1. FLEETWOOD MAC: "RUMOURS"
I consider this album to be nearly perfect in every way. Emotional, poignant lyrics... catchy melodies... immaculate production...and great songs from start to finish. There is no surprise that this is still considered one of the finest albums of all time... and it has the sales to show that I am not alone in having this opinion.
2. CHEAP TRICK: "CHEAP TRICK"
Words cannot describe how important Cheap Trick were... and are... to shaping the music enthusiast that I am today. I listed the debut album over IN COLOR because of it's lasting relevance to the world of music, in general, and in my life. If you were to listen to this album today, it would not sound any more "dated" than the day it was released. It is pure Rock brilliance.
3. CHEAP TRICK: "IN COLOR"
If I feel guilty for anything, it is not listing this album as number two... or even number one, for that matter. It was a crisp Autumn evening that I went to Musicland and found this cassette in the bargain bin. For the low, low price of $2.88, I took home IN COLOR, because it had the song "I Want You To Want Me", which was a radio hit at the time.... albeit, the live version from AT BUDAKON. I got home, fired up the tape and was immediately blown away by the energy of the opening track, "HELLO THERE". It was that moment when I knew that music and I were meant for each other.
4. THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT: "I ROBOT"
I should forewarn you that you will be seeing a few Alan Parsons albums over the coming years... well... album list years, not REAL years... but you knew that. This, the second album by the collective known as The Alan Parsons Project (featuring legendary producer/engineer Alan Parsons, along with Eric Woolfson and whatever selection of musicians they brought in for the sessions.
5. BILLY JOEL: "THE STRANGER"
Another example of Pop perfection. I probably consider THE STRANGER to be my favorite Billy Joel album, from start to finish. It's in close running with 52nd STREET, but that isn't our concern right now... is it? No. This album features my favorite Billy Joel songs... songs like "Just the Way You Are" and "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant". It's classic Billy. What more can I say?
6. JETHRO TULL: "SONGS FROM THE WOOD"
Okay... I know that in years past (once again referring to my Top 10 lists) I have disappointed a couple friends, due to my lack of Jethro Tull albums. Truth be told, it was because (until recently) I hadn't heard any of their pivotal albums in their entirety. Times have changed, and if I were to go back and redo some of those years, The Tull would be represented. However, THIS particular Tull offering has been something that I have loved for over 25 years. To me, this is the quintessential Tull album. A little acoustic, a little eclectic, pure Tull.
7. STEELY DAN: "AJA"
Five words: AJA, PEG, DEACON BLUES and JOSIE. 'Nuff said.
8. JOHN WILLIAMS: "STAR WARS"
I know there are a few of you who are probably batting your heads against a wall, even as you read this. WHAT ON EARTH?!? Okay... let me explain... first, I wouldn't normally consider a "score" to be worthy of a list like this, but this one is different. STAR WARS was released the summer of my 10th year. It changed my life. The music changed my life. I listened to this album (or 8-track) endlessly, being able to fill in mental images of the movie as I listened to it's beautifully composed pieces. Most movie scores are insignificant dribble... but Star Wars was different. It moved me. It moved me so much that it deserves a spot on the list.
9. THE SEX PISTOLS: "NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS..."
An album that defined the Punk movement, yet when you listen to it, a fairly well produced record. Produced so well that you really don't even hear the horrific bass playing of Sid Vicious. Not to mention, this album features one of the most brutally honest anti-abortion songs I have ever heard. What? No politics on the music blog? Sorry... my bad.
10. Where is 10, you ask? I was going to list a ten... but instead, I am going to list the several albums that didn't make the Top 9. Albums that I feel should be included on this list. Albums like...
KANSAS: POINT OF KNOW RETURN
RUSH: A FAREWELL TO KINGS
ELO: OUT OF THE BLUE
QUEEN: NEWS OF THE WORLD
PINK FLOYD: ANIMALS
BOB MARLEY: EXODUS
TALKING HEADS: '77
There... I feel better.