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Ten Albums That Have Stayed With You


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9 hours ago, Principled Man said:

Quadrophenia - The Who

 

2 hours ago, goose said:

For the longest time I didn't really care for the Who.  Then Lorraine got me into this album and everything changed

 

I don't know how other Who fans feel, but for me, Quadrophenia out-classes Tommy.  It's Pete Townshend's greatest work. 

In just a few years, Townshend went from writing 3-minute ditties to magnificent rock operas with long instrumentals.  Extraordinary!       

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Okay I'm biting the bullet and making a list. Trust me, there are way more than 10 that have been there for me time and time again, but these ten in particular I want to call out here today. Also I gave myself the rule of only one album per artist, or else this list would quite literally be entirely Queen.

 

I am 25 years old.

 

1. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream (first heard around 2014/15)

 

     This is the easiest one to choose for this list, because I have a little ritual. About half of every time I get on an airplane, I choose this record to soundtrack my takeoff and the first hour and change of flight time.  Mostly, this is because the opening track is just perfectly timed to kick into high gear high about when the plan lifts off the runway, but it's also because the guitars all over this thing just sound like massive machinery defying gravity, and the drums hit as hard as you dare imagine the plane would if it hit the ground.  It always feels fresh and never fails to bring me some excitement when I travel. I actually don't play it much anymore outside of that context, if only to keep its utility in flight. But over the years I have become super close with this record as a result.

 

2. Jeff Buckley - Grace (first heard around 2015/16)

 

     My dad played this for me for the first time in his van in the winter, and told me it was just incredible. I had my doubts at first (it didn't *look* like one of the greatest rock albums ever, and I hadn't heard of it before), but I listened patiently. That patience has paid off time and time and time again.  This record has been my shoulder to cry on countless times, and inspired me and my own writing and singing countless more.  It seems every chapter of my life so far since hearing it, Grace has played an integral role, and each time it does I seem to pick up on a new aspect of its greatness.

 

3. Genesis - Selling England By The Pound (first heard 2015/16)

 

     Not my favorite Genesis album. No, some days it doesn't even make my top 5. And yet, over and over I keep returning to try to parse out what makes this record tick.  It's like scratching an itch.  I can't tell you how many times I've been walking around and started singing the first couple verses of Dancing Out With The Moonlit Knight to myself. Often enough that leads me to finish out the track and then try to finish out the whole album. Though I usually get stuck somewhere in the middle of The Battle Of Epping Forest.  I'm not sure what it is about this one that just can't stop playing through my head once it's started, but it doesn't get old to me.

 

4. MisterWives - Superbloom (first heard 2020 on release)

 

     Ask me point blank what my favorite MisterWives album is (they have four now so it's a relevant question) and I'll reliable tell you it's the one directly before this one, Connect The Dots.  But the truth is Superbloom is what I keep listening to repeatedly.  A slight concept album about emotional journey undertaken by the lead singer leading up to and following her divorce from the drummer, the tracks are ordered to take the listener along for that ride, and show step by step how she found herself and her happiness again, and was able to come out the other side.  As such, this album makes an excellent listen when I'm feeling anxious or defeated or scared and need to find someway to get myself back on my feet again. 

 

5. Queen - A Day At The Races (first heard 2013 on Easter Day!)

 

     What? Not A Night At The Opera?? No! In fact I rarely spin my very favorite album of all time, saving it for special occasions or when just the right mood strikes. I even tend to treat the next two or three Queen albums in my personal ranking the same way, and so it turns out that A Day At The Races, which has always been a more middle of the pack album for me, has kept me coming back over and over.  First off that production. In many ways Queen never sounded fuller, more lush, more beautiful than they do across these ten songs. It's also a very thematically consistent album, in that pretty much every song here is a love (or lust) song of some kind. Not that that's super important, but it adds to the very romantic feel of the music.  Stylistically diverse, but maybe not quite as chaotic as many of Queen's other masterpieces.  And it has these incredibly deep moments to hide your imagination away in: the screaming midsection of White Man, the lazy verses of Drowse, the haunting a cappella ending of You Take My Breath Away... so many more.  This is probably my most lived in Queen album, for that reason.

 

6. Muse - Black Holes And Revelations (first heard 2013/2014)

 

     I knew I had to pick a Muse album, but I struggled to choose one.  With Muse, as with many of my favorite bands, I rarely play my very favorite albums, and it's those slightly middling ones that I wind up spending the most time with, almost like they're puzzles I just can't quite finish and put away.  So in this case, it had to be between Black Holes and Absolution, and I chose Black Holes today. Maybe it'll be Abso tomorrow. The point with this one is a trick of the bright and shiny production has alway both captivated me like summer sun, and held me at an arm's length away (insert painful sunglasses metaphor here).  But the songwriting is really the most admirable thing here. BH&R may have the highest percentage of all time great songs of all of Muse's albums.  Even at it's corniest it just delights and inspires me (see Soldiers Poem and Invicible) and at it's heaviest and most emotional it resonates palpably (Map Of The Problematique, City Of Delusion, Assassin), plus it's just a lot of fun (Supermassive Black Hole, Starlight, Knights Of Cydonia). I always have a good time with this.

 

7. Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head (first heard 2013)

 

     Coldplay inhabit a piece of my heart that no other band touches. This record is at the center of it. I don't really have a lot of words for this one, it just moves me.

