Well They Say That You’re Over the Hill, When Your Mind Makes a Promise That Your Body Can’t Fill

I am GENUINELY drunk (caps lock is cruise control for cool, and the bold just means I am fucking heart attack serious) and in a good mood, which means I am rocking out to Little Feat. Going to crank a little Dead and then crash. It seems like it has been forever since we had one of these threads, but I want to have another just for shits and giggles.

Every time I listen to Little Feat, Waiting for Columbus, I think it is the most perfect album ever. If I had to choose five perfect albums, I would list them in the following order:

1.) Little Feat- Waiting for Columbus
2.) Frank Zappa- Fillmore East 1971
3.) Ben Folds Five- The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
4.) Yes- Relayer
5.) Pink Floyd- Animals

Those are my top five. I’d like to add Guru- Jazzmatazz, and Alice in Chains Dirt is up there, but this list has been tight for me for years. Mind you, this has no Stones or Zeppelin, which are high on my list of first plays whenever I want to crank music. I’m not sure how stable my list is. Maybe some have gone up and down, but I really do think that these five have been solid for years.

So what are your top five perfect albums? And I don’t mean favorite albums. I mean perfect, complete, listen from start to end lp’s. Or do you people even know what a fucking lp is anymore? I just read that Sony is no longer making cassette decks, so YOU FUCKING KIDS GET OFF MY GOD DAMNED LAWN.

357 replies
  1. 1

    Okay, here are five of mine:

    1) The Clash – London Calling
    2) Living Colour – Vivid
    3) The Beatles – Rubber Soul
    4) Belly – Star
    5) Blue Öyster Cult – Secret Treaties

  2. 2
    burnspbesq says:

    Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
    Shoot Out the Lights, Richard and Linda Thompson
    Bach Complete Brandenburg Concertos, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter cond.
    The Telluride Sessions, Strength in Numbers
    By the Light of the Moon, Los Lobos

  3. 3
    Mike E says:

    In no particular order:
    Sgt Pepper
    Dark Side of The Moon
    Never Mind The Bollocks

  4. 4
    El Tiburon says:

    1. Journey – Evolution
    2. Pearl Jam – 10
    3. The Cars – The Cars
    4. Tom Petty- Long After Dark
    5 Rush – 2112

  5. 5
    Short Bus Bully says:

    1. Lyle Lovett – Pontiac
    2. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Mother’s Milk
    3. David Allan Coe – Greatest Hits
    4. Willie Nelson – Sings Kris Kristofferson
    5. Ice Cube – Amerikkka’s Most Wanted

  6. 6
    John Cole says:

    @burnspbesq: Los Lobos has always received critical acclaim, but they were never rewarded with the audience they deserve. They were a fucking exceptional band.

  7. 7
    Pope Ratzy says:

    Byther Smith – Addressing The Nation With The Blues
    Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
    John Hiatt – Stolen Moments
    Dire Straits – Alchemy
    Billy Bragg – Back To Basics

  8. 8
    Steve V says:

    Relayer? Better than Close to the Edge? Hmm.

  9. 9

    Not in any particular order:

    Back In Black, AC/DC
    Who Are You, The Who
    Get The Knack, The Knack
    Time Out, Dave Brubeck (RIP)
    Van Halen, Van Halen

  10. 10
    Joel says:

    Generally speaking, I think albums are worthless. Usually a few good singles and a bunch of filler. That said, there are a few albums that really work for me:

    My Pink Floyd pick is Wish You Were Here…
    Felix Laband – Dark Days Exit
    Arcade Fire – Funeral

    Just off the top of my head…

  11. 11
    Short Bus Bully says:

    I’m just going to go ahead and call it now:


  12. 12

    @Short Bus Bully: Spatula will probably have an aneurism.

  13. 13
    Disco says:

    in no order:

    Steely Dan – Gaucho
    Pet Shop Boys – Behaviour
    Simple Minds – New Gold Dream
    Dire Straits – Dire Straits (self-titled)
    Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
    Pink Floyd – The Wall
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

  14. 14
    BonnyAnne says:

    please forgive me: I only have one album that I would listen to over and over, without skipping a single song, and never ever get tired of. That album is Joshua Tree by U2, and I always feel ashamed of that but I’m not sure why.

    If I was cooler I would probably say something edgy or underground. Led Zepplin or whatever. I’m not.

    If could possibly come up with three, they would be:

    Joshua Tree — U2
    Achtung Baby — U2
    Under the Table and Dreaming — Dave Matthews Band


  15. 15
    reality-based says:

    jeezh, where is everybody? I’ve never been this close to the top in years of BJ reading?

    Top 5 (totally different genre from JC’s, Of course:

    1. Joni Mitchell: Blue
    2. The Band: The Last Waltz
    3. Bonnie Raitt: Sweet Forgiveness
    4. Springsteen: Nebraska
    5. Springsteen: We Shall Overcome: the Seeger sessions

  16. 16
    redshirt says:

    Tom Waits – Raindogs
    Radiohead – OK Computer
    Camper Van Beethoven – Key Lime Pie
    Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley
    Thelonious Monk – Monk’s Dream

  17. 17
    Alison says:

    @John Cole: Agreed – Hidalgo is a pretty amazing songwriter, and they put on a damn good show. Saw them as an opening act once and not even half the seats were full yet, because people are dumb. And I say this as someone whose main musical tastes tend towards stuff waaaay different than Los Lobos, but I’m no idiot :P

  18. 18

    I thought of another album:

    Jethro Tull – Aqualung

  19. 19
    Alex says:

    Beatles – Revolver
    The Clash – London Calling
    Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
    REM – Reckoning
    The Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me

  20. 20
    Pope Ratzy says:

    When I was a bit younger:
    Ramones – Rocket To Russia
    Social Distortion – Social Distortion
    Jim Carrol Band – Catholic Boy
    The Clash – Combat Rock
    The Fixx – Reach The Beach

  21. 21

    Weezer – Blue Album
    Daft Punk – Discovery
    The Black Keys – Brothers
    Coheed & Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
    Explosions in the Sky – The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

  22. 22
    Disco says:

    Police – Zenyatta Mondatta
    Stones – Sticky Fingers
    Paul McCartney – Ram

    something from this century:
    Bear in Heaven – I Love You It’s Cool (2012)

  23. 23
    Harley Peyton says:

    1) Allman Brothers, Live At Fillmore East
    2) Joni Mitchell, Blue
    3) Jeff Buckley, Grace
    4) Bill Fay, Life Is People
    5) Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back

  24. 24
    Turgidson says:

    My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
    Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
    The National – Boxer
    Nick Drake – Bryter Layer
    Built to Spill – Perfect From Now On

    edit: oh and Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

  25. 25
    Disco says:

    @Harley Peyton:

    1) Allman Brothers, Live At Fillmore East

    I know pretty much every note on that album. Probably backwards and forwards.

    Another one for the list:

    Miles David Quintet 1965-1968 box set
    (most perfect jazz ever recorded)

  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    Pink Floyd is getting the love (well deserved); Animals, Dark Side, Wish are all phenomenal…

    …but each and every time I listen to The Wall, I hear something new.

    Let’s see, 4 more. In no order:

    2) U2, Joshua Tree
    3) Van Morrison, Hymms To The Silence
    4) Live, Throwing Copper
    5) Marc Cohn, self-titled

    All of them, top to bottom, fucking brilliant

    ETA: See U2 is getting some love in others lists; Achtung Baby vs. Joshua Tree is a close one (as with the Pink Floyd choices)

  27. 27
    Q says:

    (Not in order)

    Kind of Blue, Miles Davis
    The Awakening, Ahmad Jamal
    Moondance, Van Morrison
    Rubber Soul, the Beatles
    Aja, Steely Dan

  28. 28
    Sailor says:

    No Order:

    The Clash – London Calling
    Led Zepp – Houses of the Holy
    Guns Roses- Appetite for Destruction
    Miles- Kind of Blue
    U2 -Actung Baby

  29. 29
    eclecticbrotha says:

    Stop it! This is hard. It really is, but here goes:

    1. Parliament/Funkadelic – Parliament Live: P-Funk Earth Tour
    2. Pink Floyd – Animals
    3. Stevie Wonder – Songs In the Key of Life
    4. Al Di Meola – Electric Rendezvous
    5. Sade – Lovers Live

  30. 30
    piratedan says:

    i’d like to say good pick burnsie on Los Lobos and El Tiburon on The Cars, very solid picks that I have listened too endlessly myself….

    for me…this is pretty representative

    Raspberries Best
    Nick Lowe – Labour of Lust
    The Lovin’ Spoonful – Daydream
    Elvis Costello – Armed Forces
    Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw

  31. 31
    Jason P. says:

    Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane over the Sea
    Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
    Tenacious D- Tenacious D
    Mana- Mana MTV Unplugged
    Explosions in the Sky- The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place

  32. 32
    PigInZen says:

    The Who – Live at Leeds
    Van Halen – Fair Warning
    Echo & the Bunnymen – Porcupine
    The Clash – Give ‘Em Enough Rope
    The Cult – Love

  33. 33
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    No order here, neither:

    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
    Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
    Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville

  34. 34
    lewandorkski says:

    1. D’Angelo – Voodoo
    2. Bob Dylan – John Wesley Harding
    3. Prince – Dirty Mind
    4. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (if it didn’t have the sketches)
    5. Jay-Z – The Black Album

  35. 35
    Short Bus Bully says:

    Aw shit, forgot a couple:

    6. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
    7. WEEN – Chocolate & Cheese

  36. 36
    eastvanhalen says:

    The Clash – The Clash (US version)
    Prince and the Revolution – Parade
    Ellington, Mingus, Roach – Money Jungle
    Fucked Up – David Comes to Life
    Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

  37. 37
    Disco says:

    if you like Pink Floyd, you almost certainly would like the few albums by the Engineers. Great, great moody stuff.

    Also, too:

    New Musik – Anywhere

  38. 38
    HI says:

    The Band – The Band
    Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
    Joni Mitchell – Hejira
    Neville Brothers – Yellow Moon
    Cocteau Twins – Treasure

  39. 39

    My uncle (RIP) made me tons of floyd tapes back in the 90s when I was in high school. It was the music that kept me awake when driving my long commute to and from school and hanging out with friends at whatever coffee bar we were playing cards in that night. I’d forgotten until John Cole mentioned it that Animals was the best album for cruising. Start to finish, just a grand jam. I’d rewind that tape and start over two or three times before the sun came up.

  40. 40
    Druid says:

    With the added restriction that only one album is allowed from a given decade.

    60s: King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King
    70s: Yes: Close to the Edge
    80s: King Crimson: Discipline
    90s: Ani DiFranco: Little Plastic Castle
    00s: Moon Safari: Blomljud

  41. 41
    DPS says:

    No Beatles or Dylan, because that isn’t fair.

    Lauryn Hill, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
    Stones, Exile on Main Street
    Stevie Wonder, Talking Book
    Radiohead, The Bends
    The Who, Live at Leeds

  42. 42
    redshirt says:

    @Short Bus Bully: Fear of a Black Planet is one of the best albums of all time.

    My new five:

    PE – Fear of a Black Planet
    Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
    Poe – Hello
    The Breeders – Pod
    NWA – Straight outta Compton

  43. 43
    I am not a kook says:

    The Clash – London Calling
    The Beatles – Revolver
    Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark
    Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks
    Bob Marley – any album – let’s say Survival this week

    Crap, am I an old fart?
    Agree on Jazzmatazz too. Also Clash – Sandinista (yes, really)

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    1. London Calling, The Clash
    2. My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
    3. Coup De Grace, Mink DeVille
    4. Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones
    5. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy

  45. 45
    PPOG Penguin says:

    Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground and Nico
    Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
    Van Morrison – Astral Weeks
    The Blue Nile – A Walk Across the Rooftops
    Joanna Newsom – Ys

    (I dithered about “Ys” because there’s one track on it that I always think, “meh, I’ll skip this one;” but when I do listen to it, I love it. So, perfect enough I guess.)

  46. 46
    BonnyAnne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I am drunk (like Cole!) but I still appreciate the validation. I pick Joshua Tree over Achtung Baby but only because I grew up with it and it’s part of basically every good memory I have as a young lass.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @I am not a kook: Sandinista is wonderful – both for the greatness and weirdness.

  48. 48
    Steeplejack says:


    This is me. Goddamn housecat ass-typed my nym away while I wasn’t looking.

    Got to add:

    Feliciano!, José Feliciano
    Black on Both Sides, Mos Def

  49. 49
    DPS says:

    Ugh. I already want to expand my list just from the reminders in the comments.

  50. 50
    redshirt says:

    Cracker – Kerosene Hat
    REM – Fables of the Reconstruction (Reconstruction of the Fables)
    Nirvana – Nevermind
    Led Zeppelin – All of it. Even the live shows, bootlegs, reunions, all of it.
    Mathew Sweet – Girlfriend

  51. 51
    eclecticbrotha says:

    @reality-based: Woot! My oldest bro (R.I.P.) was Bonnie’s Drummer on the “Sweet Forgiveness” album. My #Humblebrag of the day.

