Your Top 100 Most Listened To Albums Of All Time

Back in 2004, Travis Morrison of The Dismemberment Plan made a list of his 100 most listened to albums of all time. Ever thought of doing anything similar? I couldn’t be arsed personally.

This is what he had to say about it:

The Absolute Best Records Ever, Except For That Shitty One By OMD


A few months ago, Rolling Stone had this Top 500 Records of All Time thing, right? And I gotta say that the top 150 were pretty untouchable. It could really serve as a good primer for the best post WWII pop music. After 150 I think that it got a little dubious–I mean, I think Californication was in the Top 300–but it was all right.

It got me to thinking–hey, what the hell are my Top 100? And really, really, what 100 records have I listened to the most? Not the records I want everyone to think I listened to the most. Not Albert Ayler, although Live at the Village Vanguard is pretty unreal. Not the Nurse With Wound record I would love to claim to be my ninth-favorite of all time, in certain company. What records did I really just play over and over again? What got the most spins, regardless of any other factor?

So I made a list and I checked it twice. Well, I checked it once. Every day for two weeks, I moved things up and down and deleted them, when I would force myself to admit that I did not in fact listen to a Tar record more than The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson.

I am now finished. I now have the list. They are not the best records of all time by a long shot: I recently revisted OMD’s Dazzleships and it is embarrassing, whereas their Organisation is pretty boss. Uplift Mofo by the Chili Peppers is not really a record I need around in my adult life (although Blood Sugar Sex Magik is fine by me.) There is no Marvin Gaye; not a lot of Rolling Stones; No James Brown or Little Richard; Nevermind, an album I respect greatly but never owned, isn’t there; I never spent much time with Revolver, which most people consider the choice Beatles album; I mean, it’s really embarrassing to a certain extent. But what can I tell you? I never felt the urge to pop in a Gang of Four CD. I’ve dabbled enthusiastically in all the Clash records without ever really having a phase with one of them.

I’d say the most interesting stretch is 50-80, where some of the oddball obsessions live. I played the living shit out of that Cabaret Voltaire record in junior high. I never listened to another one of their records. Why? How did I get my hands on Cabaret Voltaire? I have no idea. I probably saw it at Sam Goody and liked the cover. And that Disney tribute is still great to these ears–Los Lobos doing “I Wanna Be Just Like You” from Jungle Book? Come on, that’s deathless. But it’s just deathless for me, I’m not arguing that it was part of the canon. I just took a shine to it. Who can explain that kind of thing?

At the end, things get vague. There’s quite a few that could have been on there. Robert Johnson was in a death match with Rites of Spring for a week, but Mr. Milk Cow Blues pulled it out in the end.

This was a lot of fun to do. It was enjoyable to force myself to admit to the records I really listened to, not the ones I’d like to think I listened to–I felt like I was standing up for the clueless 15-year-old suburban kid who didn’t know any better than to rock out to Fishbone. It turned me on at the time and I’ll always respect that. And frankly, I had pretty good music taste! Lotta good songs on this list–even on Dazzleships! I gotta telegram… in my hand…

So here it is: Travis in 100 records.

1 Public Enemy it takes a nation of millions to hold us back
2 XTC Black Sea
3 De La Soul 3 Ft. High and Rising
4 The Beatles abbey road
5 Fugazi Repeater
6 Brainiac hissing prigs in static couture
7 Talking Heads Remain in Light
8 Miles Davis Sketches of Spain
9 The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
10 Michael Jackson Thriller
11 LL Cool J Mama Said Knock You Out
12 Fugazi 13 Songs
13 REM Murmur
14 The Beach Boys Pet Sounds
15 Paul Simon Graceland
16 Jawbox For Your Own Special Sweetheart
17 Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
18 OMD Dazzleships
19 Shudder to Think Pony Express Record
20 Fishbone Truth And Soul
21 REM Lifes Rich Pageant
22 Jay-Z Hard Knock Life
23 John Coltrane Giant Steps
24 A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory
25 Carole King Tapestry
26 The Beatles Sgt. Pepper
27 XTC Oranges and Lemons
28 Sarah Vaughn Greatest Hits
29 Mos Def Black on Both Sides
30 Red Hot Chili Peppers Uplift Mofo Party Plan
31 Brainiac smack bunny baby
32 Soul Coughing el oso
33 Art of Noise Who’s Afraid of the Art of Noise?
34 Public Enemy Fear of a Black Planet
35 Unrest Imperial ffrr
36 Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
37 Fugazi End Hits
38 Nation of Ulysses 13 Point Plan to Destroy America
39 Superchunk Foolish
40 Miles Davis Kind of Blue
41 Talk Talk Colours of Spring
42 Rashaan Roland Kirk Blacknuss
43 Smart Went Crazy Con Art
44 Elliott Smith XO
45 Shudder to Think Get Your Goat
46 Sam Cooke Greatest Hits
47 Trouble Funk Live
48 XTC skylarking
49 The Smiths Meat Is Murder
50 Charlie Parker Greatest Hits
51 Fishbone EP
52 Nas Illmatic
53 Peter Tosh Legalize It
54 Beastie Boys Check Your Head
55 Jesus Lizard Liar
56 Vitapup An Hour With Vitapup
57 Shudder to Think Funeral At The Movies
58 the beatles rubber soul
59 Fugazi In On The Killtaker
60 Janet Jackson The Velvet Rope
61 The Wooden Stars Mardi Gras
62 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited
63 Mouse on Mars Nien Niggung
64 Buddy Holly Greatest Hits
65 Deee-Lite World Clique
66 OMD Architecture and Morality
67 Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)
68 Various Stay Awake (Tribute to Disney movie music)
69 Madonna Like a Prayer
70 Madness One Step Beyond…
71 Siouxsie and the Banshees Kiss in the Dreamhouse
72 Peter Gabriel So
73 Tortoise TNT
74 Led Zeppelin IV
75 Cabaret Voltaire The Crackdown
76 The Band The Band
77 Talk Talk Laughing Stock
78 Joni Mitchell Court and Spark
79 Squeeze Singles 45 and under
80 Frank Sinatra In The Wee Small Hours of the Night
81 Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street
82 Drive Like Jehu Yank Crime
83 Black Star Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star
84 The Pixies Doolittle
85 Steely Dan Complete recordings
86 Prince Purple Rain
87 Quruli Team Rock
88 INXS Listen Like Thieves
89 Gangstarr Hard to Earn
90 Duran Duran Seven and the Ragged Tiger
91 U2 The Joshua Tree
92 Death Cab For Cutie We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes
93 Bob Marley Uprising
94 Bim Skala Bim How’s It Goin’?
95 Joni Mitchell Blue
96 XTC Apple Venus
97 The Replacements Pleased to Meet Me
98 Paul Simon Rhythm of The Saints
99 New Order Substance
100 Robert Johnson complete recordings

Dazzle Ships is great.

Same, but I have INXS Listen Like Thieves and Quruli Team Rock the other way round.