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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Art Alexakis of Everclear

At The Whisky in West Hollywood, December 1, 2022. (Credit: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Name  Art Alexakis of Everclear

Best known for  That blonde guy that only writes songs about his dad.

Current city  Pasadena, CA

Really want to be in  Exactly where I am…doing exactly what I’m doing….seriously!

Excited about  Our new album Everclear – Live At The Whisky A Go Go [released in September].

My current music collection has a lot of  Old school rock ‘n roll (from Chuck Berry to Rage Against the Machine).

And more than little bit of  Old-school funk/R&B/hip-hop.

Preferred format  Vinyl and digital (digital for convenience, vinyl for everything else). BTW, most working artists do not use “streaming” formats…because they do not really pay us.

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:


Talking Book, Stevie Wonder

One of the most complete, adventurous, and downright amazingly creative albums ever made by a singer-songwriter! (Or ANYONE for that matter.)


The White Album, The Beatles

I was six years old when this album came out, and even then I could tell this album was different and special. To me, this is the sound of the most influential rock-pop band in the history of the world slowly and creatively coming apart at its seams. This album is the gorgeous and awkward beginning of the end of the Beatles.


It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy

I had heard “Bring the Noise” on the Less Than Zerosoundtrack, which compelled me to buy their first album Yo! Bum Rush the Show…which I liked it a lot, but the difference in production, originality and lyrical maturity between “Bring the Noise” and Bum Rushwas so excitingly obvious that I eagerly anticipated their second album, due to come out in mid-1988. Ha! 

Saying this album didn’t disappoint is a severe understatement. It Takes a Nation of Millions literally blew my mind! This album changed the way I viewed music as a whole and is the benchmark for me when it comes to artist-driven production. I have to admit how proud I was when my 10-year-old daughter got in trouble in school for rapping “Don’t Believe the Hype” at the top of her voice in class! 


Doolittle, Pixies

Another amazing record that came out in 1988… I had become a huge fan of their first album Surfer Rosa, had seen the band at a medium-sized club opening for the Throwing Muses (great band as well). I bought Doolittle on cassette when I was on lunch hour and threw it in my Walkman on the way back to the office. I was so blown away by the first two songs I called in sick to work and spent the rest of the day riding the bus and listening to the record…over and over again. This record inspired me to throw everything I had into making music for a life’s work. This record has and will always be in my top 5!


Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin

Last, but not least, I wouldn’t argue too hard that this is Led Zeppelin’s finest record, but it is hands down MY favorite Led Zeppelin record. I love the way Physical Graffititouches on every phase of their career up to this record (I think a good number of songs were held over from previous records) and goes in some new directions as well, while refreshingly staying away from the heavy 12-bar blues that was their early and original trademark. I love how different all these songs are from each other, yet they live together perfectly. That, to me, is what makes a record truly great. 

Honorable mentions: 

Exile on Main St., Rolling Stones

Blue, Joni Mitchell

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie