Thursday, March 19, 2009

25 great albums

There's been a lot of ridiculous chain letters and such floating around, but I found one to suit me well......
Alright finally, something worth filling out (sure beats the heck out of that '25 random thingy' on fb). A couple people did this, so as a music man, why not me? I must admit this was tough. I came up with 40 albums, and had to narrow it to 25. I left out soundtracks and compilations, just to be fair. After all, if I did include 'greatest hits' or 'the best of', I may as well be naming my favorite groups and such... This will probably the most diverse music list you'll ever see. There's no way I should be having all the fun, I want to see your list too

***Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. 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. When you finish, tag 25 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good.

'Breakfast In America'-Supertramp -The album I mostly grew up on. This is the only one I have in all formats. I got the 8-track, the vinyl, the cassette, the cd, and the iTunes version. When my family went on vacations in the Dodge Ram (with the 8-track player!), the 6 of us would listen to 3 tapes: the Beach Boys' Endless Summer, The Best of the Guess Who, and Supertramp's 'Breakfast in America'. Loaded with great songs and good enough to listen to all the way through dozens of times!

'Pet Sounds'-Beach Boys -I would put 'Endless Summer' on here, but its a compilation...but Pet Sounds is close enough! However, for years, I was wondering why this was the most critically acclaimed and fan-favorited album. After listening to it, you'll definitely know why!

'Licensed To Ill'-Beastie Boys -I was in the fifth grade ('93?) and my sis Kelly got me into the Beastie Boys. When my oldest sister Jenny found out, she gave me a cassette tape she received back in the 80s: 'Licensed To Ill'. She wasn't crazy about it at first, but I listened to this album hardcore and by the time I was in the 6th grade, I felt cool when I found out two of my other classmates (Mike M.) was into them. We later listened to Cypress Hill's 'Black Sunday' (which almost made this list). We were just insane in the brain.

'Wish You Were Here'-Pink Floyd -A great album no matter what mood I'm in

'War'-U2 -I had to put a U2 one on here. The greatest of them all is without doubt, the 1983 lp 'War'. Great album from start to finish, and the only U2 one I listen to over and over. I even got great feedback after playing 'Drowning Man' on my show!

'Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night'-Stereolab -On my 18th birthday ('99), I walked into a Vintage Vinyl and as I was browsing they played this record. Needless to say, it grabbed my attention (the jazzy-folk alternative sound) and I remember asking the clerk "Who is this?". "Oh, its some British experimental group called Stereolab. Wanna buy it?" I agreed, and I've had several great listens. Later during my senior year of high school in Mr. Lipe's Composition class, he had us write a review (as if we were working for a magazine). My review for this album was voted by my peers as the best in the class. I wish I knew if I still had the review somewhere in my room. It also helped inspire more confidence in my editorial-style writing.

'Tiffany'-Tiffany -The first cassette tape I got when I was in the first grade, given to me by my sis Laurie. I later gave it back (lol), but it was good to feel hip playing this on my little Fisher Price tape recorder.

'Cosmic Thing'-The B-52s -Another early cassette tape I had in my early years. For a while I thought I was the coolest kid in my 2nd and 3rd grade class! A great comeback album for the Georgia peach party group (the bands early drummer died a few years before this was released). Also, if you got time on your hands, check out their early stuff as well'

Violent Femmes'-Violent Femmes
'Disintegration'-The Cure -Definitely the inspirations for my 80s radio show, thanks to having a cool older sister! In high school and college, she hung out with great people who introduced her to the greatest in 80s and 90s modern/alternative rock! I remember the good ol' days hanging out in my sisters' room just straight up listening to Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and other great classic alternative artists, as well as cassette tapes from her friend Alicia's collection! (This was also back when 105.7 The Point was actually cool to listen to...) Now I'm the one who is teaching this new generation about how great alternative was...back when it was alternative! (not skate punk and emo)

'Led Zeppelin IV'-Led Zeppelin -When you make out with a lady, play side one of Led Zeppelin Four. (Great movie line!) When I was in junior high, I was introduced to LZ, again, through my sister Kelly. One of my favorite albums of all time, from start to finish. What I mean is the great riff at the beginning of Black Dog, to the weird riff at the end of 'When The Levee Breaks'! Every song on here is a classic.

'Hooray For B**bies'-Bloodhound Gang -This one reminds me of my senior year h.s. days when I got in trouble for bringing this into Mrs. Motley's class. We were playing this while rehearsing theater! One of those (what I call) cult-mainstream bands that comes out with an album every 5 years

'Whipped Cream and Other Delights'-Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass -The chances of you finding this one in your grandma's or mom's collection is 1 in 2. When I was very little, one of my phobias was the image on the cover of this album. It was a dark image of a lady with shaving cream all over her. I'm not sure what phobia it was I had with record albums, but it was one of those phobias where you find the image way too graphic. The album's music was creepy too, but I learned how to love it and appreciate the talents and genius of trumpetman Herb Alpert.

