Monday, January 05, 2009

10 best albums of all time

Over Christmas, we visited my brother in San Antonio. He challenged me to think of my favorite 10 best albums of all time. I thought a lot - and by the end our our long drive back to Colorado, I had my list. Before reading, skip to the end for all my disclaimers & notes.

These are not in order. I didn't want to narrow my choices by ranking them.
  • Mozart 40 & 41 Symphonies: George Szell with the Cleveland Philharmonic
  • Beatles: Abbey Road
  • Bach, Vivaldi - Concerti for 2 Violins: Stern & Zukerman
  • Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
  • Radiohead: The Bends
  • Pat Metheny Group: First Circle
  • Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues
  • Elton John: Goodbye Yellowbrick Road
  • Quasi: Featuring Birds
  • Fleetwood Mac: Fleetwood Mac
If you are interested in grabbing any via Amazon, I have provided these handy links below. Used CDs from this list can be had for as little as 62c! (Elton John.)

Disclaimers & notes:
  • Nothing later than 1998 is listed, even though I love a lot of music created since then. I just couldn't come up with anything from that category that I felt was worthy of this list.
  • Lyrics: I am not into lyrics. Some of the lyrics in some of these songs may be offensive (particularly Quasi!) - so if you listen to any of this music and find the words offensive, please don't think that I consider what's sung as my worldview! Nor do I advocate the lifestyles of some of the musicians. I'm just into melodies. (And I know some out there can argue with this point.)
  • I like music from other genres than rock, classical/baroque and jazz (such as bluegrass), but again, I didn't like anything there enough to add it to my list.
  • I am tired of some of these albums to the level that I can't hear them again for a long time. But each has provided more pleasurable listens than albums that are not on this list.
  • Taste is a personal thing - your list would or should look different than mine!
Enjoy. And I would invite you to come up with a list of your own. If you do, please put a link to that list in the comments - so that we all can discover something new and worth hearing.


Rob said...

When I get a free hour or two I'll ponder on this for a while. Otherwise I've got too many choices.
Of course I can tell you my #1: Sgt. Pepper.
Of Course, that one's going to be #1 for a zillion other people.
It's hard not to throw DSOTM in there since it's such a seminal album and Revolver
was just mind blowing for its time.

The rest? Oh brother, so many...

Paul Merrill said...

I'd love to see your list, Rob!

I differ from you and Rolling Stone - I think Abbey Road is the Beatles best.

Anonymous said...

AhhhAhhAhhA-A-R-RRR-GGGG-hhhh !!!!

This hurt my brain to even THINK about! ;-)
Limit of TEN ... ??? ALL genres ...
Geesshh - you may as well ask for my first born child!

OK, Pablo, we'll have to converse over a Real Pint (or 2 ... or ...) to see if I can do this :-)

I DO appreciate all of your selections, BTW. That would be a good sit & listen back to back to back.


Rob said...

OK, Backatcha,

I limited this to the rock/pop genre, since I just couldn't go "out there" into all the places my musical tastes go -classical, C&W (like Johnny Cash), punk, world music, etc, ad nauseum. Here goes, and even this is just a quick, down and dirty, since these are just what came to me ala first thing to mind.

Sgt. Pepper



Led Zeppelin IV

Led Zeppelin II

The Who: Who’s Next

Wings Band on the Run

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Green River

Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow

Elvis Costello: My Aim is True

The links are all Amazon, so if anyone wants they can read reviews or listen to samplers.

You can tell my age by the Jefferson Airplane pick... Still holds up after all these years though.

chris said...

Oh, I love these! We're gonna be heavy on the classic rock here, but here's my two cents:

1. Exile On Main Street - Stones
2. Between The Buttons - Stones
3. Joshua Tree - U2
4. The Gift - The Jam
5. Quadrophenia - Who
6. Blonde On Blonde - Dylan
7. Pet Sounds - Beach Boys
8. Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me
9. Back In Black - AC/DC
10. Sticky Fingers - Stones

Can I have a gratuitous single? Bowie's "Rebel Rebel".

Yup, it's're either a Beatles or Stones. Never the two shall mix!

Paul Merrill said...

Thanks for your lists, Chris and Rob. Some great stuff there - and some stuff worth checking out.

And Bob, if you ever feel like coming up with one, I'm all ears...

Jenny said...

Mmmm... I'm going to have to think about this...

I do like your choice of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Fleetwood Mac.

Rob said...

You know, I'm still working on a revised list of albums that includes just not classic rock, but I don't know when I'll have it done. I don't even know if it's possible to do, but I think it'll be sorta kinda close.

I like your choice of Mozart, but the classical is hard to nail down.
Thick as a Brick is one I had trouble with throwing out along with Nevermind. Echo and the Bunnymen did a good album and I like one by Big Audio Dynamite too. I like so much stuff by Johnny Cash that I'll have to go through his discography to find an album that has all of the best songs I like on it. I'd have to do the same with the Grateful Dead too.

Oh well, maybe if you repost this in a few months...

Shilingi-Moja said...

Interesting post. I'm glad there's somebody else who pays more attention to the music than the lyrics. Maybe it's a guy thing.

I have no idea what my list of 10 would be. But, I do know there would be at least one early Chicago album, maybe one of their Best of ... albums. Probably a Three Dog Night album; a Santana album; Neil Diamond's live album from the 70's; a Peter, Paul & Mary album; Casting Crowns' first album; an Olivia Newton John album; and ... I don't know. I'd have to include some singles as well.

edpugh said...

Mine, in rough order of preference. I'm sure I've missed some blinders (as we say in Tinland), but there you go.

• Simon and Garfunkel - Paisley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
• OK Computer - Radiohead
• Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
• Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 - Paganini Rhapsody - Ashenazy - Previn
• Moon Safari - Air (French Band)
• Urban Hymns - The Verve
• Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits
• Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega
• Nevermind - Nirvana
• Bellybutton - Jellyfish