Monday, July 28, 2008

Best Albums

This is somewhat spawned from the previous posting on Yankee stadium, so not a total non sequitur. I was contemplating how much I hate the YMCA song and how appropriate the Yankees play it all the time. Being a positive person and not wanting to linger on such hate of the YMCA song, I thought "what are the best albums of all time - for me personally, not what are considered the best by all the world.{ For me, a great album is one I can listen to from beginning to end, singing or humming the words to each song, with little desire to forward on to the next one, not because I don't want to get to the next song, but because I am fully enjoying the current song. An album that you could listen to each day and not get tired of it. In short, an album where I fully enjoy each song as its own, not because it is a great song on one album. Three examples for me are the Weezer - Weezer (their 1st(?) album), the Smiths - the Queen is Dead, and Dave Matthews - Under the Table and Dreaming.

Was just curious if other people had such albums that they would recommend - even though such a question may be outdated in this day and age of downloading music.


adamcohen said...

Very few make it to this list, great topic. Joshua Tree by U2 and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis are definitely there for me. The White Album almost makes it but for one track, Revolution #9, which makes me want to jam screwdrivers in my ears. Zeppelin IV might make the cut too.

Adawg said...

John - nice thread little bro. My top ten fitting your criteria (in no particular order):
- Pink Floyd The Wall
- Led Zeppelin IV
- Pearl Jam Vs.
- Stone Temple Pilots Core
- U2 Joshua Tree
- NIN Pretty Hate Machine
- Cure Greatest Hits
- Living Colour Vivid
- AC/DC Back in Black
- Police Synchronicity

I'm sure I will think of others but this is a pretty good start, eh? ;)

tinku said...

I love these kinds of questions! I would have to say:

U2 - War and Unforgettable Fire
The Police - Synchronicity
The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
Sigur Ros - Takk
Tragically Hip - Up to Here
Madonna - Confessions on the Dance Floor (bet you weren't expecting that one!)

and yes,
AC/DC - Back in Black
Cure - Disintegration

Joe Magennis said...

Great topic, I call this the Desert Island Album conversation... What three albums would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Break this out at any gathering to start up a great dialogue.

Adamcohen you are right on man, White Album and Joshua Tree have been on my Island for some time.

So, I'll throw out a few more that I need to bring with me.

Neil Young - Harvest
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Dylan - Blood on the Tracks

Adawg said...

Shame on me... I thought of these when I was putting my list together but forgot to include them. @tinku's post jogged my memory:
- Nirvana Nevermind
- Alice in Chains Dirt
- Black Sabbath's Greatest Hits
- Aerosmith's Greatist Hits


A few of my picks:
- Physical Graffiti- Zeppelin
- Jar Of Flies- Alice In Chains
- Electric Ladyland- Hendrix
- Van Halen- Van Halen

Jim said...

I agree with Aaron on The Wall, Back in Black and the Cure (if he's talking about "Staring At the Sea").

Some others:

The Cars - The Cars
Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley
J Geils Band - Blow Your Face Out
Lyle Lovett - Live in Texas
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Mothers Milk
Squeeze - Singles
Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense
The Who - Live at Leeds

I guess I like live music. ;-)

Jeff Crites said...

U2 - War
U2 - Joshua Tree
U2 - Unforgettable Fire
Boston - self titled debut
Fleetwood Mac - Rumors
Led Zeppelin IV

Melanie Strout said...

I feel like I need to give this growing list an added dose of reality (this is Aaron's wife). Here goes:

- Carpenters Greatest Hits
- Genesis Abacab
- Eric Clapton Unplugged
- Morphine Cure for Pain
- Rick Springfield Working Class Dog
- Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits
- Norah Jones Come Away with Me
- Sheryl Crowe (all of her albums)
- Alanis Morisette Jagged Little Pill
- Sarah Mclachlan Fumbling Toward Ecstasy
- Live Throwing Copper
-Annie Lennox/Eurythmics (all of her/their albums)

gina said...

given our previous discussion today, I had to add mine:
- Big Brother & the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills
- Beatles, Abbey Road
- Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band
- The Doors, Greatest Hits
- Pearl Jam, 10
- AC/DC, Back in Black
- Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
- Cars, Candio
- Journey, whatever the name of that live album is. :)
- Bob & Doug McKenzie, Great White North (I just like it. I know it's wrong).

and yes I have them all on vinyl. :)

Melanie Strout said...

okay, I missed a few first go around:

- Joan Jett I Love Rock and Roll
- Journey Escape
- The Go Go's Vacation


Joe C said...

