1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

As with all such lists, it is purely a matter of taste as to which 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die. Flipping though the dense and heavy tome I found that I had already listened to a good number of the 1001 Albums, but was shocked by the albums that I had never even heard of. I like to think of my taste is a bit eclectic and kind of with it-at least up until about 1985 when music took a hard turn which throw me into a ditch.

It should be possible to pack all 1001 albums onto an iPod and give them all a listen. I am not ambitious at the moment. I am content to look at the album cover photos and nod my head in agreement and occasional bafflement. On Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, for example, the author does not give Paradise by The Dashboard Light a must listen rating. Nor does the reviewer of Peter Gabriel’s So recommend listening to Big Time. So the judgment of these music experts is in serious question after that.

Still, the whole point is to broaden the mind and try something new, not just hear what has been played on the radio a million times. I was listening to a talk show one time which featured an old Rock and Roll Dj. A caller named his favorite song and ask why it was never, ever played on the radio. The Dj said that’s why you have a private record collection, so you can listen to your favorite songs. But I still the question was a good one-why are so few songs played on the radio? Satellite and Internet radio have pretty much put an end to that with stations devoted to every possible genre of music imaginable, but the normal over the air stuff is still the same old same old. Oh well.

My own Top Ten Albums would be mostly Beatles and a few New Wave titles tossed in to remind me of my glory days. The Beatles are different from every other group I have ever listened to, I want to head every single song on every album. Well, I can do without Revolution #9 and most of the odd tracks on the Anthology Discs, but all the rest is good stuff. This can’t be said of David Bowie, or Moby, or Nora Roberts, or Madonna, or even Jagged Little Pill-the last album I really thought was wonderful.

1001 Albums is a fun book, if for no other reason than to say, hey, I wouldn’t call that album a must listen to. The albums start in the 1950s and end in 2005. Musicals are notably missing, as are Classicals, and only a handful of Jazz and Blues albums make the cut. This might be subtitled 1001 Popular Albums You Have to Hear. Punk rock and heavy metal seem to get more than there fair share of slots on the list, with a lot of stuff that seems a bit fringe. And why does everything by Beck, Radiohead, and Leonard Cohen get high ratings? I might have to give a few of these albums a listen and see what all the fuss is about.

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in 1001 albums, best albums, book review, music review, pop music
6 comments on “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
  1. CHELLE says:

    That makes me wonder how many songs I’ve listened to – I’m sure it’s a lot! Sounds like a neat book!

    chelle itmightbelove.com

  2. DESCARTES says:

    Lots of cool stuff, like everything else in life, you can never get around to all of it.

  3. DR. JAY SW says:

    Honestly, while some of my favorite songs ever are by the Beatles (mostly by Lennon or Harrison), I rarely listen to one of their albums without skipping songs (mostly McCartney old-timey numbers or anything sung by Ringo). I never skip “Revolution #9,” however.


    Thumbed through it just this morning. Interesting book. Lots of albums I agree with, many more I do not. But the book is nothing if not interesting. It seems a premium is put on angst, aggression and rebellion. Yet pacifism and themes of peace also get high marks. Not enough emphasis on “fun”, which music should also be about, is given by the reviewers. All in all, you could die without owning this book.

  5. DAKOTA says:

    Leonard Cohen is simply Amazing, Radiohead has continued to redefine themselves throughout their career, and there are only three beck albums on there and if you compare odelay to sea change they sound like they were made by two completely different people. Really… go listen to sea change. Right now. And this coming from someone who doesn’t particularly like Beck.

    I have listened to 653 of these albums (only counting the albums I’ve listened to all the way through more than three times) and counting… I don’t agree with everything in the list but trust me if you work through this list giving everything a fair chance (hence my three listen theory)you start to really appreciate things you never thought you would.

  6. DESCARTES says:

    I have to agree that actually hearing something a few times can help you to appreciate it. I used to work at a place that played nothing but Alternative Music all day long, and I hated it. But after working there for three months-I found that I really liked most it and still give that radio station a listen once in a while.

    I will give Beck a listen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *