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This section was very hard to keep down to e reasonable size (hmm…it looks like I didn’t succeed in doing so – sorry!) because there has been so much great music created over time and especially to pick just one album form each artist was quite a challenge. This recommendation could have been a lot, lot bigger but take it as a fracment of my universe of musical inspiration and make your own discoveries from there…have a nice journey…
Singer/songwriters og bands:
- Billy Joel:’Songs From The Attic’
This album got a big renaissance when my collection of vinyl after 18 years of exile in a dark cellar saw the light of day in the autumn of 2005. In my opinion it is not always the case that a live album swings better that the studio recordings – but this album is definitely an exception. You can feel the live magic radiate out of the grooves! I have now finally got a CD version of the album – but the vinyl still gets a spin once in awhile.
- John Hiatt:’Bring In The Family’
He is known under the term, “the songwriters songwriter” and it is not without reason! It is all the way through an all-of-a-piece album, but if you had to you could accentuate songs such as ‘Lipstick Sunset’ and ‘Have a Little Faith in Me’
- Jeff Buckley: ‘Live From The Batchalan’
My first meeting with the music of Jeff Buckley was purely by chance but very impressive.
We were a few who went to see some friends who were signed to Epic Records play a gig. When we came down the stairs to the club (The Borderline, London) the support act was already in full swing. It turned out to be Jeff Buckley (solo) and the venue was completely packed with people from the music business (you can spot that a mile away!) who were down there to check out if the son of Tim Buckley was just as talented as his dad. There in our complete ignorance we stood left of the stage at the bottom of the stairs and witnessed, what for me was, the most intense live performance ever. I will never forget that night. And as finale to the story I should mention that my friends who were the headline act unfortunately didn’t play that well that night – sorry guys – but you knew it anyway!
- Mark Knopfler: ‘Sailing To Philidelphia’
I first heard his music in Dire straits in the late seventies when my brother came home with their first two Lp’s. this was a whole new and exciting (guitar) sound universe. The title track is a duet with one of my songwriter heros – James Taylor.
- Tom Waits: ‘The Heart of Saturday Night’
I am mostly a fan of his earlier albums (in the seventies) which I think are full of absolutely ingenious songs.
- Mary Chapin Carpenter. ‘Come on, Come on’
I first encountered her music when I, a relatively late weekday night (I had to be up at 6.00 am! – not an easy task for a ’Z’ type person like me) was watching a culture program (’Arena’ – BBC 2) with a live recording from New York with 3 female singer- songwriters (Nancy Griffith, Mary Chapin Carpenter and R. Cash – as far as I remember) and Mary Chapin Carpenter played ’The Moon in St. Christopher’…That completely blew me away! I just had to hear that song again!! It is not on ’Come on, Come on’ but is on the album ’Shooting Straight in the Dark’. But it was hard to pick one out of the many great albums she has made so it had to be ’Come on, Come on’.
- Shawn Colvin: ‘A Whole New You’
One of Americas best singer/songwriters.
- Sarah McLachlan: ‘Surfacing’
An ingenious album with the hit ‘Adia’.
- Eva Cassidy: ‘Songbird’
One early Saturday evening I was watching ’Top of the Pops 2’ (a program with earlier programmes hit) and eating my chinese take away (I was run short of time because I had a gig to do) when I heard/saw this singer with the most divine voice coming from my television with the number ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. My first question was: Who is she? And why do I not know her music?
I quickly jotted down her name on a piece of paper and rushed out of the door all the while trying to come down to earth upon this amazing experience. It turned out she had died several years before (1995) and the BBC Radio 2 DJ/host had taken her music under his wings. I later I heard that in a very short space of time the album had sold around 800.000 units in the UK!
When she was alive there apparently had been some attempts to get her signed in the U.S.A. (she was from Washington DC) but the record industry didn’t know how to handle her – as she said herself, ”All she wanted was to sing”. The industry didn’t know how to deal with that…
- Emmylou Harris: ‘Wrecking Ball’
A lady with a very personal voice. The album is produced by Daniel Lanois (U2 etc.).
- The Hooters: ‘One Way Home’
A fresh input from the late eighties with hits like, ‘Satellite’, ‘Johnny B’.
(Rob Hyman was a co-writer on Cindy Laupers ‘Time after Time and on Joan Osbourns ‘one of Us’).
- Crowded House: ‘Crowded House’
A fabulous band with great songs. This album was their first as ‘Crowded House’ (previous ‘Split Ends’) with the breakthrough hit ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’.
- James Taylor: ‘Classic Songs’
Yes, I konw that a best of album is too easy but where else do you start with this phenomenal singer-songwriter!– Check out the rest…
- Joni Michell: ‘Blue’
Another classic album with songs as ‘A Case of You’, ‘Blue’, ‘River’.
