Author Topic: LithoJazzoSphere Top "50" Albums - surprise #22 - way before lonestar...  (Read 7117 times)

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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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My Favorite "50" Albums:


The top 50 albums concept has a long tradition here, and since I've technically been browsing older incarnations of this forum for almost half that number of years, I'm long overdue my own list.  These are always a snapshot in time.  I wish I could have done a proper one a decade ago to compare (or even a decade before that too), but alas.  Margins between favorites are so tight that on a different day or a few weeks after the list is published I might feel like including slightly different entries or have them be in a somewhat different order.  I'm sure the very process of listening to, writing about, and discussing these is going to alter my feelings about them a bit.  But I'm not going to fret about that too much, the general trajectory is what's more important. 

I believe my format will be somewhat unique among other personal top 50s we've done before.  I knew I didn't want to just do a straight top 50, but have run through countless different ideas and permutations in my head and have settled on a "have my cake and eat it too" kitchen sink version.  In particular, I pondered doing a chronological list, but ran into far too many issues with deciding where and when each musical niche properly began and shoehorning each album into them.  Nevertheless, I've still incorporated a looser version of that, plus the main list, as well as a few other twists. 

---

So this will be structured in four sections. 

I:  Roots/influences
II:  Pre-list honorable mentions
III:  The primary list
IV:  Post-list honorable mentions

I - roots/influences will be to set up various styles and artists that shaped my tastes into what they are today.  Some aren't really a primary listening interest for me anymore, but I can trace the effects of them throughout other music I listen to.  There should be 18 of these vignettes.  I think of these as icebergs, in that I'll pick a few different example songs to illustrate each one, but they generally represent many more artists I dabbled with at the time or later on.  Some of them are just individual songs, some represent additional albums. 

In a few of them I'll be revealing a surprise album from the main list itself.  In a few others, I'll be revealing a surprise stealth honorable mention album(s).  I won't directly add them to the honorable mention list itself to keep it from appearing even more overstuffed than it already will be, but they're important and foundational enough to highlight.  For the most part this section takes me to around the middle of high school, which is the point at which I started lurking here and when I was building the primary framework of my taste.  The fun thing is that I can look at almost all of the albums on my list and honorable mentions and connect them to at least one or more categories here, some in more obvious ways than others, and some of which I didn't quite realize until going through this process. 

II - honorable mentions will be for a few dozen albums that didn't quite make the cut, but I don't want to neglect entirely.  I'll have an "honorable" honorable mentions list, and then highlight the dozen that almost but didn't quite make the cut.  There's dozens, hundreds really of other albums I'd have loved to have included, but I don't think everyone has the patience for my "top 500".  I love many of them as artists, or for specific individual songs, but no single album had quite enough of them to merit inclusion.  Still, in pouring through my collection I found that the margin between #50 and #150 is quite thin and subjective. 

III - the primary list is the main course here.  Conventionally this is a top 50, but I'm more of a "go big or go home" type as some of you have figured out, so let's make this a top 60

IV - post-list honorable mentions are for all the albums that I notice that I managed to overlook in the process of working my way through the list, or that were on the periphery of the honorable mentions and receive a boost sometime during it, but too late to be on the initial honorable mentions or on the list itself.  I may actually do these as a short break before I reveal the final five of the main list. 

---

For the main list, I'm going to be giving more of survey-level comments about the albums, generally assuming as if you haven't listened to them before.  At the moment I don't think it's likely I'll frequently get into the granular level of detail I often did in my roulette or in the Katatonia discography discussion thread, but if that happens organically on occasion, so be it. 

My "true" top list is probably just my favorite albums from my top dozen bands or so and a handful of strong albums from other artists.  But I'll be doing just one release per artist for the sake of variety and inclusion.  The focus will be on an overview of each album, my feelings about and history with each of them, and often a brief comparison with the rest of their discography - whether it was a tossup as to whether to include another album(s) instead, or whether it was a clear-cut decision.  I will occasionally mention major side or solo projects if they are of a similar level of quality.  In this way, even though it's "only" 60 albums, we'll wind up touching on a few hundred in some form or another by the end.  Maybe it will be a "top 500" after all, we'll see.  : )

There's certainly a bias towards time-tested albums, but here and there I'll throw in something a bit more recent for variety, particularly when it's an artist I'm waffling between several different albums from them anyway. 

I'll be keeping a running Spotify playlist to gradually add to as we go along.  I'll generally add a song per album to the list, with more added to a secondary list for honorable mentions, roots and influences.  I'll provide Spotify links to the albums discussed when available, and to cover more bases, likely Youtube links to an extra song or more, and perhaps a music video or live performance if relevant. 