  52. 52
    Irony Abounds says:

    1. Hot August Night – Neil Diamond
    2. Who’s Next – The Who
    3. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
    4. Come On Come On – Mary Chapin Carpenter
    5. October Project – October Project

  53. 53
    The Dangerman says:

    Have to add Bob Marley, Exodus and Enya, Shepherd Moons; both are near Spiritual experiences…

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @John Cole:

    Still are. Going to see them on 1/11.

  55. 55
    burnspbesq says:


    Ahearty “hell yeah” for Marshall.

  56. 56
    burnspbesq says:


    Ahearty “hell yeah” for Marshall.

  57. 57
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Ooh, I love threads like this!

    1: Vigil In a Wilderness of Mirrors – Fish
    2: Bone Machine – Tom Waits
    3: Violator – Depeche Mode
    4: The Bends – Radiohead
    5: Americana Deluxe – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

    Just missing the cut is The Stone Roses, which is half the greatest pop songs ever written (Waterfall, This is The One, I Wanna Be Adored) and half stuff that kind of sags. It’s definitely no. 6 though

  58. 58
    Mike E says:

    About eleventy moar top five lists can be made from this thread via random generation…I keep reading y’all’s and saying, “Dammit! That’s anutter good’ern…shit!”

  59. 59
    The Dangerman says:


    Still are. Going to see them on 1/11.

    Switching from albums to best musicianship I’ve ever seen live (and it’s hard to go against Clapton), but Bela Fleck and the Flectones blow me away each time I see them. Bela and Victor Wooten are the absolute best at their craft; seeing them together is a must.

  60. 60
    jayackroyd says:

    I shouldn’t have read the posts first. Because I’ve been influenced

    Kind of Blue (you should also read the book, The Making of Kind of Blue)
    Live at Leeds
    Type O Negative Bloody Kisses
    Joy Division Unknown Pleasures
    London Calling

    Oh, no, Stop Making Sense has to be there.

    The latest version of Live at Leeds has (I believe) the entire performance. I have it, and I’m glad I have it, but it weirds me out. I know every note on the original release, listened to it constantly as a kid, can hear it in my head as I write this, and when all of a sudden there’s this other shit in the middle, or even another song that wasn’t on the original release, I get kinda freaked.

    Oh, and can I take a moment to thank Cole for sustaining this community. Twitter has done wholesale damage to the commentariat*, which was where I lived. It takes real effort to keep this going and I am grateful for it.

    *A week or so ago people here were criticizing eschaton commentary. That’s not, IMO, entirely fair–it’s also a sustained community. But it has lost many of the voices that made it the crackden–watertiger, CoT, 4legsgood et alia. You can find them on twitter, and they’re still funny as the dickens and have more people reading them. But it weakened that community.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    Tori Amos, Scarlett’s Walk
    Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Trio II
    Bruce Springsteen, The River
    Carole King, Tapestry
    Any of Simon & Garfunkel’s studio albums

  62. 62
    Short Bus Bully says:



    And count me in on that Liz Phair album too. Holy SHIT, that was my soundtrack for years. Going to youtube it right after I finish with the WEEN I am currently rocking…

  63. 63
    Rich (in Name Only) in Reno says:

    1)Captain Beefheart – “Safe As Milk”
    2)Cheb Khaled – “Kutche” (contains “La Camel” and “Chebba.”)
    3)Pink Floyd – “The Piper At The Gates Of The Dawn”
    4)The Rolling Stones – “Their Satanic Majesties Request”
    5)Kaleidoscope – “Incredible Kaleidoscope” (it’s part of a CD compilation of all their Epic Albums called “Pulsating Dream.”

    How Khaled got in there is a long story.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Dire Straits first album is damn near perfect too. Also too, Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is damn good.

    Oooh, The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America.

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    Honorable mention:

    Backwaters, The Tony Rice Unit
    Stage Fright, The Band
    A Love Supreme, John Coltrane
    Blues and the Abstract Truth, Oliver Nelson
    Die Schone Mullerin, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: The River or Nebraska. Damn.

  67. 67
    redshirt says:

    Any other Camper Van Beethoven fans out there besides me? If so, in the spirit of this thread, check out their last album from 2004, “New Roman Times”. It’s a deliberate storytelling album, following a young conservative texan dude in the early 2000’s.

  68. 68
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Dangerman:

    For sheer jaw-dropping musicianship, it’s hard to top Strength in Numbers. Fleck, Douglas, O’Connor, Bush, and Meyer. I would kill for a complete DVD of their Austin City Limits performance.

  69. 69
    sharl says:

    I’d steal from the lists of piratedan (#28) and Johnny Coelacanth (#31) – would probably add up to more that five – and add It’s A Beautiful Day (band & album name); it’s much more than just White Bird.

  70. 70
    YellowJournalism says:

    The Beatles – Abbey Road
    Janet Jackson – janet.
    Salt-N-Pepa – Very Necessary
    Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left to Loose
    Nirvana – Unplugged in New York

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: FYWP. moderation for mentioning the names of two Springsteen albums? Seriously?

  72. 72
    Steeplejack says:


    Seconded on Coltrane and Oliver Nelson.

  73. 73
    moderateindy says:

    Grateful Dead American Beauty
    Clash London Calling
    Van Morrison Moondance
    Ray Charles Anthology
    Scruffy The Cat Moons of Jupiter

  74. 74
    Publius39 says:

    I’m listening to “Blue Rondo a la Turk” by Dave Brubeck.Full Dislcosure; I’m 29 years old, and I love jazz. This song is on repeat right now, and I’m lovin’ it. Cheers John.

  75. 75
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Not only do I fucking know what an LP is, I know that listening to Abbey Road on CD/iTunes lacks a vital component of the LP listening experience: Having Lennon’s “I Want You” come to its abrupt end, leaving you to soak in the “fucking wow” of it all till you can get up and flip the album for Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” to hit you like a rainbow after the cleansing storm.

    Kids today, they wouldn’t know about that.

    Also, too, I love the hell out of Simple Minds’ “New Gold Dream.” I’d have to root around my library for the other top three.

  76. 76
    PJ says:

    The Who – Quadrophenia
    The Clash – London Calling
    XTC – Black Sea
    Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
    The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

    Hon. Mention:
    The Go-Betweens – Spring Hill Fair
    The Replacements – Let It Be
    The Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
    The Stones – Exile on Main St.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    Looks like my alter ego is not getting released from moderation.

    My original list (not in order):

    Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
    The Awakening – Ahmad Jamal
    Moondance – Van Morrison
    Rubber Soul – the Beatles
    Aja – Steely Dan

    And as I read this thread other “perfect album listens” come to mind.

    The Turning Point – John Mayall
    Santana – Santana
    Deadicated – various artists (Grateful Dead tribute album)

    And two for the season:

    A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi
    Pretty Paper – Willie Nelson

  78. 78
    jayackroyd says:

    Extending my ramble to a second post, bmaz put up some Dave Brubeck tribute, http://www.emptywheel.net/2012.....rash-talk/ which you should check out. Brubeck’s interest in odd time signatures is worth the price of admission.

    And I have a question for the musicians among us. I don’t always hear a performer’s “sound.” But I can always hear Miles. I’ll be in some store playing what they think is elevator music, and say to myself, Miles. And the same is true of Paul Desmond. I can see how the trumpet can vary significantly between performers–you’re shaping the sound before it hits the mouthpiece.

    Aw fuck, I give up. I just had one of Goodman’s solos go through my head, and that’s nobody but him. And there’s this reed management thing.

    But how does this work? I guess this is arising partly because I’m reading Sam Wang’s book on practical application of neuroscience. (Talk to your kid in as many languages as you can, but fuck playing Mozart.) How do you make a sax sound distinct? How did Goodman sound different? (I’d post the solo if I could find it, but it’s a sing sing sing bit where he is transcendent. Can’t post my brain waves.)

  79. 79
    RobertDSC-iPhone 4 says:

    1) Metallica: Master Of Puppets
    2) Metallica: Metallica (The Black Album)
    3) Evanescence: Evanescence (released in 2012)
    4) Nirvana: MTV Live Unplugged
    5) Danny Elfman’s score for Batman
    6) James Horner’s score for Titanic
    7) Hans Zimmer’s score for Gladiator
    8) Metallica: Death Magnetic
    9) Metallica: Ride The Lightning
    10) Tan Dun’s score for Jet Li’s Hero
    11) The soundtrack for the movie Collateral
    12) The soundtrack for the movie Top Gun
    13) Amon Tobin’s score for the game InFamous
    14) Hans Zimmer’s score for the game Modern Warfare 2

  80. 80
    scarshapedstar says:

    Wow. I tried to list mine and somehow they got censored.

    Shpongle – Tales of the Inexpressible
    Arlo Guthrie – Runnin’ Down the Road
    Hem – Rabbit Songs
    Jenny Lewis – Rabbit Fur Coat (heh, never noticed that connection before)
    Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

    One for the road:

    Psapp – Tiger, My Friend

    Okay, one more:

    The Bird and the Bee – Interpreting the Masters (Hall and Oates covers!)

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @PJ: Tim , not Let It Be. For me…

  82. 82
    jayackroyd says:

    @PJ: Oh fuck. Quadrophenia. Have you seen the video of Entwistle playing the 5:15 solo.

    I hate these things. And, yes, the Pistols. And the Dead Kennedys. And, as I jumped out of the couch of last night watching the ironically titled, in this context, The Kids Are All Right (Watch this movie!) Blue.

    The scene where Annette Benning flips through her sperm donor’s record collection (TMI) features BOTH Joni’s Blue and Zimmerman’s Blood on the Tracks.

    Which I’d put on the list if Cole asked us tomorrow.

  83. 83
    Publius39 says:

    Here goes, in no particular order:

    1. Things Fall Apart-The Roots
    2. The Black Album-Jay-Z
    3. The Essentials- Babyface
    4. Time Out- Dave Brubeck
    5. Anything by Jimi Hendrix.

  84. 84
    Steeplejack says:

    @RobertDSC-iPhone 4:

    Just got done watching Collateral on HBO, and I was noticing that the soundtrack was really good, especially the techno track during the shootout in the Japanese club.

    Collateral holds up surprisingly well, given that it’s Michael Mann at his most self-indulgent and the plot is ridiculous. It’s becoming one of those movies which if I happen upon it I have to watch it the rest of the way.

  85. 85
    jayackroyd says:

    @scarshapedstar: Arlo! Have you seen him live?

  86. 86
    The Dangerman says:


    …Sam Wang’s book on practical application of neuroscience.

    Running to Amazon now!

    Can’t post my brain waves.

    Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, I treated myself to an isolation chamber; no altered states, but some interesting as the Brain goes to Theta. Check out binaural beats sometime and how that plays with your brain; a most curious effect.

  87. 87
    scarshapedstar says:


    Indeed I did, at Jazzfest last year! :D

  88. 88
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    OK, forget about the rooting, I’ll just go with what comes to mind for the other three:

    Nirvana’s Nevermind

    NIN’s The Downward Spiral

    Dead Can Dance’s Within the Realm of a Dying Sun

  89. 89
    burnspbesq says:

    The best live concert video I’ve ever seen? The Metheny/Hancock/Holland/DeJohnette concert from 1991.

    Runners-up: The Last Waltz, Shadows and Light (Joni with Metheny and Jaco), Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007, and the Metropolitan Opera production of Carmen with Elena Garanca and Roberto Alagna.

  90. 90
    PurpleGirl says:

    FYWP — it ate a comment. Let’s see if this works…

    Don’t have five perfect albums but one album really is a complete experience for me. MeatLoaf — Bat Out of Hell. It is a complete experience of teenage male angst and lust.

  91. 91

    The Smiths – Meat is Murder
    Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures and Closer (or the first two CDs of Heart and Soul)
    Underworld – dubnobasswithmyheadman
    Neil Young – Ragged Glory
    Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
    The Presets – Apocalypso
    Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos
    Hüsker Dü – Zen Arcade
    Frank Zappa – Hot Rats
    Primus – Sailing the Seas of Cheese

  92. 92
    piratedan says:

    ty all for the reminders, especially those regarding Liz Phair, XTC, Joy Division and The Cult…. it’s such an iconic type of thread, makes it so hard to limit it to just five. I swear I could come up with another five with ease and then another 10 or so seminal albums in my life that helped me just live day to day….

  93. 93
    I am not a kook says:

    @The Dangerman: Agreed on Exodus – even though the religious wingnuttery tends to weird me out as I get older. But still, it is part of the package – you can rip people from their homes, enslave them, destroy their culture, pack them in slums in poverty and still geniuses emerge to create transcendentally beautiful art. Some others try to make sense of the world in religious terms. Listening to Marley gives me hope for humanity. This is of course the story of blues and jazz as well – just listen to Louis Armstrong.

