Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's an album anyway?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM

What happened to the days when an ENTIRE album was good?

Ok, pop quiz — What was the last album you bought? Easy question, right? Now, a harder one — When was the last time you enjoyed an album so much you could listen to it end-to-end? Harder, right?

While you’re thinking, it seems that the days of a good ALBUM may be behind us. For three main reasons:

1. In the digital/internet age, people can download just their favorite songs – if an artist has a couple good hits, it’s considered a successful album.

2. Today’s “albums” just aren’t that good from beginning to end.

3. Today’s artists just aren’t as good. Or at least that which makes the heavy rotation on radio airwaves.

I remember in the not-so-distant past that when you wanted to get your favorite song, you had to shell out $15-$20 bucks for the whole CD. Now, an album is like an elementary school dodge-ball game. The best songs get picked quickly, and the other, not-so-talented players, are left on the bench.

If you’re like me, you want the ability to put in one CD and let it play – able to enjoy the entire experience. Today, you’d better build your own play list to accomplish such a feat.

So, if you find yourself in the same quandary as me, I offer you the following list of great ALBUMS to listen to. Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

* AC/DC's Live — I intentionally left greatest hits albums off the list but a couple live albums make the cut. Nothing more fun than AC/DC at full tilt.

* Michael Jackson's Thriller — Easiest pick on the list. You could re-release this album brand new, and it’d be number one all over again (and not just because Michael left us).

* Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. — There may be better Bruce songs than on this album, but no album is better cover-to-cover. May explain why seven of the 12 tracks were top-10 hits.

* Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison — The second live album on the list – but this captures the Man in Black in his heyday finest.

* U2's Joshua Tree — Yup.

* Elvis' The Sun Sessions — Notice a trend occurring on this list? They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

* 2Pac's All Eyez on Me — Rap makes an appearance with this trend setter.

* Pearl Jam's Ten – You may not appreciate grunge, but can still appreciate Pearl Jam.

* The Beatles' Revolver — Hardest part is which album makes the list.

* Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. — See: Beatles.

* Prince's Purple Rain – Yes, it’s a soundtrack. And yes, it’s awesome.

What’d I miss? Which Clapton, Wonder, southern rock or legend did I leave off? And don’t say Pink Floyd.

So try an album out for a change, your OCD will appreciate the time off...

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