Christian had this idea that you guys might enjoy knowing a few of our favorite things. Maybe he was wrong, but we’re going to tell you anyway. This week, let’s all share our favorite album (music, for you young folks like Katrina who aren’t aware that such things are still in some people’s vocabulary). For many of us, music is crucial to getting in the right head space for writing, so finding a whole collection of songs that make us happy is pretty important.
Christian: I’m a rocker at heart, so I’m going for Def Leppard’s Hysteria. It’s just the perfect album. Sometimes the best works of art are born out of adversity, and this album certainly was because drummer Rick savage lost his arm in a car accident prior to recording. Twelve tracks, seven singles and 25 million sales, it epitomizes eighties garishness and excess and Mutt Lange’s production means it still sounds as fresh today as it did when it was released over thirty years ago. A bit of trivia: at over 62 minutes, at the time it was one of the longest albums ever released, which is why it sounds like shit on vinyl.
Katrina: What is this? The early aughts? We don’t do albums anymore. Songs. Podcasts. Hooks. Bits of words with a little bit of electro playing in the background. (None of which I can name without saying “You know, that one that goes dun-dun-duh and then there’s this weird high-pitched scream?”)
Renee: They call them albums here and here and here. Just so you all know, we’re not old. They’re still albums.
Anyway, can I have a top three? Well, I’m going to do it anyway. I love Hysteria, which Christian already mentioned, but it’s not a favorite. Although, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Animal and Love Bites are among my favorite songs (a list longer than my favorite books), my top three favorite albums are movie soundtracks. The first, obviously, is the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. I listened to that thing back in the day a million times. I actually wore the tape out. (Yes, I’m old enough to have listened to cassette tapes.) The other two are Cocktail and Footloose. There isn’t a single song I don’t like on any of these albums, which I can’t say about anything else.
You all thought I’d say Nickelback, didn’t you? *sniff*
Tony: I haven’t thought about albums in a while. Nowadays it’s stream a Pandora channel and forget about it. I have to reach back to think of a favorite album and the one that first comes to mind is Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast. I was a big heavy metal guy in high school and listened to Iron Maiden pretty much nonstop. Today I’ll stream the blues when I write, occasionally Beastie Boys. But Iron Maiden, on the rare occasion. I can’t remember where I put my keys but I still know the words to The Trooper. Go figure.
Liam: Hmm. This depends on the genre, but if I really have to choose only one… I’d have to go with The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson, with David Bromberg’s My Own House as a close second, in a dead tie with Dervish, Live at Palma.
Peter: Couldn’t honestly say, I rarely listen to anything other than generic radio nonsense in the car.
Mike: Tough one. Again, let the reader choose. Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Hardin/Highway 61 revisited/ Blood on the Tracks/ Street legal/ Desire, Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter, Sticky Fingers, or Exile on Main Street.
Steve: Death to the Pixies. I know it’s gauche to select a ‘best of’ compilation as a favourite album, but hear me out. It wasn’t easy building musical taste before the internet. I had to hop on a train if I wanted to find interesting albums, and we had all of maybe two radio stations dedicated to new music- which back then was mostly the Spice Girls on repeat.
I ended up snaffling through the discarded tapes and CDs of my older siblings, slowly working out what I was supposed to like, and what I actually liked. Stumbling onto the Pixies was a revelation. Something about the manic emotional ambivalence, and the silly seriousness of it. It had a timeless, kind of grubby sexual vibe that I still to this day associate with awkward-but-rocket-fuelled teenage libido. For a while I was flying solo on the pixies- they were a difficult act to sell to my friends who were all about the Deftones or whatever, but when they came back with Death to The Pixies, suddenly they were everywhere, and I was very briefly cool.
What do you all think? Good choices? If not, please, point us in a direction. Wow us with your recommendations for best album ever.