The purpose for this blog is to document my attempt to listen to all 500 albums in the most recent edition (2012) of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.  I am not a music critic, so I won’t necessarily be reviewing each album.  Instead, I plan to relate the experiences I have had with each album, especially for those that I know really well.  So in short, this will be more of a musical memoir than a critical review of each album.

However, I consider myself to be more than just the average music fan.  I majored in music as an undergrad at Ohio State, and I have been employed as a music teacher in the public schools for the past 15 years.  As such, I feel that I can offer a little bit of insight beyond what you might normally find in your typical album review.

My choice of medium for each of these albums is the Compact Disc.  I grew up with CDs, and I find them to be convenient.  And to me, they sound better than any other format on the market.  I know some people laud the warm sound of vinyl records (“Spin, spin, spin the black circle!”), but I find the clarity and the dynamic range of CDs to be more pleasing to my ears.  MP3s and WAV files are extremely popular thanks to the rise of iPods and digital downloads, but these files are usually very highly compressed and they just do not sound very good to me.  So I will attempt to find each of these albums on CD, and when possible I will try to get the original edition of the album…or at least something between the early 90s (when they really figured out how to remaster analog recordings for CD) and the early 2000s (when the loudness war started to ruin remastered CDs).

Each of these albums gets at least two focused listenings before I write about it.  I listen to the albums on a Sony home theater system (most of the albums are in stereo, but a few are in mono).  The first time I listen, I try to minimize distractions and just focus on the music and any memories or feelings it evokes.  I then let some time pass (usually about a week), and then I  listen to the album again while I follow along with the lyrics (either in the liner notes or on my computer).  This is when I try to dig into the song meanings and the artist’s intentions and such.  Then I let another day or two pass, and then I write while I listen to the album in the background (sometimes the album plays two or three times depending on how long it takes me to write).  Then I proofread and publish.  And then sometimes I go back and edit and refine, so it is always a work in progress.  Thanks for reading!