List 25 (or 5 or 10...I don't really care...whatever you have time for) albums that you would consider to be life changing in some way or form. The albums that stick with you and you never get tired of. Maybe they meant something to you at a particular time in your life, or in most cases for me, they changed the way you think about music. I know that my list certainly won't be exhaustive, but this exercise gives you insight into who I am, and might also give you some ideas of music to check out.
So here's my list, in no particular order:
1. U2 - Boy - Not my favorite U2 album, but their first one and the one that got me hooked. Still love listening to this. Amazing how well it stands up nearly three decades later. I could probably pick a handful of albums from U2 that were important to me.
2. 16 Horsepower - Low Estate - this album introduced me to the band and is still my favorite. Solid, minor key, apocalyptic rock from David Eugene Edwards. Now I love all his stuff.
3. Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary - From first listen I was hooked and now I can't get enough of anything that Jeremy Enigk records.
4. The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft - speaking of Jeremy Enigk, this is a post-SDRE project that is just an amazingly listenable album.
5. The Clash - London Calling - one of my favorite albums of all-time. These guys showed that you can be punk and be relevant, all the while producing melodic rock with attitude.
6. Mark Heard - Second Hand - Hard to narrow down my choices here, but Heard was a genius. So sad that he left us "All Too Soon." His influence opened me up to a whole world of new artists.
7. Vigilantes of Love - The Killing Floor - speaking of Heard, he co-produced this album (with Peter Buck of R.E.M), which is why I checked this out in the first place. Folk-punk with a southern gothic flair. Still my favorite album from a band that was my favorite band at one time.
8. Dire Straits - Communique - This album is passed over by many, but I love the seriously laid back, mellow sound of this disc. And some seriously great songwriting.
9. Bruce Cockburn - Humans - I discovered Cockburn a few years before this album, but this one really struck a chord. Came at an important time in my life while I was in college. I still think this is his best effort; great songwriting and mostly acoustic, right before he started going a bit more electric. I'm not sure I've heard another album with lyrics that touch me as deeply.
10. Tonio K. - Rome Unchained - Not many people know this guy, but his music is amazing. This is a collection of some of the most witty and biting love songs, and all very catchy and singable.
11. Andy Pratt - Motives - I discovered this guy/album while listening to my college radio station. The first time I heard it I was sucked in. Quirky piano pop with some great songwriting. I think he was at the top of his game on this one.
12. T-Bone Burnett - Proof Thru the Night - First discovered T-Bone when he was with the Alpha Band. This is my favorite of his solo albums, and he proves that he is a brilliant storyteller.
13. Johnny Cash - American Recordings - I'm cheating here, because this is actually several albums, but I'd never really given Cash a chance until I heard this series of discs. I saw him in a whole new light and then went back and listened to his entire catalog. Wow.
14. The Violet Burning - The Violet Burning - Dark and dreamy with lots of guitars. Another album that just sucked me in from the first song.
15. Victoria Williams - Loose - For many, Vic's voice is an acquired taste, but I love it. And the cast she surrounded herself with for this album is amazing. I need to pull this one out more often.
16. R.E.M. - Document
17. Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
18. Yes - Fragile
19. Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!
20. The Police - Zenyatta Mondatta
21. Moby - Play
22. MuteMath - MuteMath
23. The Spirit That Guides Us - The Sand, The Barrier
24. Kelly Wingate - Are You Sleeping, Love?
25. Sufjan Stevens - Come On, Feel the Illinoise
26. Leslie/Sam Phillips - The Turning
27. Pedro the Lion - Control
And I could go on and on....
Post your list here. Feel free to tell us a little bit about some (or all) of them. And have fun!