If you could only keep 5 record albums, what would they be?

I am looking at my collection this evening and trying to determine my favorites.  If I had to narrow it down to 5 it would be: Dan Fogelberg...The Netherlands; Roy Clark...Yesterday When I Was Young; James Taylor...Flag; Talking Heads...77; and last but not at all least, Commodores...Greatest Hits. All oldies but goodies that I still enjoy listening to as much as when I bought them many years ago.
I'd say Nick Drake: 5 Leaves early US Antilles....Eva Cassidy: Songbird Hoffman pressing, Maybe my Zep III Classic.... Hate to be without my Beach Boys: Surfs Up...Joni: Ladies early Reprise brown... Early brown label Strange Days...Yeah, they would have to kill me to get these. Or at least bludgeon me to a pulp. 
Tough one, hmm...arrrgggh....

Beatles - White Album
Who - Quadrophenia
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Steely Dan - Gaucho

no, wait...
This is my list as of today, might be different tomorrow.
Santana-  Abraxas
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here
Jimi Hendrix- Electric Ladyland
Steely Dan- Show Biz Kids
Willie Nelson- Stardust (This one will always be on the list)
fjn04--you sound like my kind of collector!!!
Now that I have read these replies I want to change my mind!  Pink Floyd...Dark Side of the Moon; and how could I not have voted for Steely Dan, Santana and The Who!!!
The choices I am posting, are NOT the most valuable, nor are they my absolute favorite music.  I am listing these because of a variety of factors, sound quality of the record vs. digital alternatives, lack of digital alternatives, and sentimental value.

1.  Brubeck-"Take Five"  The original 6-eye Columbia sounds better than any subsequent reissue.

2.  Ellington-"Blues in Orbit"  The original 6-eye Columbia sounds better than any subsequent vinyl reissue and the SACD that I own  (at least on the SCD-1 player I use to own).

3.  Michael Hurley-"Have Moicy"  Great music and pretty good sound.  I bought this record when it first came out and I still love it.

4.  The Great Jazz Trio-"Direct from LA"  Fantastic sound from this direct to disc recording; subsequent reissues not quite as good.

5.  Ramirez-"Missa Criolla"  I have the original Los Fronterizos recording of this recording (Argentine Philips); I found it in the $1 bin at a used record shop.  Amazing sound and, to me, a better arrangement of the music than subsequent recordings of this first approved mass (post Vatican II) sung in the vernacular.
O'Brother Soundtrack (SACD)
Sleepless - Peter Wolf
Exile on Main Street
Real Live Roadrunning - Mark K and ELH

runners up:
Sinatra Live at the Sands
Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live 
Stones 12x5 (SACD)

weather report -heavy weather
led zep -II
louis bonfa -brazil
van morrison -moon dance
simon and garfunkle -in central park
return to forever -romantic warrior

that's my five. don’t tell me it’s six. there are many others I would miss as I would the above if I didn’t get to keep them. i like most all the ones everyone has already mentioned. good choices
You'll probably find the following thread to be of interest, which asked essentially the same question:


My answer in that thread:

Brahms, Symphony No. 1
Chopin, Piano Sonata No. 3
Dvorak, New World Symphony
Prokofiev, Classical Symphony
Schubert, String Quintet in C Major

The recordings of the Brahms and Dvorak works I would take would be the Chesky re-issues on CD of 1960s performances conducted by Jascha Horenstein. The Chopin I would take would be either the Wilson Audio recording of a performance by Hyperion Knight, on vinyl if I could find it (I have the CD), or the performance by Edward Auer on an RCA Japan direct-to-disc LP. I’d have to think about which recording of the other works I would take, and perhaps it would be one that I don't yet have. 

