David’s Lists

Two reasons my list isn’t best-artist. First of all, redundancy — 12 of Kenny’s Top 20 would be in my top 30, and the only glaring anomaly on my list would be They Might Be Giants, whom I know Kenny has no use for, and to a lesser extent Neil Young, by whom I know Kenny likes at least two records a fair amount. Other than that, Kenny may prefer Coltrane while I’ll take Coleman, he Los Lobos and me John Prine, but these are matters of degree. The other reason is that I listen to albums, not artists. Everybody stumbles eventually, but the albums I can get behind thrill start to finish, either on the strength of each individual track, or taking into account the way the strongest ones create a context for the rest. Do great albums also create contexts for the artists? Of course, but a merely satisfying track on an otherwise outstanding album continues to hold its own longer than merely satisfying albums by outstanding artists. So instead I’ve provided a very short album list, with the promise that if I did the last from scratch again in six months, and maybe tomorrow, it might have a substitution or three. So these are 20 of my top favorites. My top 20? Maybe, but close enough either way. To get a full picture, I’d have to make a longer list, but you don’t really want a top 75 right now, do you? And how about that — one Coltrane and no Coleman. See what I mean?


 The Beatles – Please Please Me

Best of New Orleans R&B Vol. 2 (Rhino 1987)

The Clash – The Clash

The Clash – London Calling

John Coltrane – My Favorite Things

The Costello Show – King of America

Miles Davis – In a Silent Way

De La Soul – Buhloone Mindstate

Ian Dury & the Blockheads – Juke Box Dury

The Go-Betweens – 1978-1990

Guitar Paradise of East Africa (Earthworks)

John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band

The Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs

Thelonious Monk – Genius of Modern Music Vol. 1 (a/k/a Complete Blue Note Recordings Vol. 1)

Van Morrison – Moondance

John Prine – Sweet Revenge

Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back

They Might Be Giants – They Might Be Giants

X Ray Spex – Germ Free Adolescents

And a definitive list of the 27 albums I’ve loved (or still love) in the last five years (no reissues), in order of preference:

Kanye West – Late Registration

Todd Snider – The Devil You Know

Bob Dylan – Modern Times

Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous

Todd Snider – East Nashville Skyline

K’naan – The Dusty Foot Philosopher

Wussy – Left for Dead

Randy Newman – Harps & Angels

Bruce Springsteen – Magic

Jon Langford – All the Fame of Lofty Deeds

Hamell on Trial -Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs

Wussy – Funeral Dress

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Glasvegas – Glasvegas

TV on the Radio – Dear Science,

M.I.A. – Kala

Lily Allen – Alright, Still

Orchestre Baobab – Made in Dakar

New York Dolls – One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This

Jenny Lewis – Rabbit Fur Coat

The Go-Betweens – Oceans Apart

The Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder

Kimya Dawson – Remember That I Love You

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

Amy Rigby – Little Fugitive

Sleeping in the Aviary – Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel

Honeyhoney – Loose Boots [EP]


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