10) NEIL YOUNG: "HARVEST"
Containing some of my favorite songwriting of 1972, the album is a classic. It would rank higher on the list if it weren't for Neil's voice. Having spent a good portion of my life singing, some voices are still a hurdle for me. Neil's is one of them. Alas, this is still a great album.
8) THE DOOBIE BROTHERS: "TOULOUSE STREET"
This album was one of my earliest musical experiences. My father had the LP record, when I was a wee lad, and I used to listen to it on my crappy toy record player. Equally as mesmerizing was the gatefold sleeve, which featured a similar photograph to the front cover, the only difference being that each band member had a female companion, and... well... they were all naked. Hats, etc., covering the "goods"... except for one woman who decided she was bold enough to show her breasts. For a boy of 6-7, this was... well... interesting, to say the least.
8) ELTON JOHN: DON'T SHOOT ME (I'M ONLY THE PIANO PLAYER)
This album was another that I seemed to have been weened on. I gravitated to this record when I was a young boy, when I first discovered my father's cardboard box of records. There is something to be said about old Elton John LPs. You could always count on a gatefold jacket, and in most cases, a 10-15 page lyric book. Beautiful stuff. And, did I mention, DANIEL?
7) PAUL SIMON: (self titled)
The first solo album from Paul Simon, which features "DUNCAN"... one of my favorite Paul Simon compositions. Yeah, I miss the harmony vocals of Art, but this was the beginning of a rather tasty solo career.
6) THE ALLMAN BROTHERS: "EAT A PEACH"
Another record that is relatively new to my record collection, this album has some mind blowing instrumentation. I have spent the last 30 years of my life thinking that The Allman Brothers were just another crappy Southern Rock band. Boy, was I wrong...
5) STEELY DAN: "CAN'T BUY A THRILL"
Although not as good as GAUCHO or AJA, this album features two of my favorite Steely Dan hits... "RIKKI DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER" and "DO IT AGAIN". Besides.... how can you possibly even go wrong with the Dan?
4) BREAD: "THE GUITAR MAN"
Again, setting myself up for verbal abuse, I have a Bread album in the Top 5. This one featuring some of my favorite Bread cuts, including the title track and "AUBREY". Yeah, I'm a sap... what can I say? I must again point out that I was weened on Bread, both figuratively, and in all seriousness, most probably from a literal standpoint, as well.
3) NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND: "WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN"
This album blows my mind on several levels. First, it is one of the first albums that I know of, that was literally recorded in a "living room" type setting. This album features a plethora of legendary musicians, from Mother Maybelle Carter to Doc Watson to Earl Scruggs. It features so many legendary musicians that I dare say there probably isn't another record like it... anywhere... from any genre.
2) YES: "FRAGILE"
I must point out that this album was released in 1971, in England, but was not released until the beginning of 1972, in America. So... which list does it go on? Well... maybe both, but since it slipped between the cracks on 1971, it perches here at NUMBER TWO!! I first picked this album when I was in 8th grade. It was a cassette copy which I found in the Grand Central discount bin. I bought it based on the sole reason that my older brother had mentioned that he liked Yes. It probably wasn't until I was adult that I realized what an absolute gem this album is.
1) EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER: "TRILOGY"
Another album riddled with memories. Like The Doobies, it was another record that my father owned, when I was a young boy. It apparently contained some songs that were quite popular in the local planetarium's laser shows. Of all my dad's old records, this one is the record that really reached out to me. I remember listening to it on my crappy record player, at home. I remember taking it to school, and listening to it on the crappy record player in the "Media Center". Of all the records of my childhood, I still consider this album to be one of my favorites... if not my absolute favorite (record of my CHILDHOOD). I challenge you to find me a single record that has a comparable collective of talent (yeah, yeah, Mark.... Frank Zappa.... but other than HIS band... and King Crimson... and...)