-- Al 
Too many to choose, here goes anyway
Nick Drake  Pink Moon
Joni Michell For The Roses
Jennifer Warnes The Hunter
Los Lobos Kiko
James Taylor JT

Dark Side Of The Moon
Thick As A Brick
In Rainbows
Desert island--we have AC power and great systems--don't ask how--can we can hang out in each other’s hut for different music? 
To be perfectly honest I would definitely not (rpt not) bring ANY of my all-time favorite records with to a desert island as I’m sick of listening to them. Electric Ladyland, Exile on Main Street, Roxy Music Manifesto, The Wall, The White Album, Led Zeppelin II, The Freewheelin Bob Dylan, and others.
I have to agree with geoffkait on this one. I would have to choose very carefully from discs that I love and never seem to get sick of. Some pieces are so great that you can always find something new in them. Right now I'm thinking of Horowitz playing Schumann. Things along those lines. Of course, having only 5 to choose from, I would want something from the jazz genre; either Stan Getz or Oscar Peterson, and something from rock...maybe Crowded House or Roxy Music. Those would be difficult choices.
Ben Webster: Soulmates
Mary Chaplin Carpenter: Come On Come On
Marcin Wasilewski Trio: Spark of Life
John Fahey: Dave’s Have Gone By, volume 6
New Queens Hall Orchestra: Ralph Vaughan Williams Greensleeves/Tallis Fantasia 
Like others have mentioned, these are not my favourite five records, but the ones that I could/would want to live with for the rest of my life if that be the case:

Radiohead - Hail to the Thief
Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Elliott Smith - XO
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Velvet Underground- banana album
Beatles - white album
Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
Scott Walker - Scott 4
Bee Gees - Trafalgar 
What a great list.  It shows me that I have a ton of things I have not heard before and look forward to streaming and downloading them.  Thanks to all who posted their favorites.  Now I have my xmas list.  I guess there will be no new tweaks or upgrades for a while.  This list is probably the cost of an upgrade.  Probably more bang for the buck.  

My List:
Stardust, Willie Nelson
Traveler, Chris Stapleton
MTV Unplugged, Eric Clapton, 
Revisited, Creedence Clearwater
Greatest Hits, James Taylor
Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash
Its about Time, Hank
Gunslinger, Garth Brooks
Diana Krall, Turn Up the Night
Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd

Sorry that's more than five.  
Allman Bros. Band - Live at the Filmore
Janis Joplin - Cheap Thrills
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Cream - Wheels of Fire
Eva Cassidy- Live at Blues Alley

Rolling Stones -- Exile on Main Street
Lucinda Williams -- Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
John Coltrane -- A Love Supreme
Neil Young -- Decade
Thelonious Monk -- Brilliant Corners
I have to say, it is like asking "who's your favorite child?"
I am past the half century mark so there's so much great music tied to so many great experiences. All of the above albums have me saying "ya, that one". The five best for me are the mood and flavor of the day. Too many to be concise. And for that I'm grateful. 

Genesis ---Trick of the Tail

Kansas--Left Overture

Queen --News of the World

Todd Rundgren-- Adventures in Utopia

Aerosmith --Get your Wings

This is just throwing some off the top of my head. I’m sure if I had it to seriously do this, I would put more thought into it . But these are pretty good

The Beatles --- Abby Road

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble-- The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Santana--- Corazon

Rodrigo y Gabriela-- Rodrigo y Gabriela & CUBA

Scott Bradlee's Post Modern Jukebox--- The Essentials.

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Led Zeppelin - III
Rolling Stones - Flashpoint
Eric Clapton - Slowhand
Frank Sinatra - The Reprise Years
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole - Alone In IZ World - Over The Rainbow
and I have 6 Bill Cosby comedy albums. :-)
1.  Tower of Power - Back to Oakland

2.  Lighthouse --  One Fine Morning

3.  Blood Sweat & Tears — Blood Sweat & Tears

4.  Funk Filharmonik — Everybody Get Down

5.  Sante Fe & The Fat City Horns. - When the Curtain Goes Up

Honorable mentions:

6.  Chicago Transit Authority

7.  Chase  — Pure Music

8. — Tower of Power —  Drop It In The Slot

Great thread.  Commenting to add it to my list.  Can't wait to hear some new albums.
Just putting in writing is hard.

