Which albums would emerge as your favorites? This challenge was too irresistible for me and as a prelude to all of us sharing our favorite albums of 2012 in the coming weeks, I decided to put together a quick list of my own favorite albums of the past.
It's not meant to be a definitive list and if I were ranking for say, some kind of publication or to impress you, I'd rank them way different. This is really just a quick and dirty list of my own personal favorites based on when I discovered them and how much I wore them out after first hearing them and afterwards. I chose to avoid anything made after 2009, since that's when we started over here.
So here goes:
I originally started with ten, but several hours into it, realized this list wasn't exhaustive enough. Blame it on my wide range of musical tastes.
20. Metallica - Metallica (1991)
19. Duke Ellington - Money Jungle (1963)
18. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods (2005)
17. Sponge - Rotting Pinata (1994)
16. Laura Veirs - Year of Meteors (2005)
15. TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain (2006)
14. Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights (2002)
13. Tonic - Lemon Parade (1996)
12. Tegan and Sara - So Jealous (2004)
11. The National - Boxer (2007)
10. Nas - Illmatic (1994)
The thing is, this is obvious an all-time great and all that. But I didn't listen to it on cassette when it was released. I'd heard it because other people played it, but I gain an appreciation for it until way after and thus, I don't have the same relationship with it. Love it? You betcha though.
9. Live - Throwing Copper (1994)
This one takes me back to high school in the best ways possible. And it holds up extremely well nearly two decades later.
8. Goodie Mob - Soul Food (1995)
Same story, I arrived here way late. But it sticks with me and I like it more than pretty much any Southern rap album that I can cite off-hand. I laugh when people think Cee-Lo started with that F- You song, because well...he didn't.
7. Pearl Jam - Ten (1991)
Grunge was the music of my generation. I don't know what that says about my generation, but...I like it and I loved this album. Jeremy, Why Go, Even Flow, Black were my favorite tracks.
6. Genesis - Invisible Touch (1986)
I spent probably an entire year -- ten years after it was released -- playing this one over and over. I'm an unabashed Phil Collins fan, no question about it. But this one stuck with me, more than even any of his solo stuff.
5. Fiona Apple - When The Pawn.. (1999)
Since I needed to pick anything made before 2009, it was about picking my favorite album of Fiona's. When The Pawn... fits the bill and then some. I can listen to it from start to finish and usually have to pull myself away.
4. Counting Crows - August and Everything After (1993)
I remember when this album came out, I listened to the entire first side for months. Six months later, I finally started listening to Side B and discovered how great it was too. Adam Duritz is a genius.
3. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds (1966)
It's funny. I grew up enjoying this album, but didn't really know what album it was. I revisited it years later and now it's truly one of my favorite albums ever.
2. The Roots - Things Fall Apart (1999)
So I got into rap late. I talk about that a lot. This was one of the first hip-hop albums that stuck with me and pulled me in. While I've expanded my palate over the years, this one will always be one of my favorites.
1. Bjork - Post (1995)
Probably the first artist I really liked (other than Debbie Gibson. But let's not talk about that) and just couldn't get enough of. Debut was fun, but Post was so much more.
Plus, it brought us this music video:
Stay tuned, as I'm sure there will be more from the #higheredmusic critics crew over the coming weeks!