have always loved rock music since seeing The
Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan Show in
1964. Music has always been my drug of choice in
life. I have listened to thousands of albums
and CD's and below are some of my all time
favorites, in no particular order (except for the
first one or two.) Included are some artists you
may have not heard from, including Sparks, Klaatu,
Wire, Deaf School, Sensational Alex Harvey Band,
and The Shaggs. Plus bands you most likely have
heard of such as U2, Talking Heads, The Arcade
Fire, The Guess Who and The Kinks.
You will notice I mainly stay with albums from the 60's, 70's and 80's as that is the era I grew up in... I don't go into much detail about the albums (I will leave that to the experts...) and if an album perks your interest, you can easily find out more information on the artist online.
A tough decision between this and their final studio album "Abbey Road" as my favorite Beatles album. In fact it is my favorite rock album of all time. It is the greatest and most diverse rock album of all time. From heavy metal (Helter Skelter), to wonderful acoustic numbers (Blackbird), to blues rock ('Yer Blues) to psychedelic freak outs (Revolution #9) to country (Don't Pass Me By) and to everything else, this is one hell of an entertaining 30 song collection. Plus it has the best album cover of all time.
*Special Note: I got to meet Paul McCartney's band backstage in Toronto. Photos are here.
SPARKS INDISCREET 1975
A pretty popular "cult" band who have been around since the very early 70's, Sparks (mainly brothers Ron and Russell Mael) have released many excellent and diverse albums but this has always been my favorite. Just like the White Album it is filled to the brim with variety (and not to mention wit galore...) Sparks were doing "new wave" music long before it arrived. They are true innovatores. They were also one of the first rock bands to do a electronic ("disco") album, "Number One Song In Heaven". Along with The Beatles, Sparks are my favorite band of all time. Do a search for "Dick Around" and "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us" on YouTube for starters...
U2 ACHTUNG BABY 1993
I have loved U2's music since 1984 and Achtung Baby I consider U2's best work. The amazing thing is, as good as this record is, U2 are even better live. They lost me for a bit around the time of "Pop" but I became a fan again with the release of "All That You Can't Leave Behind".
THE SHAGGS PHILOSOPHY
OF THE WORLD 1969
FLAMING YOUTH ARK
the early 70's I was so music
obsessed that I would buy "cut out
bin" records, as they were
sometimes all I could afford.
Occasionally I would actually buy
a very good unknown album, and
this is one of them. Years later I
found out that the drummer in
Flaming Youth was none other than
Phil Collins. The album was a
"space opera" and although some of
the songs are cheesy, overall I
just love the album and it is
great fun. You can actually hear
the whole album for free online here.
Klaatu released their second album
"Hope" I bought it right away. I was
pretty disappointed and felt it was
way too poppy, overblown and almost
cringe worthy. After a handful of
plays I let it gather dust and finally
some unknown reason I started
listening to this album again, along
with their debut album. In the past
month I have played "Hope" at least
thirty times and I think it is
actually better than their first
album. It is also highly rated at progarchives.com
which is the ultimate review site on
the Internet for progressive rock
bands and albums. If you love
progressive rock music with a mixture
of pop rock, this album is highly
recommended. Check out the reviews
there (in the link above) and see for
BLIND FAITH BLIND
a huge fan of rock music I would
listen to anything and this included
musicians that weren't that familiar
to me, such as the members of Blind
Faith. I just never got into Eric
Clapton or Cream, not because I didn't
like the music, the albums just never
got into my house. So my first album
featuring Eric Clapton and Steve
Winwood was this one off "super
group". I liked it but didn't love it.
However I have since grown much more
fond of the album and play it quite a
bit. I love every song and even Ginger
Baker's "Do What You Like" is great,
especially the freaky ending. That is
one thing I loved about albums at that
time was the weird endings some
records would have. I would actually
be disappointed if an album ended by
just fading out.
FEAR OF MUSIC 1980
SPRINGSTEEN TUNNEL OF LOVE 1987
BUCKINGHAMS IN ONE EAR AND GONE
BOB DYLAN SLOW TRAIN COMING 1979
This is when Bob got religion, and I'm glad he found it because it's a great album. Guitar work by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.
PAUL MCCARTNEY MEMORY ALMOST FULL 2007
I lost interest in Paul's work in the early 90's but his last few solo albums have been some of his best work yet. Plus, he shows he can still rock with the best (Only Mama Knows). I had the honor of meeting Paul's band backstage in Toronto.Photos are here.
WIRE PINK FLAG 1977
This is beyond punk, with some songs clocking in at less than a minute. Also contains one of the best punk rock songs ever, "12XU".
YES TORMATO 1978
Yes is an amazing band loved by many but this is not one of their best liked albums. In fact, some Yes fans hate it. I don't know why but it has always been one of my favorite Yes albums, along with their debut album.
THE NORTHERN PIKES SNOW IN JUNE 1990
A popular Canadian band in the 90's and I actually got to know the members later on. I consider them the Canadian Beatles, with three fine singers and songwriters.
ROD STEWART NEVER A DULL MOMENT 1972
Not a big fan of Rod, but for some reason I have always loved this one particular album.
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD LIVE ALBUM 1970
After The Beatles, this was probably the second group that I fell in love with (and then Humble Pie and Black Oak Arkansas) Listening now the recording quality is pretty lousy (some bootlegs sound better than this...) but the energy is amazing, especially on "Into The Sun". I also got to meet Mark Farner, their guitarist and have a CD signed by him after a concert in 2008.
DEAF SCHOOL ENGLISH BOYS WORKING GIRLS 1978
Another cult band, but unlike Sparks, not very well known. A fan of all three of
their albums and this final album of theirs I consider their finest.
JANE SIBERRY THE WALKING 1988
Canadian Jane Siberry makes some strange yet wonderful albums and this is my favorite of hers.
SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND
TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME 1975
I loved this band in the 70's (and still do...) and this is my favorite of their albums.
RANDY NEWMAN LITTLE CRIMINALS 1977
Not known as much of a singer, but who cares when he can put out such wonderful
tracks such as "Short People"...
DEVO Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: WE ARE DEVO! 1978
Although they likely won't admit it, this band was most likely influenced by a mixture of Sparks and Kraftwerk. Contains one of my all time fave songs,
10CC HOW DARE YOU 1975
The last album by the original band (two of the four members left, but they continued on with hits such as "The Things We Do For Love". This is a great art rock album.
CANNED HEAT HALLELUJAH 1969
Thanks to hearing this album in 1970, I became a fan of the blues and Canned Heat is one of my favorite blues rock bands.