  94. 94

    @burnspbesq: a concert that stands out for me, because it basically hit me over the head with a hammer, was the Art Ensemble of Chicago at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford campus, back in the early-mid 80’s. I was really skeptical before I went in, expecting to hate it, but was blown away by it.

    ETA: Fixed the name of the group.

  95. 95
    wasabi gasp says:

    Making lists like this is too damn hard. Unless I limit it to live albums.

    The Lounge Lizards – Big Heart: Live in Tokyo

  96. 96
    Bnut says:

    Guns and Roses- Appetite for Destruction
    Led Zeppelin- IV
    Incubus- Morning View
    Eminem- The Marshal Mathers LP
    Dr. Dre- the Chronic

    Hon men.

    Patti Smith- Horses
    Drive By Truckers- Southern Rock Opera
    The Who- Tommy

  97. 97
    joel hanes says:

    Electric Ladyland

    end of list

  98. 98
    Hugely says:

    these are in my loop right now but I generally trend to what Tbogg likes (Stone Roses, Liz Phair, SFA) – which this thread reminds me of

    1) Super Furry Animals: Hey Venus!
    2) Aimee Mann: Im with Stupid
    3) Solomon Burke: Thats Heavy Baby
    4) Grant Lee Phillips: Nineteeneighties
    5) Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

    oh yeah and anything by the beta band – yea im a white dude

  99. 99
    the dude says:

    Five albums I can listen to without skipping any tracks or any bits within those tracks:

    1. Joni Mitchell – Hejira
    2. The Blue Nile – A Walk Across The Rooftops
    3. Roy Harper – Stormcock
    4. The Church – Heyday
    5. Miles Davis – A Tribute To Jack Johnson

    As for Yes – Relayer … comes close but the ‘cha cha cha’ vocals at the end of Soundchaser have always annoyed me.

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @jayackroyd: Practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice. And taking what is considered “good” technique and throwing it out on its ass because what you’ve discovered sounds cooler. That and honestly saxophone is one of the easiest instruments to put a distinct sound signature on. Miles can do it on trumpet, but he does a lot with mutes and other effects to help him with that.

    @Bnut: Hanukkah Samayach Dawg!

    And I’m certain she has a few albums, but I will listen to ANYTHING by Yoko Kanno. Woman is a fucking genius.

  101. 101
    PJ says:

    @jayackroyd: Tom Waits at one point lamented focusing on the piano because it was a “square instrument”, in that it is very difficult to create a distinctive tone on it. How one shapes one’s mouth, or breathes, can create a very distinctive effect on horns, woodwinds, and vocals, obviously. How one frets and bends strings can create a distinctive effect on stringed instruments – I can spot a Richard Thompson solo at 100 meters. Timing is also something that effects all instruments, so Monk is readily identifiable even though he’s playing a piano. In improvisation, one’s sense of melody and harmonics is personal and idiosyncratic, and some people (like Monk or Miles) really shine, while others just sound like they are playing scales (which they are.) Ultimately I think that if one has sufficient command of an instrument, it is as distinctive as one’s own voice. But this can be a very hard place to get to (I haven’t managed it yet.)

  102. 102
    redshirt says:

    @The Dangerman: Explain please, with details. Like “Altered States” isolation chamber?

  103. 103
    joel hanes says:


    The Turning Point – John Mayall

    Chickie-chickie what?

    There’s a bit of chicker-chicker in that one, actually, it’ll be all right.

  104. 104
    Beth Ott says:

    The Specials – The Specials
    Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – Self Titled
    Black Keys – Attack and Release
    Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark
    Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
    Frank Zappa – Just Another Band from LA
    The Smiths – The Queen is Dead

  105. 105
    I am not a kook says:

    I finally got around to listening to Sigur Ros and *paying attention*. I don’t know their albums yet, but damn, I get this feeling of “WTF just happened?” after every song. It’s like they do something to your brain. Need moar…

    Oh yeah, somebody mentioned Shpongle upthread. Good for a green day definitely ;-).

  106. 106
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:


    A Charlie Brown Christmas – Vince Guaraldi

    Agreed! Pure genius, start to finish.

    @RobertDSC-iPhone 4:

    James Horner’s score for Titanic

    Also agreed. The perfect score for the only flick that can tear my heart out the way Titanic does. I’m also really keen on his score for House of Sand and Fog (the intro to “An Older Life” is what I’ve set as my morning alarm on my phone).

    Hans Zimmer’s score for Gladiator

    Still need to check that our more thoroughly. This year, without a doubt, Zimmer’s score for Inception has been my most-listened-to recording.

  107. 107
    Bnut says:

    @Yutsano: Shalom brother! Not putting my menorah up since one of my neighbors is a (former?) Aryn Nation member. East Nashville, strange place…

  108. 108
    Yutsano says:

    @The Dangerman: When John Cage “composed” (it really does earn a Cavuto mark, there are still some music experts who don’t consider it actual music) 4’33”, he first submitted himself to an isolation chamber. He could only hear two sounds: the low thumping of his heartbeat and the very slight high-pitched hum of his electrical impulses in his brain. His conclusion is that true silence is impossible, so 4’33” is as much a philosophical statement as a serious composition. I personally think it’s total mad genius.

    @Bnut: Better safe than sorry, even if you are the trained killer in that match-up. There better be latkes though. Lots and lots of latkes.

  109. 109
    jayackroyd says:

    @PJ: Thanks for mentionigng@scarshapedstar: He’s hilarious. And brilliant.

  110. 110
    burnspbesq says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    I’m very much of two minds about that whole Chicago crowd. Serious, heavy-thinking shit, but its not easy to love. There are days when I’m in a certain frame of mind and I can listen to those guys and Anthony Braxton all day. But I can’t handle a steady diet of it.

    Wadada Leo Smith has made some amazing records in recent years.

  111. 111

    Dire Straits – Love Over Gold
    Marillion – Happiness Is the Road, Vol I: Essence
    Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
    Sylvan – Posthumous Silence
    Rush – Different Stages

    Gophers go to 20-0.

  112. 112
    Steeplejack says:

    @joel hanes:

    Too true. And, to be honest, that’s my least favorite song on the album. I can listen to “California” over and over. In fact, I would do that right now, except I’m listening to Wes Montgomery’s Down Here on the Ground. Another “perfect album listen.”

  113. 113
    PJ says:

    By the way, I saw Os Mutantes for the first time tonight, and, if you have the chance, you should really go see them: an ebullient mixture of Beatles, psychedelic, garage and soul with their own Brazilian personality which transcends the influences and makes them something special. (I know there is just one original member in this touring band, but they were really really good.)

  114. 114
    Steeplejack says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Damn, What’s Going On! Ashamed I forgot that one.

  115. 115
    Bnut says:

    A better question than this topic is the one we discussed at work tonight. If you could see one concert in its time, who would it be and where? We were all torn between a 19th century Beethoven show or a seedy heroin filled 1930s Mississippi blues bar listening to Robert Johnson.

  116. 116
    PJ says:

    And if this comment posts in time, go to wfmu.org and listen to the really excellent version of I Can’t Stand It by the Velvets from some live show in 1968.

  117. 117
    piratedan says:

    ok… geez….my second five (no repeat artists allowed)

    More of the Monkees – The Monkees
    Repeat When Necessary – Dave Edmunds
    Echo and the Bunnymen – Echo and The Bunnymen
    Repeat Offence – The Inmates
    Out of the Blue – ELO

  118. 118
    The Dangerman says:


    Like “Altered States” isolation chamber?

    Actually, I didn’t see Altered States, but I think it’s the same thing; go into a completely dark, silent tank and float in some epsom salt loaded water heated to body temperature. Along with some interesting effects on the brain (which can’t really be described and it’s probably different for everyone anyway; let’s just say your brain goes places without the normal stimuli), there was an interesting physiological response in that I had the longest breaths I can recall (which, of course, was the response to the relaxation, as well as a cause of it, I suppose). The tank I tried has the capacity for playing binaural beats, which is the next thing I’ll try when the time comes along.

  119. 119
    Hugely says:

    @PJ: i listen to Tom Ze a lot as well – if you like Os Mutantes and want to go a little further in Tropicalia/MPB give him a listen. Its like Julian Cope and Mercury Rev in Portuguese

  120. 120
    Baron Elmo says:

    This is my locked-in top five:
    Rolling Stones – Beggars’ Banquet
    Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On
    Van Dyke Parks – Song Cycle
    Parliament – Osmium (the expanded CD edition)
    Love – Forever Changes

    some crucial runners-up, just off the top of my head:
    Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom
    Joe Ely – Honky Tonk Masquerade
    Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground and Nico
    James Brown – Live at the Apollo
    Del Shannon – Home & Away
    Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Kate & Anna McGarrigle

    and one essential various artist compilation:
    The Anthology of American Folk Music

  121. 121
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bnut: The Clash in ’77.

  122. 122
    PJ says:

    @Hugely: I will definitely check him out.

  123. 123

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Marillion – Happiness Is the Road, Vol I: Essence

    I am not familiar with that one; I do have their first five albums, though. I kind of lost track of them.

  124. 124
    burnspbesq says:


    I’d pick a concert that I have on vinyl: the 1953 Massey Hall concert with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach.

    I wouldn’t have minded seeing Little Village in concert. Or the original David Grisman Quintet.

  125. 125
    Ted Mills says:

    1. Rock Bottom – Robert Wyatt
    2. Time Out – Dave Brubeck
    3. The Information – Beck
    4. Another Green World – Eno
    5. King of Limbs – Radiohead

    check with me next week, it may be different! :-)

  126. 126
    Steeplejack says:

    I have to admit there are some “greatest hits” collections that have achieved “perfect album listen” status for me: e.g., Mitch Ryder, the Animals (Retrospective), the Lovin’ Spoonful, Barry White.

    There are also some mix CDs I have put together to make my own perfect “albums” for some artists: e.g., Brasil 66, Charlie Parker, the Zombies, Gil Scott-Heron, Grant Green, Booker Ervin, Django Reinhardt.

  127. 127
    redshirt says:

    Animatrix – Sound track
    Pulp Fiction – Sound track
    BTVS:Once More with Feeling – Sound track
    Star Wars – Sound track
    Singles – Sound track

  128. 128
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Marillion! WOOOOOO! Glad to see someone else likes them.

  129. 129
    Steeplejack says:

    @joel hanes:

    Listening to “California” now. Bliss.

  130. 130
    The Dangerman says:


    His conclusion is that true silence is impossible, so 4’33” is as much a philosophical statement as a serious composition.

    I’ll have to check it out; new to me. As for true silence not possible and heartbeats, etc., probably accurate. Again, the mind goes places when one hears nothing (except, perhaps, a heartbeat or whatever).

  131. 131


    Annie Lennox – Diva
    Paul Simon – Graceland
    Alan Parsons Project – Gaudi
    Queen – Made in Heaven
    Red Elvises – I Wanna See You Bellydance

  132. 132
    suzanne says:

    Radiohead-OK Computer
    Dylan-Blood on the Tracks
    R.E.M.-Automatic for the People
    New Order-Substance
    Hole-Live Through This
    Guided by Voices-Alien Lanes and Bee Thousand
    Elliott Smith-XO
    The Velvet Underground and Nico
    Husker Du-Warehouse:Songs and Stories

  133. 133

    @Spaghetti Lee: I do, or did, have the Season’s End album (their fifth, hint hint) somewhere on cassette. I liked it quite a bit when I was able to listen to it.

    ETA: Okay, you deleted the part I replied to, I see.

  134. 134
    Bnut says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, def early Clash. I never got into the later stuff. It lost the punk edge.

  135. 135

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: I like their stuff with Steve Hogarth a lot more than the early stuff with Fish. Not that the Fish albums are bad, particularly Clutching at Straws and Misplaced Childhood. But their more recent work is a lot more interesting.

  136. 136
    Gravenstone says:

    Beatles – Abbey Road
    Who – Who’s Next
    Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime
    Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier (edging Powerslave)
    Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of Friendly Card

  137. 137
    Yutsano says:

    @Bnut: Sarah Vaughan at the Blue Note, 1989. Her last performance before her death the next year.

  138. 138
    Keith says:

    U2’s The Joshua Tree is probably the most perfect album I’ve heard. I’d throw in Pearl Jam’s “Ten” and Soundgarden’s “Superunknown” in there as well. #4 would be Tool’s “Aenima”. I can’t really come up with a fifth.

  139. 139
    Gravenstone says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Damn, and I figured I’d be the only one to call out Parsons.

  140. 140
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Others that come to mind

    Californication – RHCP (In a ‘peak of its genre and era’ sort of way)
    All The Stars and Boulevards – Augustana (Same deal, and yes I admit that I have very whitebread tastes.)
    Big Generator -Yes (What’s funny is that I love a lot of the ‘bad’ stuff that the great 70s’ prog bands put out in the 80’s. I’d take this over Fragile any day. I’d also take Power Windows over 2112 )
    The Harsh Light of Day – Fastball (A really under-appreciated slice of late 90’s guitar rock.)
    Dear Science – TV on the Radio
    Running With Scissors – Weird Al Yankovic YEAH I SAID IT. Seriously, listen to the whole thing and try not laughing out loud.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Dangerman:

    As for true silence not possible and heartbeats, etc., probably accurate. Again, the mind goes places when one hears nothing (except, perhaps, a heartbeat or whatever).

    That is Cage’s point. Each performance is different. Random sounds and thoughts happen during each four minutes and 33 seconds so that no performance can be same. He is prioritizing the audience as a part of the concert experience. Deranged, but brilliant, in my view.

  142. 142


    Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of Friendly Card

    Yeah, that’s what everyone says. It’s good but, for me, comes in behind Gaudi, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, and, if you count the post Woolfson material as still being the same band, On Air.

  143. 143
    Steeplejack says:


    I saw the original David Grisman Quintet in a weird venue: the Tonight show. I was in Los Angeles on a business trip for a software company with two extremely junior, extremely green coworkers, and somehow I hit on the idea of taking them to see the Carson show.

    I was flabbergasted when Grisman turned out to be a guest. He did only two songs, but they were sublime. Come to think of it, that first album is another perfect album listen.

  144. 144
    Yutsano says:

    @The Dangerman: There are those who think that it is a joke, others an insult. But the performer or performers go onstage as normal, prepare to play, then stare at a watch or another timepiece for exactly 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Cage made the music all of the ammbient sound around us instead of the actual performers providing it. I never could get permission to do it at a recital. Shame. :)

    @Omnes Omnibus: Or wot u said. :)

  145. 145
    J R in WVa says:

    OK, some really good music, I agree with the Frank Zappa picks, and Los Lobos, saw them a couple of times on Mountain Stage, wonderful. Far better live than on recordings, funny how some bands are like that. Zappa was a little like that too.

    How about Sarah McLachlan, Surfaces? She too got a boost from Mountain Stage. Best romantic female singer maybe.

    Miles Davis, my favorite is his Spanish album, Sketches of Spain.

    The Dead, American Beauty may be my favorite, another band good in concert, but many of their albums are just as good.

    Duke Ellington both big band and piano, Louis Armstrong [believe it or not, I saw him live as a kid!], Oscar Peterson, another Canadian.

    There’s a lot of classical music I love, but I can’t pick and choose, there are too many that are transcendent. I love many piano concertos, a good pianist with a good orchestra often makes me cry from the beauty of it… the Russians esp.

    Some great music on this thread, I’ll look here in the morning and see what I haven’t heard and look it up.

  146. 146
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    Sorry bout that.

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Have you tried Fish’s solo stuff? I think it might be better than Marillion with Fish or Marillion with Hogarth. I put Vigil in my number one spot, and Internal Exile and Suits are also great.

  147. 147

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): As I said, I do like the Season’s End album, and I have, or had, the Holidays in Eden album somewhere, but I guess I lost track of them when they were dropped by their American record label.

    I got to see them, with Fish on vocals, at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on, I think, the Misplaced Childhood tour. I don’t think they’ve been back to the West Coast since then.

  148. 148
    burnspbesq says:

    Five More:

    Grievous Angel, Gram Parsons
    The David Grisman Quintet, The David Grisman Quintet
    Bitches Brew, Miles Davis
    Emergency, The Tony Williams Lifetime
    A Year in the Wilderness, John Doe

  149. 149
    Quicksand says:

    Ah, too many to choose from!

    Swans – Children of God
    Meat Puppets – Too High To Die
    Jesus Lizard – Goat
    King’s X – Gretchen Goes To Nebraska
    Voivod – Angel Rat

  150. 150

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Big Generator -Yes (What’s funny is that I love a lot of the ‘bad’ stuff that the great 70s’ prog bands put out in the 80’s. I’d take this over Fragile any day. I’d also take Power Windows over 2112 )

    Ditto on Power Windows, which I think is the best Rush studio album. I’ll take some of their live stuff (Different Stages and Rush in Rio) aof it, though.

    While I do like Yes’ 80s stuff more than the 70s, I don’t like it as much as the stuff they’ve done since 1990.

  151. 151
    suzanne says:

    Also must add:
    Social D-White Light White Heat White Trash
    PJ Harvey-To Bring You My Love
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers-Greatest Hits
    Magnetic Fields-69 Love Songs
    Time out of Mind
    Amon Tobin-Out From Out Where

  152. 152

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Marillion was in Los Angeles this past summer. I saw them in Chicago.

  153. 153
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:


    if you like Pink Floyd, you almost certainly would like the few albums by the Engineers. Great, great moody stuff.

    Just brought up their “Home” on the Spotify. Getting a vintage Moody Blues vibe (a good thing, in my book), albeit with the Moody’s flourishes dialed back.

    ‘Nother contemporary band with their roots in the ’60 showing is The Helio Sequence, especially their “Com Plex.” Any other group that might come across as trying a tad too hard to cop a Beatles sound would be laugher, but this duo freaking pulls it off to the point that when the (almost inevitable) cover of “Tomorrow Never Knows” comes up, they’ve shown they’ve earned to the opportunity to give a straight-up cover a shot, and they attack it fantastically.

  154. 154
    Gravenstone says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): I almost went Tales, but “To One in Paradise” never really clicked with me. And I found Gaudi a highly mixed bag.

  155. 155
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I don’t like it as much as the stuff they’ve done since 1990.

    Also great! Can’t believe I forget to mention The Ladder. GREAT ALBUM. It’s one of those prog albums that cuts through some of the fluff and turns into a life-affirming experience. Listen to It Will Be a Good Day and If Only You Knew back to back whenever you’re feeling down. Works like a charm.

  156. 156

    @Spaghetti Lee: I haven’t heard any of Fish’s solo stuff but I think it’s unlikely that I’d like it better than Marillion. It’s both that I have a hard time seeing him with better musicians but also that the concerns that stir Hogarth’s lyrics speak to me so much more than any of the Fish stuff did.

  157. 157
    lol chikinburd says:

    Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
    The Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime
    Boredoms – Soul Discharge
    Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
    Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

    Next five:
    The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs (more than a US repackaging of Hatful of Hollow and whatnot; for one thing, the song sequence works better)
    Led Zeppelin – IV
    The Clash – London Calling
    Frank Zappa – Apostrophe
    and I don’t really have a fifth…oh, okay: XTC – Black Sea

  158. 158
    Steeplejack says:

    Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris, 1971 – James Brown.

  159. 159
    Bnut says:

    I listened to the released version of Smile for the first time last week. If Brian Wilson has not gone full retard (50,000 didgeridoos!) I wonder if there might have been something amazing we missed out on.

  160. 160

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Really, I’m surprised, it wouldn’t have seemed economical for them, to me anyway.

  161. 161
    Yutsano says:


    And I found Gaudi a highly mixed bag

    My brain went right to the eponymous architect, and I realized for a lot of people this is quite true.

  162. 162

    @Spaghetti Lee: I like The Ladder, but not as much as either Union (now there’s a word that pisses off a lot of Yes fans) or Magnification, both of which have the same effect on me that The Ladder does for you. I also really enjoy Fly From Here and parts of Talk, although other parts of that one strike me as really weak.

  163. 163
    Steeplejack says:

    If I Could Only Remember My Name – David Crosby.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Rests and/or absence of playing are a part of music. Cage just really emphasizes that part.

  165. 165
  166. 166
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): Love Gaudi (I think “Standing On Higher Ground” is one of their best singles). But if push comes to shove, I’m in Camp I Robot.
    =o )

  167. 167
    burnspbesq says:


    B.B. King Live at the Regal

  168. 168
    Peter Whiteford says:

    |Reality based I like your taste – I would say

    Blood on the Tracks
    Wrecking Ball
    Jacksonville City Nights (Ryan Adams – listen to it if you don’t know it!)

  169. 169
  170. 170
    Steeplejack says:

    Them Changes – Buddy Miles
    Back at the Chicken Shack – Jimmy Smith
    Sunday Concert – Gordon Lightfoot

  171. 171

    The Blasters. Over There: Live at the Venue, London.

  172. 172


    Asia – Aura
    Tangerine Dream – Optical Race
    Mark Knopfler – Shangri-La
    Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet
    The Art of Noise – Below the Waste

  173. 173
    PJ says:

    @Bnut: You should check out everything from Smiley Smile (1967) through Holland (1973). All of these records are uneven, but at least half of each album is brilliant, and not just from Brian, but Carl and Dennis’ songwriting and production contributions as well.

  174. 174
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    Oh fuck they’ve put me in moderation twice now. Just look up ‘Credo’, ‘The Emperor’s Song’, ‘Cliche’, ‘The Big Wedge’, and ‘Dear Friend’ on YouTube.

  175. 175
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Yutsano: Seems I heard that the English translation for “Sagrada Familia” is “Pardon our dust,” although I remain dubious.

    Oh, what I wouldn’t give for the chance to spend a day in Barcelona, photographing his iconic cathedral and other of his architecture.

  176. 176

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: I find “Standing on Higher Ground” the second weakest track on the album, after “Money Talks.” Still, weakest track on that album is nothing to sneeze at.

  177. 177
    PJ says:

    @Steeplejack: I considered David Crosby to be up there with Karl Rove in the baby boomer blight sweepstakes, but I picked up this album earlier this year, and it’s really good.

  178. 178
    lol chikinburd says:

    Third five:
    Boredoms – Pop Tatari
    Orbital – Snivilization
    Naked City – Torture Garden
    Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years
    They Might Be Giants – Apollo 18

    Had to go to a third five to find a list without near-total overlap with previous entries (which, I guess, speaks to how good those albums are).

  179. 179
    burnspbesq says:

    Five incredibly good records that almost nobody has heard:

    Escenas, Ruben Blades
    Homeland, Tish Hinojosa
    Evening Comes Early, John Doyle
    Crossing the Field, Jenny Scheinman
    Gladwell, Julian Lage

  180. 180

    A couple more albums:

    Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell
    The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and The Lash

  181. 181
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I find “Standing on Higher Ground” the second weakest track on the album

    Heh. Oh, well.

    Agreed about “Money Talks,” which was so totes not necessary. “We get it, Alan – you were the recording engineer for DSOTM – no hitting over the head needed.”

  182. 182
    Yutsano says:

    @Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn: Well, it’s taking them a wee bit longer to finish than they originally planned. :) I haven’t checked, but I wonder if the depression in Spain has set the end date back even further now. It was just barely in my lifetime (2048!) last time I checked. The fortunate thing is so much of Barcelona is influenced and directly designed by Gaudi that it really is his city. I wouldn’t be shocked if the depression finally gives Catalonia the final push for true independence.

  183. 183
    Steeplejack says:


    That’s a beauty.

    Can’t think of the name, but what’s that two-LP set of Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard? That’s got to be way up there.

    Damn, I keep thinking of more stuff.
    Double Trouble or Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Take your pick.

    Albert King, Born Under a Bad Sign.

    A Long Time Comin’, the Electric Flag.

    Song for Juli, Jesse Colin Young.

    6- and 12-String Guitar, Leo Kottke.

    Must. Stop. Now.

  184. 184
    Origuy says:

    Just throwing out a few that haven’t been mentioned:
    Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed
    The Pogues – If I Should Fall From Grace With God
    Eagles – Desperado
    Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs

    I thing I’ve dated myself.

  185. 185


    B.B. King Live at the Regal

    Something has happened, something bad. Because this album used to be on nearly every ‘essential’ list but in recent years I find most people I talk to have never heard of it.

  186. 186
    Karmus says:

    What a thread. A lot of great stuff, and so much music I’d love to listen to.

    All I have to add that I don’t see mentioned is

    Kirsty MacColl — Kite

    totally fits for me Cole’s “perfect, listenable” criteria.

    Recommended for fans of awesome female vocal harmony.

  187. 187
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Oh, that Pogues album…. fucking brilliant. Not a miss on it.

    @Karmus: Kirsty MacColl was simply amazing. We lost her too soon and in such a stupid way.

  188. 188
    Maude says:

    Not favorites, but they did stand out.
    Dr. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
    The White Album
    Hard Days Night
    Meet The Beatles

    Moody Blues, Days of Future Past
    Jesus Christ Super Star
    Four Seasons First Album
    Leslie Gore
    Peter, Paul and Mary
    Bob Dylan
    Rhapsody in Blue
    Glen Miller
    Chuck Berry
    Aretha Franklin

    I’m too tired to think of more.

  189. 189
    Steeplejack says:


    It really holds up. My only minor quibble is that I would move “Cowboy Movie” to the start or the end. It’s a great song, but it kind of breaks the thematic flow of the others.