Showing my age, but...
Cream - Fresh Cream
Jimi Hendrix - Are you Experienced?
Beatles - Sgt. Pepper

diane said...

My list would have to include:
-Tommy by the Who
-Silly Wizard Live
-Joni Mitchell, Ladies of the Canyon
-1 by the Beatles
-The Doors first album
-Simon & Garfunkel, Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme
-Marty Robbins, Greatest Hits

and Brian Hyland's Sealed with a Kiss

Anonymous said...

Aaron wants me to add, but I do not think I can do better than Melanie Strout's list (s), in fact, we might have to hang out some day. Lets bring big Joe C along too, cause he mentioned Sar. Pepper. Melanie, if you ever want to have a few glasses of wine and listen to The Carpenters Greatest Hits - just give me a call :)

mdurwin said...

Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland
Queen A Night at the Opera and Killer Queen
Zeppelin I-V and the Song Remains the Same
Pearl Jam 10
Wolmother Self Titled
Tool ├ćnema and Lateralus
Cream Disreali Gears
The Sweet Desolation Boulevard
Tori Amos Boys For Pele
Soundtrack to Singles

Doug Haslam said...

Always a great topic. For me, a top album cannot be just a collection of songs, so no greatest hits collections, in general. Nor can it be a live album, though Live at Leeds, Cheap Trick at Budokan and Frampton Comes Alive are choices I won't argue. For me? A sampling, trying no to repeat:

The Who, Quadrophenia- as an album, their best
The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society- an LP that would not have happened had the Kinks not been banned from touring in the U.S.
Miles Davis, Miles Smiles- best of a great group, though there are lots of Miles choices that could go in.
Charles Mingus, Live at Antibes. Ok, so I lied. Here's a live album
Duke Ellington, The Blanton/Webster Bands- ok, i lied again. A compilation of pre-LP records.
The Flaming Lips, the Soft Bulletin- Can never get this one out of my head
David Bowie, Hunky Dory- he was never better IMHO
Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy- I always thought this is where they really put it together

Of other mentioned, Back in Black, Sgt. Pepper and Blood on the Tracks would make my list.

I'm sure I'm forgetting others, bt there's a start.

QJ said...


You left out your favorite musicals:

Sound of Music and Wizard of Oz.

You need those to go along with your Zinfandel and Cream de Menthe cocktail on the island, mon!


Jay said...

Great question. My picks overlap with a lot of the others already on here, but one I need to add is:
- The Who - The Kids are Alright

Adawg said...

Okay, so my man QJ is calling me on the carpet. I did forget my favorite musicals: Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music. ;) Believe it or not, I actually like both a lot.

I did thing of a few other good ones this AM (I'm now at about 20):

- Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magic and Venus/Mars
- Soundgarden Superunknown
- David Bowie Never Let Me Down (amoung others)

Doug, I went back and forth on the "greatest hits" topic. Normally, I'm not a big fan of including. To that end, I tried to only include GH albums that were themselves works of art vs. something like "Rolling Stones Greatest Hits" of which there have been many.

Johnny Rooster said...

I also agree with Doug. When I was thinking of my list, I was thinking of albums that were just created at the "studio", not compilations. Greatest hits, by definition, should be easy to listen to. Some great selections in there - definitely part of it has to be your recollection of the first time you listened to the album, who you were with, etc. that makes an album great (though the music helps). I didn't like Dave Matthews at first listening, but he grew on me with each listening.

I may be convinced to throw Sinead O'Connor - Lion and the Cobra in there as well.

Meredithk1981 said...

Egged on by many, I will add my contributions...this is a great list, though, and I certainly agree with many of the selections. As long as we are going on albums we ENJOY and not necessarily believe are incredibly well crafted, then I would add:

