in ,

Harvest Roon with your ‘Top 5 albums of all time’

Top 5 albums of all time? Ask me today and I’d say:

  1. Radiohead – Kid A
  2. The The – Mind Bomb
  3. The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
  4. Mclusky – Mcluskyism
  5. Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children

…but ask me tomorrow and I might opt for a completely different Top 5:

  1. Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
  2. The Blue Aeroplanes – Beatsongs
  3. Orbital – Insides
  4. Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning
  5. L.S.G. – The Black Album

Next week?

  1. Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
  2. The House of Love – ‘Butterfly’
  3. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians – Element of Light
  4. Global Communication – 76:14
  5. FSOL – ISDN

This is the music on which this reviewer’s audio commentary is built.

Then come the first responders: “I can’t believe you forgot about X by Y!” they exclaim. The Smiths? David Bowie? Tom Waits? The Pixies? Aphex Twin? The root cause of such horrors of omission is memory. Like yours, mine is a swinging door.

A wall of vinyl serves as a physical reminder of our sonic sweethearts. An intangible collection of FLAC files does not. We have hard drives filled with thousands of albums and often know not what to spin that day let alone pick our five favs of all time.

The problem with most digital audio library management software – iTunes or Audirvana+ or JRiver -is each album is listed in-app as an island, often alphabetically according to its metadata. Missing the basic artist / album tags? Forget it.

For reliable Top 5 album plucking we need an ongoing daily reminder of exactly what swims in our oceans of sound. For that we might look to Roon. Not only is it the digital library management application for those who prefer a supremely reliable and attractive user experience, its greater power sits beneath the surface in meta data provision and cover art supply. Albums are hyperlinked by their contributors. Tidal is fully integrated into this complex web of artist connections and bios.


My favourite Roon feature is its “Discover” tab: a Flipboard-like layout of producers, labels, featured artists or albums released this week in a year long gone. It is here that Roon reminds us of the classics of yore. Can JRiver, iTunes or Audirvana+ do that? And with such flair? (I think not).

Then there’s Roon’s network-ability. In recent weeks, I’ve been running Roon Core on an Intel NUC with internal SSD and HDD attached via USB and streaming its content to Roon endpoints such as an Apple TV, a Sonicorbiter SE, a PS Audio DirectStream Junior, a DEQX PreMATE+ and an Antipodes DX Gen 2. Soon I’ll be using a Sonore microRendu. After that an AURALiC Altair. I suspect we’ll see increasingly more Roon Ready devices in the coming months, especially Roon Ready DACs where the streamer sits inside the same chassis.

What’s the catch? For the average audiophile it’s Roon’s entry fee. The company licenses its data supply from third party providers and on an annual basis. We are charged on that same annual basis: US$119/year for one Core (Server) install and a year of Roon’s metadata supply. Think of Roon’s pricing structure as closer to anti-virus software than its single-fee music managing rivals. Those with fatter wallets can skip the year-on-year renewal by dropping US$499 on a lifetime license.

Let’s pull these two strands together for a prize giveaway. Thanks to the generosity of Roon Labs, we’re giving away three one year Roon licenses to three lucky readers. Simply list your ‘Top 5 albums of all time’ in the comments section below to enter the draw. Entries close 5pm GMT Friday 30th September.

The three winners will be selected by Roon founder and CEO Enno Vandermeer (and not I). My job is one of winner notification only so remember to use a valid email address when dropping your list below.

Further information: Roon Labs

UPDATE November 2016: Winners announced here.

John H. Darko

Written by John H. Darko

John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is also an occasional contributor to 6moons and AudioStream and currently resides in Berlin, Germany.

Vimeo: DarkoAudio
Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DarkoAudio


  1. Here are my top 5 albums of all time

    The Cure – Disintegration
    Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe
    White Zombie – La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1
    The Police – Synchronicity
    Paul Simon – Graceland

  2. 1. U2 – Achtung Baby
    2. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    3. Lana del Rey – Ultraviolence
    4. Depeche Mode – Violator
    5. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

  3. 1) Todd Rundgren “A Wizard/A True Star”
    2) Brian Eno “Another Green World”
    3) Magazine “Secondhand Daylight”
    4) Barbara Manning “One Perfect Green Blanket/Lately I Keep Scissors”
    5) Roedelius “Jardin Au Fou”

  4. In no particular order:

    1. Moody Blues – Question of Balance
    2. Steely Dan – Aja
    3. Simple Minds – New Gold Dream
    4. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair
    5. Leo Kottke – 6 & 12 String Guitar

  5. So, $120/yr or a big $500 all at once. Or, you can run LMS on your server or NAS, as I do, for a grand total of $0.00. I have a Squeezeplayer app on my phone that allows me to pull all of my music from my NAS straight to my phone, or tap it and switch it to remote mode for my Daphile server. And the only consequence is a slightly less pretty interface, I have to pick my own music instead of having it create playlists for me (the horror) and I can’t sort by the intern that got coffee for Bob Ludwig from 1982-84. I can live with that.

    $500 is about twenty brand new records, or five rare, OOP ones. For me that’s an easy choice.

    • Dave – as much as I want this comment thread to be about music, and as much as I too love (love!) LMS, Roon isn’t only about networking your digital audio system. Aside from its more agreeable UI, Roon’s most obvious advantage over rivals (as detailed in the post above) is its meta data layer. A layer that turns your music collection into a hyperlinked magazine. LMS does not do this.

      I cannot speak to your financial priorities as they are your own.

      • That’s a fair point. As to my top 5:

        1. Megadeth – Peace Sells…
        2. Last Chance To Reason – Level 3
        3. Opeth – My Arms, Your Hearse
        4. Devin Townsend – Terria
        5. Enslaved – Vertebrae

  6. Nas – Illmatic
    Charles Mingus – Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
    Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
    Leonard Cohen – New Skin for the Old Ceremony
    Pixies – Trompe Le Monde

    What a difficult list to compile!

  7. Radiohead – In Rainbows
    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away
    Atoms For Peace – AMOK
    REM – Automatic For The People
    The War On Drugs – Lost In The Dream

  8. Bob Marley – Legend

    Michael Jackson – Thriller

    Beatles – 1

    Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair

    U2 – Joshua Tree

  9. Pete Townshend – All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
    Nick Cave – Push The Sky Away
    John Cale and Lou Reed – Songs For Drella
    Suicide – Suicide
    Glaciers – Mirrored Through The Ancients

  10. The Smiths – The World won’t listen
    Tubeway Army – Replicas
    Blumfeld – Old Nobody
    Blur – Parklife
    The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing

    My “temporary all time best” is often linked to favorite memories about a special journey, a great summer, a romance. The Soundtrack of my life.

  11. Supertramp – Crime of the Century
    Cat Stevens – Catch Bull at Four
    Porcupine Tree – In Absentia
    Jethro Tull – Minstrel in the Gallery
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

  12. 1. The Ting Tings–Super Critical
    2. Stealing Beauty–Soundtrack
    3. Wings–At the Speed of Sound
    4. Otis Spann with Fleetwood Mac– The Biggest Thing Since Colussus
    5. Wild Belle–Dreamland

  13. I have a life time subscription to roon so not interested in entering. However, by looking at the lists and thinking “well I’ve got those two albums in his top five, so…” I’ve already got two new albums in roon via Tidal so well done everybody and carry on.

  14. Argh! While I think that the thought experiment of trying to list, what are to me, the top 5 albums of all time is fun, it’s also pointless. There are so many amazing recordings out there, regardless of the quality of the musicians or the quality of the recording. How, upon introspection, could someone really settle on a top 5?

    Just as you said in the article above, ask me any day and my answer would be different.

    And many of my answers would be what many audiophiles would consider to be sub-optimal recordings. Some examples:

    The wonderful album ‘Pirate’s Choice’ by Orchestra Baobab. The quality of the recording wouldn’t win awards, but the amazing music made by the band transcends mere recording constraints. For a review, see:

    The 1940s recordings of Beethoven’s String Quartets Opp. 127, 131, 132 & 135 by the Budapest String Quartet. Mono only, but oh so musical:

    Art Tatum’s ‘God is in the House’ which was recorded by a graduate student on a rudimentary portable recorder that wrote to disks. The sound quality is what you might expect, but Tatum’s brilliance shines through. One of the tracks from the album here:

    I think that the kind of list that interests me the most, rather than trying to list the best albums of all time, would be lists of ‘what albums would I most want to share with others to open their eyes to new music and amazing performers?’ That’s what I would most want others to share with me.

    So I am probably disqualifying myself in the process, but here’s what I am listening to now that I wish would find a larger audience. My top five albums of “all time” (this week, tonight, until I reconsider and remember more candidates, the list is endless) that I wish would be listened to by more people :

    1) Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson’s incomparable ‘Handel Arias’ with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. One of the most amazing vocal talents of our time.

    2) Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, ‘Uncle Meat’ (the original, vinyl version.) Tempestuous, jarring, impudent and irreverent but layered and intricately complex.

    3) ‘The Bright Mississippi’ by Allen Toussaint. An incredible line-up of musicians led by a masterful arranger and pianist.

    4) Antoine Moundanda and Likembé Géant’s album ‘Kesse Kesse’. Percussive, melodic and beautiful. Just three likembes (thumb pianos) and human voices. Especially enchanting with playback that can properly reproduce the timbre and tonality of the likembes.

    5) Souad Massi’s ‘Deb’. Soulful and moving, Massi’s beautiful voice is backed by a top-notch group of musicians.

    If I started over right now, the above list would be different. But that is the beauty of music–endlessly varying and engaging whether you are a head banger or stuck on Gregorian chants, Tibetan throat singing or Barry Manilow(!). Whatever you are into, it’s all good, and even better when shared!

    • I don’t think anyone is going to troll your list that it’s not “bitty” enough 🙂

      I for one view enjoyment as the final goal, and audiophilia just a means to that end.

  15. 1. ’16 Lover’s Lane’ by The Go-Betweens
    2. ‘Gaucho’ by Steely Dan
    3. ‘Sticky Fingers’ by The Rolling Stones
    4. ‘Hunky Dory’ by David Bowie
    5. ‘Hejira’ by Joni Mitchell

    Like you, mister Darko, this will have changed within 24 hours…

  16. Velvet Underground : The Velvet Underground and Nico
    Van Morrison : Moondance
    Neil Young: Rust never sleeps.
    Ducks Deluxe: Ducks Deluxe
    Mallard : Mallard

  17. This week:
    Underworld – dubnobasswithmyheadman
    The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
    The Orb – The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
    The Books – The Way Out
    Pantha du Prince – This Bliss

  18. Top 5, subject to change without notice:

    Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    Genesis-Selling England by the Pound
    Jeff Buckley-Grace
    The Dixie Dregs-What If
    Todd Rundgren-Something/Anything


  19. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
    Otis Redding: The Dock of the Bay
    Arcade Fire: Funeral
    Gary Allan: Smoke Rings in the Dark
    Spoon: Gimmie Fiction

    Every 10 years or so I change the music I listen to completely but these are the albums that have stuck with me for years, or helped me begin transitions to new genres. A shame to leave out favorite artists with many memorable albums but not one collective awesomeness: B.B. King, Patty Griffith, and George Strait for instance.

  20. Ministry: PSALM 69
    The Cure: Disintegration
    Feist : The Reminder
    Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago
    The Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream

  21. Four Tet: There is Love in You
    Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
    Bjork: Vespertine
    Lizzy Mercier Descloux: Mambo Nassau
    Spoon: Girls Can Tell

  22. I also love the “discover” feature. It reminds me of music in my collection I haven’t listened to in a long time or even forgotten about.

    I’m not entering the contest – I’ve got a lifetime subscription. BTW, Roon gave out a coupon code with a 30% discount last year for new subscribers (otherwise known as a new email address in the Roon database) -either yearly or lifetime. So keep an eye out this fall for a possible Christmas promotion.

  23. Top five albums:

    1. Red House Painters – Rollercoaster LP
    2. The National – High Violet
    3. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    4. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
    5. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

  24. Butterfield Blues Band – In my own dream
    Joy of Cooking – Closer to the ground
    Keith Jarrett – My song
    Bob Dylan – Blood on the tracks
    Grateful Dead – Wake of the flood

    I have been listening to some of the albums for over 40 years! Still favorites.

    • Weather Report Suite — what a classic by the Grateful Dead. Somehow I did not have this song. I added it because of your post here. Thank you.

  25. 1. The Allman Brothers – Live at the Fillmore East
    2. Johnnie Johnson – Johnnie B. Bad
    3. Dan Penn – Do Right Man
    4. Jonathan Richman – I’m So Confused
    5. Count Basie – Farmer’s Market Barbecue

  26. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality
    Sonic Youth – Sister
    Melvins – Bullhead
    Guided By Voices – Alien Lanes
    Unwound – Leaves Turn Inside You

  27. Free – Fire and Water
    Deep Purple – In Rock
    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago Transit Authority
    Van Morrison – Its Too Late To Stop Now

  28. Never the same on any day…

    1. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
    2. Afraid of Sunlight by Marillion
    3. We’re Here Because We’re Here by Anathema
    4. Night by Gazpacho
    5. Amused to Death by Roger Waters

  29. Angels of Light : Everything is Good Here / Please Come Home
    Antony & the Johnsons : I am a Bird Now
    Cat Power : You are Free
    Current 93 : Of Ruine, or Some Blazing Starre
    Joy Division : Closer

    My choices are based not on what I most listen to–these are instead, albums that give me pause, songs that have such an emotional impact on me, I have often passed them over in favor of other, safer choices.

  30. Bat for Lashes – The Haunted Man
    Prince – The Truth
    Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
    D’Angelo – Voodoo
    Ulver – Shadows of the Sun

    Wow, that was almost sad, leaving out so many amazing albums.. Tried to get a cross selection of my different tastes and moods, but too many missing to be complete. Anyway, thanks everyone, I got a lot of good recommendations in the comments here. Some forgotten, some unknown. 🙂

  31. 1. Sasha – airdrawndager
    2. Radiohead – Kid A
    3. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
    4. Pearl Jam – No Code
    5. Jerry Garcia – Reflections

  32. 1. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan
    2. Prince – Purple Rain
    3. Belle & Sebastian – Tigermilk
    4. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
    5. Low – The Great Destroyer

    Oh, and all the Diana Krall records. Obviously.

