This is part 13 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 – thousands of songs during that time. Because the question isn’t the best album of all time – the one that’s made them the most money in sales – 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.
Bill Chapin, Bay Area music blog All the City Lights
Great Lakes Myth Society, Great Lakes Myth Society
You don’t have to be from Michigan to love this album, but it doesn’t hurt. The lyrics reference everything from the filming of “Anatomy of a Murder” in the Upper Peninsula’s Marquette County to an urban legend about how the Detroit suburb of Novi got its name. The band was never that well-known outside of a certain circle of indie-loving, hopelessly MIdwestern romantics, but those of us that fell in love with GLMS fell hard. The band members sometimes half-seriously referred to their style as “northern rock,” and it really does manage to meld the lore and folk traditions of the Rust Belt to a rock ‘n’ roll framework, in much the same way that southern-rock bands captured the mythos of the Deep South. Lost and alone in the small, unfamiliar burg where I’d found my first job after college, I was searching through the Detroit alt-weekly paper one Friday not long after 9/11 for something–anything–to get me out of town. When I came across the description of GLMS (which at the time was still performing under its previous name, The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love), I knew I’d come across my new favorite band. Three songwriters inspired by local history? Six-part harmonies? Accordion and fiddle? Yes, please. The concert did not disappoint. It had a certain “yo ho ho” quality, like a logging camp singalong with amplifiers. This album is a little more polished than those live shows, but it is still a fun romp. And it contains the line “Bar stools flew like witches through the Minnesota sky,” which I’m pretty sure is the best thing ever written.
Brenna Ehrlich, Writer for MTV News, Senior Editor and Writer for the O Music Awards and the co-author of the blog and book Stuff Hipsters Hate
Six Demon Bag, Man Man
I have an unhealthy obsession with Man Man and this album in particular. “Ice Dogs” all day every day. Man Man was also the first band I ever interviewed and I was so nervous at the time that I declined whiskey. Which never happens.
Jason Decay, bass/vocals for Cauldron
Under Lock And Key, Dokken
There is some prime songwriting and high end real performance going on this one. Competition was high and there weren’t as many ways to cheat back then so you had to be good! Massive, heavy production on this record that still maintains a human pulse. I bought this at a pawn shop in Pembroke, Ontario around ’96 probably for a dollar or less after seeing them in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3; Dream Warriors. I spent the summer listening to it while rebuilding my guitar rig. Best dollar I ever spent! We actually had the same producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Hall & Oats) mix our Chained To The Nite record in 2008.
David Bauder, National Writer for The Associated Press.
The White Album, The Beatles
I’ll never forget the Beatles’ “White Album” because of the way I got it. I was 10 years old, it was right after Christmas and just before my birthday, and I desperately wanted it –I had just made the leap from the Monkees to the Beatles. My father took me to a department store the next town over from where we lived and I was crushed to find they were sold out. Just as we were walking out, someone else was walking in with the album still in its shrink wrap – he had gotten two copies of the album for Christmas and was returning one. My dad bought it from him on the spot. It wasn’t the Beatles’ best, but it showed their versatility, and began my love affair with a musical act beyond compare.
Adam 12, Production Director/Host, Boston.com’s RadioBDC
Endtroducing, Dj Shadow
As a 15-plus-year broadcasting veteran, I’ve made my living falling in love with music and inspiring my listeners to do the same. And I’ve fallen in love with countless albums, from the Beach Boys to the Dead Boys to the Beastie Boys (but not the Venga Boys). But if you’re putting the proverbial gun to my head and making me choose just one album to call my all-time favorite, that one album is DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing…..” I grew up in a musical household, fell in love with rap’s Golden Age, came of age to punk and alternative, and played jazz all through school, so listening to Shadow’s genre-smashing, hip-hop-redefining debut is like listening to my own personal musical story. And almost two decades later, it still stands up. And stands alone. You can take it all. Just leave my DJ Shadow and I can build it all up again.