Electric Fetus

Notable Music from Notable People

Untitled Document

Favorite albums: We all have them. Many of us make up lists of "top-this-or-that" albums. But when put on the spot, would you be able to name your top three albums–of all time? Well, we asked some of our favorite musicians, customers and Minnesota personalities just that. Some of them answered right away. Others said, "Only three? Of all time? Can I think about that and get back to you?" Some gave us their top three with no comments; just a list where the music speaks for itself. Others explained why each album was important to them and why they reach for it time after time after time. So below is a list of people; each with a list of albums; each album loved for different reasons. We hope it makes you think about your favorite albums, why you love them, and why they never get old.

Name Top 3 Albums

R.T. Rybak


Marvin GayeWhat’s Going On


Trampled By TurtlesStars and Satellites

Don Ness


LowThe Great Destroyer

The Black KeysBrothers

Palace MusicViva Last Blues

Dan Wilson

Trip Shakespeare
Grammy award-winning songerwriter

Joni MitchellHejira
"In high school I was obsessed with jazz music, from all eras, and with folk singers like Simon & Garfunkel. I loved great lyrics and cool instrumental solos. This was the first album I'd ever heard with both at the same time and it was like a revelation to me. Jaco Pastorius' bass melodies weaving around Joni's incredible stories about choosing solitude and travel over connection and stability."

Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
"What can I say? An obvious choice but I think it's my favorite of all."

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
"Even though I never aspired to make this kind of jazz, it seemed like it came from another era-untouchable, and then Miles always seemed untouchable anyway."



DJ Shadow – Endtroducing...
"A truly innovative album. Progressed hip hop production with layered, exceptionally crafted, sample base beats. Changed the way I listened to hip hop from the moment I heard it."

"I love the dynamic movements in both the music and the evolution of these two guys as people and as lyricists. Intelligent, risk-taking, beautiful album."

Company FlowFuncrusher Plus
"Like the previous two albums above, this album is incredibly innovative. Changed  both how I listen to and approach rap music. Challenging, original, hard, real, damn good music. Innovative production and rapping. What more can you ask for?"

Cecil Otter


Terry ReidSeed Of Memory

Bill WithersLive at Carnegie Hall

Townes Van ZandtDelta Momma Blues



Luther VandrossThe Essential Luther Vandross

Steely DanAja

Jay-ZThe Blueprint

Paper Tiger


Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream

Prince – Controversy

DJ Shadow – Entroducing...



"P.O.S. Is Ruining The Current" on 89.3 The Current

RefusedThe Shape Of Punk To Come

SpoonGimmie Fiction

FugaziEnd Hits

Justin Pierre

Motion City Soundtrack

Guided By VoicesAlien Lanes
"This album is full of incredibly catchy melodies and wonderful jigsawed words of wisdom. It sounds as if it was recorded in some kind of underwater alternate universe by someone who doesn't speak ANYONE'S language. There are many 'imperfections' with GBV, but I think that's what drew me to them in the first place. They seemed sincere about what they were doing."

JawboxFor Your Own Special Sweetheart
"Every instrument is doing something both interesting and complimentary to every other instrument on this album. It is a masterpiece both in terms of mathematics and art. J Robbins still is the high water mark I use when describing to people the difference between simply telling someone a truth vs. trying to convince someone of something with forced/faked emotion. This is a perfect album."

SuperchunkHere's Where The Strings Come In
There is a sense of urgency that Superchunk has with all that they do and this album is a perfect example of that start to finish. They are so good at letting songs breathe, often handing the guitars some of the catchiest melodies. This is definitely an album for people who LOVE guitars and always listen to their music ALL THE WAY UP."

