Someone on the WebcomicList forums asked everybody to name their 10 favorite albums of all time. I had a little trouble with the order, and limiting them to just ten, so in no particular order, here’s the albums I’ve bought over the years that probably will never go away so long as I still breathe.
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue - I actually only really listened to this album the first time about two years ago, but it prompted a Miles obsession that resulted in me owning every work he ever produced. Amazing artist that changed everything.
Johnny Cash - Live from San Quentin - The witty banter, engrossing stories, and deep spiritual politics is mesmerizing.
Beatles - The White Album - an old favorite. Could be Abbey Road, except for the first half. This album is perfect.
Nas - Illmatic - NY State of Mind. Halftime. Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die. 10 tracks that never miss once.
Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt - Same deal except Jay-Z.
Wu Tang Clan - Enter the 36th Chambers This album introduced the world to the RZA, the GZA, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Old Dirty Bastard and a bunch of other legendary rappers. And none of them ever made a better album than this. The raw energy has never been duplicated, this shit changed everything.
A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory The first hip-hop album I ever loved, I owe a debt of gratitude to Tip and Phife for showing me what music could really be.
Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas - I loved this album when I was a kid, and rediscovered Guaraldi when I got into jazz. Nothing else could have complimented those cartoons so perfectly, and the music holds up on its own quite well. Only for Christmas time, but when I hear it I enjoy it. (Unlike every other Christmas song which I just tune out).
Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On? - I’ve only owned this album for a few months, but I don’t know how I ever lived without it. Gaye is just so personal and so enlightening. I’d listen to him for just the lyrics even if he wasn’t blessed with that incredibly perfect voice.
The Coup - Steal This Album - Maybe the greatest political album ever written, the Coup get tragically little attention. Excellently funky hip-hop with equally excellent intelligent lyrics.
The Roots - Do You Want More? - Best fusion of jazz and hip-hop ever made. People will try and tell you that Things Fall Apart is the Root’s masterpiece because of the lyrical sophistication. While it is the better album lyrically, its only incrementally, and the music on Do You Want More? is more experimental than anything else the Roots have ever done.
Sublime - 40 Oz. to Freedom - I don’t know why this album hasn’t gone away, but it lingers. It’s really wonderful stuff on so many levels.
David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - this shit is so great, and it mostly has to do with an acid trip I took once. But whatever, it’s still excellent music and a really compelling concept.
Honorable mentions: Pink Floyd - The Wall, Mos Def - Black on Both Sides, The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die