MNOD: 31 for 31


It’s the number of games that Denny McLain won for the Detroit Tigers in 1968, the number of flavors found at Baskin-Robbins, and, come Saturday, the number of years I will have existed on this planet.

Because of my impending birthday, I’ve been thinking a lot about why things are the way they are. I’ve been thinking about why I haven’t landed a full-time position after 13 years of being told by respected sources that writing is my calling in life. I’ve been lamenting the fact that I never took off to New York City at 22 with plans to make it at a major publication.  And, most distressingly, I’ve begun to question whether or not this site is even achieving what I envisioned from the beginning.

I feel as if I’m doing my best work ever since launching Music N’ Other Drugs last year, but knowing that I could succeed in a larger market if just given the chance is often difficult to deal with. My portfolio speaks for itself and my outlook takes a turn for the worse whenever I see what passes for mainstream journalism in 2019.

That said, I’m going to soldier on and continue to deliver the kind of journalistic depth that my readers deserve. The summer season is upon us and the plan is to tackle as many topics as possible without compromise.

Creating a dialogue with people of all backgrounds is what my writing has always been about, so I’ve assembled a list of 31 albums that have influenced me throughout the 31 years I’ve been raging against the dying of the light. Some you’ve heard and some you haven’t, but, in sharing this, I’m challenging people to step outside their comfort zone and discover something that wouldn’t normally make it into their summer playlist.

Without further ado, here’s my list:

Soundgarden – “Superunknown” (1994)

Tori Amos – “Under the Pink” (1994) 

Miles Davis – “Bitches Brew” (1970)

The Tragically Hip – “Road Apples” (1991)

Nina Simone – “Nina Simone Sings the Blues” (1967)

Led Zeppelin – “Physical Graffiti” (1975) 

Rush – “Permanent Waves” (1980)

Lauryn Hill – “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (1998)

Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell” (1980)

Yes – “The Yes Album” (1971) 

The Beatles – “The White Album” (1968)

Patti Smith – “Horses” (1975)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – “Darkness on the Edge of Town” (1978)

Deep Purple – “Burn” (1974)

Genesis – “Selling England by the Pound (1973)

Public Enemy – “Fear of a Black Planet” (1990)

Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here” (1975)

Roger Waters – “Amused to Death” (1992)

Stone Temple Pilots – “Purple” (1994)

Concrete Blonde – “Bloodletting” (1990)

Bob Dylan – “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965)

Barenaked Ladies – “Rock Spectacle” (1996)

Pearl Jam – “Ten” – (1991)

Lucinda Williams – “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” (1998)

Pixies – “Surfer Rosa” (1988)

The Smiths – “The Queen is Dead” (1986)

The Cure – “Disintegration” (1989)

U2 – “The Joshua Tree” (1987)

Amy Winehouse – “Back to Black” (2007)

The War on Drugs – “Lost in a Dream” (2014)

Jackson Browne – “Late for the Sky” (1974)













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