A little over a year ago I began compiling a list of my favorite 25 albums. I finally finished last week. It was a fun exercise that forced me to think about the music that has meant the most to me over the years. My only self-imposed rule was to limit myself to one album per artist. Otherwise I’d probably have seven or eight Dylan albums here.
And how wonderful was it to find a photo by my late friend Elsa Dorfman that I could run with this.
If I did this again, I’m sure it would come out differently — but probably not too differently. Here, then, is the complete list, with links to what I wrote about each of them. Let the arguments begin!
- Bob Dylan, “Blood on the Tracks”
- Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run”
- Miles Davis, “Big Fun”
- The Rolling Stones, “Exile on Main Street”
- McCoy Tyner, “Enlightenment”
- Derek and the Dominos, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”
- Carla Bley and the Jazz Composers Orchestra, “Escalator over the Hill”
- The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”
- Al Green, “Greatest Hits”
- “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band”
- John Prine, “The Missing Years”
- Van Morrison, “Astral Weeks”
- Tom Waits, “Franks Wild Years”
- Charlie Parker, “Bird/The Savoy Recordings (Master Takes)”
- “The Essential Johnny Cash, 1955-1983”
- Paul Simon, “Graceland”
- Various artists, “The Harder They Come”
- Neil Young, “Decade”
- Muddy Waters Day at Paul’s Mall
- “The Essential George Jones”
- “The Beatles” (the White Album)
- Aretha Franklin, “Amazing Grace”
- Lucinda Williams, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road”
- Christopher Parkening, “Parkening Plays Bach”
- Mavis Staples, “We’ll Get By”
2 thoughts on “My top 25 albums: Let the arguing begin!”
There’s a lot of good stuff on here, but I’m curious where you’d rank U2’s Achtung Baby? I think that album would be very high, if not number 1, on a lot of Gen Xer’s lists.
In and of itself that doesn’t mean much, but I think it just highlights interesting generational differences.
All worthy choices. Any list that includes “Car Wheels” is fine by me. Maybe honorable mention for Los Lobos, “Kiko”?
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