From Fleetwood Mac To Kanye West, How Do Your Favorite Albums Compare To Ours?

Nov 15, 2013

This week, NPR's All Songs Considered released the results of polling conducted last year aimed at compiling a definitive list of the top ten most-loved albums of all time. Here's what they came up with:

Credit NPR

Top 10 Most-Loved Albums

1. The Beatles: Revolver
2. The Beatles: Abbey Road
3. Otis Redding: Otis Blue
4. Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue
5. Johnny Cash: Live At Folsom Prison
6. The Beatles: Rubber Soul
7. Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited
8. Marvin Gaye: What's Going On
9. Sam Cooke: Portrait Of A Legend
10. The Beatles: The White Album

The list and the compiled survey results (the complete set of which you can see here) got us talking about whether our own favorite albums made the cut and which we might add, or subtract.

Below are the thoughts of some of the WJCT team on the list, their top 10, and the the survey itself.

Jocelyn Enriquez, Vice President of Finance and CFO

I don’t know about a top 10, there too many to choose from, but the following would be in the running:

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) and Second Helping
  • Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  • Styx – Styx

Stan Cleiland, Vice President of Community Relations and Strategic Communications

I agree with some on the list, though I would place Rubber Soul a bit higher.

Like a lot of music fans, I was greatly influenced by the music of my youth, as well as those classic albums.

My college years coincided with the peak of the indie band scene, so it was a breath of fresh air to hear music that explored themes and styles so different from the "Top 40" tunes of the time.

  1. The Beatles – Revolver
  2. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
  3. Kirsty MacColl – Kite
  4. The Beatles – Rubber Soul
  5. Johnny Cash – Live at Folsom Prison
  6. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  7. 10,000 Maniacs – In My Tribe
  8. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
  9. The Smiths – Strangeways, Here We Come
  10. Iggy Pop – Lust for Life

Circe LeNoble, Grants and Community Relations Manager

This list clearly represents the opinions of people of a certain age and demographic. While I can agree with Revolver, Abbey Road, and Marvin Gaye, what about Born in the U.S.A., Thriller, or Like a Virgin?

Melissa Ross, host of First Coast Connect

That list frankly sucks. GLARING OMISSIONS:

  • The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
  • The Clash – London Calling
  • Radiohead – OK Computer
  • Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  • Peter Gabriel – So
  • Nick Drake – Bryter Later
  • The Who – Live at Leeds
  • Duran Duran – Rio
  • The Pretenders – Pretenders
  • Blondie – Parallel Lines

Amy Garrett, Development Coordinator

WOW, this was a hard one. I narrowed an initial list of 23 down to 10. I still don’t feel right leaving The Stooges, Os Mutantes, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, and Stevie Wonder off of the list, but at least they are firmly in the top 15.

  1. Elliott Smith – Either/Or
  2. Sebadoh – Harmacy
  3. The Pixies – Surfer Rosa
  4. Dolly Parton – Joshua
  5. Beck – Sea Change
  6. Broadcast – The Noise Made by People
  7. Nina Simone – ‘Nuff Said
  8. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico
  9. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  10. Built to Spill – The Normal Years

Sean Birch, producer First Coast Connect and Freestyle: A Mixtape with Al Letson

When I first looked at the list NPR had put together, I took it as meaning that these albums were “the best” or “the most influential”, but then I realized that that wasn’t the point at all.

This list is supposed to be the most loved. My list is supposed to be my most loved albums — my personal favorites, the ones I never get tired of, the ones I have a passion for and the ones that mean something to me. Here, in no particular order, is my list:

  • The Beatles – Abbey Road
  • The Beatles – Rubber Soul
  • Tom Petty – Wildflowers
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open
  • Harry Nilsson – The Point!
  • George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
  • The Radio Dept. – Lesser Matters
  • Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
  • Electric Light Orchestra – Flashback
  • The Ozark Mountain Daredevils – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

A few thoughts on the NPR list. First, it’s kind of odd that with the exception of Sam Cooke’s Portrait Of A Legend (which is a compilation) none of the albums are newer than 1972. While I realize that my list is pretty much in the same boat, I can think of many more recent (and diverse) albums that are great.

Second, basically all of those albums regularly appear on “best of” lists, so I wonder if people answering the survey were more influenced by what other people thought of the albums than how they themselves felt.

Sam Farmer, Associate Producer

  • The Police – Reggatta de Blanc
  • Tool – Lateralus
  • Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring
  • Pink Floyd – Animals
  • Genesis – Selling England by the Pound
  • Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
  • The Mars Volta – Deloused in the Comatorium
  • Jane's Addiction – Nothing Shocking
  • Depeche Mode – Ultra
  • Dillinger Escape Plan – Ire Works

I'd be curious to know the average age of the All Songs Considered poll participants. I was quite surprised by the poll results. Predictably, The Beatles are (over) represented but no Rolling Stones? Pink Floyd? Led Zeppelin? Michael Jackson?! The tie for "Best Decade" gives us a clue: A tie between the 1950s and 1960s.

