The Music Industry’s Most-Loved Albums Of All Time, Part 42

This is part 42 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 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.

Mark Reardon, Host of “The Mark Reardon Show” and “Total Information PM” on KMOX, St. Louis
Bruce Springsteen, The River
In the fall of 1980 I was a rather lonely and depressed 15 year old sophomore in high school. One night in an effort to cheer me up my dad took me to a record store and offered to buy me the LP of my choosing. Being a thinking man I hit him up for a double-record, Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”. I really only new a few songs by Springsteen at the time–having grown up in Chicago before moving to St. Louis I remember hearing “Born to Run” and a few others on the radio. But I honestly didn’t now much about him. From the moment the needle hit the vinyl in my bedroom I felt a connection with the music that I had never felt before. The storytelling was different than the rest of the songs and albums I had listened to up until that point. I played that record over and over and over—always following along with the lyrics which were included inside the album. By Christmas Santa had left me a copy of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and I bought a copy of “Born to Run”. In January of 1981 I saw the E Street Band for the first time and was blown away. Most Springsteen fanatics probably wouldn’t list “The River” on their top choices, but for me it’s always been my #1 because of the connection that I had with the music–and the fact that that tour was really the first real rock concert I ever attended. I’ve said before that “The River” really changed my life—and I still believe that to this day.

Otis Day, Music Director, WIXX 101.1 FM, Green Bay,WI
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin
I wasn’t alive in 1968, so I didn’t get to experience that moment of dropping the needle on that record, hitting start, and being blown away by the sounds coming out of the speakers. But I DID get to have that reaction when my uncle introduced it to me in the 80’s, and I’m forever grateful. There is no better way to end an album than the 8 1/2 minute piece of awesome that is “How Many More Times.” I haven’t found an album better than Led Zeppelin.

Mylan Ray, KJOE/KISD, Pipestone, MN
Waylon Jennings, Honky Tonkin Heroes
Huge turning point in my love of Country Music and the way it should be. I really think it should be always listed in Rolling Stones top 100.

Mitch Belanger, Program Director/Morning Host, The Fox in North Bay, ON
Led Zeppelin, II
Not a bad track on it, plus it’s got one of my favourite Zep tunes Ramble On. It’s a regular staple on the car stereo.

Erica Russell, Music Editor Lady Gunn Magazine
Gwen Stefani, Love, Angel, Music, Baby
I was always a big No Doubt fan so when Gwen made a move towards solo pop stardom, I found myself waiting with bated breath. I wasn’t disappointed, and found LAMB to be such a pop game-changer, influencing other artists and albums of the time sonically and visually. In any event, it’s one of those albums I can listen to front to back, over and over, without skipping any songs. It’s infectious.