There's no listening requirement, but of course the more that do the merrier.  You might be surprised what connects with you.  Some of these are time-honored DTF favorites, some are probably quite idiosyncratic to me.  Not every section or album is going to appeal to everyone of course (the metalheads in particular are going to struggle with many parts of the roots/influences sections - those not into metal as much might find those the most interesting parts).  So read along if you want, skim as you desire, drop in and out as your interest is piqued.  The plan is to move slightly faster through the roots/influences and honorable mentions, and then linger a bit more once we get to the meat of the list, but it'll depend upon the flow of any discussions that arise and finishing up short write-ups on each. 

---

Like my roulette, this will be super-sized (being either epic or less so depending on our compatibility in tastes, but you can always just lurk or skim/skip through the sections that interest you the least), but I'm partially trying to make up for not being around when everyone was doing their V1s, so it's kind of a V1 and V2 (maybe even V3) wrapped up together. 

This thread could also be useful for future reference whenever I run another roulette.  Maybe you'll wish I'd done this before running my first.  Perhaps it'll just make my tastes even more confusing.  :lol  But ultimately, post-pandemic, through running my own roulette and participating in others I feel I have a better grasp on my own tastes than I ever have.  I'd had a number of epiphanies in the last year that have fundamentally altered portions of it over what they would have been had I done this even a year ago.  I can't wait to talk about some of this music, a good chunk of which never seems to fit organically into other conversations here, and/or I would never think to send in roulettes, but is all a part of my musical journey anyway. 

---

tl;dr version:  We're gonna listen to and talk about a whole bunch of cool music.  Some of you will like some of it.  Others will not like some of it.  And vice versa. 
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 09:35:15 AM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2024, 09:17:34 AM »
Roots/Influences:

A - 60s-70s rock
B - 80s rock
C - 80s-90s pop/rock/country
D - classical/piano
E - new age
F - Celtic music
G - smooth jazz
H - electro-industrial/rock
I - the Christian rock scene
J - hard rock/metal
K - alt rock/grunge/nu-metal
L -
M -
N -
O -
P -
Q -
R -

---

Pre-List Honorable Mentions:



---

The Top 60:

1: 
2: 
3: 
4: 
5: 
6: 
7: 
8: 
9: 
10: 
11: 
12: 
13:  Type O Negative - October Rust
14: 
15: 
16: 
17: 
18: 
19: 
20: 
21: 
22:  Drain S.T.H. - Freaks of Nature
23: 
24: 
25: 
26: 
27: 
28: 
29: 
30: 
31: 
32: 
33: 
34: 
35: 
36:  Sade - Love Deluxe
37: 
38: 
39: 
40: 
41: 
42: 
43: 
44: 
45: 
46: 
47: 
48: 
49: 
50: 
51: 
52: 
53:  Bride - Oddities
54: 
55: 
56: 
57: 
58: 
59: 
60: 

---

"Post"-List Honorable Mentions:



---

Listening Playlists:

Top 60 Album Highlights:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1iz6CsS0htUVpMPhV28kkR
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax_vL9waPRPoqhwURuIICm2T

Roots/Influences/Honorable Mentions:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0T4IGrbCzG3ZV4128ZKOl5
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax9twb8XnAQzmWSaoESqHpUc
« Last Edit: March 05, 2024, 09:40:46 AM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2024, 09:17:57 AM »
Extra space reserved just in case I need it for something else unforseen.

I'll give a day to gin up the appropriate hype or vexation. 

Offline TAC

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2024, 09:18:54 AM »
Preamble? That’s more like a preramble! ;D
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
Winger Theater Forums........or WTF.  ;D
TAC got a higher score than me in the electronic round? Honestly, can I just drop out now? :lol

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2024, 09:19:22 AM »
Yep!  I've always had a propensity towards verbosity online, and having Indi around is no help at all.  :p

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2024, 09:32:33 AM »
Straps in for what should be the Martin Scorsese of music lists.   ;D

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2024, 09:36:43 AM »
No doubt there will be some carnage in its wake. 

Offline twosuitsluke

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2024, 09:38:04 AM »
In, if only to poke fun at how many Katatonia albums make the whole thread, and keep a "bird on the album cover" count. Oh, also I'll periodically drop in to ask how many King Gizzard albums are going to show up.

But seriously, I'll listen along to the albums and comment for sure. I might even pinch the format and do my own in the future.

I'm buckled in and ready to go.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2024, 09:40:35 AM »
Katatonia will undoubtedly come up, the question is whether TAC will trash them before I praise them.

There will also surely be an aviary of winged creatures by the end.

Offline Lonk

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2024, 09:41:12 AM »
Following.

It's on brand to say "Top 50" but then immediately say "Nah, top 60 instead"  :lol :metal
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Offline WilliamMunny

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2024, 09:48:00 AM »
Always love hearing your thoughts, my man–instant follow for me!

