Jack's Picks Vol. 11: Top 15 Albums


At this point, we have a pretty solid backlog of new and old music recommendations for your record collection. This week's picks are bit different though. Rather than cobble together albums from the last ten weeks, I've pulled together my personal favorite albums and posted them below. Take a quick gander, sample a few tracks, and make sure to comment with some of your own favorite records as well. In no particular order. . .

Jack's Picks Vol. 11

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Why? Fleet Foxes full-length album debut is quite possibly a perfect album. This is popular folk in its highest form, CSNY reincarnated and ready to roll.

Favorite Tracks: "White Winter Hymnal," "He Doesn't Know Why," "Ragged Wood"

Price: $14 (2XLP + Sun Giant EP, New)

Where: Sub Pop

Crosby, Stills, and Nash - Crosby, Stills, and Nash

Why? At risk of saying, "This is a classic album," this is actually, well...a classic album. The album cover pretty much says it all... kick back on the front porch couch and take a trip through auditory psychedelia.

Favorite Tracks: "Wooden Ships," "Long Time Gone," "Helplessly Hoping"

Price: ~$10 (Used)

Where: Your local record store

Wings - Wings at the Speed of Sound

Why? This is one of my Paul McCartney / Wings albums. There's definitely enough here for fans of "Band on the Run," but there's a difference here as well. "Silly Love Songs" is an obvious draw, but it's still far from my favorite track.

Favorite Tracks: "Let 'Em In," "She's My Baby," "Beware My Love"

Price: ~$8 (Used)

Where: Your local record store

Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson

Why? Harry Nilsson is one of the latest and greatest and totally understated musicians of the twentieth century. Singer-songwriter of "Coconut," "Everybody's Talkin'," and the Monkees' popular "One" number, he is definitely worth your time.

Favorite Tracks: "Gotta Get Up," "Driving Along"

Price: ~$10 (Used)

Where: Your local record store

Justice - Cross

Why? The only thing wrong with this album is "Planisphere's" exclusion. This album is hard and fast, so don't expect to enjoy this one sitting down.

Favorite Tracks: "Genesis," "Newjack," "Phantom"

Price: $32 (New)

Where: Amoeba Music

Jack's Picks Vol. 11

Tame Impala - Currents

Why? Despite being a little poppier than Tame Impala's first two releases, I'm pretty into Currents. It took me a few plays through, but this is a solid album for hangouts and car rides.

Favorite Tracks: "Let it Happen," "The Less I know the Better"

Price: ~$25-$30 (New)

Where: Your local record store

Psychedelic Furs - Mirror Moves

Why? It's basically the 80s in sonic form. Full 'review' here.

Favorite Tracks: "The Ghost in You," "My Time," "Highwire Days"

Price: ~$10 (Used)

Where: Your local record store

Mick Ronson - Slaughter On Tenth Avenue

Why? Mick Ronson was one of David Bowie's spiders during the heyday of Ziggy Stardust. Superb guitar and dark undertones. Read more here.

Favorite Tracks: "Love Me Tender," "Growing Up and I'm Fine," "Music is Lethal"

Price: ~$10 (Used)

Where: Discogs (May be hard to find locally...)

America - Homecoming

Why? Most people really only know "A Horse with No Name," but the band's sophomore album definitely still carries a tune. I personally like the album from beginning to end. A little sad, contemplative, this album usually helps me figure out a thing or two.

Favorite Tracks: "To Each His Own," "Only in Your Heart," "Saturn Nights"

Price: ~$5

Where: Your local record store

Father John Misty - Fear Fun

Why? Fleet Foxes J. Tillman steps up from behind the drumkit and transforms into the soulfully wicked and lyrically crass Father John Misty. Read more on the album here.

Favorite Tracks: "I'm Writing a Novel," "Well, You Can Do It Without Me," "Misty's Nightmares 1 & 2"

Price: $17

Where: Sub Pop Mega Mart

Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra - Nancy & Lee

Why? Singer-songwriter Lee Hazlewood actually wrote Nancy's infamous track, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." The two make the perfect duet, Lee singing in a deep, Cowboy bass, while Nancy takes the high road.

Favorite Tracks: "Summer Wine," "Some Velvet Morning," "Sand"

Price: ~$15

Where: Discogs (May be hard to find locally...)

William Onyeabor - Who Is William Onyeabor?

Why? Disco meets soul, crossed with Nigerian Funk and pushed through a synthesizer. Read more about this mysterious artist here.

Favorite Tracks: "Something You Will Never Forget," "Atomic Bomb," "Fantastic Man," "Body and Soul"

Price: $30

Where: Luaka Bop

Jack's Picks Vol. 11 | Grateful Dead: Live / Dead

The Grateful Dead - Live / Dead

Why? This is an amazing live album from the Grateful Dead. Recorded across several concerts in 1969, this album holds more than a few gems. Read more here.

Favorite Tracks: "St. Stephen," "Dark Star"

Price: $15-$50 (Depending on condition)

Where: Discogs (May be hard to find locally...)

Journey - Captured (Live)

Why? Hot off the release of Evolution, this live album was recorded during the band's Departure tour. This album is chock-full of Journey hits and one of my personal favorites. Journey's guitarist Neil Schon absolutely rips it live, and Steve Perry sounds crystal clear on the high notes. And yes, I do realize this is not a cool selection.

Favorite Tracks: "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," "Wheel in the Sky," "Lights," "Stay Awhile"

Price: ~$10 (Depending on condition)

Where: Your local record store

Andrew Powell & Alan Parsons - Ladyhawke

Why? Once referred to as "the worst soundtrack ever composed" (Wiki), Andrew Powell's prog rock soundtrack is a pretty stark contrast to Ladyhawke's Medieval setting. Personally, I find this particular intersection super attractive.

Favorite Tracks: "Phillipe's Escape," "Tavern Fight,""The Chase, The Fall & The Transformation," "Marqet's Death"

Price: $5 or less

Where: Your local record store (most likely under "Soundtracks")

So, what are some of your favorite albums? How bad is my taste? Let it rip in the comments below.

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