Ethan’s Top 10 Albums

When I sat out to determine my top 10 favorite albums of all time, I didn’t realize how difficult this job would be. Over a month, I remembered and listened to various albums I love and compiled a list of the ones I deemed worthy to be in my top 10. When I was done, I had nearly 50 titles. Of course, I had to cut those down to 10, so – in order to do that – I ranked all those albums I had listed. This took a couple weeks, and it hurt my heart to exclude many of the great records I had chosen, but I finally did it.

My criteria was that I must love the album as an album, as a unit, and I must love several of the songs on the album without disliking any of them. I also had to have something true and personal to say about the album. Additionally, the album couldn’t be a compilation/collection album, and I limited myself to only one album per artist.

In addition to the usual top 10 favorites list and the top 5 honorable mentions, I have decided to add a top 5 favorite Christian albums. Now, I do not believe in segregating my Christianity into a separate part of my life, and my first thought was to feature Christian albums on my top 10 list. However, in the end, I decided it would be easier for the lists to separate them, and it would give me a chance to list three more Christian albums. If I had not done this, I would have had Keith Green’s For Him Who Has Ears to Hear in my top 10 and Bob Dylan’s Slow Train Coming in my honorable mentions.

Format for listing albums: Artist, Title, Year, Genre, Runtime [rounded], Record Label, Producer(s)

TOP 10 ALBUMS

10. Boston, Boston, 1976, Hard Rock, 38 min., Epic, John Boylan and Tom Scholz

9. The White Stripes, Elephant, 2003, Alternative Rock, 50 min., V2/XL, Jack White

8. The Beatles, Abbey Road, 1969, Pop/Rock, 47 min., Apple, George Martin

7. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, 1971, Hard Rock, 43 min., Atlantic, Jimmy Page

6. Black Sabbath, Paranoid, 1970, Heavy Metal, 42 min., Vertigo/Warner Bros., Rodger Bain

5. Rush, Moving Pictures, 1981, Prog Rock, 40 min., Anthem, Rush and Terry Brown

4. Queen, A Night at the Opera, 1975, Prog Rock, 43 min., EMI/Elektra, Queen and Roy Thomas Baker

3. Van Halen, Van Halen, 1978, Hard Rock, 36 min., Warner Bros., Ted Templeman

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd, (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd), 1973, Soutern Rock, 43 min., MCA, Al Kooper

1. Metallica, Master of Puppets, 1986, Heavy Metal, 55 min., Elektra, Metallica and Flemming Rasmussen

TOP 5 HONORABLE MENTIONS

5. Arctic Monkeys, AM, 2013, Indie Rock, 42 min., Domino, James Ford and Ross Orton

4. The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, 1966, Pop/Rock, 36 min., Capitol, Brian Wilson

3. Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, 1975, Folk Rock, 52 min., Columbia, Bob Dylan

2. The Tony Rice Unit, Manzanita, 1979, Progressive Bluegrass, 38 min., Rounder, Tony Rice

1. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Cosmo’s Factory, 1970, Roots Rock, 42 min., Fantasy, John Fogerty

TOP 5 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS

5. Ricky Skaggs, Mosaic, 2010, Country/Folk, 60 min., Skaggs Family Records, Ricky Skaggs

4. Casting Crowns, Peace on Earth, 2008, CCM/Christmas, 40 min., Reunion, Mark Hall and Mark A. Miller

3. Kentucky Thunder, Soldier of the Cross, 1999, Bluegrass, 42 min., Skaggs Family Records, Ricky Skaggs

2. Bob Dylan, Slow Train Coming, 1979, Folk Rock, 46 min., Columbia, Barry Beckett and Jerry Wexler

1. Keith Green, For Him Who Has Ears to Hear, 1977, Singer-Songwriter, 36 min., Sparrow, Bill Maxwell and Keith Green