I know this wall well. I’ve chosen these ten albums because they form my barrier to the outside world while I’m writing. They enhance my hypnotized state of creation. There are no Beatles albums, although I love The White Album, and many, many of their songs, or any albums from Elvis Presley (and he was my mom’s favorite rocker along with everyone who released a Motown record), Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Eurythmics, Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne, ABBA, and The Eagles. My generation grew up playing their music. I love listening to current music but I’m saving those picks for another day.
This List also does not include many other favorite albums. Blondie’s Eat The Beat just missed a spot at #11. Florence + The Machine’s Lungs album is a revelation. Paul Simon’s Graceland: Wow. Bob Marley’s Uprising. Bruce Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love. The Roots created the awe-inspiring Phrenology. Aimee Mann’s Bachelor No. 2 captivated a Hollywood director, and she earned an Oscar nomination for Best Song. Patty Griffin’s Flaming Red told riveting tales of hurt and hope while Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads boldly faced darkness. Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road cannot be topped by many other kicking country or rock artists…but I had to limit myself to the ten I keep hearing even when the room is silent. My Top 10 List of Favorite Albums That Help Me Create:
London Calling: The Clash (hands down the best album of all time)
Avalon: Roxy Music (There is a majestic sweep to the sound and vision Roxy Music created. Bryan Ferry’s new solo album, Olympia, sounds like the album Roxy Music should’ve made after Avalon - it’s worth searching out!)
The Dreaming: Kate Bush (One of the most iconic singers of the past 30+ years. Most people love Hounds of Love better, but I listen to her dreaming-state album again and again without it ever growing old.)
The Marshall Mathers LP: Eminem (The 2nd album by the Michigan artist and his intricate wordplay always inspires me.)
Interiors: Rosanne Cash (She writes songs, short fiction, & creates worlds of longing that rank with the very best. We all Dance With The Tiger.)
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