This is part 62 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.
Joe Cassady, Mornings, 92.9 WLMI, Lansing, Michigan
Chicago, Chicago Transit Authority
There are familiar titles like “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Beginnings”. My favorite cut was “Questions 67 and 68”. I like this album a lot because it contains great Chicago music that wasn’t played to death on Top 40 Radio. I played it so much, I wore down two copies.
Larry Crane, Tapeop
Joy Division, Unknown Pleasures
As a musician and producer/engineer I’ve learned tons from this album. How to completely change what a band is doing into a studio creation. How to play against open strings on a bass. How to put together a classic album cover.
Larry Groce, Host & Artistic Director of NPR’s Mountain Stage
The Band, The Band
It was a close call between this one, The Band’s “Music from Big Pink”, and several Dylan and Beatles albums. I’ve been a fan of all three since their beginnings. When I was 17, I went to the September 25, 1965 concert in Dallas which I believe was one of the first with Dylan and The Band together. I chose “The Band” over the others because its songs are both northern and southern, they’re folk, rock, and country. They come from where Europe met Africa but they don’t exclude what was already here. Their lyric images get to the heart of some important parts of North American culture.
Confusion, Pigeons & Planes
Nirvana, Unplugged in New York
I know, this isn’t even really a proper album. Whatever. When I think about albums that really mean something to me, this one always tops the list. It has nothing to do with the quality of the music and everything to do with the connection I felt with these 14 songs. I listened to this album non-stop during some important years of my life. I was an immature pre-teen, and I didn’t get into Nirvana until after Kurt Cobain was already dead. I didn’t get to experience the cultural impact of Nirvana in real-time, but for me, discovering that album came at the perfect moment in my life. I grew up with those songs, and I probably changed more as a person in those couple of years than any other period of my life. Unplugged in New York was the soundtrack to those years. I’d never argue that this is the best album of all time. Shit, it’s not even the best Nirvana album. But none of that really matters when you’re talking about favorites.
Mase Brazelle, FMQB
The Clash, London Calling
Because they were the only band that mattered.