Before I proceed any further, let me offer this disclaimer: This list can only be certified as completely accurate up until the moment I post it. It is subject to change and fluctuation on an hourly basis. And it is not a list of my favorite bands, or my favorite songs. Nor do I presume it to be a list of the best, greatest or most important albums; that would look completely different and perhaps is a post for another day. It is simply a list of what I consider to be my favorite complete works. That is, from the first song to the last, each album has had a major and lasting impact on me personally. All that being said, let’s jump right in, in no particular order. And special thanks to Don Sanders for the suggestion.
1. Refused: The Shape of Punk to Come
Arguably the best hardcore album ever produced, this album has incredible flow, the band is ridiculously tight, and it is one of the best mixing/production jobs I’ve ever heard. Not recommended for people who are offended by socialism.
2. Ben Folds Five: Whatever and Ever Amen
Do I seriously have to comment on this one? Seriously. Still one of my favorite albums to sing along with. Or with which to sing along. Thank you Daniel Jones for liberating me from this outdated way of thinking about prepositions. I will no longer feel guilty about writing the same way I speak.
3. Charlie Hall: Flying Into Daybreak
This is one of my favorite worship albums of all time, and when added to the fact that it reminds me of great friends and a great time in my life, it easily makes this list.
4. Foo Fighters: The Colour and the Shape
While I love the first Foo Fighters album as well, this is the one where Dave really found his own voice and threw off the chains of Nirvana. (I love Nirvana, too, by the way, but I love that Dave could in some ways make people forget he was a part of that.) Plus, the production is way better than on the first album.
5. Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes
Acoustic, raw, and brilliant. Some of the best bass lines ever, and fun to sing along to. But some songs are definitely not safe for the ears of children.
6. Harvey Danger: Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?
My second favorite sing-along album. Oozing with sarcasm, but also emotion. Who knew those two were compatible?
7. Living Sacrifice: The Hammering Process
My favorite metal album of all time, and, oddly enough, another of my favorite worship albums.
8. Weezer: tie between Blue Album and Pinkerton
These albums speak for themselves. And like a parent trying to choose a favorite child, it is impossible for me to choose between them.
9. Silversun Pickups: Carnavas
A blissful combination of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, and all of my favorite shoegazer bands. Must be turned up to at least 80% volume for full effectiveness.
10. Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Billy Corgan’s greatest masterpiece. THE best song flow ever on any album, never mind on a double album. Angry, sad, cheerful, nihilistic: this album has it all.
So I should have expanded it to 20 albums, because I had to leave off some that I really wanted on there, plus I had to cheat a little bit with the Weezer. So I decided to mollify myself with this Honorable Mention section: Green Day’s Dookie, At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command, The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife, Deftones’ Around the Fur, Local H’s As Good as Dead, Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy, Pixies’ Doolittle, The Postal Service’s Give Up, Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Hot, Showbread’s No Sir, Nihilism is Not Practical, and Silverchair’s Frogstomp. A still incomplete list, but I feel a little bit better with that.
Any thoughts? Additions? Subtractions? What’s your list? Can you narrow it down to ten? Can I ask enough questions to make you not want to read my blog anymore?
The shape of punk to come is probably my all time favorite album. Couldn’t agree with you more on that one whether it was #1 because of no particular order or because it was the first that popped into your head. It’s one album I listen to from start to end and then just let it restart again for days on end.
Even if you don’t like hardcore, it’s worth listening to just because everything sounds so freaking good. Guitars, drums, vocals–the production blows my mind every time. And it’s also an album you have to turn up really loud to fully appreciate it.
Good list. I think that a person’s view of an album is defined by the state of their life when they first listened to it and how listening to it now takes them back to that state of mind/stage of life. Here’s my list…
1. The Joshua Tree, U2. Came out my senior year in high school.
2. Abbey Road, The Beatles. Came out the year I was born.
3. Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles. First concept album as such.
4. Achtung Baby, U2. Set the stage for music of the 90’s.
5. The Big Picture, Michael W. Smith. Soundtrack of my high school years.
6. Continuum, John Mayer. Love the soulful blues influence.
7. A Rush of Blood to the Head, Coldplay. I listen to this album when I’m grouchy and it keeps me that way.
8. Phil Keaggy & Sunday’s Child. 60’s revival in the late 80’s. Love it.
9. Jesus Freak, DC Talk. Still an amazing album.
10. The Suburbs, Arcade Fire. Cracks the list because it’s what I’m listening to right now.
Not surprised to see the Beatles and U2……….
I’ve actually thought about this all afternoon, and would like to add my own disclaimer: this is the list I’ve thought of so far, and is subject to change without notice. That being said:
1: Pinkerton, Weezer. Like Andy said, it’s hard to pick a favorite child. This album had so much to do with developing my music taste that it bumps the Blue Album off the list. Sorry, Jonas.
2: Ok Computer, Radiohead. My favorite album from (arguably) my favorite band. Enough said.
3: Kill Them With Kindness, The Jealous Sound. Arguably the best album of the early 2000’s, there’s honestly not a bad song on the entire album.
4: Upbeats & Beatdowns, Five Iron Frenzy. If you listen to this album, and you don’t dance, something is diagnosably wrong with you.
5: Understand This is a Dream, The Juliana Theory. Otherwise known as The Soundtrack to Caleb’s College Years.
6: Commonwealth, Plankeye. This is one of a few albums that I will remember when I’m old and senile. I listened to this constantly my freshman year of high school.
7: Rocking the Suburbs, Ben Folds. I think this album contains Ben’s 3 best songs: “Fred Jones Part 2”, “Carrying Cathy”, and “Not the Same”.
8: Clarity, Jimmy Eat World. Together with Pinkerton, the best two road-trip albums ever, in the history of road-trip albums.
9: Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, The Smashing Pumpkins. No other album of my generation flows from track to track the way these two discs did. Amazing stuff, that.
10: Ten, Pearl Jam. This is predominately the album I was listening to when my grandmothers died. It’s weird, and not really fitting, but I always think of them when I listen to it. It’s got a soft spot in my heart.
It’s a good list. A couple of albums on there that I haven’t really listened to. And I think Ten would have made my list if I had ever owned it, but alas, I did not.