Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd (1975)

Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (1975)

It’s interesting to hear the band swap out their infamous emotional coldness for a more warm, human sound, like on my favorite Pink Floyd song, the touching and adorable title track (David Gilmour singing along with the guitar solo during the fadeout always makes me smile) and the space-blues Shine on You Crazy Diamond, both effective elegies to founding band member Syd Barrett. Meanwhile, Welcome to the Machine and Have a Cigar (the weakest song here, but it would be the best on a lot of other albums) are fantastic attacks on the music industry. The ultimate Pink Floyd experience.

Choice Cut: Wish You Were Here
Buy Album: Amazon (MP3 · CD · Vinyl) · iTunes MP3

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Station to Station – David Bowie (1976)

Station to Station - David Bowie (1976)

The utterly brilliant product of a man so blitzed on cocaine that he doesn’t even remember recording it. Bowie had successfully killed off his most popular creation for good, replacing Ziggy Stardust with some grotesque creature called “The Thin White Duke.” If you ask five Bowie fans what their favorite Bowie record is, you’re gonna get five different answers. This is my pick. Blending suave disco and pop (Golden Years, Stay) with avant-garde awesomeness (the title track, TVC 15), Bowie makes his best record – which would make this head and shoulders above most other albums.

Choice Cut: Station to Station
Buy Album: Amazon (MP3 · CD · Vinyl) · iTunes MP3

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles (1967)

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles (1967)

Genres
Rock, Pop

Choice Cut
With a Little Help From My Friends

Buy Album
Amazon CD

There’s a reason Rolling Stone named this album the best of all time, and it is pretty apparent if you sit down to listen to it.  This album is not my personal favorite or even in my top 10. However, this album is worthy of being the best of the best.  The production is amazing especially given the limitations of a four track tape. That is why this album is the best in existence.  There has been more complex music since then, but no one could do what the Beatles did, when they did it.

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Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allen Poe – The Alan Parsons Project (1976)

Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allen Poe - The Alan Parsons Project (1976)

Genres
Rock

Choice Cut
The Raven

Buy Album
Amazon MP3 · Amazon CD

It was three in the morning and I was playing Mario Kart with Finney when I asked, “if I want to get into prog rock, what do I start with?”   He knew me too well, and said,“you probably want some underground stuff.” Then he played this album.  It did not disappoint.  This album combines reworked Edgar Allen Poe pieces and dynamic instrumentation for one hell of a ride through a land of Gothic stories, layered on top of synthesizers, guitars, drums, and bass.  There are always albums out there that will expand your mind. This is one of them.

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