Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top 20 Albums

Zack Dietz, the lead singer from “Road Less Traveled,” posted a list of his 20 favorite ever albums a few weeks ago. It sounded like fun, so here is an attempt at a very personal top 20 list (actually, a little over 50) in chronological order. Qualifiers: no soundtracks, classical music, or Christmas albums included.

1. The Fourth Album (Led Zeppelin) 1971
Related Albums: Led Zeppelins I-III (1969-1971)
Best Tracks: Basically all of side one.

2. The Wall (Pink Floyd) 1979
Related Albums: Dark Side of the Moon (1973); Wish You Were Here (1975)
Best Tracks: Is There Anybody Out There?; Comfortably Numb; Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)

3. Powerslave (Iron Maiden) 1984
Related Albums: The Number of the Beast (1982); Piece of Mind (1983)
Best Tracks: Aces High; Two Minutes to Midnight; Powerslave; Rime of the Ancient Mariner

4. Pateando Piedras (Los Prisioneros) 1986
Related Albums: La Voz de los ’80 (1984); Grandes Excitos (1991)
Best Tracks: El Baile de los Que Sobran; Porque No Se Van?; Muevan Las Industrias

5. Joshua Tree (U2) 1987
Related Albums: War (1983); The Unforgetable Fire (1984); Rattle n Hum (1989)
Best Tracks: Every Track

6. Whitesnake (Whitesnake) 1987
Best Tracks: Cryin in the Rain; Still of the Night; Here I Go Again

7. Hysteria (Def Leppard) 1987
Best Tracks: Animal; Love Bites; Hysteria; Armageddon It; Pour Some Sugar On Me

8. For the Sake of the Call (Steven Curtis Chapman) 1990
Related Albums: More to This Life (1989); All Things New (2004)
Best Tracks: What Kind Of Joy Is This; For The Sake of the Call; Higher Ways; When You Are A Soldier

9. Use Your Illusion (Guns n Roses) 1991
Related Albums: Appetite For Destruction (1987)
Best Tracks: November Rain; Don’t Cry; Civil War; Yesterdays; Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

10. Ten (Pearl Jam) 1991
Best Tracks: Evenflow; Alive; Jeremy

11. Achtung Baby (U2) 1991
Related Albums: Zooropa (1993); Pop (1997)
Best Tracks: One; Mysterious Ways; Even Better Than the Real Thing; The Fly; Whose Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

12. Vuelvo Amor… Vuelvo Vida (Illapu) 1991
Related Albums: En Vivo: Parque La Bandera (1988)
Best Tracks: Vuelvo Para Vivir; Ya Quisiera Por Olvido; Tres Versos Para una Historia

13. A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band (Rich Mullins) 1993
Related Albums: Never Picture Perfect (1989)
Best Tracks: Here in America; 52:10; The Color Green; Creed; Peace

14. Under the Table and Dreaming (Dave Matthews Band) 1994
Related Albums: Crash (1996); Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
Best Tracks: Satellite; Best of What’s Around; What Would You Say; Dancing Nancies; Ants Marching

15. Step Inside This House (Lyle Lovett) 1998
Best Tracks: Bears; Step Inside This House; West Texas Highway; Texas Trilogy: Daybreak; Texas Trilogy: Bosque County Romance

16. 40 Acres (Caedmon’s Call) 1999
Related Albums: Long Line of Leavers (2000); In the Company of Angels (2001)
Best Tracks: Faith My Eyes; Thankful

17. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (U2) 2000
Related Albums: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
Best Tracks: Walk On; Beautiful Day; Elevation; Grace; Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of

18. She Must and Shall Go Free (Derek Webb) 2003
Related Albums: The House Show (2004)
Best Tracks: Take To The World; Wedding Dress; Beloved

19. X&Y (Coldplay) 2005
Related Albums: Parachutes (2000); A Rush of Blood To the Head (2002); Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
Best Tracks: White Shadows; A Message; Fix You; Swallowed in the Sea

20. A Collission (David Crowder Band) 2005
Related Albums: Can You Hear Us (2002); Illuminate (2003); B Collision (2006); Remedy (2007)
Best Tracks: It is best heard straight through.


  1. I thought you said no Christian music..

  2. So you were an 80's headbanger...interesting...

  3. hmmm.... can learn a lot of new and surprising things from a list like that!

  4. He said no CHRISTMAS music. Great list, can't say as I was ever a fan of metal (except as a binding agent for construction). Your pick of the Wall over Dark Side is interesting - and over WYWH?? what's up with THAT? WYWH is one of the worlds greatest "headphone" albums of all time (closely rivalled only by Close to the Edge by Yes, IMHO). And what about Meddle? hmmm
    I notice there is no King Crimson on here, so I guess we were not actually separated at birth ... otherwise my top 20 would look very similar ...

  5. Really late in leaving a comment for this, but I loved the list. I'd be curious to see how the list changes if you went from chronological order to all time favorite order. What would be #1?

  6. That would be hard to do. It changes from time to time. The last couple of years it would have been A Collision, but lately... Before These Crowded Streets has been playing a lot and it isn't even one of the official 20 here!


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