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Top Five Favorite Albums Ever?


roadtonowhere08
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Yeah, Remain in Light almost made it to my list just because I still listen to (most of) it so often, but I usually skip "Once in a Lifetime" (in fact, lately, I just do side 1 + "Houses in Motion").  Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the song that much, I've just heard it too many times.

 

"like" @ In Visible Silence, Zoolook, Colour of Spring, and Chameleons.

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This is pretty much impossible for me to answer.  According to last.fm, these are my most listen-to albums:
1.  The Knife – Deep Cuts (784)
2.  All India Radio – Once A Day (688)
3.  Dick Dale – King Of The Surf Guitar: The Best Of Dick Dale & His Del-Tones (648)
4.  All India Radio – These Winter Dreams (642)
5.  All India Radio – Permanent Evolutions (630)
 
The number at the end is how many times I have listened to a song off that specific album.  Of course, the above just reflects the last 9 years of listening for me, and is further skewed by the fact that I have listened to a lot of A.I.R. in the last 4 years.  It's an amusing list, but not representational.
 
I could only name four right now.  These are not in any order:
 
Biosphere - Substrata: Probably the greatest ambient album of the 1990s; possibly the greatest ambient album, period.
 
Black Sabbath - Volume 4: The best album from the best period of the best metal band, full stop.
 
Tom Waits - Bone Machine: IMJO, the last great Tom Waits album.  He took an extended hiatus after it.  Everything that has followed has not impressed me nearly as much.  Tom is still capable of writing (and performing) absolute gems, but none of his albums have been anywhere nearly as consistent as Bone Machine.  I'd also list Rain Dogs, Swordfishtrombones and Frank's Wild Years, but I consider them to be one album in 3 parts (with Big Time being the live counterpart.)  
 
Orbital - Orbital 2 AKA The Brown Album: The album that got me in to electronic music, over two decades ago.  The US CD edition has a sticker on it with the review blurb "Pure, heavenly technology."  That term was something of a rallying cry for Orbital fans in the 90s.  Also, Seeing Orbital perform in 1999 remains the best live live electronic music show I have ever attended.
 
 
 
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Well, I'll take my best shot at getting it down to 5

In no particular order:

 

R.E.M. - Eponymous.  All the best songs from their IRS years, I was going to go with Reckoning but I think this one is just better and the flow is almost as nice.

 

Red Army Choir - Russian Favourites  I can't understand a single word, but the power, emotion, and majesty of the music transcends any language barrier.  It's like hearing & feeling the entire soul of a nation and its people.

 

Nightwish - End of an Era.  The first half is a bit uneven though still pretty good, but once you get to "Nemo" it really takes off.  Also has the best "Phantom of the Opera", ever.

 

Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.  Great songwriting, Sarah was at just the right place in her life to get a perfect mix of maturity & raw emotion put down into music.  20 years later and it's still as amazing as it was.

 

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath.  Because it's goddamn fun.  Cruising down the street with the windows down while blasting "Warning" just makes my day.

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I can't get it close to five.  Here are 6 that immediately jumped out at me:

 

Ry Cooder - Buena Vista Social Club
Molly Mason & Jay Ungar - The Lover's Waltz (Duet)
LA Four - Going Home  East Winds Direct to Disk Japan
Bill Berry - For Duke/Earl Fatha Hines - Plays Hits He Missed - Both on one M&K Real Time CD
Bill Frisell - Gone Like a Train
Paul Simon - Graceland

 

I could easily add more and can't remove any of these.

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  • 4 months later...

Bump for a fun thread. I've not been in a music phase for a long time but find myself reinvigorated of late. This is hard, but I have to be true to my youth and not pretend that I frequently listen to anything earlier than 1990.

 

1. Tool - Lateralus. "Metaphysics" would have been another appropriate title. How Mike G. feels about In the Court of the Crimson King is how I feel about this.

 

tool_lateralus.png

 

2. The Smashing PumpkinsSiamese Dream. "Spaceboy" in particular is on perma-repeat but a bad track this album has not.

 

siamesedream.jpeg

 

3. BeckSea Change. I can't think of a more personal album [to the artist, not the listener].

 

beck.jpg

 

4. Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. This is the most listenable album I have ever heard in my entire life. "At Last" is a song to die by.

