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 Abba, and Bread, and Chicago, 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
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
Lionel Hampton: The Lionel Hampton Quintet [beautifully remastered]
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
Rush: Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures
Simon And Garfunkel: Bookends, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Paul Simon: Graceland
Barbara Streisand: Guilty
Styx: Grand Illusion
Supertramp: Breakfast In America
James Tailor: J. T.
Yes: Fragile, Close to the Edge
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? Terrible food - amazing music! 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 albums would probably bubble up to the top 30. I've been listening to The Beatles, Yes, Genesis, and Renaissance for 30 years, and I still get goosebumps.
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