Chan Poling

The Suburbs
The New Standards

David BowieThe Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars

The Rolling StonesSome Girls

Roxy MusicAvalon

Chris Koza

Solo artist
Rogue Valley

Smashing Pumpkins – Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Jeff Buckley – Grace

Eric Foss

Secret Stash Records

Derobe Dance Band 

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
"I grew up on mostly rock music. My folks listened to some jazz, but it was stuff like Benny Goodman and Glen Miller. The first time I heard Kind of Blue was in the basement of a house I shared with some buddies when I was 19 years old. At the time I was really into music for musicians. I was all about listening to musicians flex their chops. That pretty much started to change the first time I heard Kind of Blue. This record got me into jazz, but also soul and folk. It was the first time super modest playing hit me right between the eyes. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

AtmosphereSeven’s Travels
"When I went to college I took some songwriting courses. I got way into it for a while. It was at that time that I first heard Seven’s Travels. I remember hearing it and being totally frustrated that A) I could never write lyrics that well, and B) This rapper was better at writing lyrics than all the singer-songwriter dorks I had sort of been exposed to via school and friends.  The other amazing thing about this record is Ant. His samples are out of this world (I’ve always wanted to see his record collection), but so is his (often overlooked) 'drumming.' I assume it’s done with an MPC, but I don’t really know. What I do know is that Ant is one of my favorite drummers of all time and I don’t even know if the dude can hold a drumstick (though it wouldn’t surprise me if he could)."

Ry CooderBoomer’s Story
"For some reason it seems like a lot of Ry Cooder fans aren’t really hip to this record. Admittedly, I don’t know a ton about it. It was released in ’72, I bought my VG+ used copy for $2, and it kicks ass. That’s all I really need to know. Ry Cooder is someone I admire greatly. He’s been able to totally immerse himself in multiple old and largely 'forgotten' genres of music and produce incredible records that stay true to form (like Boomer’s Story or Buena Vista Social Club). The world of music is full of stepping stones. You listen to one thing, that encourages you to listen to another, and down the path you go. For me, Boomer’s Story turned me on to old country records. I’m not talking about Johnny and Willie (though I dig those as much as the next guy). I’m talking about Gene Autry, Tex Williams and Roy Acuff."

Gabriel Douglas

Gabriel Douglas Music
Silverback Society
Orca Colony

Album Leaf – In A Safe Place
"This record has grown a lot with me in the last decade. It's an easy listener that's multiple layers continually draw me in. Not a ton of lyrics, but the vocals are always inviting or when Jonsi guests, they put me in the middle of the forest during E.T.'s landing, really spaced out, spooky-to-me stuff. At moments its lazy river mentality lets me relax as a listener before another swooping string or keyboard melody comes to bring you onto the next passage. I listen to this record a lot while night driving, while falling asleep, and when I need some relaxing headphone time. This album centers me."

Cloud CultAdvice from the Happy Hippopotamus
"Hearing Cloud Cult for the first time can be jarring. It is the most honest, at times most devastating music, at times the most uplifting music I have ever heard. This album brought what I heard on Aurora Borealis into more orchestral, more frantic, & more developed territory. So many of the songs on this record have a call to arms feel.  Many times when I am working through a problem or an issue, I turn to Craig & these songs, because there is a stubbornness to the message of YOU DON'T HAVE ANOTHER CHOICE, YOU ARE MAKING IT THROUGH THIS. And sometimes I need to hear that, and this is the rawest, clearest, and most concise telling of it I have found."

Third Eye BlindThird Eye Blind
"Music is the only thing in this world, with the exception of sneezing and looking at the sunset, that takes you to a place that's above the mundane. Everything else is just bullshit." – Stephan Jenkins

"Third Eye Blind is my favorite band. This is the catalyst to the fire that continues to burn. I celebrate their entire discography, but this is the cornerstone. Most people know 3eb from "Semi-Charmed Life" or "Jumper" and rightly so, they are singalong anthems. "Losing A Whole Year" starts it off and really encompasses so many times I've come to the end of road in a relationship, a job, or even a moment, where you ARE frustrated and things can easily be perceived as all steps taken toward that place are for naught. Favorite track is "Motorcycle Driveby" which has all the things I look for in a song : melody, dynamics, potent lyrics, and a pay-off. When the breakdown of the song hits and the drums comes barreling in, it's just a gorgeous piece of work. "God of Wine" is the staple closer for most 3eb shows and on record it is just as devastating of an ender. Stephan Jenkins lets you into his frustrations, into his inspirations, into his lifestyle, all in a melodic & open way."

