In our Vinyl Carolina group on Facebook we’re doing a “Top 20” theme for the end of 2022, where members can pick any kind of top 20 to post and share…be it all-time favorites or of a specific genre, artist, era etc.
I figured I’d also post my own top 20 here on the website…the top 20 all-time in my collection. Basically the 20 albums I would grab in case of fire, not based on value but on how much I like, listen, and connect with them as of right now, at the end of 2022.
My tastes have changed a lot in the past year so it was fun to figure out where the list is now and how different compared to a year ago.
I’ll update this post as I post the countdown from 20 to 1…
Faith No More – Angel Dust (1992/2013 RE MOV)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991/1999 EU RE)
Eric Clapton – “Journeyman”
Released Nov. 7th, 1989.
– Handful Of Rain (1994/2022 RE)
– Gretchen Goes To Nebraska (1989/2015 RE)
– 1987 (1987/2017 RE)
– Dog Eat Dog (1992/2022 RE)
Ghost – Impera
– Medicine At Midnight
(Released Feb. 5th, 2021)
– Holy Fvck
(Released Aug. 19th, 2022)
– After Laughter
(Released May 12th, 2017)
– The Gold Experience (1995/2022 RE)
– Back To Black
(2006/2018 Deluxe RE)
/ – Xanadu (From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(Released June 27th, 1980)
– Disintegration (1989/2010 RE)
– Eternal Blue
(Released Sept. 17th, 2021)
– Operation: Mindcrime (1988/2021 RE)
– The Queen Is Dead (1986/2012 RE)
HIM – Dark Light
(Released Sept. 26th, 2005)
Finnish gothic rock band HIM was a band I found out about around 2000 thanks to some friends in an mp3 trading server on the old mIRC Dalnet network. At that point you couldn’t get anything from them in the US, so he ended up sending me a ton of their music digitally and I instantly fell in love with the songs and themes.
Band frontman Ville Valo is an enigma, a fascinating character. He’s a hard rock crooner with a vocal range that I think is very underrated. The music style became known as “LoveMetal”, either before, or because of, the title of their album previous to this one. It’s gothic, melancholic, dark themes but set to a melodic, hard-driving rock sound that really can be an amazing juxtaposition.
At this point in my list, these are albums I know every single note of, so again hard to pick favorites, but be sure to check out “Rip Out The Wings Of A Butterfly”, “Killing Loneliness”, and “Behind The Crimson Door”. Another favorite from this set is the Ramones cover “Poison Heart”.
And #1 ...
– Purple Rain
(Released June 25th, 1984)
It’s been my #1 favorite album since the week it was released when I bought it on cassette from a record store in downtown Gastonia, NC. I had discovered Prince via local radio after 1999 had come out 2 years prior. “Delirious” was actually the first track from him I’d ever heard.
So I was already excited for this one, the music and the movie. This is the life-changer. I was 12 when this was released. It shaped my musical likes. Before this it was Elvis, Captain & Tennille and Olivia Newton-John and then top 40 radio for a couple years leading up…
So this album was like losing my musical virginity. It was otherworldly. I lost my mind over what I was hearing and quickly went about buying all of his previous albums (wow, nobody warned me about Dirty Mind?).
I convinced my Dad to take me and my friend Jennifer to see the movie in the theater (I forgot to tell him the rating lol). I had my grandmother buying it for me on vinyl for Christmas that year while my Aunts bought me the accompanying Sheila E. and The Time albums. (None of them were willing to buy me the Apollonia Six one though…).
There’s no use in going over the tracks on this one. It’s one of the biggest selling albums of all time. It’s a masterpiece and somehow might not even be the best he ever released. If my list was a top 21 instead of 20, SOTT would have been the 3rd Prince album on this page.
A musical genius, the first artist to ever have the #1 song, album and movie at the same time. Maybe the best rock ballad of all time as an 8+ minute closer. It’ll just never get any better than this IMHO.