The Rundown: 12 Albums That Have Stuck With Me

If you’re on Facebook and have friends that are (a) in any way musically inclined, (b) really into sharing the latest status update trends or (c) both, chances are you’ve been tagged into the current music-centric “copy and share” trend sweeping through the social media platform.

The way it works is that you list 12 albums that have stuck with you over the years, with two caveats: one album per artist/band and no compilations, which is kind of lame because there have been some great soundtracks over the years that could get mentioned.

But it’s not my game, so when I played along, I followed the rules and then I got to thinking: since I’m not friends with all the faithful readers of AmongMen.com and I’ve spent a great deal of time this year letting you into my life, why not share my 12 albums here as well, where everyone can laugh at some of my selections and nod in agreement with others?

Jay-Z: The Blueprint III
There are better Jay-Z albums, but this one helped soundtrack my move from Kimberley to Victoria and helped me wake up in the morning when I was picking produce prior to embarking on my writing career full time. Plus, there are a couple really great tracks on this album that I will happily listen to regularly for the next 25 years, no problem.

Kanye West: Late Registration
I detailed Kanye tracks in this space a couple weeks ago and there were a couple songs from this album that make that Rundown. This is my favourite Kanye album just because of the way it ebbs and flows from hype to mellow, amped up to smoothed out. I could listen to this album from start to finish on repeat every day and have, many times.

Ryan Adams: Gold
Before he was covering Taylor Swift’s 1989, Adams was an alt-country genius making records like Gold that are so damn amazing that once you listen to it, it becomes a part of your life forever. While there are some sad songs that especially stood out for me when this album first found its way into my collection, it’s the more upbeat stuff like “Make You Love Me More” that really resonate today.

Pearl Jam: Ten
One of the best debut albums of all-time, Ten was the first rock album to really shake me from my hip hop focus and make me expand my horizons to different genres. Unfortunately, that led to a brief dalliance with Moist (remember Moist?), but still, this album is damn-near perfect from start to finish and remains in heavy rotation all these years later.

Dave Matthews Band: Under the Table and Dreaming
There are going to be people who want to mock me for copping to being a DMB fan, but that’s fine. I like him. I think he’s made some really good music over the years and while I have songs from other albums that I like more, this is the album that introduced me to the band and got me hooked, so it will always have a special place in my collection.

Michael Jackson: Thriller
Do I really need to explain this?

Justin Timberlake: FutureSex/LoveSounds
Timberlake’s debut, Justified, was great, but the boy took it to a different level when he dropped this thing into our laps. I loved this album from Day One and still love it today, in large part because it reminds me of the summer I met my beautiful wife. “My Love” is at Top 25 all-time track for me.

Robbie Williams: Life Thru A Lens
I like Robbie Williams. I think he’s a phenomenal entertainer and during the late ‘90s, early ‘00s, he had a terrific run of quality albums. Life Thru A Lens stands out and sticks around for me two reasons: “Let Me Entertain You,” which is one of my favourite “get energized” songs, and “Angels,” which is a karaoke standard and a beautiful song overall.

Radiohead: The Bends
A great album from a great band who I was fortunate enough to see play live back in the day. Plus, the back-to-back brilliance of “High and Dry” and “Fake Plastic Trees” is tough to get away from and when you add in everything else that is on this album, how can you not keep it in your life for all time?

A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory
I’ll always love Tribe. I’ll always love this album. It’s as simple as that.

Green Day: Dookie
A couple years after the Pearl Jam “Listen to more music, Spencer” moment, Dookie came out and became my jam. More than 20 years later (oh my god, I’m old), it’s still a great album to throw on and sing along to while playing air drums, thinking about the high school days.

Fall Out Boy: From Under the Cork Tree
There was a time when my MSN quote or status was permanently lines from songs on this album. Yes, I was a bit of a dork, but I was also way into Fall Out Boy and I still don’t care who knows it. Catching pop-punk and emo jams dominated my listening habits for a steady couple years and this remains an easy album to throw in and rock out to in the card.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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