Re: My 20 Favorite Albums of All-Time
I've been thinking about this, and finally realized that any real list is going to reveal how old and uncool I really am. A few random choices, then.
There has to be a Beatles album. For me, it's always been a toss-up between Rubber Soul and The White Album. Surprisingly, I think Rubber Soul holds up better.
And what about Springsteen? Tough to choose. The Wild, The Inncocent, etc. and Darkness at the Edge of Town (which made me a Springsteen fan) are great albums, and Born to Run is as good as advertised--it probably really is his best. Jungleland is such a great track. For personal reasons, though, I'll go with the stepchild: The River. I was 18 when it came out and leaving home for the first time. It hit all the right melancholy chords. When the most upbeat song on an album is death (and Cadillacs), the (double) album can truly be called morose.
Okay, so I'm a huge ELO fan and have been since the local station played their version of Roll Over Beethoven between games of the Hal King HR doubleheader with the Dodgers in '73. Funny how some memories are so vivid. I later worked at the same radio station, and at that time American Pie was the standard between game filler. Anyway, I'll go with another double album here: Out of the Blue. I turned 16 when this was out. As I learned to drive, I played this repeatedly. I still like to listen to the album, except for The Whale, which doesn't hold up at all and It's Over, which was ruined for me when my mother said those words to tell me that my grandmother had died in that same time period.
Two albums from my time in Australia. The first has to be from Split Enz, and it's actually going to be the least critically acclaimed of my three favorites: Corroboree, called Waiata everywhere but Australia. Corroboree is the Aboriginal term for a singing celebration, Waiata is the Maori term. The first Australian song I heard on the radio was One Step Ahead, and it immediately struck me as being catchy and somehow different. "I don't Wanna Dance" "Ghost Girl" "Hard Act to Follow" "History Never Repeats"...just a great album.
The other is from the Enz' opposite number, Cold Chisel. When I lived in Sydney, Chisel and Enz fans were at each others' throats. Chisel represented old-style blues rock (Led Zeppelin with Springsteen-like lyrics) and Split Enz were the new wavers (really Beatlesque pop rock most often, although they had their weirder side, particularly when Tim wrote or sang.) Funny, but I ran across a cover of Split Enz' "Message to My Girl" by Chisel front man Jimmy Barnes (perhaps best known in the US for his Lost Boys collaboration with INXS or for Working Class Man). It was terrible, but my understanding is that he's had his vocal chords surgically replaced because he destroyed them drinking. Anyway, Circus Animals is, to me, a perfect album. It starts out with "Nothing I Want", a Barnes-penned tune kissing off American record companies that wanted them to change, then really kicks in with "Bow River", one of my all-time favorite rockers.
I'm writing more than anyone wants to read, but this kind of stuff gets me going. I could write a few pages about Circus Animals, but instead I'll just say that if you like bluesy hard rock, find a copy somewhere and listen.
I haven't got past 1981, even. Suffice to say that somewhere on this list, The Avett Brothers I and Love and You will just beat out Emotionalism, and Mumford and Sons will make an appearance. Also, I would be forced to choose among the first three Shins albums. Okay, it would be Chutes Too Narrow, but it would be a tough choice.
And then there are....ah, forget it. I'm too old to sort everything out. I've looked around, can't seem to find, whatever's always flowing through my mind.
Edge trilogy, by me.
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down. --Ray Bradbury
What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin. --Straka