15 in 15

Our comrade (he won’t like me calling him that, heh heh) in blogging Kad Barma over there on Choosing a Soundtrack mentioned something called 15 for 15 going around on Facebook. The idea being for people to take 15 minutes and list the 15 “record albums,” no matter what technology I guess (LP/33s, 8-track, cassette, CD, comparable download), “that will always stick with them.” It’s a little bit different than asking someone what he or she would take to a desert island. (I had to look up “desert island” because, well, I never thought about that term even though I’ve heard it many times. There are no islands in the desert, right? Means “uninhabited” island.)So, these may or may not be my 15 all-time favorites, but they are weighted with importance for various reasons. Here’s my list without a lot of commentary and not in order of importance. I don’t know if picking “greatest hits collections” is cheating, but I did, and I combined The Beatles’ film music from their first two movies because they go together in time for me. I decided not to pick anything less than 20 years old. Following are a few newer choices that have the potential to “stick.”

1. A Hard Day’s Night & Help!, The Beatles (I counted the movie music as a double album)

2. Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan

3. Abraxas, Santana

4. Tapestry, Carole King

5. Band on the Run, Paul McCartney & Wings

6. Abbey Road, The Beatles

7. Hegira, Joni Mitchell

8. The Best of Leonard Cohen

9. The Best of Van Morrison

10. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

11. Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and the Wailers

12. The Beatles (The White Album)

13. Graceland, Paul Simon

14. Real Live John Sebastian

15. After the Gold Rush, Neil Young

Newer recordings that have possibilities for long-term stickiness:

1. Innocence & Despair, The Langley Schools Music Project (low-tech recordings of school kids in Canada playing and singing classic rock)

2. Mermaid Avenue, Billy Bragg & Wilco (memorable new music inspired by unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics)

3. Trouble, Ray Lamontagne (the Great White French Canadian-American Hope from Maine)

4. Live from the Royal Albert Hall, The Killers (the DVD is even better on HD)

5. Concert for George, Various Artists (a tribute to George Harrison by music giants, also in Royal Albert Hall coincidentally—as in… how many holes it takes to fill…)

6. The River Turns the Wheel, Bob Martin (this work is a high point in Lowell’s music history)

7. One Fast Move or I’m Gone : Music from Kerouac’s Big Sur, Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard (I had to pick this one because I’m in this movie, and the songs are outstanding)

3 Responses to 15 in 15

  1. George DeLuca says:

    This is my “off the top of my head” mainstream list. Could easily list another 10. I hate leaving out Bobby Vinton’s Greatest Hits including “Blue Velvet” which kicked off my great awakening to popular music. We should do one for jazz, blues, classical, underground … sometime.

    1. Meet the Beatles

    2. Can’t Buy a Thrill, Steely Dan

    3. Blue, Joni Mitchell

    4. Harvest, Neil Young

    5. Crosby, Stills and Nash (the album)

    6. Heart Like a Wheel, Linda Ronstadt

    7. Streetlights, Bonny Raitt

    8. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac

    9. Dreamboat Annie, Heart

    10. Live at Leeds, The Who

  2. PaulM says:

    George: This is great. Let’s hear from some other folks. Takes less than 15 minutes. be interesting to see who shows up where and how many overlaps there are with albums and/or artists. I almost added CSNY with Four-Way Street or was it 4-Way Street, double album from 1971 maybe.