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Eight albums you need to listen to before you die

Once you listen to all these albums, you have officially listened to the best albums of all time.

Everyone has individual music tastes that differ based on what one’s parents listened to, where one’s from, and what relates to them the most. Therefore, the topic of best music albums is one of the most opinion-based arguments in the world. Alumni Josh Sket wrote the previous article in this series,, wrote about the albums Late Registration, K.I.D.S, 1984, Californication, Hotel California, Marshall Mathers LP, Camp, and Revolver. 

Out of the eight albums picked by Josh Sket, none of my eight chosen “Albums to listen to before you die” are the same. Therefore, I felt the need to provide people with the real and correct “Albums to listen to before you die” because society would be a better place if everyone cultured themselves by listening to good, meaningful music. 

Eight albums you have to listen to before you die
No More Drama album cover
No More Drama album cover (MCA Records )
8. No More Drama by Mary J Blige

No More Drama is the 5th studio album released by singer Mary J Blige under the record label MCA Records. This album sold over 5,000,000 copies worldwide, 3,200,000 of which were in the United States alone. This record went 3x Platinum.

No More Drama was an album heavily inspired by Blige’s own history of alcohol and substance abuse and her attempt to escape that usage cycle.

The album received two Grammy nominations, one for Best R&B Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

This album is a must-listen due to its perfect encapsulation of R&B sounds that are often slept on by many.

The best song from this album is: “Family Affair.” 

Songs In The Key of Life album cover
Songs In The Key of Life album cover (Tamla Records)
7. Songs In The Key Of Life by Stevie Wonder

Songs in the Key of Life is the 18th studio album by the legendary artist Stevie Wonder released under the record label Tamla Records. This album managed to secure the most desired and one of the hardest achievements in the music industry; it went diamond in the USA, the highest achievement in music, platinum in Australia, 2x platinum in the UK, and platinum in Canada, meaning this record sold over 14,000,000 copies.

Due to this album, Stevie Wonder signed the biggest and most lucrative record deal of all time, $13,000,000 upfront with a later $20,000,000 bonus.

The lead singles on this album, “Sir Duke” and “I Wish,” spent a consecutive 13 weeks at the Number One spot on the Billboard 100.

The accomplishments of this album did not stop there; it went on to be considered by Rolling Stone as the 4th Greatest Album of All Time.

This album is a must-listen due to its near perfection of music; its instrumentals could be listened to on their own, but are only elevated to a much higher level with the unique and revolutionary voice of Stevie Wonder.

The best song on this album is: “Sir Duke.”

Born Like This album cover
Born Like This album cover (Lex Records)
6. Born Like This by MF DOOM

Born Like This is the 6th solo studio album written by musician/rapper MF DOOM and released under the record label Lex Records. Although it is not DOOM’s biggest album, it is often overlooked and under appreciated as this album only sold around 11,000 copies. 

Daniel Dumile is a New York born rapper whose stage name is MF DOOM. Dumile not only uses the stage name MF DOOM but has many aliases such as Zev Love X, King Geeodrah, Victor Vaughn. All of which have also released many projects. DOOM was considered to be the Villain as he is referred to as such by many people.

This album by MF DOOM really taps into the unique style rarely used by anyone but the Villain. MF DOOM uses his most known alias on this album which allows it to be more mainstream than other projects created by him under different aliases.

This album merited the number 9 spot on the Billboard Top 100 Rap Albums.

This album is a must-listen due to its intense rhyme scheme and the masterful rapping abilities of MF DOOM.

The best song on this album is: “That's That.”

Dont Fight The Feelin album cover
Dont Fight The Feelin’ album cover (Chrysalis Records)
5. Don't Fight The Feelin' by Rappin' 4 Tay

Don’t Fight the Feelin’ is the 2nd studio album released by rapper Rappin’ 4’Tay under Rag Top Records and Chrysisylls Records. This album creates a chill, relaxed atmosphere.  Songs like “I’ll Be Around” were not only popular on the west coast,, but also in countries like New Zealand, where the album went Gold, selling over 50,000 copies.

This album perfectly encapsulated the calm and relaxed West Coast music scene at the time, which has since seemingly faded out of the spotlight. The West Coast music scene was popularized by the Gangster Rap subgenre by rappers such as Ice Cube, Dr Dre and Tupac Shakur. However the subgenre of rap considered G-Funk was popularized by Rappin’ 4 Tay and Warren G. 

