Paperback Writer

The 33 1/3 book series lets love-struck authors celebrate their favorite records

Joni Mitchell, The Hissing of Summer Lawns
It's the record where she started to lose people due to her burgeoning jazzbo streak, but also because she went from the confessional "I" and pulled a Dylan and started using "you." It's deep and deeply misunderstood, and packed with feminist narratives she insists are not feminist. It'd be a great one to unpack and untangle. -- Jessica Hopper, editor,Hit It or Quit It

Star Ghost Dog, The Great Indoors
A beautiful album by a group I'm totally infatuated with -- it's smart and moody and gorgeous, and I love it to pieces. I can't believe they broke up (there must be a German word for this kind of mourning), but I long for the Parallel Universe Travel Machine to go to the world where they recorded a third and fourth and fifth brilliant album/CD/whatever. -- Geoff Schmidt, author of Write Your Heart Out: Advice From the Moon Winx Motel

Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club
Because I find Tina Weymouth to be completely fascinating, and I'd love to discover how they recorded that many people to make such an amazing album. Also, rehearsing/recording and living at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas, has been an Architecture in Helsinki daydream for years, and if I was researching, I'd have to go there, right? -- Kellie Sutherland, singer/multi-instrumentalist, Architecture in Helsinki

Public Image Ltd., Metal Box
Given the turnaround time from punk icon to yesterday's news, Johnny Rotten created a blueprint for the fusion of house, dub, punk, electroclash, and avant-garde experimentalism long before some of those styles existed . . . on a major-label budget, no less. -- Kevin Chanel, editor, ChinMusic

The Mekons, The Mekons Rock 'n' Roll
Yeah, I get teased for declaring the Mekons as my favorite band in the whole world, since I'm not old, balding, or a man (the band's been around longer than I've been alive). But when Jon Langford yelps, I was born inside the belly of rock 'n' roll!, it seriously has to be one of the greatest rock moments ever. -- JP Pfafflin, publicist, Bloodshot Records

Santana, Caravanserai
Fusion music has always gotten a bum rap in my book, and Santana's blend of Latin vibes with jazz licks and hippie peace and love is remarkably beguiling, and feels like the music of a utopia that never happened. At least, it never happened in the world, which is how it usually is. -- Will Blythe, author of the forthcomingTo Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever, a love story about the Duke-North Carolina rivalry

Geto Boys, The Geto Boys
The Geto Boys caused so much controversy at the time, it'd be fascinating to navigate the multi-angled stories behind the production, camaraderie, aftermath, shit storm, and resultant lasting influence. -- Todd Inoue, music editor,San Jose Metro

Sarah McLachlan, Surfacing
Surfacing was an extremely special album at an influential time in my life. It influenced me deeply, and it still resonates. She's got one of the most controlled voices . . . she's the Chris Cornell of her genre. Her wide range of melody is ridiculous. The songs are so sincere, you can tell she was documenting something special to her, and it forces the listener to relate even more. It's so melodic and hooky and beautiful. -- Donald Carpenter, singer, Submersed

No pick
I'd tell them to shoot me. I've lived plenty. -- John Doe, singer-songwriter, bass player, solo artist, and founding member of X

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