This is part 54 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.
Dom Vigil, The Prelude Press
Blink 182, Enema of the State
This was not only one of the first albums that I ever bought on my own, but it was the album that got me into rock and pop-punk (I had previously only really listened to rap and hip-hop) and ultimately, the album that made me want to get involved with music. It always takes me back to when I was a teenager, when times were simpler, and brings back the memories of skateboarding and hanging out with my friends. I can put Enema of the State on at any given point in my life and listen to it from front to back – I never want to skip a single song.
Jon Ramer, PD/Music Director/Afternoon Drive, 90.5 Shine FM
Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy
Good memories, I guess. It was one of the first records (yes, actual stacks of wax) I spun on rock radio. That, and it’s a great LP.
Tre’ Day, KIPR-FM, Little Rock, AR
Black Sheep, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Even though I haven’t listened to it in a couple years or so, I guarantee that I still know every word to every song. It really influenced me as a young person growing up and helped shaped me into the hip hop head that I became. Great samples, dope lyrics, and hidden meanings that continue to provoke new thoughts 20 years later. Truly a classic in my book that will never get old.
Lauren Rearick, The Grey Estates
Grizzly Bear, Horn of Plenty
I can still recall the first time I heard Grizzly Bear – in the parking lot of a Best Buy moments after I purchased Yellow House. It was the first time I had ever really heard the band, and days later I would come to see them live in a small performance room at the Warhol Museum with Beach House. There I fell in love. Days later I searched their old material and in doing so discovered the one album that’s changed my life. This particular Grizzly Bear album didn’t include the full band yet, and in interviews Ed Droste talks of it being a way for him to experiment and mess around following a break up. I’ve gone through breakups and I’ve dealt with struggles and yes, that album always comforts me or describes all that I’m feeling in ways my words never could, but it’s also perfect for any occasion. It’s a peek into someone’s soul before a world of blog buzz and Twitter reported on their every move. It’s deeply intimate, moving and just beautiful. It’s my comfort blanket whenever the world seems too dreary or dark and after countless listens I always find myself totally awestruck.
Tony Infantino, WARM 101.3, Rochester, NY
Paul Winter Consort, Common Ground
I started out in radio on a Soft Rock/New Age Jazz station way back in 1977 before anyone had heard of the words “new age music.” We never got any ratings, but I discovered some wonderful music. One such recording is Common Ground, the 1977 A&M release by the Paul Winter Consort. The album was recorded in a barn in Maine during the summer, musicians came and went. Some famous, Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary, legendary drummer Steve Gadd and many more. Winter took his saxophone to the Atlantic Ocean to play along with whales. To the nearby woods play play with eagles and wolves. It even includes Native American singing. The album is full of voices, strings, horns and many different percussive instruments. The music is uplifting and magical. I first acquired it on vinyl, then cassette followed by CD and finally I put it on my iPhone. I gave it as wedding presents, birthday gifts, really any excuse to give it to some one. I daydream sometimes about putting together a Consort of my own to perform this album. I know that will never happen, but when I dream about it, we get a standing O after every show.