The hardest list I ever created – EVER!

Every record store geek makes list, as documented in High Fidelity.  Every music fan has their top “something or other” list: Top 50 heartbreak songs, Top 5 songs containing “arthritis” or best songs about food.

But finding the ONE best or favorite record for each year you have been alive?

I was reading this blog post the other day and became obsessed with this meme, and compulsively began the task of adding to the vast array of folks who have attempted it.

I figured it would be challenging but doable.  I figured the biggest challenge would be the earliest years of my life when I would not have any emotional attachment to the recordings.

Okay, so I was wrong.

And I cheated – a little.  Note that there are a few “ties” in the list below.  A few years had releases that hold such critical placements in the soundtrack of my life, they were inseparable.  Now,  @betheboy suggested a tie-breaker of which record I listened to, from start to finish, most recently. I am taking advantage of using the ties to showcase a few extra important recordings, some of which have been forgotten, or in some cases, never found.

I’ve resisted offering detailed reasoning behind the choices – maybe in subsequent posts I will shed some light on the process.  Some are obvious choices, and there may be some head scratching at the ommission of other “obvious choices”.  Basically, for the most part, the recordings listed below are the most important recordings to ME that were released during that year.  This is an emotionally charged list with only the slightest relationship to the generally accepted positions some brilliant recordings claim on other lists.  Yep, this one’s mine.  And I am well aware that my favorite record of 2008 will change in weeks as soon as Stay Positive by The Hold Steady comes out.

There are alot of years of rock and roll (and countless hours of obsessive listening) represented below…and I have the gray hair and hearing loss to show for it.  Proudly!

So, how does this compare to your list? Or are YOU up to the task?  If so, post a link to your list below…

1957 Elvis Presley Elvis’ Christmas Album
1958 Bille Holiday Lady in Satin
1959 Miles Davis Kind of Blue
1960 Miles Davis Sketches of Spain
1961 Patsy Cline Showcase
1962 Dave Brubeck Music from West Side Story
1963 Beatles Please Please Me
1964 Beatles A Hard Day’s Night
1965 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
1966 Tommy James/Shondells Hanky Panky
1967 Beatles Sgt. Peppers
1968 Spirit The Family That Plays Together
1968 Tommy James/Shondells Crimson and Clover
1969 Who Tommy
1970 Spirit 12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus
1971 Alice Cooper Love It To Death
1972 David Bowie Ziggy Stardust
1973 Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies
1973 David Bowie Alladin Sane
1974 Roxy Music Country Life
1975 Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here
1976 Various Artists Live at CBGB’s
1977 Mink DeVille Mink DeVille
1977 Television Marquee Moon
1978 Elvis Costello This Year’s Model
1979 Clash London Calling
1980 Joy Division Closer
1981 Cure Seventeen Seconds
1982 Elvis Costello Imperial Bedroom
1983 REM Murmur
1984 Husker Du Zen Arcade
1984 Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime
1985 Replacements Tim
1986 Elvis Costello Blood and Chocolate
1987 John Hiatt Bring the Family
1988 Pixies Surfer Rosa
1989 Cure Disintegration
1990 Posies Dear 23
1990 Temple of the Dog Temple of the Dog
1991 Nirvana Nevermind
1992 Arc Angels Arc Angels
1992 Bedlam Into The Coals
1993 Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
1994 Soundgarden Superunknown
1995 Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
1996 Chavez Ride the Fader
1997 Bob Dylan Time Out of Mind
1998 Lyle Lovett Step Inside This House
1999 Sigur Rós Ágætis Byrjun
2000 Pete Townshend Lifehouse Chronicles
2001 U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind
2002 Trail of Dead Source Tags & Codes
2003 Joe Strummer Streetcore
2004 Rachael Yamagata Happenstance
2005 Hold Steady Separation Sunday
2006 Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America
2007 Wilco Sky Blue Sky
2008 so far Gutter Twins Saturnalia
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3 responses to “The hardest list I ever created – EVER!

  1. This is a damn good list. For the record (pun intended) I ‘ve heard the new Hold Steady and I liked it a lot.

  2. One of the things I like about these lists is that it’s fun to see the phases/obsessions that various people went through, as well as life-long loves.

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