Adam Turman


Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
"I was introduced to them as a 13-year old and have been listening to them ever since. They're the first band I ever saw live and will always remain a favorite of mine, especially the Beast album. Every song on there is a total hit in my book. Raw, refined, metal, classic, it's all there to me."

Beastie BoysCheck Your Head
"Just a total classic album to me. I love every song. There's something on that album for everyone. Plus one thing I love about it is the design of everything, from the music to the art to the production value... all great!"

Dillinger FourLive?
"Total comedy album with punk rock from one of my favorite local punk bands. It's a live performance by D4 filling in for a cancellation of Bad Brains at First Avenue. It's simply amazing. If you've never seen D4 live, you've missed out. They make me laugh every time I listen. Super fun album."

Andy Sturdevant

Author, Writer, Culture Blogger, Artist and Arts Administrator

Modern LoversModern Lovers

Roxy MusicRoxy Music

Slant 6 – Inzombia

Nate Beck

Owner & Operator
Natedogs food truck

ChicagoGreatest Hits
First CD I ever bought."

John DenverWindsong
"I great up listening to this album as a kid. Still one of my favorites of all time."

Michael W. SmithThe Big Picture
"It was the first concert I ever went to in the 7th grade and will always be one of my favorites."

M.A. Rosko

Feature Reporter
FOX 9 Morning News

The ArchiesEverything's Archie

The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street

Drive-by TruckersSouthern Rock Opera

Chris Riemenschneider

Local Music Columnist/Reporter
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The Stone Roses – Stone Roses
"Pretty sure I’ve listened to it more than any other. After finally seeing them live this year I was reminded why."

John Prine – German Afternoons
"Not even his best, but I had it on repeat during one of the best times of my life."

Kiss – Alive II
"First one. Got it for Christmas when I was 6, and wouldn’t learn what “Rocket Ride” was really about for at least another six years."

Abbie Gobeli

Radio K

James BlakeJames Blake
"I hold so much regard for James Blake's fearlessness in music experimentation by bringing soul and electronic music together. I have never heard an artist be able to capture the essence of human experience in the way James does through the breath of negative space and honest vocals."

The KillersHot Fuss
"This was the first record that I listened to where I liked every single song on the album. I still listen to this album straight through on a regular basis."

The Soft MoonThe Soft Moon
"These guys are avant-gard LOUD. This album resurrects what the Dadaists and Futurists were looking for when trying to redefine what society categorized as music."

Jake Rudh

"Transmission Dance Night" events and host of "Transmission" on 89.3 The Current

David BowieLow

Duran DuranRio

The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs

Jim McGuinn

Program Director
89.3 The Current

The ClashLondon Calling
"Made me realize there was more than just punk or classic rock out there, and opened the door to so many genres and styles. Thanks, Joe Strummer!"

LoveForever Changes
There’s timelessness in albums that transcend their era, then there’s timelessness in ‘nothing else is quite like this and probably ever will be’ – and that’s where Forever Changes lives for me.  While so many other albums of glorious 1967 feel tied to that Technicolor year, the lyrics and sounds from Arthur Lee’s band manage to exist outside reality, and re-invent themselves again and again."

Van MorrisonAstral Weeks
Another record that exists in its own universe, Astral Weeks feels like an accident that somehow worked and can never quite be repeated.  Brilliant meditative two chord vamps from a frustrated British blues singer, while confused jazzmen provided a swirling backdrop.  The music seems to float above it all, while Van gets so into the songs that if we can follow him where he’s going, we can all end up lost together in a place that is completely new and amazing."

Andrea Swensson

89.3 The Current

The BeatlesThe White Album

The MonksBlack Monk Time

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis ArmstrongElla and Louis

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