Top Three Albums?

After moving some songs to my phone I realized that I do a lot of singles and best of collections and full albums not so much. So I looked through to see what I will listen to all the way through and came up with just three;

The Good The Bad and The Queen

What’s Going On


All three are about just how out of our hands a lot of life actually is. So you just get by the best you can. This mirrors my own feelings on the matter of the meaning of life.

Your three? And why do they appeal?



Maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic today but these were the best to come to mind at the moment. All of these are amazing and highly influential, both for being definitve works of the artists as well as genre-busting and innovative for their time. Maybe not everyone’s top 3 but probably on everyone’s top 20 best rock albums of all time. Or at least they should be.

Come at me bro.


All three are -/+75% for me. But deservedly considered classics.




When I lived in Central America for a year, I brought four cassette takes {edit: sigh} tapes with me, which I listened to over and over and over. That accounts for the Tom Waits and The Beatles, and the Shakira was one I bought while I was there. These days I almost never listen to albums in their entirety, my attention span has atrophied, but the songs on these albums feel odd to me when not in context.


Shakiras songwriting was really good, especially on this album, I can’t fault her for her success, but its sad to see how each time she dumbed down simplified her songs she got more famous.


I have to pick only 3??? How about 3 that floored me upon first proper hearing and have yet to get old…

And those could change tomorrow. Well not the first one. Seriously not the first one… ever.


My old pal Les Ismore once said, “Keep it simple, stupid.”


Aka what would I choose to listen to during surgery


The Talk Talk… I once played that, one track at a time between talking, for a campus/community radio show. About halfway through this guy called up. He was totally blown away by the music and couldn’t believe it was that Talk Talk. He asked so many questions I wound up basically reading the whole liner notes to him, at least until I had to ring off and get back on the air.

And deservedly so.


Then we count like Newfs… “One… Another… Another… Another”


They Might Be Giants
Adam Ant has held up surprisingly well
Crawfish Fiesta by Professor Longhair is a masterpiece and gets better every time I play it.


Anything by Professor Longhair is a masterpiece…


Leaving out the obvious Floyd and Zeppelin and the like, and including many caveats about context and nostalgia, and without saying anything about their merits relative to other music, I’m going to go with these three, each of which I’ve listened to many, many times, and could easily do so many, many more.



Kind of Blue is indeed special.

Esquivel was new to me, but based on what I’m listening to right now, this may be the best music I never knew I needed. So much fun!


Juan Garcia Esquivel was one of the greatest happy mutants ever and his music always makes me smile.


Recomending albums is something I do too redily. I could recomend hundreds. But I will limit myself to three.

I could recommend another three tomorrow.


I first heard of Eno when reading the Bowie biography Stardust in which it is claimed that Eno claimed that he filmed himself having sex because he felt his technique needed to be preserved. (Based on info I’ve gathered subsequently, I’m guessing that he did a stag film or two in his hungry years, and this was his flip answer when some questioned him about it.) This odd ball utterance certainly stuck in my mind and reading about him in the various Trouser Press guides made him seem a must hear. This was my second Eno album, right after Music for Airports, quite the contrast. It’s a shame he couldn’t have worked longer in this vein.

Passionate, poetic, purgative, prophetic, ah, I’ve run out of p-words. Makes much better use of tarantula venom than Jim Morrison ever did. (I used to be able to do a pretty good impression of her but sadly she so rarely turns up on karaoke.)

Speaking of the P, these doo doo chasers prove that it really does pay to enrich your word power. For me, this is the album where it all coalesces into the ineluctable, indivisible, integer.


I have too many to list which I can play a second time that would fit here, when I think about it. So I’ll just try to use albums that are recent listening material.

I would have put a Sidney Bechet “best of” album, but there are so many. I’m going to opt for something that is a staple for when I’m trying to get into the groove when I paint.

Also, an album that consoles as well as teaches…


And an album that is definitely a tie with Riz MC’s Englistan and The Regrettes’ Feel Your Feelings, Fool for “this is bullshit” kind of days, like the last inauguration day.


Spoiler alert: This just covers today. Any other day will be different.


Three? Y’all are trying to kill me. Sticking to just things people could reasonably find and groups or people who had more than one album …

  • Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine
  • The Mountain Goats’s The Sunset Tree
  • Zoe Keating’s One Cello x 16: Natoma

Expanding to things that are more obscure or vied hard for the top three: Lauren O’Connel’s Quitters, Metric’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, Des Ark’s Don’t Rock The Boat, Sink the F***er.