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A blog by Scott E. Shepherd · A continuing look at popular music, past, present and future.
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Jim writes:

I read your blog during lunch and couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the day. What is my list of "essential" albums? As I worked on my list I realized most were from the 1970s. I guess that's when I bought a lot of albums and listened to them all the way through. In today's digital age of music I rarely buy albums (CDs) or listen to them as much. Its easier to just download the songs I like, and discard the ones I don't like. Or buy a CD and rip the songs I like to the MP3 player. Or burn a CD mix to play in the car on the way to work in the morning (when all the radio stations try to entertain you with morning personalities who yack about what happened on last night's relaity show. Then after 6 minutes of commercials and news you might get to hear a song just as you pull into the parking lot. I need satellite radio! but I digress...) So anyway I didn't come up with 10 per decade. Instead, just a list of about 25 albums I really like. I admit some of them are not great albums but they are on the list for personal reasons because of places I heard them and people I heard them with. Like you, I could easily pick several albums from some groups but I will just include my favorites. Also - no greatest hits albums allowed.

1. Abbey Road - The Beatles. Minus Octopus' Garden and Come Together, which I never really liked - the album is a masterpiece. I remember somebody once said side two of Abbey Road is why God invented music.
2. Animals - Pink Floyd. Yes, I like it better than Dark Side of the Moon.
3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding is one of the greatest rock songs of all time. (topic for a future blog entry?) Like many double albums, there are a couple songs I could live without but enough good songs to fill one great album and then some.

The rest are not necessarily in order. That would be too hard.

Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Let it Bleed - The Rolling Stones
Rubber Soul - The Beatles
Madman Across the Water - Elton John
Breakfast in America - Supertramp
Ram - Paul & Linda McCartney
Aqualung - Jethro Tull
Desperado - The Eagles
IV - Led Zeppelin
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes - Jimmy Buffet
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
Enima of the State - Blink 182
Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band
Dreamboat Annie - Heart
Hysteria - Def Leppard
Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
The Cars - The Cars
Dream Police - Cheap Trick
Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles (I tried but just couldn't leave it off the list)

And if I had to pick a couple form this decade they would be Give Up by The Postal Service and Funeral by Arcade Fire.

April 3, 2007 11:30 pm ET
James Leroy Wilson writes:

Sicky Fingers - Rolling Stones
Who's Next - The Who
Pet Sounds - Beach Boys
Every Picture Tells A Story - Rod Stewart
Help! - The Beatles (CD version, which I believe was the British LP release)
Exile on Mainstreet - Stones (a double album perhaps three songs two long)
Led Zeppelin III
Velvet Underground & Nico
Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan
Uh-huh - John Cougar Mellencamp
Out of Time - REM

From the last ten years, there are five that I really really liked:

Yield - Pearl Jam
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Love and Theft - Bob Dylan
Modern Times - Bob Dylan

April 14, 2007 1:28 pm ET
James H. Braun writes:

"I don't own any Jimi Hendrix albums, OK?"
Question: What Planet do you come from??

January 3, 2010 12:46 am ET

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