Thursday Night Bar Fight #4: Road Trip!


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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879 Responses

  1. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    What is that a picture of?Report

      • Avatar Ethan Gach says:

        Just being a churlish youth : )Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Don’t make me grab my walker and come down there.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          Then you shall earn an annoyingly pedantic lecture for your youthful impertinence!

          For Ethan and the other young ‘uns, music used to be sold on physical media. The medium that many of us knew in our youth were called “record albums,” or alternative “LP records,” in which LP stood for “Long Play.” These were discs of black vinyl roughly nine inches in diameter, upon which very precise grooves were engraved on both sides. A mechanical device would spin the disc, typically at a conventional speed of 100 revolutions every three minutes, and a very small needle would be set atop the spinning disc. Other electronic devices amplify the vibrations of the needle on the disc, which were then transferred via wire through more electronic equipment and ultimately to speakers, which would then emit the sound recording.

          “But that’s an analog device, it’s not even digital!” is the protest. Indeed. On the one hand, the media and the device were fragile and required special care to use. The record could warp if exposed to heat, and all manner of mechanical problems could occur with the turntable device, the needle, or the execution of play. On the other hand, many audiophiles insist that, even today, the analog recording produces deeper and richer sounds, with smoother transitions between notes.

          Because of the size and fragility of the discs, they would be sold within large sleeves, typically made of cardboard, and adorned with artwork. Much of this artwork was visually striking for its beauty and creativity. Later generations attempted to replicate the art with sleeves in compact discs but it’s not the same thing. Remember, though, this was before there were music videos — something that they used to show on a cable channel which today broadcasts only terrible reality TV depicting the lives of terrible human beings.

          The medium of a vinyl disc would hold between twenty to thirty minutes of music per side of the album, which means that when you bought one of these “albums,” you would get ten songs (sometimes more, sometimes less) of about three minutes each, which you would listen to in the sequence which they were recorded, stopping about halfway through to flip the disc to the other side. There were techniques for random access of desired songs, which involved picking up the needle and dropping it carefully at the right location on the disc to access the correct song. Which was, I will concede, kind of a pain.

          But, Tod’s question reaches a subsequent generation of music recording-and-playback technology, the compact disc, which bridges the gap between physical media and digital music. Surely even the younger folks around these parts remember what those are. They can still be purchased in brick-and-mortar stores even to this day, and many cars come equipped with devices capable of playing these things.Report

          • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

            Oh Grandpa!

            Tell me again about how you used to talk to people in person.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            You forgot the evil-monster part of the story:

            The ability of people to record their favorite albums and give them to friends who hadn’t purchased those albums or to record songs off the radio drove the Recording Industry of America into a tizzy.

            Then had laws enacted that charged an additional fee on every blank casette tape sold, with the funds going to the Recording Industry of America for royalties. So you bought some blank tapes to record a history lecture, you paid them.

            Another frightening chapter in the story is the switch from tape/LP to CD; much cheaper to produce, the The Recording Industry of America increased prices without increasing any payments to recording artists.

            Artists going direct to audience and peer-to-peer sharing is a karmic debt.Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain says:

            I’ll pick a nit with “engraved”. Commercial LPs are molded in a hydraulic press — which could produce any other surface texture equally well. The original master disk is an engraving; the copies are not, at least as I define engraving.

            The LP vs CD arguments always amused me. Particularly when vinyl fanciers argued that the LP was somehow more true to the original. When cutting the master, the signal ran through analog filters to de-emphasize bass and over-emphasize treble to compensate for the limitations of the cutter and medium. On playback, a reverse of that filter restored the signal to an approximation of the original. Most people who claimed to prefer vinyl actually preferred a particular implementation of the RIAA equalization filter. That is, they preferred their music distorted in certain ways. I’ve seen some studies that suggest people who have grown up with low-bit-rate MP3 recordings prefer music with specific high-frequency distortions in blind listening tests.Report

            • Avatar Will H. says:

              I think you’re referring to Dolby, which was used more in tape products.
              The heat from friction reduces the highs over time.Report

            • Avatar BlaiseP says:

              The LP / CD debate was perfectly valid, back when the first CDs were coming out. If it’s less-valid now, it’s because the old tapes have been hauled out and mounted on the old Studers and been remixed for the capabilities of modern amps and speakers.

              Every time I see someone wearing ear buds, I smile grimly. How anyone can tolerate the crappy speakers on those things I’ll never understand.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                If by “ear buds” you just mean the stock white iPod ones, I agree – total crap. But there are some decent in-ear ‘phones out there, even in the <$50 range.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                Over ear or hit the highway.

                The big part of the LP/CD debate was that a lot of the early CDs weren’t reprocessed. And truly, a bunch of those AAD discs sound worse than the AAA LP that was pressed from the same analog mixing.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

                It depends. The best pair of headphones I have ever owned are wrap-around buds made by Bang & Olufsen. Like, no other pair is even close. They’re so good I don’t even bother taking my over-ear made-for-airplanes BOSE phones on airplanes anymore.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                If stupid rich is the goal, I suggest dropping the headphones altogether and buying a pair of these…


              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Heh. I have already determined that the next speakers I buy will be Maggies. They have a “first taste is cheap” model, the MMGW’s, that are $325 a pair and go on-wall. I will go with these (particularly since I will probably need to upgrade my amp to drive them).Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                Once you try Maggies you will never go back. They require gobs of power though. I bought a pair 26 years ago and they still sound amazing. There is something special to music projected by a dipole without that box sound.

                Oh, and move them way out from the back wall. This allows you to tune the bass reinforcement and minimize midrange smearing.

                I usually surf the Internet in my music room listening to my old maggies. Just finished playing Mozart and switched to Sonny Rollins on Way Out West.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                I use the Crate MX120R for playback.
                Makes that little mp3 player kick.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Yeah, I’ve heard the bigger free-standing models, and they are amazing, but they are so expensive and require so much space. The reviews I read on the MMGW’s lead me to believe they’ll be good enough for my purposes, they fold flat against the wall when not in use, and $325/pair is VERY reasonable for speakers.

                Of course, Magnepan is counting on me later getting richer and upgrading, but joke’s on them. I’ll never be any richer.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                The other thing of course is to buy used. I wouldnt recommend going too old, but you can get a 5 or 6 year old pair of 1.6′ s for under a grand. Older and they will be even less.

                If you don’t have a high powered, high current amp, the cheap way to drive Maggies is with Emotiva amps. The best bang for the buck in amps. They sound phenomenal on Maggies.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                Speaking of MP3 playback…

                The amazing thing is how many people allow their ITunes library to ruin their music with compression technology. The default setting is compressed to save space on MP3 players. Everyone neglects to reset it to Apple Lossless or FLAC.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Any new freestanding speakers are far off in my future. I have little ones and space is at a premium, plus I don’t need them sticking a lightsaber through them (which is why wall-mounted, flat-folding speakers that are reasonably-priced seem a better bet).

                When I have a music room, one happy day, things will be different. Until then I may content myself with some decent headphones – there are some planar models out there (same basic idea as Magnepans).Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Does iTunes handle FLAC native? It didn’t use to.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                When I ripped all mine, I picked .mp3 format because it was more ubiquitous, and I did ’em at 256 because I needed to save disk space, and 384 vs. 256 is noticeable only on the occasional track.

                Now, admittedly my ears are starting to go, so maybe this is a “good enough for me, not for thee” thing.

                Yes, I know, uncompressed Ogg or FLAC is the One True Way.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                I believe you have to use Apple Lossless.

                If the quality doesn’t matter, it does save a lot of space to compress. And like Michael said, a lot of people are starting to prefer the sound. It sounds really smooth and liquid.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                I can barely tell the difference between 128 and 192. I finally upgraded my rips to 192 simply so that it plays at the same volume as the stuff I download from Amazon.

                I can’t tell the difference between 192 and 256. 384? Forget it. There are advantages to being hard-of-hearing.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                My digital software is old, and doesn’t allow me to edit FLAC.

                The other day, I was listening to an old demo cassette from ’97 of yours truly, amazed at how some of that stuff still holds up.
                Then I popped in a mp3 cd of the Presidents, and it made the crappy production value of the demo sound fairly good.
                It really shows in the brightness of the cymbals.

                The thing is, I typically hard shelf everything above 16k for recordings purposes.
                Most of what you hear above that is noise, which is generated naturally by the action of the speakers in playback.
                Where that’s missing, you can always add air back in with an exciter.Report

              • Avatar Pat Cahalan says:

                My hearing loss is in the upper range. I bet I can’t get anything above 16k anyway.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                Most people can hear up to 20 – 22.5k, but the drivers don’t go that far up.
                If you take a look at the Renkus-Heinz drivers and compare the cost of those that go to 16k with the ones that go to 20, you’ll see why 16k is an effective limit.

                I also hard shelf everything below 28Hz.
                That’s the rating limit for the 18″ JBLs. They produce tones lower than that, but those tomes aren’t rated for the same drive.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP says:

                I’m a Bose over the ear man, myself, though not the noise-cancelling variety. I swear by my AE2 headphones. I used to be a Sony MDR-V700DJ fan but they were just Hobnorkshus Heavy.

                I only ask of recorded music and playback systems to be clear, with full dynamic range and no sweeteners, please. The engineer went to a great deal of trouble at mixdown: don’t mess with what he did. He had his reasons. Those old Supremes records? All that Motown stuff? Berry Gordy would have it mixed down using a pair of car speakers so it would sound right, coming out crappy sound systems. When Bob Ludwig was mastering all that wonderful music, he knew the limitations of his machinery: the early square-wave synths would wreak hell on disc masters.

                Steely Dan tried using some of the early Dolby compression technology. Screwed up a whole album. Katy Lied.

                Don’t rely on compression or sweeteners or buy Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones. Such things will not improve the music. They always make it worse.

                Well, now we’re modern and lucky. We’ve sampled many of those old tapes. Hopefully future generations will keep those bits transferred forward onto media which can be played back. The tape won’t be there.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                I just attended the Chicago Audio show this last weekend and the rooms were about 75% vinyl. I would say the rest were primarily computer audio, with a couple CDs and one reel to reel.

                My preference is record dependent, though I have been starting to really appreciate digital lately. It is definitely easier to start inexpensive with digital.Report

              • Avatar Will H. says:

                There are a few things that attracted me to digital.
                Splicing is a lot easier. And the glue never pops off.
                Application of effects is typically faster than spinning a tape in real-time.

                But I love my Tascam 4-track.
                Especially when I can expand it to 16 so easily with Cakewalk.Report

            • Avatar Roger says:

              “I’ve seen some studies that suggest people who have grown up with low-bit-rate MP3 recordings prefer music with specific high-frequency distortions in blind listening.”

              This is the sad state of affairs in pop music today. People are growing up listening to massively compressed, low bit rate music with a smoothed out top end and the dynamics squeezed out to result in maximal average loudness. So producers are mastering records with this sound. Most current pop is becoming unlistenable on a system designed to play accurately recorded music.

              Recent mixes of old classics, like Rush’s 2112 or Dire Straights Brothers in Arms are even being ruined o give the ear bid crowd what they love.

              Luckily classical, jazz, blues and such are not yet ruined. I have heard a backlash is starting to form on pop. Heck, there is no expense in recording it right and then selling a shitty version for more. We need some capitalist to save the day.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            Most excellent Burt. I think oldsters had a love affair with vinyl, and albums!, and all the wonderful rituals that were part of playing music. Kids Today just won’t ever experience that. Well, maybe ironically.Report

  2. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Doolittle – Pixies

    By the Way – Chili Peppers

    Guero – BeckReport

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      +1 on Doolittle, except can we use a burned CD on which we have substituted “Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)” for the album version? It would have broken up the album flow so much better.Report

  3. Avatar Kim says:

    The Note of SatanismReport

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I am confused by the first and second rules. Should the first one be ten songs?

    My choices based on the ambiguity of the rules:

    1. Different Class-Pulp

    2. This is Hardcore-Pulp

    3. Chet in Paris-Chet Baker

    4. 69 Love Songs-The Magnetic Fields

    5.The White Album-The Beatles.

    6-Live at the Village Vanguard-Sonny Rollins

    7.The Kids are Alight-The Who

    8. If You are Feeling Sinister-Belle and Sebastian

    9. Dig Me Out-Sleater-KenneyReport

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      “I am confused by the first and second rules. Should the first one be ten songs?”

      To clarify: You can nominate any number of albums between one and ten. If you choose to only nominate one single album, I am taking that as a sign that said album is really, really important to you and I am giving it greater weight (three points as opposed to one).

      So you can nominate ten albums and know that all ten each get one point, or you can push hard for one single album and know that it starts out with at least three.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Also, the judges are going to have to decide whether The Kids Are Alright counts as a Greatest Hits or a Soundtrack to see if it will be allowed.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Second on 69 Love Songs…it’s not my favorite MF album, but in sheer length and variety it should help keep us all sane.

      BUT, I’m’a downvote Sleater-Kinney, much as I love that record, because that one seems likely to turn non-fans against us (Corin’s vibrato is…divisive), and/or get us speeding tickets:

      (Do you like Pylon? If you like S-K, you should check them out, they are a clear predecessor):


      • Avatar NewDealer says:

        How about The Hot Rock?Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          Look, I love that one too. But (and maybe I am misjudging our roadtrip companions) in my experience S-K is just nails on a chalkboard to some people.

          I just don’t want us all at each others’ throats (that’s what these comment threads are for!)

          But, saying “Hot Rock” is enough of an excuse to link “Get Up”:

          Janet Weiss is a terrific drummer live. Really impressive IMO.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      +1 on Chet Baker.
      +1 on Rollins.
      +1 on Beatles White Album.

      I considered all three.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      Who Are You is the only thing by the Who that I like every song.
      They did so much that was total crap.Report

  5. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    Golden Earring – Big Game (for Radar Love)
    The Sweet – Little Willy & Ballroom Blitz
    Trooper – Raise a Little Hell
    Kiss – Destroyer
    Joe Satriani – Surfing With The Alien & Flying in a Blue DreamReport

    • Avatar zic says:

      This is not a vote for Radar Love, it’s a suggestion for a future bar fight:

      Radar Love was the soundtrack for my first serious boyfriend. Just the one song, not the album. That would make a good future bar fight; the soundtrack, the romance, and the outcome; or as much as one feels comfortably revealing.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      I’d rather have Surfing with the Alien than Flying in a Blue Dream. Two Joe is 1/5 of the music. One thumbs up on SwtA (Satch Boogie!) and one down on FiaBD.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      I really like Desolation Boulevard. It’s one of the classics of rock ‘n roll.
      This was the first album where the Sweet were permitted to play their own songs. Side One is the songwriting duo the label signed them to sell for (with studio musicians playing the instruments). I think “Hellraiser” (released as a single) was the first one they were allowed to play their own instruments.
      If you listen to the difference in the British & American versions of “Fox on the Run,” you’ll see quite a difference.
      They didn’t do so well at the live shows, because the kids were expecting something more like the Archies, and they got a band that was pretty heavy for the time.

      I like about every song from Side 2, but only a couple from Side 1. Side 2 is all the stuff written by the Sweet.

      And if you listen to “Love Is Like Oxygen,” you’ll see that there was a tremendous difference after the band got control of the recording of material.
      Those guys actually rock.Report

  6. Avatar Sam says:

    10 albums is way too many.Report

  7. 1) “Comfort Eagle” by Cake. Because the songs are awesome to drive to, especially “Love You Madly.”

    2) “The Globe Sessions” by Sheryl Crow. Because not only is it a legitimately great album in its own right (my favorite of hers, and I’m a fan), but it was the absolute best break-up album during a particularly bad break-up of mine and listening to it would give me a perfect excuse to gripe to everyone in the car about what an asshole that guy was. Also, all of my other ex-boyfriends.

    3) “The Immaculate Collection” by Madonna. Because screw your “greatest hits” prohibition, it has almost all of my favorite songs of hers in one place, and I like the version of “Express Yourself” on that album better than the original in “Like a Prayer.”

    4) “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. Because we will need something lovely and peaceful to listen to in the background when we’re having more thoughtful conversations.

    5) “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple. Because Fiona is one hell of a songwriter and lyricist and “Red Red Red” is hauntingly beautiful. Also because I think the title song and “Waltz (Better Than Fine)” are as close as she ever gets to “cheerful.”

    6) The movie soundtrack to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Because I can sing the entire score from memory, and I want dibs on Judas when we pick parts.

    7) Beethoven’s 9th symphony. I refuse to stoop to justifying this one.

    8) “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by the Beatles. Because we obviously need an album by the Beatles and this seems the one most likely to get everyone’s vote.

    9) “MobySongs” by Moby. I think it’s also a greatest hits album, but since I had no compunction about ignoring the rules with Madonna why should I now? (Maybe an exception can be made for one-named recording artists whose names start with “M”?) Because I like these songs a lot.

    10) “Warm Sounds” by zero7. Because the songs are really beautiful and I think people will like them.

    Edited (because I can): Sorry, Moby. I was apparently high on crack when I composed this list, and left off “Graceland” by Paul Simon. Someone has to go, my friend, and it’s you. Because “Graceland” is perfection in audible form.Report

  8. Avatar Kim says:

    I’m rather irritated that no game soundtracks are allowed. Guess I’ll have to settle for actually getting something in the mixtape (so far, no ones actually recommending something someone else has recommended, so I guess I win that bet… so far).Report

  9. Avatar Ethan Gach says:

    Royal Scam – Steely DanReport

  10. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Okay, I could easily nominate about a hundred candidates.

    But with this crowd? On this site? With all the haterade?

    There is only one thing I can do.

    I will pick one album, ensuring at least three votes.

    Rush, “Moving Pictures”.Report

    • Only if I’m allowed to bring along handouts extolling the virtues of vaccines.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      And yes, I will take the time to counter every negative comment that is placed in this subthread with at least two positive comments of my own.


      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Don’t worry Patrick, if that one doesn’t make the cut, we’ll just subject everyone to our two-part-harmony a capella renditions.

        (From the back of the van, starting out quietly, but for the 150th time):

        “Peeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww….A modern day warrior…”

        (From the front):


    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      I will vote for this. I like RushReport

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      No hating here. +1 to Rush.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      I think Rush hit their peak before that; probably with 2112.
      Fly by Night is good, but I hate the title cut, and can’t sit through “Rivendell.”
      Other than those two tracks, the whole album totally kicks ass.

      Permanent Waves is a better choice than Moving Pictures IMHO.Report

    • Avatar Freeman says:

      +1 for Rush Moving Pictures.

      I could easily do a two-month road trip with nothing but Rush. Pick any 10 albums and I’m good to go. I’ve had Clockwork Angels in the CD player of my commuter for three weeks now and I’m enjoying it more with every play.Report

  11. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Point of order/clarification:

    Live albums do not count as compilations or greatest hits albums, if they are single session live recordings. Yes, or no?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      The judges is ruling is: Yes – mostly.

      For example, Cheap Trick Live at Budokan is eligible, even though it did indeed record a lot of their big hits. Same with The Kinks’ One For the Road. Tom Petty – All His Greatest Hits Live!, on the other hand, would be disqualified.Report

  12. Avatar zic says:

    Native Dancer Wayne Shorter.
    Bitches Brew, Miles Davis
    Heavy Weather Weather Report
    Birds of Fire Mahavishnu Orchestra
    Return to Forever Return to Forever/Chick Corea
    Ah Um Charles Mingus
    Monk’s Dream Thelonius Monk
    My Favorite Things John Coltrane
    Houses of the Holy Led Zeppelin
    Zap Mama Zap MamaReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Now you got me listening to Miles.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        Then I’ve done my good deed for the day.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        That counts as a positive vote for Bitches Brew, for the record.
        Monk’s Dream is an upthumb, too.

        We need some music to sit back and think to, some music to sing to, some music to rock out to, and some music to drink to.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      Maybe any one of them, but that’s going to be a long trip with them and only them.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      I will give you plus one’s for:

      Bitches Brew, Miles Davis

      Ah Um, Charles Mingus

      Monk’s Dream, Thelonius Monk

      Houses of the Holy, Led ZeppelinReport

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      +1 forMiles and John Coltrane.Report

      • Avatar Roger says:

        I love all these choices, but obviously am used to traveling with a lower class of people, as I never found a car load of people that shared my appreciation. If I was to choose one though, it would of course be A Love Supreme by JC. Second choice would be Saxophone Collosus by SR.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      +1 for Miles and MingusReport

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I’m sorry, zic, but I can’t do Miles. I need some structure to the music. I know he’s popular and jazz folks think he’s the summit. I’m just not a jazz dude. See also.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        You, sir, may not ride in my car.

        For I live on the edge of hard-core group improvisational music; art made in the moment, here and gone, ephemeral as the spring flowers. I’m not even convinced it should be recorded, but should be thought of spontaneous composition, released and let go; recording it seems a sin, but I revel in that sin nonetheless.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          Zic, my dear lady, it appears that indeed, we shall be obliged to take separate cars. Do have a safe drive, and enjoy your jazz along the way. And may we meet in Chicago.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            I am astounded you didn’t make a joke comparing spontaneous combustion and spontaneous composition on a car trip.

            Sadly, I will be unable to make it to Chicago. There’s a pond in Maine that absorbs my summer. As you can see here, it’s currently home to a pond monster and some luckless fishermen.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Once again, my knowledge of my spouse forces me not to upvote this list. My heart says yes, my desire for all of us to survive the trip says no. NEUTRAL WHINING IS MY SPECIALTY.Report

  13. Avatar MikeSchilling says:

    Abbey Road — Beatles

    Collected Harpsichord Concerti — Bach (Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood)

    Who’s Next — The Who

    Aja — Steely Dan

    Piano Rags by Scott Joplin (Joshua Rifkin)

    Blonde on Blonde — Bob Dylan

    To The Bone — The Kinks

    Symphonies 35,39-41 — Mozart (Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell)

    The Wild, The Innocent, and The E-Street Shuffle — Springsteen

    Water Music — Handel (Bath Chamber Orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin)Report

  14. Avatar Pinky says:

    Jethro Tull – A Little Light Music
    Dave Matthews / Tim Reynolds – Live at Luther College
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young – 4-Way Street
    Barenaked Ladies – Rock Spectacle
    Rush – Moving Pictures (I may have gone with Exit…Stage Left, but I’ve got to throw some support Patrick’s way.)
    Eric Clapton Unplugged
    soundtrack from The Commitments
    Beethoven’s 7th
    Tchaikovsky’s 4thReport

  15. Avatar Trina Voss says:

    Weird Al’s Dare to be Stupid. Gotta stick with the classics.Report

  16. Avatar Roger says:

    A lot of the above recommendations are great musical choices, but not all are necessarily great road trip selections.

    This is the perfect road tip collection:
    Frankie Goes To Hollywood — Welcome to the Pleasure-dome
    The Clash — London Calling
    Liz Phair — Exhile in Guyville
    Elvis Costello — My Aim is True
    Jack Johnson — Brushfire Faireytales
    Damian Marley — Welcome to Jamrock
    Stevie Wonder — Innervisions
    The Wailers — Burnin’
    Led Zepelin — How The West Was Won
    The final choice is either Live at Leeds or Abbey Road, whichever I can find firstReport

  17. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Based on the rules it seems to me what we’re looking for are albums to listen to all the way through and repeatedly for a long period of time. They should be fun and engaging and consistently entertaining for all the songs, not just the popular tracks (we’re listening to the whole album, not cherry-picking individual songs). So my nominees are:

    Beatles: Rubber Soul (but I’m good with Sgt. Pepper or the White Album too).
    Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
    Boston: Boston
    Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
    Journey: Escape
    Garbage: Garbage (Version 2.0 equally acceptable)
    Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
    Adele: 21
    Delerium: Karma
    Eric Clapton: UnpluggedReport

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      These are almost all fabulous choices.

      But your fifth choice is making me realize I may have damned myself by not thinking to make Journey albums explicitly verboten.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Rumours, Dark Side, Journey, Sarah McLaclan all upthumbs. I’ll give an upthumb to Rubber Soul, too, but The Beatles are suffering from scattergun effects on this thread.

      Boston: Boston… not if I’m taking a driving shift. If “Smokin'” comes on we’ll be going 119 miles an hour.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        Then let’s agree that every Beatles vote or nomination is a vote for Sgt. Pepper.Report

        • 1+ to that.

          Also to “Rumours” and “Garbage.”Report

          • Avatar Roger says:

            I forgot Rumours! Scratch my Led Zep and write this one in. I don’t have that Garbage, I only have their newer stuff. Is it worth seeking out?Report

            • I happen to think “Garbage” is their best, simply because “Stupid Girl” is such a kick-ass rocking song, and it reminds me of my salad days.Report

              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

                I get Shirley Manson’s updates on Facebook — always fun.Report

              • Avatar Fish says:

                “Stupid Girl” brings back memories of being stationed in Australia, flying down an outback road in the dead of night in my Aussie friend’s Ford Falcon with the windows down and that song at full volume. +1, indeed.Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko says:

              The first album sounds like stuff people are doing today and critics are calling “innovative.”

              The second album is every bit as good and contains lots of energetic moments which Bach would have recognized as vorwärtsdrehenmusik — that propulsive momentum and structural symmetry that gives the listener an impulse to move her body in response to what she’s hearing.