joni Mitchell - blue
gram Parsons - GP
John grant - pale green ghosts
John Wizards - John Wizard
paul Simon - Graceland

falling off William Onyeabor, Laura marling, Bob Dylan, lcd soundsystem, muddy waters - the folk singer, pink floyd, the band, david Bowie, Gillian Welch  ...... aaargh already subbed 2 on on the top list
Dire Straits - Dire Straits
Eva Cassidy - Nightbird
Eagles - Greatest Hits
Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Counting Crows - August and Everything After

then I looked up one post and saw rich’s ’Graceland’....crap, probably gonna bump Norah...
Post removed 

This topic thread pops up regularly, sometimes with a more reasonable 10 album limit ;-). But okay, 5. I’ll limit it to Pop (non-Classical), as this crowd is of a more Rock persuasion. I will also leave off my number 1 and 2, as everyone may be sick of hearing about The Band (their debut and it’s follow-up, Music From big Pink and The Band, aka the "brown" album). In no particular order, and at this moment in time:

- The Everly Brothers: any best-of collection. They created the Rock ’n’ Roll template of great songs (chord progressions, melodies), great singing, great musicians (the best in Nashville), and the 2-part harmony copied by everyone, especially The Beatles.

- Dave Edmunds: Get It. IMO the premiere practitioner of Rock ’n’ Roll guitar playing (Chuck Berry perfected), production (his own, The Everly Brothers, The Stray Cats, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Flamin’ Groovies, Foghat, Mason Ruffner, Brinsley Schwartz, many others), arranging, and singing. Get It is only one of his albums I would be happy to take.

- Rockpile: Seconds Of Pleasure. Pure, 100 Proof American Rock ’n’ Roll, created by an Englishman (Nick Lowe) and three Welshmen (Dave Edmunds, Billy Bremner, and Terry Williams). The best live Rock ’n’ Roll band I have ever seen/heard.

- The Dwight Twilley Band: Sincerely. The debut album by the trio of Dwight (vocals, rhythm guitar, piano), Phil Seymour (vocals, drums), and Bill Pitcock IV (lead guitar). The ultimate, perfect melding of early Beatles and early Elvis Presley. What a debut!

- The Flamin’ Groovies: Shake Some Action. Dismissed by some as an English Invasion Cover/Garage band (even by Bill Graham, but what did he know?), but I love ’em. This album, produced by Dave Edmunds, is really, really special; I guarantee it sounds like no other you have heard.

- John Hiatt: Bring The Family. Combine the songwriting and singing of John Hiatt with the musicianship of Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe, and Jim Keltner, and you have one of the very best albums ever recorded and released.

Oops. You just can’t break up a 6-pack, can you? ;-)

  • Herbie Hancock - The Joni Letters
  • John Coltrane - My Favorite Things 
  • Sade - The Best of Sade
  • Santan - Supernatural 
  • Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman


I forgot all about Crime of the Century. That would defiantly be one of mine.  

There are 20 albums I would want to have but if five is what you insist on, here are my choices.
Carnegie Hall Concert by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker (1974)
It's Too Late To Stop Now by Van Morrison (1974)
Mother Lode by Loggins and Messina (1974)
Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan (1974)
Dvorak Symphony No.9 by The Royal Philharmonic conducted by Jascha Horenstein (1962)
1974 must have been a pretty good year. I did not notice that until I had whittled the list down to five from my list of twenty which span from 1962 to 1993. 

@bdp24, you are a music encyclopedia!!! I have heard and like maybe 75% of the albums listed, but your "6 pack" is this weekend's homework assignment. Can't wait. 
I'm not really into albums, prefer to compile my own but it's funny how Abbey Road keeps coming up. It would be on my list too, along with the following

Astral Weeks  Van Morrison
Born to Run  Bruce Springsteen
Love and Theft  Bob Dylan
Get Happy!!  Elvis Costello and the Attractions.