    Another “perfect” album from that period that I consider stylistically similar: Surrealistic Pillow by the Jefferson Airplane.

  190. 190
    burnspbesq says:


    Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby. Essentials for anyone building a jazz collection.

  191. 191

    @Spaghetti Lee: I listened to “Credo” and “The Emperor’s Song.” Both are interesting enough that I’ll try some more but neither really grabbed me. Part of it is that I don’t really like my music heavily political. I mostly find that music is a weak way to make political arguments.

  192. 192
    Steeplejack says:

    @James E. Powell:

    B.B. King has sort of faded from view. I hate to say it, but the probable next phase of his career is the “He just died” reappreciation and homage bump.

    I saw him with Bonnie Raitt in Mobile, Alabama, one time. Excellent show, and they were well matched.

  193. 193


    Chris de Burgh – Man on the Line
    The Mystery – One Among the Living
    Steve Hackett – Live Archive 70s, 80s, 90s: The Grand Theater (the 90s leg of a four album set)
    Steve Howe – Turbulence
    Gabriel Yared – The English Patient Soundtrack

  194. 194
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steeplejack: I saw him a couple of years ago at Summerfest in Milwaukee. His hands weren’t as fast as they once were but his guitar playing became almost impressionistic at times. And when he did do true B.B. King solos they were real and true.*

    *Sorry to have gone Hemingway at the end there but how else to describe it? Do you box?

  195. 195
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    I don’t particularly mind the political stuff (it probably helps that Fish is a big ol’ lefty) and when it comes down to it, I’d probably pick a random political song over a random love song, but the sheer musical awesomeness is what did it for me.

    But if you really don’t like it, don’t bother with the Vigil album. It’s basically 50 minutes of ‘Capitalism sucks’. Internal Exile has more love songs and the like.

  196. 196
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    ‘Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’

  197. 197
    wasabi gasp says:


    Aimee Mann – Magnolia

  198. 198
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Your meaning was clear and strong and true because your writing was brave and clean and necessary.

  199. 199
    the dude says:


    Julie London – Julie Is Her Name
    Nat King Cole – Love Is The Thing
    Frank Sinatra – Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session
    Shirley Horn – Here’s To Life
    John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – s/t

  200. 200

    @Spaghetti Lee: I like a good love song (although I define the term a bit differently than most) but that’s not what really hooks me, either. It’s a bit hard to articulate what I really like. To stick with Marillion, the very personal, psychological stuff like Happiness Is the Road or Marbles is right in my whellhouse.

    An exception to my dislike of political music is Mark Knopfler who has both a very deft touch and a way of defining his targets narrowly enough that he avoids overreach.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steeplejack: Okay then. Fight or drink?

  202. 202
    Gogiggs says:

    The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
    Ride – Nowhere
    The Softboys – Underwater Moonlight
    Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde
    Teenage Fanclub – Songs From Northern Britain

  203. 203
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I believe Ernest always answered that with yes.

  204. 204
    the dude says:

    As for Marillion: I effing love the first album Script For A Jester’s Tear (even got the LP hanging up on me wall). Second album Fugazi was a bit patchy, but third album Misplaced Childhood was effing brilliant. Never warmed much to Clutching At Straws aprt from the opening suite of songs, and once Fish left I lost interest (though Season’s End had one or two good tracks).

    Oh, and Yes – Big Generator? I tried to listen to that last week. Meh.

  205. 205
    DaveInOz says:

    1) Dark Side of the Moon-Pink Floyd – perfect from end to end
    2) Tales from Topographic Oceans – Yes (the one before Relayer). This one got me through my High School exams
    3) Led Zeppelin II – well, it has got Whole Lotta Love on it
    4) Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
    5) Love Over Gold -Dire Straits. Private Investigations is the best thing they ever did.

    Tubular Bells would have made it but I don’t like the second side much.

  206. 206
    Steeplejack says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Fight, then drink. And remind me to go over there and punch that sissy Scott Fitzgerald in the nose. I don’t like the way he’s looking at us. Yeah, Zelda, if you want a real man, let me know.

  207. 207
    Steeplejack says:

    Okay, I’m dead. Have to be in the crypt before sunrise.

    I think this thread has motivated me to finally unpack my receiver and CD/DVD player and connect them and the big-ass TV to the speakers and the subwoofer. The premium sound experience returns to Chez Steep!

  208. 208
    Steeplejack says:

    Here’s a weird thing. Apparently (but only sometimes) you can’t edit a comment when it’s the last one in the thread. So let me see if adding this one lets me edit the previous one.

    ETA: Yeah, it did. FYWP. And now it let me edit this one, although after an interminable delay.

  209. 209
    Yutsano says:

    @Steeplejack: Or it’s just FYWP being FYWP.

  210. 210
    AHH onna Droid says:

    Sgt pepper,
    Jefferson airplane
    Jagged little pill
    Pines of rome

    Classical geeks need a symphony thread. One could argue that some traditional symphonies have filler, like Handel s slow movements. Throw in concertos, also, too.


  211. 211
    jayackroyd says:


    Thanks so much. Yes, I can hear Monk. Actually, I can hear Brubek. You say Waits says (and I’m a fan–gutsucking pup with a nose full of porcupine quills) the piano is hard, but I can hear Rubinstein, and distinctly, Pollini. So I think I’m just lost. Just a listener. But I really really appreciate your help in thinking about this.

  212. 212
    jayackroyd says:


    Thanks so much. Yes, I can hear Monk. Actually, I can hear Brubek. You say Waits says (and I’m a fan–gutsucking pup with a nose full of porcupine quills) the piano is hard, but I can hear Rubinstein, and distinctly, Pollini. So I think I’m just lost. Just a listener. But I really really appreciate your help in thinking about this.

  213. 213
    Finn13 says:

    Meat Puppets – Up On the Sun
    Stereolab – Random Transient Noise Bursts with Announcements
    My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
    Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
    The Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me
    The B-52’s – s/t
    Bad Brains- Rock for Light
    Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
    Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
    Husker Du – New Day Rising
    Built to Spill- Perfect From Now On
    R.E.M. – Reckoning

  214. 214
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    True dat.

    Made it to bed, now waiting for the housecat to come aboard so we can get to sleep. Good night/good morning to all.

  215. 215
    eastvanhalen says:

    @suzanne: Good grief, how could I forget Alien Lanes? GBV! GBV! GBV!

  216. 216
    GregB says:

    Ted Nugent-Goat Fucker

    Hank Williams Jr.-More Shit Than Brains

    Pat Boone-Pasty White and Bitter

    Lee Greenwood-Life in Cuba with Dear Fidel

    Victoria Jackson-Of Course it is an Act, No One Could Possibly Be this Stupid

  217. 217
    Evan Hurst says:

    Tori Amos – “Boys For Pele”
    Jeff Buckley – “Grace”
    Ryan Adams – “Heartbreaker”
    Indigo Girls – “Rites Of Passage”
    Ani DiFranco – “Dilate”

    This kind of question is so not fair because obvious reasons. I listen to all genres of music and have love for hundreds of records…those are the first five that came to mind though, desert-island-wise.

  218. 218
    Petorado says:

    There’s too much good music to ever have a definitive “top 5” list, but, damn, there are some great musical sensibilities on this thread. Here’s 5 good ones:

    1 – Pat Metheny Group – Travels
    2 – Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
    3 – Peter Frampton -Frampton Comes Alive (a mature selection, no, but it rocked my word for a time back in the day)
    4 – Bob Marley – Babylon by Bus
    5 – Toots and the Maytals – Funky Kingston

    Maybe not the best albums ever, but 5 really formative ones for me.

  219. 219
    Bruuuuce says:

    Way late, but what the hell. Let me note that I don’t generally listen to canned music anymore; it’s almost all live albums and boots for me, because that album stuff gets old fast. Here are two lists, one studio and one live.

    Studio albums:

    Renaissance: Scheherazade and Other Stories
    The Decemberists: Picaresque
    Genesis: Selling England by the Pound (though I can also listen to almost any album of theirs from Trespass through A Trick of the Tail repeatedly)
    Richard Thompson: Rumor & Sigh
    Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (just edges out Making Movies)

    Live Albums (official):

    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: Anarchy in the UKulele
    Grateful Dead: Europe ’72
    Renaissance: Live at Carnegie Hall
    Dar Williams: Out There Live
    Pete Seeger: We Shall Overcome – Carnegie Hall 1962
    Bruce Springsteen: Live 1975-1985
    Oh, gods, I almost forgot to include the Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense

  220. 220
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Great. I sit up playing records (vinyl ones. Off my lawn!), then retire at a reasonable hour only to rise in the am to find that Drunk John has posted a thread on my favorite subject.
    I’ll go sulk now.

  221. 221
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Okay, perfect records? Just looking over my shoulder here at the recent pile I’ll give you five, in no particular order.

    Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks – Pig Lib
    P. J. Harvey – Stories From the City Stories From the Sea
    Elbow – Asleep in the Back
    Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Sessions
    Freedy Johnston – This Perfect World
    Cat Power – Moon Pix
    Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
    The Spinanes – Arches and Aisles
    The La’s – The La’s

    Okay, more than 5. Sue me.

  222. 222
    Anne Laurie says:

    Maddy Prior & Tim Hart – Summer Solstice
    Judy Collins – Judith
    Emmylou Harris – Ballad of Sally Rose
    Steeleye Span – Below the Salt
    The Very Best of Aretha Franklin, vol. I*
    Tom Rush – Circle Game
    Mary Chapin Carpenter (her first)

    *What can I say, Berry Gordy prioritized speed over quality when it came to LPs.

  223. 223
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Last night I dragged out a 1949 London/D’Oyly Carte recording of Pirates of Penzance for the hell of it. Wet-cleaned the records and gave it a spin. I’m not a fan of operetta (or other tedious, too-clever bourgeois amusements) but I like the music to this. Kinda fun, and the production on this 64 year old recording is stunningly good.

  224. 224
    Plantsmantx says:

    Kind of Blue- Miles Davis
    Somethin’ Else- Cannonball Adderley
    Curtis Live- Curtis Mayfield
    Babylon By Bus- Bob Marley and The Wailers

    It doesn’t qualify, but still…the “slow side” of any Seventies Isley Brothers’ album.

  225. 225
    Steve Shannahan says:

    WFC is also my favorite album by The Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore. I’m too lazy to come up with the other three.

  226. 226
    kd bart says:

    Beatles-Rubber Soul
    Bruce Springsteen-Darkness on the Edge of Town
    Jackson Browne-Running on Empty
    Marshall Crenshaw-Marshall Crenshaw
    Pearl Jam-Ten

  227. 227
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    The Sweet: Desolation Boulevard
    Def Leppard: High ‘n’ Dry
    Great White: Once Bitten
    Zappa: One Size Fits All
    Boston (Debut Album)

  228. 228
    sweaver says:

    I tend to like songs, not albums. But my favorite album from soup to nuts is Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. Every song is perfect.

  229. 229


    Kind of Blue, Miles Davis

    Makes my Top Five as well. Excellent choice.

    @Steve V:

    Relayer? Better than Close to the Edge?

    He’s from WV so I’m surprised the list isn’t full of banjo music and squealing pigs.

  230. 230
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    I have a ton of Fleetwood Mac records on vinyl for some reason. Went through a spell of cleaning up and listening to them. can’t recall the last time I’d heard Kiln House. Maybe the style doesn’t stand up too well, but the songwriting and performance were really strong. And Rumours is pretty much the perfect Fleetwood mac album.

  231. 231
    kermit says:

    @Steve V: exactly. Close to Edge is where it’s at

  232. 232
    Bago says:

    @Keith: Thank you. I found this thread’s lack of Tool. Disturbing.

  233. 233
    Antonius says:

    Not in any particular order and showing my age:

    Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Jethro Tull – Songs from the Wood
    Pink Floyd – Animals
    The Who – Quadophenia

  234. 234
    Billy says:

    @Steve V: Easily :) Far and away.

  235. 235
    Barney says:

    Supertramp – Crime of the Century
    Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Genesis – Trick of the Tail
    Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

    and, if 2 albums from the same group aren’t allowed, A Curious Feeling by Tony Banks, to replace Trick of the Tail (no, having a solo album by a band member is definitely fine).

  236. 236
    Concerned Citizen says:

    No mention for these yet?
    beastie boys: paul’s boutique
    guns n roses: appetite for destruction

    Perfect albums.

  237. 237
    Billy says:

    Wow I could never pick 5.

    Beatles – Abbey Road
    Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark
    Brian Eno – Another Green World / Taking Tiger Mountain / Before and After Science
    Squarepusher – Selection Sixteen
    Magazine – Secondhand Daylight
    Talking Heads – Remain in Light
    Cocteau Twins – (anything pre 1993) but especially Heaven or Las Vegas
    Allman Brothers – Idlewild South
    King Crimson – Red / Starless / Larks’ Tongues
    Yes – Relayer
    Jethro Tull – Aqualung / Songs from the Wood
    DJ Shadow – Endtroducing
    Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
    Wall of Voodoo – Call of the West
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
    Iggy Pop – New Values
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

    I love music. Really.