- Carol King:’Tapestry’
A milestone with numbers as ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, ‘(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman’, ‘Will you love Me Tomorrow’.
- Bruce Springsteen: ‘Nebraska’
Thi sone was difficult but I have always had a weakness for the song ‘Atlantic City’, so it had to be that one.
- The Band: ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’
A mix of different styles woven together to a definable style like ‘The Band.
- Robbie Robertson: ‘Storyville’
A sterling and fantastic album (Ex – ‘The Band’ guitarist).
- Bruce Hornsby: ‘A Night On Town’
In my view a genius of a piano player…
- Lyle Lovett. ‘ Pontiac’
Probably most known for having married Julia Roberts but has written a lot great songs.
- Niel Young: ‘Harvest Moon’
It was very hard to chose between ‘Harvest’ og ‘Harvest Moon’ – and of cause a lot of the albums he has released over the years but the choice came on this one.
- Bonnie Raitt:’ Luck of the Draw’
‘Luck of the Draw’ has one of the best ballads ever – ‘I can’t make You Love Me’, and that has to be reason enough (listen to Bruce Hornsby’s amazing piano playing!).
- Eagles: ‘The Best of’
Yes, again a ‘best of’, but they have some many classic song that this is the ultimate album (if it has to be put into one album).
- Jackson Browne: ‘Running on Empty’
I first seriously heard Jackson Browne when he played at the ‘Marathon Rock'(Grugge Halle i Essen 1986 – I believe) on German Televison. The ‘Marathon Rocks’ were broadcast all over Europe at the time before it was axed due to cutbacks – what a shame.
Within half a year I had bought most of his releases – I think that says it all…
- Rickie Lee Jones: ‘Rickie Lee Jones’
To me the first four albums are unique but if I have choose some songs it is of course her hit ; ‘Chuck E’s in Love’ and the fabulous ballad ‘The Last Chance Texaco’.
- Van Morrison: ‘No Guru, No Method, No Teacher’
It was relatively late in my life that got to be well acquainted with the music of Van Morrison – but since then it has gone really fast (his CDs takes up a lot o space in CD shelf!).
Again here it was difficult to choose just one of the many great albums he has made over the years but it had to be his one. The vibe on this album is authentic and intense – a thing that seems to be in short supply these days.
- Peter Gabriel: ‘So’
He has made so many great albums but this has to be the greatest. I especially like the songs ‘Mercy Street’, ‘Red Rain and ‘Big Time’.
- Kate Bush: ‘The Sensual World’
She became world famous when she broke through with the hit ‘Wuthering Heigths’ – with David Gilmore on guitar (I think it was also him that sorted out a record deal with EMI).
- Yes: ‘90125’
A great comeback album produced by Trevor Horn (Buggles, Grace Jones, Seal etc.), with the mega hit ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’.
- Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band: ‘Angel Station’
My brother had been on a trip with the school to England one of his friends had bought this album. It didn’t take long before I had bought the album – I think it was one of my first albums – and it is still one of my favorites.
- ‘Fleetwood Mac: ‘Rumours’
Also one of my first 10 Albums. It is full of great songs but ‘Dreams’ is still my favorite. I have once “jammet” ’Dreams’ with Nicky, from “Never The Bride” at a after gig get together – that woman sure has a great voice!
- Talk Talk: ‘The Colour of Spring’
An album that I got to know years after it came out. Pay attention to the Robbie McIntosh’s slide solo on ‘I don’t Believe in You’ – it is ‘less is more’ “at full throttle”.
- Tears For Fears: ‘The Seeds of Love’
A great band med hits like ‘Everybody wants to Rule the World’ and ‘Shout’ from their earlier album, ‘Songs From the Big Chair’.
This album’s ‘Sowing the Seeds of love’ is like it could have been on The Beatles ‘Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band’ – I also think that was the intention!
- U2: ‘Joshua Tree’
In my view the best U2 album. ‘With or Without You’ will always be one of my favorites.
- REM: ‘Out of time’
As usual I was late in appreciating this album and when a friend of mine gave it to me as thank you present for staying at my place during his stay in London I slowly started to listen to it. ‘Losing My Religion’ is now one of the covers that works best for me. There you go…
- Thin Lizzy: ‘Live and Dangerous’
A band that takes up a lot of space in my vinyl collection and whose music were a big part of my adolescence and the first bands I played in.
- Simon and Garfunkel: ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’
I think this album can only be termed – a ‘classic album’
- Clannad: ‘Past Present’
A great band that revolutionized the use of multilayered vocals, which the sister Enya when she went solo made a trademark of her sound.
- Foreinger: ‘4’
Another album from my youth full of hits like ‘Waiting For a Girl Like You’, ‘Urgent’, ‘Juke Box Hero’. The album is produced by one of the greatest producers – John “Mutt” Lange (AC/DC, Shania Twain, City Boy etc… and not at least Def Leppard)
- David Bowie: ‘Let’s Dance’
Again it was hard to choose one album but as I’m a great fan of Stevie Ray Vaughan it had to be this album.
