Remember a while back when I mentioned a new gimmick of lists of five things I would be dropping on you? Haven’t seen list #2 yet, have you? Well, there is an explanation. This list is a biggie, and I’ve been struggling with how to properly roll it out to you. I’ve finally figured out how I want to do it, so hopefully we’ll get back on track.

This one is a multi-edition list. We’ll start today with the list itself. Then, since it’s a Big List (meaning an important one), I will break down each element over the next 4-5 weeks, probably on Mondays. Along the way, I hope to get additional lists of fives posted on Fridays. But you know me; don’t hold your breath.

Five Favorite Albums of All-Time

Rules: No soundtracks or greatest hits packages. One album per band. I must own the complete album in one format or another. And it obviously must rock.

5 –Achtung Baby – U2. Somewhat overshadowed by another album released about the same time Nevermind this helped to define the 90s sound.
4 – Revolver – The Beatles. The album every other album wants to be.
3 – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy. No album influenced me more.
2 – OK Computer – Radiohead. The last, great, rock concept album?
1 – London Calling – The Clash. The entire history of rock & roll on two pieces of vinyl.

Honorable Mention:
Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys. Vastly underrated.
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen. The perfect statement about one of the worst days ever.
Vitalogy – Pearl Jam. Their artistic high point, would rate higher if not for the obligatory throw-away tracks.
Summer Teeth – Wilco. An American stab at what The Clash did on London Calling, summing all genres into a single piece of art.

Super Honorable Mention:
Purple Rain – Prince & The Revolution. A soundtrack, yes, but one performed by a single artist rather than an all-star affair (Like Footloose, for example).

Look for the Achtung Baby breakdown on Monday. Happy Labor Day weekend!