These are not necessarily what I regard as the best albums of all time, but they are all for me at least, eminently playable. I never get tired of playing them, at least not for long, and hardly ever want to skip tracks. Like yourself I love them as much as I ever did, and in the case of my gold CD Sony sbm copy of Born to Run, even moreso.
Hi guys n girls .This week may be different to next week.So in no particular order
julio Iglesias - romantic classics
george micheal -older
 leonard cohen - ten new songs

mike and the mechanics.any.

the definitive simon and Garfunkel.

And any northern soul / wigan casino / keep the faith OKEH.
Beatles. White
Allman Brothers. Live at the Filmore
The Who. Tommy
Rolling Stones. Hot Rocks
Cream. Best of
Bach, The Musical OfferingBeethoven, Symphony #9Miles Davis, Kind of BlueRolling Stones, Sticky FingersMuddy Waters, Folk Singer These are not specific pressings, simply preferences as to what I would prefer listening to given no other options.
Waiting For Columbus -  Little Feat, 
The Dark Side of the Moon -  Pink Floyd, Joshua Judges Ruth - Lyle Lovett, Seconds Out - Genesis, Baja Sessions - Chris Issak
My Top Five would be:
1) Beatles - Abbey Road
2) Joe Walsh - So What
3) Supertramp - Crime Of The Century
4) Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon
5) Yes - The Yes Album
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports
David Bowie - The Man Who Sold the World
Zappa/Mothers - Over- nite Sensation. 

Subject to change hourly. 
Grey Eyed Morn - Sue Richards
Blood on the Tracks - Dylan
Rubber Soul - Beatles
Jazz at Oberlin - Dave Brubeck Quartet
The Sky is Crying - The History of Elmore James
  • Beatles - White Album
  • Brubeck - Take Five
  • Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms
  • Steely Dan - A Decade of Steely Dan
  • Aerosmith - Toys In the Attic

But since I don’t do vinyl, I’m not limited to just five. ;-)
Johnny Winter - Johnny Winter
Allman Brothers - Idlewild South
Mississippi Fred McDowell 1906 - 1972
John Mayall -The Turning Point
Donald Fagan - The Nightfly
Captain Beefheart - The Spotlight Kid

My Baker's five...

Only 5? Impossible!
Ok, here we go...

My choices are solely based on which music has so far given me magical listening pleasures and music I believe will continue to do so for the ”rest of my life. My choices are not based on which record has the best sound quality....

Pink Floyd Wish you were here (Quite obvious choice right?)

Dire Straits Communique (As a 11-year old boy I discovered this Masterpiece and I still love it)

Supertramp Breakfast in America (Another fantastic album from the golden year 1979)

Rainbow Rising (Say no more!)

KISS Alive! (Forget about Made in Japan by Deep Purple, this is the ultimate rock’n roll live-album)

But, there are so many more great albums...another day I might have made five other choices...

Over and out from Sweden!
Cant do it. It changes from day to day week to week month to month year to year.

So, for shits n’ kicks, here’s a snapshot:

1 Eva Cassidy - Live from Blues Ally. 4 LP set
2 Moody Blues - In Search of the Lost Chord
3 Henryk Gorecki - Symphony of Sorrowful Songs
4 Mikis Theodorakis - Canto General
5 Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel

Dire Straits - Dire Straits
Pink Floyd - Wish you were here 
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (45rpm Pallas)
Pentangles - Open The Door
Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska 

How about from minute to minute hour to hour

1 Frederick Rzewski - Coming Together
2 Hazel and Alice - Hazel and Alice, on Rounder, 1973
3 Astor Piazzola - Zero Hour
4 Colin Walcott - Grazing Dreams
5 Giovanni Batista Pergolesi - Stabat Mater, the performance on Archiv Productions with Mirella Freni and Teresa Berganza
One thing I know for sure is I would pick double or three LP sets. Then I double or triple the listening pleasure.