Let's be honest, if someone asked you to rattle off your favorite albums of all-time, in all likelihood you will recite the biggest names and most memorable albums of all time. It's a safe bet that all the artists and albums you mention will be the ones they recognize and agree that they are the best. What about the so-called "guilty pleasures?" You might be sporting a Black Sabbath concert shirt, but somewhere in your personal library you've got an Enya album or three. Just so you know, I would never criticize anyone for that alone. However, if you were to tell me that on a musical level that Orinoco Flow is as good or better than Led Zeppelin's In Through The Outdoor, then I'll playfully disagree. But if Orinoco Flow has more meaning to you because of the memories and emotions that are attached, then I'm totally on board with that. I'll even give you a high-five!
I learned young that music is so much more than entertainment. They are mental photo albums that relive great moments in life and the emotions you were feeling at that time. That's what this blog is going to be about. While I do have my favorite rocking out albums, I often default to an album because of the great memories attached to them. To be honest, THESE are my favorite albums....the one's that take me back in time.
There is no particular order of importance. I'm not ranking these from top to bottom. But without a doubt, these are my most important albums of all-time, and with each one I'll explain why.
The year was 1986. I was a senior in high school near Memphis, TN. Prior to that year, the process of weaning myself off of pop radio had begun. I grew up with Elton John and Hall & Oates, but I was eager for something that was equally good but different and unique. They called it "College Rock" back then. I loved R.E.M. and U2 at that time because they were up-and-comers. Also, their popularity was truly word of mouth. There was no internet at that time. It was time for our senior class trip to Washington D.C. (from Memphis) on a bus that would take what seemed like an eternity to get there. I brought this album (on cassette) for the trip. It's all I listened to:
This was the album that came before Songs From The Big Chair. It did have one moderate "hit", a song called "Change." I truly didn't care about the "hits", I just loved the entire album. To this day, when I hear the drums that start the title song "The Hurting", I'm back in high school with my best friends on that bus to Washing D.C.. It was a great trip!
If you'd like to try it yourself: https://www.iheart.com/artist/tears-for-fears-2150/albums/the-hurting-23816168/