The Fab 50

Calling a funeral home at 3:30 a.m. to arrange the cremation of your 17-week-old daughter is something that no human being should ever have to do, but I did it, and I’m still here. Despite feeling as if I’ll never be the same again, I’ve soldiered on in the face of inscrutable tragedy to reach a place where focusing on both familial and professional responsibilities is no longer an arduous task.

Because of this, there’s no better time than now to get back in the routine of writing on a regular basis. I need it, and I suspect that anyone out there struggling to make it through 2020 unscathed might need it, as well.

Rather than dive into the heavy stuff straight away, I decided to spin off from Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums that was updated this week and offer up my own list of 50 that I consider essential. The following list was curated not so much as a representation of “the greatest” as it was a window into my tastes and personality, so don’t expect it to align with every other list you’ve seen.

While there’s no such thing as a definitive list given the level of subjectivity involved, the art of putting one together can be comforting in times of uncertainty.

Here are my “Fab 50” in no particular order:

Led Zeppelin – “Physical Graffiti”

Pink Floyd – “Wish You Were Here”

Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side of the Moon”

Rush – “2112”

John Coltrane – “A Love Supreme”

The Tragically Hip – “Day For Night”

Patti Smith – “Horses”

Van Morrison – “Moondance”

Tori Amos – “Under the Pink”

Roger Waters – “Amused to Death”

Public Enemy – “Fear of a Black Planet”

Todd Rundgren – “Something/Anything”

Black Sabbath – “Heaven and Hell”

Black Sabbath – “Master of Reality”

Megadeth – “Rust in Peace”

Nas – “Illmatic”

Soundgarden – “Superunknown”

Pearl Jam – “Ten”

Neil Young – “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”

The Beatles – “The Beatles”

The Who – “Quadrophenia”

Nina Simone – “Nina Simone Sings the Blues”

Miles Davis – “Bitches Brew”

U2 – “The Joshua Tree”

Buckingham Nicks – “Buckingham Nicks”

The Smiths – “The Queen is Dead”

Tool – “Fear Inoculum”

Elton John – “Honky Chateau”

Steven Wilson – “The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)”

Lauryn Hill – “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”

Yes – “Close to the Edge”

Queensryche – “Operation: Mindcrime”

Kendrick Lamar – “To Pimp a Butterfly”

Joni Mitchell – “For the Roses”

Otis Redding – “Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul”

REM – “Automatic For the People”

Jackson Browne – “Late For the Sky”

The Cure – “Disintegration”

Warren Zevon – “Warren Zevon”

Smashing Pumpkins – “Siamese Dream”

Steely Dan – “Katy Lied”

Bob Dylan – “Highway 61 Revisited”

Bob Dylan – “Blood on the Tracks”

The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Darklands”

Aretha Franklin – “Amazing Grace”

Kate Bush – “Hounds of Love”

Stevie Wonder – “Innervisions”

The Rolling Stones – “Let it Bleed”

Bruce Springsteen – “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

Pixies – “Surfer Rosa”

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