December 20, 2008

Albums of the Years

All you music fans should do this...

I took a break from rearranging my list of the year's top ten albums (my album of the year is revealed below!) to compile another list I keep seeing all over the Internet, a list of my favorite albums from every year I've been alive. Like all music lists, this one was fun to make, but much more difficult than I imagined. I actually had to do research!

Here's the list, with commentary afterwards.

The list:

1979: Pink Floyd, "The Wall"
1980: Van Halen, "Women and Children First"
1981: Van Halen, "Fair Warning"
1982: Michael Jackson, "Thriller"
1983: U2, "War"
1984: Prince, "Purple Rain"
1985: Tears for Fears, "Songs From the Big Chair"
1986: Run-D.M.C, "Raising Hell"
1987: Guns N' Roses, "Appetite for Destruction"
1988: N.W.A., "Straight Outta Compton"
1989: Beastie Boys, "Paul's Boutique"
1990: Public Enemy, "Fear of a Black Planet"
1991: Nirvana, "Nevermind"
1992: Tori Amos, "Little Earthquakes"
1993: Smashing Pumpkins, "Siamese Dream"
1994: Jeff Buckley, "Grace"
1995: Blur, "The Great Escape"
1996: Fiona Apple, "Tidal"
1997: Radiohead, "OK Computer"
1998: Elliott Smith, "XO"
1999: Fiona Apple, "When the Pawn..."
2000: Eminem, "The Marshall Mathers LP"
2001: Ben Folds, "Rockin' the Suburbs"
2002: Beck, "Sea Change"
2003: Rufus Wainwright, "Want One"
2004: Nellie McKay, "Get Away From Me"
2005: Eisley, "Room Noises"
2006: Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way"
2007: "Once" Soundtrack
2008: Aimee Mann, "...Smilers"


1) I actually lived through "The Wall"? Rad.

2) No surprise. The early '80s are a musical wasteland for me. Not only did I fail to mention a single album from 1980-83 in my Albums. 100 Words. project, I literally had to search Wikipedia to remember what albums came out in those years. Although I wouldn't mind listening to my final choices of Van Halen, more Van Halen, the black Michael Jackson, and U2 on my deserted (but somehow electrical) island, I'd much rather listen to the suitcase full of albums from 1991 that I was required to leave behind.

3) Wow. 1987 was easy.

4) I wish I listened to '80s rap in the '80s, instead of the silence (because I didn't listen to the radio) followed by the Paula Abdul (because I did) that I actually listened to. When I discovered groups like Run-D.M.C., N.W.A., and Public Enemy in college, I realized how many gaping holes there were (and still are) in my music library, despite my claims of listening to everything...

5) ...kinda like when I discovered the Dixie Chicks and country music, a genre which I'm still getting to know. You can mock me if you want -- but I'd much rather you actually recommend stuff to me. Statements like "I listen to everything... except country" sound uninformed, prejudiced, and just plain dumb to me now -- even though I said that for years. Does anyone remember when I said the same thing about rap back in 1993? We all saw how that turned out.

6) I love the '90s. Blah blah blah.

7) I swear I didn't cheat and cherry pick my all-time favorite artists (non-Beatles category). But most of them are here, from the Smashing Pumpkins to the Beastie Boys to Tori Amos. (Congratulations to two-time honoree Fiona Apple. My condolences to zero-time honoree Stone Temple Pilots.) So, while this list is far from perfect, it's a great introduction to the artists and music I love -- and to me.

8) Your turn!