Posted by: Mark Nielsen | September 3, 2010

Top 15 Favorite Albums – The Gauntlet

Gotta love Bob... from the first before I was born, to the stuff he still amazes us with...

My friend Mike challenged me to commit to the task, so I picks up the gauntlet, and here goes nothin’ …

I could easily drop 25 faves from each genre (country, Americana, jazz, R&B, worldmusic, soundtracks, local acts, Canadian acts, even folk, which nobody but me listens to anymore). But putting 15 on a MASTER LIST is a necessary discipline.

Also, I really wish I was reaching for more obscure stuff below, that I’m passionate about — like John Lee Hooker‘s blues, Laurie Anderson’s God-knows-what, Nick Drake, etc.  And I do keep up with music in the 00ught’s — really loving Arcade Fire lately, for example. The list is also too light on the ladies… McLachlan, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shakira, etc.

But when it comes to the hundreds of times I’ve listened to certain definitive records, I gotta go with the list below.

To make it interesting, I will not allow myself any Greatest Hits collections, but only original studio releases. So here they are, in no particular order… and these might fly in the face of the last time I did this sort of list on the blog, but y’know, times change. I used to be much older then, I’m younger than that now…

  • Graceland- Paul Simon
  • Led Zeppelin IV  (though e-John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road would be the flip-side to this, for my mellower moods)
  • Springsteen Live -1975 to ’85 (completely cheating here… ’cause it’s three CDs of GH’s and a couple of rarities like ‘Independence Day’, but oh well)
  • Live from Folsom Prison –Johnny Cash (cheating again?)
  • Avalon Sunset – Van Morrison
  • All That You Can’t Leave Behind – You Too
  • Sweet Baby James -JT  (which I find HARD to choose over Joni Mitchell‘s “Blue”)
  • Colonel Salt’s Shyboy Souls Club Group – Beatles
  • Highway 61 – Bob Dylan
  • Charity of Night – Bruce Cockburn
  • Songs in the Key of Life – Little Stevie Wonder
  • The Koln Concert – Keith Jarrett (actually tied with two Miles Davis jazz albums: 1-Sketches of Spain [feat. Gil Evans‘ arrangements] and 2- Kind of Blue [feat. John Coltrane and Bill Evans] )
  • Speaking in Tongues -Talking Heads  (here I’m settling: I couldn’t pick a single Elvis Costello record… so had to go another direction)
  • Continuum – John Mayer
  • Who’s Next  (indeed)

Take your best shot, Mike, or any other commentators (Common ‘ Taters?)


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