I was originally going to post a picture of the album cover with every entry. That being said, blogger.com is shitty for coding and it gets to be a nightmare, so I am posting a link to purchase the records on iTunes instead. There, I just told you to go buy songs instead of steal them. I'm not a total jerk. Here they are... In no particular order.
Thin Lizzy - Dedication. I know, it's a greatest hits album and all. I would have picked Jailbreak over this if, and only if, the track "Dedication" was not assembled by former members of the band from one of Phil Lynnot's demos after he died and if one could find it anywhere else. It's easily the most badass riff I have ever heard. And I'm a man who knows his riffs.
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity. This album came out 12 years ago and it's the only thing that my generation has released that my generation still gushes about all the time.
Portishead - Roseland, NYC Live. The best live album ever made.
Explosions in the Sky - The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place. These guys and this record makes every other band in their genre (the post-rock instrumental whatever) look like total amateurs. I filled in on bass for a band about 10 years ago that opened for these guys and after the show I wanted sell all of my gear.
Pearl Jam - Vitalogy. The best collection of songs that they ever wrote. Eddie Vedder can tell one hell of a story in under 4 minutes.
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On. People always talk about the title track being the one that they... well... you know. Best track on this record? "Please Stay". And for everyone who hates motown, I don't know if I can talk to you.
Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary. Jeremy Enigk can't sing. These guys couldn't really play. Most of the lyrics read like Robert Smith-throwaways. But it came out 17 years ago and everyone who is making rock music these days has this band to thank for having the balls to release something this unique. This is one hell of a ringing endorsement.
Tom Waits - The Heart of Saturday Night. If you're under the age of 25, I wouldn't even recommend trying to listen to this. I know that everyone that loves Tom Waits and who reads this blog (all 4 of you) will say "What about Small Change, or Mule Variations, or Rain Dogs?" All great in their own respect but the stories in these songs make sense to me.
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds. Paul McCartney once said that Sgt. Pepper's... was his band's attempt to answer this record. Think about what Brian Wilson could do if he had two good ears.
Original Cast Recording (London) - The Phantom of the Opera. My parents went and saw this in Toronto in the early-90s and I swear my mom played this tape for two years straight. A few years later, my parents took us to see it as a family across the border. I stood and applauded at the end.