Listen to the Music

Today I simply want to share some great music with you. I love music. In our home and car there is something playing nearly all the time. These days it is usually classical, Catholic radio, or Christian music coming from our speakers. However, we also love listening to The Beatles, Rush, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift, The Dave Matthews Band, Snow Patrol, The Band, Neil Young, The Beach Boys, Pete Seeger, The Allman Brothers, The Corries, Van Morrison, Dire Straits and so many more! I love that our children are growing up listening to great music, because I loved growing up listening to great music as well.

My parents have always been big music fans. They have been to many incredible concerts that I wish I could have been at! (Actually, I technically was with them at The Who concert when my mom was 8 months pregnant with me. She even cleared it with her doctor since they held the 1976 Guinness World Record of Loudest Band in the World). I recall my dad lamenting the later emergence of “Greatest Hits” CDs. He explained that albums and concerts were crafted intentionally, each song placed in the lineup with purpose. Greatest Hits destroy the craft of the artist. A great musician can tell a story with their album. A great musician can take you to another world with a purposeful set list. We listen to music now in many formats - radio, Pandora, cable music stations, CDs, YouTube, and even cassettes. While I love the varied mix of music these bring, at the end of the day nothing beats a good old album. Allow me now to share with you some of my favorite albums of all time.

Awesome Albums

In no particular order, here are five albums I particularly love and highly recommend. I have listened to all of these albums numerous times:

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

I have been listening to Rumours a lot lately. I am sure my kids are tired of it! This is arguably one of the best albums of all time. The start of each song gives me the feeling I imagine sports fans feel with a home run or touchdown. With multiple stellar singers and songwriters in the band a very unique collection of songs was created.

Track 3, “Never Going Back Again” — bask in the beauty of Lindsey Buckingham accompanying himself on guitar. That riff never gets old!

God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise by Ray Lamontagne and the Pariah Dogs

When I was introduced to Ray Lamontagne (well, his music anyway) all I could think was, “Where have you been all my life?!” Ray never disappoints and creates a beautiful fusion of folksy singer-songwriter strength with a splash of southern rockability. (Okay, I think I made that word up. But I like it!).

To note: Track 7, “Old Before Your Time,” is perfection and has forced me to push the “repeat” button many, many times.

Boston by Boston

I heard once that in the late 70’s you could walk into a dormitory at any point of the day or night, and Boston was sure to be playing somewhere. There is a good reason for that. This eponymous album is just plain old fun and brings a steady smile to my face the second it starts.

To note: Track 3, “Foreplay/Long Time.” The 2 minute, 30 second mark where the transition to “Longtime” is made. I dare you to not pull out your air guitar.

American Beauty by The Grateful Dead

Interestingly, The Grateful Dead is not really considered a “studio” band. They are one of the most famous concert bands. Anyone who has listened to their favorite musicians perform live know that studio albums do not compare. This may be more true for The Grateful Dead than any other band. All the same I absolutely love this album. And as Lindsay Weir was told regarding this album in the tragically final episode of Freaks and Geeks, “I wish I’d never heard it, just so I could hear it again for the first time.” If you are lucky enough to have never heard it, enjoy your first listen!

To note: Track 6, “Ripple.” Seriously, the world is a better place because “Ripple” was written.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

If I may be so bold, Born to Run may be the greatest American album of all time. It opens with the flawless Thunder Road which contains one of the most endearing lyrics I know of, “You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright, oh and that’s alright with me.”

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To note: Track 5, “Born to Run.”  I am pretty sure it doesn’t get more gloriously “Springsteen” than the opening line to this title track, “In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream.” Run along and listen to this song.

Honorable Mentions

Just for fun I’m going to list my album runner-ups:

  • Counting Crows — August and Everything After
  • Radiohead — The Bends
  • The Who — Who’s Next
  • Led Zeppelin — Physical Graffiti
  • The Moody Blues — Seventh Sojourn

I am very eager to find fellow music fans and know what your favorite albums are. Please tell us in the comments below!

Please note that all of the albums I have listed can be found on YouTube in their entirety.

Stephanie Gilfillan