Another article on this site provides info on a Music Blogger's picks for the Top 20 Albums of all time (do a search in our search box for "Top 20 Albums" to find it), and our desire to name a Plymouth-Canton Top 20, which involves our request to have readers contribute their Top 5 choices. To get started, I have developed my list, with two basic criteria influencing my choices: the album needed to be listenable from front to back, meaning I think all or almost all songs on the album needed to be good ones (an important consideration when listening to vinyl in the 70's and 80's!); and second, the album needed to influence my taste in music, or turn me on to the offerings of the artist. These 5, not ranked in order of preference, are at the top of my list:
Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones (pictured) - I had to have a Stones album on my list, and this is my choice of the best. it was helped by being issued as a two-record set, and all the songs are solid, including some classics: Rip This Joint, Loving Cup, All Down the Line; and one of my personal favorites, Sweet Black Angel.
Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen - I also had to have the Boss on my list, and I couldn't agree with the previously referenced Top 20 list that put "Born in the USA" on the list. To me, Born to Run is the better album, and it put Bruce Springsteen on the map in a big way when it was introduced in 1975. My favorites on this album include the title track, Thunder Road and She's the One.
Jeff Beck, Blow by Blow - This all-instrumental jazz fusion collaboration with keyboardist Max Middleton exposed me to the genre, and still holds up extremely well today. The album includes a song written by Lennon/McCartney (She's a Woman), and two by Stevie Wonder (Cause We've Ended as Lovers, and Thelonius). Great tracks also include Freeway Jam, the big hit from this album, and Scatterbrain, which is my favorite.
Led Zeppelin, Physical Graffiti - I'm in agreement with the Top 20 list on this one, which was also helped by the sheer volume of music on what was originally a double record set. It features Kashmir, the acoustic Bron-yr-ur, Ten Years Gone and Night Flight among its many solid offerings.
Automatic for the People, REM - A groundbreaking album by a band that I feel breathed new life into the music industry at a time when it needed it. Every song on this album is a good one, and Sidewinder, Find the River and Man on the Moon are great ones.
Honorable Mentions - If I was doing a longer list, I would include: What's Going On by Marvin Gaye; Madman Across the Water by Elton John; Harvest by Neil Young; and something by the Allman Brothers, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. Why not the Beatles? I really can't say they have an album that meets my criteria of a top to bottom listing of songs that I love.
What are your Top 5?
Win an iPod Shuffle! Email us your Top 5 list
(we only want 5 to make this compilation a little easier on us) with the words "TOP 5" in your subject line, along
with any comments about your choices you want to share. We also will
need the complete artist and album name. We’ll post some of these
responses that contain good commentary on occasion while the voting
continues. The person that we feel comes closest to the first 5 choices in the compilation of all voters will be the winner. A return email address will be used to notify the
winners of our contest.