My 48 Favorite Albums For The 48 Years Of My Life


In celebration of my 48th birthday earlier this month, I am doing three special posts: one on my 48 favorite books for the 48 years of my life, which published this past Sunday; then, my 48 favorite movies, this past Wednesday; and my 48 favorite albums, here today.

I compiled this list roughly from elementary school to high school to college to the present. I tried to think of the albums that I’ve listened to a lot, either on the school bus when I was a kid or in the car (whichever one I or we had at the time). When I was a teen, I went through a phase of Christian rock, which is represented, as well as metal. Much of the latter part of the list can be attributed to finding music via Pitchfork. As much as possible, I also tried not to include collections, but had to include a few that were too important not to exclude.

  1. Kenny Rogers – 20 Greatest Hits
  2. Elvis Presley – His Hand in Mine
  3. Styx – Paradise Theater
  4. Michael Jackson – Thriller
  5. Prince – Purple Rain
  6. RUN-DMC – Raising Hell
  7. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
  8. Petra – More Power to Ya
  9. Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart – Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing
  10. Stryper – Soldiers Under Command
  11. Tonio K – Romeo Unchained
  12. The Call – Reconciled
  13. The Beatles – The White Album
  14. U2 – The Joshua Tree
  15. R.E.M. – Green
  16. Vinnie Moore – Mind’s Eye
  17. Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
  18. Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime
  19. Metallica – …And Justice For All
  20. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog
  21. Soundgarden – Superunknown
  22. Pearl Jam – No Code
  23. King’s X – Dogman
  24. Lone Justice – Shelter
  25. Dwight Yoakam – This Time
  26. John Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee
  27. Larry Norman – Something New Under The Son
  28. Etta James – The Essential Etta James
  29. Donna Summer – On The Radio – Greatest Hits
  30. Blind Willie Johnson – The Complete Blind Willie Johnson
  31. Grateful Dead – American Beauty
  32. Pink Floyd – The Wall
  33. Terence Trent D’Arby – Symphony or Damn
  34. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
  35. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
  36. Johnny Cash – American Recordings
  37. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  38. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
  39. Burial – Rival Dealer
  40. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!
  41. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything
  42. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
  43. Kanye West – Yeezus
  44. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
  45. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
  46. Beyoncé – Lemonade
  47. Beach House – Bloom
  48. Max Richter – Sleep

And here is one song from each album, minus one: Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which isn’t available on Spotify.

If you had a list of favorite albums for the number of years for every year of your life, what would be some of those you’d have to include? Any crossovers?

7 thoughts on “My 48 Favorite Albums For The 48 Years Of My Life

  1. Wow, what a list! You and I would have a few albums in common. Not surprising as we share the same age. Kenny Rogers, Thriller, Purple Rain, RUN-DMC, Petra and Mylon Lefevre. (We actually just popped in the Crack the Sky cd the other day for our kids to hear. Mike still has his Crack the Sky tour t-shirt.:))
    I would add Switchfoot – Vice Verses, The Soundtrack to Grease, DC Talk – Jesus Freak and Andy Gibb.


      1. One’s I listened to a lot? Janet Jackson’s Control album. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. George Michael’s Faith. Nirvana’s Unplugged in New York. Any album by Muse. The Woodstock album (record courtesy of my dad). Queen’s Greatest Hits. Depeche Mode Violator.


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