              Both CDs have been in medium-heavy rotation in my car continuously since they were released.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                I’m gonna be that guy here and opine that Garbage’s first owes a LOT to Curve, IMO. But Garbage are kind of stylistic synthesizers, so, you know.

                But Version 2.0 is good, especially when she busts out the Chrissie Hynde impersonation at the end of “Special” (and that song also starts with a Byrds riff, which I am sucker for). I tend to like the slower songs best (“Medication”, “Trick”, “You Look So Fine”, though I like the Underworld-y spoken-word bit at the end of “Hammering”)Report

      • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

        Can we get Desiree’ Bassett playing with them (if you don’t know who she is [a] for shame; [b] check out the world tour of Cirque de Soliel: Michael Jackson — she’s the lead guitarist; [c] she’s AWESOME)?Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Dark Side is awesome, and I’m going to +1 it, but I hope someone picks Meddle, because while it may not be their best album, it is my favorite. My early internet screen name (back when everyone called them handles) was, at one point, Meddle.Report

      • Avatar Roger says:

        My dad had an eight track player in his boat and DarkSoftMoon was one of the three 8 tracks we owned. We must have played it a thousand times. The soundtrack for water skiing.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:


      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I might be the only person on the planet who calls himself a Floyd Fan who hates Dark Side of the Moon.

        Hates it.

        I hate Time. I hate Us and Them. I hate Breathe. I hate Money.

        I hate hate hate that album.

        I try to be mostly positive when it comes to stuff because, hey, it’s all matters of taste, right? Getting pissed off at a matter of taste is like, crazy.

        Dark Side of the Moon is shrimp cocktail. Dark Side of the Moon is grilled salmon. Dark Side of the Moon is green and black olives.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      I’m so not impressed byAdele. Blah. -10

      Sarah McLaughlan, on the other hand, is great. +1Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Down vote on Boston. Any 70’s band that can’t play live doesn’t deserve a slot on the playlist.

      +1 Dark side of the Moon, Sarah McLachlan.

      Luke warm on Clapton. He is a great guitar player, but there are many others I’d prefer to listen two for an extended road trip, and he’s 100% not the greatest guitar player that ever lived.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Beatles: Rubber Soul–Downvote
      Boston: Boston–Upvote
      Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstacy–Upvote
      Journey: Escape–Upvote
      Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon–UpvoteReport

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Boston: Boston
      Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
      Garbage: Garbage (Version 2.0 equally acceptable)
      I heartily approve of the three selections above.

      BUT NO JOURNEY. And no Fleetwood Mac. I love that album but I tire of it fast.Report

    • Avatar Anne says:

      Forgive me Tod +1 JourneyReport

  18. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

    David Bowie – Diamond Dogs

    Fiery Furnaces – Blueberry Boat

    Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works vol. 2 (Note: This is NOT an anthology or a boxed set. It’s an album.)

    Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

    R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant

    The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

    Belle and Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister

    They Might Be Giants – John Henry, although I’ll change my vote to their self-titled album or to Flood if anyone backs me up on those.Report

  19. Avatar Pinky says:

    I’d love to see a final round on this game. There’s got to be some vote-splitting, like with Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.Report

  20. Avatar Glyph says:

    CCR – Cosmo’s Factory (really, it was hard not just to fill this list out with CCR)

    REM – Life’s Rich Pagaeant (REM is great roadtrip music, CCR’s spiritual heir in the 80s)

    Guided by Voices – Under the Bushes, Under the Stars (and GbV were in some ways REM’s 90’s heir; fidelity-wise this one should be more palatable to my fellow passengers than Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes)

    Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (guitars enough for both the Boston AND MBV camps; bonkers drumming for the Rush fans; angsty enough for the kids and musically-ambitious enough for the adults; lots of little psychedelic nooks and corners to get lost in – a mixed group listened to almost nothing BUT this on one 36-hour road trip)

    Stone Roses – s/t (and THIS was on the other side of that tape)

    Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (long & there’s something for everyone; this one PLAYS like a mixtape).

    Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers (maybe their most varied record)

    The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (again, long and varied)

    LCD Soundsystem – s/t (to get that dance party started, plus it’s long, plus it helps make up for the fact there’s not a good way to get New Order on this list due to the unevenness of their albums)

    T. Rex – The Slider (needs no justification)Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Siamese Dream is a really good album. Sticky Fingers is good.

      I’ll upvote Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, but… oh, wait, I can’t make other suggestions.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      +1 on Siamese DreamReport

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Also, Smashing Pumpkins were one of the top 5 worst concerts I’ve ever seen (saw them in ’94).Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          I was lucky to see them at a medium-sized club right as Siamese Dream was coming out – I was working at the radio station so I was able to get into the (way-over-sold-out-and-frankly-trampling-death-dangerous) show.

          They were on FIRE. Hungry enough to want the world, and confident because they had just made the record that would do it.

          To this day I don’t know if I have ever seen a more gonzo drum performance than “Geek USA” (and Chamberlin made it look EASY).Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            I think by the time I saw them Chamberlin was so messed up that he wasn’t that good. None of them were. And Corgan’s voice was shot.Report

            • I’m not down voting anything (seems churlish to me), but I will simply note that I find Corgan’s voice… unlovely.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Tod – I move that despite Russel’s decorum, this counts as a downvote against Siamese Dream; it’s only fair, since I tried to throw out his Pink Moon.

                Doc, if it helps at all – on SD Butch Vig had the eminent good sense to mix his voice way down, so it’s not nearly so nasal. It’s one reason why SD is great, and later albums (when Corgan pushed his own voice high up in the mix) are not so great.Report

              • It’s been a jillion years since I listened to that album, so perhaps I’d like it better now. I just remember that musical era seemingly saturated with Smashing Pumpkins, and the vocals always set my teeth on edge.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                Ugh, Mellon Folly and the Infinite Badness…Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                There’s one good album, in that two-disc set.

                But that one album is still improperly produced, w/r/t his voice.

                “1979” is the only song I bothered to rip into my library.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                It’s the only song I have from that album too. It is a very good song.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                Interesting note about MC&tIB:

                My friend who discovered Siamese Dream was the one who told me, “Take it back” when I told him I’d picked up Mellon Collie. I hadn’t opened it yet.

                On his recommendation, I took it back. It’s the only musical purchase I’ve ever returned.

                (except for an independent label band called “Freaky Fukin’ Weirdoz” who had an EP called “Bitch Make Sandwich”, which I bought because I was drunk and an idiot roomate egged me into it in the first place.)Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                God I wish you had kept that last album.

                Remember that in the post-Nirvana major-label-WTF-is-going-on era, a band called “Butt Trumpet” could somehow release an album called “Primitive Enema” and get it into stores?

                Good times, good times.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                Glyph, I think you have a new Wednesday music post theme.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                I almost kept it, just as a conversation piece.

                But while you get both good and bad conversations about an EP titled “Bitch Make Sandwich”, you also get a small percentage of very, very bad conversations, and no very, very good conversations to make up for it.

                I already have to explain Stormtroopers of Death’s “Speak English or Die”.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                DUDE. I used to have that SOD. They wouldn’t be topped for song titles until AC (no, I won’t type out their name) came along.

                I kept an EP by a band called Cheeseburger because it has THE WORST cover art you have ever seen (the music isn’t bad, it’s just sort of AC/DC party rock). The only way I will link an image here is if I can somehow rot13 it.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                The version of “Chromatic Death” on “Speak English or Die” is like, a thousand times faster than the version of “Chromatic Death” on Anthrax’s “Attack of the Killer B’s”.

                I didn’t even think that was possible.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I join the Doc in this opinion. Great ideas in the Pumpkins’ music but Corgan is even whinier than Michael Stipe, and in a way that does not engender affection and sympathy the way Stipe’s voice does.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      +1 for Sticky Fingers.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      I heartily second (well, more than second but I lost count) both Kiss Me (etc) and Yo La Tengo (another band I only really appreciate on the road).Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Can I swap one of mine out (maybe GbV, since it appears no one here would ever second it, you uncultured rubes) for The Velvet Underground & Nico (though the s/t third record would also be acceptable – I like White Light, but that one could be a bit abrasive for some)?

      How has no one (including my own idiotic self) chosen the Velvets?Report

  21. Avatar mark boggs says:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, and maybe I’m the only one gleefully taking advantage of this fact, but I can game the system by waiting for others to suggest the albums I like and then I go and +1 them, therefore allowing myself to give more weight to more albums than the 10 choices I’m supposed to receive. I’m hoping this will not cause hard feelings during our time on the island together.Report

    • Avatar The Donald says:

      YOU’RE FIRED!Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      FISH IT MARK, you gave the game away.

      Actually, I see “gaming the system” as “making up for not having seen the thread until late at night” in my case. I didn’t have the chance to grab that prime marketing location up top!Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        Problem with this strategy is that if you submit your actual favorite albums too late, nobody’s going to up vote ’em and you’ll wind up with not enough votes to make the list.Report

  22. Avatar Kazzy says:

    My Dark and Twisted Fantasy – Kanye WestReport

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      I deeply approve of this choice. Not so much because of the music, but because, yo. I am sure we would end up arguing about something different, and meaty, EVERY TIME we listened to the album. Hence creating the most League-like experience possible…


    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Kaz – This is a single nomination, yes? Or did I miss a list of yours elsewhere?Report

  23. Avatar Chris says:

    1. Kind of Blue – Miles
    2. Blue Trane – Coltrane
    3. The Band – The Band
    4. Highway 61 Revisited – Dylan
    5. Doolittle – Pixies
    6. Illmatic – Nas
    7. Pastel Blues – Nina Simone
    8. Complete Brandenburg Concertos – Bach
    9. Rubber Soul – The Beatles
    10.The Boatman’s Call – Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsReport

  24. Avatar crash says:

    For road trips you gotta go heavy on the rock and country. The rock helps you stay awake, the country gets you thinking about dirt roads and honkytonks and beer. Some jazz to mix things up. Nothing too mellow or sad, otherwise you find yourself crying and thinking about exes and the poor choices you’ve made and all that.

    The Clash–The Clash.
    not gonna fall asleep during this one

    Stones–Exile on Main Street
    the best Stones album

    Johnny Cash–Live at Folsom Prison
    helps keep the speed up. turn it down if you get pulled over

    Lucinda Williams–Car Wheels on a Gravel Road

    Joe Ely–Joe Ely
    a lotta traveling in this one. Also “Suckin’ a Big Bottle of Gin” which is a great driving song

    Mingus–Ah Um

    Bruce–Born in the USA
    maybe not his best but “Darlington County” is a great road song, album is solid top to bottom

    Pogues–Rum Sodomy and the Lash
    for the backseat drinkers

    Rod Stewart–Every Picture Tells a Story
    footloose and fancy free

    Joan Jett–GH
    total cheat on the rules, sorryReport

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      Big yes for Exile on Mainstreet. It’s my favorite Stones album.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Unfortunately, I am not going to upvote your individual choices (I went with a different Stones album, The Clash are best served by comps, and me and Bruce mostly don’t get along), but I applaud your impeccable introductory logic. 🙂Report

    • Avatar crash says:

      Crap I forgot Warren Zevon.
      Can I leave off JJ and put Excitable Boy on there?

      Also I don’t want to be a curmudgeon but I am going to down vote Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s. Those are great albums, but not great road trip albums. They are too inward-looking. Road trips are about possibilities, horizons, bars, wind in your face, mud on your shoes.

      If I had to pick a Beatles album it would be early beatles.Report

      • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

        You must be an old guy, like me. The Early Beatles is a cut-down version of Please, Please Me (the original British album, and what’s now on CD), which omits (among other things) I Saw Her Standing There (because it was on Meet The Beatles) and There’s a Place (because Capitol didn’t recognize a great piece of proto-psychedelia when they heard it.)Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        The judges rule: YES! Partially because the Joan Jett was already DQ-ed, and partially because the judges love us some Warren Zevon.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      +1 on mingus, but that’s a double since I suggested it on my list.

      +1 on Johnny Cash.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      +1 on Folsom Prison.Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

      +1 on the PoguesReport

    • Avatar Anne says:

      +1 Lucinda
      +1 JohnnyReport

  25. Avatar Michelle says:

    Fun topic, Tod!

    1. Leonard Cohen, Live in London
    2. Jackson Browne, Late for the Sky
    3. The Eagles, Hotel California
    4. Van Morrison, It’s Too Late To Stop Now
    5. Joni Mitchell, Shadows and Light
    6. Graham Parker, Squeezing Out The Sparks
    7. John Hiatt, Slow Turning
    8. Warren Zevon, Life’ll Kill Ya
    9. Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run
    10. Red Elvises, Drinking With JesusReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      I will upvote The Eagles, even though every time it comes on I’m gonna quote The Dude.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I do not have upvote privileges, but if I did I’d give ones to many on this list, especially Cohen, Browne, Parker, Red Elvises and the Boss. I’d also give bonus points for all of those save Born to Run (which I’m now kicking myself for not making one of my 10) for being so unexpected *and* awesome choices.Report

    • Avatar crash says:

      +1 Van Morrison
      +1 Squeezing out Sparks. That’ll keep the ol’ blood pumpingReport

    • Avatar zic says:

      +1 on Joni.Report

      • Avatar Michelle says:

        I attended the concert where that album was recorded, which makes it a real sentimental favorite for me. Santa Barbara County Bowl, sometime in the early 1980s, I think.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      Down voting Hotel California.


      The Big Lebowski jokes may commence now.Report

      • Avatar Michelle says:

        You clearly didn’t go to high school or college in Southern California in the 1970s. I’m pretty sure knowing the lyrics to almost every Eagle’s song was mandatory.Report

        • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

          Berkeley too: The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac were ubiquitous.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer says:

          You would be correct. If I was alive in the 1970s (I was born in 80), I like to think I’d be the kid into the Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, etc.

          The Eagles are all that is wrong and excessive with 70s rock. I can see why the punks rebelled.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            The Eagles are all that is wrong and excessive with 70s rock.

            It’s OK if you don’t like the Eagles (I personally think they are better than their current reputation suggests), but…have you actually HEARD much 70’s rock? The Eagles were downright conservative, restrained and tasteful compared to some of that stuff.Report

            • Avatar NewDealer says:

              True but I thought part of the punk rebellion was also against the ethos of what the Eagles preached in songs like Hotel California.

              There is just something about their stuff and the lifestyle it celebrates that really bugs me. I can look into 1960s rock culture, fashion, etc and see the appeal. Almost everything about the 1970s and what was considered cool mystifies me.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Hmmm…maybe I misunderstand what “Hotel California” is about, but songs like that (and “Life In The Fast Lane”) seem to me to explicitly preach AGAINST empty party-time existence.

                (Of course, the drug-addled band undoubtedly knew whereof they spoke, and many fans surely missed the implicit critiques).Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                I’ve long thought that the punk ethos was against what the Eagles were. Big-market superbands, empahsis on virtuoso instrumental skills, lots of marketing and packaging, lots of emphasis on personality and focusing attention on the performers, celebrity, money, affectations of world-weariness and outrage despite actually having it all (Don Henley was, and still is, particularly good at this).

                Punk said of the Eagles, “These guys aren’t gods. They’re just dudes like us. They don’t even look like they’re having fun or getting laid all that much. All they’re doing is serving up packaging for big record companies and selling out. You don’t even need to play your instruments all that well to be a musician — what, it’s three chords and go, right? Anyone can do that.”Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                I’m not saying they weren’t a target, or part of the big-money machine…what I am saying is they don’t necessarily DESERVE the ire, the way that say Yes or ELP and all that faux-orchestral nonsense did.

                The Eagles wrote fairly simple songs that were basically country songs, and which had enough self-awareness to critique the lifestyle they were ensconced in.

                I know it’s hip post-Lebowski to bag on them, but they’re not as bad (taking the music alone) as their current rep suggests.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                I agree with Glyph. Musically, punk was a rebellion against generic, over-produced stadium rock like Journey much more than against Eagles-ish country-rock. Though, as the Eagles’ career went on, they became less country-ish and more “polished”.Report

              • Avatar Roger says:

                Which reminds me we should include Never Mind The Bullocks and The Pretenders debut album into our play list.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer says:

                The Ramones, The Clash, Buzzcocks, were around long before Journey.

                I think that we are all in agreement that it was a back to the basics rebellion though.Report

              • Avatar Chris says:

                I sometimes think that the Eagles hate is less a result of the Eagles as a band, and more a result of Don Henley’s post-Eagles (but also pre-Eagles many “final” reunion tours) solo stuff, which was about as soulless and generic as it is possible to be.

                Plus, the songs are just stupid. My son, when he was 7 or 8, asked me, “Why does he keep saying that all she wants to do is dance, when she also once to make romance?”

                Joe Walsh is cool, though.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                “Boys of Summer” is ACES though, and excuses almost all other sins.

                Fun fact: that song was originally demoed by Heartbreaker Mike Campbell (who wrote the music/plays guitar on it), for Tom Petty, who passed on it due to the synths. You can kind of tell its origins in the melody.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer says:

                I hated the Eagles long before the The Big Lebowski.

                Hotel California and Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight are two of the worst songs of rock history.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      +1 on Joni Mitchell. Extraordinary writing.

      There was a time I’d have given a +1 to the Eagles because that album has fantastic guitar work. But I over-listened to that album in my teens and early twenties and now it’s more tedious than enjoyable. So no vote one way or the other on the Eagles.Report

      • Avatar Roger says:

        I so love 7os era Joni. Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. Mingus. Hejira.

        Joni and Jaco were a great combo. So much better than anything Jaco did with Weather Report with the possible exception of Birdland.Report

    • Avatar Pinky says:

      I don’t think there’s one Zevon album that would do it for me. He wrote perfect little three-minute songs – great for a greatest hits album, but I can’t think of one album that would give me the Zevon experience. And when he gets depressing, wow, I’d be worried that the driver would send the car off a bridge.Report

      • Avatar Michelle says:

        His last two albums, recorded when he knew he was not long for the world, are bittersweet reflections on life and death. He does a version of Knocking on Heaven’s Door that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Surprisingly enough, these albums are more playful and far less dark than a lot of his earlier stuff.Report

    • Avatar mark boggs says:

      I like Jackson Browne, but it has to be Saturate Before Using.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      +1 to Van Morrison

      Moondance is one of my favorite albums, and “Caravan” one of my favorite songs (which, given my list above, makes this another religious experience:

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Enthusiastic agreement for Leonard Cohen, and for that particular Cohen album.Report

      • Avatar Michelle says:

        We, along with half the other Jews in L.A., saw him in concert on that particular tour. It was amazing and every time I play that CD I remember how amazing. I can’t believe the guy is in his late 70s.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      Upvoting Springsteed, Born to Run and Van Morrison, Too Late to Stop.

      I don’t have either album, but I like both artists.Report

    • Avatar Anne says:

      +1 Leonard Cohen
      +1 Eagles
      + Red ElvisesReport

  26. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Loveless by My Bloody Valentine
    The Sensual World by Kate Bush
    Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins
    Mezzanine by Massive Attack
    Protection by Massive Attack
    Pre-Millennium Tension by Tricky
    Homogenic by Bjork
    Kid A by Radiohead (maybe The Bends or OK Computer, if you want to argue about that)
    Boys for Pele by Tori Amos
    No Cure For Cancer by Denis LearyReport

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      (My original thought was to pick 10 Elton John albums.)

      Elton John
      Soundtrack to Friends
      Tumbleweed Connection
      Madman Across the Water
      Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player
      Goodby Yellow Brick Road
      Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
      A Single Man
      Too Low For Zero
      The One

      Decided against it.Report

      • Avatar Roger says:

        Somehow I grew up without ever hearing Tumbleweed. I had a vinyl night get together with some friends recently and someone pulled out this gem. Amazing, especially at 33 and a third.

        I was just playing Madman last night for the first time in years. Also amazing.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Artists who have produced 10 albums worth putting on a list like this one are few and far between, I tell you what.


          Not that many.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            I have been surprised that no Queen has been suggested yet.Report

          • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

            One of the stations here plays a “Roll the Dice Weekend” from time to time. All artists in consideration must have at least 12 decent songs. It’s kind of surprising how many there are.

            These may not be from 10 different albums, however.Report

          • Artists who have produced 10 albums worth putting on a list like this one are few and far between, I tell you what.

            Again, David Bowie, who is probably my favorite pop musician of all time.

            Maybe Madonna would count too.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Bob Dillon. Not that anyone would pick one of his albums for this because, you know. He’s more of a “while we’re partaking” artist than a road trip one.

              Maybe we could have a “best ‘we’re partaking’ albums” barfight.Report

          • Avatar Pinky says:

            I love Pink Floyd, but I wouldn’t consider them a 10-album band. Four would do it – Dark Side to The Wall. The Final Cut had its moments. I wouldn’t want to go earlier than Dark Side, although I know some Pink Floyd fans would say I’m missing out.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Dude. You’re missing out.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              Animals is a great album too if you give it some time.

              Ummagumma, both the live (“Astronome Domine”!) and studio portions, is friggin’ cool too. And Obscured by Clouds and the More soundtrack will get to you if you listen. Piper at the Gates of Dawn is definitely for the fans, though. But consider that it was recorded at the same time that Sgt Pepper’s was being recorded. I’m not of James H’s opinion about the Beatles (I love them), but if you talk to a real Pink Floyd fan about how innovative they were, they’ll probably tell you to listen to Piper. Oh, and Saucer Full of Secrets has some songs that anyone, even a non-fan, can love:


              Yes, I’m a fan. Seeing them live, even without Waters, was a religious experience.Report

              • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

                I am an enormous Pink Floyd fan, and the pre–Dark Side material is frequently great. Boegiboe thinks Piper and Saucerful are both too derivative of the Beatles, if you can believe it. I have to say I find these two… sort of uneven.

                But the rest is just as good as their more commercially successful later work, and often more daring. I particularly like the soundtrack to More, in which they only sometimes sound like Pink Floyd. I used to play “Nile Song” to people who didn’t know the album and ask: “This is a band you’ve heard of. Can you guess who it is?” And no one would guess it. Ever.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                Animals is on my list: I go from Dark Side of the Moon, to Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. My favorite? I dunno. If I were doing a road trip, I think that the theatricality of The Wall and even of Animals could be a bit much. But you can put in Wish You Were Here and listen to it for hours.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                In particular, regarding “Meddle”… “One Of These Days” is a perfect driving at night song.Report

          • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

            The Beatles. No weak albums at all (Yellow Submarine doesn’t count.)Report

          • Avatar Freeman says:

            I’d have a hard time picking my top 10 Rush albums.Report

          • Avatar Pinky says:

            I was thinking that you could do a pretty good 10-album list of Steve Winwood, if you tossed in Traffic and Blind Faith. Then I checked Wikipedia and he did session work on Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland and David Gilmour’s About Face. That’s a 10-album list with variety.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      +1 for Mezzanine, since it only just-barely missed my cut.

      I debated Loveless, but I tried to pick stuff that wouldn’t alienate my fellow passengers too much (you know…old people);-)

      A frothing ranty vote AGAINST OK Computer, which I can say with full certainty and without the slightest-fear of hyperbole is the #1 top most-overrated album, of all time and this and several adjacent universes as well. Where’s the tunes, man?

      For a road trip Bends would work nicely.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I’ll +1 Mezzanine. I’m a big The Bends fan, but it’s more for sentimental reasons.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      How sad. Or perhaps pathetic. But I’ve never listened to any of the albums on your first list. The Elton John albums, however. . . well, let’s just say I’d give a big +1 to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Wouldn’t a comedy album – even a great one – become torture after being played over and over?Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        There are a handful that might be able to handle it.

        I also considered some Monty Python albums, an Eddie Murphy album or two (though some have aged better than others), Sam Kinnison’s 1/2 comedy, 1/2 rock album, and some Lenny Bruce.

        But No Cure For Cancer is like one long version of Axl’s rant from Get In The Ring. Eventually you memorize it and yell along.Report

        • Avatar Mark Thompson says:

          Yes. +1 to No Cure For Cancer. I had it on cassette back in High School. I listened to it so much that the tape broke around 1996.Report

      • Avatar Kim says:

        Imagine listening to a comedy album in a language you don’t understand.
        While driving with the snow blowing in the windows.
        At Christmastime.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Isn’t “Protection” the first track on Mezzanine? Among the best love songs ever.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      I +1:
      The Sensual World
      Blue Bell Knoll
      Pre-Millennium Tension
      ONE Massive Attack (whichever one has more votes) and downvote the other one
      Boys for Pele

      -1 on Leary, Bjork, and Loveless (gasp!), all of which are good, all of which would have me breaking into the sealed cd player to MAKE IT STOP by week 3 or so.Report

  27. Avatar Brian Houser says:

    In the age of having an entire music library on hand at all times, it’s really tough to narrow it down to just ten albums. I chose based on my song ratings and play vs. skip ratio in iTunes. The winners have at least one five-star track each, and an average score above 4 stars. Unfortunately, some of my favorite tunes are left behind because they appear on an otherwise weak album.

    ABC: The Lexicon of Love
    Bill Hicks: Queen’s Theater Late Show ’92 (bootleg)
    Brian Culbertson: Long Night Out
    Chic: C’est Chic
    Larry Carlton: Fingerprints
    Michael Jackson: Thriller
    The Rippingtons: Weekend in Monaco
    Rush: Power Windows
    Steely Dan: Aja
    Steely Dan: GauchoReport

  28. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    Beethoven — 3rd Symphony.
    George Thorough[ly]good — any album (just look at his name!), but I’ll go with “Rockin’ My Life Away”
    Tom Petty — Largely same as George, but I’ll go with “Into the Great Wide Open”

    +1 for “Wish You Were Here” For an album with only 4.5 songs, it’s pretty awesome.Report

  29. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’m going to list off my ten nominations, but since I am the entire committee of judges no points will be awarded by my doing so. If people second them, however, I will count those as points.

    I will also note that I agree entirely with Burt’s musings above. If you’re planning an extended time limited to ten albums, you have to consider the entire album; you also have to think of the entire list of ten as a kind of meta-album that will take you different places. So not only are these my ten choices, I’m listing them in the order I’d place them in the carrousel.

    1. I love Everybody, Lyle Lovett. A perfect album to listen to as you settle into your seat, drift through the Starbucks drive-thru, and make your way onto the highway. (Most of the songs feel like a nice relaxed cup of joe on a breezy, sunny day anyway.) By the time we get to the track Penguins, we’re just about ready to start singing along out loud.

    2. Cosmic Thing, The B-52s. It’s time to rev up those engines and cover some ground. Cosmic Thing is one of those albums I would never put on at home, but as part of a long car drive it somehow feels essential. I defy you do so and not dance in your seat!

    3. Revolver, The Beatles. We need a Beatles album everyone can sing along with, and for me Revolver narrowly beats out Abbey Road for two reasons: One, it’s a little bit more upbeat and foot-tappy, which is good for a car trip (I may well get a speeding ticket when listening to And Your Bird Can Sing), and two, I Want You (She’s So Heavy) is so damn hypnotic that I could see myself driving off the road when the music shuts off unexpectedly.

    4. Punch the Clock, Elvis Costello. This is still my favorite total album from a man that’s made so many amazing ones. It also includes my favorite E.C. lyric of all time: Since nights were long and days were olden, woman to man has been beholden/She sends back his tribute of a rose and says this ring is better suited for the nose/he’s always fingering.

    5. Narrow Stairs, Death Cab for Cutie. Pretty much guaranteed to not only not make the cut, but to not get a single vote from that gallery. But I still wants me some Death Cab.

    6. Making Movies, Dire Straits. Not the perfect album, but for those that still remember vinyl Making Movies might well have boasted the perfect “Side One.” My opinion of this album grows with each passing year.

    7. Rhapsody In Blue/An American In Paris/Suite for Porgy & Bess, George Gershwin, Oscar Levant – Piano. We need some kind of orchestral music; if we’re traveling through America, why not choose the most American orchestral piece of all time? Besides, the middle section of Rhapsody sounds like it was made to be listened to while driving.

    8. Exile on Main St, The Rolling Stones. Greatest Stones album ever, and a great album for driving.

    9. Quadrophenia, The Who. It’s been a long day, it’s already getting dark, and it’s time to get a wee bit quiet, circumspect and maudlin. Quadrophenia is a perfect soundtrack for all of that.

    10. Blue Train, John Coltrane. Considered by many to be the last of the classic hard-bop albums. It may well be the perfect album to sip whiskey to; it’s a great listen when driving long stretches by starlight.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      I’ll upvote Revolver and Narrow Stairs. I’d rather have Who’s Next than Quadrophenia, though.

      Although Death Cab intro album was Jack’s “ZOMG he still won’t freakin’ fall asleep drive around for 30 minutes in the car album” for a good reason, and might deserve rejection on the safety concern for just that reason.Report

    • OHMYGOD!!! What is WRONG with me that I left off “Cosmic Thing”!?!?!? (Unlike you, I would [and do] totally play it at home.)

      I’ve already edited my list once, so I’m not gonna do it again. But consider this a massive 1+ for “Cosmic Thing.” It is one of my all-time favorite albums ever, and I did listen to it (back in the high and far-off times of the Walkman) on family road trips, over and over and over.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      I’ll up vote Gershwin, although I can’t sing to it (a benefit to any fellow passengers as, or so I’ve been told, my voice can crack rocks).Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      This is not a downvote – I like the album OK, and I know it’s the consensus “best Stones” – but I’ll never understand why people prefer Exile to Fingers.

      Exile‘s production and songwriting are so samey/monotonous in comparison – I get tired of it.

      Fingers has great/varied songs, AND varied production/arrangement touches. I never get tired of it.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        I considered Let It Bleed, just so I could hear Gimme Shelter.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          Is it just me, or is “Shelter” one of those songs that can still send chills no matter how many times you’ve heard it?Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

            Yes. It may also be the only great rock and roll song I have heard Tom Jones cover and nod my head in approval as I listened. How great a song does it have to be to allow THAT to happen???!!!Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Ian McCulloch said that he used to have a tape of “Gimme Shelter” that he had recorded from the LP, and during the recording he had manually manipulated the levels for maximum dynamics, so that when the drums kick in after the spooky into, it just knocks you across the room.

              Always wanted to do that myself. Sounds like the only possible improvement that could be made.Report

            • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

              Tom Jones gave himself a bit of a bad rap by jumping into the Engleburt Humperdink / Wayne Newton genre, but he’s an excellent singer. My opinion of him changed drasticly when he covered Prince’s “Kiss”. His cover of “Tennessee Waltz” with the Chieftans is great.Report

      • Avatar crash says:

        I can agree on the production, most of EOMS is pretty muddled and dirty. Except for Tumbling Dice (there just Mick is muddled and dirty).

        But even if the songwriting is heavy on the country-fried, there is variety in the music: consider Tumbling Dice vs. All Down the Line vs. Torn and Frayed.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          I have a bootleg of acoustic Stones outtakes called “Unplugged”, and the “All Down The Line” on that is PHENOMENAL. I went though like a 10-day period of just listening to it on a loop.

          And I DO like the album, and they are great songs. I just like “Sticky Fingers” better. They never showed so much range as there (think of the end of “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”, where they give jazz & Carlos Santana a run for their money).Report

    • Avatar Brian Houser says:

      +1 for Cosmic Thing. It’s not one of my all-time favorites, but it’s definitely a great road trip album.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Genuine question from someone who only owns the first 2 B-52’s records – what makes Cosmic Thing better than the s/t debut, which has “Rock Lobster”, “Planet Claire”, “Lava” “Moon”, et al?

        “Rock Lobster” ALONE makes the album superior to 95% of the human race’s entire historical recorded output.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          1. Roam

          2. TIN ROOF!!!! … rusted…

          That’s enough.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

          Speaking of the B-52s, here’s a confession that I may have already shared on a Blinded Trials thread: When I’m alone in my house cooking, I play the music really loudly. If I’ve had a glass of wine, I may dance while I cook. But if I’ve had two glasses of wine, I may sing – and if I sing, I may begin to sing duet versions of the songs using Fred Schneider’s voice and Tome Waits’s voice.

          The best is when Baby It’s Cold comes up on shuffle.

          Tom: ireallymustgo

          Fred: BUT BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!!!!Report

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            I’ve been working on a post about Fred Schneider but haven’t been able to perfect it.

            The general gist of the post is this: it would not be possible to phone in a performance more than the performance phoned in for Deadbeat Club.

            Except for four or five paragraphs.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Oh, when he brings the energy, he brings the energy. He was party rock before such a thing even existed.

                And I’m not even saying that I don’t like “Deadbeat Club” (it might be my favorite song on the album).

                It’s just… well, listen to that song again. Fred is not even phoning it in, he’s mailing it in.Report

              • A polite dissent — that’s a deeply poignant song, essentially about the band’s beginnings. (And absent a founding member who died of AIDS.) It’s all about Cindy and Kate’s vocals, which are (as usual) lush and gorgeous. Fred’s typical contribution, which have kind of madcap quality even when the material is serious (see “Juicy Jungle”) would be all wrong, but since the song is about the band, leaving him out entirely would be wrong, too.

                Hence his minimal contribution, limited to the chorus.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Now I feel bad. I thought the song was encapsulated in the “Huh? Get a job? What for? I’m trying to think” opening and that the song required as much further analysis as, oh, Rock Lobster.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                I’m writing my dissertation on “Rock Lobster”! Wait until you find out what the “bikini whale” symbolizes!Report

          • Avatar Maribou says:

            I do not believe you have ever shared this before. Because I find it so charming and adorable that I am certain I would have remembered it.

            (Note: It is of course possible that you shared it during one of my periods of scholarly exile, which are far too frequent.)Report

        • Glyph, I love the B-52s something fierce. I love “Bouncing Off the Satellites” and “Cosmic Thing” best. As for the latter, it has “Dry County,” “Deadbeat Club” (which got me through my adolescence almost on its strength alone), “Roam” and “Channel Z.”Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      How many different Beatles albums can I downvote and still have them counted? -1 on Revolver, if you’ll allow it.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Cosmic Thing is indeed a whole lot of fun. I can +1 it.

      Making Movies is good for that time of the drive just before sunset when a bit of self-hypnosis and alpha state in the brain is good for driving focus. And the guitar solos are ionospherically good. +1 there.

      I have a hard time picking between Exile on Main Street and Sticky Fingers if we’re going to rock out with Mick and Keef. Beggars Banquet is worth it for “Sympathy for the Devil” all on its own. Exile is a double album — what are the rules on that, does that count for one or two albums? In any event, I am totally down with the Stones for our road trip.Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

      Perfect side 1 is right. You’re doing something very right when a song as cool as Skateaway is the weak one.

      +1 for Quadrophenia. What’s better for a night drive past the water than Sea and Sand. (We’ll roll down the windows to get the sea breeze and picture being on our GS scooters.)Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Upvotes for Revolver, Making Movies, and Quadrophenia from here. More of my neutral whining for Blue Train (one of my favorite albums of all time that would likely lead to mass death by the 10th time through).

      And a very BIG upvote for Lyle Lovett, who is basically the best dude to play on any roadtrip ever.Report

    • Avatar Will H. says:

      +1 for I Love EverybodyReport

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      Definitely upvoting Revolver, although Beatles 1 is even more sing-able.Report

    • Avatar Anne says:

      +1 Cosmic ThingReport

  30. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Which ten albums should we bring on our two month road trip?

    Oh, the photo album of my most adorable children, surely.Report

  31. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    By the way, Tod, I hate you for giving me the three vote option.

    Because I really, really, want to post a list.Report

    • Avatar Kim says:

      Most of the things I’d list are deemed unacceptable.
      So I’m just being patient, and hoping the folks in the car will enjoy what I picked.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      You can still post an additional nine! You’ll just lose valuable Rush points for doing so.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        I’m thinking about checking the vote count at 11:59 on Saturday night and then posting the full list if MP doesn’t need the two votes to make the cut.

        Wait.. you said you’re calling the list on Sunday, but when does voting end?Report

  32. Fairly wide mix, some already mentioned.

    Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – Facing Future
    Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick
    The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s
    Cake – Comfort Eagle
    Metallica – S&M
    Paul Simon – Graceland
    Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers
    Mussorgsky / Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition

    My thinking: wider mix helps keep it a little more interesting for longer. Yeah, there’s some modern pop in there, but I find the clever lyrics of FoW to be entertaining enough to overrule my classic rock preference (ditto with the funk baselines of Cake.). Also why I chose S&M over Metallica’s black album or Justice. And Iz… his take on Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of my go-to songs for relaxation, I’m assuming needed at some point on the road trip, so I’ll bargain my ass off to keep that album, just for that one song (though it’s a great album overall.)Report

  33. Avatar James Hanley says:

    In no particular order.

    1. Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
    2. Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
    3. The Damned: Phantasmagoria
    4. Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow
    5. The Cult: Love
    6. Guns n’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction
    7. Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues
    8. Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blues Singers (I don’t care if it’s an anthology, your “no greatest hits” album doesn’t apply in the case of lost gone blues musicians who didn’t record actual albums.)
    9. Mississippi John Hurt: 1928 Sessions.
    10. Fleetwood Mac: RumoursReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      I’m downvoting Appetite for Destruction. I never, ever need to hear “Welcome to the Jungle” again. Upvoting Speaking in Tongues.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      Guns and Roses–no, no, no!!!

