70 albums I play regularly

Red and I met because of record albums. She was tired of hauling two boxes of vinyl LPs from one house to another, so after her latest move she looked on AOL for people who listed vinyl collections among their hobbies.

“I’ll give them to you, no charge, I just want to get rid of them,” she said. “Are you interested?” 

I was. But the more we talked, I became interested in more than just the records, and by the time we got together to exchange the two boxes, it was more like a first date than a transaction.

The rest is history, and her ploy backfired. Instead of two boxes to move next time, there are dozens. On the other hand, she personally won’t have to haul them.

In other words, music is an essential oil. It soothes the savage breast and moves the wild thing and all that. 

The first major purchase of my life was the $2.74 I plunked down to buy, of all things, Ballads of the Green Berets by SSgt. Barry Sadler. I have kept purchasing albums at a clip where I’m sure I now could go several months playing them day and night before I started repeating.

But some do find their way onto my turntable or CD player more often than the others, and as we approach my 70th, here are 70 of those most beloved albums (in no particular order — I only numbered them to make sure I hit 70).

1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

2. Wildflowers – Tom Petty

3. Smile – The Beach Boys

4. Conversations – Sara Groves

5. Judee Sill

6. Kongos – John Kongos

7. John B. Sebastian

8. Parallelograms – Linda Perhacs

9. On the Threshold of a Dream – The Moody Blues

10. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

11. Uncle Charlie and His Dog Teddy – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

12. But Not For Me (Live at the Pershing) – Ahmad Jamal Trio

13. The Concert at Carnegie Hall – Benny Goodman

14. Lil Beethoven – Sparks

15. Abbey Road – The Beatles

16. The Beatles (White Album)

17. Heart Food – Judee Sill

18. Blue – Joni Mitchell

19. Ladies of the Canyon – Joni Mitchell

20. Love and Theft – Bob Dylan

21. Will the Circle Be Unbroken – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and friends

22. Mirror Ball – Neil Young

23. Crosby Stills and Nash

24. Deja Vu – Crosby Stills Nash and Young

25. Again – Buffalo Springfield

26. Led Zeppelin IV

27. Artie Shaw and the Gramercy Five

28. Portfolio of Ahmad Jamal

29. The Four of Us – John Sebastian

30. Cracked Rear View – Hootie and the Blowfish

31. Unchained (American Recordings II) – Johnny Cash

32. Not Fragile – Bachman Turner Overdrive

33. Close to the Edge – Yes

34. Thick As A Brick – Jethro Tull

35. Songs From the Wood – Jethro Tull

36. Age to Age – Amy Grant

37. Heart in Motion – Amy Grant

38. Bachman Turner Overdrive

39. Band On the Run – Paul McCartney and Wings

40. All Things Must Pass – George Harrison

41. Rise – Anoushka Shankar

42. Cosmo’s Factory – Creedence Clearwater Revival

43. Bayou Country – Creedence Clearwater Revival

44. Sladest – Slade

45. Headquarters – The Monkees

46. Lucky Town – Bruce Springsteen

47. Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits

48. Anthology – Tommy James and the Shondells

49. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel

50. Greendale – Neil Young

51. Who’s Next – The Who

52. Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme – Simon and Garfunkel

53. Without Rhyme or Reason/Anything You Choose – Spanky and Our Gang

54. Know – Jason Mraz

55. Tufano-Giammarese

56. Crimson and Blue – Phil Keaggy

57. Phil Keaggy and Sunday’s Child

58. More Power to Ya – Petra

59. Circling Back – The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and friends

60. Add to the Beauty – Sara Groves

61. Three Chords and the Truth – Van Morrison

62. Emmy Lou Harris and the Nash Ramblers At the Ryman

63. The Bluegrass Session – Vassar Clements

64. Rachael (Price) and Vilray 

65. Texas – Rodney Crowell

66. Black Cadillac – Roseanne Cash

67. Solitary Man (American Recordings III) – Johnny Cash

68. Minstrel in the Gallery – Jethro Tull

69. E.T. the Extraterrestrial Soundtrack – John Williams

70. No Secrets – Carly Simon

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