5 albums to live for

Often you can see lists with names like “ten things to die for”, but I don’t like this approach. There is nothing you should die for, instead, I would like to imagine that there are things, that make you want to live. Like the suicide song. Even the most depressed person should feel some kind of inspiration after listening to it (until the end, of course). Anyway, that’s just about the title of this post, actually it has nothing to do with suicide. It’s about music.
I am an album person. I don’t have single songs in my iPod, only complete albums, with proper names, tags and album art. I like the nice perfect order, it’s tidy and I always know where to find something. I guess I became an album person when I first listened to one of these “500 greatest rock songs” collections. I found some very nice songs that I liked, say – “Ziggy Stardust”. At that point, I had no idea about the early work of David Bowie. I found and listened to the whole album, and it was a revelation. I didn’t have any idea that there could be so much more of these great songs. The hit singles are only the ones loved by some gray mass, but my taste can be different. I can find unnoticed gems in B sides and near the end of a bad-selling album. I also learned to appreciate the concept of an album, that the artist works to present the album as a whole piece of art, not just a bunch of songs he wrote during last 3 years of touring (sadly, most new artists make albums in such way).

I have some albums, that have made me who I am at this point. They are albums that I love with all my heart, that have changed my way of thinking, and influenced me in every way. I cannot make a specific TOP5, but I wanted to keep the list short and specific. Here goes:

Bob Dylan –
The Times They Are a-Changin’

I chose this specific album because it’s very simple and uniform. It also sounds good as a whole. It’s very peaceful, and has some really great lyrics. My second choice was Blood on the tracks but there were too many songs I didn’t care about, and it had that pop-music sound at some points. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it also, I especially adore the first two tracks in Blood

David Bowie – Hunky Dory

This is an album that grows on you. I didn’t like it at start, it sounded very Pop, but as the tracks progress, it becomes better and better. It’s not one of those albums which have the best songs at the start, and after those it gets worse and worse until you get bored. I especially love the Song for Bob Dylan, and the Andy Worhol song. My second choice was Ziggy Stardust, but it’s too grand, too huge and too polished. Hunky Dory is much simpler, natural and down to earth.

Led Zeppelin – IV

I can’t really say that this specifically is the best Led Zeppelin album, but I guess it means more to me, because it’s how I found Zeppelin. Of course – because of  Stairway to Heaven. I also listened to I yesterday, and couldn’t decide which one I loved more. I guess all the quadrilogy is perfect together, and I can’t pick one specific part.

Pink Floyd – Wish you were here

Of course, Pink Floyd has always had a special place in my heart. It’s the untouchable band for me. I maybe haven’t really listened to them for two years, but inside I know every single sound of all their albums, and I love them anyway. It’s easy to say which albums I like the most – anything they released in the seventies. Outside of that decade, there is no Pink Floyd for me. WYWH is my favourite because it’s not so complicated and big as the Wall, and still has the Gilmour sound. The band is still together here. It’s also the first PF album I ever heard, I found it in my parent’s collection of audio casettes, ripped from large tape spools. The casette only had “Pink Floyd” hand written on it.

Jethro Tull – Aqualung

I’m not entirely sure about this one, I know I love the album, but this place could also be occupied by Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Abraxas, Disraeli Gears, or any other of my favourite albums. There is just too many of them. This album I found by asking my dad for some recommendations. This was before the internet age. I knew that me and my dad shared some taste in music, so I trusted him for such things. He told me that it was some kind of a crazy flute player, which I found strange, and ignored it for quite a while, but when I found it, I immediatelly told myself to never doubt my dad anymore 🙂

Anything else? Yes, there is a lot of special albums that I love and listen to – daily. I also almost included () by Sigur Ros, Consolers of the Lonely by the Raconteurs, Abraxas by Santana, some Simon and Garfunkel album, maybe a Cream album, maybe something by Jimi Hendrix or the Kinks, maybe a Beatles album. But I didn’t want to make a huge list, just a few of the most important ones, in no particular order, not even perfectly considered. Maybe this list will change in a few months, who knows.

How about you? Do you have a few albums that you will listen to probably for ever? Something that has influenced you in many ways, something that can make you cry or scream? Something that will remain like that for a long time, because it’s music is just too beautiful?

Share those albums in the comments of this article. I will gladly listen to them and try to appreciate what you loved.

