This is one of those rare timeless albums -- it sounds as fresh today as it did back in 1977. I probably prefer the songwriting on Royal Scam and Pretzel Logic but the performance on this is immaculate. If there ever was champagne rock, this is it.
2. "Powerful People" - Gino Vannelli
Gino Vannelli is one of the most pationate male voices of all time. Gino is also a poet who paints pictures with his lyrics. And the groove is always .. right there. It was hard to choose between this album and Nightwalker which is also a masterful journey of emotions.
3. "Boston" - Boston
It's hard to believe this album was recorded on an 12-track studio in a basement in Massachusetts. (There were a few overdubs in L.A. .. shhh). Thanks to MIT wizard Tom Scholz, the performance and guitar sound (he invented the RockMan) on this album probably sold more electric guitars than any other album of this time period. And Brad Delp was truly one of the "damn" voices of rock and roll. Not only is this one of the top selling rock albums of all time, this album almost single-handedly saved us from disco and punk.
4. "Larry & Lee" - Larry Carlton and Lee RItenour
Two of my favorite studio guitarists together writing and playing on the same album at the same time .. what's not to like!
5. "Friday Night In San Francisco" - Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucía
Three of the greatest guitarists in the world doing a live acoustic collaboration. This one will kick you in the face and make you smile at the same time.
6. "Godspell [Soundtrack]" - Stephen Schwartz
Is this what would it be like if Christ came in the '70s instead of 2,000 years ago? Not even close .. but it's a wonderful artist stretch. Stephen Schwartz creates a masterpiece of performances taken stright out of the book of Matthew .. you know .. the Bible.
7. "The Nightfly" - Donald Fagen
Probably one of the most sonically pleasing albums of all time. Many professional audio engineers I know carry a copy of this from studio to studio as their reference for dialing in the room. In case you were wondering .. Donald Fagen is the Nightfly.
8. "Awake" - Josh Groban
Josh Groban made his musical debut in the seventh grade and eventually studied at the Interlochen Arts Program. It was there he was introduced to David Foster, a friend of his vocal coach. And the history is still being written. He is undenibally one of the most pleasant male vocalists alive today -- but I hope this album is the beginning of Josh being respected as a songwriter as well.
9. "For Him Who Has Ears To Hear" - Keith Green
This is the album that launched the CCM genre. Keith was unquestionally one of the greatest CCM songwiters and passionate performers. As a piano player, I always loved the way he attacked the keyboard.
10. "Who's Next" - The Who
I used to love to put this album on as a teeager and jam along on the piano to the entire album at one sitting. I wore out several copies of this one.