Listfully Speaking - Albums That Got Away: Stevie Wonder, Black Sabbath, Marvin Gaye, The Band, Patti Smith

Here are 5 albums I'm ashamed to admit I haven't heard...
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So many great albums and not enough time: that's the theme of today's Listfully Speaking. The first edition of this series was my Blues 101 list and the first five albums I would hand someone looking to explore the rich beauty of the blues. They are so amazing it makes me sick that I let so many years of my life go by without hearing them.

The universal catalog of song is voluminous and grows every year; the challenge of exposing myself to and absorbing it all is daunting and probably impossible but it's worth it to fight the good fight. Today I list 5 albums I'm ashamed to admit I don't own and have not heard in their entirety and declare my intention to rectify these oversights.

  1. Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life: Stevie Wonder is a miracle from God. He is a prolific virtuoso whose musical achievements astound. He has recorded innumerable hits, many of which I know, and in some quarters this album is his crowning achievement (or at least one of them). This is an album I need to own, considered among the greatest ever, and spend time meditating upon.
  2. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On: Marvin Gaye... I can't possibly hope to express the magnitude of his talent. I've heard many of the songs from this record but don't own it and have never heard it from beginning to end. Again, this is an acclaimed masterpiece that embodies soul, love, pain, and social consciousness and conscience. Another landmark achievement in the ears of many that must be added to my collection. DeepSoul author Kit O'Toole will probably never speak to me again after seeing these first two albums on my list.
  3. The Band - Music From Big Pink: I love Robbie Robertson and still listen frequently to his masterful recent solo record How To Become Clairvoyant and yet I've never heard what stands as probably the best album from his time with The Band. Like What's Going On, I know many of these songs as singles and played them when I worked as a classic rock DJ but have never owned or listened to this as an album.
  4. Black Sabbath - Paranoid: I'm not as avid a heavy metal fan these days as I was in my youth but Sabbath is one of the bands that defined and established the parameters of hard rock and heavy metal. They were critically panned at the time, received some late plaudits as years went by, and have now seen some reversal of that. Heavy metal music is evil to parents and polarizing among critics but people still talk about Sabbath at their best. I've considered getting this album a number of times and talked myself out of it, convincing myself I'd eventually grab this as part of a Sabbath box set. I haven't done either and have still not heard this.
  5. Patti Smith - Horses: Patti Smith is a songwriter whose work has inspired so many artists whose work I love and this record is considered an unassailable classic, revered by artists and critics alike. I don't know these songs, only the name of the artist and title of record. That's something I need to change.

So, friends and music lovers, assail me for my tardiness to these five records and share with me your love of them. Do you have records you've missed and feel a deep need to add to your musical life and collection? Weigh in and discuss the masterpieces of the art we love so much.