1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die

collage 300

Tell us your must-hear albums on the 'All Songs Considered' blog.

So much to hear. So little time. You can spend your entire life devouring music, both new and old, and barely scratch the surface of all there is to discover. NPR reviewer and author Tom Moon is trying to make it a little easier for music fans with his new book: 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die: A Listener's Life List. After four years or exhaustive research, Tom put together an impressive tome — nearly 900 pages of artists, LPs and songs, as well as a detailed explanation of how each of them wound up on the list.

The book showcases a lot of the albums you'd expect to see: Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde or Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, for example. But unless you're a music scholar, you probably haven't listened to — or even heard of — the vast majority of them.

On this edition of All Songs Considered, we talk with Tom about his new book and listen to some of the incredible music he selected, as well as some of the ones we think he missed.

Download this show in the All Songs Considered podcast.

Sign up for the All Songs Considered newsletter and we'll tell you when new music features are available on the site.

Contact us with your questions and comments.

1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die

cover for lo borges

Lô Borges

  • Artist: Lô Borges
  • Album: Lô Borges
  • Song: Canção Postal
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Canção Postal"
  • Album: Lô Borges
  • Artist: Lô Borges
  • Label: EMI
  • Released: 1972
 
Cover for Out Front

Booker Little

  • Artist: Booker Little
  • Album: Out Front
  • Song: We Speak
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "We Speak"
  • Album: Out Front
  • Artist: Booker Little
  • Released: 1961
 
cover for led zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

  • Artist: Led Zeppelin
  • Album: How the West Was Won
  • Song: What Is and What Should Never Be

We do not have the label's permission to play a full version of this song.

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "What Is and What Should Never Be"
  • Album: How the West Was Won
  • Artist: Led Zeppelin
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Released: 2003
 
Cover for Singles Collection: The London Years

The Rolling Stones

  • Artist: The Rolling Stones
  • Album: Singles Collection: The London Years
  • Song: We Love You
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "We Love You"
  • Album: Singles Collection: The London Years
  • Artist: The Rolling Stones
  • Label: IMS
  • Released: 1989
 
Cover for Erik Satie: Gnossiennes; Gymnopédies; Ogives; Etc.

Reinbert de Leeuw

  • Artist: Reinbert de Leeuw
  • Album: Erik Satie: Gnossiennes; Gymnopédies; Ogives; Etc.
  • Song: Gnossiennes No. 2
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Gnossiennes No. 2"
  • Album: Erik Satie: Gnossiennes; Gymnopédies; Ogives; Etc.
  • Artist: Reinbert de Leeuw
  • Label: Philips
  • Released: 1996
 
Cover for Avalon

Roxy Music

  • Artist: Roxy Music
  • Album: Avalon
  • Song: More Than This
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "More Than This"
  • Album: Avalon
  • Artist: Roxy Music
  • Label: Caroline
  • Released: 1982
 
cover for roxy music

Roxy Music

  • Artist: Roxy Music
  • Album: Roxy Music
  • Song: Virginia Plain
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Virginia Plain"
  • Album: Roxy Music
  • Artist: Roxy Music
  • Label: Virgin
  • Released: 1972
 
Cover for Tango: Zero Hour

Astor Piazzolla

  • Artist: Astor Piazzolla
  • Album: Tango: Zero Hour
  • Song: Michelangelo '70
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Michelangelo '70"
  • Album: Tango: Zero Hour
  • Artist: Astor Piazzolla
  • Label: Pangaea
  • Released: 2008
 
cover for sister rosetta tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

  • Artist: Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  • Album: Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1942-1944)
  • Song: Down by the Riverside
close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Down by the Riverside"
  • Album: Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1942-1944)
  • Artist: Sister Rosetta Tharpe
  • Label: Document
  • Released: 1996
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.