1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
Time to catch you up on my 1001 Albums project I started last summer. Originally I started listening and dancing with Gage, but this round he wasn’t allowed to hear a few of the albums. I listened to some rap this go round, but evened it out with lots of Beatles and U2. I’m still playing with how I want to do these posts (since I know they are more for me than for you) so this time I’m going to list all the albums, one sentence from the book, and then a link to my favorite song of each album. Listing them in the order I listened to them.
My three favorites were Tapestry by Carole King, Velvet Underground and Nico, and Abbey Road by The Beatles. See any of your favorites?
All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2002) by U2. This is an album of epic proportions and no filler (“In our heads we’ve written 11 singles for this record,” commented Bono). Fave-Beautiful Day
Joshua Tree (1987) by U2. The Joshua Tree marks the point in U2’s long and gloriously inconsistent career at which they woke up to the possibilities of studio technology, expanded their sound from a post-punk chug, and found grandeur, abstraction, and finesse. Fave- With or Without You
War (1983) by U2. U2’s third album saw the Dublin four-piece articulate their impassioned views on politics and the human condition. Fave-Bloody Sunday
The Visitors (1981) by ABBA. It would have been unreasonable to expect an album by divorcees to be as joyful asn uplifting as an album by two married couples. Fave-When All is Said and Done
Dirt (1992) by Alice in Chains. The record was laden with allusions to lead singer Staley’s drug addiction, a portent to his fatal overdose a decade after the album’s release. Fave-Would
Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) by Crosby, Stills & Nash. But this first, excellent three-quarters of an hour of wistful exuberance remains a landmark. Fave-Marrakesh Express
Tapestry (1971) by Carole King. Carole King dramatically reinvented herself as a solo star with this landmark release. Fave-I Feel the Earth Move
Destroyer (1976) by Kiss. Destroyer is the iconic Kiss Album. Fave-Beth
Station To Station (1976) by David Bowie. Increasingly paranoid, he had become obsessed with UFOs, occultism, and Adolf Hitler. Fave-Word on a Wing
Boston (1976) by Boston. Boasts melodic rockers, flashing guitars, powerhouse rhythms, and sweet cascading vocals. Fave- More Than A Feeling
2112 (1976) by Rush. Rush’s trademark sound-prog-meets-heavy rock-comes fully into its own on this record. Fave-Tears
Wish You Were Here (1975) by Pink Floyd. “At the beginning of the recording sessions most of us didn’t wish we were there at all, we wished we were somewhere else.” Fave-Wish You Were Here
Ready to Die (1994) by The Notorious B.I.G. It’s a strange album in that the first cut says…’Let’s stop killing each other’-and then the rest of the record is all about people killing each other! I refuse to choose a favorite because I had to listen to the guy have sex.
Appetite for Destruction (1987) by Guns N’ Roses. They looked cool, they swore, they fought, they-let’s bite the bullet-rocked. Fave- Paradise City
Nevermind (1991) by Nirvana. Kurt later complained about the slickness of the album’s sound. Fave-Come As You Are
MTV Unplugged (1994) by Nirvana. When he sighs, in a moment of silence just before the climatic closing section, it seems the weight of the world is crushing him. Fave-Where Did You Sleep Last Night
In Utero (1993) by Nirvana. The grunge landmark of the 1990’s. fave-All Apologies
The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967) by The Velvet Underground. Its straight talk about sex and drugs got the album banned on New York radio; stations elsewhere in the United States simply ignored it. Fave-Sunday Morning
Illmatic (1994) by Nas. Fusing old-school street poetry with razor sharp production. Fave-One Love
Stardust (1978) by Willie Nelson. With Willie Nelson there is no country or pop, just Willie Nelson songs. Fave-Blue Skies
Red Headed Stranger (1975) by Willie Nelson. It was also something of a formal experiment, a loose concept album about a lovelorn murderer’s adventures. Fave-Medley:Blue Rock Montana/Red Headed Stranger.
Straight Outta Compton (1989) by N.W.A. Niggaz With Attitude were the fruit of Easy E’s entrepreneurship. Offensive in every way that it was intended so I’m not choosing a favorite.
The Atomic Mr. Basie (1957) by Count Basie. “I have never bragged on anything, but (the Atomic Basie)band…was one I could have bragged on. Fave- The Kid from Red Bank
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) by The Beatles. For the first time on a Beatles album , all tracks are Fabs originals. Fave-It’s a Hard Day’s Night
Rubber Soul (1965) by The Beatles. The album injected mystique into FabWorld. Fave-What Goes On
With the Beatles (1963) by The Beatles. The sleeve photo is arguably the most iconic of The Beatles ever taken, as well as being one of the Sixties’ most defining images. Fave-All My Loving
Revolver (1966) by The Beatles. Revolver is cited as the point when The Beatles broke up: they paid their last paying gig weeks after its release. Fave- Eleanor Rigby
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) by The Beatles. The album embodied elements of psychedelia:Eastern philosophy and druggy allusions. Fave- With a Little Help From My Friends
The Beatles (aka The White Album) (1968) by The Beatles. It mixes peerless acoustic-driven ballads with comical tales. Fave-While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Abbey Road (1967) by The Beatles. The vitriol, ecstasy, and social commentary of Lennon and McCartney is what makes Abbey Road and essential. Fave- Come Together
List of the albums we listened to from the book(The Visitors by ABBA, Back to Black and Highway to Hell by AC/DC, 21 by Adele, Pump and Toys in the Attic by Aerosmith, School’s Out by Alice Cooper, Dirt by Alice in Chains, Among the Living by Antrax, Tidal by Fiona Apple, Funeral by Arcade Fire, The Atomic Mr. Basie by Count Basie, Abbey Road, The Beatles (white album), A Hard Day’s Night, Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, With the Beatles by The Beatles, Parallel Lives by Blondie, Boston by Boston, Station to Station by David Bowie, Crosby Stills & Nash by Crosby Stills & Nash, Eagles and Hotel California by The Eagles, Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow, The Marshal Mathers LP and The Slim Shady LP by Eminem, Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton, So and Melt by Peter Gabriel, Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses, Darklands and Psychocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tapestry by Carole King, Destroyer by KISS, Tragic Songs of Life by the Louvin Brothers, Illmatic by Nas, In Utero, MTV Unplugged in New York, and Nevermind by Nirvana, Ready to Die by The Notorious B.I.G., Straight Outta Compton by NWA, Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, Regatta de Blanc and Synchronicity by The Police, Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley, 2112 by Rush, Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim and In the Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra, System of a Down by System of a Down, Dear Science by TV on the Radio, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Joshua Tree, and War by U2, Velvet Underground & Nico by Velvet Underground, Red Headed Stranger and Stardust by Willie Nelson, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse) 60/1001
Linkup to my past posts