For about 3 years I’ve been plugging away, on and off, on 1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Now I’m down to the last hundred. While I can confidently say that I could’ve certainly lived out my life just fine without hearing some of these, I have grown so much through the process. Two artists that became a couple of my most favorite ever, Manic Street Preachers and Suicide, I listened to primarily because of the 1,001 challenge. I learned important music history. I tested my endurance and patience by listening to Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and Slipknot’s debut album. Yes, even the albums I didn’t care for have a reasoning behind their placement in this canon.
I thought that, with many historically and culturally important albums and albums I found brilliant, I had reached the end of excellence with this last stretch. But there was still more to uncover that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard! Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock, Barry Adamson’s Moss Side Story, and 808 State’s 90 have been recent favorites.
One of the many great things about music is that you can engage in listening while doing other activities. The other 1001 selections of books and movies would be nigh impossible for me to hope to complete (also, the selections are much more iffy, in my opinion). The 1,001 Albums canon was lovingly crafted, although relying too heavily on American and European content. While it omits many albums that are beloved favorites, making the effort to complete the trek through them will teach you about music and no doubt aid in your efforts to find great musical works across a wide variety of genres.