-Jack's Mannequin - Everything in Transit
-Third Eye Blind - (self titled)
-Harry Nilsson - The Point
-Rent - (soundtrack to the Broadway show)
-Into the Woods (Broadway soundtrack, London cast)
-Spice Girls - Spiceworld (I know, I know, but it's soo entertaining and fun to dance to)
-Madonna - Like a Prayer
-Ellington & Coltrane (forgot the name of it, but I grew up on it, so awesome)
-Pete Townsend - Iron Man soundtrack (not the cartoon that came out, but his concept album from 20 years ago)
-Hanson - Middle of Nowhere (yes, I said it!)
-Our Lady Peace - Naveed
-No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom & Beacon St. Collection & self-titled album
-Kristian Leontiou - Some Day Soon
-Skye Sweetnam - Noise from the Basement
-Pearl Jam - Vitalogy
-Matchbox 20 - Mad Season
-Suzanne Vega - 99.9 F
-Van Morrison - Moondance
-Jon Frederik Band (now New Hip Stereo) - Life in Progress
-Vanessa Carlton (all of her albums)
-Go - (movie soundtrack)
-Teddy Geiger - Underage Thinking
-Charlotte Martin (all of her albums)

I know there's tons more...but here's a nice eclectic start...

Angela Moore said...

Great list so far. Hopefully I don't repeat anything but I've got to say that DMB's crash is right up there along with Coldplay X&Y

Beau said...

Great topic, and one that I probably spend too much time thinking about. To Doug's point, I generally think of "albums" as the studio work, not necessarily live releases or greatest hits, but I know everyone has their own definition. For me, what I really look for in an album is "flow," or the way all the songs fit together. There are a lot of albums where I love a lot of the songs, but somehow they still feel disjointed, and lead me to not listen to it all the way through. If an album has a good flow, I'll want to just put it on and let it play. Increasingly, that is one of the biggest things I look for in albums.

That said, these are some of my favorite albums that I like to put on and just listen. This isn't a desert island list, or necessarily my favorite albums of all time (though some would make those lists), but more albums that either over the years, or lately, I have found myself really drawn to:

Grateful Dead - American Beauty (this is my favorite album of all time)
Radiohead - Kid A
Jesse Malin - Glitter in the Gutter
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
The Killers - Sam's Town
Steve Earle - Guitar Town/Train A Comin'/Transcendental Blues
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks
Kanye West - Graduation
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Band Of Horses - Cease to Exist
Jay-Z - The Black Album
Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Neutral Milk Hotel - In An Aeroplane Over The Sea
Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Travis - The Man Who
The Beatles - Revolver

Also, I always do a year end Top 10 list with a lot of people I work with. It would be cool to re-visit that here in December.

Warren said...

A lot of great choices--great topic! Trying not to duplicate everyone, I would add a few:

Bob Marley - Exodus
Modest Mouse - We were dead before the Ship Even Sank (sucky title, though)
3 Doors Down - Away from the Sun

...and although I think an album needs to have some legs before it can be added to the list, I could see Vampire Weekend being added to the list.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you can throw the Cure, Living Colour (although I wish they stayed together), NIN in or any "Greatest Hits" in the discussion:

- The Cars - The Cars
- The Who: Tommy
- The Who: Quadrophenia
- Pink Floyd The Wall
- U2 Joshua Tree
- AC/DC Back in Black
- Physical Graffiti- Zeppelin
- Van Halen- Van Halen
- Boston - self titled debut
- Fleetwood Mac - Rumors (for the mellow rockers in the crowd)

LenD said...

Still stuck in the 80's -

Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction

and just to prove that I'm musically all over the place -

Paolo Nutini - These Streets

RedFish said...

Here is my 2cents worth:

Rush-Moving Pictures

Beastie Boys-Pauls Boutique and/or Check Your Head

Cake-Fasion Nugget

NOFX- Punk in Drublic and/or, White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean

Sly and the Family Stone- Theres a Riot Going on

Bob Marley and the Wailers- Burnin

Sublime- 40 ounce to Freedom

The Police- Ghost in the Machine

John Coltrane- A Love Supreme

Man Man- Six DemonBag

Pavement- Wowee Zowee

Sonic Youth- Daydream Nation

The Muppet Movie Soundtrack

The Beatles- Abbey Road

And 2 live albums to finish my list:
Iron Maiden- Live After Death
Grateful Dead- Europe '72

DJDiva said...

Oh I love lists like this! My top album of all time has not been listed yet!! o

My Bloody Valentine's 1991 release Loveless!!! it's amazing.

others off the top of my head:
Marvin Gaye's - What's Going On
Tugboat Annie - The Space Around You
DMB - Under the Table and Dreaming
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
Smiths - Queen is Dead
Smiths - Strangeways Here We Come
Smiths - Hatful of Hollow
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Def Leppard - Pyromania (yes I still like DL and I am proud to say so!)

I'm sure there are more I am missing...