The Sergeant Pepper’s Pantheon of Awesome Albums

Late last night as I was about to drift off to sleep, my brain decided to screw me over, and said to me: “You know what you need to do? You need to make a list of all the albums you like that are in the pantheon of all the greatest albums ever, and you can’t put Sgt. Pepper’s in that list, because that’s like putting ‘The Godfather’ in a list of all-time greatest movies.”

I told my brain to shut up, because i needed sleep, but it wouldn’t listen. “You should call this list the “Sgt. Pepper Pantheon” so that you acknowledge the awesomeness of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And then, over the course of the next few weeks, you should occasionally list why you like them, as if you were a record reviewer.

Unable to shut my brain off, I started compiling a list in my head. And then did more at lunch.

(For you young’uns who only know listening to music as an iTunes one-click experience… albums are collections of songs that used to be laid down on plastic. The limits of the plastic limited how many songs you could put on a single album, unless you went “double album”, and then you had to fill two of those things. Some artists used to look at albums like a project, to either tell a story or explore a theme, or where creative energy just burst out of them. Before the age of CDs, people like me would have to listen to the whole album just to get to one particular song, and so developed a taste for specific albums where the songs, while not singles, were amazing nonetheless. An album full of hits is not necessarily a “great” album and a great album may not have many (or any) hits.)

So, without further ado, here is my list (in alphabetical order). Some of these you may know/like, others not. I will give little mini-reviews over time, because you people love reading my brain droppings.

The Sgt. Pepper Pantheon of Awesome Albums (alphabetically)

  • The Beastie Boys – Check Your Head
  • The Beatles – Revolver
  • Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
  • Cake – Motorcade of Generosity
  • The Clash – London Calling
  • The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
  • De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
  • Erasure – Chorus
  • Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  • George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1
  • Green Day – American Idiot
  • Ice T – O.G. Original Gangster
  • Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
  • Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule
  • Living Colour – Time’s Up
  • Max Q – Max Q
  • Midnight Oil – 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
  • Morrissey – Your Arsenal
  • Nick Drake – Pink Moon
  • Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
  • Paul Simon – Graceland
  • Pete Townsend – White City: A Novel
  • Phish – Billy Breathes
  • Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon *and* Wish You Were Here
  • Public Image Ltd. – Second Edition
  • R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant
  • Radiohead – OK Computer
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik
  • Rush – 2112
  • Seal – Seal
  • Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
  • Steve Winwood – Back in the High Life
  • The The – Mind Bomb
  • U2 – The Joshua Tree *and* All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
  • Weezer – Weezer (first album)
  • 24-7 Spyz – Harder than You

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