33 Albums You Should Listen to Before You Die

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About Steve Jaeger

Steve Jaeger grew up in suburban New York but has lived in the Washington, DC area since his teens. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and worked as a chef for more than thirty years. He is an avid baseball fan, history buff and never misses Curb Your Enthusiasm. He lives in Arlington, VA with three children and a cat.

Comments

  1. Jonathan G says:

    Egad, as an inveterate procrastinator, my only hope is that something like cancer or congestive heart failure gets me, rather than something sudden like cardiac arrest or a bus, because I’ll have 48 movies to watch and 27 albums to listen to before I die. What’s the penalty if I kick the bucket before I get through these lists? Will it go on my permanent record?

  2. Great list, Steve. I only agree with a third of it, which I think is a huge accomplishment….Velvets, Stooges, Zappa, X, Kottke, Hank, Armstrong, Muddy, RJ, Eno and Hendrix are spot on. At least in a 99 album list. Beggar’s Banquet also happens to be my favorite Stones album, by far. Way to take a stand!

  3. I won’t dispute the usefulness of critical lists. In my punk rock days I wasn’t ashamed to consult them and plunk down actual cash for a physical, analog disk based on their recommendations. That’s how I found about the VU (and Loaded is kind of a Velvets fan’s guilty pleasure, ’cause you’re supposed to be all into the first two albums with their droning violas and drugs and feedback ‘n’ shit, but not the doowoppy pop Loaded). And Pet Sounds.

    A philosophical quibble: Can we retire this “before you die” business? If you were to take “before you die” literally you would squander your life chasing canonical taste that may not agree with you (plenty of people don’t like Faulkner or Mendelssohn, in spite of the artists’ greatness). Turning life into a pattern of goal setting crowds out the little graces of friends’ word of mouth and accidental discoveries.

    • steve jaeger says:

      Actually the title I submitted was “My Desert Island Discs” The editors changed the title

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        I”m not the ed that changed the title (and had no say on it), but “My Desert Island Discs”, while a great title, reminds me of a list like Bob Marley, The Beach Boys, and Don Ho.

        Sadly, most people are even LESS clever than me! ;)

        • Steve Jaeger says:

          Joanna – there was actually a syndicated radio show followed by a series of books called Desert Island Discs, that’s where it came from

  4. No Miles Davis album, seriously!??

    Kind of Blue!!!!!!!!!!

    • steve jaeger says:

      Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of modern jazz.

      • not only modern jazz, on this list there’s no jazz artist at all ( well only Louis Armstrong ). Almost all album here are rock and roll albums. Although I like Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Bob Dylan, you missing many many many great instrumental Jazz albums, from great musicians like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Pat Metheny, and many others.

  5. Where’s Johnny Cash?

    • Steve Jaeger says:

      With the exception of Django Reinhart I don’t own albums by any of those artists. Not my cup of tea. You should put your own list together, these are my essential,albums

    • steve jaeger says:

      Steve – I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it, Johnny Cash passed away a couple of years ago, sorry.

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