Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Top 5 Albums

A comment from a co-worker sparked the question - what is my favorite album of all time? I know I cannot choose just one. That seems impossible. Instead, I am going to attempt to select a top 5. And as I introduce this, I have no idea what will make the list. And I am pretty sure that as soon as I settle on 5, I will think of at least a half a dozen more that need to be reviewed and possibly added. I will also add that part of my criteria for selecting albums for this particular top 5 list is the impact the album had on me when I discovered it - did I listen to it non-stop, did the lyrics resonate with me, did the music seep into my soul and become a part of me, does the very mention of the artist/a song/the album compel me to want to listen again? With all of those disclaimers and explanations, I'm jumping in and making an attempt at brainstorming without editing and second-guessing (oh! and without listening!):
  1. In Through the Out Door, Led Zeppelin. If you knew me at anytime during the years 1992 - 1995, you will have heard this cd playing almost incessently. Especially track 6, mid-1994 (I didn't even look it up, I still know it was track 6).
  2. Crash, Dave Matthews Band. I didn't necessarily want to include this one because it feels obvious and trite and overplayed. But the immediate impact this album had on me when a long-time friend handed it to me in the parking lot outside her apartment cannot be denied. Also, coincidentally, track 6 was what hooked me. (Again, no need to check, this was back when I paid attention to that sort of thing.)
  3. Kind of Blue, Miles Davis. I am not sure if there could be another more perfect album than this. Although Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool and Sketches of Spain as well as Dave Brubeck's Time Out were close contenders. So close that as I type this I am considering switching to Time Out . . . but Kind of Blue is the album I return to most often. Especially when I want to sit in the dark, close my eyes and just let the music wash over me and cleanse me of whatever ill has infected my mind.
  4. Sea Change, Beck. For whatever reason, my most stand-out albums involve a lot of suffering. And oh how Beck suffers here. This album is for heart ache and longing and private tears. And for whatever reason, I love that!
  5. Tonic, Medeski Martin & Wood. An acoustic, live album that leaves me wondering why I don't go to more live shows and missing the bare-bones jazz club where the album was recorded and where it gets its name. MMW starts simple and builds and builds. This is an album that energizes.

That was even harder than I anticipated and I know there is no way these are my absolute top 5 of all time because I didn't even include any classical - Dvorak in Prague and Yo Yo Ma's Bach unaccompanied are contenders, as is Stravinsky's Firebird. There are also two or three albums I have been stuck on lately that I did not include because they are too new to me to fairly judge on their staying power.

So, what about you? What are your top 5 albums of all time. Or your top 5 albums of the moment? I'm always looking for more music suggestions . . . .


KimmyGoat said...

Crash is most definitely on my list...and interestingly enough...track #6, needless to say, I didn't need to look it up either!

Tiffany said...

I definitely need to check out #5. Immediately.

Love this idea!

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