Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Things are nice and boring here in Afghanistan...and I've been thinking about music.

I show up every day plug in my ipod and work the day away with my own little soundtrack playing in the backgroud. After work, I hit the gym and plug in again while I spend some much needed time on the elliptical.

I spoke to my nephew, Henry, the other night. He is always listening to music now and very interested in exploring new music and trying out new stuff. He was asking for recommendations and it got me thinking...

As the good uncle...with time on my hands...I started trying to make a list of the 10 albums that every kid should experience...albums/artists that have no expiration that really has legs and can span generations. Henry has a birthday coming up and I think it would be really amazing to get him music that has roots...history.

It's really difficult to pick 10 albums that span generations that could maybe appeal to kids today...

I immediately considered The White Album by the Beatles. It has has roots, but I don't think it "applies" or appeals to today's young people. Maybe I'll wait until Henry is 17, or older, to get him The White Album...there is a history that goes with the album that I don't think he is really interested in. I think he is exploring music that is fun to listen to, without all the other stuff.

Bob Marley: Legend. There is a good chance Henry's mom would shoot me dead if I got Henry a Bob Marley know, the whole Rastafarian thing. But from a musical experience point of view...Legend is a pretty great album. Lyrics are not is fun...different from the norm...worth experiencing.
Top 10 musical experience albums? Maybe.

When I was younger, Led Zepplin II was an album that really showed me what different music could sound like...what music could be. I think prior to getting this album, the most cutting edge thing I had was Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. No offense to S&G lover's out there...but from a musical experience standpoint...I don't think their album makes the top 10. Back to Zepplin, though. Does it have legs to carry into appeal to younger audiences? I don't know that it does...but I'm not sure. I have it on my computer here, I may have to listen to the whole thing start to finish and see what I think.

Talking Heads...I'll definitely include one of their albums in my top 10 for Henry. Don't try to argue "roots" and "legs" and whether or not they were groundbreaking...I like them...I've liked them for years. One of the few personal musical constants in my life...they make the cut, end of story.

Beck to listen to, different from everything else...really great album from a guy always doing his own thing. My friend Tracey got me listening to Beck so many years ago. I haven't listened to Odelay in awhile, going to have to change that real soon. That could make the list...

Pink Floyd: Learning to Fly?
Nirvana: Unplugged?
Michael Jackson?
Flaming Lips?
Joe Satriani?

So I'm looking for that every kid now needs to experience...
Post here or send them to


  1. Roots and staying power...the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones (Sympathy for the Devil, 19th Nervous Breakdown) and Pink Floyd's THE WALL. How about a best of Woodstock to cover Jimi H, the Doors and everyone else?

  2. I agree that Beatles is a definite. How about REM's Document? A classic. He's probably too young for the Violent Femme's but that's always on my top 10 list. Mike would certainly put up a Cheap Trick album (but I'll let him respond). David Bowie ChangesOneBowe,U2, Ray Charles

    Ooh Ooh Travelling Wilbury's!!

    Let me know what you think and ultimately select. Fun project!

  3. Kevin, you are such a terrific uncle and this is the perfect gift idea for Henry. I know that he will completely listen to anything you select for him. Yesterday, he was telling me what songs he wanted to add to his itouch this weekend and two of them were "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Eye of the Tiger". I immediately got out my Duran Duran and it was so much fun to see him listen to some of my favorite songs. So, even those songs have staying power...This will be a fun project for you. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  4. Oh and one more thing...we were singing quite a bit of Bob Marley on vacation. "One love", among others. Henry even learned some reggae dance moves through the decades!

  5. Bob Marley ... perfect!

    How 'bout Elvis Costello ... has a good beat and you can dance to it.

    Flaming Lips - the Soft Bulletin couldn't possibly go old.

    I may be crazy but Katy Perry can't do anything wrong .. woot

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  7. Hmm, good question. There are a lot great artists that can span the gap, but most of the time their albums are just okay. So, if you are looking for whole albums that are good to listen to in their entirety, I would suggest (as others have):

    Best of The Doors
    The Traveling Wilburys
    CCR - The Chronicles
    Bjork - Debut
    Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
    U2 - Joshua Tree
    David Bowie

    Artists that haven't been mentioned yet that have great timeless singles but not necessarily good albums include:
    Lou Reed-
    Grateful Dead - What a Long Strange Trip It's Been
    Billy Joel - Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2
    Johnny Cash - The Legend
    The Police - Every Breath You Take
    The Steve Miller Band
    Bob Dylan
    The Boss- Greatest Hits
    Chris Isaak - pick one
    Derek & The Dominoes

    I agree Katy Perry's music is pretty catchy. Although, I prefer this cover of her song.