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2024, 09:53:18 AM »
Following.... but no promises to be reading.  :lol

Hopefully I'll get to the OP tonight.
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Offline SoundscapeMN

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2024, 10:34:29 AM »
My Favorite "50" Albums:


My "true" top list is probably just my favorite albums from my top dozen bands or so and a handful of strong albums from other artists.  But I'll be doing just one release per artist for the sake of variety and inclusion. 

unsure how many have, but it seems most "Top 50" lists restrict it to 1 per artist/band.

I honestly feel like my list would be short-changed and not fully accurate if I did that. I mean I follow why most do it that way, but it bugs me too much knowing I leave off many favorites just because there's another favorite from the same band/artist I like just slightly more already on the list.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2024, 10:39:53 AM »
I just don't think a list of my favorite albums from only a couple handfuls of artists is nearly as interesting.  And in my writeups I'll inevitably wind up mentioning other albums I like from those artists anyway and why I prefer the ones that made the list.  And ranking albums from different artists is a nightmare as it is, trying to mix in multiple albums from a number of artists and how they fit as well makes it even more nettling. 

Offline wolfking

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2024, 01:39:43 PM »
Following.
Everyone else, except Wolfking is wrong.

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2024, 02:22:29 PM »
Though we live in trying times, we're the ones who have to try. -Neil Peart, 1952-2020.

There is a fundamental difference between filtered facts and firehosed opinions. -Stadler.

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2024, 03:03:46 PM »
Following, obviously :)

Offline Lethean

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2024, 08:55:21 PM »
In, if only to poke fun at how many Katatonia albums make the whole thread, and keep a "bird on the album cover" count.
This is certainly the reason I'm in as well. :)

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2024, 09:03:24 PM »
There may be unexpected ways to count birds. 

Offline ariich

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2024, 11:29:11 PM »
I just don't think a list of my favorite albums from only a couple handfuls of artists is nearly as interesting.  And in my writeups I'll inevitably wind up mentioning other albums I like from those artists anyway and why I prefer the ones that made the list.  And ranking albums from different artists is a nightmare as it is, trying to mix in multiple albums from a number of artists and how they fit as well makes it even more nettling. 
Yeah that was my approach way back when I did a top 50. Each artist had a main entry, but I included a brief mention of up to two others as well. Kind of cheating, but it's not like it matters!

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2024, 06:05:53 AM »
Based on the second post, bands that begin with S or later don’t influence you.  That’s probably for the best.  But if there is a bunch of Katatonia I’m gonna have to join forces with Tim and razz you.  I looked up boring in the dictionary and it had a picture of Katatonia.
     

Offline Indiscipline

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2024, 06:07:11 AM »
Following. It sounds like a free uni course.

Offline jingle.boy

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2024, 06:24:12 AM »
I'm expecting hoping suggesting a tl;dr section for every entry.  :neverusethis:

And the 1 album per artist "rule" is bunk. sure, ya don't want a top 50 to be made up of like 7-10 artists, but my original had 4 entries from Zep, Rush, DT, and a few multiples from other bands.  They're just too big and influential for me to not have them included.
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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2024, 10:04:31 AM »
But if there is a bunch of Katatonia I’m gonna have to join forces with Tim and razz you.  I looked up boring in the dictionary and it had a picture of Katatonia.

Remember that I'm only directly including one album per artist, which I'm about to argue with jingle in a second about.  :)  I'm expecting that reaction for some bands.  You might like some of them even less than them.   :omg:   But there's likely to be enough variety that everyone will find something

I'm expecting hoping suggesting a tl;dr section for every entry.  :neverusethis:

I eventually added it to my roulette writeups, so if I find myself becoming overly verbose on an entry I may seriously consider adding one. 

And the 1 album per artist "rule" is bunk. sure, ya don't want a top 50 to be made up of like 7-10 artists, but my original had 4 entries from Zep, Rush, DT, and a few multiples from other bands.  They're just too big and influential for me to not have them included.

Spoiler warning, but Katatonia and Opeth alone have a primary discography of 25 albums between them, which is half a normal list by itself.  It's unlikely every single album of theirs would make it on my "real" list, but more than four apiece would.  I can do tiers, but as I've mentioned in various roulettes and list threads, straight linear ranking really bugs me, so that's enough of a wrinkle as it is.  I've made many, many lists in the past, tried multiples from an artist occasionally, and I'm never happy with the result.  Every extra album on the list from the same artist means one more artist bumped off entirely.  I'd rather just have some writeups be a bit longer if need be. 