 

515S0A745ZL.jpg

 

5. Crystal CastlesCrystal Castles. It's ridiculous, chaotic, and absurd. And I love every single second of it.

 

crystal-castles-self-titled.jpg

 

Honorable mentions:

 

RadioheadKid A. The only release from them that I ever thought lived up to the hype. Pretty much perfect.

A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms. The other side of Maynard and it is gloriously emotional.

Flying LotusUntil the Quiet Comes. Probably the most complex and delightfully-themed electronic album I've heard.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet Jazz at Oberlin. Always found this group to be the most listenable in all of jazz. The airiness in their sound is lovely. Brings me back to my decade+ of playing alto and makes me wish I still played.

Andy McKee Art of Motion. I would love to put a half-dozen acoustic records on here but I find Andy to be the most personable artist with perfect pedigree and influence and this record hits that spot-on.

Fiona Apple When the Pawn... Like everything in my life, 75% of the music I listen to now, I would never have experienced if I hadn't met Allison. This one album represents all of that.

OpethBlackwater Park. I likelove nearly every album for them but I still think this one had true balance between metal and prog-rock. Also to be different from the other people who already posted Opeth.

 

Okay I have to stop somewhere.

Edited by Aura
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ELO - Eldorado

 

Kris Kristofferson - Jesus Was A Capricorn

 

Queen - A Night At The Opera

 

Merle Haggard - Big City

 

The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East

 

 

 

Of coarse my top five would probably change on any given day, but today these are my picks.

Edited by swt61
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Radiohead - kid a

Saw them live during this time and it sold me for life

Beatles - rubber soul

How can you not have a Beatles album? This is my favorite of theirs

Beach boys - pet sounds

Vocals, harmonies, and the orchestration - enough said

Oscar Peterson trio - west side story

WSS is my favorite musical and I love small combo jazz especially this interpretation

My bloody valentine - loveless

So noisy but so beautiful

Honorable mentions

Dave Brubeck - time out

Radiohead - ok computer or the bends

Neutral milk hotel - in the aero plane over the sea

Love - changes

Phoebe snow - phoebe snow

Al green - greatest hits

Wu tang clan - enter the wu tang

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Very hard to come up with 5 desert island albums.

 

The only ones I know for sure:

 

1. Weezer - Blue Album

2. Nirvana - Unplugged

3. Tool - Aenima

 

Would have to add something from the White Stripes for sure.  Also maybe some kind of rap for variety.

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  • 8 years later...

>8 year bump. Allison and I were talking through this exact topic last night and i remembered this discussion from forever ago... pretty fun to go back and see where I was and where I am now. some things remain and some don't. I feel a lot more confident these days especially in honorable mentions as I've build up far more breadth and understanding of some genres, especially metal. 

Top 5:

The Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream. Still as complete as ever.

Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood. Still the best female vocals for me.

Radiohead - In Rainbows. Over time I've realized that it's nice to just hear how amazing Radiohead can be and not have to think too much about it. Their most listenable album.

Tool - Lateralus. Still the best metal and progressive blended together and polished beyond imagination. 

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell. I go to a lot of different individual songs when I need to come to grips with death. This is the only full album though. Couldn't count the number of times I've cried while listening to this one. 

Honorables:

The Dismemberment Plan - Emergency & I. Not sure why this wasn't on the old list. Not far off of Pumpkins in terms of an album I would want people to think of when they think of me.

Converge - Jane Doe. I have absorbed so much heavy music in the last 3-5 years and amongst all of it, this is truly supreme for chaos.

HUM - Inlet. I'm a child of the 90's and this is the closest anyone got in recent times to peak 90's rock. On permanent repeat.

Tash Sultana - Flow State. The album that got me back into caring about headphones because I became obsessed with making this sound as good as possible. Legendary opener.

Kaki King - Dreaming of Revenge. My favorite acoustic album with stellar intimate vocals as a big plus. 

Art Pepper + 11 - Modern Jazz Classics. Art had it all and this is 100% bangers.

