FOURTEEN ALBUMS I LOVE
Inspired by my inability to sleep (of course) and the #3AlbumsThatChangedMyLife hashtag that's been floating around Twitter.
- •Miles Davis— Kind of Blue (1959)I became a fan of jazz because of a boy in a record store. I know. I lived it and even I gag at the cliché of it all, but what can I say? I'm a sucker for a boys with a good smile and a passion for music, and my goodness was he ever passionate about jazz. I still remember how he used to give me so much crap for always bypassing the small section in the corner where John Coltrane and Charlie Parker peered out from tattered covers. "I'm just not a jazz girl," I'd tell him with a so what shrug.
- •Around and around this went until one day he surprised me. "What if I told you I didn't like books?" he asked, motioning towards the sticking out of my bag. "Well, I guess I'd tell you that you just haven't found the right book yet." "Funny," he replied, an I-SO-got-you grin on his lips, "That's what I was going to say about you and jazz." Knowing there was no way for me to win, I waved the white flag of surrender by purchasing Kind of Blue and it's been a staple of my fall listening ever since.
- •Dusty Springfield— Stay Awhile/I Only Want to be With You (1964)Not only did her music give me my first lesson in (musical) heartbreak, but this album was the first one that ever made me want to listen to it on a continuous loop.
- •Bob Dylan— Blonde on Blonde (1966)I think I've learned more about the art of storytelling from Bob Dylan than I did in most of my English classes.
- •Carole King— Tapestry (1971)Why do I love this album? Because it's Carole Freakin' King, that's why.
- •Pink Floyd— Wish You Were Here (1975)I listened to this album— and especially the title track—a lot throughout my first major battle with depression. So much so that when my mom overheard me humming it earlier, she kept nudging and nudging until I finally admitted that I'd been dealing with a case of the sads today.
- •Fleetwood Mac— Rumours (1977)You'll never convince me that this isn't a perfect album. But I think what amazes me even more about this album is that they were on the verge of imploding. In some ways, they did exactly that. But despite all the drugs, fights, affairs, etc, they've always managed to find their way back to one another. And honestly? I kind of long for that type of connection, passion, and commitment with something, or even just someone. (Well, that minus the drugs and blowout fights. 😬)
- •Nirvana— MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)I grew up with older cousins living next door which meant that I was exposed to some music earlier than I probably should have been. Out of everything I heard, Nirvana was my favorite because although I didn't quite understand their lyrics, I knew there was something special there that I'd never found in any other music up to that point in my life.
- •Simon & Garfunkel— The Best of Simon and Garfunkel (1999)I could probably use all five hundred characters explaining why I love their music, but honestly I'm not going to come up with anything that you haven't already read. Given that, I'm just going to say that they're two of the greatest songwriters to ever live.
- •Cher— Cher Live: The Farewell Tour (2003)If you ever want to hear the sounds of my first concert, all you have to do is hit play on this album to get the general gist of it. But more importantly, my love of Cher's music taught me pretty early that you can't base your likes one what everyone else finds cool and/or awesome. I mean, you can but chances are you're going to end up missing out on some great music and quite possibly a piece of yourself.
- •Stevie Nicks— Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks (2007)As far as writers go, Stevie Nicks is my idol. Why, you ask? Because although I know I'll never write anything as mystical as "Rhiannon" or capable of connecting with people like "Landslide" has, she still inspires me to try.
- •The Civil Wars— Barton Hollow (2011)This album is perfection, which is why theirs will be a breakup I'll never get over. (P.S. Do yourself a favor and also find their version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".)
- •Kacey Musgraves— Same Trailer Different Park (2013)If I ever wrote an album, it would probably sound like this.
- •Leon Bridges— Coming Home (2015)Over a year later and I'm still as obsessed with this album as I was when I first purchased it.
- •Brandy Clark— Big Day in a Small Town (2016)Easily one of the best singer-songwriters in music today.