With the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 8, the ECHO staffers revealed their favorite albums of all time…
Name: “Continuum” by John Mayer (2006)
Favorite three songs: “Waiting on the World to Change,” “The Heart of Life” and “Bold is Love”
What makes it a good album in general? “All his songs are really chill and easy to listen to.”
What makes it your favorite? “Every song is a good song. It’s from 2006, and it reminds me of being younger and all my elementary school friends.”
Fun fact: The seventh track “Stop This Train” was written by Mayer when he was in bed suffering from double kidney stones.
Name: “Revolver” by the Beatles (1966)
Favorite three songs: “Got to Get You into my Life,” “Taxman” and “Eleanor Rigby”
What makes it a good album in general? “I think it’s consistent; I enjoy all the songs on the album. There isn’t a bad song.”
What makes it your favorite? “This album was the first album I heard, and The Beatles have been my favorite band since I was a kid, and when we went on road trips, we always played this album. It grew on me a lot.”
Fun fact: The title “Revolver,” like “Rubber Soul” before it, is a pun, referring both to a kind of handgun as well as the “revolving” motion of the record as it is played on a turntable.
Name: “Graceland” by Paul Simon (1986)
Favorite three songs: “Graceland,” “I Know What I Know” and “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”
What makes it a good album in general? “There is a unique sound throughout the album, and every song is good. Also it smells good.”
What makes it your favorite? “It reminds me of playing Risk in junior Chris Drier’s basement because that’s where I first heard the album on vinyl.”
Fun fact: The recording and release of Graceland was controversial due to the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world against the apartheid regime in South Africa at the time.
Name: “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” by Fitz and the Tantrums (2010)
Favorite three songs: “MoneyGrabber,” “L.O.V.” and “Tighter”
What makes it a good album in general? “I like how it kind of sounds old school.”
What makes it your favorite? “It’s just what I’m feeling right now.”
Fun fact: The album was heavily inspired by the music of Motown, which the lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick described as “the greatest period of song writing in music ever.”
Name: “In the Lonely Hour” by Sam Smith (2014)
Favorite three songs: “I’m Not the Only One,” “Not In That Way” and “Good Thing”
What makes it a good album in general? “He sings about every part of a relationship that everyone can relate too.”
What makes it your favorite? “The songs are so relatable, so they never go out of style. Being in high school with all the weird relationships, it’s nice to hear a grown up is having some of the same feelings about their relationships.”
Fun fact: In an interview with Digital Spy, Smith described the over arching theme of his album as “sad.”
Name: “White Blood Cells” by The White Stripes (2001)
Favorite three songs: “Fell in Love with a Girl,” “Little Room” and “We Are Going to Be Friends”
What makes it a good album in general? “This is the White Stripes at their best. I really like the album artwork. The songs just sound good; they tickle the ear and tickle my fancy.”
What makes it your favorite? “I went to Jack White’s concert in August, so listening to this album reminds me of that.”
Fun fact: The album was recorded in less than four days to try to keep it “as unorganized as possible,” according to Jack White.
Name: “For Emma, Forever Ago” by Bon Iver (2007)
Favorite three songs: “Holocene,” “Skinny Love” and “Flume”
What makes it a good album in general? “Even though the songs are similar, there’s a versatility in the album. All the songs are complex enough to remain interesting even after listening to it for a long period of time.”
What makes it your favorite? “I’ve been listening to it for years (before high school), but I keep rediscovering songs from it. I have a lot of memories associated with it.”
Fun fact: Justin Vernon wrote the album secluded in a cabin in Medford, Wisconsin, for three months while suffering from mononucleosis.
Name: “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd (1973)
Favorite three songs: “Money,” “The Great Gig in the Sky” and “Time”
What makes it a good album in general? “Pink Floyd shreds.”
What makes it your favorite? “You feel like you can do anything when listening to it, such as being able to fly. Likewise, this album has cost my family thousands in medical bills.”
Fun fact: The band of light coming out of the prism on the album artwork is missing indigo.
Name: “Konvicted” by Akon (2006)
Favorite three songs: “Mama Africa,” I Wanna Love You” and “Gangsta Bop”
What makes it a good album in general? “Each song on the album has a deeper meaning about society and how the world works.”
What makes it your favorite? “I idolize Akon first of all. He has a lot of songs I can relate to.”
Fun fact: Akon was born here in St. Louis.
Name: Sound track from “Guardians of the Galaxy” by Various Artists (2014)
Favorite three songs: “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Cherrybomb” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
What makes it a good album in general? “It’s very fun and upbeat and easy to dance to. You remember when the songs happen in the movie because they have to do with the plot. “I Want You Back” reminds me of “I am Groot” at the end of the movie.”
What makes it your favorite? “It’s a movie sound track, so it has a variety of pop artists from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and I usually listen to pop (or Broadway and Disney).”
Fun fact: The sound track reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, making it the first sound track album in history consisting entirely of previously released songs to top the chart.
Name: “Smiley Smile” by the Beach Boys (1967)
Favorite three songs: “She’s Goin’ Bald,” “Little Pad” and “Good Vibrations”
What makes it a good album in general? “It came out after their huge surf music era, and it’s a little more folksy and experimental. Parts of some of the tracks are just them joking around in the recording studio. It has a really upbeat feeling even on the slower, sadder songs.”
What makes it your favorite? “This album brings up a lot of nostalgia for me. When I was little, my dad would turn it on when we were cleaning the house, so when I listen to it now, it makes me feel like a kid again.”
Fun fact: On the second track “Vegetables,” Paul McCartney can be heard crunching vegetables in the background.
Name: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen (1975)
Favorite three songs: “Jungleland,” “Born to Run” and “10th Avenue Freeze Out”
What makes it a good album in general? “It’s sort of his early work and a lot of his best work was in the 70s. “Born to Run” includes a variety of songs and every one of them is a classic.”
What makes it your favorite? “Personally, my favorite song of all time, “Jungleland,” is on it, and I’ve always connected to classic rock, and Bruce Springsteen has a lot of classic rock, but with some pop and jazz occasionally. The second song on the album is about how he met Clarence Clemons (his long time saxophonist and best friend), and my kitten is named after him.”
Fun fact: The title track “Born to Run” took six months to record (almost half the time the total album took to record.)