One of the notes that got passed around Facebook a few years ago, and I thought it should get a permanent place on my blog. It was an interesting little project, thinking of the ALBUMS that have remained favorites since the moment I heard them…burrowed into my soul a bit. I’m posting it as it was when I completed it, but I will add to it at some point to make it a better picture of who I am musically.
Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re 40 or older) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. Dig into your soul. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. This is music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the ass, literally socked you in the gut.
1. Pink Floyd – The Wall
I wore out two cassette tapes of this album before I finally bought the CD set. Yes, it’s that good!
2. Eagles Live
Perhaps the best recording (in my estimation) of any Eagles music. Every song had so much more energy & passion than on any of the studio recordings.
3. Queen – A Kind of Magic & Innuendo (I’m cheating, but I can’t pick one over the other)
It’s hard for me to decide on a Queen album, as there are several that I like about equally. However, these two are especially good. A Kind of Magic was my in my car music rotation during the years that Highlander was on TV (anyone who was a fan of that show will understand). Innuendo is a hugely poignant album, as it was the last one recorded before Freddie Mercury died, and it is somewhat prophetic with Who Wants to Live Forever.
4. Annie Lennox – Medusa
Though all three of her solo albums are fantastic, this one is the best. No More I Love You’s and Whiter Shade of Pale are haunting & sad…my favorites from the album.
5. Tom Petty – Wildflowers
It’s Good to be King!
6. Billy Joel – Piano Man
Worth it for the title song alone, yet it also scores with If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You) and You’re My Home (which is my favorite Billy Joel song ever).
7. Toby Keith – Unleashed
Full of great energy, but what makes this one great for me is Huckleberry, which is a really sweet love song that got little or no radio play, but is the highlight of this album.
8. Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College
Though I have loved almost everything by Dave Matthews et al, this one is my favorite by far. He and Tim Reynolds have such dynamic stage presence, and it is an absolute joy to listen to great music made even better in this concert.
9. Jimmy Buffett – Songs You Know by Heart
The first concert I ever attended was Jimmy Buffett, so this particular album has always had a special place in my heart. But…I am not a parrothead. LOL
10. Prince – Purple Rain
I believe this album to be Prince’s best, by far. It is fantastic in every sense!
11. Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
Seven Days is the best song on this CD – once again a song that is better than anything that got radio play.
12. Chicago – 17
One of the albums from my high school days where I wore out a couple of cassette tapes. I know, it’s cheesy & corny, but I loved it.
13. Alan Parsons Project – Ammonia Avenue
LOVED this album – especially Since the Last Goodbye & Don’t Answer Me. Yes, again I realize this was totally cheesy & corny, but it was high school & college. Need I say more?
14. Freddie Mercury & Motserrat Caballe – Barcelona
Classical music done with rock & roll flair! Outstandng!
15. Christmas Songs (various artists)
The main requirements for great Christmas music (for me) are that it be superbly done, NOT cheesy (to the extent that Christmas music can do that), and that there be a significantly modern twist to traditional carols or a mixture of traditional & modern by musicians of my generation. This album fits the bill in spades, and is not only great, but fun as well! All the songs are good, but the best (again, IMO) is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by BareNaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan.
BONUS: Sister Act 2 (various artists)
I had to add this one because it was not only a great movie, but a great soundtrack as well, and Lauryn Hill’s version of His Eye is On the Sparrow is absolutely fantastic.