I was thinking about asking anyone who reads to post their favorite albums. Not favorite artists or songs, but favorite entire albums. Those albums that hold together thematically and musically and need to be heard as one. Those albums that stand the test of time and still deserve to be played and heard.
As I was imaginging this in my head, I started thinking about my own musical progression. I thought I would start there.
I grew up in a small town in western Colorado. I have two older brothers who were very influential on much of my development. My middle brother is very musical and taught me a lot about the guitar, but my older brother has great appreciation for music and really values good songwriting. And he also values albums as works of art. I still remember him putting two different albums on the turntable: Emmylou Harris' Pieces of the Sky and Dan Fogelberg's Souvenirs. (Say what you will about Fogelberg, his early stuff is good. It isn't until later that his music turned maudlin and annoying--"Leader of the Band" and stuff like that).
Having an older brother can be handy. It was convenient musically for me. While my friends were listening to Abba (and I did too--we were all young and stupid at one point), my brother had me listening to Pure Prairie League, Emmylou, Fleetwood Mac and even some Dylan.
So, for my first favorite album, I will name Pure Prairie League's Bustin Out. Famous for their one big hit--"Amie"--this album has a lot of well-written songs; "Boulder Skies," "Early Morning Riser" and others. It was a big hit in Colorado.
Those are the rules: has to be a good album that you like to listen to as an album (doesn't mean you like every song, but overall has more good songs than bad); has to have some kind of thematic sense to it (completely subjective, I know); has to stand some test of time (we all know how albums can fade); and can't be a live album (we will do those next).
For my next album, I hope to take my musical evolution out of the 70s. It was a bumpy ride--April Wine, Triumph, Def Lepard, and Van Halen, to just name a few.