More than a year ago I compiled my top 10 favorite movies. Earlier today I saw a Facebook status update from a colleague that indicated his favorite album of all time was U2’s Joshua Tree. As you might imagine this got me thinking about my favorite albums. To be clear my top 10 albums does not equal the top 10 albums of all time. It simply means these are the albums I’d bring with me to a deserted island. Also, live albums are ok, but not best of, hits, or compilations.
Cool? Ok, without further adieu here’s the list.
10. Dr. Dre – 2001: 22 tracks of pure bliss. Many will argue that The Chronic was a better and more “important” album. But, I disagree. It was this album that re-established Dr. Dre as the most influential rapper on the planet. His decision to collaborate with people like Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Xzibit made this album as solid as it is. Even with all the silly outros and intros there’s enough meat to this album to make it one of the best rap albums ever.
9. The Killers – Sam’s Town: When The Killers came on to the scene their sound was so refreshing. I loved their debut album Hot Fuss, but it lacked some polish. That’s what made Sam’s Town shine. I first heard Sam’s Town while on vacation on Mexico. I was on a bus ride from Cancun to Chichen Itza and my iPod was blaring. I literally listened to the album start to finish 3 times and it remains one of my most played albums.
8. Pink Floyd – The Wall: Right off the bat I’m going to cheat and take a double album. While I love Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, the reality is you have to listen to those albums in their entirety and from start to finish. The Wall is just the opposite. Sure you can listen to it in order for the full story. But, you can also pick from a number of individual songs like Mother and Hey You. To me, this is Pink Floyd at their absolute finest.
7. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction: Track 1, side 1, Welcome To The Jungle. As indicated in the movie High Fidelity, it could be one of the best songs to kick off an album. While songs like Paradise City and Sweet Child o’ Mine get the most attention, my personal favorite is Mr. Brownstone.
6. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head: You know, I hate liking Coldplay. I really do. But, this second album from them was fantastic. Politik, The Scientist, Clocks, Green Eyes, etc. just rock. Smooth lyrics and not over processed. While U2 continues to take steps back (their latest album No Line On The Horizon was horrible) Coldplay continues to take major steps forward.
5. Peter Frampton – Frampton Comes Alive: There is simply no other live album that’s better. I’d pick it just to hear Frampton’s 14 minute + rendition of Do You Feel Like I Do. This albums sets the standard for which all other live albums are measured.
4. Led Zeppelin – IV: It’s possible I never really discovered “real” music till I listened to this TAPE for the first time. This could be one album where one song makes the entire album a must have. Everyone knows Stairway to Heaven. Doesn’t matter if you’re young, old, into hip hop, or don’t like Zeppelin; Stairway to Heaven is known and respected. Besides, as Mike Damone said in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, “when it comes down to making out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.” Amen.
3. Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water: Their last album was definitely their best. The album really packs a punch despite being realtively short. The 11 songs amount to only 45 minutes of music. But jammed in those 45 minutes are the title track, Cecilia, The Boxer, and of course The Only Living Boy in New York.
2. Michael Jackson – Thriller: This Michael at his very best. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a few misses on this album, BUT, how can you argue with Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin, The Girl Is Mine, Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, and Human Nature. This is literally one of the best 10 albums of all time for not only how progressive it was at the time, but for how timeless it remains.
1. The Beatles – Abbey Road: I’m a diehard Beatles fan. Sgt. Pepper, The White Album, and Revolver could have made this list, but they all have faults. Only Abbey Road is flawless. From the opening track, Come Together, to the last one (Her Majesty) they nailed it. It also happens to have one of the best love songs of all time, “Something”, which Lennon and McCartney didn’t even write.
I had a lot of fun putting this together. One of the great things about movies and music is we ALL have an opinion. I’d love to hear what your favorite albums are.