 

8. Dream Theater - Awake (first heard 2016/17)

 

     I had to include Dream Theater, and Awake seemed like the obvious choice. This is the record that turned me from a casual DT enjoyer, who easily tired of their whole everything, into a massive fan.  James' voice here is off the charts, and even if he was never able to sing quite so powerfully and freely again, I don't mind a bit since he laid this down first.  The soundscape still has the more analog feel of an 80s or 90s record, without all the cliche bells and whistles I&W fell back on.  The songs are deep and heavy and powerful, and I don't need to examine the playing, lol. The only caveat I'll add to this choice is I do have to call out one other very important DT song that isn't on this record, but has stuck with me just as much if not more: Octavarium. I could take or leave the other 7 songs on its album, but that epic has made me cry on more than one occasion, something very few songs ever do.

 

9. Paramore - After Laughter (first heard 2018)

 

     Not quite my favorite from Paramore, but close. After Laughter I think has had the most tracks make that immortal connection with me over the time I've spent with it than any other emo or emo adjacent record (though trust me, there are a lot of close seconds, especially Brand New Eyes).  But what sets this further apart is of course the style. Bubbly 80s synth pop and disco blended with modern post punk and just a dash of their pop punk past.  There isn't another album quite like it in DNA, and it lends a unique perspective to the songwriting, which is some of Haley's most vulnerable and relatable.  It's not the happy album it sounds like, and it doesn't even really try to be.  It's just the sound of exhausted perseverance. Continuing past the point of really knowing why you aught to anymore, and putting on the mask that lets you do it. 

 

10. Rush - Moving Pictures (first heard 2014/2015)

 

     I almost didn't include Rush. Really enough has been said on this forum about every one of their albums, *especailly* MP.  All I'll say is this. When I pick up a guitar, I feel Alex and Geddy's parts guiding my hands. When I go to write, I see the ghost of Peart's pen on the page. When I sing, I feel Geddy's phrasing and vibrato in my throat. If I were a drummer, well, you know. MP is perhaps the prime example of all of those things.  

 

Honorable mentions: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree, Green Day - Nimrod, Mumford & Sons - Babel

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The overall set::

  1. The Bob Seger System:-Ramblin' Gamblin' Man/Eponymous 1st album
  2. MC 5 Kick Out The Jams
  3. Jimi Hendrix Experience-Electric Ladyland
  4. ELP-Trilogy
  5. Lee Michaels-Lee Michaels (3rd album, "live in studio")
  6. Marvin Gaye-What's Goin' On?
  7. Rush-Moving Pictures
  8. Cream-Fresh Cream
  9. Quicksilver Messenger Service-Quicksilver Messenger Service (1st album)
  10. The Allman Brothers-Live At Filmore East

This is the overall list.  I could likely drop a tenner of primarily live albums, working on it.

Edited by pjbear05
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Yup, the live set:

  1. Rush-Exit Stage Left
  2. MC 5 Kick Out The Jams
  3. ELP-Welcome Back My Friends...
  4. Jimi Hendrix-Band of Gypsys
  5. The Who-Live At Leeds
  6. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band-Live Bullet
  7. The Allman Brothers Band-Live At Filmore East
  8. Humble Pie-Performance/Rockin' The Filmore
  9. Peter Frampton-Frampton Comes Alive
  10. The Grateful Dead-Live/Dead
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K-Tel Country Hits various albums (first listened to in early 1970;s

Beatles - 1962-1966 (first listened to in 1976)

KISS - Alive (first listened to in 1977)

Rush - All the World's a Stage (first listened to in 1977)

Zeppelin - TSRTS (first listened to in 1977)

Hendrix - Are you Experienced (first listened to in 1977)

Dvorak - Symphony #9 (first listened to in 1978)

Pat Benatar - In the Heat of the Night (first listened to in 1979)

REM - Murmur (first listened to in 1983)

Bob Mould - Black Sheets of Rain (first listened to in 1990)

 

 

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In no particular order:

Scenes From A Memory
Operation Mindcrime
Live At Leeds
ATWAS
Back In Black
Thunder Seven
Zeppelin IV
Under A Blood Red Sky
Malmsteen's Rising Force
Pearl Jam - Yield
 

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13 hours ago, pjbear05 said:

Yup, the live set:

  1. Rush-Exit Stage Left
  2. MC 5 Kick Out The Jams
  3. ELP-Welcome Back My Friends...
  4. Jimi Hendrix-Band of Gypsys
  5. The Who-Live At Leeds
  6. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band-Live Bullet
  7. The Allman Brothers Band-Live At Filmore East
  8. Humble Pie-Performance/Rockin' The Filmore
  9. Peter Frampton-Frampton Comes Alive
  10. The Grateful Dead-Live/Dead

That's a great live album list!

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2112

Tool - Lateralus

Floyd - Dark Side

Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Maiden - Piece of Mind

Wagner - der Ring des Nibelungen (comprises 15 CDs)

Beatles - Revolver

Mahler - Symphony N. 6

Lana Del Rey - Born to Die

Alice in Chains - Dirt

 

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First 10 rush studio records. No else come close. 

 

Besides rush these are the earliest records I got into circa age 11 or 12 that I still enjoy.

 

Animals

Zeppelin 1

Paranoid

Never mind the bullocks

Foghat live

Second helping

 

 

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I’m 39

these aren’t in any order
1. Jock Rock Vol 1 - first cassette I ever owned

2. Queen - A night at the Opera - 2nd cassette I ever owned

3. Weird Al - Running with Scissors - Weird Al at his best

4. Styx - Grand Illusion - As a young man through adulthood I feel I identify with reversing on this album…maybe not Miss America

5. Rush - Power Windows - First time I was blown away by lyrics. Every time I hear Manhatten Project I get chills

6. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

7. Genesis - Selling England By the Pound

8. Donnie Iris - Greatest Hits 

9. ELO - Out of The Blue

10. Moody Blues - To Our Children’s Children

 

 

 

 

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