- 10 CC: ‘Deceptive Bends’
Again, one of my first ten aIbums with hits like ‘Good Morning Judge’ and The Things We Do for Love’.
- Simple Minds: ‘Street Fighting Years’
A solid album produced by Trevor Horn og Stephen Lipson.
- Miles Davis: ‘Star People’
This is just one out of a lot of great albums that each in their own way are brilliant but this is for me the most intense one that clearly marked that Miles after a long period of absence was “back in business”.
- Frank Zappa: ‘Sheik Yerbouti’
Yes, where does he belong? I put him in this category but he stretches over a lot of genres (also ‘Ravels Bolero’ – which I saw him perform Copenhagen in 1998 – The last concert in Denmark). ‘Bobby Brown’ is the hit from this album that most probably know Frank Zappa for.
- Steely Dan: ‘Gaucho’
- Donald Fagen: ‘The Nightfly’
Two ‘classic’ albums that are just unique!
- NHØP: ‘Friends Forever’
Yes…what can one say…a great loss of a mega unique Danish musically personality. But luckily we have the music (the spirit) and it is eternalized on this CD – ‘NHØP rest in peace’ and let the music and the notes from the heart ring out in the Universe.
- John Scofield: ”Still Warm’
One of jazzs great guitar personalities.
- Allan Holdsworth: ‘Metal Fatigue’
A guitarist whose playing can get your eyes (ears) to drop out of your head…check out the title track
- The Brecker Brothers: ‘Heavy Metal Be-Bop’
This live albums just swingss and grooves like mad!
- Pat Metheny: ‘Travels’
Pat Metheny is one of my great “idols”, not just as a guitarist but clearly also as a composer. He and his ‘Group’ are pure and simple has a unique sound. The album contains what some might call their hit – ‘Are You Going With Me’?
To this date I have never been to a koncert of his where I have gone away feeling disappointed. Quite the opposite, I have always come out high on the soul and magic of the music and the inspiration to work on my own musical expression!
Akustisk guitar/new age:
- Michael Hedges: ‘Aerial Boundaries’
A good friend of mine played this album for me and – yes, what I heard was absolutely fantastic! He made a quantum leap on what you could get out of an acoustic guitar.
- George Winston: ‘Autumn’
Pure and simple very beautiful and relaxing piano playing – perfect for at quiet Sunday.
- Stevie Ray Vaughan: ‘Couldn’t Stand the Weather’
When I first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan I didn’t believe my own ears! His guitar playing was just ‘so much in your face’ and distinct, so with just a few notes you know it is him.
- J.J. Cale: ‘Shades’
There is not another artist where the term; ‘Laid back’ make that much sense.
Most people probably know his songwriting from Eric Clapton (Cocaine, After Midnight, Any Old Time).
At the tender age of 15-16 years old I had already bought all of his albums.
At that point it was normal to those kind of records in a sixteen year olds record collection – but then I have probably never been quite ”normal”…
- Gary Moore: ‘Still Got the Blues’
As Gary Moore himself has expressed it: “I put the volume into the blues”.
Funnily enough I have always thought he played ”Blues” (bluesy) when he was doing his more rock albums…
- Eric Clapton: ‘From The Cradle’
A good solid album from world famous guitarist, who at some point was called ‘God’.
- John Mayall, Blues Breakers, with Eric Clapton:
This a classic everybody should know…
- ZZ Top: ‘Deguello’
After some time apart ‘The little Old Band From Texas’, made this great album.
- Point Blank: ‘The Hard Way’
On this album there are two live numbers. One of them is a version Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ and the other is a boogie/rock number that swings like crazy!
- Lynyrd Skynyrd: ‘Street Survivors’
An album with lots of great numbers – inclusive of ‘I know a Little’
- C.V. Jørgensen. ‘Vild i varmen’
To choose an album was difficult but I have always liked ‘I en blågrå kupé’ which is still one of my favorites.
- Gasolin:’ Gas 5′
This was an almost impossible choice but it had to be his one. I saw them live in 1976 (the ’Efter endnu dag tour) in ’Stadion Hallen Esbjerg’ with my parents – a great experience for a relative young boy – I was only ten years old at the time.
- Kim Larsen. ‘Værs’go’
Oh Yes, it had to come…
- Sneakers: ‘Sneakers’
A great album that all of us aspiring musicians tried to learn how to play.
There is so much beautiful and great classical music, so I will just mention some of my favorite composers. Almost all of Bach and a great deal of Mozart. Edvard Grieg, that in my view, has achieved to find the Nordic sound in his compositions – You can almost fell the Nordic nature…