  33. 1. Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
    2.John Coltrane – Giant Steps
    3.Kraftwork – Autobahn
    4. Flanger – Templates
    5.Erykah Badu – NEW AMERYKAH part two: Return Of The Ankh

  34. Van Morrison – It’s Too Late to Stop Now
    Bob Dylan – Blood on the Tracks
    Elliot Murphy – Aqua Show
    Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
    Keith Jarrett – Koln Concert

  35. 1. Amadou and Miriam, Dimanche a Bamako
    2. Lyle Lovett, Pontiac
    3. Manu Chao, Clandestino
    4. Jethro Tull, Minstrel in the Gallery
    5. Frank Zappa, One Size Fits All

  36. 1) AC/DC – back in black
    2) Boards of Canada – the campfire head phase
    3) daft punk – homework
    4) stone roses – 2nd coming
    5) morcheeba – big calm

  37. Top 5… Yikes. I’ve got about 20 albums I’d like to squeeze into my Top 5 list.. I’ll forgo the typical Beatles and Stones stuff. Top 5 artists would be a different list altogether but five albums I can’t live without would be:

    1. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin Bob Dylan
    2. The Ramones – Rocket to Russia
    3. The Black Keys – Brothers
    4. The Strokes – Room on Fire
    5. Operation Ivy – Operation Ivy

  38. 1. Radiohead – “Hail to the Thief”
    2. Neutral Milk Hotel – “In The Aeroplane Over the Sea”
    3. Bright Eyes – “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning”
    4. Frightened Rabbit – “The Winter of Mixed Drinks”
    5. Spoon – “Gimme Fiction”

  39. Robert Plant & Alison Krauss — Raising Sand
    Depeche Mode — Violator
    Lost Highway Soundtrack
    Queen — News of the World
    Steely Dan — Two Against Nature

  40. At the moment I’d have to say:

    1) Beck – Sea Change
    2) New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
    3) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry’s Dream
    4) David Bowie – Low
    5) Brian Eno & Harold Budd – The Pearl

  41. You’ve almost got to link your top five to your year of birth. Our most impressionable music memories are usually made between years 14ish to 21ish. Those music memories stick with us for life and certainly have an influence on our top music picks. Someone born in say 1995 with not have any picks in common with someone born in 1955, even though they can both agree on what new releases they like in common today. While I enjoying seeing Bob Dylan Hwy 61 on so many lists I’m just as happy to listen to the new BBC music star Hollie Stephenson. However my top five picked on an emotional level will always come from 1968- 1975.

  42. 1. Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
    2. Peter Murphy – Deep
    3. Cocteau Twins – Blue Bell Knoll
    4. Catherine Wheel – Ferment
    5. The The – Mind Bomb

  43. Nice list(s) there Darko! More than a few selections which may be on my list at any given time.

    For whatever weird reason, I seem to have jotted down a list of my top 5 as it appeared last month. This was when I only used Roon in my headphone rig, for (obviously) solo listening. The list was:

    Obscura: Cosmogenesis
    Animals As Leaders: The Joy of Motion
    McCoy Tyner: Expansions
    King Crimson: In the Court of the Krimson King
    Aesop Rock: Skelethon

    Since then I’ve also added Roon into my living room setup which involves speakers. The list as of today shows:

    Chairlift: Something
    Dengue Fever: Venus on Earth
    Crooked Still: Shaken by a Low Sound
    Idris Muhammad: House of the Rising Son
    Matumbi: Seven Seals

    When I play something on the speaker-based system, the wife and kids are bound to pass through and listen, at least passively. I suspect this influences my choices on some level – the first list is complex, heavy music, requiring some mental grappling on the part of the listener. The second list is great music but it hits the ear a lot more sweetly and generally makes less demands of the audience.

    Just an observation. Thanks for posting this, it’s fun to see what others are (digitally) spinning.

  44. My (today) top 5 is:
    1) Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon
    2) The Cure: The Head On The Door
    3) Dire Straits: Sultans Of Swing
    4) Prince: Lovesexy
    5) Jethro Tull: Songs From The Wood

  45. Dark Side of the Moon: Pink Floyd
    Ah Um: Charles Mingus
    My Aim is True: Elvis Costello
    Heavy Weather: Weather Report
    Glass Works: Phillip Glass

  46. Just 5 is almost impossible!
    Beatles – Abby Road
    Flanders & Swan – The Complete Flanders & Swann (At the Drop of a Hat et al)
    Ivan Moravec – Chopin Nocturnes
    Murray Perahia – The Complete English Suites
    Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Colin Davis – Haydn: The London Symphonies, Vol. 1

  47. Frank Zappa-Hot Rats
    Arvo Pärt- Alina
    Fabrizio d’André- Creüza de Ma
    Geoffrey Oryema- Exile
    Renaud Garcia Fons- Solo

  48. My (current….) top 5!!!

    The Orb : The Orb’s Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
    John Martyn : Solid Air
    BT : Ima
    Belle & Sebastien : The Boy With the Arab Strap
    Jonathan Wilson : Gentle Spirit

  49. 1. Lark’s Tongues in Aspic – King Crimson
    2. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
    3. Mysterious Traveler – Weather Report
    4. Apocalypse – Mahavishnu Orchestra
    5. Close To The Edge – Yes

    I certainly agree with you about the ever changing top five: every day a different selection though my number one would likely be the same in every case.

  50. Well my number one has it by a long way but the others may vary. A couple of notorious ones but then they sold a truck load for a reason. I keep coming back to:

    1. Daft Punk – Alive 2007
    2. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall
    3. Roisin Murphy – Overpowered
    4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
    5. Prince – Purple Rain

  51. Rolling Stones-“Exile on Main Street”
    Steely Dan-“Gaucho”
    Van Morrison-“Astral Weeks”
    Miles Davis-“Kind of Blue”
    Quicksilver Messenger Service-“Happy Trails”

  52. Pink Floyd: The Wall
    Tool: 10,000 Days
    The Mars Volta: De-Loused in the Comatorium
    Circa Survive: Juturna
    Minus the Bear: Menos el Oso

    I just started my 14 day Roon trial a week ago and I’m looooving it!

  53. Waiting for Columbus – Little Feat
    Apostrophe – Frank Zappa
    Rough Mix – Pete Townsend & Ronnie Lane
    Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
    I Just Can’t Stop It – English Beat

  54. Thanks John for starting this and everyone else for their replies. Already have lifetime subscription, but it’s great to have a ton of new albums to load up for the long holiday weekend 😉

  55. Aja – Steely Dan
    Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan
    The Band – The Band
    Sticky Fingers – Rollong Stones
    Revolver – Beatles

  56. It’s hard to make such short lists or to put them in any particular order.

    Here are 5 of my favourite _live_ albums:

    The Cure – Trilogy
    Echo & The Bunnymen – Live In Liverpool
    Peter Gabriel – Live In Athens
    Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygène: Live In Your Living Room
    Kraftwerk – Minimum-Maximum

    Great initiative, nice to read all those lists.


  57. Radiohead – In Rainbows
    Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde
    Gil Scott Heron – I’m New Here
    Joni Mitchell – Blue
    Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

  58. Fine, no-one said it has to be just one entry 🙂

    Boards Of Canada – Music Has The Right To Children
    D’Angelo – Voodoo
    David Bowie – Black Star
    Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
    Keith Jarrett – Köln Concert

  59. Daniel Lanois – Acadie
    Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left
    Brian Eno – Before and After Science
    Peter Gabriel – So
    Julian Cope – St Julian

  60. Beatles – Let It Be
    Jethro Tull – Aqualung
    Elton John – Captain Fantastic
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Steely Dan – Royal scam

  61. Not necessarily always in order 🙂

    Beck – Morning Phase
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    The Cinematic Orchestra – Everyday
    Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
    Volcano Choir – Unmap

  62. Emmmm

    The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
    Radiohead – In Rainbows
    Jeff Buckley – Grace
    Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
    The Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

    …..and all the Pixies, R.E.M., The Clash and Replacements albums!

  63. Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
    Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited
    Love – Forever Changes
    Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
    Dave Holland – Conference of the Birds

  64. Cocteau Twins — Heaven or Las Vegas
    Kate Bush — Hounds of Love
    Tears For Fears — Songs From The Big Chair
    My Bloody Valentine — Loveless
    XTC — Skylarking

  65. 1. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    2. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
    3. Carlos Santana – Supernatural
    4. Jonathan Fritzen – Fritzenized
    5. Charles Mingus – Ah Um

  66. Kill for Love – Chromatics
    Defiance – Dead Moon
    Feel the Darkness – Poison Idea
    The King is Dead – The Decemberists
    Murder in the Mountains – Red Fang

    Today I’m missing Portland Oregon and the Doug Fir Lounge. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears are playing there tonight.

  67. Great albums posted, here are mine based on the fact I still listen to them quite a lot after all these years:

    Radiohead-The Bends
    The Cure-The Head on the Door
    The Smiths-Strangeways
    Tears for Fears-The Hurting
    The Stone Roses-The Stone Roses

  68. After in Paris: Lounge
    Cowboy Junkies: Notes Falling Slow
    Sandy Denny & Fairport Convention & Fotheringay: The Notes and The Words
    Gillian Welch: Time (The Revelator)
    Joni Mitchell: Clouds

    After in Paris’ “The Other Side” takes me there, as does the band’s “To the Paradise.” They make me want to move to France. Or marry a woman from there. When I listen to this album, I wonder how it is even possible to make such magic.

    Cowboy Junkies’ Margo Timmins yields nothing to any man in musical courage.

    Sandy Dennis, who lived such a troubled life, lives on in her exquisite music while Fairport Convention still performs live.

    Joni Mitchell’s Clouds is stirringly beautiful. It carries me away, every time I hear it, to long ago. The album’s “Tin Angel,” oh my. She is one of the all-time greats, and this album represents a crowning achievement in lyrical depth and the beauty of her voice.

    Gillian Welch sings with such depth of emotion that I feel her pain, and I am the better for the experience. “Everthing is free” ought to make people stop and think about what struggling artists mean in the age of mass music.

  69. It’s great that we all have different tastes, but is this the same group that rails against exhibitors at audio shows playing the same tired audiophile clichés show after fracking show ?? I don’t care how well recorded Steely Dan’s ‘masterpieces’ were – they’re the jazz equivalent of the bloody Eagles IMO. I’m not demanding that everyone dump decades-old favorites – I listen to as much Floyd as anyone here – but at least Darko’s suggestions re Aphex Twin and Simon O’Shine showed some hope for future playlists. I *can* listen to Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, but it has to be balanced with Ne Obliviscaris and other young Turks that are unlikely to ever see FM radio or any Top 40 (thank Gawd for that). Just my two-bahts worth, having survived the banality of the 80s and 90s in the vain hope that one day this country might recapture the vitality of 70’s pub rock.

