I’ve tried several times to sit down and come up with a list of my Top 20 Albums, but I fail each time. It’s not that I can’t come up with that many, it’s that I can’t narrow things down to that few. It helps to think of entire albums instead of simply individual tracks, because some of my favorite songs are surrounded by drudgery. Still, even with complete albums, it’s hard to come up with any kind of inclusive list.
So I give up. For now.
Admitting defeat is hard, so I’ve countered my humiliation by setting a more achievable project and completing it instead. What follows is a list of nineteen tracks that I recently burned onto a CD for something to listen to while I work out in the morning. I’ll save the commentary for after.
|1||2 Unlimited||-||No Limit||03:32|
|4||Audio Adrenaline||-||Free Ride||03:22|
|5||Audio Adrenaline||-||Big House||03:31|
|6||B-Side Players||-||Spill The Wine||05:11|
|8||Ben Folds Five||-||Stevo’s Last Night In Town||03:27|
|9||Blues Traveler||-||But Anyway||04:09|
|10||Boyz II Men||-||Motownphilly||03:55|
|11||Bruce Hornsby||-||Rainbow’s Cadillac||04:38|
|12||Church Of Rhythm||-||Take Back The Beat||04:36|
|13||Filter & The Crystal Method||-||(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do||04:28|
|14||Harry Connick, Jr.||-||To Love The Language||05:00|
|15||Pink||-||Get The Party Started||03:11|
|17||Scatman John||-||Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)||03:33|
|18||O.C. Supertones||-||Louder Than The Mob||03:53|
|19||Us3||-||Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)||04:37|
Creating that table was rather more exhausting that I had expected!
When I compiled this album, I simply dragged songs that I like and thought of as “peppy and energetic” into an iTunes playlist, the trimmed it down to fit onto an 80 minute CD. I’ve paid for almost all of these albums, some new, many used, and at least two on emusic.com. I debated trying to pick a certain order for things, but in the end I decided to let them go in alphabetical order by artist, and that has worked out beautifully.
Though the length of the songs vary, I know that the first eight songs make a great thirty-minute session on a Precor EFX556 Elliptical torture device. The initial charge of No Limit settles down nicely with Fallin’, and just when I think it’s time to quit, Intergalactic kicks things up a notch before sending me out with a little Ben Folds Five. I couldn’t have planned it better.
Sometimes, for variety, I’ll start with track nine and end things with Smooth, but I have to admit I’ve never gone longer than thirty minutes on one machine, so I’ve never actually gotten to the last three tracks in the gym.
I even made a paper case for it. Apparently NEATO makes rigid punch-out envelope cards that you can buy and print on yourself. I know that they include a template for them on the floppy disk that came with my disc labels, so I grabbed a relatively appropriate cover art image for the front, put the table you see above on the back, printed and cut on the lines. It’s a little worse for the wear right now since I left a slightly damp towel sitting on it all day long last week, but it works.
Of the nineteen albums represented by this list, only two or three would actually make my top albums list, but they’re all pretty darn good. They’re not exactly widely representative of my taste in music, though, so I forsee volume 2 coming soon. I just need to find better cover art!
(This article originally appeared at W6 Daily.)