26 thoughts on “5 albums to live for

  1. Led Zeppelin ‘Physical Graffiti’Pink Floyd ‘DSOTM’
    Peter Gabriel ‘So’
    Kate Bush ‘Aerial’
    Vangelis ‘Blade Runner’ (technically a soundtrack, I know, but then again – in terms of (musical) story and completeness – Album with a capital A)

    And, for something completely different – Depeche Mode ‘Songs Of Faith And Devotion’. Maybe due to the sentiment, but nevertheless this is truly an Album worth living for.

  2. Yes, I’m the one, who listen to the album not just the songs. Just counted, that last year listened to 189 different albums 🙂
    This top5 is very close to mine, but for Bob Dylan I like more ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’l, second position is out of my top 20 [unfortunately], well you know about Led Zeppelin I. Previously I would also vote for ‘Wish You Were Here’ or ‘The Dark Side’, but now my favorite one is Atom Heart Mother from Pink Floyd.

    The is place for Cream (some other Eric projects, at least one), Raconteurs.
    Other my favorite albums, that makes top25 😀 and not listed here
    The Libertines – The Libertines, because I just love everything song from it.
    Muse – Origin of Symmetry, as it can brought my emotions on top or throw it to the bottom.
    Gabriel – Gabriel III, when energy is blowing up from every song.
    Just recently added Cat Stevens – Tea for Tilermann.
    Maybe the last fifth would be Janis Joplin or some album from Splin (russian band).

    But actually I do not have top, and I do not want to have it.

  3. I agree with that “complete album thing”. I can’t understand those who are keeping in their play lists dozens of songs without any order and for example listens Britney Spears after Metallica. If I hear even one song and I like it, I immediately download (yes, I know, it’s bad) all album or even complete discography.
    5 albums of my “Now listening” list

    Ray Manzarek – The Golden Scarab
    Nick Drake – Pink Moon
    Fleetwood Mac – Pious Bird Of Good Omen
    Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow
    The Nightwatchman – One Man Revolution

    1. zin kā, lielais brālis varbūt skatās. man savukārt sašutums ir tāds, ka es labprāt par tiem albumiem samaksātu un turētu plauktā CD formātā, bet man nav kur CD atskaņot, un iTunes mūziku LV nevar nopirkt. Nav nekāda veida kā te legāli iegādāties mūziku modernā formā.

  4. Man gan tas saraksts stipri mainīgs, bet laikam pašlaik varētu būt šāds:
    The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat (iemīlēju jau no pirmās nots, domāju, ka uz visiem laikiem :))
    The Mothers of Invention – Freak Out! (pagāja ilgs laiks, kamēr “sagremoju”, tagad vienkārši dievinu)
    The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (arī šis man ir no tiem albumiem, kā Tu raksti, “that grows on you”)
    Radiohead – Kid A (manos 16 tas šķita diezgan mindblowing albums, tagad arī labprāt klausos, bet sarakstā ieliku +/- tikai “vēsturiskās ietekmes” dēļ :))
    The Sonics – Here Are The Sonics!!! (pirmoreiz dzirdēju relatīvi nesen, kad ļoti ilgu laiku nebiju dzirdējis neko interesantu un svaigu, 5 zvaigznītes uzreiz :))

    Reālais saraksts gan būtu garāks, bet to gan jau kādreiz pie sevis uzrakstīšu 🙂 Tāda doma jau ir ilgu laiku.

  5. Wow, those are some impressive lists of real heart felt music…I wish I could say my tastes were so rooted in rock history.
    One of the albums that got me started in electronic music was Vegas by the Crystal Method. I still remember track 5 “comin back”. I was 16 in my car with the windows down and the radio up. I had two 12 inch subwoofer with an 800 watt amp. The Crystal Method starts the melody, then drops out the bass…the melody builds, then crescendos and the music stops, then the base kicks you in the chest and the whole song rolls over you…nothing like it!

    Another artist I WILL listen to for the rest of my days is Benny Benassi and his Satisfaction album…Benny is a master with a bassline and his vocal hooks give me goose bumps.

    You can’t forget Tiesto, Corsten, Alligator, and Scooter.

    =)

  6. Dark Side Of The MoonBRMC – Howl
    Love – Forever Changes
    OK Computer
    In The Court Of The Crimson King
    Physical Graffiti
    +daudzi citi, bet šie pagaidām ir tie, ko noteikti gribētos skaņuplašu (par otro neesmu pārliecināts, vai vispār ir pieejams vinils) formātā, pagaidām ir tikai pirmais.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *