Top 15 On The 15th

Top 15 On The 15th

First off, here are everyone else’s excellent lists (I’ll add more as they come in). Go check them out!







And now here is my post:


You want me to pick 15 All-Time Albums out of the thousands I know and love? Are you INSANE?

You are. I know you are. I can see it in your eyes.*

For this impossible exercise, I’ve thought of (and tried) many approaches, including:

1) Which 15 records would I grab if the house caught fire? Well… James and I discovered, through conversation, that my inability to decisively choose would cause me to die (horribly) in the fire, standing in front of my CD shelves…

2) If I went to a deserted island which 15 records would I take? Forget the records… more important here is why would I choose to go to a deserted island? Or if it wasn’t a choice, what poor life choice have I made that led me to this island? Besides which, would a deserted island even have power? How would I play my 15 records, and on what stereo? If it’s an iPod, mine holds 120GB, waaaaaay more than 15 albums, and how would I charge it (see above comment about power)? And if I am there by choice, wouldn’t I choose to take a bag of survival gear, a fishing rod, a desalinator, and as much fresh water as I could carry, not records? And… you can see how this spiralled into avoiding answering the question at all…. Man, fuck that island.

3) Off the top of my head, just the first 15 best albums I own that I could think of… Hahaha like I stopped at 15. You can see the obvious limitations of this one….

4) Maybe I could cheat and do multiple lists! Like Top 15 Canadian Albums, Top 15 Metal Albums, and so on through jazz, blues, rock, punk, all the decades (40s, 50s, 60s etc)… That way lies endless list-making… not really possible to make one list from it, unless I made 15 different category lists, and took the #1 from each into one master list… gah.

5) Maybe I could do Top 15 Albums That Meant Something To Me At Some Time In My Life… this is a fun idea as I often associate people, places and events with songs/albums, but those aren’t necessarily my all-time favourite 15…

6) I contemplated buying 15 darts, pasting pics of all the albums I love on a wall in the basement, blindfolding myself and then throwing all 15 darts. Maybe all at once (7 in one hand, 8 in the other). Just GO! And whatever they hit, that’s my list. Alternately, I considered getting a bunch of recipe cards, putting an album on each one, and then chucking the whole pile down the stairs. Whichever 15 stayed closest to the top of the stairs would be my list’s 15. And so on.

7) Finally, I did what I should have done in the beginning. I cornered my lovely wife and asked her which records I’ve blathered about the most. You have to be made aware, we’ve been friends since we were 5 years old (in the same kindergarten class). We went all the way through school together, from kindergarten to end of high school. We’ve been friends (pretty well) our whole lives, always in the same circles. We’ve been together since 1998, and married since 2003. Through her Stockholm Syndrome (established over 17 years of living with me) when it comes to all the years of knowing my love of music, and (since we began dating) my record collection, I thought she would be the most likely to have some insights. And she did – her answers have weighed in heavily in the list below. Thank you sweetheart, I could not have given this list any sort of shape without you. I do not deserve your patience and understanding of your blithering hubby.

So here it is, and even at that these are not in any real order, and they’re without explanation. As I said to J., if I started saying why each record was here, I’d start second-guessing again and I’d never get this damn thing done. If there’s any you don’t know by sight, just hover your mouse over the album art – it’ll tell you what it is…




* Haha wasn’t I part of getting this started? So I’M the one who’s insane, right? Right.

54 thoughts on “Top 15 On The 15th

  1. deKE says:

    Awesome list Aaron…what a turnout for this it’s gonna take me a while to creep around these sites! Once again Melting Pot Man comes thru! i was curious what SLOAN u would have in and in regards to the Hip I really came close with Road Apples…..
    Man great idea…off to James corner!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Deke! I hope I melted enough for you! Yeah man, there’s tons of sites to hit. Sloan and the Hip HAD TO be there, and it was tough to chose. So many great options. I really could’ve picked any/all of them.

      GIVE ‘ER!


  2. stephen1001 says:

    *You were integral in getting this going Aaron, so we have you to thank/blame for the wonderful madness! If my memory isn’t too muddy, I believe it was a line from a Deke post that set it all off (Thanks Deke!). And what a day!

    Tremendous choices of course, I like the philosophy of the ones your wonderful wife has heard you praising. Day For NIght, stellar. Exile, classic, just had that on a couple weeks ago!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Oh sure, Geoff, blame me! And Deke! Yeah! Him too! Hahaha. And hey, you named it! You;re the one who said it oughta be a 15 on a 15th. We’re all in this boat together!

      I don’t know where I’d be without my lovely wife. She saves the day every day.

