A long music list project for a long weekend

Yes, it’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day (and Fossil Fuel Independence Day, according to Steve Knight), and I should be getting ready to celebrate. I will, soon. But there’s some important blogging to be done first.

While scanning my RSS feeds last night, this challenge to list a favorite album from every year of your life jumped out at me. I love to waste time compiling lists, so this is the kind of challenge I relish. Feel free to take up the challenge yourself. If you do, let me know where you posted your list.

You’re not required to create your list from memory. If you need help, feel free to consult Wikipedia’s years in music list, or check out Christgau’s list, which goes back to 1971, which unfortunately is not far enough back for me. I gotta admit, it’s tough trying to think about albums from my earliest years. The concept of an LP didn’t really take form until the early 1960s. Fortunately, I grew up in a very musical household.

The years and albums in bold type are those I could remember without any Internet assistance.

1960 – The Ventures, Walk Don’t Run
1961 – West Side Story soundtrack
1962 – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, The Lonely Bull
1963 – Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
1964 – The Chipmunks, The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles (very popular among 4-year-olds at the time)
1965 – The Beatles, Rubber Soul
1966 – The Beatles, Revolver
1967 – The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

1968 – Big Brother and the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills
1969 – The Beatles, Abbey Road
1970 – Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo’s Factory
1971 – The Who, Who’s Next
1972 – The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street
1973 – Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

1974 – Frank Zappa, Apostrophe
1975 – Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run (close to a three-way tie with Patti Smith’s Horses and Kiss Alive!)
1976 – Ramones, Ramones
1977 – Talking Heads, 77
1978 – The Cars, The Cars (runner up: The Rolling Stones, Some Girls)
1979 – The Clash, London Calling (best album ever, btw, and technically it wasn’t available in the U.S. until 1980 but it came out in ’79)
1980 – Pretenders, Pretenders
1981 – The Clash, Sandinista!
1982 – The Clash, Combat Rock
1983 – David Bowie, Let’s Dance

1984 – Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual
1985 – John Mellencamp, Scarecrow
1986 – Paul Simon, Graceland
1987 – U2, The Joshua Tree

1988 – Mekons, Mekons Rock ‘n’ Roll
1989 – Pixies, Doolittle
1990 – Pixies, Bossanova
1991 – REM, Out of Time
1992 – REM, Automatic for the People
1993 – Liz Phair,
Exile in Guyville
1994 – Green Day, Dookie
1995 – Rancid, And Out Come the Wolves
1996 – Cheryl Crow, Cheryl Crow
1997 – Sleater-Kinney, Dig Me Out
1998 – Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
1999 – Santana, Supernatural
2000 – U2, All That You Can’t Leave Behind
2001 – The Strokes, Is This It
2002 – Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2003 – Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Streetcore
2004- Green Day, American Idiot
2005 – Spoon, Gimme Fiction
2006 – Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (close runner-up: Cat Power, The Greatest)
2007 – Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
2008 (through July 4) – My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges

Some of these albums I didn’t discover until years later. Obviously the 1960 pick, The Ventures’ Walk Don’t Run, didn’t make my list until years later. The great Pixies albums of the late 1980s escaped my notice until Nirvana arrived on the scene a few years later and Kurt Cobain name-checked the Pixies as a strong influence. My most active album-listening years were the decade of the mid-1970s through the mid-1980s, when album rock was at its peak and I was moving from adolescence into young adulthood. I could have listed a dozen influential albums from 1977, for instance, but struggled to remember anything from 1988.

Now playing: Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same
via FoxyTunes

Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

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