The Who: Tommy – with “Christmas” video cover

The Who - TommyPart 7 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me

By far, Tommy is the oldest album on my list. The ’70s and ’80s are entirely unrepresented, but this rock opera from 1969 was always an obvious one for me to include.

The reason? Story. Every album I listen to, I try to tease out a storyline, even if one clearly was never intended. The idea that a collection of songs should be more than that, should be bound together and greater than the sums of their parts, undoubtedly stems from hearing Tommy in my childhood.

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Fiona Apple: When the Pawn – with “A Mistake” video cover

Fiona Apple - When the PawnPart 6 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me

When reviewing Fiona Apple’s third album, Extraordinary Machine, I said that When the Pawn had “made me feel like all my ex-girlfriends ever were yelling at me all at once. Moreover, it made me feel like I deserved it.”

I stand by that assessment from … cripes, nine years ago?

Okay, break for feeling old. Now, onto reviewing this album from a 22-year-old following her multi-platinum debut.

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World Leader Pretend: Punches – with “Lovey Dovey” video cover

World Leader Pretend - PunchesPart 5 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me

Warning: turn down your speakers the first time you listen to this album. It begins with a loud cymbal crash, followed by four bars of nothing but drum. Piano and guitar join in from there, soon enhanced by strings from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Piano and strings are hardly unheard of on rock albums, but Punches makes particularly adept use of them. It also manages to incorporate the lead singer’s frequent strong exhalations effectively and is the only winner ever of the jaQ Andrews Best Use of Sleigh Bells to Unify an Album Award. (The cash prize has already been donated to charity.)

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George Michael: Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 – with “Something to Save” video cover

George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1Part 4 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me

There are a lot of drum machines and synthesized instruments on this album. Those things were a lot more obvious in 1990. Wow. Read more of this post

We Are Scientists: With Love and Squalor – with “Inaction” video cover

We Are Scientists - With Love and SqualorPart 3 of 12 Albums That Stuck With Me

In this very special edition of Beating a Dead Facebook Trend Over the Course of a Year but It’ll Probably Come Around Again So It’s Fine, we discuss a band who happens to have a new album out. TV en Français, released last week, is a long way from 2006’s With Love and Squalor, but the shift in tone had already happened in the intervening two releases, Brain Thrust Mastery and Barbara.

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