Friday, September 11, 2009

My 25 Favorite Albums

A while back I posted a list of my top ten favorite albums. I decided to revisit the list this week, and make it bigger.

I've been thinking for quite some time about what are my favorite records. I don't know why, maybe it’s a bit of a nostalgia thing, maybe a desire to consolidate thoughts in my head, maybe a way to identify with and know my own generation and culture.

I am thinking here only of studio albums too, otherwise Allman Brothers at Fillmore East, Alison Kraus and Union Station Live, Jackson Brown's Solo Live Acoustic, and Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison would be on the list. Also, no compilations, no “best of” records (bye bye Dionne Warwick – you would have made it otherwise), and no soundtracks (in the latter case Jeremiah Johnson would be on the list).

To get on the list 1) I had to own the record, 2) I had to be currently listening to the record, and 3) it had to be personal – no attempt at balance or coolness or anything.

Of the hundreds of records I love, how do I narrow a list down to 25? How do I choose between five different great Bob Dylan albums and five Beatles albums and so forth? I think in the end it has to with affection. I tend to have more affection for some records than others; who knows why. And as far as this list goes I prefer records that seem to hold together and have a sense of unity. It doesn't mean they have to be concept albums, but I tend to think of a record as a whole.That should exclude The White Album and LZ IV, so it's only one important factor.

There are albums I have and play a lot that have 5-6 really good songs, and the rest I tend to skip. There are better known records that would be on many people’s list, but for some reason there isn't the connection for me with the whole.

There are many great records I have just never had the chance to own or enjoy on a regular basis. Such is life. The list does not reflect any idea of what albums I think are the greatest, the most important, the most significant, or the most artistic, but the records that seem to speak to me (or which I simply enjoy) the most on an ongoing basis. Oh, and I have not included sacred music here. That will be a different list someday.

My 25 Favorite Albums

1. Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
2. Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
3. Abbey Road - The Beatles
4. Led Zeppelin (I) - Led Zeppelin
5. Late For the Sky - Jackson Browne
6. The Times They Are a Changin' - Bob Dylan
7. Joshua Tree - U2
8. The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles
9. Hotel California - The Eagles
10. The Rising - Bruce Springsteen
11. Moondance - Van Morrison
12. Let It Be - The Beatles
13. Audible Sigh - The Vigilantes of Love
14. Led Zeppelin (IV) - Led Zeppelin
15. A Rush of Blood to the Head - Coldplay
16. My Life - Iris Dement
17. Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
18. Pictures at An Exhibition - Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
19. Jackson Browne - Jackson Browne
20. Argus - Wishbone Ash
21. Modern Times - Bob Dylan
22. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - U2
23. Hard Candy - Counting Crows
24. Blue - Joni Mitchell
25. Continuum - John Mayer

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