  238. 238
    ChesterS says:

    Britten – War Requiem – Britten, cond.
    Maria Callas – Lyric & Coloratura Arias
    Berg – Lulu – Boulez
    Prokofiev & Ravel – Piano Concertos – Argerich, Abbado
    Messiaen – Quartet for the End of Time – Tashi

  239. 239
    RosiesDad says:

    5 perfect albums. So many more omitted or forgotten.

    Waiting for Columbus
    Roxy and Elsewhere
    Who’s Next
    Led Zep 4
    Katy Lied (or Pretzel Logic or Can’t Buy a Thrill or Royal Scam or Aja or Countdown to Ectasy. Pick one. They are all pretty much perfect.)

    Also, as a matter of opinion, Relayer doesn’t hold a candle to Fragile or Close to the Edge.

  240. 240
    RosiesDad says:


    Wow I could never pick 5.

    I got an email from a friend yesterday who was compiling a Top Ten Classic Album list. 10 was really hard. 5 nearly impossible; you just pick and choose from your favorite 50 or 100 and reconcile to omitting a ton of great music.

  241. 241
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Regarding Jethro Tull, I listened to Thick as a Brick, Aqualung and Songs From the Wood last weekend. Thick is still my favorite of that bunch and I was surprised to find I no longer like Songs from the Wood as much as I used to. Maybe the prog factor is too strong there.

  242. 242
    Donna says:

    Everything But The Girl—The Language of Life
    Johnny Hates Jazz—Turn Back the Clock
    Joni Mitchell—Night Ride Home
    Dire Straits—Alchemy
    Jackson Brown—Running on Empty

  243. 243
    Ron says:

    I think Pink Floyd just managed to create complete albums better than anyone else. Animals,Wish You Were Here, Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall. All just great complete albums. Other than those:

    Rush: A Farewell To Kings
    Barenaked Ladies: Gordon and Stunt
    Led Zeppelin IV
    Queen: The Game

  244. 244
    Billy says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: re Songs from the Wood

    I picked that one for it’s sheer inventiveness, recalling old England with songs both bawdy and reflective. Lyrically some of Anderson’s best work.

    Clearly all subjective though :)

  245. 245
    Billy says:


    And how, just how really could I have left out:

    David Bowie – Low / Heroes / Lodger
    The Stranglers – The Raven / Meninblack (criminally underappreciated in the US)
    Boards of Canada – everything they have ever done
    Wolfgang Press – Queer / Funky Little Demons

    ok, I’m done now for real.

  246. 246
    wonkie says:

    Ry Cooder Paradise and Lunch.

  247. 247
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    Boards of Canada – everything they have ever done

    I listen to The Campfire Headphase at least once a week and never get tired of it.

  248. 248
    celticdragonchick says:

    In no order:

    Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

    Altan: Island Angel (Northern Ireland traditional Celtic band)

    Def Leppard: Pyromania

    Jean Sibelius / Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan ‎– Finlandia • Valse Triste • Tapiola • Der Schwan Von Tuonela • The Swan Of Tuonela (One of the loveliest classical albums I have ever tried to wear out on continued play)

    Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA

    Dire Straights: Brothers in Arms

  249. 249
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Oy, how could I forget: Banco de Gaio’s Last Train to Lhasa.

  250. 250
    honus says:

    @Ron: Atom Heart Mother

  251. 251
    COB says:

    If I could have five albums on my semi-lush, electronically-wired tropical isle I would want:

    Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
    John Prine – John Prine
    Springsteen – Born to Run
    Derek & the Dominoes – Layla
    Bonnie Raitt – Taking my time
    and bonus pick – Waiting for Columbus and double-bonus pick, Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks.

    My fantasy island comes with at least 2 bonus picks.

  252. 252
    Montysano says:

    I’m late to the party, but here goes:

    Paul Simon – Rhythm of the Saints
    Pink Floyd – Animals
    Any one of several Joni albums
    Any one of several Stevie Wonder albums
    The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow (I’ve been obsessed w/TCW lately)
    The Black Keys – Brothers
    Gillian Welch – Time (The Revelator)
    Allman Bros – Live at Filmore East

    I could easily keep going.

  253. 253
    tworivers says:

    I could never pick 5 either. Here’s 37:

    Byrds – Younger than Yesterday
    Charles Mingus – Town Hall Concert (1964)
    T. Rex – The Slider
    Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
    Iggy and the Stooges – Fun House
    The Clash – The Clash
    Husker Du – New Day Rising
    Meat Puppets – Up On the Sun
    Spiritualized – Laser Guided Melodies
    Augustus Pablo – King Tubby Meets the Root Rockers Uptown
    Magic Sam – West Side Soul
    Kinks – Something Else
    Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
    Sir Douglas Quintet – Mendocino
    Sun Dial – Other Way Out
    Calexico – Feast of Wire
    Neil Young – Everybody Know This Is Nowhere
    Love – Forever Changes
    Jimi Hendrix – Axis Bold As Love
    Incredible String Band – Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter
    Elvis Presley- Sun Sessions
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Eric Dolphy – Out There
    Red Simpson – Roll, Truck, Roll
    Pram – Museum of Imaginary Animals
    Zombies – Odyssey and Oracle
    Electric Prunes – Stockholm ’67
    Labradford – Mi Media Naranja
    Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    Tim Buckley – Happy Sad
    John Fahey – Days Have Gone By
    Velvet Underground – Loaded
    Raincats – The Kitchen Tapes
    Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors
    Braodcast – Ha Ha Sound
    Fuxa – Accretion
    Modern Jazz Quartet – Pyramid

    if comps were allowed, I would have picked a Johnny Cash comp. Johnny rules, but his regular studio releases were a bit erratic.

  254. 254
    RevDave says:

    @James E. Powell: BB Live at the Regal should be required in every music education class and in everyone’s IPOD.

  255. 255
    RevDave says:

    Miles – Kind of Blue
    Allmans – Live at Fillmore
    Elvin Bishop Group – Feel It!
    Dead – Europe 72
    Dylan – Blood on Tracks

    stuck in 70s this morning

  256. 256
    RevDave says:

    Miles – Kind of Blue
    Allmans – Live at Fillmore
    Elvin Bishop Group – Feel It!
    Dead – Europe 72
    Dylan – Blood on Tracks

    stuck in 70s this morning

  257. 257
    OmerosPeanut says:

    I’m going by the standard of albums that I return to, time and time again over a period of many years. For instance, I first got a copy of “Dusk” fifteen years ago. And I still love every single song. In no particular order:

    Brian Eno – Another Green World
    Talk Talk – Colour of Spring
    James – Laid
    The The – Dusk
    Remy Zero – The Golden Hum

    I wonder if anyone else’s list gives a poor sense of their overall taste in music, or if it is tied to a particular time period. Also, how many albums did you discover well after their release?

  258. 258
    FargoFan says:

    @Steeplejack: “Jose Feliciano: you got no complaints” (Carl Showalter)

  259. 259
    jayackroyd says:

    I dunno. I think maybe I’d replace the easy Kind of Blue with Monk/Trane.

  260. 260
    PanurgeATL says:

    Yes, Close To The Edge (because JC already picked Relayer–or substitute any Yes album from The Yes Album to Going For The One)
    echolyn, as the world (or substitute suffocating the bloom)
    Jethro Tull, Songs From The Wood (or Minstrel In The Gallery, Thick As A Brick, or A Passion Play)
    Chicago II (The album that got me seriously into music when I was 7–it belonged to my big sister, but I have it now. They’ve done better, but this is the most important to me.)
    Berg/Webern/Schoenberg: Orchestral Pieces, Berlin Philharmonic conducted by James Levine

  261. 261
    PanurgeATL says:


    I’ve spent my whole musical life catching up, it seems. Exhibit A is probably the first album (self-titled) by Hatfield And The North, which already seemed like a relic when I first came across it. Still a stone-cold classic.

  262. 262
    danielx says:

    Nothing like a music thread…

    1. Allman Brothers Band – Fillmore East
    2. Little Feat – Waiting For Columbus
    3. Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run
    4. Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
    5. annnnnd…gotta go for a tie
    5a. Joni Mitchell – Blue (#1 depressing breakup album of all time, featuring River, most depressing breakup song of all time)
    5b. Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks (which Jakob Dylan referred to in an interview as “my parents’ conversations”. Holidays must have been fun in that household.)

  263. 263
    Kathy says:

    @piratedan: I love the Marshall Crenshaw pick. His Mom was my English teacher in 9th grade so I had a front row seat on the beginning of his career.

  264. 264
    Svensker says:

    Joni Mitchel — Miles of Aisles
    Van Morrison — Sense of Wonder
    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    Gap Band — Gap Band IV
    Donna Summer – Bad Girls
    Prince – 1999
    George Clinton — Computer Games
    Richard Thompson — Rumor and Sigh
    CS&N – Crosby Stills & Nash
    Simon & Garfunkel — America
    Dylan — Nashville Skyline

    Yes, I’m an Old who also loves 80s funk. Sometimes I wonder how I keep from going under.

  265. 265
    Svensker says:

    Oh fer gawds sake, i’m late to the party AND in moderation. And why? Guess FYWP doesn’t like da funk.

  266. 266
    Kathy says:

    Very late, not sure if I can even go all the way through, but here goes in no order

    Bob Seager Live Bullit
    Steely Dan Aja
    Credence Clearwater Revivial Cosmos Factory
    Arlo Guthrie Alice’s Restaurant
    Marc Knoffler Sailing to Philadelphia

  267. 267
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    He’s from WV so I’m surprised the list isn’t full of banjo music and squealing pigs.

    The entire Brad Paisley and Kathy Mattea fan clubs, all 30-odd million of them, would like a word with you.

  268. 268
    martin schafer says:

    In no particular order

    Stop Making Sense Talking Heads
    Alchemy Dire Straits
    Between the Breaks Stan Rogers
    Abbey Road The Beatles
    American Beauty The Grateful Dead

  269. 269
    Spike says:

    The first one will probably banish me to moderation hell, but…

    The New Pornographers – Electric Version
    Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul – Men Without Women
    Camper Van Beethoven – Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
    The National – High Violet
    Steve Earle – Transcendental Blues

  270. 270
    burnspbesq says:

    Question for those of you who named a Jethro Tull album: why no love for Benefit?

  271. 271
    Leeds man says:

    Larks’ Tongues in Aspic
    Bitches Brew
    Goldberg Variations, Gould, 1981
    801 Live

  272. 272
    cmorenc says:

    Layla – Derek And the Dominos (Clapton)
    Who’s Next – Who
    Sergeant Pepper’s – Beatles
    Crossroads 2007 concert (various, hosted by Clapton)
    George Jones/Tammy Wynette Greatest Hits (when you’re in a tearjerking mood, nothing is better)

  273. 273
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Leeds man:

    801 Live

    Cult fave. People either adore it or have no clue. I wore out my vinyl copy.

  274. 274
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    The New Pornographers – Electric Version

    I love that record. Challengers and Twin Cinema are pretty great as well. TNP are great musicians and songwriters but I wish they were better produced. The sound is all compressed and tinny. Sounds like it was downloaded via an AM radio in the dashboard of a Ford Pinto. Really a shame.

  275. 275
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I love listening to music but lately I spend as many evenings in hotels as I do at home. Really look forward to weekends when I can blow the dust off the needle and spin some platters. I have numerous ways I could have portable music, including a decent powered speaker that I designed for the purpose, but it’s just not the same. I like the way Chopin or Howlin’ Wolf sounds coming out of 200 lbs of wood boxes in a 900 square foot room. That’s music to me. maybe I’ll come to terms with headphones some day but for now they just make me sad.
    ETA: plus I’d have to select the music to take on the road. At home there’s a wall of records and CDs to discover new or forgotten stuff in. That’s half the fun.

  276. 276
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:


    Great album but not one that’s on a lot of people’s “favorites” list. You kick ass, John.

  277. 277
    huckster says:

    @moderateindy: “Hello Angel” is a great fuckin’song.

  278. 278
    Ron says:

    @honus: I never got into Atom Heart Mother as much. Could be I’m just too young :P

  279. 279
    Maude says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:
    I swear I saw a turntable for sale in one of the mini mall stores. It was not what I would call a good turntable.
    Is vinyl coming back? It would be worth having it.
    I played a lot of music on a decent turntable and there’s nothing like it, IMHO.

