Albums To Listen To Any Time

A few days ago I wrote about movies that I could watch at the drop of a hat, even if I just happened to flip by it on cable, already half over. Thinking about music along similar lines, what albums are there that you can listen to any time, cover to cover?

I’m setting the bar high here. I’m not talking about albums that are OK, with three or four songs that became singles and you can sing along with, grouped with eight or nine other songs that you couldn’t care less about. For example, I like Brad Paisley a LOT, and his “American Saturday Night” album has seven songs in my “Favorites” play list. But that’s out of fifteen tracks. It’s a favorite album, a really great album – but it doesn’t make this list.

I’m talking about the albums where every single song (except for maybe one) is just freakin’ great, to the point where it should be a felony to listen to the songs out of order or in any way other than as an album because they just fit perfectly and when you hear one song finish you just know how it naturally leads into in the next song.

It’s not just a collection of songs – it’s an ALBUM! (No “Greatest Hits” or compilation albums allowed, that’s cheating.)

Yeah, I might have a few of those that I can think of. In no particular order, having flipped through the tens of thousands of songs (literally) filling my iTunes, I would offer these as fitting the bill:

  • End Of The Innocence (Don Henley)
  • Invisible Touch (Genesis)
  • We Can’t Dance (Genesis)
  • Tumbleweed Connection (Elton John)
  • Madman Across The Water (Elton John)
  • Flag (Yello)
  • Breakfast In America (Supertramp)
  • Hotel California (Eagles)
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
  • Dark Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd)
  • Theatre Is Evil (Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra)
  • Fly (Dixie Chicks)
  • Wide Open Spaces (Dixie Chicks)
  • Fragile (Yes)
  • Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Moody Blues)
  • Oxygene (Jean Michel Jarre)
  • Chronologie (Jean Michel Jarre)
  • Rendezvous (Jean Michel Jarre)
  • Abraxas (Santana)
  • “Woodstock” (Soundtrack)
  • “LoTR: Return Of The King” (Soundtrack)
  • Tommy (The Who)
  • Chicago Transit Authority (Chicago)
  • Chicago II (Chicago)
  • Chicago III (Chicago)
  • Graceland (Paul Simon)
  • Violator (Depeche Mode)
  • Life In The Foodchain (Tonio K)
  • Fresh Horses (Garth Brooks)
  • Who Needs Pictures? (Brad Paisley)
  • Part II (Brad Paisley)
  • Mud On The Tires (Brad Paisley)
  • Aqualung (Jethro Tull)
  • Thick As A Brick (Jethro Tull)
  • Diva (Anne Lennox)
  • Bat Out Of Hell (Meat Loaf)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (OCR – Andrew Lloyd Webber)
  • Phantom Of The Opera (OCR – Andrew Lloyd Webber)
  • Les Miserables (Complete Symphonic Recording)
  • Hybrid Theory (Linkin Park)
  • Meteora (Linkin Park)
  • Fogarty’s Cove (Stan Rogers)
  • Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)
  • IV (Led Zeppelin)
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
  • Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morissette)
  • Divine Intervention (Julia Ecklar)

Most of those are mainstream albums (well, OK, extra points if you recognize Yello or Tonio K, but if you don’t recognize Amanda Palmer, you must be new here and should click on that link ASAP), but my non-fannish readers may not recognize Julia Ecklar.

Remind me to talk about filk music one of these days…

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