This is part 59 of an ongoing series where the kind folk of the music business reveal their favourite album of all time.
Ask people in the music industry the seemingly simple and straightforward question, “What is your favourite album of all time?” and you’ll find that it’s not always easy. After all, my industry peers listen to hundreds of albums a month and thousands of songs during that time. Because the question isn’t the best album of all time or the one that’s made them the most money in sales, or the most clicked-on review, but the one release they personally can’t live without, that one title they have two copies of in several formats, in case one breaks. It’s also about that album that for them has the best back stories and the one that has the most meaning in their lives.
Megan Petty, Fuzzy Logic blog
The Verve, A Storm in Heaven, Voyager 1
We all have a different set of criteria for it, undoubtedly. For me, a lot of what I love so much about music is the emotional reaction that great music can cause. When a music takes a little piece of my heart, odds are I’ll love it for a good long time. Favorite records come and favorite records go, but for over a decade now, the dynamic duo of The Verve’s 1993 masterwork A Storm in Heaven and the live wizardry of Voyager 1 have been right there at the top of my list. I find that the early 90s Verve songs tend to surprise folks who are more accustomed to hearing “Bittersweet Symphony”-like songs from the band, and many aren’t at all prepared for the heavy psychedelic influence found in this earlier material. These gents were way ahead of their time in terms of psych rock. From the moody dreamscape of opener “Star Sail” through legendary tracks “Slide Away” and “Blue” to the bittersweet farewell of “See You In The Next One (Have A Good Time),” A Storm in Heaven is an ethereal classic, showcasing the serious guitar virtuosity of Nick McCabe and the genius in frontman Richard Ashcroft. As the foil to this otherworldly beauty is the ferocious live fire of Voyager 1, the fairly rare bootleg of several magically mercurial Verve performances of the early 90s. These songs give off a potent, crackling electricity, and at times touch the sublime with their smoky, perfectly shambolic walls of raw, primal power. These two records have never let me down, and I always find something more to love about them. I could, and have done so many times, listen to them and them alone for weeks at a time. They give me chills on a regular basis and can still take my breath away. To me, these records are very nearly perfection.
David Stagg, HM Magazine
Third Eye Blind, Third Eye Blind
There was no other songwriter who could write so poetically about the human condition than Stephen Jenkins. The duality in the band’s songwriting — both lyrically and musically — was untouchable. He managed to have an entire country bopping along to a character’s descent into meth addiction. He would write about the pessimism and dejection of trying to get through life after puberty and make it the first song on the soundtrack to a national teen movie. He would pen a very real song about a homosexual friend killing himself by jumping off a bridge and it would become a Top Ten hit on multiple Billboard charts. Top to bottom, there is no more moving, honest, emotional or true-to-life record that can make you laugh, hate, love and cry in just one listen. When you listen to Third Eye Blind, you realize you are just looking back into a mirror reflecting the very stories of each and every one of us.
Katya Guseva, Big Up Magazine
Consisting of modern solo piano compositions merged masterfully with Ocoeur’s organic sound design. Its intimacy is unprecedented and the emotiveness is undeniable.
Geoff ‘JT’ Thaden, Operations Manager, KRWK, KOYY, KMJO, KVOX-FM, Fargo, ND
Radiohead, Pablo Honey
Actually, I first heard of Radiohead when they released OK Computer. I used to record the college radio station in my hometown on tape, when I heard a song I liked I would wait for the DJ to backsell the songs, stop the tape then rewind to make sure I had the right song (it was hard to keep track with all the ‘before that was…and before that was’). I had a list of artists and songs that I liked that I kept near the radio, so when I first heard Radiohead and I was so confused…it was such a unique sound. When I had the chance to go to the record store I figured I should start with their first album and work my way up – Pablo Honey was in essence a basic rock album, but I fell in love with it. That feeling of ‘discovery’ fueled my trips to the record store…I suppose I still get that feeling when I hear a song that I know is going to be a radio hit!
Karson Tager, Karson & Kennedy In The Morning, Mix 104.1, Boston, MA
Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend
Granted, this is a collection of Bob Marley’s greatest hits but the commonality of peace, love and togetherness still connect these amazing songs. Obviously, Bob Marley’s vocals capture you with his tone and story telling but this album also features a song for every moment. If life has punched you in the gut on a random Tuesday morning, Three Little Birds is there to lift your spirits. Just want to have a dance party in your living room with friends and family on a Saturday night? Crank up Jammin! Sometimes you’re trying to deal with the deeper meaning of life, possibly your own mortality, and Redemption Song is there to help heal your soul. I own this album on cassette, vinyl, compact disc, limited edition box set and somewhere in the cloud, where I know Bob smiles down on all of us, still enjoying his reggae classic.