    • Could it be Artie, that these lists show that DAR attracts as different kind of audiophile (as intended)? That not all audiophiles subsist on a diet of Krall and Barber? I’d say of all the posts made by yours truly this year, this 100% shows that there is room for doing show exhibits with different music. Heck, Zu manage it – why can’t others?

      • Amen. I’ve done exactly one hi-fi show in my life and the sheer volume of jazz trios had me begging for mercy.

        And after the fourth time walking in on a room playing Take Five, I packed up.

        Never again.

      • You win, John – I was in a bitchy mood yesterday and I may have over-reacted. Apologies to those Steely Dan fans out there – you can listen to Aja 24/7 for all I care. I would love to turn up to a show where there were just 2 rooms – one playlist taken from the DAR faithful and one from Zeos Pantera. Say what you will about his reviews, that guy knows how to put sound demos on YT that actually gives you a sense that the gear he’s demonstrating didnt come from K-Mart. Thanks for the opportunity to add to this list, but I know that my ‘5’ would be largely redundant a month from now.

  70. Top 5 albums of all time:

    1. Gilberto Gil & Jorge Ben – Gil & Jorge
    2. Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom
    3. Fela Kuti – Zombie
    4. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
    5. Terry Riley – In C

    So much love over the years for all of these albums.

  71. The Beatles – Rubber Soul
    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon
    The Who – Who’s Next
    Supertramp – The Crime Of The Century
    U2- The Joshua Tree

  72. Talking Heads – Remain In Light – standout track (SOT) houses in motion
    Underworld- Second Toughest in The Infants SOT Juanita kiteless to dream of love
    Porcupine Tree – Anesthetize SOT What happens now?
    Yes – 90125 – SOT it can happen
    The Beta Band – Hot Shots 2 SOT Squares

    These albums IMO have many SOT but I thought for a casual listen might be worth crusing a few tracks for the uninitiated…enjoy 🙂

  73. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
    Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
    Beatles – Revolver
    James Brown – In the Jungle Groove
    Grant Green – Idle Moments

  74. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    Slayer – Seasons of the Abyss
    Tool – Undertow
    Morcheeba – Big Calm
    R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

  75. The Tragically Hip – Up to Here
    Ray Lamontagne – Trouble
    DMB – Crash
    Counting Crows – August and Everything After
    Kenny Burrell – Midnight Blue

  76. I can happily put any of these five albums on repeat and loose track of all time…

    VS – Pearl Jam
    Metallica – Metallica
    Lateralus – Tool
    Vulgar Display of Power – Pantera
    Achtung Baby – U2

  77. Today’s Top 5 Of all Time 🙂

    The Who — Live At Leeds
    Los Lobos — Kiko
    Queens of the Stone Age — Like Clockwork
    The Beatles — Revolver
    Stevie Wonder — Songs in the Key of Life

  78. In listing my top five I ended up with a top twenty. Here’s a random sample from amongst the top twenty (in no particular order):

    PJ Harvey — Let England Shake
    Fennesz — Venice
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
    Mark Hollis — Mark Hollis
    Terry Riley — The Harp of New Albion

  79. Led Zeppelin – II
    Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
    Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story
    The Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
    JJ Cale – Troubadour

  80. in no particular order:

    – The Velvet Underground & Nico / The Velvet Underground
    – Highway 61 Revisited / Bob Dylan
    – Horses / Patty Smith
    – Exile on Main St. / The Rolling Stones
    – White Album / The Beatles

    Ask me tomorrow…

  81. Excellent exercise. So many new long lost gems to listen to. My top 5 in no particular order:

    Zero 7 – Simple Things
    Air – Moon Safari
    Fleetwood Mac – Romours
    Junip – Fields
    Galaxie 500 – This is Our Music

  82. Entry for ROON contest… top 5 albums:

    1. Jazz at the Pawnshop – Arne Domnarus
    2. Stepping Out – Diana Krall
    3. Waltz for Debbie – Bill Evans Trio
    4. Nirvana – Bucky Pizzarelli
    5. Shangri La – Mark Knopfler

  83. Ok I cheated, I have top 10 albums all time…
    Revolver – The Beatles
    Ok Computer – Radiohead
    Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
    Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
    Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
    Astral Weeks – Van Morrison
    The Fragile – Nine Inch Nails
    Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
    Ten – Pearl Jam
    Swervedriver – Mezcal Head

  84. Sufjan Stevens — Illinoise
    Hadda Brooks — That’s Where I Came In
    Hepcat — Out of Nowhere
    Jack White — Lazaretto
    Low — Secret Name

    I find it encouraging how frequently Boards of Canada is listed above. Definitely underrated, but I kinda wanted to include Casino vs Japan to tweak all those BoC fans.

