, all of the Philadelphia sounds that went above the hit factory of what I knew to be Motown. It was party music, it was dance music, it was soul music, and it was date music. It just fit.
20 Santana Abraxsas: I was listening to a lot of jazz at the time, there was this radio station in San Francisco that was syndicated and played through a Chicago station on the weekends. It played a lot of really good jazz. Then somewhere in the middle, it played some of the songs from Abraxsas. Damn. I had the first album, but somehow this trumped that. Back in the day of this music renaissance, a lot of bands had 2nd albums that evolved from their first ones- I think that is what made them long term classics, it wasn’t about the one hit album- it was a body of work.
21 Frank Zappa: One Size Fits All: I had owned several Frank Zappa albums before I heard this one for the first time. This great DJ and I were sitting listening to “Florentine Pogen” in the college radio studio late one night on his shift. I was the station manager and did on-air stuff, but he was just into this stuff. Everything I had heard had been great. This was outstanding. I can still play the guy loud and get a certain state of mind that you can’t get with most other artist. A fantastic guitar player, self-taught, incredible musician and someone who, even as productive as he had been was lost too soon in the music world. He died of prostate cancer, which I am personally fighting myself. It makes a difference.
22 Black Sabbath: Listening to their first album just made me wonder how I missed this kind of music before. My parents hated it. They didn’t understand it. Then I realized that there really wasn’t anything else like it. It was where metal would go that would end up being copy-cats… but this is the original.
23 Blonde on Blonde: It started when my older brother had given me a copy of Bob Dylan’s “FreeWheelin’” when I was really young. I started listening to music when I was 6 or 7, and I just couldn’t understand some of the kids around me that were listening to Herman’s Hermits and told me that Bob Dylan was not that good cause he couldn’t sing like Peter Noone. Okay- I liked pop. But I loved this album.
24 Yes: Roundabout: “In and around the lake- mountains come out of the sky and they stand there.” Damn- this record was great. It was prog. rock, art rock- it was whatever you want to classify it as- but it is just the combination of sounds that were unique musically. Man- then Close to the Edge. Incredible- prog rock often didn’t get the credit it deserved. Still doesn’t. (ELO- how bout that?)
25 Abbey Road: I could have listed the White Album or Revolver. Whenever the newest release would come out from the Beatles I had to get it the first day. I think I played this album all weekend over and over again when I bought it. It was just the way that it was constructed and the whole suite of songs to the swan song of “In The End….”. I was going out with a girl in Jr. High who was a huge fan of the Beatles too. She and I spent the next weekend listening to it over and over. A year later she died of leukemia and I listen to the album differently still to this day. It’s like a dinner with all the ingredients – nothing missing.
Could I list 20 more? For sure. I missed some gems. Then there is jazz. Whoa.
Also there are very many complete albums by artists my millennial kids have introduced me to that actually could make this list too. Still some very good music to hear out there…Thanks specially to Andrew McMahon, Chris Carrabba, Anthony Green and Leighton Antelman (Lydia) – some great pop artist in an alternative world.
What is your list like? Personal I am sure- but List it. Go ahead it won’t hurt.