Wow, that’s going to be tough! I’d say probably 50 - 75% of the collection on my player qualifies for that honor.
There are so many to choose from; I don’t even know where to start. A lot of what I would consider ‘essential’ music has already been featured in the other popular What Are You Listening To Right Now? thread. Many good choices & candidates have been showcased there.
If you have TCM (Turner Classic Movies) on your cable or satellite TV service and watch it with any regularity, you already know that they have been doing this for years on the weekends on the show called ‘The Essentials’. Showcasing 1 movie each week they consider to be one of Hollywood’s best from days gone by. By the mere fact that they have been doing this for some time now would indicate that there are many ‘classics’ indeed. And all these would be the ‘cream of the crop’ on a station that only plays ‘classic’ movies. TCM is probably my all-time favorite TV station.
Musically, here’s my 1st suggestion. It’s not necessarily my top choice, but it’s as as good a place as any to start . . .
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
Their 1st offering from 1973; they sure hit the ground running with this one! A new & completely different sound for the times; raucous, rowdy, & bluesy music that inspired the new genre ‘Southern Rock’. And of course this album includes the 9 min. + rendition of the immortal ‘Free Bird’. If you haven’t at least heard this classic anthem, you’ve been living in a cave somewhere for the past 36 years!
They have other albums that I would also consider ‘classics’, but this one has got to top the list.
Tragically, their flame was snuffed out way too early as so many other ‘greats’ were when Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and his sister Cassie, one of the group’s backing vocalists, died in a fiery plane crash. This occured just 3 days after their sixth album, Street Survivors was released. The cover for Street Survivors had pictured the band surrounded in flames. After the crash, out of respect and thinking it would be considered in ‘poor taste’ the cover was changed, and the flames were removed on future copies. I still have one of the original LP’s. In the wake of the tragedy, the album became one of the band’s biggest hits, and remains one of thier top-rated albums to this day.
Possibly that incident has been what has helped insure their longevity and bolster their multi-generational fan base, or maybe it’s just the fact that their music is timeless and just plain damned good!
RIP Guys . . . Our loss is Heaven’s gain! You left some mighty big shoes to fill around here. Thankfully, you left us your best.