The results are very baby boomer-oriented. I suppose Generations X and Y are busy skewing Buzzfeed polls, otherwise, The Knife, XTC, and Fugazi definitely wouldn't have made the "Least-Heard" list.

Brian Castellani, newsroom volunteer

10 Most-Loved (For Now)

  1. Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
  2. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  3. Massive Attack – Protection
  4. Radiohead – In Rainbows
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV
  6. Fleet Foxes – Summer and Autumn 2007
  7. Eddie Vedder – Into the Wild
  8. The Duke Spirit – Neptune
  9. Peter Murphy – Deep
  10. Sigur Ros – Hvarf Disc 1

Andrew Wiechman, Continuity Coordinator and host of Blues Horizon

  1. The Beatles – Revolver
  2. The Who – Who’s Next
  3. Cream – Wheels of Fire
  4. Yes – The Yes Album
  5. Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
  6. Chicago – Chicago Transit Authority
  7. The Beatles – Help
  8. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
  9. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
  10. 10,000 Maniacs – Unplugged

It’s difficult to call NPR’s list definitive. However, it’s interesting and refreshing to see an innovative album like Revolver top a list of “most loved” albums.

Some have commented about how the majority of the albums on the list are from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Perhaps musicians like The Beatles, who have three albums from the second half of their career on the list, were given the time and the room to develop their craft over a series of releases rather than only having one or two albums before their careers were overcome by record company interests.

It is also refreshing to see such a variety of musical tastes across this list.

Patrick Donges, Digital Content Editor

The overall lack of musical diversity on this list isn't surprising, but it is disappointing. I would've liked to have seen some hip-hop, hard rock, pop, even disco.

One of the interesting discussions this brought up in the office is the idea that the album itself has lsot favor over the last few decades with the rising prevalence of digital distribution and single track releases. Many artists, especially EDM artists or groups, don't even put out a debut album anymore, relying solely on singles selling online.

That said, here is a selection of my most-loved albums:

  • At The Drive-In – Relationship of Command
  • Rage Against The Machine – Rage Against the Machine
  • Girl Talk – Feed the Animals
  • Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • Weezer – Weezer (Blue)
  • Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
  • Various Artists – Jonny Greenwood is the Controller
  • Daft Punk – Discovery
  • MF Doom – Mm.. Food
  • Van Halen – Van Halen

Karen Feagins, Programming and News Director

I'm fully prepared for this to be the most "uncool" list of the group.

I've always been more of a "mixtape" person, so there aren't many albums I listen to in full. My favorite albums include mostly anything by R.E.M (I could have filled my list, with one band, but I tried to spread the love) and a lot of my dad's music.

We never listened to current music when we were really little. In gymnastics growing up, my friends performed to Madonna while I choreographed my dance to "Windy" by The Association.

There's a lot of my dad's influence reflected in this list. The rest is mostly a soundtrack from my high school and college years. I'll give honorable mention to Free To Be You and Me by Marlo Thomas and Friends, and any compilation CD by David Luckin.

  • R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
  • Billy Joel – The Stranger
  • The Band – Music from Big Pink
  • Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast)
  • U2 – The Joshua Tree
  • Carole King – Tapestry
  • Bob Marley and the Wailers – Legend
  • Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen
  • Simon and Garfunkel – The Concert in Central Park
  • Various Artists – Good Will Hunting: Music From the Miramax Motion Picture

David Luckin, Music Director, host of Route 66 and Electro Lounge

Love the list, but no women in the top 10? No Joni Mitchell, or Carole King's Tapestry, one of the best selling albums in history.

No Elvis? Not even From Elvis in Memphis, or Elvis, his second album.

Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours, not on the list. Is it a crime ? Maybe not, but a misdemeanor to be sure.

No Bob Marley? Time Magazine declared Exodus the "Album of the Century" while Legend has been on the Billboard Top 200 charts for decades! No Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, Springsteen or James Taylor?

Nice to see a few of these musicians made the lists for the other surveys.

I bought Revolver in a corner grocery store in Rochester, New York for $2.95, in mono, in 1966 and I still rate it one of the best albums of my lifetime.

What Are Yours?

We want to know what you think of the All Songs Considered list and our lists. What are your most-loved albums? Leave us a comment on Facebook, or Tweet us @WJCTJax and let us know.

You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter @patrickhdonges.