Posted in Listening to Music

From Beginning to End

Do you remember how before the birth of iTunes you would buy a CD from a store?  And do you remember how when you would listen to it you would skip some of the songs?  And now that we have iTunes, do you buy single songs rather than whole albums?  Because why buy the whole album when you’re going to skip a quarter of the songs?

Well, my friends, I’m here to say that while you’re not alone, there does exist in this world certain albums that can be listened to straight through.  From beginning to end.  No skipping.  I’m serious!  Just hear me out.

I have LOADS of albums on my iTunes.  Thousands.  But I can’t listen to the majority of them in their entirety because there’s always a couple that I have to skip – not really because I don’t like the song, but because the song doesn’t tend to click with me.  You know what songs I’m talking about.

But I was able to compile a list of albums that I can start from track number one and play the entire way through without having to press the forward button.  I’m sure these are particular to me, and I’m sure you have your own beginning to end albums.  If you do, I’d love to know what they are.  So PLEASE.  Comment.

There are some exceptions to the list: no soundtrack albums (that’s for another time), film scores (that’s already been discussed), or greatest hits albums (that’s cheating).  Everything else is fair game.

Here are mine in random order… (and no making fun, please.  I like what I like because I like it.)

Maroon 5 – “Songs About Jane” (2002)

I didn’t expect to like Maroon 5 when they first hit the scene with the song “This Love” back in 2004, but after downloading the album shortly after I found myself listening to it all the time.  And what surprised me was that I was listening to every song – all twelve tracks – on the album, loving each one because to me they all stood out.  Maroon 5 managed to create a different-sounding kind of music that no one could really define.  Is it pop?  Rock?  Who cares, it’s great.

Start with These:

  1. “Harder to Breathe” (Track #1)
  2. “This Love” (Track #2)
  3. “Sunday Morning” (Track #8)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

Mandy Moore – “Coverage” (2003)

Before 2003, Mandy Moore was known as just another blonde pop singer, always lumped into the same pack as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Jessica Simpson.  But after four years of being overshadowed by her peers, Moore decided to branch off in a different direction and record the album “Coverage”, which is an album of covers of songs from the 1970s and 1980s.  And we’re talking obscure songs from those decades.  Even I had only heard of a few of them.  But it paid off, because Moore finally discovered her nitch, the thing that separates her from the rest.

Start With These:

  1. “The Whole of the Moon” (Track #2)
  2. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” (Track #5)
  3. “Anticipation” (Track #10)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

Bruno Mars – “Doo-Wops and Hooligans” (2010)

This was by far my favorite album of 2010/2011.  When I first heard Bruno Mars sing on Travie McCoy’s song “Billionaire”, I knew he was going to be something special.  And when his own album was finally released in late 2010 (after he released a four-song EP two months earlier that I listened to constantly), I was not disappointed.  Not only is every song on the album so much fun, but they all sound so much different than anything else that’s playing on the radio.  Not to mention that Bruno Mars has an amazing voice that almost brings back to life a young Michael Jackson.  Oh, AND he wrote every single song on the album.  Perfection.

Start With These:

  1. “Grenade” (Track #1)
  2. “Marry You” (Track #2)
  3. “Count on Me” (Track #3)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

Sarah McLachlan – “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy” (1993)

The first song I ever heard by Sarah McLachlan way back in ninth grade was “Hold On” from her Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album, and I was immediately drawn to her voice.  I had to hear more.  So I went out and bought her CD and quickly fell in love with every single song on the album.  It’s one of those albums where every time another song starts you think, “Oh my God, I love this song.”  That’s how I feel about this album.  It’s beautiful in every way possible, from her voice to her words to her melody, and despite the uber-popularity of the album that followed (1997’s Surfacing), this one will always be The One.

Start With These:

  1. “Possession” (Track #1)
  2. “Good Enough” (Track #4)
  3. “Elsewhere” (Track #6)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

Vanessa-Mae – “Storm” (1997)

I’m a fan of classical music, be it Beethoven or Mozart or Vivaldi, etc.  But sometimes you need a little fusion to kick it up a notch.  And that’s where Vanessa-Mae comes in.  She’s a classically trained violinist, but on her album Storm she incoporates pop, techno, and rock to classical songs and comes up with a fantastic sound that’s original and edgy but still beautifully classical.  I first heard snippets of the album back when Borders was still around and you could listen to albums at their headphone stations.  The second I heard the first track, I was hooked.

Start With These:

  1. “Storm” (Track #2)
  2. “Bach Street Prelude” (Track #4)
  3. “(I) Can, Can (You)”? (Track #6)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

Britney Spears – “Femme Fatale” (2011)

As I’ve mentioned before, I think Britney Spears is awesome.  Yes, she’s hit some rough patches in the past.  But she’s had what I think is one of the best comebacks of anyone.  Since her official comeback, she’s released “Blackout”, “Circus”, and what I think is her best album to date, “Femme Fatale”.  She had decided to give up on the whole dance-ballad-dance-ballad sequence of songs and just release one awesome dance hit after another.  I can’t listen to any other Britney album straight through like this one.  Pure awesomeness.

Start With These:

  1. “‘Till the World Ends” (Track #1)
  2. “Hold It Against Me” (Track #2)
  3. “Criminal” (Track #12)

But listen to them all because they’re all awesome.

The Beatles – “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)

Well, since The Beatles are at the top of my list of favorite bands, I’d better include one of their albums.  All of their albums are great, obviously, but A Hard Day’s Night is the one that I can listen to and absolutely love every song that comes on.  It’s ripe with hits, and each one stands on its own with Lennon and McCartney churning out some of their best stuff.  Oh, and it makes the movie of the same title SO much fun to watch.

Start With These:

  1. “A Hard Day’s Night” (Track #1)
  2. “If I Fell” (Track #3)
  3. “And I Love Her” (Track #5)

But listen to them all because…why?




I have way too much information floating around in my head, which is why I write things down. I find that books, movies, music, and television are much more interesting than my local news.

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