Better sense of history: Billy Zoom’s list of required listening

Editor’s Note: Though Christmas is over and Santa is, no doubt, resting and preparing for next year, this list might make for a good goal for the coming year…to listen to history or build up your personal collection.

Thunderstruck | Repost | – Billy Zoom, guitarist from X (According to Billy, this is only a partial list)

“The Ramones, Elvis Presley’s Sun sessions, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, Time Out by Dave Brubeck, something done in Owen Bradley’s studio like Patsy Cline or Brenda Lee, Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry … how long is this supposed to be? This could go on for a long time. I have a long list of required listening. I think people should have a better sense of history so they would have a better understanding of how things got to be the way they are. Just in general, because I think if people understood how things got to be the way they are, things would be different…”

  • King Oliver, King Oliver Stomp
  • Bix Beiderbecke—anything with Frankie Trumbauer
  • Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France (Django)—all 1930’s sessions
  • Benny Goodman Orchestra, Sing, Sing, Sing
  • Glen Miller, Greatest Hits
  • Andrews Sisters, Greatest Hits, but make sure it’s the original recordings.
  • Johnnie Ray—anything about crying
  • Hank Williams—everything
  • Elvis Presley—Sun Sessions, and first RCA album with the cover the Clash copied
  • Jerry Lee Lewis—EVERYTHING!!!!
  • Roy Orbison, The Monument Hits…, Love Hurts, Pretty Woman, etc.
  • Brenda Lee—original hits, the Owen Bradley stuff
  • Patsy Cline—original hits, the Owen Bradley stuff
  • Buddy Holly Story, the album, not the movie!
  • Little Richard, 17 Grooviest Original Hits, or anything on Specialty
  • Chuck Berry, Greatest Hits, or everything before London Sessions
  • Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet, Time Out
  • Duke Ellington, Three Suites, Ellington at Newport
  • The Coasters,Greatest Hits
  • Muddy Waters—all the Chess hits
  • Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth
  • Count Basie, Hall of Fame
  • The Shadows, first two albums
  • The Ventures, first two albums
  • The Shirelles, Baby It’s You
  • Claudine Clark, Party Lights
  • Fontella Bass, Rescue Me
  • The Temptations, My Girl
  • Bobby Bland, Stormy Monday
  • Lonnie Mack, Wham reissued as Memphis Wham
  • Jimmy Reed, Honest I Do
  • The Miracles, Shop Around
  • The Four Tops, Bernadette, Reach Out
  • Betty Everett, Shoop Shoop Song
  • Helen Shapiro, Greatest Hits
  • Tommy Roe, Everybody
  • The Drifters, Under the Boardwalk
  • Gene Pitney, Greatest Hits!!!!
  • Buddy Morrow, Night Train
  • Etta James, Tell Mama
  • Dusty Springfield, Son of a Preacher Man
  • Aretha Franklin, Respect, Chain of Fools
  • Steppenwolf, Born to Be Wild—listen only in mono
  • Isaac Hayes, Walk On By
  • Booker T. and the M.G.’s, Greatest Hits
  • The Youngbloods, Get Together
  • Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Cloudburst, Twisted, etc.
  • Jimmy Smith, The Incredible Jimmy Smith
  • Sergey Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf, Lieutenant Kijé Suite
  • Marvin Gaye, What’s Goin’ On?
  • Ray Charles—just about anything
  • Lloyd Price, Stagger Lee, Just Because
  • Brook Benton, Kiddio, Rainy Night in Georgia, It’s Just a Matter of Time
  • The Who, My Generation—first album ONLY!
  • Laurindo Almeida, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  • Earl Bostic, Harlem Nocturne
  • Tyrone Davis, Turn Back the Hands of Time
  • James Brown and the Flames, Greatest Hits, before Bootsy Collins
  • Wilson Pickett—everything except Hey Jude
  • Sam and Dave, Greatest Hits, but play it in MONO!
  • Arthur Alexander, Greatest Hits
  • Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Greatest Hits
  • The Pirates, Castin’ My Spell
  • Dave Berry, The Cryin’ Game
  • The Beatles—first album ONLY! (okay, maybe the first two, but that’s it)
  • The Searchers—first two albums
  • Desmond Dekker and the Aces, The Israelites
  • Heinz, Movin’ In, I’m Not a Bad Guy,Just Like Eddie
  • Moody Blues, Days of Future Passed… either vinyl or the Superbitmapped CD
  • Bay City Rollers, Saturday Night
  • The Ramones—at least the first two albums
  • Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks

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