Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A challenge and a prize

So Ben hooked me up with a sweet sound system in the kitchen and I essentially have an endless supply of music at my fingertips while I'm cooking, cleaning, or just spending time in my favorite room in the house. Being married to a computer guy with access to unbelievable amounts of music, I now have access to a music collection that would knock your socks off. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning, playing with my new toy until I just can't anymore, and loving every minute of it.

At the same time, I've been thinking about music, its impact on my life, and the weird way that certain songs (or even albums in their entirety) can bring me back to places and times in my past that were both pleasant and not so pleasant. The Breeders' "Pod" album, for example, brings me back to a night when I was still in high school where a bunch of my friends crammed into another friend's bedroom and just spent time talking and enjoying the company of one another. We stayed up all night listening to that album over and over and over again. I love the way that the first few notes of that album brings me back to that night and sends the most vivid memories swirling around in my brain. There are many albums like this.

And so I've started compiling a list of the most influential albums in my life. Man, that's tough. Never one to step away from a challenge, I'm still working on it, although I'm struggling. I get a top ten list assembled, one or two selections away from completion, and then five more pop into my head and I have to start all over again. Positioning is another issue. What makes one album sit at the #2 slot as opposed to the #3 slot is a mystery, and I'm trying to think long and hard about it before my list is complete.

And so, dear P&B readers, I invite you to participate in this challenge of mine. Make up a list of your top five albums of all time. Albums that have influenced you, albums you feel should be a part of everyone's collection. Leave your list in the comments section of this post and I'll choose a list at random (we'll let Lola do that). The selected list will win a prize (we'll pick a winner on the 14th). Are you up to it? Don't be shy! I'm interested to see what you come up with, although I have a feeling some of you are going to remind me of albums I've totally forgotten about and I'll be at square one all over again!

Have fun!


Pictures From Mike said...

In no particular order:

1: Led Zeppelin (IV)

2: At The Drive-Ins
(Pattern Against User)

3: Jethro Tull (Aqualung)

4: Mercyful Fate (The Beginning)

5: N.W.A (Straight Outta Compton)

Lemongrass Studio said...

This is a toughie---I'll be back.

Lemongrass Studio said...

Ok, these are my top 5 but I have to admit I could not put them in order really...you know exactly what I mean I'm sure.

1. Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
2. The Clash - London Calling
3. Citizen Cope - The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
4. Sarah Mclachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
5. Prince - Sign O' The Times

Honorable Mention - Coldplay, Parachutes and Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones, Shawn Colvin, A Few Small Repairs and and and and ...... ARGH.....

As you can see, I have eclectic taste and was fretting all day about this list. I tried to make it a good mix! Thanks, this was fun!

Elisabeth said...

I love lists! I have done top albums lists many times over the years, but I haven't done one recently, so I will give this a go! :)

In No Particular Order (because order is so over-rated):

1. Dir en grey - "Withering to Death"

2. The Damned - "Machine Gun Ettiquette"

3. The Cure - "Disintegration"

4. David Bowie - "Diamond Dogs"

5. Cheap Trick - "In Color"

Others that could easily have made the cut:
Fleetwood Mac "Rumors", My Bloody Valentine "Loveless", Guns n' Roses "Appetite for Destruction", Kuroyume "Corkscrew", The Misfits "Walk Among Us", Pavement "Slanted and Enchanted", REM "Document" Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds "Murder Ballads", and so many more. Oops, was that cheating, listing those extra ones? ^^; I suck at decision-making. :P

One of the Sisters said...

Oh, I can't resist. So true about music transporting you to another place and time.

Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars/David Bowie

Grievous Angel/Gram Parsons

Blue/Joni Mitchell

Sticky Fingers/Rolling Stones

Houses of the Holy/Led Zepplin

shoshonasnow said...

This is fun...and sooooo hard.

Pavement- Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

The Who- A Quick One/Happy Jack

Blondie- Parallel Lines

NOFX- Punk in Drublic

Built to Spill- There's Nothing Wrong with Love OR Perfect from Now On…too hard to decide.

Extras…The Kinks- Face to Face, REM- Fables of the Reconstruction, David Bowie- Hunky Dory, Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary, The Breeders- Last Splash (I actually think I like Pod better, but if I listened to it today I think it would make me cry)

Shazam76 said...

I'd not be able to do top 10 even... Not enough room. Good thing I'm not allowed to win.

Jenny said...

90's music brings me back to a happier time. I consider a good album one I will listen to start to finish. In the age of playlists, I think it means alot.

Here's mine:
Tori Amos ~“Under the pink”
Alanis Morissette~ “Jagged Little Pill”
Hole~ “Live Through This”
Various artists~ Romeo and Juliet soundtrack
Sheryl Crow~ “The Very Best of Sheryl Crow”

Silvertongue said...

Ooh, what a fun challenge! Let’s see…

Assassins (1991 Original Off-Broadway Cast) – Cast Recording

10 – Pearl Jam

Little Earthquakes – Tori Amos

Flood – They Might Be Giants

Live Through This – Hole

Yikes, this list seems to prove I’m bipolar, or something. :)

And I swear I made my list before looking at anyone else's posts, lest I be biased, and STILL have an album that someone else (Jenny) listed! Oh, well, that's just proof it's a really good album!

Victoria said...

Ugh, only 5? This has got me all hot and bothered, I'm definitely going to compile a top 50 or something. Here is my (much agonized) top 5 (at the moment):

Nina Simone--The Blues
Leonard Cohen--Songs from a Room
Nine Inch Nails--Pretty Hate Machine
Rites of Spring--End on End

:No particular order, and I couldn't decide on a Bob Dylan album to include, or Tom Waits, or....

Me, Sandy said...

Oh, I can not do this, but I can say that my list would contain some old school Springsteen, The Motors, The Jagz, my lady- Billie, Deano, Trent, Curt, sad clown- Bob Smith, Alice Cooper, The Pretenders, Joni, KISS, Frank, see, as I said, I can't do this!!!!

Anonymous said...

like everyone else it's hard to think of the top 5 albums ever, so i decided to go with the other part of your question: "most influential." you will *not* want to own any of these records except #5 (and maybe #3):

1) "if i'da known you were comin'": not an album but an old 78 that we used to listen to over and over again as children. The earliest song i remember. (the chorus starts: "if i'da known you were comin', i'da baked a cake, baked a cake...")

2) "does your chewing gum lose its flavor," by jimmy grant and the peter pan orchestra. a 45 that i still have, again that we played over and over as children. the second oldest song i remember.

3) "rock and roll is here to stay": the "3-record set as advertised on tv." the first vinyl that i ever owned as an individual. it's actually a great compilation -- original artists and all that.

4) sean cassidy. i am sorry to tell you that the happiest day of my life may have been my 12th birthday when i received this as a gift. it came with a free poster...what else can i say?

5) "ella swings lightly." i can't remember which of her albums i got first, but ella changed my life as i really started listening to jazz and blues because of her.

Mare said...

Ok, i see some others have added more than 5! I have whole sections of my life that have been impacted by certain music and musicians...The earliest music i can remember forming my tastes were from my Father:
Frank Sinatra
Sarah Vaughn
Benny Goodman
Louie Armstrong
Peggy Lee
As i was becoming an adult:
James Taylor-Fire and Rain (all of his stuff)
Joni Mitchell- Blue(all of her stuff)
Carol King-Tapestry
Bruce Springsteen-Born to Run(all of his stuff)
Neil Young-After the Goldrush
Elton John-Tumbleweed Connection
Anything by-
Patty Griffin
Fred Eaglesmith
Joni Mitchell
Bruce Springsteen
Lucinda Williams
and on and on.....
This was fun...Thanks for making me think!

kate said...

Man, I suck at favorites. But albums that really stuck with me for one reason or another . . .

Songs of Leonard Cohen

Dial-a-Song: 20 Years of They Might Be Giants

Ophelia (Natalie Merchant)

Graceland (Paul Simon)

The Complete Ella & Louis on Verve

Drunken Lullabies (Fogging Molly)

Oops. That was six. Consider the last a bonus. Now I'm going to be thinking of more all week (that seems to be about the length of my attention span). I'll try not to kick myself for missing crucial ones.

Good Girls Studio said...

Van Morrison : Mondance
Widespread Panic: Everyday
Tori Amos: Under the Pink
Cranberries: I can't think of the name of the album but it has a couch on the cover??
The Cure: All Mixed Up
Morrisey: Viva Hate

I could go on forever....

Lolly Gaggle said...

Bob Dylan - Blood on the Tracks
The Beatles - Abbey Road
Neil Young - Decade
The Be Good Tanyas - Blue Horse
John Hiatt - Crossing Muddy Waters

That's five off the top of my head that would surely be in my top twenty. This is a tough challenge!