The Beatles - Revolver. Love arguing with Allison about why this is the best. 

Do Make Say Think - Stubborn Persistent Illusions. My favorite post rock. A perfect deep thinker. 

Tool - Aenima. Has closed the gap with Lateralus over the years. I find the two completely complimentary now. Wouldn't argue with anyone preferring this from the full cataloge.

 

See ya'll in 2030.

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Ha! Is anything from my list then still in my list now? Maybe one. Probably none. I dare say I haven't listened to at least three of them since.

edit: that said, I could listen to the Merry Clayton parts of Gimme Shelter daily for the rest of my life. The rest of it? Meh.

Edited by dsavitsk
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My current top 5 would probably have several that have been on it for many years:

  • Chameleons UK - Script of The Bridge/Strange Times (tied)
  • Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
  • Propaganda - A Secret Wish
  • October Project - s/t

The last, as well as likely many honorable mentions, are a little more variable....

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Pink Floyd - The Wall

Tool - Lateralus

The Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed

Radiohead - The Bends (Deluxe Edition)

The Cure - Disintegration

 

Honorable Mentions:

Jack White - Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

The Doors - L.A. Woman

The Beatles - Abbey Road

Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell

Pink Floyd - DSOTM, WYWH, Animals.

Fleetwood Mac - Rumors

The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

Rush - 2112

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool

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I can't.  My brain would:
fresh prince of bel air explosion GIF


Keith Jarrett, Sun Bear Concerts
Frederic Chiu, Prokofiev: Complete Music for Solo Piano
Devin Townsend Project, By a Thread: Live in London 2011
Oceansize, Feed to Feed
Matt Elliott, Songs

More realistically:
Pink Floyd, Animals and Wish You Were Here (tie for first)
Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior
Yes, Tales from Topographic Oceans
Yaya Kim, a.k.a. Yaya
Mike Oldfield, Incantations

Mentionable honors:
Simple Minds, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
Split Enz, Waiata
Peter Gabriel, melt and security
Sheena Ringo, Kalk Samen Kuri no Hana (加爾基 精液 栗ノ花)
Fox Capture Plan, Xronicle and Nebula
Devics, The Stars at Saint Andrea, If You Forget Me..., and My Beautiful Sinking Ship
Rob Dougan, Furious Angels
Villagers of Ioannina City, Age of Aquarius
The Gathering, How to Measure a Planet? and if_then_else
King Buffalo, Acheron
Talking Heads, Remain in Light and The Name of This Band is Talking Heads
King Crimson, Islands, Red, and Discipline
Kyros, Vox Humana
Al1ce, The Thirteenth Hour
Apoptygma Berzerk, Welcome to Earth
The Tear Garden, Last Man to Fly
Kraftwerk, 1, 2, Ralf und Florian, Autobahn, Man Machine, and Computer World
Halou, Wiser
Genesis, Selling England by the Pound
Shotgun Messiah, Violent New Breed
godhead, nothingness
Talk Talk, The Party's Over, Spirit of Eden, and The Colour of Spring
Voivod, everything from RRRöööaaarrr through The Outer Limits
In the Nursery, Hindle Wakes
Trio Italiano, Schubert Piano Trios Vol. 2

...I give up.
GIF by NETFLIX

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I've actually been thinking about this all day. Not necessarily my top 5 albums/performances, but a couple of them are, I think. These, however, are albums that I could play on loop and not get tired of them. Ideally, Unplugged In New York would be a BluRay of the concert with lots of extra footage, but all of these albums have songs, if not an entire album, which can instantly take me back to an interesting time in my life where I have a lot of mostly-positive associations.

In no particular order other than size of the image I randomly grabbed:

Nirvana - Unplugged In New York
Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York (2 LP) Reissue - Muziker

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Live At Luther College
Dave & Tim - Live At Luther College

Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Gorillaz by Gorillaz on Apple Music

Red Hot Chili Peppers - CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (CD) - Amazon.com Music

Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
THIRD EYE BLIND - Third Eye Blind - Amazon.com Music

Edited by MexicanDragon
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I can't pick just 5, so I'll give 10. A few of these have more to do with what they meant to me at the time of their release. For example: Rod Stewart's The Killing of Georgie really helped me deal with my sexuality at a very confusing 16 years of age. 

