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What Do You Listen To, Tom?

It’s great being in LA during Grammy weekend and going to the After Grammy’s New Music Seminar. Music, music everywhere!

People ask me all the time, “what kind of music do you listen to, Tom?” Of course the standard aswer is… everything! Because I don’t want to appear ignorant, cliche, shallow, or biased.

I admit, I’m a rocker! I grew up in Southern California and listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Yes, etc. But it isn’t the genre itself that makes music good or bad. And my work has forced me to pay attention to almost every genre. (Within a month’s time I’m working with a gospel artist, a country artist, an R&B artist, and a psychobilly/horror punk act!)

Honestly – I’ve worked with pop, rock, Southern Gospel, country, hip hop, urban, dance, R&B, jazz, singer/songwriter, German polka, Australian boogie woogie, and Chinese drum and bugle corps with basket weaving thrown in!

Have you ever had someone ask “if you were stranded on a desert island and could take only 10 records with you, what would you take?” Well, here are my top 10 favorite albums (in no particular order):

  1. Confessions on a Dance Floor: Madonna (dance) – A great dance record, especially think Isaac is an incredible song
  2. Close to the Edge: Yes (classic rock) – Probably my favorite band of all time because of their unique style
  3. October Road: James Taylor (singer/songwriter) – This was the best record he ever did; even better than Sweet Baby James
  4. State of Trance: Armin Van Buuren (electronica)
  5. Soul Cages: Sting (jazz pop) – A brilliant record, with Manu Katché (an unbelievable drummer!)
  6. Any album (take your pick): Afro Celt Sound System –  I don’t know how to define this genre; on Peter Gabriel’s label: African rhythms, Celtic melodies, with electronica stuck in the middle, and guest appearances by Robert Plant, Sinéad O’Connor, and Bono. This is my favorite music in the world right now!
  7. Third Matinee: Patrick Leonard and Richard Page (pop) – Richard Page used to be with Mr. Mister
  8. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Beatles (genre: The Beatles – need I say more?) – This record changed music, in my opinion
  9. Adagio for Strings: Samuel Barber (classical) – This takes me through every emotion and contemplative state
  10. Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (classic rock) – I’m sorry, I’m a rocker! Ridiculous record…
  11. Road to Live: Live: Pat Metheny (jazz) – Ridiculous players! It’s not fair. When I listen to this I feel like I’m in the presence of God.

Yeah, OK… I’m cheating now… but I’d sneak Bonnie Raitt on the island, too. As well as Daft Punk. And probably the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.

And I’d need Earth, Wind, and Fire, Gentle Giant, Huey Lewis and the News, Loggins and Messina, Michael Jackson, Moby, Nookie, Prince, Rick Elias, Zero 7

Hey, this is MY blog! I can have as many as I want!

So, who would be in YOUR top 10? I’d love to see your favorites in the comments below.

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. 1)Kiss-Sonic Boom
    3)Metallica – (The Black Album)
    4)Metallica- Load
    5)Avenged 7x – Live at the LOC
    6)Def Leppard – Hysteria
    7)Heart – Bad Animals
    8)Tea Party – 7 Circles
    9)Bryan Adams – Reckless
    10)Saliva – Cinco Diablo
    11)Shania Twain – Up

  2. 1. Dan Fogelberg – The Innocent Age (Dan at his best!)
    2. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Acoustic (Ya gotta love Jimmy Ibotson!)
    3. Acoustic Alchemy – Reference Point (This album will cast a specll on you!)
    4. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (Goin to Chicago!)
    5. MercyMe – Undone (Their best album)
    6. Jimmy Buffet – Barometer Soup (There’s a little parrot head in everyone!)
    7. Joe Walsh – But Seriously Folks (Man, I love Joe Walsh)
    8. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors (Their last was their best)
    9. James Taylor – October Road(This really is a great album!)
    10. Dan Fogelberg – Full Circle (what can I say?)

  3. I love the diversity,a few I have never heard….. I will check it out.Randy, I get inspiration from many of these artists, and I probably wouldn’t take many if any artists that I have worked with (except Rick Elias) who is faith based…because it would remind me of work,,,And I have worked with countless CCM artists.

  4. Brad Bailey says:

    My top ten:

    Iron Maiden – Brave New World
    Dream Theater – Awake
    Spock’s Beard – X
    Alter Bridge – Blackbird
    Johnny Cash – American IV
    Hans Zimmer – Inception Soundtrack
    Led Zeppelin – Presence
    King’s X – Ear Candy
    Scott Tennant – Wild Mountain Thyme
    Paul Gilbert – Get Out Of My Yard

  5. Here is my list….

    1. Well, not an album per se, but I would have to have my guitar to write songs. Then when I got off of the island I could record an album that people could take with them when they are stranded.

    2. My Phil Keaggy Collection.

    3. My Keith Green Collection.

    4. My Jonathan Salas Collection

    5. Hot Chelle Rae – Lovesick Electric

    6. The Monkees Greatest Hits

    7. Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer (the version that has the Beatles cover Hello Goodbye for the last track. Yes I admit it, I like the Jonas Brothers!)