      Talking Heads and Fleetwood Mac–yes, yes, yes!Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      +1 on Speaking in TonguesReport

    • Avatar dexter says:

      James, for an evil libertarian you have very good taste in music.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        The devil has all the good music. Keep the state out of my record collection!Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        Except he hates The Beatles. Which… that’s just wrong, man.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          No, it’s very very right. Look, I used to like them. They obviously were very talented. But then I came to realize they actually weren’t that innovative, they were just really good–fantastic really–at picking up on trends and going that direction. And damn near every song is a test of wills between Lennon’s moralizing and McCartney’s pubescent sappiness. And they’re so goddamed overplayed that I want to drive into a ditch at 90 mph whenever I hear them on the radio. There’s so much music from the ’60s that’s so much better, like Traffic, CCR, the Stones (I don’t really like them, but they don’t irritate me like the fishing Beatles), Airplane, The Doors, Joplin, Hendrix, The Byrds,…

          You could choose ten great rock albums from the ’60s and never touch the Beatles.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer says:

      Up voting the Talking Heads.

      I will need to consult my mood ring and pet rock on Fleetwood Mac.

      Do the Damned and Fleetwood Mac cancel each other out? Talking about opposite ends of the 1970s spectrum here. Back then wouldn’t Damned fans hate on Fleetwood fans?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        I figure variety is what’s needed for a long trip. Loved the list of blues albums somebody posted above, and I’d be thrilled with any of them, but we need variety.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP says:

        The early Fleetwood Mac wasn’t so terrible. Warm Ways is a perfect song. Only later, as they all staggered through that blizzard of cocaine did things get hateful. I would lick the tires of the truck that took Christine McVie’s dresses to the cleaners.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      HUZZAH FOr Talking Heads, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt.Report

    • Avatar Anne says:

      +1 Any album by Talking Heads

  34. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    1 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    2 Infected Mushroom – Classical Mushroom
    3 Wendy Carlos – Switched-on Bach
    4 Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session
    5 Joni Mitchell – Blue
    6 Saafi Brothers – Mystic Cigarettes
    7 Jethro Tull – This Was
    8 Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
    9 Various – Pi soundtrack (not to be confused with The Life of Pi)
    10 Bob Marley – Exodus

    That ended up being way less electronic than I would probably actually pack.Report

  35. Avatar zic says:

    I forgot the rules.

    So by zic’s unanimous consent, I hereby decree one downvote for each album by Springsteen. If he’s on, I’m out of the car; with the sole exception of that short and sweet song, I’m on Fire.Report

  36. Avatar dhex says:

    slayer – reign in blood

    will oldham – i see a darkness

    boards of canada – music has the right to childrenReport

  37. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Holy Shit comments!

    I thought I was an early bird!

    Anyways, I feel bad for whoever has to tally everything up.

    I put all points into CCR. CCR is the best music for road trips. There is nothing else to compare.Report

  38. Avatar Fish says:

    1. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins (was going to go with Siamese Dream, but I felt like I had to stand up for Mellon Collie)
    2. Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
    3. Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine
    4. The Fat Of The Land – The Prodigy
    5. Until Now – Swedish House Mafia
    6. Texas Flood – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
    7. There Is Nothing Left To Lose – Foo Fighters
    8. Elastica – Elastica
    9. No Need To Argue – The Cranberries
    10. My Dinosaur Life – Motion City SoundtrackReport

  39. Avatar Shazbot3 says:

    1. The Freewheelin Bob Dylan: Bob Dylan

    2. Willy and the Poor Boys: CCR

    3. Harvest: Neil Young

    4. The Covers Record: Cat Power

    5. War: U2

    6. Fear of Music: Talking Heads

    7. Up to Here: The Tragically Hip (only if we drive to Canada)

    8. Tattoo You: The Rolling Stones (weird pick, but I like it)

    9. No Need to Argue: The Cranberries

    10. “How to Avoid Huge Ships” Book on Tape: As Read by Lou FerrignoReport

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Interesting – CCR, Stones, Dylan and Talking Heads are all getting multiple votes, but they may end up getting split, due to choosing different albums.

      I thought of picking a U2 album, but War is one of my least favorite of theirs. I would have gone Joshua or Achtung.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        I think you might be the only person on earth who would construct S (the set of the best U2 albums) as {The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby}.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          Achtung is a weird case. It’s really an album. If you take it apart, the individual pieces are not all that strong (and good God, it has some of Bono’s worst lyrics EVER). But if you listen to it from start to finish, it’s got a real emotional shape and a flow.

          But hey, I even like Unforgettable Fire, and a lot of people don’t. And Zooropa is far better than it has any right to be; other bands would kill to make a record that interesting. It’s not until Pop that they really went off the rails.Report

          • Avatar James says:

            UF is awesome, but mostly because it sounds so unfinished. It gives these fascinating hints of a direction that they never really ended up taking, but damn I wish they would have. They’d be poorer, but I’d be richer.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            I just noticed Glyph likes Zooropa, too.

            We can now commence taking over the world.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              (from the back of the van, quietly, but for the 275th time):

              “Don’t move
              Don’t talk out of time
              Don’t think
              Don’t worry
              Everything’s just fine
              Just fine”

              (front of van):

              “That is IT, you two!”

              Heh. You two.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          He is not. Now, I can reasonably respect arguments to the contrary, but at the end of the day, you will all be wrong, and Glyph will still be right.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 says:

        Your tastes in U2 albums are objectively false in an empirically verifiable way.


    • Avatar Pinky says:

      That’s the first U2 pick on the thread.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      U2 = Joshua Tree. That is all.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        It’s easy to forget because it was such a ubiquitous monster hit, but that is a phenomenal album front-to-back. I love that they casually dropped 3 singles in a row, right out of the gate.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

          Kitty and I argue about this one.

          I think she’s/you’re correct, really. But Boy is really underrated as a premier album and War is just stupendous.Report

          • Avatar MaxL says:

            Yup. But for my nickel it’s October.Report

          • Avatar Glyph says:

            Boy is terrific; not a wasted note, in that Joy Division-influenced way. I even like October; it gets a little experimental with the songs (even if the songs themselves are not quite as strong).

            But War leaves me cold (though I love the live versions of War songs on Under A Blood Red Sky – “Sunday” and “New Years” are MILES better there).

            War just sounds labored over – even when the songs are good, the tempos are too sluggish; no energy or life. It’s (IMO) their weakest album until Pop.

            But I am aware that I am in the minority.Report

            • Avatar Chris says:

              I wish U2 had stopped recording after Joshua Tree. “Bullet the Blue Sky” is definitely driving music.Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

                I think I’m the only person on Earth that likes Zooropa.Report

              • Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:

                I remember really liking the song “Numb.”Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:

                Zooropa is good. I remember hating “Lemon” when I first heard it; I now think it’s one of the prettiest, most haunting songs they ever did.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                I’d allow for Rattle and Hum despite its grotesque self-indulgence because it’s wacky and most of the songs really do work. But no doubt Joshua Tree was their last really worthy album and everything since Rattle has been pretty trite pop stuff. I’m just waiting for Bono to go Sting and do nothing but boring ballads all the time.Report

      • Avatar Anne says:

        +1 Joshua TreeReport

    • Avatar zic says:

      +1 U2; but I’m with Glyph on my favorite.

      +1 Harvest, combined with After the Goldrush the soundtracks of my teens (before I discovered Miles). Farm life of poverty in rural Maine was pretty bleak, musically speaking; Neil Young certainly captured that bleakness.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Upvote War. I was waiting for U2 to show up.

      And Burt is clearly wrong about The Joshua Tree.Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

      -1 U2. Pretentious snots and not great music.


    • Avatar Maribou says:


      And my favorite (and only) Hip concert was here in Colorado Springs. There were like 300 people in attendance. I was in front of the stage the whole time. I had the two conversations below over and over.

      Me (to American friend): I went to a Tragically Hip concert this weekend! It was awesome!!! I was in front of the stage the whole time!!!
      AF: A what concert?

      Me (on the phone to Canadian friend): GUESS WHAT? I saw the Hip IN A CONCERT HALL! There were like 300 people there!!! I WAS AT THE FRONT OF THE STAGE!!!

      Just sayin’.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        I had pretty much that same experience at a No Means No concert. 300 people, right in front of the stage (knees bruised from the surging crowd continually bumping me into the edge of the stage), every Canadian I’ve ever met instantly knowing who I was talking about, and most Americans not having a clue.

        In fact if I hadn’t already used up my 10 picks I’d suggest “Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy,” because who doesn’t want to be driving down the road singing, “Cats, Sex, and Nazis!”Report

      • Avatar Will H. says:

        In Violet Light is the best thing ever by the Hip.Report

    • Avatar KatherineMW says:

      Upvoting Harvest.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      Up vote on CCR.Report

  40. Avatar Shazbot3 says:


    10. Unplugged in NY: NirvanaReport

  41. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I don’t have to actually vote for Styx, do I? They’re, like, automatically on, right?Report

  42. Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

    The rules are a bit unfair to those of us who don’t listen to “albums” much.

    In the interest of playing along, I nominate “Porgy and Bess”. I enjoy the Price/Warfield/Calloway recordings, but have a soft spot for the 1959 film soundtrack (Robert McFerrin and Adele Addison and Cab Calloway).

    Trivia: the Robert McFerrin who dubbed for Sidney Poitier in the 1959 film is Bobby McFerrin’s father.

    If you’ve never heard it, here is a link to a selection of 4 songs from the 1959 film soundtrack:

    and here is a link to Warfield and Price:


    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      That’s a great pick. If I crack and post a whole list, a third of them are from prior to 1960.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

        I’ve found out that almost all my pre-1960s picks are… actually compilation albums. Which seems to be a characteristic of big band stuff.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Upvote for Porgy and Bess, which I have performed (on sax, as part of a concert band) many times. No promises I won’t sing along though.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      Upvote Porgy and Bess (wishing furiously that I’d thought of it first).Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

        I’ve been singing the songs to myself over the past few weeks, so it was fresh in my mind, Mr. Hanley.

        I keep thinking about this part:

        De folks wid plenty o’ plenty
        Got a lock on de door
        ‘Fraid somebody’s a-goin’ to rob ’em
        While dey’s out a-makin’ more
        What for

        I got no lock on de door
        Dat’s no way to be
        Dey kin steal de rug from de floor
        Dat’s okeh wid me
        ‘Cause de things dat I prize
        Like de stars in de skies
        All are free

        I think there’s something important in there that I need to hear. So, I’ve been singing it to myself.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      I did not know that about the McFerrens. Thanks for that bit of knowledge.Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin says:

        You may also be interested in the fact that Robert McFerrin was the first black male to sing at the Met, though Marian Anderson was the first black person (and first black woman) to sing at the Met. They both debuted in January, 1955.

        Mr. McFerrin was also the first black person to sing at both the Met and the NYC Opera. He only performed in opera for a few years, though.

        As one could imagine, he was a tremendous influence on his son, Bobby. Unfortunately, there are few recordings of Mr. McFerrin. I find his voice to be wonderful.Report

  43. Avatar MaxL says:

    Interesting question – it’s not really all time favorite albums at all. I see a ton of good suggestions above, so I sort of tried not to double up in case I have to hitch hike when the sun goes behind a cloud.

    Anyway, I think these need to be albums that pass the time or imprint a place passing outside. Sounds for daybreak, long hot afternoons, night alone, small windy roads and bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate loop. Music you can talk over, keep you awake, or just draw hours out of the ride.

    Weird that no female vocalists came to mind right away.

    1- Grateful Dead – American Beauty
    2 – Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed
    3 – Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    4 – Primal Scream – Screamadelica
    5 – Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison
    6 – Dark Was the Night – Blind Willie Johnson
    7 – Sublime – 40 oz. to Freedom
    8 – Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash
    9 – U2 – October
    10- Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco DeLucia – Friday Night in San FranciscoReport

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Wow, that’s a really great mix of genre.

      This is I think the third time someone’s thrown up the Pogues. I wonder if we’d done this a month from now or a month ago if they’d have still gotten nominations, or are they just in everyone’s head because it’s almost the 17th?Report

      • Avatar MaxL says:

        I field tested this question once awhile back – driving many, many miles with just Rum Sodomy and the Lash, Prolonging the Magic, and Tea for the Tillerman. It could have been a lot worse. I have no idea what happened to the other 2 CDs, but I still have the Pogues.

        When I was 19 or so, I was backpacking around and for a six month stretch I was down to exactly 2 cassettes: INXS Kick and something by the Eurythmics. When it finally came down to that or Turkish music playing on the long distance bus to Lake Van…Report

    • Avatar MikeSchilling says:

      American Beauty is a great choice, though I only ever listen to half of it (Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil, Sugar Magnolia, Ripple, Truckin’)Report

  44. Avatar fledermaus says:

    With an eye towards driving I’d pick:

    1. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head
    2. Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense
    3. Primus – Pork Soda
    4. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    5. O Brother Where Art Thou – soundtrackReport

  45. Avatar Andrew Voss says:

    Because it’s my current favorite I’ll use my three votes for this:

  46. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

    I think I still have at least one pick, so….

    Heart — A number of contenders, but I’ll go with “Dreamboat Annie”


    I think an “Unplugged” album is awfully close to a Greatest Hits — should they be eliminated or downvoted?Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:


      Also, I would argue that both Clapton and Nirvana’s Unplugged albums are not particularly close to a greatest hits… or at least, they are a LOT closer to being “the band covering itself” which is a different thing, to me. There are Unplugged albums that are just greatest hits… but not those two.Report

  47. Avatar Leslie Gupta says:

    For Pat – I assume I will now get laughed off the thread but here’s my list (all albums that have been used for the road trips up and down CA, in the past and in the very recent, so well known and well loved by me) – chosen if I listen from start to finish without having to jump tracks. I only get to pick 10 so these were the visceral, gut choices that jumped to mind:

    1) Garbage – Garbage or 2.0 (Sherilyn is my goddess)
    2) David Sylvian – Gone to Earth (if I’m feeling melancholy and driving alone, not a family favorite by any means – listened to many times when driving away from the Bay Area when I was in college
    3) Pet Shop Boys – Very (sentimental favorite with husband, listened to many times when we were first dating)
    4) Imagine Dragons – Night Visions (proving to be a very solid go to of late)
    5) P!nk – Truth About Love (another recent acquisition with an insane level of air play in my car and children be damned – they gotta learn to cuss properly sometime)
    6) Peter Murphy – Deep (although Holy Smoke holds its own)
    7) Duran Duran – Rio (although the new one, All You Need is Now is a solid album and of course, their first album which just has nostalgia all over it!)
    8) Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses or Violator (but anything before that works too, more recent works are played a bit more sparingly, trackwise, as I’m not a fan of all the times that Martin Gore has started being the lead singer)
    9) Chicago Movie Soundtrack or Moulin Rouge (but there are two different versions of that and I prefer the first disk)
    10) Imogen Heap – I, Megaphone or Speak for Yourself (probably lean towards the latter)Report

  48. Avatar Johanna says:

    Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
    Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
    Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands
    Toy Dolls – Dig That Groove
    Are we allowed to pick ten and have unlimited up and down votes or do I only have four more votes since I’ve already up voted two?Report

  49. Avatar mark boggs says:

    Carlos Santana – MoonflowerReport

  50. Avatar mark boggs says:

    And I’m sure it’s prolly disqualified for being a compilation, and I haven’t read all 2,987 comments, but we cannot go that far with out Oscar Peterson – Exclusively for my Friends. A 4 disc set of magic.Report

  51. Avatar Wardsmith says:

    City of Angles soundtrack.

    I’ll come back another day and see if this thread has hit 1000 comments and decide if I want to add the other nine or leave it as is to give this one a fighting chance.

    BTW my sportscar is similar to Rtod’s imaginobile, it has a CD changer behind the driver’s seat where it is inconvenient as hell to get at. Worse it only holds 6 CD’s at a time.Report

  52. Avatar LK says:

    U2-The Joshua Tree
    Sam Phillips-Martinis and Bikinis
    Steve Earle-The Revolution Starts Now
    Johnny Cash- American IV:The Man Comes Around
    Warren Zevon: The Wind
    Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coletrane at Carnegie Hall
    Watchmen Soundtrack
    Beatles-Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club BandReport

  53. Avatar michael says:

    1. The Clash – London Calling
    2. Steely Dan – Aja
    3. Rolling Stones – Some Girls
    4. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
    5. Minutemen – Double Nickels
    6. Beatles – White Album
    7. Johnny Cash – American Songs
    8. Sufjan Stevens – Fell the Illinoize
    9. Talking Heads – Remain in Light
    10. Yo La Tengo – I Can Hear the Heart Beating as OneReport

  54. Avatar just bob says:

    Here goes, in no particular order:

    1. Back in Black – AC/DC
    2. Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses
    3. Joshua Tree – U2
    4. Crash – Dave Matthews Band
    5. Under the Table and Dreaming – Dave Matthews Band
    6. Van Halen – Van Halen
    7. Who’s Next – The Who
    8. Led Zeppelin I – Led Zeppelin
    9. Live at Madison Square Garden – O.A.R.
    10. Metallica (Black Album) – MetallicaReport

  55. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Looks like I get one shiney bullet with which to plug the appalling absence of ’80’s alternative music.

    Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4

    Heck, Anxious could practically be the League anthem.


    Now apathy is happy that it won without a fight…Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Heh, where were you in the Fatboy Slim thread when I posted “Happy Hour” (I couldn’t find a video for “You Better Be Doubtful”)?

      Busted – now I know who else is MY age!Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine says:

        Clearly you lost me at Fatboy…

        If Mr. Cook had remained thus, we might have had more hours of happiness.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          No doubt…the whole comment started with me shamefully admitting that I had purchased Fatboy records, but trying to ameliorate that sin with my knowledge of his prior musical efforts in Housemartins.Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

            I like “You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby.”

            I admit it, proudly. So there.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine says:

            Some things a man never tells.

            But… if it makes you feel any better, I bought a Ranking Roger CD.Report

            • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

              Fatboy Slim is excellent “we’re playing group-friendly video games” music. I think we logged about 100 hours of Twisted Metal with YCALWB as the soundtrack.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Oh man. My friend saw whatever facsimile of The Beat that is still touring a few years ago, and he said don’t bother.

              No Saxa, no Glyph, that’s my motto.Report

  56. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    I’m a daily lurker, and sparing commenter. As someone who lives in the destination city, and would love to meet some of the faces behind the names, and one that absolutely loves music, here’s my list (and Oh, my gosh, so much good music left behind!):

    1. XTC – Skylarking
    2. Field Music – Tones of Town
    3. New Model Army – Thunder and Consolation
    4. Blur – Parklife
    5. Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five
    6. Kurt Elling – The Messenger
    7. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
    8. Wayne Hancock – Tulsa
    9. Tally Hall – Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
    10. New York Philharmonic under Berstein: Copland: Appalachian Spring~Rodeo~Billy the Kid~Fanfare for the Common ManReport

    • Avatar James says:

      +1 to Wayne Hancock! And I hope you’ll reveal yourself at Leaguefest. I’m not a huge Brubeck fan myself, but I respect him lots, and think anyone who likes both Brubeck and Hancock has to be a righteous dude.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Horray for Parklife and Skylarking!

      Also, HOW did it take this long for someone to mention Take Five?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:


      A few things:

      1. Totally stoked that we may see you in Chicago.

      2. Great choice on XTC. My favorite would be Apple Wasp, but since I didn’t even think to go there, kudos to you.

      3. You are the only human being I know other than myself that listens to Tally Hall. They opened for Guster a few years ago in Portland, and they were AMAZING.

      4. I now feel a sense of shame that it hadn’t occurred to me until I read you list to even consider an Ellington recoding! A travesty! What the hell was I thinking? I will now go out in the yard and pour dirt on my head.

      5. All in all, a great list. This might be my favorite list of 10 from top to bottom.Report

      • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:


        Tally Hall put on such a great live show, and sadly the group is probably no more. It’s rare to see such joy on stage. I saw them close a show with an absolutely killer cover of Freebird. I did pass on my love of TH to my daughter and some friends here, so we’re not totally alone.

        Not Ellington, though Live at Newport was in serious contention, but ELLING. Jazz vocalist from Chicago. His early stuff is so inventive. So, no dirt.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Oh God yes for Copland.

      And you broke my resistance to upvoting jazz with Take Five. Yes, plese, that one. (It’s not the best jazz in these comments. But it is the one I have listened to enough times to wear out TWO cassette tapes. Durable.)Report

    • Avatar MaxL says:

      +1 for Take Five! I am kicking myself for forgetting that one. Great listReport

    • 1+ for both the Brubeck and the Copland.Report

  57. Avatar Chris says:

    Wait, is Illimatic the only rap album so far… Ya’ll are some seriously… OK, I won’t say it.

    I feel I should link to this, and then feel guilty for linking to stuff I wrote (a long time ago).Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      Yeah, I noticed that too. No funk or R&B, either. Ray Charles and James Brown are conspicuously absent.Report

      • Avatar Sam says:

        I nominated “The Mouse and The Mask” by Danger Doom, and holy goddammit, I just realized the album I’d spent all day trying to remember: “The Score” by The Fugees. Whatever. I’m an idiot. Can I add it?Report

      • Avatar Shazbot5 says:

        We need the funk.

        Our lists gotta get that funk.

        And as white as the lists are already, there is also fairly little country music, which is pretty popular nationwide. And there’s a pro 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and maybe 90’s bias.

        This all gives some evidence about the demographics of the league.Report

        • Avatar James Hanley says:

          I thought about adding Rage Against the Machine, but I was afraid Paul Ryan would fight for a spot in the car.Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

          If you can put “constructed by the user” best of albums on the list, the best of Parliament/Funkadelic/George Clinton.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Well, Stevie Wonder is up there, and Glyph and I said we should have included Marvin Gaye, but we didn’t, so… And I don’t know what I would include of Ray Charles.

        But honestly, hip hop makes for some great driving music. During the summers in college, I used to drive with another guy back and forth to a bunch of cities around Nashville for work, often not getting back to Franklin until well after 3 am, and Wu Tang Clan is the only reason we didn’t die in a fiery crash after falling asleep.Report

        • Avatar Maribou says:

          Kazzy nominated Kanye… to thundering non-response.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            Ugh, my apologies to Kazzy and Sam. I didn’t notice Kazzy’s and I’d forgotten Sam’s nominations (in my defense, there were like 450 comments when I wrote that, so I was hoping I might have missed some, plus I’ve gotten like 10 hours of sleep in the last 4 days).Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        I wanted to do James Brown, but everything I have is compiled (Star Time, Pass The Peas: Best of JB’s, etc.) so I wasn’t sure what album to pick.

        The rules excluding compilations/best of’s really hurt singles artists, and dance music (and hip-hop is dance music) is all about singles (see my complaint about not being able to get New Order on – otherwise Substance would have been a lock).Report

        • Avatar Chris says:

          There are two kinds of hip hop*: hip hop for the club and hip hop for the headphones. You dance to the former and you listen really closely to the latter. It all came from club music in the 70s, but at some point (in the mid-to-late 80s), some of it took a storytelling, almost conversational turn. Hell, though I haven’t seen anyone doing it in years, it wasn’t uncommon, once upon a time, to see people in a coffee house or a restaurant rapping a conversation. Now, a lot of the really good hip hop is really a fusion of the club part and the conversation part, but when it is conversational like that, or at least when it’s a form of story-telling, it’s not always about the singles. I mentioned him over at Jay’s place, but check out Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City for an excellent recent example of an album that’s meant to be listened to as a whole.

          But to contradict all of that, I’ll link to this again:

          *There are two kinds of people: those who divide everything into to types, and those who don’t. Both of them are wrong.Report

  58. Avatar Michael 2 says:

    Rickie Lee Jones – the eponymous 1979 album.Report

  59. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    Golden Age of Radio, by Josh Ritter, will be my only nomination. A good mix of songs, fantastic lyrics, and rewards relistening.Report

  60. Avatar Just Me says:

    You can’t have a road trip without Jerry Jeff Walker….IMHO. I just haven’t been able to decide which album to pick.Report

  61. Avatar Steve S. says:

    1. Playboy: A History in Pictures
    2. Penthouse: A History in Pictures
    3. Swank: A History in Pictures
    4. The Pop-up Kama Sutra: What Part of Pop-up Don’t You Understand?
    5. Nina Hartley: A Life in Pictures
    6. The Making of “Where the Boys Aren’t” [Norton edition]
    7. The Oxford Bettie Page
    8. “Oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh Gaaaaaaawwwwwwwwd…”: the Poetry of Jenna Jameson
    9. The Penguin Illustrated Nudity, Nudism, and Nakedness, Did We Mention Nudity?
    10. The Holy Bible

    Wait a minute; is this the “essential books on a desert island” thread or the “Sgt. Pepper and Led Zeppelin IV” thread?Report

  62. Avatar Mark Thompson says:

    I’m trying to only go with new albums not named above here, so:
    1.. Pat Green- George’s Bar.
    2. Springsteen – Born to Run
    3. Peter Tosh- Captured Live
    4. Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound
    5. Dr. Dre- the Chronic (Chris is right- we need some kind of rap on here)
    6. Spearhead -Home (I thought about De La Soul or Tribe Called Quest here, but I think this album is under appreciated).
    7. Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, et al- Harder They Come soundtrack (I’m actually shocked and appalled no one has this on the list yet)
    8. Temple of the Dog- self-titled
    9. Gin Blossoms- New Miserable Experience – we need some sort of mediocre 90’s rock, do we not?
    10. Allison Krauss and Union Station- New FavoriteReport

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      MM, ATCQ is my rap selection. Not spelling it out. Yet.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Hoo-ah, now that I’ve HEARD of the Harder They Come soundtrack, I will totally agree to it. (I know all those songs. I’ve been to a sweaty hippie fest where Toots and the Maytals were headlining, in the last five years, even. Just, you know, I wasn’t born yet back then – still trying to catch up)

      *orders that album on amazon next time she has dough*Report

      • Toots puts on a fannnn-tastic show. I saw him about 15 years ago at a frat party of all places (it was a frat that I had a less than pleasant relationship with, but there was zero chance I’d ever pass on a chance to see Toots) – still one of the top 3 or 4 shows I’ve ever seen. It’s staggering that they still keep the touring schedule that they have – I mean, they’ve only been making music for 50 years. Which reminds me – he’s playing in NYC on my birthday this year; unfortunately, the venue is terrible and I’ve vowed never to see a show there again. But still…Toots.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          I saw Toots a few years back, and yeah, he was good.

