Must Own Albums: American Essentials

Elvis_Presley_Album_CoverElvis Presley – Elvis Presley

The debut album of one of the greatest musical icons, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts. Elvis was, and in many ways still is, a cultural phenomenon who forever changed the face of music. It’s Elvis… need I say more?

are you experiencedThe Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced

Another debut album, one of the finest in fact, from the greatest guitarist who has ever lived. He would go on to create music unlike anything that had come before and influence generations of people to start playing guitar. The US release featured some of his biggest hits, including “Purple Haze”, “The Wind Cries Mary” and “Foxy Lady”.

ThrillerMichael Jackson – Thriller

Thriller saw the King of Pop continue to expand his music in various directions in an attempt to create an album that would be loved by all. Clearly it was a success as a year after it’s release it became, and still is, the best selling album of all time. The album was one of the first to use music videos to help promote the massive singles “Thriller”, “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”.

bornintheusaBruce Springsteen – Born in the USA

Possibly one of the most American things ever made. Here The Boss brought some lively, upbeat songs with help from The E Street Band which were a stark change from the dark content of his previous album “Nebraska”. The songs still cope with less than cheerful topics, The Vietnam war on the title track and the thoroughly fed-up and self deprecating lyrics of lead single “Dancing in the Dark”, but they are all sung optimistically in search of a silver lining.

bridgeovertroubledwaterSimon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

One last swan song from one of the best musical duos. The signature harmonies and enchanting vocals are still here, but the once stripped back folk sound has been expanded. Paul Simon would later go on to a successful solo career and Art Garfunkel would… erm, not. But here the two of them give their fans some of their best work as a final parting gift, including the title track, “Cecilia” and “The Boxer”.