Straps in for what should be the Martin Scorsese of music lists.   ;D

And this gave me an idea, which I'll be implementing shortly.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2024, 11:34:39 AM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline Sacul

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - Preamble
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2024, 10:06:21 AM »
Following :corn

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2024, 10:57:42 AM »
Roots and Influences:

A - my parents' collection - part I - 60s-70s rock:


I'm always jealous of people I hear of who say they were starting to heavily explore music when they were five or there about.  I wasn't like that.  It wasn't really a conscious focus until I was around 11 or so.  Before then music was just something I'd put on in the background, not really thinking too much about it for its own sake.  However, three artists from my parents' collection stand out as the first ones I kept being drawn back to and constitute my very first favorites.

Little River Band - "It's a Long Way There"

We had their 1982 Greatest Hits compilation on cassette and eventually CD, and this was probably my very first favorite band.  Indelible songs, superb vocals and harmonies, a plethora of guitar solos, it was impossible not to like.  I don't think I even knew they were Australian until significantly later on.  Have a listen to the full-length version of "It's a Long Way There", which has a really cool extended intro that isn't on the radio and compilation edit, and has the full glory of all of Ric Formosa's scrumptious guitar licks, untruncated.  Ric's an underrated player, and I wish he'd stayed in the band longer, though they had some quality players later on as well.  It's a shame that legal disputes have turned them into another act where there have functionally been two separate versions of them touring for awhile now, but the original music lives on. 

The Beach Boys - "California Dreamin'"

Similarly, we had the 1986 Made in U.S.A. compilation on cassette, and I definitely wore this one out.  I used to say I preferred The Beach Boys when they were fun and The Beatles when they were serious, although my favorite song of The Beach Boys is their more relatively somber cover of The Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'".  Everyone always points out their immaculate vocal harmonies, but I also love that electric 12-string guitar in the intro from guest Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and the saxophone solo is surely one of if not the first spark in my interest in that instrument.  I called this section "60s/70s rock", and since this song wasn't recorded until '86 for the compilation I guess it's cheating, but it's my list, and the rest of the songs on this compilation that I was listening to all the time back then are much earlier anyway. 

Elton John - "Levon"

A few places like McDonald's and Sam Goody's in 1994 had this run of compilations from a few artists.  One of them was for him, Classic Elton John.  I asked my mother to get it, and for some reason at the time I thought I was getting it for my father, who I found out later wasn't even really a fan of his.  Oh well, it wound up being my CD, I and played the heck out of this.  The intro of "Levon" was one of my biggest inspirations to start learning piano a year later, as well as several other cuts on this compilation, and his work in general. 

Songs #1-#3:
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0T4IGrbCzG3ZV4128ZKOl5
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLISicXPLSax9twb8XnAQzmWSaoESqHpUc

Little River Band - "It's a Long Way There"
The Beach Boys - "California Dreamin'"
Elton John - "Levon"
« Last Edit: February 13, 2024, 08:36:26 AM by LithoJazzoSphere »

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2024, 11:08:45 AM »
The Beach Boys - of course.

The Little River Band - hell yeah.  They don't get enough love.

Elton John - I mean, I get it.  He's just not a personal favorite of mine. 


BTW, if the Backstreet Boys don't make an appearance, I will be horribly disappointed.
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Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2024, 11:12:26 AM »
I should note for future reference, though I think I may have already stated it elsewhere, in the roots/influences sections, they're all represented by a single song, but some signify the band's output in general, others are mostly about a particular song/few songs/album, and it'll be obvious from the writeups which they are. 

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2024, 11:16:20 AM »
Also, once a band has been spotlighted in a section, they most likely won't be coming up again, unless I'm referring back to or comparing something in the future, so get your thoughts out related to them at the time if you so desire. 

Offline Indiscipline

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2024, 11:18:43 AM »
I reckon those influences set the bar pretty high as far as production and arrangements in your aural gestalt. Among the best in that era.

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2024, 11:21:58 AM »
Be prepared for it to be lowered at whim. 

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2024, 11:25:03 AM »
BTW, if the Backstreet Boys don't make an appearance, I will be horribly disappointed.

They were spontaneously the subject of discussion for half a round of my roulette.  That outcome may become ineluctable again. 

Offline twosuitsluke

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2024, 11:28:01 AM »
Not my favourite three artists by a long shot but I feel this thread is gonna be a real nostalgia hit, and there will definitely be parallels to our journeys (due to closeness in age).

Gonna spin the songs in the bath in a minute though :tup

Offline LithoJazzoSphere

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2024, 11:33:20 AM »
There will probably be a few, as well as numerous stronger divergences.  The completely unexpected overlap is what I most look forward to. 

Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: LithoJazzoSphere's Top "50" Favorite Albums - There and Back Again
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2024, 11:35:35 AM »
BTW, if the Backstreet Boys don't make an appearance, I will be horribly disappointed.

They were spontaneously the subject of discussion for half a round of my roulette.  That outcome may become ineluctable again.
ALRIGHT
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