      Glad you dug the choices. I feel good about them, now that they’re out there… Cheers, Geoff!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1537 says:

    Some great choices, I need to get me some Wynton on vinyl. I like the way you stuck to the rules and didn’t cheat like an appalling little attention seeker!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks 1537! I just went with my gut. And then my gut hated me for leaving out 1000 more. Gah.

      I have some Wynton on vinyl. It’s lovely. I want more. LOTS MORE.

      Haha yeah attention seekers. Ask for 15 albums, they give you 15 books. Likely if you asked them for 15 movies they’d give you 15 albums.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. James Kalyn says:

    I can’t complain about the hits set. I was very tempted to include an XTC hits set (well, “singles” might be more appropriate than “hits”). Also HI AARON HERE’S A COMMENT


    1. keepsmealive says:

      I remember you and XTC! Ah well, next time!

      Also: THANKS JAMES GOT IT! I’m thinking maybe I have it sorted? I dunno. There still seems to be a few I’m not getting. I dunno what’s up with that, if it’s Mail or WP. I’m sort of at the end of my knowledge of how to fix things now.


  5. boppinsblog says:

    It would have had to have been the top 50 if I was going to include greatest hits. That Marley one is AWESOME though. We have some artists the same, but not one of the same top 15. You have a wide range of musical genres though. Rock, grunge, blues, jazz, reggae, punk. Did you list them in order?


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Oh man it was almost a Top 100 for me anyway. I had SO MUCH trouble paring things down. It was ridiculous.

      Yeah, that Marley hits is immutable. It just HAS TO BE THERE. Also, not the re-release with the different tracks on it. Nope, I’m talking about the bazillion-selling old original mix of tunes. Ah yes.

      As for the wide range, Deke does call me the melting pot. I may as well melt! I wasn’t trying to get stuff from all genres in there, all of these albums really are my favourites. I wanted to be sure that if anyone asked Why In Hell Did You Include…? that I’d be sure I had an answer for them. And for these 15, that’s damn easy.

      Nope, not in any particular order (I did say it there just before the albums, but I can see how it might seem like they’re in some sort of order). Nope, I just fired them in there.


  6. J. says:

    You done it! Surprising Cohen choice, but I tip my hat to you – a great album. Miles made my shortlist before falling off. I also have a lot of love for Legend and OK Computer. Each list I read became my favourite! One thing’s for sure, I’ll be making a note of the albums mentioned so I can hit them at some point …


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks J.! Yeah, I really went back and forth on the Leonard albums (I love them all) but when you look at the track list of IYM, you just go YEAH…

      Some people chose to not include hits sets, which would have excluded Legend, but I made no such rules for myself and so here it is! 🙂 And OK Computer, oh hells yes. My lovely wife said that HAD to go on there, given how much she heard about it, over the years!

      That’s a slice of brilliance, your idea of using everyone else’s lists as a shopping/listening list. Can’t really go wrong then, eh?


      1. J. says:

        It’s a quality album for sure! I’m gonna spend some time making a wee list of the albums folks have mentioned – some I haven’t listened to in years and thought “oh yeah!” and a bunch that have been on my list a while.

        A truly worthwhile exercise …


  7. Uncle Meat says:

    Great list …. OK Computer I could have seriously considered as well …. Listened the shit out of that album … Very nice to see Connick on this list … One of the few modern jazz guys that commands a kind of “old school” respect


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Uncle Meat! This was one of the hardest things to do, making this list, but now that it’s up there I can’t argue with any of it. I’m loving seeing everyone else’s lists too.

      Oh man, I’ve been a big Connick fan since… 1988? Damn. Anyway yeah, totally agreed. I even got to (briefly) meet the man and thank him for the music – that just felt right. 😉


  8. mikeladano says:

    Awesome list. My only critique is a greatest hits album! Just as Uncle Meat resolves “no live”, I knew my list would be “no greatest hits”. There’s a lot of beauty on this list and I dig the HIP selection! YAY for Day For Night.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks Mike! I wondered about the Marley hits disc too, but it got way more plays than any of his individual albums, and it’s an utter classic anyway, so… Heh, I also considered Rush’s Chronicles.

      Day For Night is my go-to, even though I love them ALL. 🙂


  9. Sarca says:

    Oh, we have duplicate artists, my friend…B. B….Sloan…Led Zeppelin…and LZ 5 was on my shortlist too. So much good music out there!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Hahaha yeah she was THRILLED that I bugged her about music AGAIN to make a list about the music I’ve bugged her about the most! She’s a saint, really, and I love her completely.

      YOU KNOW WHO? You don’t like Led Zeppelin? 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  10. DanicaPiche says:

    A most excellent list! A couple of your selections were on my short and then shorter list.
    This challenge was definitively harder than it seemed and also a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing this great idea. 🙂


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