  85. Here’s mine:

    Exile on Main Street – Stones
    Crocodiles- Echo and the Bunnymen
    London Calling – the Clash
    Cuba – the Silos
    Let It Be – the Replacements

  86. What? Nothing from the only band that matters? I’ll throw The Clash: Sandinista into the mix.

  87. The Seldom Scene – Act 3
    The Pet Shop Boys – Release
    Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter
    Anouar Brahem – The Astounding Eyes of Rita
    Son Volt – Trace

  88. – Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session
    – Daniel Lanois – Shine
    – Harmonium – L’Heptade
    – The Beatles – White Album
    – John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

  89. Charles Mingus – Presents Charles Mingus
    Eric Dolphy – Far Cry
    Miles Davis – E.S.P.
    King Crimson – Islands
    David Murray – Ming

    List could go on and on – fortunately we don’t live on a desert island…

  90. Five from some of the best…
    Leonard Cohen – Songs of Love and Hate
    Joy Division – Closer
    Thievery Corporation – Sounds From the Thievery Hi-fi
    Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
    Ancient Astronauts – From the Bass and Time

  91. Top 5 Albums (As others have stated, this list would change every time I did it but here is what comes to mind right now.):
    1. Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
    2. Sunday at the Village Vanguard – Bill Evans Trio
    3. Love Over Gold – Dire Straits
    4. Couldn’t Stand the Weather – Stevie Ray Vaughan
    5. Avalon – Roxy Music

  92. John Martyn – One World
    The Undisputed Truth – Smiling Faces
    Oval – Voa
    Leslie Winer – Witch
    Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

  93. The KLF – Chill Out
    Tom Waits – Bone Machine
    Belle and Sebastian – Tigermilk
    Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
    Burial – Untrue

  94. I already have a lifetime subscription. Anyway my vote would be:

    Glenn Gould – A State of Wonder (Goldberg Variations)
    Blue Rodeo – Five Days in July
    Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Session
    Daft Punk – Random access memory
    Diana Krall – Stepping Out

  95. The Notwist – Neon Golden
    Motorpsycho – Timothy’s Monster
    Fever Ray – Fever Ray
    Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
    dEUS – The Ideal Crash

  96. 1. Halie Loren – They Oughta Write a Song…
    2. Hope Waits – Hope Waits
    3. Morgan James – Hunter
    4. Erin Boheme – What Love Is
    5. Dee Dee Bridgewater – Live At Yoshi`s

  97. 1. Fink: Hard believer
    2. Portishead: Roseland NYC Live
    3. The National: High Violet
    4. Radiohead: OK computer
    5. Band of Horses: Infinite Arms

  98. Thanks all for your responses.
    1. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
    2. Kind of Blue – Miles
    3. The Way Up – Pat Metheny
    4. Simple Things – Zero 7
    5. Aja – Steely Dan

  99. Junior Wells & Buddy Guy, “Hoodoo Man Blues”
    The Clash, “London Calling”
    Funkadelic, “Free Your Mind…and Your Ass Will Follow”
    Frank Sinatra, “Live at the Sands”
    Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, “Getz / Gilberto”

    Picked these five to highlight the interconnections between blues, swing, jazz, samba, funk, and rock.

  100. 1. Mozart – Wind Serenades Nos.10 & 12
    2. Beethoven – The Late String Quartets
    3. Pablo Casals – 6 Cello Suites Bach
    4. Jacqueline du Pre – Cello Concerto Elgar
    5. Viva Vivaldi – Musical Offering

  101. This is even harder than choosing your top 5 albums….
    …. the best one from each of the last 5 decades:

    Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus
    Prince – Sign ‘o’ the Times
    Nirvana – Nevermind
    LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
    David Bowie – Blackstar

  102. top 5:

    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Tragically Hip – Phantom Power
    The Smiths – Meat is Murder
    k.d. lang – Hymns of the 49th parallel
    Cassandra Wilson – New Moon Daughter

  103. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
    Thriller – Michael Jakson
    Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
    Abbey Road – The Beatles
    The Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays – Bob Curnow’s L.A Big Band

  104. A difficult task, this.
    Here’s the top 5 that have stayed with me:

    1. Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
    2. Jeff Buckley – Grace
    3. Built to Spill – Perfect From Now On
    4. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
    5. Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

    Thanks for this, Mr. Darko.
    I’d not sorted my albums in Roon by the most played until today. Interesting. And, much different than the list above, of course.

  105. Reading the other posts reminds me of stuff I’ve forgotten making my choices harder. But here goes:
    Steely Dan: Can’t Buy A thrill
    Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers
    Little Feat: Waiting For Columbus
    The Beatles: Revolver
    Humble Pie: Smokin’

  106. Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2
    Monte Montgomery – New and Approved Live
    The Lake Poets – Live at the Minster
    Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused to Sing
    Scott Henderson – Vibe Station

    The list today.. Thank you, DAR!

