The Sound of Music – Ranking Revealed

Over the last while, in an homage to High Fidelity I’ve been writing about my Top 5 Albums of All Time. I used some basic criteria to make the list:

  • Number of songs I like on the album (i.e. the fewer songs I skip over, the better)
  • Emotional impact of the album (i.e. how does listening to it make me feel?)
  • Composition of the album (i.e. are the songs arranged in an order I find pleasing?)

Truthfully, though, I went with my gut. I tried to pretend someone asked me, “What’s your favourite album of all time?” and then answered as quickly as possible. Lather, rinse, repeat four more times. I spat them out in five blog posts with some detailed explanations and stories behind each one. What I didn’t do was put them in order. This post is designed to remedy that.

The first one was easy. The next four? Not so much.

Number 5: Shakespeare My Butt – Lowest of the Low
This is a really fun album with some really happy memories attached to it. If you haven’t listened to this one (and a lot of people won’t have) you should add it to your collection.

Number 4: Ten – Pearl Jam
I saw these guys play shows twenty years apart and the songs they played off this album still held up. This album will never grow old. 

Number 3: Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Turn out the lights, close your eyes, maybe have a sandwich, and play this album from start to finish. Best destresser ever. 

Number 2: In The Trees – The Watchmen
Another Canadian gem. Such great lyrics and the vocals are truly a gift to your ears.

Number 1: The Joshua Tree – U2
I could listen to this album every day and not tire of it. It’s the reason it’s #1 and my always answer to the question, “If you were stranded on a desert island and only had one album, which one would you want it to be?”

Of course, no Top X list would be complete without some honourable mentions! Give these a look-see. I know you won’t be disappointed. I’ll add more as I get around to it. For now, these will do the trick.

  • The Watchmen – McLaren Furnace Room
  • RUSH – Moving Pictures, 2112
  • Led Zeppelin – IV, Houses of the Holy
  • The Beatles – The White Album, Abbey Road
  • Nirvana – Nevermind
  • Pink Floyd – The Wall, Wish You Were Here
  • The Tragically Hip – Road Apples, Fully Completely
  • Beastie Boys – Ill Communication

Happy listening!


7 thoughts on “The Sound of Music – Ranking Revealed

  1. Staci Herbold

    Growing up my dad used to tell me that there were 2 kinds of people: those that like the Beatles and those that like the Rolling Stones. I have come to believe it also works with Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. I could never really dwindle down a Top 5 music list without breaking it into genres. Glad you could.

  2. Andrew F. Butters

    Thanks for reading, Staci. I was able to narrow it down simply due to the memories that are invoked. Each one of these albums holds a very special spot for me and they clearly stand above the others. They're all more or less the same genre but I'll be adding some that are different to the honourable mentions. I'm always interested in listening to other people's favourites so feel free to share!

  3. Anonymous

    I dismiss any list without Shakespeare on it. Nice job. Off the top of my head, mine would be: 1.) Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA 2.) Lowest of the Low – Shakespeare My Butt 3.) Bionic – Deliverance 4.) Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism 5.) Public Enemy – Fear of a Black PlanetThough on any given day, The Tragically Hip – Day For Night could also slot in anywhere from 1-5.

  4. Andrew F. Butters

    Hey there, Anonymous, thanks for stopping by! Shakespeare My Butt is a fantastic album and a lot of fun to listen to. Lists like these are so personal and I love hearing about other people's choices. Thanks for sharing yours. P.S. Your #5 is a great choice. P.P.S. I'm ->this<- close to putting a 5.1 on my list: Beastie Boys – License To Ill

  5. Anonymous

    That's trippy…I'm listening to Ill Communication right now. Anyway, personal smersonal, Shakespeare should be on every list regardless of nationality, time period or planet.


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