Monday, July 22, 2013

my favorite albums... 100 to 91

Didja read the intro?  Do that first.

And now... drumroll please... my 100 favorite albums of all time...

"Found a Place" by FFH (2000)... Poppy and light, but still a great devotional/worship album.  Be it a catchy tune about having the faith of "Daniel", or a prayer to be used however He sees fit, like in "Lord Move or Move Me", every song is a great devotion.  My favorite is the simple praise song "Be My Glory"... check that one out on iTunes, if nothing else.

"Forever Your Girl" by Paula Abdul (1989)... Nowadays, Paula Abdul is somewhat of a punchline.  Somewhat strange, flaky, rambling, a bubble of fluff and rainbows when she appeared on American Idol for what seemed like forever ago.  But back in the day, she was a hot dancer who became a hot singer who sang awesome stuff like "Opposites Attract", with some dude named MC Scat Cat.  She did a video where she had a romance with an animated, smoking cat!  And she was praised for it!  I love this CD.  My favorite cut is the title track, "Forever Your Girl".

"Cocktail" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1988)... My cousins Shannon and Frankie Jr, and his girlfriend at the time, were down from Virginia with family visiting us in Samson, Alabama, and the four of us decided to go to the movies.  Now, this is in Enterprise, Alabama, where you go to the Clark Cinemas--whichever movie you want, that's the window you went to.  Want this film, go to the left, want that film, go to the right, with the concession stand in the middle.  That night, Shannon and I went to see "Hot to Trot", with Bobcat Goldthwait and Frankie Jr and his chick went to see "Cocktail".  After our movies were over, we met in the parking lot.  Frankie Jr raved about "Cocktail", so we all went to see it.  Mine and Shannon's second film of the night, their 2nd time viewing the movie.  And at the time, I thought the movie was awesome.  Now?  Eh. Its okay, I guess.

The soundtrack is rollicking, though.  Its known for two main songs:  Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and the love it or hate it "Kokomo" by The Beach Boys, which subsequently led to a reunion and a new tour and John Stamos on drums.  No, I'm not kidding.

But the real gems are the covers of "All Shook Up" by Ry Cooder, and the original "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard.  It also features John Cougar Mellencamp, Starship and a bombastic Fabulous Thunderbirds on "Powerful Stuff"... my favorite of the bunch, though, is the "Hippy Hippy Shake" by the Georgia Satellites, which sometimes runs through my head when I'm rockin' at the espresso bar at Starbucks. 

"Third Day" by Third Day (1996)... At the beginning of my huge Christian music fandom, and what I consider the growing-up of the CCM industry, there was a band out of Atlanta that emerged.  They released this album with a bus on the front, and called it "Third Day"... this was after a few years of playing around the area, growing the fandom and releasing a few indie albums.  They have release 8 studio albums and 2 worship CDs since then, but to me, their first is by far the best.  It kicks off with "Nothing at All", then continues the bluesy rock with songs like "Blackbird", "Consuming Fire", and maybe the most well known from this CD, "Thief".  My favorite is "Take My Life", a soft, worship tune that I first heard when my frat brother Jason White strummed it on guitar.

"Momentum" by Toby Mac (2001)... Not sure that dcTalk will ever unite.  Makes me sad. That being said, Toby Mac is awesome.  Christian rap and hip hop sometimes gets a bad... well, rap... because... well... its usually awful.  I mean, most rap is awful, and Christian rap isn't much different.  But Toby Mac somehow makes it work.   And on "Momentum", there are shades of dcTalk all through, but it comes alive when you have guests like Kirk Franklin and GRITS join up.  My favorite track by far is "Irene", but mostly because we did a dance to that song when I did missions in New York City in 2002.  That ruled.

"Greatest Hits" by New Kids on the Block (2008)... Now, I know what you are going to say.  What is that doing on your list.  I know, I know... but I chose to put Greatest Hits and compilations on this list because yes, they are albums, and yes, they are albums I like.  There are several GH on this list, including 2 box sets, and even a few live albums.

What?  You meant "Why are the New Kids on this list?"  Well, because in high school, as a dude, I wasn't allowed to like them.  But as a grown up, I think its probably okay.  And I like this CD--it saves me from having to actually get any of their other stuff.  "Hangin' Tough", "Step by Step", "I'll Be Lovin' You (forever)"... take a listen, they aren't bad.  My favorite?  "Tonight"

"Dirty Dancing" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)... Talk about an album to know by heart.  Glancing at the track listing for this record, I know every word to Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes"... every word to Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby!"... and all the cheesy notes to Mickey & Sylvia's "Love is Strange".  And, of course, "(I've had) The Time of My Life" with Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.  My favorite is "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes.

"Songs You Know By Heart: Jimmy Buffett's Greatest Hit(s)" by Jimmy Buffett (1985)... Its hard to believe that all of these songs were before 1985--in fact, they are all from 1973 to 1979.  And yeah, if you are familiar with Buffett at all, you'll know "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and "Fins" and The Lovely Steph Leann's favorite, "Come Monday"... and of course, "Margaritaville", my favorite from the set.

"La Bamba" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)... from a movie in my Top 500, I freakin' loved La Bamba when it came out.  The story of Richie Valens, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, it chronicles the rise of Valens, his stardom and his death, "The day the music died", in a plane crash with The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly.  The music in this movie should have its own credit in the cast list.  TexMex rockers Los Lobos provided all the songs for Valens, and are featured here on the first half of the album--"Donna", "Come On Let's Go", and "La Bamba" included.  The last half is also great, with covers of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping", Brian Setzer's version of "Summertime Blues" and the original Bo Diddley classic, "Who Do You Love".  But its the Jackie Wilson cover of "Lonely Teardrops" by Howard Huntsberry that stands out for me.

"Breathless" by Kenny G (1992)... Oh, come on.  In 1992, I liked it.  And guess what?  Its 12x platinum--it sold over 12,000,000 copies.  So, back off.

The problem with cutting it to 100 is there are still so many albums to talk about... so here's one that I loved, but didn't quite make the list:

"The Greatest Hits" by INXS (1994)... Once again, rather than buying all the CDs, I found it easier to just get this one.  And am I glad I did... "Suicide Blonde" with that opening riff... "What You Need" rocks... "Need You Tonight" is fun to sing... and "Beautiful Girls" is awesome.  It loses points though because it doesn't include the cool "Mediate"...

Coming soon... the next 10 favorite albums of all time... including something a little Weird... our first TV soundtrack... and finally, a real, hard rock album...

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