Favorite Albums For Every Year of My Life

Posted on 03/27/2017 in misc

Pile of Albums

My imaginary Internet friend Michele posted a list of her favorite albums from every year of her life to Facebook. I thought that it was a great idea and decided to spend a couple of hours earlier this week doing my list. Six hours spread over a few nights later...

The first album I ever wanted to own was Kiss Alive II. So everything before that on the list is adult Chris' opinion of his favorite albums released in the early years of his life. From 1978 on I tried to pick the album that I remember being my favorite at the time, with some additional notes if my opinions have changed dramatically since.

1967 - Sgt. Pepper - The Beatles
1968 - At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
1969 - Led Zepplin II
1970 - Led Zepplin III
1971 - Led Zepplin IV
1972 - Schools Out - Alice Cooper
1973 - The Beatles - The Red Album (1962-1966)
Yes, Dark Side of The Moon was released in 1973. It was the first CD I bought when I got a CD player for Christmas in 1985. Although I didn't own The Red Album in 1973, I did own it as a kid, maybe around 76 or 77 when I started taking an interest in music. And if I'm being honest, if I had to choose today, I'd rather listen to the early Beatles hits than Pink Floyd.

1974 - Elton John Greatest Hits
1975 - High Voltage - AC/DC
1976 - Chronicle Vol 1 - CCR
1977 - Kiss - Alive II
1978 - Van Halen - Van Halen
1979 - Cheap Trick at Budokan
1980 - Back in Black / Blizzard of Oz
This one is a little tricky, as I was actually listening to Back in Black in 1980. so it gets the win. However, Blizzard of Oz was one of the records that made me a metal head a couple of years later, so it gets an honorable mention.

1981 - Journey - Escape / Def Leppard - High N Dry
If I'm being honest, the album on my turntable the most in 1981 was Journey. The album I'd pick today as my favorite is High N Dry, which to my ear, is Def Leppard's best album.

1982 - Dawn Patrol - Night Ranger / Number of the Beast
I discovered Maiden with Piece of Mind so the record I was actually wearing out in 1982 was Night Ranger, which is still a great album. But I'd pick Maiden today.

1983 - Piece of Mind / Twisted Sister - You Can't Stop Rock N Roll / Pyromania
1983 was an amazing year for metal. The album I owned first from this list is Pyromania. I remember rocking out my bedroom with it when we lived in Utah. That summer we moved, and I visited a friend in FL for a week, where I was properly introduced to Ozzy and Iron Maiden, and I went full metal head at that point. So I guess Pyromania gets the nod then, Piece of Mind for sure is my favorite from this list today. Twisted Sister gets an honorable mention as none of my friends liked them, and they all made fun of me, until Stay Hungry came out the next year, and then they all wanted to borrow my back catalog.

1984 - Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Another amazing year for heavy metal, with way too many records to choose from. However the album I remember getting the most time in my boom box was Powerslave. We had moved to Kwaj and due to space constraints, I had started buying cassettes and not albums.

1985 - Dokken - Under Lock and Key
1986 - Tesla - Mechanical Resonance
1987 - Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction
1988 - Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
1989 - Mystery Road - Drivin N Cryin
I graduated from college in 89 and moved to Atlanta to start adulting. As part of that change I made a concerted effort to grow out of metal. Ultimately I learned to embrace my taste in music, but for most of the 90s I was sort of a closet metal fan, pulling out the old 80s metal records only on occasion.

1990 - Empire - Queensryche
Queensryche was progressive metal, so it was OK to like them, even in the 90s.

1991 - Drivin N Cryin - Fly Me Courageous
1992 - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion - Black Crowes
1993 - Perfectly Good Guitar - John Hiatt
1994 - Cracked Rear View - Hootie & The Blowfish / Tesla - Bust A Nut
My first kid was born early in 1994, and for the next bunch of years the music world became a low priority thing. Many of the albums in the next 8 or so years are things I discovered well after their release, as I came back into music fandom as the kids got older. If I'm being honest about what was on the stereo in 1994, it was Hootie. Today I'd pick Tesla, which has been one of my very favorite bands since their debut in 1986.

1995 - Wrapped in Sky - Drivin N Cryin
1996 - Superfrag - Regretfully Yours
1997 - Blue Moon Swamp - John Fogerty
1998 - Hey! Album - Marvelous 3
1999 - The Battle of Los Angeles - Rage Against The Machine
2000 - Ready, Sex, Go - Marvelous 3
2001 - Southern Rock Opera - Drive By Truckers
2002 - I Think We're Gonna Be Alright - Rob Russell and the Sore Losers
2002 is the year I got broadband, and started exploring the world of online music. I was on an email list for a roots rock focused record store in Kansas (I think) and they described Rob Russell as "John Mellencamp fronting The Replacements." I bought the CD just based on that description, and it's been in heavy rotation in my life every since.

2003 - Electric Version - The New Pornographers
2004 - Letters - Butch Walker
2005 - Lucky On The Side - RRSL / The Fifth of July - Watershed I just can't pick one of these. Both get played a lot, although RRSL I bought pre-release, and Watershed I just discovered on reading Joe Oestreich's book a few years ago.

2006 - The Fags - Light Em Up
2007 - Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust II - Watershed
2008 - Sycamore Meadows - Butch Walker
2009 - The Great American Bubble Factory - Drivin N Cryin
2010 - I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart - Butch Walker
2011 - The Spade - Butch Walker
2012 - Brick & Mortar - Watershed
2013 - The Way Life Goes - Tom Keifer
2014 - Simplicity - Tesla
2015 - Iron Maiden - The Book of Souls
2016 - Stay Gold - Butch Walker
2017 - Dan Baird - So Low
So far, lots of 2017 to go.

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