Geeky list time: Pick an album for every year you've been alive
Here's something I saw recently on Idolator that's apparently been making the blog rounds lately: You're supposed to pick a favorite album for each year you've been alive. You can pick a record based on what you like now, or what you would have picked that year assuming you were old enough to care. It sounds simple, but this damn list pretty much dominated my spare thoughts all of July 4th weekend. Now, hopefully, it will speed along the dreaded post-holiday-weekend Monday.
My list of favorites, which I'm sure will be completely different if I ever do this again, is below. Obviously some years are stronger than others. 1981 yielded few familiar faces after scanning Wikipedia's handy list of records released that year, which is how my fourth or fifth favorite U2 record (with my least favorite U2 record cover) ended up being the representative pick. Other years were a virtual blood bath of musical awesomeness. The strongest years in my personal canon ended up being 1987, 1994, 1997, and 2002. The strongest of the bunch was probably '94–big favorites like Bee Thousand, Illmatic, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Ready To Die, Weezer, Wildflowers, Purple, Welcome To Sky Valley, Twice Removed, Amorica, and There's Nothing Wrong With Love all vied for the same spot, making this year my personal equivalent to the 2008 NBA Western Conference.
So, feel free to pick my list apart. Or, better, make your own list!
1977: Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
1978: Talking Heads, More Songs About Buildings And Food
1979: Cheap Trick, At Budokan
1980: Elvis Costello And The Attractions, Get Happy!!
1981: U2, October
1982: Michael Jackson, Thriller
1983: Def Leppard, Pyromania
1984: Bruce Springsteen, Born In The U.S.A.
1985: The Replacements, Tim
1986: XTC, Skylarking
1987: Bruce Springsteen, Tunnel Of Love
1988: Jane's Addiction, Nothing's Shocking
1989: Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever
1990: The Black Crowes, Shake Your Money Maker
1991: U2, Achtung Baby
1992: Dr. Dre, The Chronic
1993: Nirvana, In Utero
1994: Oasis, Definitely Maybe
1995: Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes
1996: Weezer, Pinkerton
1997: Bob Dylan, Time Out Of Mind
1998: Air, Moon Safari
1999: Wilco, Summer Teeth
2000: Outkast, Stankonia
2001: Guided By Voices, Isolation Drills
2002: Queens Of The Stone Age, Songs For The Deaf
2003: Fountains Of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers
2004: The Killers, Hot Fuss
2005: The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
2006: Todd Snider, The Devil You Know
2007: Radiohead, In Rainbows
2008: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark