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November 13th, 2008

Writer's Block: Ten for the Tenth

Some people spend their whole lives preparing the answer to this question: What albums are on your personal all-time Top 10 list?


Boston, "Boston" Love the guitars; my favorite rock album ever, period.

Jerry Goldsmith, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" Slow movie, spectacular score.

Simon and Garfunkel, "Concert in Central Park" I'm not usually one for live albums, but the energy there couldn't be denied.

Garth Brooks, "The Hits" I'm not a traditionalist; if I like a lot of one artist's songs, I'll just go straight to the greatest hits album. This one shows the great range of a guy who's way more than just country. "The River" and "Standing Outside the Fire" are two of my favorite songs of any kind, ever.

The Beatles, "The Beatles 1" Gee, it's not hard to pick just one Beatles album. Nope. Not at all.

Michael Jackson, "Thriller" I don't care. Just try listening to this without being overcome by the urge to dance.

John Williams, "the Greatest Hits: 1969-1999" I will buy and listen to anything by John Williams, up to and including him singing in the shower. (And he's a composer, not a singer.) This is a good sampler, including music from most of the most famous movies he's scored, as well as some others less well known. Did you know he used to write TV music under the name Johnny Williams? Truth is, he probably would go into a dozen spots in my top 20. Speaking of which:

James Horner, "Apollo 13" Or "Braveheart", or "Titanic", or "Casper", or "The Perfect Storm" ... I counted 115 film scores done by Horner since 1978. They range from stirring to exciting to heartbreaking, often in the same movie. Horner's probably my second favorite movie composer (see above).

Cherry Poppin' Daddies, "Zoot Suit Riot" Hey, I didn't name 'em. Their blood pumping, big band inspired music is perfect for working out or just dancing around the living room, preferably when no one's home.

Aaron Copeland, just about anything. (Check out "Fanfare for the Common Man".) Okay, truth is I couldn't decide on a tenth entry among the several hundred artists of a dozen genres that I count as my favorites. Having eclectic taste is just another way of saying you can't make up your mind. But you could do a lot worse than Copeland!

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