Not the Beatles

posted by Momo Fali on September 15, 2011

A friend and I recently got into a pseudo-heated debate about what five albums (yes, I said albums…I used to have albums so I’m allowed) we would choose if we could only listen to those five albums for the rest of our lives.

His first choice was The White Album. Or, maybe it was Abbey Road. Wait, no. It was Sgt. Pepper’s. So, yeah…you get the idea.

Here’s the deal. I love The Beatles, really I do. I acknowledge their place as numero uno and that none of the amazing artists that I love today would exist without them. Well they would exist, but their music wouldn’t.

But, hello? I need to be able to sing these songs if I’m going to listen to them forever and there is only so much “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” that a girl can hear without her head popping off. Though, it’s possible that I could listen to Blackbird for a really, really long time.

I said that my first pick would be Joni Mitchell’s, Blue and my friend laughed at me. What he doesn’t know is that when there is a full moon, I turn into a long-haired hippie who plays a mean dulcimer and sings falsetto. My friend also, apparently, doesn’t realize that Rolling Stone named Blue as #30 on the list of 500 greatest albums of all time. Holla!

Sure, those three Beatles albums I mentioned were in the top 15 and Sgt. Pepper’s was #1. What. Ever. I want to sing.

That’s why my #2 album would be Aretha’s Gold. Because if I’m not a long-haired, Caucasian, Canadian in my dreams, then I’m an African-American soul singer. Actually, I’m pretty much the Queen of Soul. Just ask me.

From there, things get fuzzy. I blame the fact that this conversation took place at an Irish Pub, but honestly I don’t know where I would turn past those first two albums.  Probably Zeppelin, or Michael Jackson, or Pearl Jam, or Justin Timberlake.

I’m proud of the fact that my musical tastes are all over the place, because it shows I don’t lack diversity. Take that, Beatles. Ho-hum. I want to hear what people would pick OTHER than The Beatles.

So, I’ll stop my list right there and ask you, boys and girls. What would be the first two albums on your list?


  • Sarah

    Guns N Roses “Appetite for Destruction” and Alice in Chains “Dirt”.

    But I might trade out Appetite for the dreaded 9th just to keep things interesting.

  • AmazingGreis

    The #1 album on my list would be anything Justin Timberlake. I’d probably throw in a little Britney Spears & *NSYNC too! What can I say, I heart pop music!

  • Tara R.

    I’d pick Collective Soul (their debut album) and Dave Matthews Band/Crash, maybe a little old school Eagles and Eric Clapton.

  • Stephanie

    Sixteen Stone by Bush and No Doubt The Singles. I was never a Beatles fan. I do appreciate their place in history, and I respect their music. I just don’t like them. Didn’t win me much favor in high school to say that, but it’s the truth.

  • Michelle McCort

    only two for the rest of my life? Thriller and Stevie Wonder’s Greatest hits. I too need to sing. And dance. Michelle McCort

  • Heather

    TWO for the REST of my life? Yikes. I’d pick Damien Rice’s “9” and also DMB’s “Crash”. 🙂

  • Zak

    Ooh, I love this game and I used to have “albums” too. We are so OLD.

    1. American Beauty by Grateful Dead. Never gets old.
    2. All Eyez on Me by 2Pac. It’s motivational.

  • Ali T

    Really difficult to only pick 2 but –
    1. Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I
    2. Joni Mitchell’s Blue or The Hissing of Summer Lawns

  • Trina @ Walking With Scissors

    Two is not enough. For one, it would have to be a super huge compilation of all of Michael Jackson’s songs. (I’m a cheater pants!). The second one? I don’t know. The Our Lady Peace Live album is amazing. Or U2’s Achtung Baby.

  • Amie

    I still DO have albums…and I would pick Beastie Boys’ “Licensed to Ill” and the soundtrack to Say Anything.

    • Momo Fali


  • always home and uncool

    Fountains of Wayne: Utopia Parkway
    The Refreshments: Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy

    Great power pop never gets tiresome.

  • Mo

    I might have to choose Run DMCs “Raising Hell” and maybe Sting’s “Brand New Day.”

    Weird, right?

  • Roxanne

    So hard. Without giving too much thought, I’d say Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill but maybe Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation or Thriller or Purple Rain. I’m excluding classical or jazz/blues. This is really hard.

  • Kristen

    1. The Les Miz soundtrack
    2. The Eagles greatest hits

    Oh man, I’m a nerd.

  • Danielle

    I have three because they are all fighting for position.

    1. Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes
    2. (Tie) The Cure – Disintegration/Deee-Lite – World Clique (Opposite ends of the mood spectrum, I know.)

  • Tom

    Toughie. Hmmm…

    #1 Moody Blues: Days of Future Past
    #2 Walter Schumann: Voices of Christmas (obscure… but must have)

    During high school, it was my best buddy who was the pop album collector, so I just hung around him when it came to listening to Journey or Asia or The Knack or whatever them 80’s had to offer.

  • Miss Britt

    Oh man, I would have such a hard time choosing!

    Counting Crows – August and Everything After
    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    Prince – Purple Rain OR The Best of Prince Album
    Metallica – The Metallica Collection (totally counts!)
    Etta James – surely there is a compilation disc out there somewhere that has all of the songs I really love.

  • UP

    1- Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd
    2- Fly Like and Eagle – Steve Miller Band
    3- The Silver Tongued Devil and I – Kris Kristofferson
    4- The Red Violin – Movie Soundtrack
    5- Cheap Thrills – Janis Joplin

    And anything by the Rolling Stones, frankly, they set the standard!!


  • PJ Mullen

    1. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek & the Dominos
    2. Boston – Boston

    Both of which I own on vinyl.

  • Deb

    The Beatles, Elvis, Rolling Stones, Eagles, KISS, Ozzi, the list goes on… But needless to say without the early rock the new music wouldn ‘t be here!! Elvis and his moves will always be “The King!”

  • meriah

    i can do with just one: donna summer, “live and more” 🙂

    • UP

      Ohh, Donna Summer, I forgot about her! A must have…I can’t do with two!


  • Jack@TheJackB

    Springsteen Live ’75-85 or Tunnel of Love
    Ray Charles The Birth of Soul
    Zeppelin IV

  • susan

    wow challenging! Does a random music collection on my ipod count as an album?
    Carol King Tapestry and
    Abba: Gold

  • meleah rebeccah

    I *heart* Joni Mitchell’s, Blue. SO VERY MUCH.

    “What would be the first two albums on your list?”

    Led Zeppelin II.
    Rolling Stones, Sticky Fingers.

  • Jamie

    Paul Simon – Graceland

    Greatest Hits George Harrison Dark Horse Years

    Would have to have something to get my aging grove on — Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits.

    Elton John — Greatest Hits (really just first disc)

    Bruce Hornsby (would have to hear piano)

    This would never do…have to have some early, late Beatles. I’ll be thinking on this all night.

  • Stephanie

    Classics, by Ratatat, and Wish You Were Here, by Pink Floyd.

  • Nicole

    Within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone new, I make it a point to ask them what their top 5 favorite songs of all time are. Most people stare at me like I’m nuts, but everyone has them… they just don’t realize it. They’re the songs that you never flip past when your iTunes is on shuffle. I’ve been trying to write a post about this subject since I started blogging and I just never got it right! Well done, I approve 🙂

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