          The crowd was…ah..enthusiastic about “Legalizing It”. I think I got a secondhand high. Not sure if that affected my opinion. It sure seemed like he played a LONG time.Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      +1 on Harder They Come. That is a GREAT choice.

      -1 on Bruce (sorry).

      -? on Temple of the Dog

      And I’ve had to do this before around here, but I will stick up for that Gin Blossoms. The songs that Doug Hopkins wrote are perfect, sad alcoholic anthems. You know what, I’m giving that a +1 just for the chance to make the case again.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      9. Gin Blossoms- New Miserable Experience – we need some sort of mediocre 90?s rock, do we not?

      No, we do not. If we’re going to have 90’s rock, let it be good, not mediocre. It’s not like there was a shortage of good rock in the nineties. Nirvana. Garbage.

      Downvote on the Gin Blossoms.Report

      • Avatar Sam says:

        Surely the suggestion of Gin Blossoms was some sort of elaborate trolling.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          1.) Drink some whiskey.

          2.) Listen to “Lost Horizons” or “Pieces of the Night”. Pay attention to the lyrics.

          3.) Comment again.Report

          • As I read this, ‘Till I Hear It From You is playing on my Pandora.

            But, yeah, Pieces of the Night is quite excellent.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              What the hell did you expect to find – Aphrodite, on a barstool by your side?

              It’s a little long, but this article about Hopkins (the co-founder/songwriter who wrote all their early hits who was a hardcore alcoholic, got kicked out and committed suicide) is well worth your time, and properly places him more in the tradition of the ‘Mats, than the Blowfish :


              • Dude. That is one hell of a story. I had no idea.

                Though it does explain why their other stuff is so terrible.Report

              • Avatar Glyph says:


                Doug once told me that he could barely remember writing “Hey Jealousy.” He remembered clearly that it was a story about the sister of a singer he’d been in a band with, this beautiful girl that he and everyone else had a crush on but couldn’t touch. He had something with her once but he blew it — the drinking. That’s all he remembered about writing it. That and he hated the Gin Blossoms singer for changing the word in his lyric; he swapped “drink” with “think.” Those lyrics were straight from Doug’s daily vocabulary, his usual promise to a new girl. Honest shit.

                You can trust me not to drink/And not to sleep around/If you don’t expect too much from me/You might not be let down.


              • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

                Yep. NME is a fun album; the rest not so much. Sad that such great music had to come from such a dark place.Report

    • Avatar Michelle says:

      Another +1 for Harder They Come.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      +1 on The Chronic. Until I heard Nas, which was a couple years after Illimatic had come out, The Chronic was my favorite hip hop album. 2001 is pretty cool as well.

      I really love Allison Krauss’ voice, but I really don’t like her songs. This isn’t a down vote, just me expressing my frustration that someone with that voice doesn’t have better songs to apply it to.Report

      • Avatar Maribou says:

        I expect you are already aware of Raising Sand (Krauss + Robert Plant), but I thought I should mention it, in case. (I feel similarly conflicted, and I find I like this album a lot better because OTHER PEOPLE WROTE THE SONGS and they are good ones.)Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

      +1 on BtR, CL, HTC an NME

      -1 on The Chronic. I hate Dr Dre, and I think he had Tupac done in because Tupac was branching out and becoming more popular than Dre.Report

  63. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Rules are for Statists. I notice a dearth of soundtracks on here (I mean, not an *ABSENCE*… but you’d think we’d have more…) so I will try to rectify that with my top ten soundtracks for driving.

    1. Trainspotting (yeah, yeah, like you didn’t see that coming)
    2. Oh Brother Where Art Thou?
    3. Saturday Night Fever (Mmmmmmmm. The Bee Gees.)
    4. Local Hero
    5. Superfly
    6. I am torn between Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown. One of those.
    7. The Basketball Diaries
    8.Repo Man
    9. I kinda feel like I should put one of the big 50’s adaptations of a broadway play here. Fiddler, maybe. Man of La Mancha. Something like that.
    10. Jesus Christ SuperstarReport

  64. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    Okay, I cracked, I can’t take it any more. Some of these would be bumped by some things that have already been mentioned, but they deserve votes. So here you go.

    1. Rush, Moving Pictures
    2. A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders
    3. What’d I Say, Ray Charles
    4. Natural Ingredients, Luscious Jackson
    5. Whitechocolatespaceegg, Liz Phair
    6. Tres Hombres, ZZ Top
    7. Ride the Lightning, Metallica
    8. The Dock of the Bay, Otis Redding
    9. Alive!, Oingo Boingo (because Tod said I could)
    10. Being There, Martyn JosephReport

  65. Avatar Maribou says:

    I am desperately torn between Ani Dfranco’s Dilate (y’all need more CUSSING and SEX in your van, seriously) and Lyle Lovett’s Sleep Inside This House (which I was introduced to on a road trip).

    Gotta go with Sleep Inside This House. It is the perfect road trip album. You won’t have heard most of these songs before (they’re covers of 21 songs by Texas songwriters who influenced him) and by the end of the trip you will be in love with ALL of them. At least, that’s what happened to me in Wyoming once.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      Motherfishing fishsticks on a fish platter.

      *Step* Inside This House, by Lyle Lovett, is my choice. Freud ran away with me, must be time for bed.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

      My whole music world is topsy-turvey because I have a not-yet-seven year old and a not-yet-nine year old.

      Sucka Nigga is not a song I’m quite ready to explain yet. Not to Hannah, anyway. Jack could grok it.Report

  66. Avatar JonB says:

    ok Patrick, just because you asked.

    1. Ride: Going Blank Again
    2. Mew: And The Glass Handed Kites
    3. James: Hey Ma
    4. U2: Unforgettable Fire
    5. The Verve: A Storm In Heaven
    6. Radiohead: the Bends
    7. James: Seven
    8. Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around
    9. Anya Marina: Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II
    10. Neko Case: BlacklistedReport

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      +1 on Neko, +1 on Going Blank Again (which is miles better than Nowhere, I don’t care what people say).Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

      Unforgettable Fire should get heavy consideration, if for not other reason than Pride would be an awesome song to have everyone sing aloud really loudly.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        “A Sort of Homecoming” and the title track are both really great. “Wire” rocks in a way they rarely did. And “Bad” only suffers by comparison to the live take on Wide Awake in America.

        Tod, if you don’t close comments on this thing soon, you will be collating until we get ANOTHER new Pope.Report

        • Avatar JonB says:

          In the spirit of the road trip, these aren’t my top 10 albums, but truly the ones I enjoy whilst rocketing up or down California to/from Oregon on I-5. The idea is to make dodging big rigs on mountain passes overlooking grand vistas a cinematic experience. For as long as possible until the Yo Gabba Gabba contingent in the back imposes its will upon their overlords.Report

    • Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name says:

      +1 on the Man in B;lackReport

  67. Avatar annie says:

    Graceland – Paul SimonReport

  68. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Hmm…I’m picky enough that I don’t really like that many whole albums, plus I didn’t really start listening to music until albums were on their way out. But here’s my best shot, in no particular order:

    1. Styx: The Grand Illusion – For Kazzy, and because “The Angry Young Man” is awesome.
    2. Billy Joel: Cold Spring Harbor – Because screw you haters, that’s why.
    3. Tim Buckley: Goodbye and Hello – Before the heroin went to his brain.
    4. Blood, Sweat & Tears: Child is Father to the Man – Because I can’t quit “I Can’t Quit Her.”
    5. Roy Orbison: King of Hearts – ’80s music…with Roy Orbison!
    6. Bobby Darin: If I Were a Carpenter – You can’t tell from his own recordings, but it turns out Tim Hardin was actually a pretty good songwriter.
    7. Neil Diamond: Tennessee Moon: See #2.
    8. Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Memphis
    9. Miyuki Nakajima: Coldwater Fish – Obligatory self-indulgent choice that no one else has heard of.
    10. Gin Blossoms: New Miserable Experience – It was getting a bit too easy-listening.Report

  69. Avatar aaron david says:

    In no particular order

    Live seeds- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    Ragin’, Full On – fIREHOSE
    Faithless Streets – Whiskeytown
    Bitches Brew -Miles Davis
    Los Angeles – X
    To Bring You My Love – PJ Harvey
    At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
    Dummy- Portishead
    Mothership Connection – ParliamentReport

  70. Avatar aaron david says:

    mmm, Working from memory, (don’t want to turn on lights in that part of the house yet) Yes has Radar on it, and also it is one of the more forgotten albums. Cure For Pain was the first one I got, and love it for all of the right reasons, but sometimes you gotta dive a little deeper.

    Faithless streets has Factory Girl on it, and, well, you know how that goes. It doesn’t quite punch you in the gut like Dear Chicago, but you need a little melancholy on a road trip.

    I could drop the whole PFunk catalog in for a road trip, but we do need some variety.Report

  71. Avatar Russell M says:

    1.Gorillazs-Gorillazs. many a road trip has the monkeys 4 gone on with me. The debut was to me the best. only wish there was a way to shove “Feel good” onto this one.

    2.Graceland-Paul Simon. because the first time you hear paul and linda on african skies it is hard not to be in primordial africa staring at the sky.

    3.Sgt.pepper-Beatles. because if you are going to pick just one this one has wayyy to much fun.

    4.Boston-Boston. i never ever get tired of this album. even when my player mislabels every song as the one before it. each song retarded by one makes it a oddly different album.

    5.Alpha Centuari-tangerine dream. for some smooth easy listening. always makes WY seem shorter.

    6. Fly-Sugar Ray. my 90’s favorite. the very first cd i bought with my own money. even the adam ant cover is brilliant.

    7. Gold&Platnum- lynyrd skynyrd. because i can not pick just one out of their cannon.

    8.Distant Worlds II: More Music from Final Fantasy-Just having these on hand lets you know how far down the nerd hole someone is. Plus we can sing One-winged angel in harmony.

    9. S&M-Metallica. because full orchestra +metal gods=Sweet Sweet Shredding.

    10.Best of 60’s surf.-Various. god knows where we could find it outside of the Cd my father gave me but i think the link between good Desert Island Disc’s and Good Road trip disc’s is sadly unstudied.Report

  72. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Ironically I will be road-tripping to Chicago tomorrow morning for St.Patrick’s Day. The best road trip albums are not necessarily the best all-time albums. They serve a specific purpose i.e. to keep the driver awake and the passengers happy. There are albums in my all-time top 10 that I would never choose for a road trip because they aren’t those kinds of albums and vice versa. Also, if I was not restricted by our cruel master I would almost exclusively include greatest hits albums. Those are the fuel of a good road trip.Report

    • Avatar Johanna says:

      Can I upvote this comment?Report

    • Avatar Sam says:


      I agree here. To my mind, the mark of the greatest bands shouldn’t be their greatest albums – which can be wildly uneven things – but their greatest hits albums. Some bands don’t produce music that can be heard outside of an album’s contexts, but many do, and they should be praised for having done so.Report

      • Avatar Roger says:

        I totally agree. There are great albums, and great sounding albums, and great albums to listen to over a glass of wine. The request here was great road trip albums. Beethoven and Mingus and Handel and Nick Drake are great, but totally wrong as road trip albums.

        Hell, I love Kind of Blue, and would have it on any ten best list. But for a road trip I would rather include the sound track to Spinal Tap. In fact, I have been on road trips where we played the soundtrack to Spinal Tap. BIG HIT.

        Bigger the cushion…Report

        • Avatar Kim says:

          Game Over Beethoven is GREAT road music.Report

          • Avatar Roger says:

            I’m getting in another car. Seven hours driving across the cornfields of Iowa and you try to turn on Beethoven or Bitches Brew and see what really happens… Turn on Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and you’ll have everyone dancing in their seat.Report