Ann’s recent blog post is one of those blog memes you see from time to time: “If you could pick only five albums to listen to for eternity, what would they be?” I’m going to define “album” thusly: one (1) complete recording, maximum of 72 minutes in length, distributed in the form of a single cassette, vinyl album, or compact disc.
So, no cheating and pulling out dual-disc “albums”, unless you want to pay two slots for it. This is extremely difficult. I am one of those people that walks around with a soundtrack in my head, but this contest isn’t about choosing 360 minutes of music, it’s about choosing 5 *albums*; there’s a significant difference. I consider albums to be a superset art – assembling an album isn’t just a matter of choosing 10-20 good songs, it’s about building a collection that is more than the sum of its parts. At the same time, if I’m stuck for eternity with only 5 albums, I can’t necessarily pick the best albums, because there are songs I must have. So, here’s mine, no particular order, with reasoning:
(1) City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra: Walter Weller Conductor – Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies, Vol 1, CD 2 – (Symphony No 2 in D Major, No 5 in C Minor)
(2) Rush – Moving Pictures
(3) Assorted Motown Artists: Saturday Night Downtown, Disc (not sure, I’ll have to update this post when I can look at the playlists)
(4) Midnight Oil – Red Sails in the Sunset
(5) The Beatles – Abbey Road
Abbey Road because we must have some Beatles. Every time I hear “Oh Darling” or “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, I wish that I could sing this goddamn song as well as Paul /John does, because I would love to be able to sing it to my wife* in something other than my horrid singing voice. Red Sails because it is tied to a great number of memories in my head of my early teenage years. Not sure if the Birmingham recording is the best of Beethoven’s 5th, but it’s the one I have and I must have Beethoven’s 5th. Not only is this required in and of its own right, but several of my favorite memories of my father have this recording as the soundtrack, and I should miss the clarity of recollection that comes with the music itself. Saturday Night Downtown for similar reasons -> I must have some Motown, and this album has a number of associations with my mother that I would like to keep alive. Moving Pictures because we must have some Rush.
* – not implying that she’s planning on leaving me 🙂