60 Records To Make Your Life Better This Year

I posted this list over at the Lockwood and Summit blog with a slightly different introduction. This coming Friday on Sound Salvation (7 am to 10 am), I’ll be counting down the albums which meant the most to me in 2008, but I’ll be doing them in alphabetical order. Oh, sure, I could create a hierarchy, but really, what does it mean that I thought Sonny Rollins was slightly better than AC/DC, or was it the other way around?

The important thing to take away from all this is we’re living in a pretty darn good time to enjoy music. I list 60 albums here that dug into my memory banks, and gave me plenty of enjoyment. I am equally sure that I missed an equivalent number of excellent albums in genres I barely perused – contemporary country, rap, r’n'b, pop, world music. I make no claims to completion, but I do know that the following 60 albums were all terrific. See the list after the jump.

AC/DC Black Ice
Arvizu, Ervi Friend For Life
Badu, Erykah New AmErykah: Pt. 1 Fourth World War
Buckingham, Lindsey Gift of Screws
Campbell, Glen Meet Glen Campbell
Cooder, Ry I, Flathead
Costello, Elvis Momofuku
Crowell, Rodney Sex and Gasoline
Davies, Ray Working Man’s Café
Dengue Fever Venus on Earth
Devotchka A Mad and Faithfull Telling
Dr. John The City That Care Forgot
Dylan, Bob Tell Tale Signs: Bootleg Series Vol. 8
Elbow Seldom Seen Kid
Escovedo, Alejandro Real Animal
Finn, Liam I’ll Be Lightning
Flody, Eddie Eddie Loves You So
Future Clouds and Radar Peoria
Green, Al Lay It Down
Guy,Buddy Skin Deep
Harris, Emmylou All I Intended to Be
Helium Tapes Helium Tapes
Hiatt, John Same Old Man
Hold Steady Stay Positive
Hunter, James The Hard Way
Iguanas If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times
Kempner, Scott Saving Grace
King, B.B. One Kind Favor
LaBelle Back to Now
Landreth, Sonny From the Reach
lang, k.d. Watershed
Loveless, Patty Sleepless Nights
Magnolia Summer Lines From the Frame
Mann, Aimee Smilers
Marah Angels of Destruction
McMurtry, James Just Us Kids
Morrison, Van Keep It Simple
Mudcrutch Mudcrutch
Nelson, Willie Moment of Forever
Newman, Randy Harps and Angels
Ollabelle Before This Time
Orchestra Baobab Made in Dakar
Panic At the Disco Pretty. Odd
Phillips, Sam Don’t Do Anything
Pretenders Break Up the Concrete
Reilly, Ike Poison the Hit Parade
Rollins, Sonny Road Shows Vol. 1
Rough Shop Here Today
Saadiq, Raphael The Way I See It
Sloan Parallel Play
Sweet, Matthew Sunshine Lies
The Baseball Project The Baseball Project
Thomas, Irma Simply Grand
Thompson, Teddy A Piece of What You Need
Wainwright, Loudon III Recovery
Wainwright, Martha I Know You’re Married But I Have Feelings Too
Was (Not Was) Boo!
Washburn, Abigail and the Sparrow Quartet Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet
Wilson, Cassandra Loverly
Wynn, Steve Crossing Dragon Bridge