February 11, 2014

26 People On Their Favorite Album Of All Time

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Michael Jackson: BAD, 25th Anniversary Edition
Michael Jackson: BAD, 25th Anniversary Edition

When you ask someone to describe their all time favorite album the responses always vary. Some are ready to proudly blurt out their answer and convince you why it should also be your favorite. Others are so taken back by trying to condense a lifetime of music into one particular album that it’s almost offensive. I asked a few friends, that I respect and I know have varying perspectives on just about everything in life, for their favorite albums and why they loved it so much. I was not disappointed with any of the answers. Feel free to share your favorite album below in the comments.

1. Mark Hoppus (Blink 182)

The Beatles – White Album
“When asked this question I always say The Beatles “White Album”. It’s pure genius all the way through and contains so many different styles of songs throughout. It’s edgy, catchy, cutting edge, sad, and experimental. However, looking at my iTunes history, my most listened to album of all time is Amon Tobin “Foley Room”. All weird. All experimental. All brilliant.”

2. Mae Whitman (“Parenthood”, “Arrested Development”)

Pink Floyd – The Wall
“It is such a wonderfully put together story; to me it perfectly describes the struggle of a life that’s laden with so much sensitivity and pain. It is so difficult to navigate this world full of love and heartache. The Wall is a great narrative on the age old conundrum of the importance of loving freely without getting so hurt you completely fold in on yourself and push everyone away, and the importance of somehow finding beauty in the losses and remaining open for more light to find you, regardless of the outcome.”

3. Blake Lewis (Singer-Songwriter)

Michael Jackson – Bad
“Just like millions of other artists and dancers, he was the most influential pop artist of all time. I started beatboxing and dancing in front of a mirror pretending I was on stage doing the moonwalk. Quincy Jones’ production is so original and the musicians that played on that album were at the top of their game. It will forever be #1 in my heart. RIP MJ”

4. Nikki Glaser (Comedian)

Counting Crows – August and Everything After
“I discovered it my sophomore year of high school and nothing before or since had so perfectly captured the feeling of angst and depression I would go through in the following years. It is a great album to wallow to.”

5. Christopher Hudspeth (ThoughtCatalog)

Kanye West – College Dropout
“It’s amazing. It was released when I was a sophomore in high school, so it’s like the soundtrack to my carefree, lashing out at parents who don’t understand, trying to fit in with kids who don’t understand, dry humping glory days. I can listen to specific songs on that album, or even Late Registration, and instantly be reminded or particular moments, which makes those records that much more enjoyable.”

6. Chrishell Stause (“All My Children”)

The Killers – Hot Fuss

“That album got me through a time where I was constantly commuting and I just kept it on repeat the entire time. I love it.”

7. Claudio Rivera (Motion City Soundtrack)

Hey Mercedes – Everynight Fireworks
“Everything I love about rock music is there-emotion, energy, syncopation, dynamics- in addition to Bob Nanna’s poetic lyrics and Damon Atkinson’s fantastic drumming (which I’m constantly trying to rip off!).”

8. Harley Morenstein (EpicMealTime)

Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers
“I was in the third grade when I first saw the C.R.E.A.M. music video on Much Music (Canadian music channel). Before that, the only rap I had been exposed to was “Whoop, There It Is”. What made Wu-Tang so impressive to me was that they were a collection of talented characters. There was a favorite for everyone. It was the first album I bought and I still listen to it to this day cover to cover. I also refer to myself as the RZA of EpicMealTime.”

9. Dave Holmes (“TRL”)

Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five
“It’s everything I like- humor, heartache, intelligence, snottiness, and showtunes- run through a blender. It got me through my mid-20s and it still feels like an old friend.”

10. Eireann Dolan (Speech Writer)

Notorious B.I.G. – Ready to Die
“From Biggie deftly rapping from the perspective and voice of two different muggers in “Gimme the Loot”, to his own personal “look at me now” track in “Juicy”, to the earnest and contrite “Suicidal Thoughts” at the end; this album shows Biggie’s range and skill as a rapper and as a storyteller. Also the sloppy insertion of several skit tracks and intro/outros featuring Puff Daddy, while sometimes embarrassing, is always enjoyable. At least in my car.”

11. Allison Harvard (“America’s Next Top Model”)

Nirvana – In Utero
“In Utero was angry for me. This album was a bit like an undercover cool dad who helped me figure myself out, without letting me in on the secret.”

