Whether you are driving down the blue highways or sitting in your family room, I went through a few of my albums and picked out a bunch (in no order) that totally ring my bell – maybe they might ring yours.
Top-name artists aside, I tried to pick a few artists and albums that may not be familiar to you. This is not designed as a definitive collection – just a collection. As you may surmise, my musical interests are eclectic. Pardon the image quality – grabbed album covers off the web as thumbnails. Enjoy!
Annie Lennox (Nostalgia – Jazz) – If you are not familiar with Annie Lennox, she was the main sound for the Eurythmics years ago, and has one of the richest voices, kind of – ever. This jazz album is a collection of classics that she has totally made her own. This album is awesome!
AC/DC (Razor’s Edge – Rock). I chose this album for the primary reason that it opens with “Thunderstruck”. Nuff said.
Adele (Pick an album). Adele is simply one of the best singers I can recall. I might pick the album 21, but I haven’t heard a song or album from her that isn’t freaking terrific.
Lee Michaels (Lee Michaels – Rock). With only one or two albums to his name Lee Michaels was famous for making his Hammond B3 organ sing. This is an album that must be played at absolute FULL volume. Would you be happy… Would you be sad… When you’ve just lost the best girl…
Willie Nelson (Stardust – Country). This is a super special album that is really a collection of love songs. Maybe that sounds corny or lame, but honestly? From “Georgia On My Mind”, to “Moonlight in Vermont”, this entire album is epic.
Van Morrison (It’s Too Late to Stop Now – Rock). You may have a hard time finding this album; it was recorded live in 1974 and aside from the song selection, and the fact it is a two-record live recording, the sound quality is superb. If you like Van the Man, this is essential. If you can’t find this, go to the album “Born to Sing – No Plan B” – my second favorite Van album.
Rosanne Cash (Black Cadillac – Rock). Yup, Johnny Cash’s daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Californication – Alternative). This album (and band) definitely fits in the “alternative” category. But these guys are awesome – and incredibly talented. And you probably won’t be seated while you listen to this. Another one to crank up.
Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris (All the Roadrunning – Country). Good chance you have heard of Emmylou Harris is you are beyond the age of 50, but you may not know Mark Knopfler’s name. While he was the lead guitarist and singer for the band Dire Straits, and has produced and recorded many solo albums, this one, singing with Emmylou Harris, is special – beautiful voices.
Big Boi (Speakerboxx – Hip Hop/Rap). If I remember correctly, this may have been the Grammy’s #1 album of the year in 2003. Regardless, this entire album is just great – every song.
MC Hammer (The Funky Headhunter – Hip Hop/Rap). Don’t judge me, but I have always LOVED this album. It’s All Good. Crank it up.
Joe Satriani (Dreaming #11 – Rock). Need a good guitar fix? Oh yeah. This guy is crazy good.
George Strait (It Just Comes Natural – Country). George Strait may be the quintessential country male singer – ever. His voice is just that good, and this album is a pleasure.
Florence and the Machine (Lungs – Alternative and Punk). Reminding me of the Eurthymics from long ago, Florence is a great singer, and this is a fun album.
Diana Krall (From This Moment On– Jazz). Diana Krall may be one of the most talented female singers. I don’t really want to equate her with Ella Fitzgerald, but Diana is obviously classically trained and able. Her vocal cords are a perfectly tuned instrument. And not awful on the keys either.
Dave Matthews Band (Live at Piedmont Park – Rock). If I had only one musical artist’s recordings that I could bring with me on a desert island, for me it would be the Dave Matthews Band. These guys are so musically talented it is just amazing; can’t stop listening.
Al Green (Tokyo Live – R&B). You could really pick any album of The Reverand Al (Al Green) because his voice is that good.
We now return you to your normal programming.