Here are the rules. Original albums only - no compilations or greatest hits. This is somewhat unfair - like focusing on baseball players who have hit grand slam home runs while ignoring those who get a base hit almost every game. My apologies to Elton John, and The Eagles, and Bread, and Chicago, and The BeeGees, and so many others who have amassed a lifetime of wonderful hits that didn't clump together in one album. I'm leaving you folks behind - sorry.
I am however including my Glen Miller collection, because LP records did not exist before 1948. Who knows how he might have released his songs if he had the multimedia options we enjoy today. Besides, it's fantastic music!
I am, for the moment, skipping past classical music. That would bring in another 20 albums or more, and some day I may post that list; but for now let's focus on the modern era.
Sound tracks are also omited, else I would surely include Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Fiddler on the Roof, to name a few.
The last rule - at most two albums per group. This is rarely a problem, except for a few stellar groups like the Beatles.
Since it is impossible to rank so many great and diverse albums, I simply put them in alphabetical order. Here goes.
Acoustix: Stars And Stripes Forever
Beatles: Sergeant Peppers, Revolver top 10
claude bolling: Suite for Flute & Jazz Piano Trio
Boston: More Than A Feeling
Carpenters: Ticket to Ride, A Song For You
Natalie Cole: Unforgetable
John Denver: I Want to Live
Dido: No Angel
Dixie Chicks: Home
ELO: New World Record, Discovery
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors
Dan Fogelberg: Innocent Age
Peter Gabriel: So
Genesis: Lamb Lies Down, Selling England
Amy Grant: Christmas Albums 1 And 2
Indigo Girls: Indigo Girls
Billy Jole: The Stranger
Kansas: Left Overture, Point of No Return
Carole King: Tapestry
Barry Manilow: Even Now
Glen Miller: In the Digital Mood
Moody Blues: Days of Future Past
Alan Parsons: Pyramid, Turn of a Friendly Card
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here
Queen: A Night at the Opera
Renaissance: Scheherazade, Song for all Seasons top 10
Rush: Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures
Simon And Garfunkel: Bookends, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Paul Simon: Graceland review
Barbara Streisand: Guilty
Styx: Grand Illusion
Supertramp: Breakfast In America
James Tailor: J. T.
Walter Carlos: Switched on Bach
Yes: Fragile, Close to the Edge progressive
There are of course other albums that I could easily swap for some of the above and feel just as good about the list. It's a fine line between 49 and 51.
So what's up with England? The most amazing music I've ever heard! 21.5 of my 50 albums, 43%, come from British groups, primarily progressive rock. (Guilty counts as half British thanks to Barry Gibb.) And if I really had to rank these 50 albums in order, those 22 albums would probably bubble up to the top 30. I've been listening to The Beatles, Yes, Genesis, and Renaissance for 35 years, and I still get goosebumps.
Two albums credited to Canada (Rush), 1 to Ireland (Enya).
My favorite song? You gotta be kidding! So many, each unique, each wonderful in its own way. But in a moment of boredom my roomate in college just had to know my favorite song, and after some thought I came up with "Bridge Over Troubled Water". It could be written for a lover, a spouse, a child, a parent, a friend - it doesn't matter - it's an expression of pure agape love. Rather like Carole King's "You've Got a Friend". For romantic love there's: Barry Manilow "Could it be Magic", John Denver "Annie's Song", Chicago "Color My World", Carpenters "One Love", Lonestar "Amazed", Anne Murray "You Needed Me", and many more. And then there are songs of joy, and peace, and even crushing sadness, those have their place too. But still, 35 years after the question was first posed to me in college, I keep coming back to "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
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