So I was thinking today about my favorite albums of all time, regardless of release date, popularity, coolness, or anything else. I have done lists like this before, but always with a thought in the back of my mind that I want to make sure I impress people with a full and complete list including something from all important genres. This list is different. This list doesn't care what anyone else thinks. These are my top 10 most consistently loved albums of all time. I love them, and all of you should too. Here they are, in order, with some comments about each:
Amazing record. Most people just know the song "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm", which is a great song, but by no means the best. Highlights are "Afternoons & Coffeespoons" (video below), "God Shuffled His Feet", and "How Does a Duck Know". No one sings like Brad Roberts, and the music is deep and thoughtful, yet cheery.
Quite possibly the most most rockstar studded live show of all time. The Band is completely amazing all by itself, with Rick Danko pleading and crying into the mic, and the one and only Levon singing from the drumset like he was riding a tractor and farming a crop, but with Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dr. John, and tons more sharing the stage, this show is just totally crazy.
There has never been anyone like him and there will never be another. Any Bob Marley disc is fantastic, and this is definitely his best seller. Everyone loves Marley, and they should not be afraid to belt out "Three Little Birds" while walking down a crowded street, smiling.
Holy crap. With an opener like Psycho Killer, featuring a solo David Byrne with an acoustic guitar and a 1984-era boombox sitting on the stage next to him playing breakbeats, only pure glory can be expected to follow. And it does. I would list the highlight tracks, but they are all perfect in every possible way. Literally.
The first CD I ever really jammed out on, this classic double disc from the Boys from Georgia will always make me stomp my foot and wrinkle my face into JB-esque southern grins. "Papa Legba" is always my favorite song when they bust it out live. It's just killer. "Porch Song", "Love Tractor", and a cover of Clapton's "Traveling Light" will definitely bring you down to a perfect goodtime chill.
Of course, James Taylor will make every top 10 music list I ever come up with. If you don't think JT can rock, listen to "Country Road" off this CD - and if that doesn't do it for you, hit up "Sun On The Moon". Amazing. Also, "Millwork" is strange and somehow grips me every time.
There is almost nothing to say about this record that hasn't already been said. Every song is so perfect it can really never be touched. Historically, this should be number one on my list just out of reverence, but since this list is actual, it takes a supremely respectable #4 and a major tip of my hat. If not for this CD I would never have broken up with my first girlfriend.
When I pressed Nectar into my CD player back in high school and "Llama" came on I was instantly hooked. I needed no further review. Then "Cavern" found its way into my brain and took me deep into a newfound underwater depth that is only Phish. I can't describe how amazing the drums are right before the precussionistic line "I snatched Rick's fork to scrape it off with deadly, icy calm."
Without a doubt, the only perfect fusion of punk, bagpipe, and something else the world has yet to name. Jeff Mangum's voice is unlike every single other voice in the world. It is the voice of a guy who sings, but doesn't know how. It is hypnotic and maddening in that nothing else can be imagined in its place. "Holland, 1945" is and always has been one of my favorite songs of all time. The bass drum on "Ghost" will send you heaving into the wilderness.
Definitely the best CD of all time. A double disc set that includes literally everything you need in life, musically. I used to think the big hit songs were the best, but now I rock the lesser known gems, like "Picasso Moon", "Just A Little Light", and "Alabama Getaway". The Dead have it all, and if I were pressed to choose a band to listen to exclusively for the rest of my life. They'd be it. No hesitation.