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My Top 20 Albums

Updated on May 14, 2011

Some time ago a friend sent me a few links to various music lists: Top 100 artists, Top 50 songs (etc.), so I decided to create my own Top 20 list of my favorite albums. I’m referring here to the original albums that the artists created, no best-of or greatest hits collections, which could constitute a separate list in its own right. Also, these are albums that simply amazed me. I’ve heard a lot of really good albums over the years, but these…these knocked my socks off the very first time I heard them, and I still love listening to the whole album all the way through.

I have deliberately avoided listing more than one album by the same artist, but I simply had to bend this rule slightly for a couple of albums that are on here by individuals that are also part of a band. Enjoy...

The Beatles – Rubber Soul

The classic 60’s band. Undeservedly eclipsed by “Sgt. Pepper”, this album is fantastic, and the true bridge between their earlier pop and later experimental stuff.

Muse – Black Holes & Revelations

Un-friggin-believable album by England’s current superstars.

Grant McLennan – Horsebreaker Star

Loads upon loads of wonderful pop from yet another Englishman.

REM – Reckoning

Finally crossing the pond to the US, here’s my favorite album by the original 80’s “alternative” band...

Crowded House – Temple of Low Men

This is their second album but I thought it was leagues better than their first. Darkly gorgeous.

Calogero – Calogero

Incredible stuff from an incredibly talented Frenchman.

Three Days Grace – One X

I was so mesmerized by this album that I could not stop listening to it for an entire month straight. Literally! I listened to it Every. Single. Day.

Split Enz – Time and Tide

This group was so far ahead of its time that people are still struggling to catch up. Time and Tide is by far their best album.

Neil Finn - One Nil

Neil was part of Split Enz and Crowded House, in addition to putting out his own well-received albums. This is the best of his solo stuff, so far.

Paul Kelly - Ways and Means

There are two discs in this release, but just try to pick a favorite - it's not easy.

Paul McCartney - Flaming Pie

Look at Paul's solo career and you find a lot of really good singles but precious few great albums - this is one of the exceptions.

Chad Mitchell Trio – Singin’ Our Mind

A lesser-known folk group from the 60’s, but musically speaking they were probably the very best. This album has classic folk with contemporary pop, blues and sixties politics, all rolled into one. Amazing!

Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward

I know people that prefer other DM albums but this was my first introduction to the group. Dark, brooding, even political (remember People Are People?), yet still danceable. Only the 80’s could have created that combination.

Weddings Parties Anything - Roaring Days

Australia’s indigenous folk-rock masters. Powerful.

Alanis Morrisette - Jagged Little Pill

Alanis is one of the few female artists I really like, and this is classic female angst at its best.

Kyo – Le Chemin

A French alt-rock band that is every bit as good as their English-speaking counterparts.

Green Day - American Idiot

A more modern interpretation of the "concept" album, and done extraordinarily well.

Models - Out Of Mind Out Of Sight

Rock and soul, Aussie style.

The Rasmus – Hide From the Sun

Finland’s masters of Goth Pop, if there even is such a genre.  If there isn't then there should be.

Seven Stories – Judges and Bagmen

Their debut album, and what an album it is! An alt-rock masterpiece from a short-lived Australian band, released before the alt-rock genre was even conceived.

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