Thought this would be a fun exercise.
Here are mine, with bonus commentary.
- The Beatles, A Hard Days Night. The record and movie that launched thousands of bands. Seriously, if you weren’t around when it shipped, it’s hard to understand the impact of this album at the time. It was the first Beatles album comprised of entirely original material. It’s also still the most youthfully exuberant album I’ve ever listened to. Even the sad songs are full of energy.
- Big Star, Radio City. I’ve written about this record before. Really hit me emotionally as an eighteen-year old and still does. These guys were the victims of some of the worst promotional/distribution work of all time. I didn’t learn of the record until I read a Steve Simels’ review shortly after its release and by the time I went in search of it, it had already been relegated to cut-out bins — assuming you could even find it.
- Elvis Costello, This Year’s Model. This came out back in the day when I ordered a bunch of music imported from England. I liked Costello’s first album, so I managed to get a hold of TYM before I read any reviews. I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised by a record when I dropped the needle. Fierce, brilliant word play and musicianship to match.
- The Rolling Stones, Brussels Affair. The Stones at the height of their considerable powers. Mick Taylor rules! (But you knew that.) I’m pleased to say that I actually managed to tape the original, King Biscuit version when it aired in 1974, but the official 2011 release is much better sounding.
- Derek and the Dominos, Layla. All I can say is that it’s a real shame Eric Clapton didn’t pine after a few other men’s wives. He was never better than this.
Go ahead, take a shot in the comments.