(38) 60 Albums for 60 Years

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Stacey Elmeer posted a list of her favorite albums for every year she has lived.  She is ten years younger than I am, and I really enjoyed reading her list.  I decided immediately I wanted to do the same.

Today I woke up before 5 a.m. and got started.  I put nearly four hours into the task.  I found as I was deciding on what to include on the list, I had to define my terms.  For the most part, I have stuck with the exact year the album came out, although in many cases I didn’t know of the album until later–sometimes years later.  What I finally decided was to include mostly albums that I think influenced me and music in general in some way.

With these choices, I am question number five on this blog: What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?  Music has and always will be a motivator for my creative side, and as I made this list I could see how the songs on these albums have had a strong influence on me and who I am as a person.  How wonderful that songwriters and musicians do this work, and preserve it for all time.

Meanwhile, I am a writer who has committed to writing 365 days this year on this blog.  I pursued this challenge in order to have ideas to pull for future blogs, so it is without much explanation I present this list.  What I have discovered is that some years it was impossible to choose one album, and other years I was scrounging to find just the right one (1979 and 1990 in particular).  What surprised me is that by using the criteria I did, many artists I thought would be on the list didn’t show up (Jackson Browne for one), or were considered and then set aside for one I felt was more significant.  I realize there has been music that I enjoyed very much for what it had to offer, but this list focuses more on how it influenced me directly as a person, and as a lover and appreciator of the roots of American music.  It’s a fine line, and certainly many listed here are favorites as well.


1955   In the Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

1956  Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley

1957  Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins

1958  Jerry Lee Lewis by Jerry Lee Lewis

1959  Kind of Blue by Miles Davis

1960  Johnny Cash Sings Hank Williams by Johnny Cash

1961  Patsy Cline Showcase by Patsy Cline

1962  Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music by Ray Charles

1963  The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan

1964  The Beatles Second Album by The Beatles

1965  Rubber Soul by The Beatles

1966  Revolver by The Beatles

1967  United by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

1968  Sweetheart of the Rodeo by The Byrds

1969  Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothersgram-parsons_12748

1970  Sweet Baby James by James Taylor

1971  (tie)  Blue by Joni Mitchell and Tapestry by Carole King

1972   Raspberries by  Raspberries

1973  Grievous Angel by Gram Parsons

1974  Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings

1975  Pieces of the Sky by Emmylou Harris

1976  Hasten Down the Wind by Linda Ronstadt

1977  The Stranger by Billy Joel

1978  Comes a Time by Neil Young

1979  Keep the Fire by Kenny Loggins

1980  Roses in the Snow by Emmylou Harris

1981  Torch by Carly SimonEmmylou-Harris-r01

1982  Get Closer by Linda Ronstadt

1983  An Innocent Man by Billy Joel

1984  Born in the U.S.A by Bruce Springsteen

1985  Picture Book by Simply Red

1986  Graceland by Paul Simon

1987  Angel with a Lariat by k.d. lang

1988  Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman

1989  Back on the Block by Quincy Jones

1990  Change of Season by Daryl Hall and John Oates

1991  Unforgettable, With Love by Natalie Cole

1992 (tie)  Come On, Come On by Mary Chapin Carpenter and Now That I Found You by Alison Kraus and Union Station

1993 (3-way-tie)  Cowgirl’s Prayer by Emmylou Harris; Across the Borderline by Willie Nelson; A Tribute to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys by Asleep at the Wheel

1994   Out of the Valley by John Gorka

1995   Feels Like Home by Linda RonstadtDixie-Chicks-dixie-chicks-29832179-500-375

1996   Mystery Box by Mickey Hart

1997   Hourglass by James Taylor

1998   Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks

1999   The Austin Sessions by Kris Kristofferson

2000  “O Brother Where Art Thou” Soundtrack Album by Various Artists

2001   Mountain Soul by Patti Loveless

2002  Home by Dixie Chicks

2003  Can’t Stop Dreaming by Daryl Hall

2004  Hymns of the 49th Parallel by k.d. lang

2005  Timeless by Martina McBride

2006  All the Road Running by Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler

2007  Courage by Paula Cole

2008  19 by Adele

2009  The List by Roseanne Cash

2010  Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles

2011  So Beautiful, So What by Paul Simon

2012  Nashville, Vol. 1: Tear the Woodpile Down by Marty Stuart

2013  12 Stories by Brandy Clark

2014  The River and the Thread by Roseanne Cash



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