Friday, January 20, 2006

List of the Week: My 100 Favorite Albums

I had a friend once who had Metallica's self-titled album -- colloquially known, of course, as "the black album" -- playing in his CD player all the time. But he kept it on repeat: he listened to the fourth track, "The Unforgiven," over and again, all day it seemed. Which was fine with me.

But one day, he and I, along with a few other friends, made a trip to the store. Since I also had the black album in my car's CD player, we listened to it. We heard "The Unforgiven." And then the next song, "Wherever I May Roam."

My friend: "Oh. This song is on that CD, too?"

I was confused. I asked him what he meant. As it turned out, not only did he obessively listen to "The Unforgiven," he'd never bothered to listen to the rest of the disc at all. Not once. Apparently, he did this with every CD he owned: listen to the radio singles he knew he liked, and never hear the other tracks.

Gah!

Myself, I'm a very pro-album guy, and to prove it, here's yet another gloriously cumbersome list: my 100 favorite albums.

I've actually had this up for a couple of years now, but I had them listed in alphabetical order for some reason that seemed good at the time. I ran across it last week and decided it was time to do it right.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory, yeah? You'll notice that my picks here tend to cluster around a few favorite bands -- nothing I can do about that.

This list is subject to change at any time I feel necessary -- tastes shift, listening habits change, and new music comes out all the time.

And do me a favor: if you have Metallica and have never bothered to hear the whole thing...do so. You'll thank me.
  1. Metallica, Metallica (1991)
  2. Radiohead, OK Computer (1997)
  3. Pink Floyd, The Wall (1979)
  4. Metallica, Master of Puppets (1985)
  5. Nirvana, Nevermind (1991)
  6. Dave Matthews Band, Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
  7. The Beatles, Revolver (1966)
  8. R.E.M., Automatic for the People (1992)
  9. Tool, ├ćnima (1996)
  10. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

  11. Guns N' Roses, Use Your Illusion II (1991)
  12. Guns N' Roses, Use Your Illusion I (1991)
  13. The Tragically Hip, Road Apples (1991)
  14. Days of the New, Days of the New II (1999)
  15. Barenaked Ladies, Maroon (2000)
  16. Fiona Apple, When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts... (1999)
  17. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
  18. Radiohead, Kid A (2000)
  19. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
  20. Peter Gabriel, Us (1992)

  21. Green Day, American Idiot (2004)
  22. The Beatles, Abbey Road (1969)
  23. Soundgarden, Superunknown (1994)
  24. Alice in Chains, Dirt (1992)
  25. Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile (1999)
  26. Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine (1992)
  27. R.E.M., Monster (1994)
  28. Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds Five (1995)
  29. Dave Matthews Band, Crash (1996)
  30. Metallica, Reload (1997)

  31. Guns N' Roses, Appetite for Destruction (1987)
  32. The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night (1964)
  33. The Tragically Hip, Phantom Power (1998)
  34. Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here (1975)
  35. Barenaked Ladies, Gordon (1992)
  36. Counting Crows, August and Everything After (1993)
  37. Cake, Prolonging the Magic (1998)
  38. Peter Gabriel, So (1986)
  39. The Arcade Fire, Funeral (2005)
  40. The Beatles, Rubber Soul (1965)

  41. Metallica, Ride the Lightning (1984)
  42. Tool, Undertow (1994)
  43. Dave Matthews Band, Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
  44. Jethro Tull, Thick as a Brick (1973)
  45. Nirvana, In Utero (1993)
  46. Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)
  47. The Verve Pipe, The Verve Pipe (1999)
  48. Counting Crows, Recovering the Satellites (1996)
  49. The Offspring, Smash (1994)
  50. Radiohead, The Bends (1995)

  51. The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
  52. Marilyn Manson, Mechanical Animals (1998)
  53. Pink Floyd, The Final Cut (1983)
  54. Metallica, ...And Justice For All (1987)
  55. The Tragically Hip, Day for Night (1995)
  56. Weezer, Pinkerton (1996)
  57. Days of the New, Days of the New III (2001)
  58. Our Lady Peace, Happiness...is Not a Fish That You Can Catch (1999)
  59. Everclear, So Much for the Afterglow (1997)
  60. Barenaked Ladies, Stunt (1998)

  61. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  62. Ben Folds Five, Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)
  63. Alice in Chains, MTV Unplugged (1996)
  64. Nine Inch Nails, The Downward Spiral (1994)
  65. Green Day, Dookie (1994)
  66. Dave Matthews Band, The Central Park Concert (2003)
  67. Stone Temple Pilots, Purple (1994)
  68. U2, Achtung Baby (1991)
  69. "Weird Al" Yankovic, Off the Deep End (1992)
  70. Radiohead, Amnesiac (2001)

  71. Poe, Haunted (2000)
  72. Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti (1973)
  73. The Who, Who's Next (1971)
  74. Pink Floyd, Animals (1977)
  75. The White Stripes, Elephant (2003)
  76. Barenaked Ladies, Maybe You Should Drive (1994)
  77. Eminem, The Eminem Show (2002)
  78. Modest Mouse, The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
  79. Ben Folds Five, The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999)
  80. Days of the New, Days of the New (1997)

  81. The Tragically Hip, Fully Completely (1993)
  82. Dave Matthews Band, Remember Two Things (1993)
  83. Cake, Comfort Eagle (2001)
  84. Fiona Apple, Tidal (1996)
  85. Jay-Z, The Black Album (2003)
  86. "Weird Al" Yankovic, Running With Scissors (1999)
  87. Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger (1991)
  88. Apocalyptica, Inquisition Symphony (1998)
  89. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Live at Luther College (1999)
  90. Metallica, St. Anger (2003)

  91. Radiohead, Hail to the Thief (2003)
  92. The Tragically Hip, In Between Evolution (2004)
  93. Weezer, Weezer ("the blue album") (1994)
  94. Modest Mouse, Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)
  95. "Weird Al" Yankovic, In 3-D (1984)
  96. Tool, Lateralus (2001)
  97. Barenaked Ladies, Born on a Pirate Ship (1996)
  98. Kanye West, Late Registration (2005)
  99. Ben Folds, Rockin' the Suburbs (2001)
  100. Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill (1995)

Next week: My ultimate box set, featuring 100+ of my favorite songs. Yeah, I'm a total dork.

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