Okay, this post is about MY personal top 10 albums of all-time for all genres of music. Before I even begin and before anyone decides that this list is missing this album or that one or that I'm crazy for including indie artists or even for the rank that I give each one, let me put it to you this way: IT'S MY LIST. PERIOD. Lol!
I was presented with this challenge by my favorite Aussie, @clindbeck from Twitter. She challenged me to name my top 10 albums of all time for all genres. I had to actually look at the challenge a few times before the scope of what she presented to me really set in. I consider myself to be a huge fan of music, but when I started to think about this list, I realized that my idea of music and what is considered a top 10 list varies quite differently from what the likes of the "experts" would put together. That being said, I'm glad that this is MY list and I'm completely satisfied with what I've ended up with after mulling it over for a few days.
So let's get a move on and see what Los came up with for his Top 10 albums of all time, shall we?
10. David Geftakys The Games We Play, released December 7, 2012
L.A. based indie singer/songwriter David Geftakys kicks off my list of top 10 albums of all time with his debut album, The Games We Play. Games, to me, is one of the finest examples of the end result of one insanely talented artist putting his heart and soul into his craft. The main reason that I started this blog was because of my dislike for the state of today's mainstream radio. Along comes Mr. Geftakys with his brand of alternative/folk/rock to restore my faith in music.
Download The Games We Play on iTunes
9. Van Halen 5150, released May 24, 1986
The age old discussion about what version of Van Halen is the best will probably never die. As long as music is still around at least! The original (and subsequent 3rd and 6th versions) line-up with David Lee Roth has a very rabid fan base, and no one can really argue with the commercial success that the band reached with 1984's 1984, but for my money, Sammy Hagar always has been and always will be the greatest vocalist in the history of rock n roll. 5150 is packed full of rock anthems, love songs and power ballads, with arguably one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, of all-time, Love Walks In. It should also be noted that 5150 was also their 1st number one album, something that they had not previously achieved with David Lee Roth (yes, that was a dig!).
8. Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (Live), released May, 1968
At Folsom Prison was Johnny Cash's 27th album release and a self-proclaimed revitalization of his career. At the time, Cash had been dealing with his personal demons, and drugs and alcohol had already started to take an effect on his career. It wasn't until he suffered thru that lull that he started to get his life back in order. Folsom Prison Blues was one of Cash's biggest hits (originally released in 1955) and he was regularly requested thru inmate fan mail from Folsom to perform a concert there (his first actual prison concert was at Hunstville State Prison in 1957). Recorded over the course of two separate shows at the prison, Folsom, some say, was sung with so much feeling that one might have believed that Cash was singing of personal experiences.
7. Pearl Jam 10, released August 27, 1991
Ah yes, the grunge movement of the 90's is rearing its ugly head. I can hear the collective shudder of die-hard rock n rollers the world over as I type this! But you can not deny the impact that the genre and Pearl Jam themselves have had on music. Without the grunge movement, we would have no alternative rock. Sometimes, it's not all about the screaming guitars and falsettos that "glam rock" was throwing at us in the late 80's. 10 is the thinking man's rock. Lyrics with meaning backed by huge, stadium worthy guitar riffs and pounding drums ushered in a new era of rock n roll.
6. Marvin Gaye What's Going On, released March 21, 1971
Marvin Gaye's biggest success came out of his beginnings on the Mowtown label in the 60's. The 70's were a different time as the Vietnam War brought a changing social climate to America. Gaye capitalized on this with arguably his biggest critical success. What's Going On was Gaye's interpretation of that climate after witnessing police brutality on anti-war protestors in Berkley, California while he was on tour with Mowtown label mates, The Four Tops.
