The Dark Star Album Guide

Here I have compiled a longlist of the records essential for a happy and rich life. In other words, if you don’t own these albums, you are still stuck in boring limbo before the philosophical rebirth that each of these will provide. Read this first, thank me later…

This is archived and primarily a reference for those who use this blog. My own album guide in the vein of Christgau or Rolling Stone, maybe. Each album that has been reviewed as of yet will have it’s own link which you can click to browse.

The Band: Music from Big Pink, The Brown Album
The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Big Star: Radio City
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust
Buffalo Springfield: Buffalo Springfield Again
Ray Charles: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music: Vol’s 1 & 2
The Clash: S/T
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Willy and the Poor Boys
Derek and the Dominoes: LAYLA and Other Assorted Love Songs
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde, The Basement Tapes
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On
The Grateful Dead: Live Dead, American Beauty
Roy Harper: HQ
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland
Buddy Holly and the Crickets: 20 Golden Greats
B.B. King: Live at the Regal
The Kinks: Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur
Led Zeppelin: II, III, IV, Physical Graffiti
Little Feat: S/T, Dixie Chicken
Love: Forever
Joni Mitchell: Blue
Van Morrison: Moondance
Randy Newman: 12 Songs
Gram Parsons: Grievous Angel
Pink Floyd: Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon
Elvis Presley: The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete 50’s Masters
Prince: Purple Rain
Otis Redding: Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay
Lou Reed: The Blue Mask
REM: Murmur
Replacements: Let it Be, Tim
The Rolling Stones: Beggar’s Banquet, Let it Bleed, Exile on Main Street
Paul Simon: Graceland
Sly and the Family Stone: There’s a Riot Goin’ On
The Smiths: Hatful of Hollow, The Queen is Dead
Bruce Springsteen: The Wild, The Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, Born in the USA
Steely Dan: Countdown to Ecstasy, Aja
Rod Stewart: Every Picture Tells a Story
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions
Yes: Close to the Edge
Neil Young: After the Gold Rush, On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night, Rust Never Sleeps
John Prine: S/T 1971


12 thoughts on “The Dark Star Album Guide

  1. Ok, so here’s my thoughts. Firstly, a solid list with which one could happily be stranded on a desert island. ‘Exile,’ ‘Layla,’ ‘Dark Side,’ ‘The Wild, The Innocent,’ all on my Top Ten list. Alas, the judges have decided to deduct a couple of Bonzos from your overall score, noting the complete lack of Allman Brothers, notably ‘At Fillmore East.’ 😀

    All that said, I think I’ve listened to just about everything on your list at least once. Notable exceptions would be ‘Bryter Later’ which is on my to-do list, ‘The Blue Mask,’ which now that you mention it, ditto; and Gram Parsons because I am just not much of a country-rock fan.

    Likewise the Smiths provoke a shrug. However, I am SO glad you mentioned Sly and the Family Stone. They were one of the first bands I blogged about and nobody read it. They seem to be forgotten in many parts of the globe. But so influential for their time. A great band and if you like them, go onto YouTube and listen to their “Fillmore East” album. It’s from 1968 but it just came out maybe last year. Great stuff.


  2. I thought so hard about the Fillmore East album…I really need to get the original album version that everyone raves about instead of the annoying modified ‘deluxe edition’ that I own.
    There’s a Riot Goin’ On is, to me, one of the masterpieces of 20th century popular music. Nothing like it before or since. And funky as **** 😀


    1. BTW, as much as I love all the Zep albums, I guess the only one you don’t list is Zep 1, which is actually my favorite. I know I’m “supposed” to like later albums by bands as, sure, they improve. But for me the first album had all the passion, power and mystery. There’s no track I don’t like. And songs like “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” and “Dazed” are just spooky-sounding. So, yeah, of course I love Physical Graffiti and ZOSO. But if I were to pick only one, it’d be the first one.


      1. For all the time I’ve had that album, I’ve barely ever listened to it. I thought I was more of a fan of their more complex rock stuff than the early blues, but I finally gave it a thorough listen all the way through and was completely changed. Forgot how much I really like it, and actually; there’s not a duff moment on it. Been learning some of it on the guitar: my latest acquisition…

        Maybe if I continue listening to it and loving it as much as I have recently, it’ll weasle its way onto the list. All the Zep albums on the list have, to me, over the years had more of that ‘passion, power and mystery’. I guess it comes down to chance and taste… 😀

        Led Zeppelin III: Mystery
        Led Zeppelin IV: Power
        Physical Graffiti: Passion


      2. Freddo, it sounds like you spend entirely too much time listening to this music, obsessing over it down to the finest detail, categorizing it, even trying to learn it on the guitar. In short, a man after my own heart. 😀


  3. How did I keep the list so short? By draining every inch of willpower in my soul. It was a Herculean tast, trust me…

    I realize almost all of the albums on the list are already considered established classics, so I thought I should include at least a couple that are of my own personal interest…
    Thanks for commenting ;D


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