The American Association of Retired Persons is slowly being overtaken by aging baby boomers. With that in mind, they have published this list of the 25 essential albums every retired person needs to own. They come in chronological order. Let’s critique the selections, shall we?
1. Patsy Cline, Showcase (1961)
I suppose. Patsy is held dear by a segment of today’s hipster community.
2. Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962)
A good album, but my choice would have been What I’d Say from 1959.
3. Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
A good choice. This album should be in everyone’s collection.
4. The Beatles, Rubber Soul (1965)
Is this a better album than Sgt. Pepper, The White Album or Abbey Road? The debate rages. (I’d pick Abbey Road, by the way)
5. Beach Boys, Pet Sounds(1966)
No quibbles from me.
6. The Temptations, Greatest Hits (1966)
A cheat! These kinds of lists should never, ever contain a greatest hits record. Excise and insert Cream’s Fresh Cream (1966).
7. Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced? (1967)
8. Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul (1968)
9. Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
A fine record, but awfully maudlin and sappy in retrospect. If we have to replace this with another album from 1970, I’d go with Black Sabbath’s Paranoid.
10. James Taylor, Sweet Baby James (1970)
Whatever. I hate James Taylor.
11. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Deja Vu (1970)
Too mellow again. Go with Led Zeppelin III.
12. Carole King, Tapestry (1971)
Fer gawd’s sake. Okay, it’s a good record but what’s with all this down tempo stuff?
13. Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers (1971)
Wrong. Should be Let It Bleed (1969)
14. Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On (1971)
15. Joni Mitchell, Blue (1971)
16. Don McLean, American Pie (1971)
Really? So you can listen to the title track over and over again? Scratch it and insert Meddle from Pink Floyd (1971)
17. Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
Double album, good value.
18. Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run (1975)
19. Eagles, Hotel California (1976)
Cliched, but whatever.
20. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours (1977)
Also cliched, but it’s still one of the most consistently solid albums ever recorded.
21. Billy Joel, The Stranger (1977)
My wife would agree. I do not. This is where you drop Billy for the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks (1977)
22. Willie Nelson, Stardust (1978)
Love you, Willie, but I’ll take Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model (1978) over you any day.
23. Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982)
You mean there are people show still don’t have a copy?
24. Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever (1989)
Er, really? Drop Tom. Add The Pixies’ Doolittle (1989).
25. Stevie Wonder, At the Close of a Century (1999)
I DARE you to name any song from this album. Throw out and add Nirvana’s Nevermind,
But there’s still so much missing here. Velvet Underground, the Clash, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Oasis…I could go on. Anything you’d like to recommend?