  280. 280
    Don K says:

    Hard to hold it down to five, but here goes:

    The Who – Who’s Next
    Pete Townshend – Empty Glass
    Genesis – Foxtrot
    Husker Du – Zen Arcade
    The Clash – London Calling

  281. 281
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Only five, eh? I’ll try:

    Rush – Moving Pictures
    Cibo Matto – Stereotype A
    Meatmen – Pope On A Rope
    Kalishnikov – Oh Yeah, Motherfucker!
    Steely Dan – Aja

  282. 282
    catbutler says:

    Fantastic thread. I usually just lurk here, but you brought me out.

    Mountain Goats – Talahassee
    Counting Crows – August and Everything After
    Steve Lacy – Reflections
    The O’Kanes – The Only Years (I could listen to this every day for the rest of my life)
    Paul Simon – Graceland (still fresh today)
    Warron Zevon – Excitable Boy
    Sun Ra – Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth

    I couldn’t keep it to five.
    These are about the only things I listen to that don’t wear out for me over time.

  283. 283
    vtr says:

    Born to Run, of course
    Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell
    Take 5 – Brubeck, because we’re remained recently how great he was.
    Flatt and Scruggs at Carnegie Hall 1963
    Charles Ives 2nd Symphony – Bernstein and NY Phil

    Oops, there’s no room for J. Tull’s Songs From The Wood, or Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me.

  284. 284
    Disco says:

    David Crosby – Voyage (box set)

    The man pretty much never did a bad song. Even newer stuff is really good.

  285. 285
    Citizen_X says:

    The Damned – Machine Gun Etiquitte
    Stooges – Funhouse
    Black Sabbath – IV (or Master of Reality? Ask me in five minutes)
    Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley
    Discharge – Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing

    And bonus round-a tie for best live album ever:
    Hendrix/Miles/Cox – Band of Gypsys
    Ramones – It’s Alive

  286. 286
    vtr says:

    And the eighth in my top five is Port of Morrow by The Shins

  287. 287
    burnspbesq says:

    @RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:

    I wore out my vinyl copy.

    801 Live’s been reissued. I found a copy in a store in Seattle last summer.

  288. 288
    Raenelle says:

    Forever Changes, Love
    American Beauty, GD
    Deja Vu, CSN&Y
    Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, Richard O’Brien
    Blonde on Blonde, Dylan

  289. 289
    huckster says:

    This is impossible.

    In no particular order

    Beatles- Revolver
    Stones- Exile
    REM- Life’s rich pageant
    Whiskeytown- Faithless Street
    Cars- Candy O
    Robert Gordon- With Link Wray
    The Dream Syndicate- The days of wine and roses
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers- Hard Promises
    John Coltrane- My favorite Things
    The Replacements- Tim
    Chet Baker- Sings
    Lucinda Williams- car wheels on a gravel road
    Blasters- American music
    X- Los Angeles

  290. 290
    burnspbesq says:


    Is vinyl coming back?

    Oh heck yeah. The entry-level turntables from Rega and Pro-Ject, which cost about $400 with cartridge pre-installed, are better than 99 percent of what was around in the 1970s. Lots of new records are being issued on vinyl, and indie labels are making it easy for you to have your vinyl and your iPod by sticking a coupon for a free download in the album cover. And you’ve got the greatest used record store on earth, Princeton Record Exchange, less than an hour away. Go for it!

  291. 291
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:


    I swear I saw a turntable for sale in one of the mini mall stores. It was not what I would call a good turntable.

    Avoid Stanton, Numark and the DJ-wannabe ‘tables. TDK makes one that’s as good as 75% of what was sold in the ’70s. Looks nice as well.
    There are hundreds of millions of records out there and many can be had for peanuts if not free. I’m way deep into phono technology these days and I love playing records. But I get that it’s not for everyone.

  292. 292
    huckster says:

    A few more

    Steve Earle- Guitar Town
    Neil Young- After the Gold rush
    Squeeze- Singles
    Chuck Berry- The Great 28
    Marvin Gaye- What’s goin’ on

  293. 293
    Bill Murray says:

    To keep from getting too long a list, I am sticking to those yet to be named, so no Clash, Replacements etc.

    Mission of Burma — Signals, Calls and Marches
    The Connells — Boylan Heights
    Idlewild — The Remote Part
    The Housemartins — London 0 Hull 4
    The Wedding Present — George Best
    Old 97s — Fight Songs
    The Reivers — Translate Slowly
    Paul Kelly and the Messengers — Under the Sun

  294. 294
    PJ says:

    @burnspbesq: I bought one of the entry level Pro-Jects (the Debut III), and it’s been a complete lemon. It runs backwards whenever it feels like it, and it usually makes a terrible grinding noise. I sent it off to be repaired when it was under warranty (which was a complete hassle in itself, as no one in the supply chain wanted to take responsibility – retailer said it had to go to the importer, importer said it had to go to the retailer), but the problem has rearisen now that the warranty has expired.

  295. 295
    Mom Says I'm Handsome says:

    1) Zappa – One Size Fits All
    2) Clash – London Calling
    3) Meat Puppets – Too High to Die
    4) Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros – Global a Go-Go
    5) Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

  296. 296
    Robert Lukens says:

    Jeff Beck – Blow by Blow
    Pearl Jam – 10
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Zappa – Overnight Sensation
    Mitch Hedberg – Any album

  297. 297
    Spike says:

    @Bill Murray:

    Idlewild—The Remote Part

    This is just all kinds of awesome. “Tell Me Ten Words” and “Live In a Hiding Place” are two of my favourite songs ever.

    The Reivers—Translate Slowly

    I loved this band. Saw them live at Club Dada (or was it Clearview? I forget) in Dallas back in 1989 or so, and instantly developed a mad crush on Kim Longacre that I’ve never fully gotten over. I was very happy to learn that they’re back together and planning a new release.

  298. 298
    Xjmueller says:

    So many great albums listed, but I didn’t see

    Lucinda Williams -Car wheels on a gravel road
    Dixie Chicks – Home
    Stones -Let it bleed

    Also missing ( or I missed them ) Doors (any) Joe Jackson ( Look sharp or others) , John Hiatt (any) Traffic (John Barleycorn or others)

  299. 299
    eclecticbrotha says:

    @eclecticbrotha: Two alternates would be:

    Band of Gypsys – Band of Gypsys
    Marvin Gaye – “Trouble Man” movie soundtrack album. I dare you to play it while you’re driving.

  300. 300
    Al Brito says:

    Radiohead and no Paul Simon? Really?

  301. 301
    earl in ca says:

    in no particular order-
    zappa – make a jazz noise here
    zeppelin – physical graffiti
    phish – junta / all of 93/94 tour
    miles – live evil
    pink floyd – animals

  302. 302
    divF says:

    Albums as an art form had not really made it to DC in the 60’s (my high-school time and place), but were in full flower in 1969 when arrived in Berkeley. Here are a few that hit me up side the head that first year.

    Beatles – Abbey Road. Literally the first thing I heard when I arrived – it was blaring out of every room in my dormitory.

    Van Morrison – Astral Weeks. Perfect music to get drunk by – time your drinks correctly and you start passing out during “Slim Slow Slider”.

    Kottke – 6&12 String Guitar. As pure instrumental music each track flows into the next perfectly.

    Kinks Kronikles. Yes, a compilation, but the Kinks told stories with their music better than any band in the 60’s.

    Pentangle – Basket of Light. Live album, an exemplar of British folk-rock, surpassed only by Fairport Convention’s Liege and Lief, which came out the following summer.

    Dan Hicks – Original Recordings. A Bay Area product. Over time the band evolved from Haight-Ashbury to Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross.

    Judy Collins – Who Knows Where the Time Goes.

  303. 303
    Larkspur says:

    Late to the party, so late, but hey, party still seems like it’s going on.

    Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense and Remain in Light
    Paul Simon: Graceland
    Pixies: Trompe le Monde
    PJ Harvey: Dry
    Aimee Mann: Lost In Space
    Taj Mahal: Natch’l Blues

  304. 304
    earl in ca says:

    @john cole –
    do something with this collection of lists!!! i’ve found so much xlnt music from the comments. my ipod is going to be busy this holiday season. #war on xmas

  305. 305
    Wheezy says:

    U2: Joshua Tree

    Springsteen: Born To Run

    Dire Straits: Making Movies*

    Steve Earle: (live/unrealeased) Byron Bay, Austrailia show (1998) (downloaded off of Dimeadozen)

    Clash: London Calling

    *One song on it I don’t like, so technically this might not qualify

  306. 306
    burnspbesq says:


    Wow. Sorry to hear that. Based on what I’ve heard from other Pro-Ject owners, your experience is uncommon, which I’m sure doesn’t make you feel any better.

    I went Rega because there was a Rega dealer 10 minutes from my office at the time. Started with a P1, and later upgraded to a P3 with the external power supply. I’m holding on to the P1 in case the kid decides ha wants it.

  307. 307
    reboho says:

    Imagine – John Lennon (and I do believe in Beatles)
    and not that I lack a sense of irony
    Rust Never Sleeps – Neil Young (lots to Harvest here, including Trans)
    Anything Brian Eno did, touched, had a cup of tea with
    So – Peter Gabriel (good records to start shaking the tree)
    Seconds Out – Genesis (or anything, really)
    Heroes – David Bowie (pick an era, all good)
    Graceland – Paul Simon (He shines like a National guitar)
    Life’s Rich Pageant – R.E.M. (too many to choose from)
    The Royal Scam – Steely Dan
    Katy Lied – Steely Dan
    The Nightfly – Donald Fagen
    Sonia Dada – Sonia Dada (so good)
    Brain Salad Surgery – ELP
    Thick as a Brick – Jethro Tull
    Aqualung (ok, nearly everything Tull)
    Combat Rock (OK, nearly everything Clash)
    The Bends, OK Computer; (absolutely everything Radiohead)
    Fear of Music (everything Talking Heads)
    Quadrophenia, Live at Leeds – The Who

    Then there is Pink Floyd – everything
    Absolute NEW Favorite in the vein is Riverside
    Second Life Syndrome – Riverside
    Out of Myself – Riverside
    Rapid Eye Movement – Riverside
    Porcupine Tree – In Absentia (OK, everything)
    Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure (Lots to choose from)
    Talk Talk (everything)
    Crowded House – Crowded House
    Neil Finn – Try Whistling This
    Philip Glass – Koyaanisqatsi

    Too many to list, leaving too many artists and records off my list but then I’d listing my collection; haven’t mentioned any Jazz or Classical.
    tl;dl (too long; do listen)

    Thanks for the thread, much can be gleaned by your taste in music…

  308. 308
    handsmile says:

    Just now getting to the after-party of the after-party to this thread. Will be going through the three hundred-plus previous comments here, but this is such a delightful (and revealing) topic (impossible too! only five!), I wanted to post my contribution.

    Rock/pop “top five perfect albums” only. Jazz albums would have to be considered separately, and there’s simply no way I could come up with only five perfect albums of classical music (even if I were to limit myself just to Bartok). With those caveats then, alphabetically:

    Drunk with Passion (The Golden Palominos)
    This Way Out (Idaho)
    Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan)
    Pour Down Like Silver (Richard and Linda Thompson)
    The Yes Album (Yes)

    And because this is just too difficult, three more:

    A Walk Across the Rooftops (The Blue Nile)
    Robin Holcomb (Robin Holcomb)
    Fear of Music (Talking Heads)

    I’m really looking forward to now reading others’ lists!

  309. 309
    burnspbesq says:

    ETA: Stephen Mejias wrote a terrifically funny column a couple of months ago about the first time he tried to install a new cartridge on his turntable. I’m sure you vinyl guys and gals can relate.


  310. 310
    divF says:

    @divF: Correction: it seems that Basket of Light was a studio album; the album prior to that, Sweet Child was (at least partially) live. Both great, though.

  311. 311
    Jacel says:

    @John Cole, if you rank Zappa’s Fillmore East 1971 album as one of your favorites, I hope you’ve heard the first Phlorescent Leech & Eddie album. It’s essentially the same crew backing up the former Turtles singers. Great flow of songs magically played and sung. I’m so glad it was finally issued on CD:

  312. 312

    I love Waiting For Columbus.

    I don’t know if I have five perfect albums because my tastes change all the time. One month I’ll wear the hell out of one album on my iPod and then I move on to another. Right now I’m really into jazz. I’m listening to jazz almost exclusively these days. Love Chris Standring, and also a group called Four80East. But then in a few months I’ll switch to something else.

  313. 313
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Had no idea there were so many fellow prog-heads here. I thought the genre was kind of disliked in these parts.

  314. 314
    BGinCHI says:

    In a desperate attempt to catch up, I’ll post a top five.

    Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

    Richard Buckner: Since

    The Replacements: Let It Be

    Graham Parker: Squeezing Out Sparks

    Silver Jews: American Water

  315. 315
    BGinCHI says:

    Wait, now that I think about it:

    Uncle Tupelo: Anodyne

    The Byrds: Sweetheart of the Rodeo

    Steve Earle: Train a Comin’

    Loomer: Songs of the Wild West Island

    Old 97s: Hitchhike to Rhome

  316. 316
    Bill Murray says:


    The Reivers Translate Slowly

    I loved this band. Saw them live at Club Dada (or was it Clearview? I forget) in Dallas back in 1989 or so, and instantly developed a mad crush on Kim Longacre that I’ve never fully gotten over. I was very happy to learn that they’re back together and planning a new release.