'Thriller'-Michael Jackson -Had to put this on here too. I had the phobia of Michael Jackson's serious face and gleaming white outfit when I was young. Nowadays, its okay to be scared of Michael Jackson (laughter inserted here!). But, it's the music that counts. :)

'White Album'-The Beatles -What's a list without a Beatles record? All of them are great. Revolver? Cool. Abbey Road? Cool but too dark. Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be? Awesome. Sgt. Pepper? Seen on too many professional critics lists. But the album with the stark white cover always sticks out. The 'White Album' has no hit singles, but does have memorable songs. The cover is said to be a sign of how the Beatles were falling apart at the time. John Lennon once said, 'There is not a single Beatle song on here...'. In other words, its simply a collection of solo Beatles songs, most with other Beatles doing the instruments (and unfortuately, Yoko Ono singing twice on here...bleh..). Either way, you still got the music, like John Lennon's 'Dear Prudence' and 'Helter Skelter', Paul's 'I Will', George's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and Ringo's 'Don't Pass Me By'. This is probably the album which shows that no matter what the atmosphere is like in the band, you can still put out a great piece of work.

'Toxicity'-System of a Down -Arguably the greatest group (besides the White Stripes) to make it big this decade. For a couple years, SOAD was a band that I loved to hate (I wasn't down with the new metal yet), but then I saw them live and I was hooked. I had to get all of their stuff including bootlegs. Short catchy songs, great hooks and lyrics and the shouts of Serj definitely make this one a classic. Random fact: this album was released on 9/11/01

'Receiving The Gift of Flavor'-The Urge -Albums like these make me proud to be from the St. L area! High energy from Steve Ewing and crew! There's other great St. Louis albums out there, especially from Nelly and Stir. Take that, Huey Lewis, who failed to mention St. Louis in his song 'The Heart of Rock and Roll'!

'Jars of Clay'-Jars of Clay -Despite of my confusion over religion, I find this album to be great. Something about Dan Haseltine's vocals that grab me. Rumor has it that these guys spent hours in the Greenville College studio making this album, alienating their fellow classmates. Great spiritual messages, and powerful vocals make this one a killer. Again, its the music that always counts.

'Big Willie Style'-Will Smith -This one comes with a great story. One Christmas (1997?) my brother-in-law Kyle (or Kelly's bf at the time) tried to be a good friend by buying me this Will Smith CD, and I pretended to like it. But later that night I confided to him that I wasn't satisfied and he should have asked me to pick it rather than Kyle himself choose. I couldn't take it back 'cause it was already opened, and I was out of luck. We even argued about it. After being stuck with it, I actually gave the album a couple listens, and I actually realized Will Smith had great musical talents and it had great songs on there like 'Miami'. A few months later, 'Getting Jiggy With It' became a smash hit, and Kyle wanted to buy the CD from me, and I refused. I still regularly listen to this fine disc. Thanks Kyle!

'Flood'-They Might Be Giants -The album that reminds me its alright to be goofy. With this albums ever-changing moods, it relates to me in every way.

'Ghost in the Machine'-The Police -Picking out a new wave/early 80s alternative album to put on here was tough, but this is the one I kept coming back to. Back in junior high, I bought this at the old 'Record Shoppe' in Edwardsville for a $1 and I got more than my money's worth. Sting and the boys put out this masterpiece the year I was born ('81).

'Diamond Life'-Sade -Bought this album at Goodwill for 50 cents, bc I liked the songs 'Your Love Is King' and 'Smooth Operator'. Probably the most relaxing vocal album ever. (Now I know why Sade puts out an album every 7 years, bc people love her and she doesn't need the money!)

'Supernatural'-Santana -Definitely the greatest comeback album ever. 10 years ago, who knew that Carlos Santana would put out more hit songs in addition to his Woodstock/70s days? With a little help from recordman Clive Davis, he made it happen. Even though this is celebrity-oriented mostly, its a great listen either way. Every song after one another, starting with 'Daleo' (vocals by Santana).

'Feed The Animals'-Girl Talk -Little by little, I've been trying to get plugged in with new music (with all the crap that's on the airwaves, it's hard! lol). I've really gotten into Kings of Leon and Vampire Weekend but this is a definitely a non-stop party album from start to finish. And no, I am not a fan of using other people's work for one's own benefit, but the way I look at it, music is running out of ideas anyway. This dude (aka Girl Talk) makes mashing look like totally easy and fun. I definitely can't wait to see him live with his laptop next time he swings into St.L! Thanks Beka for getting me into him!

'The Cpt Theorem'-Greydon Square -There's dozens of rap/hiphop albums I can mention (JayZ's the Black Album and Tribe Called Quests 'Low End Theory') but most recently I was introduced to this unknown guy from Compton who raps about the truth (about society and religion). Check him out! Thanks Marc for introducing me to this man!

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