    8.Classical guitarist Gary Lowry

    9. My Beatles Collection

    10. Whiteheart’s Greatest Hits

    11. Petra’s Greatest Hits.

  6. William Tozer says:

    Abraxas – Santana
    The Long Road Home – The Eagles
    Dreamboat Annie – Heart
    Chess Blues masters
    Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Joe Cocker
    Rust never Sleeps – Niel Young
    any Johnny Cash
    any Bob Dylan
    Are You Experienced Jimi Hendrix
    any Jeff Beck

  7. Brittany H. says:

    My top ten would probably be:

    Colbie Caillat (first CD)
    Lady Antebellum (first CD)
    Carrie Underwood (first or second CD)
    Bluetree (first CD)
    Nickelback (Dark Horse)
    Kris Allen (first CD)
    Mayday Parade (Lesson in Romantics)
    David Nail (any)
    Darius Rucker (any)
    Miranda Lambert (any)

  8. Gary Yonek says:

    Nearly Human – Todd Rundgren
    Tear Down The Walls – Hillsong United
    Hit – Peter Gabriel
    Something Anything – Todd Rundgren
    The Medicine – John Mark McMillan
    Live Sky – Crack the Sky
    Déjà Vu – Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
    2112 – Rush
    The Last Waltz – The Band
    Three Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Béla Fleck & the Flecktones

  9. Lynn Breaux says:

    Chicago II
    Pure Prairie League – Bustin’ Loose
    Blood Sweat and Tears III
    Crosby, Stills and Nash Boxed Set(That’s cheating, I know)
    Bonnie Raitt – Road Tested
    Billy Joel – The Stranger
    Vineyard – Cafe
    Rich Mullins – Songs
    DC Talk – Welcome To The Freak Show
    Little Feat – Let It Roll

  10. over the rhine – “Ohio”
    the elms – “chess hotel”
    anything from imogen heap – the woman’s a freaking musical genuius… some of the most beautiful music i’ve ever heard
    nickel creek – “why should the fire die?”
    this is super dorky, but a CD i have called “piano solos” from Narada Lotus – i could fall asleep to that CD every night
    copeland – “in motion”
    pink floyd – “dark side of the moon” – reminds me of my dad
    anything relient k
    anything from the last 2 derek webb albums
    ray lamontagne – “till the sun turns black”

    that was just top of the head… SO hard to choose!

  11. Jeff Buckley – Grace
    Metallica – Load
    The Roots- Phrenology
    Beck- The Information
    Rage Against the Machine – Evil Empire
    Fela Kuti- No Agreement
    Johnny Cash- American Recordings
    Jay-z – Blue Print 3.0
    Tool – Laterallis
    NIrvana – MTV Unplugged in New York

  12. Zoey Baker says:

    1. Dark Side of The Moon-Pink Floyd
    2. Mezzanine-Massive Attack
    3. Truthless Heroes-Project 86
    4. Lungs-Florence + The Machine
    5. Storm The Gates Of Hell-Demon Hunter
    6. Volta-Bjork
    7. Hybrid Theory-Linkin Park
    8. Nirvana-Nirvana
    9. White Birch-Codeine
    10. Walking With Stranger-The Birthday Massacre

  13. I love music so much, that it’s way too difficult to decide that. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of current artists I listen to often. In no particular order…

    1. Katy Perry
    2. Lady Gaga
    3. Elton John
    4. Francesca Battistelli
    5. Carrie Underwood
    6. Martina McBride
    7. Britt Nicole
    8. Third Day
    9. Bruno Mars
    10. Lights

  14. Mine changes from time to time, but yours is very cool and eclectic.

    For 2011…

    Bruce Cockburn “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws”
    Mark Heard “Stop the Dominoes” or “Victims of the Age”
    Peter Gabriel “Up”
    David Crowder “A Collision or (3+4=7)”
    The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” (gotta agree with you there, Tom)
    House of Heroes “Suburba” (new addition)
    Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” and “Porgy and Bess”
    Yes “Going for the One” (sorry I like it better than CTTE)
    Bach “Concertos for One and Two Violins” Academy of Ancient Music

    There you have it.

  15. I’d cheat, too. No way I could go with just ten. Here’s the first eleven I’d grab:

    On An Island – David Gilmour
    Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons
    One Tough Town – David Olney
    Mercy Now – Mary Gauthier
    Blue – Joni Mitchell
    Music from the Big Pink – The Band
    Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
    O Come Look at the Burning – Kevin Gordon
    The Legend of Johnny Cash Vol 1 – Johnny Cash
    The Legend of Johnny Cash Vol 11 – Johnny Cash
    Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

  16. 1. Jethro Tull “Songs from the Woods”
    2. Queen “Night at the opera”
    3. Yngwie Malmsteen “Rising Force”
    4. They might be giants “Flood”
    5. Lord of the Rings Soundtrack (I own a Comic Book store OK !!!)
    6. Elton John “Manman across the Water”
    7. Heart “Dog and the Butterfly”
    8. David Bowie “Ziggy Stardust”
    9. Rush 2112
    10.Rant and Roar “Buckett of Guts”

  17. I’m a young guy with nowhere near the exposure to music that you have but my top ten are: in no particular order

    hillsong united-beautiful exchange
    lincoln brewster- today is the day
    chris tomlin- if he made a greatest hits album
    audry assad- anything
    blindside- silence
    pillar- 1st record
    beatles- greatest hits
    boys to men- 1st album
    jack johnson- in between dreams
    casting crowns- voice of truth

  18. I didn’t see any Faith Based music on your list. I would need something on that to encourage me and remind that God is in control always. just saying.

  19. Rut Ro Tom – Hope Nashville doesn’t get their bloomers in a bunch – No Country?
    In High School I was definitely a Rocker. Kansas by far my favorite band back then. Great musicians, incredible vocals, and some awesome songwriting. Live at the time probably the best concert I’d been to.
    Now I’ve mellowed a bit and like Rock to Country or is that my Country to Rock.
    Anyway, the stranded island thing – I think I’d have to get an XM subscription. Even the best music over & over & over can be your worst nightmare.

  20. So hard to pick just 10 but here goes:

    Rick Elias
    Doobie Brothers
    Randy Stonehill
    Bob Dylan
    Some jazz blues mix but can’t center on a name at the moment

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