I love music. In fact, I’m listening to some tunes right now.
I was recently thinking how there are those few songs—and even those few albums—that I can listen to over and over. They’re the songs that have been tried and tested. They’ve been with me through thick and thin, the good times and the bad times. Now, I’m not saying these are the best albums ever made, but I think some of them could be in the running. Of course, I’m a little biased; I’ve left out some of those “classics” that will always make it onto lists like these (and Rap and Country genres are conspicuously missing), but hey, this is my list.
In any case, here are my favorite albums of all time (in no order) that will never get old:
Album: Metallica (The “Black” Album)
A lot of people gave Metallica a hard time when they released this album because it was too “soft.” Sure, their songs were no longer 9 minutes long and they added a bit more “melody” but this album still rocks and it rocks hard. I’m convinced Metallica is one of the greatest, most ingenious bands in history and The Black Album is just 12 songs that help to prove it.
Artist: No Doubt
Album: Tragic Kingdom
This was the very first CD I ever owned…back when CDs were still sort of new. I played this thing into the ground (really, I had to buy a new one I played it so much!). Tragic Kingdom launched No Doubt into super stardom. Not only is the music awesome on this album but Gwen Stefani’s pure, heartfelt lyrics are powerful and visceral. She didn’t hold anything back when she broke up with fellow band mate and bassist, Tony Kanal. Only 2 of the 14 songs don’t directly speak of their breakup (that I can tell). Tragic Kingdom is a classic.
Artist: The Head and the Heart
Album: The Head and the Heart (Self-titled)
The Head and the Heart have just recently made it into my repertoire. But man, the songs on this album are amazing. I’m constantly amazed at how many times they can change directions in a song while still making everything fit together and sound like a cohesive song. Great music. Great lyrics. Great vocals. You’ve gotta check ’em out!
Album: From Chaos
I was a 311 fan before From Chaos was released, and I loved their stuff. But this album just clicked with me in a different way. From Chaos was one of those that was always in my Disc Man or, (a little bit later in life) always in my CD changer. I felt like this was the first album that 311 really “matured” while still maintaining a perfect blend of rock, rap and reggae that only 311 can do.
Artist: Hootie & The Blowfish
Album: Cracked Rear View
I actually owned this on cassette tape. Yeah. “Only Wanna Be With You” was one of those radio phenomenons. It played everywhere. But that’s not what makes this album a great one. While this a good song, it’s just one of 12 beauties. The band has had some good songs on subsequent albums but nothing ever came close to Cracked Rear View. Now lead singer Darius Rucker is a Country man and it seems we may never again hear the sweet melodies of Hootie or his infamous blowfish.
Artist: The Wallflowers
Album: Bringing Down the Horse
Thank goodness Jakob Dylan (son of Bob Dylan) can sing better than his dad. Well, not that he’s really singing but his voice is perfect for the bluesy rock of the Wallflowers. The hit single “One Headlight” was one of those songs that lived for weeks on VH1, and for good reason. Bringing Down the Horse is 51 minutes of kick-back tunes with just enough “umph” and rock do keep you excited and energized.
Artist: Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler’s aptly named fourth album “Four” was the first to bring the band into the mainstream. You can’t really call them a one-hit wonder, but they’ve never regained the popularity that “Run-Around” or “Hook” brought them back in 1994. This album introduced to the world the talents of John Popper and taught us that a harmonica can be played like a 6-string guitar during a blazing solo. No matter how many times I listen to this album it never gets old.
Album: Neon Ballroom
Silverchair is one of those bands that hasn’t made one album like the other. Time after time I’ll be with friends and they’ll ask, “who is this?” They’re surprised how time after time I say “Silverchair”. The first concert I ever went to was Silverchair at the Paramount in Seattle, WA. I was chompin’ at the bit to see these guys “live” because I couldn’t get enough of Neon Ballroom. Not only did they literally have the Anthem for the Year 2000, but a vocalist that could sing his heart out and a backup symphony that perfectly accentuated their guitars and drums. Neon Ballroom is the epitome of grunge and new metal all wrapped up in one.
If you’ve made it this far I’m sure you’re thinking: “But you forgot about ____!” I’m sure I did. Tell me what your favorite albums are in the comments.