"In 1969 or 1970, I began to re-evaluate my whole
concept of what I wanted my music to say... I was very much affected by
letters my brother was sending me from Vietnam, as well as the social
situation here at home. I realized that I had to put my own fantasies
behind me if I wanted to write songs that would reach the souls of
people. I wanted them to take a look at what was happening in the world." -Marvin Gaye"
5. (Tie) In Air (as Nobody Get Killed) Just a Seed, released January 8, 2011
When I began my journey of indie music discovery, In Air (originally known as Nobody Gets Killed) quickly became one of my all-time favorite bands. Their debut album, Just a Seed, solidified my decision to give indie music a chance. What's missing more than anything in today's mainstream market is music that truly moves you. I want to feel the music and know that the artist believes in the song they're singing. Seed accomplishes this and so much more. From the opening radio dial tuning of Shortwave to the hauntingly melodic closer Willow, this is alternative indie rock at its absolute best.
Download Just a Seed on iTunes
5. (Tie) David Gielan The Imperfect Tense, released September 22. 2009
My actual love for indie music began in the early part of 2010 when I was introduced to the music of David Gielan. I had already started to look for an alternative to the mainstream and The Imperfect Tense fit better than any proverbial glove I had or have found. A triple threat as a singer/songwriter/producer, David writes, records and produces all of his material at his production company in L.A., Melody Maker Productions. Produced on what I refer to as an "indie budget", The Imperfect Tense easily outshines any offering by any mainstream act today. David Gielan is one of those artists that comes along once in a great while. His passion for his art is felt in ever lyric that he sings. To this day, All the Way, to me, is still the greatest vocal ever recorded.
Download The Imperfect Tense on iTunes
4. George Strait Strait Country, released September 4, 1981
There's a reason why George Strait became known as the "King of Country Music". Over the course of his career, he has never wavered from his country-western roots, and his debut album, Strait Country helped country music pave the way for its current mainstream appeal. Nearly 32 years and 60 #1 country songs (the most #1 songs of any recording artist in any genre) later, you can always count on King George to deliver straight forward country music the way it's intended to be.
3. Prince Purple Rain (soundtrack), released June 9, 1984
From the moment that I heard Prince's 1981 release Controversy, I was hooked. Fast forward to the soundtrack to his movie Purple Rain. Prince runs the musical gambit from rock to soul to funk to pop and hits everything in between. I've always wondered why he's never held in higher regard than he is when the topic of greatest guitarists of all time is brought up. Push play and listen to When Doves Cry for some guitar shredding that would make any metal head take notice. Or how about arguably the greatest guitar solo in rock history on the title track, Purple Rain? For all of his eccentricities, you can not deny that Prince Rogers Nelson is one of the greatest musicians of all-time.
2. Elvis Presley The Sun Session, released March 22, 1976
The Sun Sessions is a compilation of Elvis Presley songs recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee between July 1954 and July 1955. While it wasn't a huge commercial success (peaking at #76 on the pop charts and #2 on the country charts), everything about the significance of this album has been best summed up by Rolling Stone magazine: "In a tiny Memphis studio, in 1954 and 1955, Sam Phillips and Elvis Presley created rock & roll." I subscribe to the same belief of many others that rock n roll was created on July 5, 1954... the day Elvis recorded That's Alright, Mama.
1. Lit on the Flash Revolution Time, released September 1, 2011
From the first time that I saw Lit on the Flash live, my thinking on what makes a great rock band truly great was forever changed. Here was this little 3-piece band from southern Maine blowing the roof off of a dive bar in Portland, Maine in front of probably 30 people, playing with more heart and soul than any band that I had ever seen play in front of 20,000 people. Over the course of the year that followed, I lost count of the miles I put on my truck following this band all over Maine and New Hampshire. Their debut album, Revolution Time, is a cut out of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On mold in that it deals with the ever changing social issues in America. Lead singer and songwriter Jake Roche put pen to paper and drummer Kerry Ryan added a drum track for the ages to Jake's views on the ever present war climate and corporate America. For me, Lit on the Flash is the greatest rock n roll band ever. Period.
Download Revolution Time on iTunes