Seems everyone is adding POPular albums. I understand this is expected from the question, but what is the question asking exactly? “Which albums should (most) every kid hear before they turn 13?” Well we can’t put a definite on this as 13 is different for everyone - but we understand the gist of the question. I would recommend great music, great lyrics, great sound with INTELLIGENCE, mixed together with something they actually would like hearing. You want them to grow a great musical soul. (Drum machines do not have SOUL). MUSIC comes from inside you, yes? Not from pressing the “START” button on something made by Panasonic. (Yes they can be used in a smart way, but we haven’t heard that done since… maybe Hall & Oates or Phil Collins. Okay, enough of my whining, my recommendations are: (in no real order)
1. “brave” by Marillion. (Very dramatic. 1 deep story you follow throughout the album. Ups/downs, mysterious, crying, spacey, electric, acoustic, ballads, rock-n-roll, symphonic, very emotional - may be too advanced for little kids. 2. “Once” soundtrack. The movie shows how/why the songs were written (not for getting popular). 3. “The shaming of the True” by Kevin Gilbert. If you do not know of Kevin Gilbert then… you are being left behind from knowing musical genius. He played almost every instrument, sang, wrote all the lyrics, engineered, produced most everything on his albums. He also discovered / dated / brought his girlfriend Sheryl Crow to his band-mates - (that is how she was picked by company execs). He also was asked to help Madonna, Michael Jackson, Keith Emerson, Spocks Beard, sang & played for ‘Toy Matinee’, (the list goes on long) and all this before he died at age 29. “Shaming of the true” is about ‘johnny virgil’ who is trying to get into the music biz, and works very hard only to find it is full of pit-falls and you make music because you are a MUSICian - not for the fame. 4. “Spilt milk” by Jellyfish. Don’t let the bands name or album title scare you off - I almost made that mis-take and I am so glad that I didn’t. This band only made 2.5 albums together - both amazing, though this one has magic to it. Take pop music, make it very intelligent, done by great musicians, very well produced, various instruments, mix that with saturday morning cartoons, breakfast cereal (with marshmallows) commercials, and songs about girls from some guys in California. boom. Fun done very well. 5. Hall & Oates “Greatest Hits” - by ‘greatest hits’ you know what I mean. A LOT of Soul mixed with pop, rock and ballads. There is a reason why there audience/fans are so widely ranged. I have been listening to them since I was 4 and they really shaped me for the better. 6. Billy Joel “Greatest hits”- again w/the hits. I haven’t seen billy joel on this list (not that I really looked too much) - Sadly a lot of people stopped *Listening* to billy joel when he lost his *Looks*. Shows just how intelligent we humans have become. (ungh…sigh..) Billy Joel has so many different styles of songs- from country (yeah he has a bunch of those!) to pop, to rock-n-roll, to poetry, to French language, to classical, to ballads, to political, to drama, etc… Even if you do NOT like billy, you simply have to give him due credit - and if you don’t then you are just an idiot. 7. Pink Floyd- ‘dark side of the moon’ (show them the making of!), “the wall” (agreeing with so many of you here), “momentary lapse of reason”, “the division bell”, “wish you were here”, … Pink Floyd really introduces people, especially younger folk, into various styles of music that they either would not look into - or were worried about being uncool. When I was in middle school and High school (and even grade school) Pink Floyd made it okay to say that you like folk music. Or symphony. Or classical. Or acoustic guitar. Or crying lyrics. etc…. and all done by great musicians and great brains and great production. 8. White Willow - “Sacrament”. Not many will check this one out, but I hope you do. White Willow are a band from Norway. They sing in English and tell great stories / have great lyrics. Their sound is really their own. Pipes, flutes, whistles, electric guitar/bass, great drumming, beautiful female vocals, prog’ keyboards, …. sounding dreamy, acoustic, hard rock, fairy tale, etc… 9. rush - “Permanent waves”. 1st album released in the 80’s. The 1st song alone is so important and so great. (the spirit of radio). A love song is even on this album! (Entre` nous). The musicianship is amazing - the lyrics are to be enjoyed, studied, talked about, then enjoyed again. Every song a winner. All their own. 10. The Who (greatest hits) (i know, but they have so many).
- I would also highly recommend to them all: Sarah Brightman, The Sundays, Porcupine Tree, Bruce Hornsby, KISS, NightWish, Weird Al Yankovic, the J.Geils band, Asia, YES (so much from YES), Genesis (i should have put them at #5 !), Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel.