April 15, 2010


I was driving home from a work happy hour last night, scanning my iPod for something to listen to since NPR was, frankly, boring. I ran across a few things and realized that, no matter how many times I transfer music, replenish my supply, load new music and delete stuff I'm no longer interested in, there are some songs and albums that are just always there. They're staples. Then - because I was stuck in traffic which was not moving at all - I started thinking about exactly what those albums were. For good or bad - embarrassing or cool - here's the top ten fifteen I came up with:

- Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- Genesis - Duke
- Spock's Beard - V
- Temple Of The Dog - Temple Of The Dog
- Stone Temple Pilots - Purple
- Pearl Jam - Ten
- Joe Satriani - The Extremist
- Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
- Peter Gabriel - So
- Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
- Robert Plant - Dreamland
- Satchel - Family
- The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft
- Transatlantic - Bridge Across Forever
- Aimee Mann - Lost In Space

It's not that they're the best albums I own (though some of them are). It's that they're just so damn interesting to listen to and, no matter how many times I hear them, they still have something to offer on each listen.

What are your top album staples that you've always got to have close at hand?

Posted by Chris at April 15, 2010 6:18 AM

Wish You Were Here...I know it's a popular PF track but that tune means a lot to me and others. Glad you included it, I can still remember the day my Mom actually played her vinyl copy...she had an amazing collection of LP's.

Posted by: lee at April 15, 2010 6:51 AM

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Karla Bonoff - Karla Bonoff
Enya - Watermark
Enya - Memory of Trees
Travis Tritt -Greatest Hits
Mike & the Mechanics - The Living Years
Patsy Cline - Greatest Hits
Steve Winwood - Chronicles
Jackson Browne - Hold Out
Merle Haggard - Greatest Hits ('82)

Its quite an eclectic mix....but these albums are ones I have been listening to for more than half of my life (some anyway). Can you tell I am from Oklahoma and now Texas with my country thrown in there?

Posted by: Debbie at April 15, 2010 6:55 AM

I am a bit of a rebel. I like individual songs, so I lay down my own tracks and mini albums of music on CD's. That said, Maribeth's Favorite sing alongs is my favorite!
As far as "real" albums, Any and all Beatles albums.

Posted by: Maribeth at April 15, 2010 9:03 AM

- U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind
- David Gilmour - David Gilmour
- Leonard Cohen - The Essential Leonard Cohen
- Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
- Emm Gryner - Girl Versions
- Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
- Natalie Merchant - Ophelia
- Ben Folds - Rockin' The Suburbs
- Supertramp - Crisis? What Crisis?
- Bruce Springsteen - Best Of

Thankfully, my iPods got space, so there's room for more, but I'll spare you. :)

Posted by: martin at April 15, 2010 9:11 AM

Beck - Odelay

It has a little bit of everything all in one album.

Posted by: Julie at April 15, 2010 9:18 AM

The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Grateful Dead - Europe '72, Disc 2 (Disc 1 is good, but for some reason I have troubles transferring it and I just can't live without Sugar Magnolia/Sunshine Daydream)
No Boundaries (it's a fundraising compilation)
Neil Young - Everybody Knows this is Nowhere
Brandi Carlile - The Story

Posted by: Arwen at April 15, 2010 9:36 AM

Albums that have lasted over the years:

dEUS - the ideal crash (there's something new everytime I listen to it)

Zita Swoon - A song about a girls

Gustavo Cerati - Bocanada

Beatles - the blue album

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing

Björk - Homogenic

Miles Davis - l'ascenseur pour l'échafaud

Justin timberlake - FuruteSexLoveSounds :-)

Posted by: mikkie at April 15, 2010 11:06 AM

mmmm Pink Floyd. I think I need most of them.

Roxy Music - Avalon
Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (feels like a pleasure about which I should be expected to feel guilty, but I really like the *entire* album!)

Posted by: harmzie at April 15, 2010 11:56 AM

I agree with you on Pearl Jam's Ten. Other than that, these have stood my test of time:
Cause & Effect (self titled)
Yes - Union
Dream Theater - When Dream and Day Unite
Delerium - Duende
Those are just off the top of my head. I'm sure I'd find more if I were to actually scroll through my iPod, but I'd have to go out to the car and get it...

Posted by: Michelle L at April 15, 2010 11:59 AM

Nickel Creek - Why Let the Fire Die
REM - Fables of the Reconstruction
Say Anything - Is a Real Boy
Beatles - variety from multiple albums
M. Ward - again a variety from multiple albums
Slobberbone - Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today

Posted by: Jen at April 15, 2010 12:10 PM

Wish You Were Here is my fave Pink Floyd song. Or, as I like to call it, the "Fishbowl" song.

Posted by: kalisa at April 15, 2010 12:31 PM

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Matt Costa - Unfamiliar Faces
Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers - Glassjaw Boxer
Hanson - The Walk (Shut up, they're my favorite band)
And more recently, Rob Thomas - Cradlesong. That is an amazing album.