This album is a must-listen due to its style, G-Funk, which is chill and fits situations that have gone out of style and should be brought back.

The best song on this album is: “Playaz Club.”

Demon Days album cover
Demon Days album cover (Virgin Records)
4. Demon Days by Gorillaz

Demon Days is the second studio album produced and made by the band Gorillaz. This album was certified 8x Platinum going multi-platinum in countries like New Zealand, Canada, and Germany (along with countries like England and the USA.) This widespread appreciation from countries around the world shows just how good this album is.

With their use of technology at concerts and unique artistic videos, the music was new and innovative and is yet to be copied successfully.

This album has been placed in the Top 500 Albums of All Time at #437 and placed at #237 in the Top 300 Albums of The Last 30 Years.

This album is a must-listen due to its uniqueness as it was one of the first of its kind, and its ability to bring together very different genres, from the rapping of MF DOOM and De La Soul to the productions of Danger Mouse. 

The best song on this album is: “Feel Good Inc.”

The Miseducation of Mrs Lauryn Hill album cover
The Miseducation of Mrs Lauryn Hill album cover (Ruffhouse and Colombia Records)
3. The Miseducation of Mrs Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill

The Miseducation of Ms. Lauryn Hill is the 1st studio album and most successful Lauryn project of all time. This album set a record of going 1x Diamond and 10x Platinum, which is a ridiculous number to sell for your debut album and is almost unheard of since its release.

Lauryn Hill was already known in the public eye for her main role in the Hip-Hop trio the Fugees. Hill’s time in the public eye was short-lived; however, after this album, she left music to focus more on her family, made up of six children and her husband.

This album is ranked the Number 10 Album Of All Time and the 10th Best Hip Hop Album of All Time

This album is less of a “you need to listen to The Miseducation" but more of a matter of when you are going to. It is arguably the greatest hip-hop/R&B album of all time and intricately weaves the two similar but still different genres into utter perfection.

The best song on this album is: “I Used to Love Him.” 

Awaken My Love album cover
Awaken My Love album cover (Glassnote Records)
2. Awaken My Love by Childish Gambino

Awaken My Love is the most recent solo album created by rapper Childish Gambino. It was heavily inspired by 1970s funkadelic rock. This idea is clearly shown in songs such as “Me and Your Mother,” where an almost heavenly-sounding chorus is interrupted by a crazy guitar solo that completely transforms the song into something upbeat and exciting.

This album went 1x Platinum in 3 different countries, setting his personal record for albums sold.

This album centers itself in a different way from Gambino’s previous albums, and the uniqueness of this album is clearly evident in songs such as “California,” which had not been and yet to have a close relation to any other song made by him.

Awaken My Love as whole did not win a Grammy, but its most popular/best song, “Redbone,” received a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Solo Performance.

The combination of funkadelic and hip-hop should be explored to a greater extent; however, like Demon Days, nobody will ever be able to top the likes of this album. 

The best song on this album is: “Redbone.” 

Take Me To Your Leader album cover
Take Me To Your Leader album cover (Metal Face Records)
1. Take Me To Your Leader by King Geeodrah

Take Me To Your Leader by King Geeodrah is an album produced by Metal Fingers Doom

This album plays into and is inspired by King Gidrah from the Godzilla franchise, as his version of the King is a space monster, and that is the storyline the album follows. 

The album, although not ranking among other albums in their accomplishments of millions of albums sold, taps into the story of two monsters living and escaping from the center of the Earth to take over the world. This story is intricately woven into an album while still providing hit singles such as “I Wonder" and “Anti-Matter,” making this album a must-listen if given the opportunity.

This album is one of  the most interesting album of all time across all genres. King Geeodrah, aka MF DOOM, uses his scrappy voice to tell a story about a space monster while still tapping into his unique rapping. He tells stories that hit home, many involving the loss of loved ones, on tracks such as “I Wonder,” which is an emotionally driven track.

The best song on this album is a tie between “Anti-Matter” and “I Wonder.”

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About the Contributor
George Frano
George Frano, Staff Writer
George Frano is a sophomore in his first year on the Gauntlet, as a staff writer. His favorite color is purple, he has a dog named Myca, and plays soccer and video games. His favorite movies are Asteroid City and the Seven Samurais.

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