These Albums… These Are Some of my Favorites…

  Update (Aug 30, 2016): I've added in some new favorites, below…

Why? Well, each one satisfies at least two out of three criteria: 1). Has personal significance — like a tattoo on my mind, these albums always bring back warm feelings; 2). It's a perfect album in my mind — from beginning to end, and from songwriting/performance to recording execution; and 3). Has significantly affected my own songwriting and/or recording projects.

I'm most certainly forgetting some.

In alphabetical order:

  • Alva Noto, “Xerrox Vol. 2”
  • Bang On a Can, “Music for Airports"
  • The Beta Band, “Hot Shots II”
  • Brian Eno, “Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks”
  • Biosphere, “Dropsonde”
  • Bjork, “Vespertine”
  • Cocteau Twins, “Heaven or Las Vegas”
  • Daniel Lanois, “Belladonna”
  • David Bowie, “Sound and Vision”  
  • Do Make Say Think, “& Yet & Yet”
  • Fennesz, “Endless Summer”
  • Gastr del Sol, “Upgrade & Afterlife”
  • James, “Laid”
  • Japan, “Tin Drum”
  • Jim O'Rourke, “Halfway to a Threeway”
  • John Cale, “Paris 1919”
  • Joni Mitchell, “Court & Spark”
  • Joni Mitchell, “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”
  • Loose Fur, “Born Again in the USA” 
  • Low, “Things We Lost in the Fire”
  • Marvin Gaye, “What's Going On”
  • Marvin Gaye, “I Want You”
  • Marvin Gaye, “Here, My Dear”
  • Michael Jackson, “Off the Wall” 
  • Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
  • Monolake, “Cinemascope”
  • Paul Simon, “Rhythm of the Saints” 
  • Pita, “Get Out”
  • Prince, “Prince”
  • Prince, “Purple Rain” 
  • Prince, “Around the World in a Day”
  • R.E.M., “Up”
  • Radiohead, “Kid A”
  • Sam Prekop, “Sam Prekop”
  • The Sea and Cake, “The Fawn”
  • The Sea and Cake, “Oui”
  • The Sea and Cake, “The Moonlight Butterfly” 
  • Sparks, “Kimono My House”
  • Stereolab, “Dots & Loops”
  • Stevie Wonder, “Songs in the Key of Life”
  • Talk Talk, “Laughing Stock”
  • Talking Heads, “Remain in Light”
  • To Rococo Rot, “The Amateur View”
  • To Rococo Rot & I-Sound, “Music is a Hungry Ghost” 
  • To Rococo Rot, “Speculation”
  • Tortoise, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”
  • Tortoise, “TNT”
  • Trans Am, “The Surveillance”
  • Trans Am, “Futureworld”
  • Wilco, “A Ghost is Born”  
  • Willie Nelson, “Red Headed Stranger”
  • Yo La Tengo, “And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out”
  • The Zombies, “Odyssey and Oracle”

A couple other things of note: whole genres are missing (where's Hip-Hop?); there's an overabundance of “Post-Rock”; there's an overabundance of albums that came out in late 90's, early 00's; there's an underwhelming amount of ambient-electronic on here, compared to what I listen to on a daily basis. Also, no Beatles? Stones? WTF? Of course some of that shit is my favorite, but it's also in the water I drink. 

There are at least 100 other albums that could and may make this list, but most haven't had the benefit of time or enough repeated listens (e.g. I can't stop listening to a few albums that came out in the past couple years, but it's too soon to call them all-time-favorites). I really want to add Gordon Lightfoot's “Sundown”, but I'm still geeking on it. Need to relax and forget for a while, then come back and see if I'm still into it.