Posted by: Stephanie at April 15, 2010 8:43 PM

Echo & the Bunnymen: first four albums + Flowers + Siberia
The Clash: London Calling
Pale Fountains: Pacific Street
British Sea Power: Open Season
Justin Sullivan: Navigating by the Stars
Bark Psychosis: Hex
Breathless: Chasing Promises (the Breathless with Domenic Appleton in it, not the other one)
John Foxx: Shifting Cities
Flogging Molly: Drunken Lullabies

and, as of Tuesday but sounds like it will be on the list for a looong time:
Jonsi: Go

Posted by: Kat at April 15, 2010 9:13 PM

I'm not sure - there are so few albums that I just love all the way through.

I love Pearl Jam's "Ten", and "August and Everything After" by Counting Crows. Beyond that, I like bits and pieces of stuff - but rarely whole albums (though there's a big place in my heart for the B-52s "Cosmic Thing" - as my mom and I listened to it over and over again as we drove cross country moving from CA to MI in 1990).

Posted by: Sarah at April 15, 2010 9:42 PM

New York Dolls--New York Dolls
Never Mind the Bollocks--The Sex Pistols
Death Row's Snoop Doggy Dogg Greatest Hits--Snoop Dogg
The Bends--Radiohead
Live at Folsom Prison--Johnny Cash
Sentimental Favorites--Patsy Cline
Raw Power--Iggy and the Stooges
Prolonging the Magic--Cake
The Queen is Dead--The Smiths
Rain Dogs--Tom Waits
Doolitle--The Pixies
Surfer Rosa--The Pixies
The Blue Album--Weezer
Ziggy Stardust--David Bowie

Posted by: beta dad at April 16, 2010 3:04 AM

If you have Spock's Beard on your list, you might want to give Glass Hammer a try. Culture of Ascent or Lex Rex or Shadowlands or ... take your pick. (Disclaimer: I'm related to a band member. Didn't matter didn't pay attention until a year or two ago.)

Glass Hammer is one of those bands who sounds OK on the first listen, OK on the second, better than OK on the third, WTFOMG on the third, JFCTGaG on the fourth, etc.

Posted by: Karl at April 16, 2010 4:21 PM

So Lone star....I was just wondering at what age NPR becomes interesting, I think that at 37 I should be interested in it, as most of my friends are listening and have been for years....I just can't do it!!!What is the appeal? No malice intended, just wanted to know why? you listen. I also find watching the evening news to be tedious....maybe its just not for me huh?

Posted by: Alexandra at April 16, 2010 6:09 PM

Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
Peter Gabriel - So
Steely Dan - Aja
Counting Crows - August and Everything After
Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales

to name just a few...

Posted by: diamond dave at April 16, 2010 10:32 PM

Hmmmm... good one. Since I am the girl who likes every thing with her all the time. But car albums:

Top 10 car albums:
1. Leonard Cohen -- The Future
2. Ten -- PJ
3. Yield -- PJ (there is also usually a boot of the month going. ATM it's the last show from Chicago, the first night -- mainly because I love love love Long Road.)
4. Tragically Hip -- Yer Favourites (this is a cheat but I love that I can sing along)
5. Abba -- Gold (yes, really)
6. Springsteen -- Tom Joad
7. Arcade Fire -- Neon Bible

Posted by: Nat at April 17, 2010 12:05 PM


The Queen is Dead, The Smiths.

Posted by: Nat at April 17, 2010 12:07 PM

Tough. my music needs change regularly.

Any of my U2 must always be handy
Any of my Doors must also be handy
Queensryche, Empire
Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
Indigo Girls, Indigo Girls
Dixie Chicks, Fly
Jason Mraz, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
Any thing by Jimmy Buffett
Johnny Clegg & Savuka, Cruel, Crazy, Beautiful World
Any Violent Femmes
Third Eye Blind

There's more. I could go on for days.

Posted by: Cyndy at April 17, 2010 4:32 PM

brandi carlile
the verve
robert earl keen
norah jones
tom petty
dixie chicks
abba...i am not being cheeky here!
indigo girls
natalie merchant

sweet jesus, i could go on and on...
don't EVEN get me started on books!

:) maria

Posted by: maria at April 18, 2010 10:41 PM

I'd go with Temple of the Dog, PJ's Ten, The Extremist. Crash Test Dummies' God Shuffled his Feet go through a year in a hostel in Bangalore, so that's one of my fav. Iron Maiden's Brave New World, Metallica's Black album is another. I usually get my fav songs of an artist like Barenaked Ladies. I can't far without some BNL.

Posted by: Roshan at April 19, 2010 1:39 PM

1. Leonard Cohen - Live in London
2. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - The Century of Self
3. Kasabian - The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
4. Billy Talent - Billy Talent 3
5. Muse - The Resistance
6. Buddy Guy - Sweet Tea
7. Elvis Costello - SECRET, PROFANE and SUGARCANE
8. Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More
9. Linkin Park - Live in Texas
10. Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction

What can I say? I like new and loud for the most part. Very eclectic. Something for almost any mood.

Posted by: Paprikara at April 26, 2010 10:19 AM