03.22.2012 | Published in diary
People like to ask musicians what music they like. The truth is, I don’t do the Pandora thing or the Spotify thing, and I’ve never owned an iPod. I listen to CDs and CDs only. I drive a lot and that’s what gets me through. Below are some of my favorites in a list I will call “Valerie’s top 15 pop albums of all-time.” I can’t claim that these are the GREATEST albums of all-time (haven’t heard most), but these are the ones that have figured most prominently in my collection, my car, and my heart.
Valerie’s Top 15 Pop Albums of All-Time (in no particular order)
David Byrne – Feelings
I usually lean toward the ‘weirdo’ side of the “genius or weirdo?” debate, but in the case of David Byrne, I’ve gotta give it to him. Before writing a disco musical and transforming an entire building into a musical instrument (but post-Talking Heads), David Byrne put together quite possibly the coolest 13 songs ever. Some favorites: “Miss America,” “Dance on Vaseline,” “Burnt By the Sun,” and “They Are In Love.” I say this list is in no particular order, but this CD is definitely a contender for #1.
Jill Sobule – Jill Sobule
I knew her semi-hits of the 90’s but didn’t realize how great she was until I randomly picked up this album in like 2005.
Fun fact #1: My mom and I appeared in one of Jill’s videos filmed in a run-down furniture outlet in North Hollywood.
Fun fact #2: I went to her last concert alone.
The Monkees – More Greatest Hits of the Monkees
When I was in fifth grade I ran for class president and Mom and Dad suggested that I use the Monkees’ “Valleri” for my grand entrance. I then delivered my speech wearing a Bill Clinton mask. While I didn’t win the election (too many 10-year-old Republicans?), I did score an awesome album that became my go-to soundtrack for cleaning my room until college. Some favorite tracks: “Take a Giant Step,” “Randy Scouse Git,” and of course, “Valleri.” RIP Davy Jones!
Berlin – Best of Berlin 1979-1988
I probably listened to Pleasure Victim more, but it disappeared and this was a super solid collection to fall back on. Besides, “No More Words” has one of the most badass music videos ever.
The Beach Boys – Classics Selected by Brian Wilson
Some quirky gems on this collection. I find this CD an excellent companion for nighttime driving, as it tricks me into believing I have entered Brian Wilson’s brain! Neat!
Road Trip #1, December 2009
OK so maybe this one’s cheating. But this album has stood the test of time in my car for over 2 years, quite a feat for a mix CD, I must say. Created by the hippest guy with a last name for a first name EVER to come out of Downey, CA, this is a first-rate collection of old-school country, cowboy songs, and more fun. Some highlights: “Take This Job and Shove It,” “Delta Dawn,” “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley,” and four, yes FOUR, songs about New Mexico.
So there you have it. Maybe next time I’ll give y’all a glimpse at another list of favorites. Maybe dog breeds or classical composers.