12. Andrew Zimmern (“Bizarre Foods”)

Roxy Music – This Is Roxy Music
“It’s Brian Eno, Bryan Ferry, and Phil Manzanera at their finest. Every note and every song links together effortlessly. It’s album perfection.”

13. Leigh Nash (Sixpence None the Richer)

Lhasa de Sela – The Living Road
“She’s my favorite modern singer. Her voice was as rich as her melodies and lyrics. It’s unfortunate that she died a few years ago of breast cancer.”

14. James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”, “Slither”)

Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols
“I saw the Sex Pistols on TV when I was a young child, and they shook my world. I didn’t like them. I was freaked out by them, actually. But they made me see over the rim of my simple suburban Missouri existence into the wild cultural world of punk rock. I couldn’t forget them. A few years later, as an early teen, I bought their album for a buck or two in a used record store. I felt guilty listening to it for the first time – as a Catholic kid, the chant of “I am an Anti-Christ!” didn’t sit easily… but it was forbidden and exciting. All in all, it was part of an internal revolution that soon included the Ramones and the Jam and especially The Clash, turning me from a nerdy middle-schooler into the punk rock kid I pretty much still am today, In addition to being life-changing, the album is catchy as hell, and there isn’t a loser track on it.”

15. Barret Swatek (“Awkward”)

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
“Because every song is great and tells a story. Because it will hold up for generations to come. And, because my older brother forced me to listen to it while driving us to school in hopes that I’d throw away my Debbie Gibson album. I did.”

16. Piggy Demon (Rob Zombie)

Sugar – Copper Blue
“It got stuck in my tape deck when I moved to Boston in the ‘90s. Bob Mould became my best friend and he still doesn’t know it.”

17. Conor Tripler (Writer)

Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
“A wild animal lives in this album. It captures a sprawling, forlorn American sadness and turns it into something gorgeous and hopeful. It can completely ruin my day with the same ease that it can make me fall in love with everything I see.”

18. Megan Amram (“Parks and Recreation”)

Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
“I have so many “favorite albums” but Hounds of Love has to be my pick. My favorite vocalists have always been theatrical, melodramatic, bizarre, surreal, beautiful women like Kate Bush and Bjork and Yma Sumac and Blossom Dearie and Dirty Projectors and the Shangri-Las etc etc etc. Hounds of Love is so bold and weird and pop at the same time. F it’s good.”

19. Kelly Oxford (Author)

“I find I only really listen to 70’s rock. At the time, musicians were suddenly getting these big money deals and magazines began to glorify them. I think the music reflects this time right before everything turned into a big commercial. I don’t have a very favorite album, but Neil Young’s Harvest could definitely be on repeat forever.”

20. Sean Doolittle (Oakland A’s)

Metallica – Master of Puppets
“It has sentimental value to me. When I was a kid it was one of the first albums I saved for and bought with my allowance money. It’s also a great album for working out. I do bicep curls and bench, so now all the people that made fun of me for being a metal head can COME AT ME BROS!”

21. Jenny Johnson (Writer)

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle
“Each song has solid drum, guitar, bass, and vocals. I love John Fogerty’s voice so much. When someone asks the Beatles or Rolling Stones question, my answer is CCR. They fucking rule.”

22. Joel David Moore (“Avatar”, “Dodgeball”)

Damian Rice – O
“I’ve probably listened to that album a thousand times. He’s a poet who happens to have an incredible voice. It’s the only album I can listen to that I’m more impressed with the words than the songs.”

23. Jewel Staite (“Firefly”, “Stargate: Atlantis”)

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
“It’s the equivalent of driving through the California wine country on your way to get buzzed.”

24. Joshua Dun (Twenty One Pilots)

Blink 182 – Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
“I guess I’d have to choose an album from the standpoint of being inspired as a musician. It was the first album that made me even think about wanting to play drums. It inspired me to dig deeper into older punk rock and also newer pop styles and diversify myself musically.”

25. Brian Vander Ark (The Verve Pipe)

Bob Mould – Workbook
“Of all the albums I’ve owned, none has taught me more about mood, story, lyric, and melody than that one. It’s still my favorite.”

26. Jaron Lowenstein (Evan and Jaron)

Peter Gabriel – So
I was 12 years old and I watched the hottest girl in school succumb to “Red Rain” with big spiral like, zombie eyes and I knew in that moment I would spend the rest of my life trying to master that power. I failed, but that fucking album is still succeeding.

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