    They are now called Right or Happy, here they are at SxSW in 2009. Kim Longacre is still crushworthy. I did not until looking through their website today that Hootie and the Blowfish covered 3 of their songs as single b-sides


  317. 317
    PJ says:

    @burnspbesq: Yeah, I can understand that defects happen, but their customer service was so unpleasant (initially denying that they had any responsibility under the warranty) that I will never deal with them again.

  318. 318

    […] Sunday thread, nothing really to say.  But since Cole at Balloon Juice did a thread on it, Imma steal his threadle, rather than get into his 300+ comments and start a fight, because […]

  319. 319
    Ed Dunkle says:

    KImono My House by Sparks
    Siren by Roxy Music
    Velocity of Sound by Apples in Stereo
    The Boy With the Arab Strap by Belle & Sebastion
    The Coast is Never Clear by Beulah

    and an honorable mention because it always makes me laugh:
    There’ll Be No Tears Tonight by Eugene Chadbourne

  320. 320
    denali says:

    Court and Spark – Joni Mitchell
    Diamonds and Rust – Joan Baez
    Abbey Road – Beatles
    Layla – Derek and the Dominoes
    The Portable Kate Campbell

  321. 321
    Svensker says:


    Correction: it seems that Basket of Light was a studio album; the album prior to that, Sweet Child was (at least partially) live. Both great, though.

    I wore out Sweet Child.

  322. 322
    Ivan X says:

    Five albums I would not want to alter in any way:

    New Order — Brotherhood (but, really any of their first four albums)
    Swans — Children of God
    Comsat Angels — Sleep No More
    Curve — Cuckoo
    Red Lorry Yellow Lorry — Nothing Wrong

  323. 323
    MuckJagger says:


    I likes the way you thinks.

  324. 324
    MuckJagger says:

    I’m more of a find-the-best-song-or-two-and-make-a-playlist kind of guy, but as far as entire albums go, here’s my Fab Five:

    John Prine: Sweet Revenge
    Reckless Kelly: Bulletproof
    Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road
    Warren Zevon: Excitable Boy
    Rockpile: Seconds of Pleasure

  325. 325
    MuckJagger says:

    Sorry – have “Thunder Road” on the brain today from a trivia sheet I’ve been working on. It’s “Born to Run,” of course, but “I do not have permission to edit this comment.”

  326. 326
    celiadexter says:

    Way too many to pick just 5, but here are some that I love, each from a different genre:
    Wayne Shorter — Speak No Evil
    Emerson String Quartet — Brahms String Quartet #3, String Quintet
    Ruben Blades, Willie Colon — Metiendo Mano
    Laura Nyro — Eli and the 13th Confession
    Derek and the Dominos — Layla

  327. 327
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Jean-Luc Ponty – Cosmic Messenger
    Frank Zappa – Hot Rats
    Joni Mitchell – Hejira
    Tosca Tango Orchestra – Waking Life soundtrack
    Crosby, Stills, and Nash – (self-titled)

  328. 328
    Death Panel Truck says:

    Miles Smiles, Miles Davis
    We’re Only In It For the Money, The Mothers of Invention
    Coltrane, John Coltrane (the 1962 LP, not the 1957 one)
    Out to Lunch, Eric Dolphy
    John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

  329. 329
    catcaul says:

    I will play..
    American Beauty, Grateful Dead
    Good Taste is Timeless, holy Modal Rounders
    Rueben and the Jets, Frank Zappa
    Johnny Cash Live @ Folsom Prison.
    Greeting from Asbury Park, E Street Band.
    This post reminded me why i pack those boxes full of plastic all over the country..

  330. 330
    zonker says:

    Steve Earle-Guitar Town
    Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes-Hearts of Stone
    Go Gos-Beauty and the Beat
    Chris Isaak-Forever Blue
    Cheap Trick-Heaven Tonight
    Dire Straits Making Movies would be on the list except for the last track Les Boys, never seemed to go with the rest of the album for me. Just one hillbilly’s opinion.

  331. 331
    Spencer says:

    Any list that has Ben Folds Five between Frank Zappa and Yes, regardless of the topic of the list, is clearly the product of a diseased mind. Sorry, John. No mentally healthy person does that.

  332. 332
    Will says:

    1) Who’s Next by The Who
    2) Abbey Road by The Beatles
    3) In Through The Out Door by Led Zeppelin
    4) Quadrophenia by The Who
    5) Time Out Of Mind by Bob Dylan

    Sorry for being so obvious. But they really are amazing albums.

  333. 333
  334. 334
    Tlazolteotl says:

    @the dude:

    The Blue Nile – A Walk Across The Rooftops

    A million times YES

    I’m surprised to see no love anywhere for The Comsat Angels, the greatest band nobody ever heard of. Most people name “Sleep No More” as a favorite, but I have a real fondness for “Chasing Shadows” myself. ;-)

    Update: I see someone did indeed mention “Sleep No More” ;-)

  335. 335
    Lojasmo says:

    Lamb lies down on broadway-Genesis
    Animals- Floyd
    Echoes and silence, and patience and grace-foo fighters
    plan your escape -hey rosetta
    fear of music -talking heads

  336. 336
    dobrojutro says:

    Big Star – #1 Record/Radio City
    Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
    Sleep – Dopesmoker
    Sharon Van Etten – Epic
    Drive Like Jehu – Yank Crime

  337. 337
    bowz says:

    1. Peter Gabriel – So
    2. Love & Money – Strange Kind Of Love
    3. Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
    4. 13 Cats – Zoétrope
    5. Beatles – Abbey Road

  338. 338
    bowz says:

    1. Peter Gabriel – So
    2. Love & Money – Strange Kind Of Love
    3. Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
    4. 13 Cats – Zoétrope
    5. Beatles – Abbey Road

  339. 339
    Tommymet says:

    Rum, Sodomy and the Lash by the Pogues
    Blue – Joni Mitchell
    Katy Lied – Steely Dan
    All Mod Cons – The Jam
    Seconds of Pleasure – Rockpile

  340. 340
    Nancy B. says:

    Nico – The Marble Index
    Bailter Space – Robot World
    My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
    Christina Carter – Bastard Wing
    Swans – Soundtracks for the Blind

  341. 341
    PanurgeATL says:


    Benefit is a really good album, and an important one, too–the one that brought forth the classic Tull style, attitude, and sound as we know it (even though Ian Anderson himself apparently prefers its predecessor, Stand Up). It’s just that (IMHO) they’d go on to do even better in the years afterward. But I’ll gladly admit that they might not have gotten where they did artistically without Benefit showing the way.

  342. 342
    darkmatter says:

    David Bowie: The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars
    The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
    Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique
    The Band: Music From Big Pink
    Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead
    Pink Floyd: Animals
    Dr. John: Dr. John’s Gumbo
    Quicksilver Messenger Service: Quicksilver
    Eric Burdon & WAR: Eric Burdon Declares WAR
    Any Steely Dan Album
    Silversun Pickups: Swoon
    The Band: Music From Big Pink
    Supertramp: Breakfast In America
    The Doobie Brothers: Toulouse Street
    Alien Ant Farm: ANThology
    Fallout Boy: From Under The Cork Tree
    Panic! At The Disco: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
    Sugar Ray: 14:59
    Rob Zombie: Hellbilly Deluxe
    The Alan Parsons Project: Vulture Culture
    Jethro Tull: This Was
    Guns N’ Roses: Appetite For Destruction
    Stereo MCs: Connected
    Gerry Rafferty: City To City
    Dire Straits: Dire Straits
    Spoon: Gimme Fiction
    Gorillaz: Demon Days
    Cut Copy: Zonoscope
    The Dust Brothers: Fight Club OST
    The Donnas: Gold Medal
    Def Leppard: Hysteria
    Positive K: The Skills That Pay The Bills
    ICE T: O.G. Original Gangster
    Ice Cube: The Predator
    Parliament: Mothership Connection

  343. 343
    unspiek says:

    Crown of Creation, Jefferson Airplane
    Red Roses for Me, The Pogues
    Bringing It All Back Home, Bob Dylan
    Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads
    Wheels of Fire, Cream

    Lists of five are generally impossible. This one’s all pretty old stuff, sorry.

  344. 344
    Learjet says:

    1)Bob Marley,Legend;2)Beach Boys,Pet Sounds,3)The Who,Quadrophenia;4)Dire Straits,Making Movies;Stevie Ray Vaughn,Texas Flood.

  345. 345
    Kate says:

    Harley…you are posting on my favorite blog!!who knew you read Balloon Juice. I just came back from seeing Lincoln with Gordo.

  346. 346
    zamphuor says:


    much can be gleaned by your taste in music…

    apparently, because I want to marry you & I don’t even know if you’re a guy or a gal ;)

  347. 347
    gttim says:

    @Pope Ratzy:

    Nice call on the Jim Carroll Band. I was listening to his entire discography last week. Incredible lyrics!

    Top Five Live (Since Waiting for Columbis may be the best live album ever.)

    Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus
    Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More From The Road
    Elbow – Seldom Seen Kid (Live at Abbey Road)
    Rush – All the World’s a Stage
    Joe Bonamassa – Live from The Royal Albert Hall

  348. 348
    tworivers says:


    Good call on Basket of Light. I love that platter

  349. 349
    Jernal says:

    Carol King – Tapestry
    Neil Young – Live Rust
    Grateful Dead – Europe Live ’72
    Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
    The Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall
    Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks

    Have to agree with the Van Morrison shout outs, GNR Appetite for Destruction, Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here

  350. 350
    MCA1 says:

    @Jernal: 349 posts before we get a Hollywood Town Hall? Criminal neglect. So, I’ll second that one.

    Additions under consideration include:

    – Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator)

    – Paul Simon, Graceland

    – The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow

    – U2, Joshua Tree

    – Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique

    – Radiohead, OK Computer

    – Counting Crows, August And Everything After

    – Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus

    – Zeppelin I

    Blood on The Tracks

    – Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

    Dark Side of The Moon

    Narrowing to just 5 is impossible, but I guess I’ll go with Graceland, Joshua Tree, Blood on The Tracks, OK Computer and Dark Side of The Moon. Too conservative, probably, but there’s a reason they’re all considered all-time greats.

  351. 351
    Lex says:

    Top 5 Single Albums

    Graham Parker & the Rumour — Squeezing Out Sparks
    R.E.M. — Murmur
    Rolling Stones — Let It Bleed
    The Brains — The Brains
    The Who — Who’s Next

    That leaves out a ton, from Bach to Blink 182, Dave Brubeck to Dire Straits, Public Enemy to the Pistols, but five is five.

  352. 352
    mr_gravity says:

    Wow. Live music IS better.

    Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus
    The Band – Rock of Ages
    The Who – Live at Leeds
    Hendrix – Band of Gypsys
    Beatles – Let It Be

    Remember concerts in the seventies? When the lights went down?

    The future held such promise.

  353. 353
    mr_gravity says:

    Fuck. I left out Warren Zevon.

  354. 354
    Jernal says:

    I forgot Ike Reilly – Salesmen and Racists

    If you have never heard it, take a listen (also a great live band)

  355. 355
    mr_gravity says:

    And Jackson Browne.

  356. 356
    Will R. says:

    Rufus & Chaka Khan – Rufusized
    Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On
    Patti Smith – Horses
    Gang of Four – Entertainment!
    Pretty in Pink – Motion Picture Soundtrack

  357. 357
    ankh hotep says:

    Now let’s wrap up this fun game, but everyone should go back and read the instructions. The man said five PERFECT albums, from start to end. That means no deadwood anywhere in the album tracks. So from this criteria, I would rule out Waiting For Columbus, because Apolitical Blues kills the momentum for me on the last side of an otherwise perfect album. I would also disqualify Sgt. Peppers and Abbey Road, because these almost perfect albums get sidetracked when the Beatles take on novelty tunes like When I’m 64 or Octopuses Garden. And sad to say, Beggars Banquet does not make the cut due to the inclusion of Street Fighting Man (I never bought the Stones’ revolutionary act and it sounds too much like Jumping Jack Flash anyway).

    So then a very subjective perfect five would be:
    1. Allman Brothers Band – Live at the Fillmore East
    2. Grateful Dead – Live Dead
    3. Santana – Borboletta
    4. Lou Reed – Rock and Roll Animal
    5. Van Morrison – It’s Too Late To Stop Now

    A five album limit leaves no room for Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, Let It Bleed, Eat a Peach, or a number of worthy Steely Dan LPs. But if I can slip in a compilation album as a bonus, then I’d go with This Is the Moody Blues.

    Thank you all for playing and good night.

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