Music is wonderful. I consider myself a scholar in the area. You have your one hit wonders, as well as the genuises that laste and laste. I won’t get into the artist as much. That would take too long. But some albums are everlating in my heart. Meaning they will always have significance. Here are my top ten… subject to change upon memory of albums that have helped shape and make a big difference in my life. (In no particular order)
1. What’s Goin On – Marvin Gaye * Music and lyrics just as relevant today as they have ever been! An album too honest for the times and still underappreciated fully for the substance it contains.
2. Thats The Way of the World – Earth Wind & Fire * A mixture of grooves such as Shining Star and Happy Feelings. The title track along with Reasons are timeless classics. This album is music that covers our afro traditional roots along with complicated relational and interpersonal issues.
3. The Isley Brothers – The Heat Is On * I mean forget Fight The Power – I don’t have to even go there. But it has the Big Three on side 2: For The Love of You, Sensuality, & Make Me Say It Again Girl! I used to listen to these over and over again even as a little kid. Lots of black folk were conceived on that side of the album.
4. Journey – Escape * The first Rock and Roll album I bought. Journey introduced me to other groups like REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Rush, Genesis, Teg Nuggent, Led Zepplin etc. Don’t Stop Believing is still being played in bars all over the country. It may be sappy, but after a couple pops, your singing along too! “Strangers – waiting – Up and down the boulevard – their shadows searching in the niiiiight!”
5. Earl Klugh – Heart String *The first jazz album I bought. I credit Jeff M. an old friend I used to bus tables with for hipping me to this wonderful guitarist. We used to smoke the hippie lettuce while sitting in his car jamming this. I have this CD in my car right now as a matter of fact.
6. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall * I know for a lot of people it’s all about Thriller. Thats a great album and the sales records prove it. But without Off The Wall and it’s success at the hands of Quincy Jones, there would be no Thriller. The record exeutives didn’t think a jazz man could produce a pop album. Michael said he wouldn’t do the record unless “Q” was the man to produce it. Well when Mike spoke it was like EF Hutton. The rest is history!
7. Prince – 1999 * During the height of the competition of who was the King – be it Michael or Prince. Prince changed the game with this one. A double album with crazy stuff like D.M.S.R. and Lady Cab Driver. The bass line on Lady Cab Driver is one of the funkiest of all time.
8. Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key of Life * Still his best and most complete work in my opinion. Cut for cut this is a musical kaleidescope of rhythms and lyrics. A must have for any music fan.
9. Teena Marie – It Must Be Magie * Actually my second Teena Marie album. Irons In The Fire was the first. But with jams like Yes Indeed, (brilliant piano by Patrice Rushen) 365, Square Biz and Portugese Love… it was a wrap! A great album from a great artist. Go ahead Lady T!
10. Fred Hammond and Radical for Christ – The Inner Court * At first I didn’t get the excitement others felt for this former member of the gospel group Commissioned. His voice sort of irritated me. But the more I listened, the more I understood this brilliant artist who literally worships God through his music. Listening to this album is much more of an experience than anything related to normal entertainment. And when I sing along I find myself worshipping as well.
What are your favorites?