Monday, July 14, 2008
an album for every year
Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to get a book review together for today - these things happen when you decide to read a 600+ page book - so instead I'm going to take a cue from Carrie and participate in this fun little music game that comes via The A.V. Club. The idea is to pick a favorite album for every year you've been alive. It can either be something you loved at the time or something you love today, and though it sounds easy, oh no. Not so.

After spending the better part of the weekend bitterly conflicted over Pinkerton vs. Odelay I eventually realized I had to come up with some sort of universal criteria for my choices. And so, my list primarily consists of the albums that have stood the test of time for me. Thus, you won't see Debbie Gibson's Out of the Blue on here, although I won't pretend that I didn't rock the socks off of that little bugger for the better part of 1988. In the event of a real conundrum - Beck vs. Weezer or Tori Amos vs. Portishead being the two biggest - I ultimately decided that I'd choose the album I still listen to the most today. This does not necessarily make it the better album, mind you. Odelay is a near-perfect album, and yet I had to pass it by because I honestly can't remember the last time I listened to it. (And shame on me for that.)

But without further ado, here she goes:

1978 - Bruce Springsteen, Darkness on the Edge of Town
1979 - Pink Floyd, The Wall
1980 - Joy Division, Closer
1981 - The Go-Go's, Beauty and the Beat
1982 - Michael Jackson, Thriller
1983 - The Violent Femmes, The Violent Femmes
1984 - The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow
1985 - John Cougar Mellencamp, Scarecrow
1986 - Paul Simon, Graceland
1987 - Guns 'N Roses, Appetite for Destruction
1988 - Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
1989 - Beastie Boys, Paul's Boutique
1990 - George Michael, Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1
1991 - Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blood Sugar Sex Magik
1992 - R.E.M, Automatic for the People
1993 - The Cure, Show
1994 - Portishead, Dummy
1995 - Belly, King
1996 - Weezer, Pinkerton
1997 - Radiohead, OK Computer
1998 - tie: Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and Elliott Smith, XO*
1999 - Fiona Apple, When the Pawn...
2000 - Radiohead, Kid A
2001 - The White Stripes, White Blood Cells
2002 - Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
2003 - The White Stripes, Elephant
2004 - Arcade Fire, Funeral
2005 - The Decemberists, Picaresque
2006 - Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
2007 - The National, Boxer
2008 - So far it's a toss-up between Beck's Modern Guilt and Thao's We Brave Bee Stings, however we shall see...

*I know this is cheating, but I'd rather have these two albums than 80% of the ones on this list, making choosing between these two a Sophie's Choice that I'm just not willing to make. So sue me.

General Post-List Reflections:

Had I actually been born in 1977 and not just a bun in my mama's oven then The Muppet Show Album would have been my choice for that year. I ain't joking. I'm thirty-years-old and that little lovely still holds up.

It was harder than it should have been for me to not choose Deee-Lite's World Clique for my 1990 album.

With the release of U2's Actung Baby, Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik, 1991 was an absolutely ridiculous year for music. Don't think I didn't agonize over my choice, however Blood Sugar Sex Magik was the very first CD I ever purchased, and thus it trumps the rest.

1988 and 2001 were particularly weak years for music. I would totally trade them in for another 1991 or 1997.

My sincerest apologies to the following: Deltron's Deltron 3030, The Cure's Wish, Tori Amos's Under the Pink, Talking Heads' True Stories, Beck's Odelay, Patty Griffin's Living with Ghosts, Over the Rhine's Eve, and Pavement in general. I love you. Don't think I didn't try to find a way to fit you in.

Who in Hades is Anal Cunt, and how did they manage to pump out an album almost every single year for the last 20 years?

For the most part, my list is very "Stuff White People Like".

Overall, though hard, this was a pretty fun little undertaking. Should you feel inclined to post your list on your own blog (or share your thoughts in the comments in the event that you don't have a blog), I'd certainly encourage you to do so. I'd love to hear what others would choose!

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Blogger Carrie said...

I feel guilty for not putting Elliott Smith anywhere on my list. I should've called a tie too.

At first I was surprised to see The White Stripes on here twice- I always forget people like them much more than me. ;)

And I think most people's lists we'll see will be very stuff white people like. How predictable of us.

Blogger Mrs. White said...

Honestly, it's not that I love The White Stripes that much, rather 2001 and 2003 were pretty underwhelming years for me, musically speaking. Of what came out in those years, those two were my favorites choices.

Whitey. :)

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