1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
It’s time for another update on my music project. Last summer I started using this book as a guide to explore music with my son. Gage has been a party to some of the journey, but not all. I try to play at least parts from every album for him, except the explicit ones, and some he likes and some he covers his ears. He is probably more discerning than I am. This post is more for me than you because I know that these lists can get boring, but feel free to comment if I’ve listened to a favorite of yours (whether I liked them or not :)). Happy listening.
Simon & Garfunkel are responsible for 2 albums this round and have 7 of my all-time favorite songs. I was already a fan and loved hearing these albums again. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966) Scarsborough Fair, Patterns, Homeward Bound, and For Emily
and Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) Bridge Over Troubled Water, If I Could, The Boxer
I discovered new favorites, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their album It’s a Blitz (2009), liked the whole album, but especially Runaway. The XX were new to me as was their XX (2009) album, VCR was probably my favorite song. The Flaming Lips had two albums and I really liked Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002), more so than The Soft Bulletin (1999) but I found them both so relaxing and look forward to listening to them again. And since I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan it makes since that I also listened to The Band, his backup singers, and their two albums on the list, Music from Big Pink (1968) and The Band (1969), enjoying the former more. Franz Ferdinand’s Franz Ferdinand (2004) was fresh and funky.
Somehow I’ve become a bit of a Neil Young fan which I feel good about since he is currently taking a stand against GMOs and the companies that support them. There were 7 albums on the list and I listened to 4 this time around. My favorite was After the Gold Rush (1970) with Tell Me Why being my favorite song. Tonight’s the Night (1975) felt more bluesy? but I liked it, especially Tonight’s the Night, part 2. Harvest (1972) was great too and I liked the personal The Needle and the Damage Done. And Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Rust Never Sleeps (1979) album made the cut, with My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) a thoughtful and beautiful song.
I also got a bit of a Bob Dylan education since 7 of his albums made the cut. I made it through five this go round and liked them more that I thought I would. Blonde on Blonde (1966) had the favorite Just Like a Woman and the fun Everybody Must Get Stoned. Loved Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and the classic Like a Rolling Stone. Blood on the Tracks (1975) was good but it was by this time I realized that while I could listen to the Beatles’ albums back to back, it didn’t really work for Dylan, but I did like A Simple Twist of Fate. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) had the iconic and original Blowin’ in the Wind. Bringing It All Back Home (1965) and Subterranean Blues was probably a favorite.
A few that I knew I loved before I listened again. Rumours (1977) by Fleetwood Mac had the popular Don’t Stop. The Doors (1967) by The Doors had Break On Through and Light My Fire.
Amazingly, at the age of 43 and 20 years after the album’s release, I became a fan of Tupac’s Me Against the World (1995). I liked his song to his mother, Dear Mama, Me Against the World, and Temptations, but my favorite was So Many Tears.
The ‘Boys’ were somewhere in the middle for me. The Beastie Boys had Licenced To Ill (1986) with the throwback Girls and Paul’s Boutique (1989) with Hey Ladies. While I liked Pet Sounds (1966) by the Beach Boys it wasn’t as upbeat as I thought it would be, especially for a group whose name screams fun in the sun.
And then there were the ones I just didn’t care for all that much. Surprisingly, I didn’t like The B-52’s (1979) by the B-52’s, just too over the top for me, I guess. Hot Rats (1969) by Frank Zappa and The Yes Album (1971), Close To the Edge (1972) and Fragile (1971) by Yes were a little instrument heavy for me. And as much as I loved Tupac, I very much disliked Dr. Dre’s The Chronic (1992). Any time you have to resort to having sex on an album it negates everything else (and I didn’t really like anything else anyway).
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 B-52’s by the B-52’s, The Band and Music From Big Pink by The Band, The Atomic Mr. Basie by Count Basie,Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, Licensed to Ill and Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, 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, The Doors by The Doors, The Chronic by Dr. Dre, Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, Bringing It All Back Home, Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisted, by Bob Dylan, Eagles and Hotel California by The Eagles, Seldom Seen Kid by Elbow, The Marshal Mathers LP andThe Slim Shady LP by Eminem, Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics, The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton, Franz Ferdinand by Franz Ferdinand, 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, Red Headed Stranger and Star Dust by Willie Nelson, 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, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel, 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, Me Against the World by Tupac, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Joshua Tree, and War by U2, Velvet Underground & Nico by Velvet Underground, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, XX by The XX, It’s a Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Close To the Edge, Fragile and The Yes Album by Yes, After the Gold Rush, Harvest, and Tonight’s the Night by Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Hot Rats by Frank Zappa) 90/1001
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