Another Top Ten: Albums

Sure its cliche, but I was thinking about this today on the drive into school--the ole "what ten albums would you take to a desert island?" question. Here's what I'm packing, in chronological order.
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, 1959
I never claim to be a die-hard jazz fan, my jazz collection is about ten albums. I love writing to this album (along with Coltrain and Monk).
Jimi Hendrix, Radio One, 1967-8 [recorded]
Well mastered, live in studio tracks; the version of "Burning" on this disc is my probably my favorite Hendrix recording. I know they have re-released the complete BBC recordings, but this was the 3rd CD I ever bought--sentimental value runs deep
Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland, 1968
This was the last album I put on the list--because there's some tracks on this album that I really dislike... but as a whole, this is the most sublime album in the history of guitar playing. From the jam of Voodoo Child to the "oh-my-fucking-God-that's-just-ridiculous" licks of the final three tracks (all competing in my top ten all-time tracks), EL is a master virtuoso performance. Though, if I brought this album to the island, I'd have to bring a guitar--I can't listen to this album and not pick up a guitar
Allman Bros, Beginnings, 1973
O.k., its a double album. And a re-release. Chill out. Eat a peach.
Guns 'n' Roses, Appetite for Destruction, 1987
I have to keep reminding myself that this is twenty years old. Many of my students weren't born when this album came out.
Pixies, Doolittle, 1989
Again, a college disc. But its hard to fathom how many other bands were influenced by the Pixies. My wife's a bigger fan of the earlier albums; I like them all but consider Doolittle a nice mix of polish and ferocity
Sublime, 40oz. to Freedom, 1992
This album reminds of college--and the sheer range of musical stylings and influences on this disc makes it still worth a listen. "Ball and Chain" ranks up high on my favorite all-time tracks, but I'll save that list for another day
Soul Coughing, Ruby Vroom, 1994
Few albums can claim to be unique. This album is one of them. I never felt any of their follow-ups captured the sophistication and energy of this CD. "True Dreams of Witcha" is the hightlight--smart, profound, and carefully crafted (without being "sound-painting")
Pearl Jam, Vs, 1995
I love Ten, too--but its too polished. There's a certain "rough-around-the-edges" violence to the mixing of this album; I'd rather be with an animal.
Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds Five, 1995
I'm a big fan of all Ben Folds's work, but this first CD remains my favorite. But that's just my philosophy.

Looking at the list, I feel a bit old. Nothing from this century (sigh). Number 11 would have been Lucky Boys Confusion--terrible name for a band, but a very tight sound with pretty incredible harmonies. Also kind of surprising that Metallica didn't make the list--despite the 25 or so CD's in my collection. I really like Metallica, but I guess there's no one CD that I couldn't live without.

Of course, I'll probably look back at this list in a day or two and realize I'm forgetting some other album "I couldn't live without."


Anonymous said...

Here is my list, in no particular order:

1. Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
2. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
3. Pearl Jam - Live on Two Legs (Is this cheating?)
4. Live - Throwing Copper
5. The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
6. Sublime - Sublime
7. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
8. Third Eye Blind - Out of the Vein
9. Tool - Aenima
10. Stevie Ray Vaughan - Greatest Hits

Man, that's a lot of similar, early nineties music. On second thought, I might consider some variety...

Insignificant Wrangler said...

Throwing Copper is a great, under-appreciated album. And Mellon Collie is great as well. I realized last night talking about the list with Meg that I didn't include any Cake, another mid-90's favorite... no RATM either, but I think that's a product of making a list at age 30 rather than 22.

Michael Covarrubias said...

I wasn't up to the challenge of albums. And I cheated by picking a theme (though without the theme my list would be almost identical).

I posted a list of my 10 songs over at My Fenhop.