I think the quarantine has finally broken me. When I first told my older son what I was going to do, he told me that I was going down a rabbit hole. My younger one told me to go big or go home. My wife simply shrugged her shoulders and went on doing whatever she was doing before I interrupted her.
After doing my one-hit wonders countdown, I knew I wanted to take a week to gather myself. Then, I started going through my rock reference books for ideas. Then, my older son sent me a list that he and his wife were working on concerning a re-ranking of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Albums of All-Time. They had been spending their time listening to every non-compilation album in the countdown, then let his wife rank them. Periodically, they would send me videos of their daughter dancing to various songs, her favorite being “London Calling” by The Clash.
Being one to never get out done by my friends and relatives, I picked up my copy of 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die and starting to thumb through it. Additionally, I pulled out my copy of that particular Rolling Stone issue and began taking notes. Slowly, I started to compile a list of 600+ albums that I love to hear. After that, I referenced lists of Top Albums of every year from 1955 to 2019. I scoured NME‘s Top 500 Albums of All-Time list, as well as most any other list I could find. Methodically, my list grew to over 1100 albums.
Originally, my goal was to narrow the list to 500, but I have NEVER been a great editor, as you may have noticed with all my grammatical, spelling and research errors, as well as my overblown lists. So, I asked my boys what they thought about a list of 1000 albums? Well, you read their responses. In addition to those responses, the consensus was that I was nuts. But, that’s what I have done!
And, since I am basically a math and science nerd, I have some statistics concerning this list. First, Bob Dylan and David Bowie both lead the way with 11 titles on my list, followed by Bruce Springsteen and Paul Weller (because I included The Jam and The Style Council in his count) with 10, R.E.M. with 9, Neil Young has 8, Van Morrison 7, 13 artists with six, 8 with five, 20 with four, 53 with three and 97 more artists with two albums. And, can you believe that this ultimate Prince fan only placed five of his albums on this list? It’s true!
And since I am now officially in my late-50s, my list obviously emphasizes the years 1975-1984, but the majority honestly rests is a 27-year period from 1968 to 1995 during which most of my list were originally released. That means I began listening to albums a bit from age 5 to 32, when my album interest slowly waning over the past quarter century. My top five years, in order, were 1980, 1981, 1979, 1970, 1977 and 1978.
So, am I beginning this list today? Nope. I simply wanted to let you what kind of epic I have been working on. Now, this list is NOT a ranking. Actually, I will be going through this list chronologically, by album release date. This list is what I think have been some of the most enjoyable and interesting albums over the years.
From what I read, there is a fine line between genius and insanity. Obviously, we know what my family thinks, though I tend to have delusions of grandeur. Regardless, this my very well end up being my nadir. Here’s to the quarantine!