A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
Here’s my matrix of the most important years in music for the last 4 decades:
- 2010s: 2015 (so far)
- 2000s: 2002
- 1990s: 1998
- 1980: 1987
The years adjacent to the ones listed are also pretty pivotal, which is the case for 1999. The list doesn’t change much, but a lot of great music came out that year.
- NUMBER GIRL, SCHOOL GIRL DISTORTIONAL ADDICT
- Shiina Ringo, Muzai Moratorium
- Utada Hikaru, First Love
- ACO, absolute ego
- Nina Hynes, Creation
- SUPERCAR, Jump Up
- The Flaming Lips, The Soft Bulletin
- Port of Notes, Complain Too Much
- Mandy Barnett, I’ve Got a Right to Cry
- The Kiss Offs, Goodbye Private Life
Other favorites from the year:
- L’Arc~en~Ciel, ray
- Jordan Knight, Jordan Knight
- eX-Girl, Kero! Kero! Kero!
- NUMBER GIRL, DESTRUCTION BABY
- OBLIVION DUST, Reborn
- UA, turbo
- Moby, Play
- Maná, MTV Unplugged
- Dr.StrangeLove, Twin Suns
- The Roots, Things Fall Apart
- Fantastic Plastic Machine, Luxury
- Asylum Street Spankers, Hot Lunch
- Café Tacuba, Revés/Yo Soy
A retrospective addition of SUPERCAR bumps L’arc~en~Ciel to the extended list. Futurama was the first SUPERCAR album I owned, and I liked it so much, I was hesitant to explore the band’s early work, out of fear it wouldn’t live up.
As it turns out, Futurama was the last of SUPERCAR’s great albums. The first two albums are classics in their own right. I’ve yet to dig into Ookeah! and Ooyeah!
I’ve only added Moby, The Roots and Fantastic Plastic Machine to the extended list, but albums by Wilco, Rage Against the Machine, Built to Spill and Mos Def could have made it on there. I just wanted to avoid the kind of crowding we saw in 2002 and 2003.
Tags: aco, asylum street spankers, cafe tacuba, dr strangelove, ex-girl, fantastic plastic machine, favorite edition, jordan knight, l'arc-en-ciel, mana, mandy barnett, moby, nina hynes, number girl, oblivion dust, port of notes, rewind, shiina ringo, supercar, the flaming lips, the kiss offs, the roots, ua, utada hikaru
I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.
Labor Day sales at thrift stores are a dangerous combination.
- Blood Orange, Negro Swan
- Troye Sivan, Bloom
- Molotov, MTV Unplugged: El Disconecte
- Santigold, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions
- Anonymous 4, Love’s Illusion
- Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend
- Boris, Akuma no Uta
- Edgard Varèse, The Complete Works
- Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
- Giovanni Palestrina, Palestrina Masses (Tallis Scholars)
- Iron and Wine, Around the Well
- Jayne Cortez, Everywhere Drums
- John Coltrane, Soultrane
- Joni Mitchell, Hejira
- Loretta Lynn, Country Music Hall of Fame
- McCoy Tyner, Echoes of a Friend
- Midnight Oil, Scream In Blue
- Miles Davis, Sketches of Spain
- Moby, Everything Is Wrong
- Semisonic, All About Chemistry
- The Books, The Lemon of Pink
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Axis: Bold as Love
- Various Artists, If I Were a Carpenter
- Various Composers, la Quinta essentia (Huelgas-Ensemble)
- Various Composers, Musica Nova (Consort Veneto)
- Vivian Green, A Love Story
- Bananarama, True Confessions
- Giovanni Palestrina, Missa “De Beata Virgine” (Chorus “Jeunesses Musicales”)
- Madonna, You Can Dance
- Rupert Holmes, Partners in Crime
Tags: anonymous 4, bananarama, blood orange, bob marley, edgard varese, fleet foxes, giovanni palestrina, iron and wine, jayne cortez, jimi hendrix, john coltrane, joni mitchell, loretta lynn, mccoy tyner, midnight oil, miles davis, moby, molotov, purchase log, rupert holmes, santigold, semisonic, the books, troye sivan, various artists, various composers, vivian green
Why should I be surprised the vinyl bug that bit me hard in 2013 has expanded its scope to include reissues never released on vinyl? It’s because I’ve already back-filled my pre-owned collection, and I still can’t get enough. Record Store Day doesn’t make it any easier.
Guided By Voices, Please Be Honest, April 22
Back again? Oh, it’s another configuration.
Dolly Parton / Emmylou Harris / Linda Ronstadt, Complete Trio Collection, Sept. 9
Finally! This reissue was rumored to be available back in October 2015, on the same day as Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 4. Now it’s turned into a bigger deal, with simultaneous vinyl releases.
Lin-Manuel Miranada, Hamilton, April 15
This musical is more than two-hours long. I don’t think it’s all going to fit on two LPs.
Sonic Youth, Murray Street, April 22
I remember this album getting overplayed on the Waterloo Records in-store stereo system. I think it’s why I sold it for cash after a few years.
Rufus Wainwright, Poses, May 6
I didn’t like Rufus Wainwright at first. His nasal voice is an acquired taste, but the writing on Poses won me over, and I’ve been a fan ever since. This album appears on vinyl for the first time.
Moby, Play, May 13
I haven’t listened to this album in more than 15 years. I didn’t really need to because it wasn’t licensed to holy hell at the time.
Dolly Parton / Emmylou Harris / Linda Ronstadt, Trio II, Sept. 9
At the time this album was released, it seemed the trio couldn’t really give it a heavy promotional push. I remember one TV appearance where Linda Ronstadt lost it, and then everyone was back to boy bands and pop idols.
Record Store Day
Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball
Why limit this album to Record Store Day? Really, it should just be in print on vinyl. Period.
Clint Mansell / Kronos Quartet, Requiem for a Dream
I saw Requiem for a Dream with some friends during its theatrical release. I left the theater recognizing it was a good film. I just didn’t like it. I don’t own the soundtrack, and while I collect Kronos on vinyl when I can, I’m pretty ambivalent about this release.
Death Cab for Cutie, “Tractor Rape Chain / Black Sun”
I was nicely surprised by Death Cab for Cutie’s cover of “Bad Reputation” by Freedy Johnston. “Tractor Rape Chain” is also one my favorite Guided By Voices songs.
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, I Guess We’re a Fucking Surf Band After All
I have no doubts I won’t get my hands on this release, but I’m only interested in Savvy Show Stoppers. I hope at some point Yep Roc splits this box set into individual reissues.
Tags: clint mansell, death cab for cutie, dolly parton, emmylou harris, guided by voices, kronos quartet, lin-manuel miranda, linda ronstadt, looking ahead, moby, rufus wainwright, shadowy men on a shadowy planet, sonic youth