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 Thank you Daniel Jones for liberating me from this outdated way of thinking about prepositions.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?