  107. List made a few years ago, still stands

    The Clash – London Calling
    Nirvana – Nevermind
    Blondie – Parallel Lines
    Massive Attack – Blue Lines
    Beth Orton – Comfort of Strangers

  108. 1. Sly & the Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On
    2. The Clash – London Calling
    3. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
    4. Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire de Melody Nelson
    5. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

  109. My somewhat eclectic top 5:

    1. Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind (the first of 3 masterpieces written, produced and released within a 3 year period, 1972 and 73)

    2. John Mayer – Where the light is (also my favourite Bluray)

    3. Maxwell – Urban Hangsuite (with help from members of Marvin Gaye’s and Sade’s band, of course it sounds incredible)

    4. Joni Mitchell – Blue (if she were a new artist in 2016 and released this, it would be a classic even today)

    5. Michael Jackson – Off The Wall (the epic production is like the album name itself)

  110. 1. Rolling Stones-Let It Bleed
    2. U2-Joshua Tree
    3. Talking Heads-Remain In Light
    4. Miles Davis-Kind of Blue
    5. Os Mutantes-Os Mutantes

  111. And btw here’s my top 5:

    . Dave Brubeck – Time Out
    . Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
    . Ella Fitzgerald – Ella Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
    . De La Soul – 3 ft High and Rising
    . The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

    . Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle

  112. 1. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
    2. Miles Davis: Kind of Blue
    3. Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
    4. Daft Punk – Random Access Memory
    5. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

  113. My current top 5, although I admit it changes pretty often.

    Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
    Talkie Walkie – Air
    A Sailor’s Guide to Earth – Sturgill Simpson
    Falling Faster Than You Can Run – Nathaniel Rateliff
    Food & Liquor – Lupe Fiasco

  114. My top 5 of the ones that had big influence on me when I was young(er) and that I still enjoy listening today:

    Dj Shadow – Entroducing
    Bjork – Homogenic
    Massive Attack – Blue lines
    Alice in Chains – Unplugged
    Led Zeppelin – Remasters

  115. TOP 5 today

    1. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
    2. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
    3. Angela Hewitt – Goldberg Variations
    4. Mogwai – Central Belters
    5. Van Morrison – Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

    Special mention
    -. Jacky Cheung – Amor

    Good luck John in the EU!

  116. I pondered the many ways to answer the question of my favorite albums, like food, my mood and appetite influence my choices, and so, to perhaps stage a time and place, and a state of mind, I decided to select some of my favorite Latin music. I also realized that even that provided too large a spectrum of choices and so I limited my choices to several genres. The following are my choices, with some explanation and other considerations that may or may not fit within the confines of my scheme, but I’ll take the prerogative of adding capricious selections with no or little justification.

    1) Latin Classical – OK, I’ll cheat a bit already as my choice is Paco de Lucía Interpreta a Manuel de Falla . I get the benefit of having a flamenco superstar show the stodgy classical guitarists how to really play these pieces with flair… otherwise, for modern flamenco Rafael Riqueni – Alcazar de Cristal is awesome

    2) Latin Female Vocalist – Lets visit Portugal via Africa – Mariza – Transparente, a fado singer that I think is extraordinary. Amazing range, tone, emotion and beautiful on top of all that. My wild card is my recent discovery Melissa Menago, Little Crimes

    3) Latin Male Vocalist – Diego el Cigalla with Cachaito Lopez – Lagrimas Negras, flamenco meets Cuban. Grammy award winner. Diego looks the way his voice sounds – coarse, earthy, emotive and dressed in a suit

    4) Latin Dance, Tropical – Salsa and cha cha cha, Orquesta La Moderna Tradicion – Goza Conmigo – Sublime musicianship, combining refined skill with earthy tradition. I picked this over Yerba Buena – Island Life that has some high energy songs for the simple reason that I met my wife taking salsa lessons!

    5) Latin mix – Sergio Mendez – Timeless – A little Hip Hop, rap, R and B…. Didn’t think I would care much for this album. It was a gift and after listening to it several times a got into it

    So I left out some of my faves:

    Baden Powell Brazilian guitar
    Diego Urcola – Viva – Jazz
    Los Lobos – Kiko – Roots LA Rock
    Santana of course –
    Michel Camilo and Tomatito – Spain Flamenco Guitar and piano

    OK, that is six more. I tried to stay away from anything too mainstream as the point of sharing is to bring something new to the table. There is so much good music out there, some along one’s own taste and some undiscovered forms waiting to be heard and explored for the first time.

  117. Eleventh hour entry as listening to every album ever recorded took some time. And I was busy moving to Germany.

    public enemy – it takes a nation of millions to hold us back
    the rapture – echoes
    neutral milk hotel – in the aeroplane over the sea
    bob marley & the wailers – catch a fire
    radiohead – kid a

  118. Metallica – ….And Justine For All
    Megadeth – Rust In Peace
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust
    Tool – Ænema

  119. U2 – The Joshua Tree
    Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
    Michael Jackson – Thriller
    Bomba Estereo – Amanecer
    Hem – Rabbit Songs

  120. My top 5

    Let It Bleed, The Rolling Stones
    Who’s Next, The Who
    At Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash
    SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 78, Charles Munch
    Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

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