Dire Straits: Making Movies

K. D. Lang: Shadowland

Stevie Nicks: Belladonna

Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run

Queen: A Night at the Opera

Willie Nelson: Stardust

Rod Stewart: A Night on the Town

B.B. King: Six Silver Strings

Allman Bros.: Eat a Peach

Neil Young: Harvest

 

 

 

Just realized I've already previously picked 5 albums. I guess it depends on the day, as only one pick made both lists.

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I skipped posting some albums the first time because I really thought it's impossible to narrow it down to five. However, giving some more thought to it and being honest, there're five albums (cheating a little bit) that will be the favourites ever because they became a part of my memories from when I was young. the order is just orientative.

 

1.- The Beatles: Abbey Road (yes, I love Revolver, Rubber Soul, Let it Be and Help! too, and like all the others, however this one is my recurring goto). I never got it in vinyl, I "stole" an original cassette from my godmother aunt.

ThUMZoy.jpg

 

 

2.- Toto: Hydra

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2.- Supertramp: Crisis, What Crisis?

Hp5hSrj.jpg

It's not a mistake, there are two #2. As a teenager I was poor. I had spent my savings of about 3 years in a stereo system, so I was broke and had little money to buy records. These two albums were recorded from friends LPs into a 90' cassette, one each side of the tape. I can't say how many times I listened to that tape with headphones in my bedroom. Later I bought the Supertramp's in vinyl.

 

 

3.- Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon

BjpkH5X.jpg

This one I got directly in vinyl with Atom Heart Mother. Later came Wish You Were Here. I never got to really dig The Wall with the same devotion.

 

 

4.- Sting: The Dream of the Blue Turtles

WpRIMVP.jpg

I love most of Police albums and a couple of them would have made a larger than 5 favourites list. I think Sting is a unique, gifted, tune composer. He got better albums than this, I know, but this one and its "If you love someone set them free" was released the year that my father died. A lot of reasons made it getting stuck in my head forever.

 

 

5.- Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: Ella & Louis

1LdnJlo.jpg

I made acquaintance with this one a few years later, but soon got into that cloud of favourite albums. It was a tie with Grover Washington Jr's "Winelight" though, which got there earlier in my life. 

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3 hours ago, MexicanDragon said:

I've actually been thinking about this all day. Not necessarily my top 5 albums/performances, but a couple of them are, I think. These, however, are albums that I could play on loop and not get tired of them. Ideally, Unplugged In New York would be a BluRay of the concert with lots of extra footage, but all of these albums have songs, if not an entire album, which can instantly take me back to an interesting time in my life where I have a lot of mostly-positive associations.

In no particular order other than size of the image I randomly grabbed:

Nirvana - Unplugged In New York
Nirvana MTV Unplugged In New York (2 LP) Reissue - Muziker

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Live At Luther College
Dave & Tim - Live At Luther College

Gorillaz - Gorillaz
Gorillaz by Gorillaz on Apple Music

Red Hot Chili Peppers - CalifornicationRed Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (CD) - Amazon.com Music

Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
THIRD EYE BLIND - Third Eye Blind - Amazon.com Music

Does the ultra-compression and supposed lack of dynamics on Californication bug you at all? I remember loving that album, then I got startled when I read about it as a case study in a book about loss of detail in modern recording, Perfecting Sound Forever if memory serves. 

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8 hours ago, Aspirant Audiophile said:

Does the ultra-compression and supposed lack of dynamics on Californication bug you at all? I remember loving that album, then I got startled when I read about it as a case study in a book about loss of detail in modern recording, Perfecting Sound Forever if memory serves. 

When I got it I was listening through a Sony or Aiwa shelf system, Porta Pro Jr. headphones, or the speakers in my 1993 Chevy Blazer. I did get an LFF remaster of it back in the day which was a bit flat, and the original was… what it was. The emotions I have with it make up for the drawbacks. Plus, Porcelin is such a good song. 

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