My 20 "All-Time" Albums (In Memoriam)
Last week I finished telling the story of my twentieth "All-Time Album" on this blog (Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division). Yes, technically, there have been 22 posts in the series but this post is long enough already (I will come back and add Helmet and REM back in later).
"All-Time albums" became one of my favorite weekly features because it allowed me to tell the story of how each of these albums became so important to me. The idea was to keep adding albums as long as I had stories about albums to tell.
Despite my belief that I did some of my best writing on the All-Time Albums feature, I am suspending it.
So, today, in memoriam, I am going to revisit the 20 albums I have featured so far.
You can scroll down to get right to the music!
Why I am Suspending All-Time Albums
The whole point was to get new people to explore really great old albums again. I have several features every week that push new music and this one that celebrated "old" music. Nobody seemed to love celebrating old music as much as me (no shocker I suppose).
There were TONS of albums I have not gotten to yet (Television, Public Enemy, The Replacements, Blondie, Fugazi, and Bad Brains for instance). It is not about a lack of material or stories to tell. I conservatively estimated I could keep the series going for at least a year before starting to dilute the quality of the inclusions.
Truth is, of all the pieces I write each week, even the Vinyl recaps which are HARD, the album features took the most work and love to complete. Don't get me wrong, this whole blog is a labor of love, just got to pick my battles.
Anyway, here are the albums that were in the series, I hope you will love them as much as I have, and if you are feeling charitable, give my original posts a read :).
These are mostly in no intentional order.
A Tribe Called Quest - The Low-End Theory
The link to my original post is HERE.
I am placing this first in the mix for obvious reasons, we lost the great Phife Dawg to complications from his diabetes last week.
As I said at the time, many of the best times of my life were spent listening to Low-End Theory. Greatness. RIP Malik!
Nirvana - Bleach
You can read my article about Nirvana's Bleach HERE
Most people think of Nevermind first when they think of Grunge and/or Nirvana. I attempt to explain why I always think of Bleach (and The Melvins and Mudhoney) first when I think of the grunge years.
The Clash - The Clash
You can read my story about The Clash "The Clash" HERE
This one was pretty important as it is what got me interested in Punk music in the first place. A very important album to me!
Centro-Matic - Redo The Stacks
You can read my post about Centro-Matic's "Redo The Stacks" HERE
Yes, you probably have never heard this album, doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a play :). As I said at the time, "Redo The Stacks" is the "Marquee Moon" of Denton, Texas.
Radiohead - The Bends
You can read my post about Radiohead's "The Bends" HERE
I guess I am a contrarian, most people immediately think of OK Computer, which is also a great album. But, I fell in love with Radiohead on the release of this album, so here it is.
DEVO - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO
You can read my piece on DEVO"s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO HERE
I think every teenager who has ever been abused or treated differently by the popular crowd asks themselves a version of this question at some point. DEVO's answer, to create their own celebration of themselves and their oddness, still makes me smile to this day!
De La Soul - 3 Feet High And Rising
You can read my post about De La Soul's "3 Feet High and Rising" HERE
Yes, I know that is not the cover of the album, no, I don't know why De La doesn't have any of the early stuff on Itunes or Spotify. Still an amazing album (even if they don't love it). Sorry, they still rule.
Yaz - Upstairs At Eric's
You can read my post about Yaz's (Yazoo's) - Upstairs at Eric's HERE
One of the most influential albums of my young adulthood and an album that ruled the dance floors of America's dance clubs. Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet were magical together (even if it didn't last long.
The Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are
You can read my post about the Juliana Hatfield Three's "Become What You Are" HERE
This is a good snapshot of a really great period in the 90's for women singer/songwriters. I also tell the story of my Juliana Hatfield summer road trip.
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
You can read my post about Sleater-Kinney's "Dig Me Out" HERE
One of my favorite albums from one of my favorite bands. After the face-melting power of the first two albums, SK are a bit more melodious here but remain just as impactful.
The Beatles - Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
You can read my post about The Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" HERE
The first album I ever owned. One of the first I ever "played to death."
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
You can read my post about Beatie Boys "Paul's Boutique" HERE
For the best in men's clothing, I suggest Paul's Boutique (especially if the Dust Brothers and Beasties are working)
There have been some great books written about Paul's Boutique, I would recommend this 33 1/3 by my Twitter friend Dan LeRoy:
and his follow up "For Whom The Cowbell Tolls"
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Imperial Bedroom
You can read my post about Elvis Costello and the Attractions "Imperial Bedroom" HERE
Elvis was the coolest geek I had ever seen when I was in high school (his poster was even on Damone's wall in Fast Time at Ridgemont High). Also, this is an incredible album.
Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
You can read my post about Pavement's "Slanted and Enchanted" HERE
I had a great and powerful Kansas road trip with this album, they were a really great band.
New Order - Power, Corruption, and Lies
You can read my post about New Order's "Power, Corruption, and Lies" HERE
I love New Order (classic lineup Bernard, Peter, Stephen, Gillian. Hopefully, that comes through here.
Sonic Youth - Sister
You can read my post on Sonic Youth's "Sister" HERE
Plus you get the romantic story of a first kiss too.
Echo and the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain
You can read my post about Echo and the Bunnymen's "Ocean Rain" HERE
Might be my all-time favorite album, still takes me to the same place today (sitting in my room at my parents house spazzing out in the 80's).
Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain
You can read my post about Prince and the Revolution's "Purple Rain" HERE
I used to have a copy of this on Purple Vinyl (no kidding)
Prince doesn't play on ITunes or Spotify so you will have to listen some other way, but it is an incredible album.
Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
You can read my story about Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" HERE
One of the two or three most important albums in my collection so I tried to explain a bit of the reason why it is so important to me.
Ramones - Ramones
You can read what I wrote about Ramones "Ramones" HERE
This album is kind of my musical story too, I came from Manhattan and lived there about the same time as this album was being made. Still so sad that all 4 original Ramones are no longer with us.
And So It Ends...
All-Time albums might make a comeback someday, we will see. But for now this ends the All-Time Album series. Take a second and leave a note and tell me which post you liked the best.
My plan is to replace All-Time Albums with a feature called "Rockist or Right?" Look for it next Wednesday.