The Onion AV Club, and then my friend Jamie, did a feature where the writer chose their favorite album for each year since they were born. Jamie included the Indigo Girls, and I just can't really get my head around that. Here's my attempt, and this post is going to take me like 2 hours to compose and it will take you 30 seconds to read.
I was born in 1981: ChangesTwoBowie by David Bowie.
So far so good, Jamie and I agree. Well, she's older than me, but 1981 is the same.
1982- Thriller - Michael Jackson. This is of course, the best selling album of all time. Jamie picked Peter Gabriel. I would be shocked to learn that she actually owns any Peter Gabriel.
1983- Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes. Violent Femmes are a band that I have loved for a long time, and I have yet to add them to my list of bands that I have seen live. I love this album, and I still listen to it regularly. "Kiss Off" and "Add It Up" are two of my all time favorite songs. Jamie went with U2 here. I think that's acceptable. She just made my friend Jose "super U2 fan!" Araguz very happy.
1984- In many ways I want to give 1984 to Prince and Purple Rain In reality though my choice is U2 with The Unforgettable Fire which is easily my favorite U2 album. One time in high school I was in my room listening to this album when a girl I was sort of into called. I answered and she said, "Are you listening to U2?" "Uhh, yah, A Sort of Homecoming," I responded. Unfortunately, or fortunately, that was the deepest connection we ever made.
Jamie went with Depeche Mode. Now that's a sexy pick!
1985- Dare to Be Stupid- "Weird" Al Yankovic. I've met the man, I've watched UHF with him, and up until about 2000 I owned his entire catalog. This one is my favorite.
Jamie went with Jethro Tull, I am not making this up.
1986- They Might Be Giants- They Might Be Giants. I have seen TMBG twice and the shows were 12 years apart. I made a mixtape recently and I included the opening track from this album, "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" Jamie on the other hand gave 1986 to Bon Jovi, I guess she's just livin' on a prayer or something.
Last week I went to a volunteer meeting at the Vera Project. The ice breaker question was, "What's the most embarrassing song on your mp3 player?" The age of the volunteers ranges from high school aged to 50+ year olds and one of the younger volunteers said, "I have some They Might Be Giants. They are really weird, I don't know how to explain them." My answer to this question? Sublime.
1987- REM and U2 both put out classic albums this year. Jamie's choice was The Joshua Tree, and I think that's an excellent choice. Of all of the albums released this year there is one that I still listen to on a regular basis and it's Sonic Youth's Sister which also might be my favorite Sonic Youth release ever. Opening track, "Schizophrenia" is easily my favorite Sonic Youth song.
Props to Rick Ramos for giving me my first copy of Sister!
1988- What a year! Honorable mentions to: Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, REM's Green, and Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking- which was in fact Jamie's pick for this year. My choice for this year is of course, The Pixies' Surfer Rosa which is one of my favorite albums of all time.
1989- This is the year where Jamie went with the Indigo Girls, but she also chose The Cure. That's right, she cheated and made two picks. Tsk tsk. Indigo Girls? Why didn't she just go with Electric Youth then?
My pick, after considering giving it to The Pixies' Doolittle(which is the first Pixies album I ever bought) is none other than The Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique which has something like 105 samples on it. You can not afford to make an album like this today. This release is an enigma unto itself.
1990- Who would have guessed that They Might Be Giants would be the first band to take two spots on this blog? Earlier this year I was listening to Flood and I was shocked, shocked I say!, that the opening track said, "A brand new album, for 1990," I remember playing pool in Brett Martin's basement and listening to it on cassette. Easily the best They Might Be Giants album, everyone should have this, and it should be added to Rock Band immediately.
Jamie picked The Soup Dragons who I think made one song that I have ever heard of. It's a good song though.
1991- If I could paraphrase Gza, the Genius for a moment: This is the year that everything changed. Jamie and I agree on this year, Pearl Jam's Ten runs away with this year. In May Smashing Pumpkins Gish came out, Pearl Jam came out in August, and then in September Nirvana's Nevermind was released. Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands of all time.
1992- Alice in Chains' Dirt There was a period of several years in the '90's when I was really into Alice in Chains. I probably listened to "Rooster" everyday for this entire period.
Jamie picked Tori Amos, which I think is fine. I've always liked Tori, but I've never gotten into her. With the exception of the song, "Cornflake Girl" which my future band will certainly cover.
1993- This was my toughest choice yet. Siamese Dream of course has the song, "Today" which is a song that really marked a change in what, and how, I listened to. Then of course there is In Utero, but I am quite certain that the one album released in 1993 that I have listened to the most, and still continue to listen to today, is Bjork's Debut.
Jamie picked the first Counting Crows album. Which I do not really listen to anymore, but historically I have listened to it a metric fuckton of times. Jamie is still living in the past, and it's evident by this choice.
Just kidding Jamie, I love you.
1994- Weezer's Blue Album. Weezer means so much to me. This album means so much to me. The first time I went to a show without adult supervision was on the tour for this album. My older brother let me tag along. I'm going to write more about this in the future as I attempt to review their latest release, aka- The Red Album. Jamie and I agree again on this year! Which is good, because it's a goddamned fantastic album people!
1995- Jamie and I met because of Jewel. Jamie went ahead and picked, Pieces of You and made a sidebar about how she hates Jewel now but how she loved her then. It's adorable really. I don't know the last time I listened to POY, so I can not choose the album that sold almost 12 million copies. It was also hard not to pick Radiohead's The Bends. My choice for 1995 is none other than Oasis- (What's the Story)Morning Glory? I still listen to this regularly and I still play, "Don't Look Back in Anger" whenever I notice it on a jukebox.
1996- A year that brought both my favorite Modest Mouse album and my favorite Pearl Jam. Neither one gets the top spot though, and Jamie and I agree again with Weezer's Pinkerton. Another concert that I saw with my brother. It's also the best concert I have ever been to. Look for more on this in the upcoming Weezer article.
1997- Built to Spill- Perfect From Now On In an effort of full disclosure I should inform you that I have this album title tattooed on my chest. This September Built to Spill is playing this album in it's entirety here in Seattle. I already have my ticket.
Jamie picked Radiohead's OK Computer She then added, "god, music is AWESOME." It sure is Jamie, it sure is.
1998- Neutral Milk Hotel- In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Jamie picked Patty Griffin, which is a choice that I just find bland. Honorable mention to Bright Eyes' Letting Off the Happiness
1999- The Flamin Lips' The Soft Bulletin narrowly beats out Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's I See a Darkness who's title track was covered by Johnny Cash.
Jamie went with Fiona Apple's Long Ass Title which is an album which I have honestly never really listened to even though I have her albums that were released before and after this one.
2000- We agree again! The Weakerthans- Left and Leaving This is an album so great that it beats out Bright Eyes' Fevers and Mirrors which is a fucking fantastic album in itself. I introduced Jamie to both of those bands, she's forever in debt to me now.
2001- I was slowly narrowing down my choices from Gorillaz, Weezer, and the White Stripes when I realized that Rilo Kiley's Take-Offs and Landings came out this year. A couple nights ago my friend Lauren and I were drinking Strongbow and singing Rilo Kiley songs. She turned to me and asked which of their songs is my favorite, and without missing a beat I said, "Pictures of Success."
Jamie's choice is a Jason Mraz live album, then she mentioned something about it being before he "sold out." I have listened to two Jason Mraz songs in my life, that I am aware of. Color me not impressed.
2002- For this year I have to give a special shout out to Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot The last time I was in Chicago I took a picture of Marina City and called it, "The Yankee Hotel Foxtrot buildings!"
Jamie and I agree again. The summer of 2002 I preordered the Bright Eyes album Lifted, or the Story's In the Soil Keep Your Ear to the Ground. It arrived just a few days before my birthday. I remember the first time I listened to it, I was in my car and it was raining. I was driving to a party at the Crackside apartments in Boulder, CO. This is the best album from my favorite band.
2003- Dearest Jamie, Thank you so much for not picking the Shins. Love always, Jon
Jamie picked Deathcab for Cutie's Transatlanticism. I would one up her and rank The Postal Service- Give Up ahead of that. The real question for this year though:
Who do I love more Karen O or Jack White? Well today it's Jack White,
The White Stripes- Elephant Jack White sidebar- I bought the first Raconteurs album without hearing a track or reading a review. I saw an ad that informed me that Jack White was in a full band. I bought the album an hour or so later. Maybe 12 hours later I bought tickets to see them play in Denver. Jack White makes me go all crazy like.
2004- The Arcade Fire's Funeral is the obvious number 1 for 2004. It continues to be an album that I listen to regularly, and I always mention it to people whenever I get asked for a recommendation on "newer music," which happens often.
Jamie went with More Adventurous from Rilo Kiley. Which is excellent, and it kind of hurts my head to think that it's already 4 years old.
2005- Jamie and I are in agreement yet again. This time Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning Honorable mentions to - Wolf Parade and Sufjian Stevens. And maybe also to The New Pornographers and the Mountain Goats.
2006- TV On the Radio's Return to Cookie Mountain is the runaway winner. This is another recommendation that I dole out to anyone who is looking for newer music. Jamie went all super obscure on us here and chose The Format's Dog Problems which is an album with an awesome title track and great packaging, but I still couldn't bring myself to pay $7 for it in the used bin at Sonic Boom last month.
2007- Jamie is one after my heart by picking yet another Bright Eyes album, this time it's Cassadaga which would probably be second, or third at worst on my list for 2007. The obvious choice for me is Spoon with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Honorable mentions to Animal Collective and the Arcade Fire.
2008- Jamie already picked one. I don't think that I am going to. She went with In Rainbows which will not be my pick.
So far this year I really like She&Him, Wolf Parade, Vampire Weekend, the Mountain Goats, and my favorite release so far this year just may be Tokyo Police Club's Saddle Creek debut, Elephant Shell.
So there you have it. This took even longer than I thought it would. Perhaps it will take you longer than 30 seconds to read it now.
Let me know if you think I left anything out that needs to be mentioned.