Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten CDs to Brighten Your Workday

Posted by shierylssi at 4:01 AM

It's a gorgeous day, and you want nothing more than to be out and about having some fun. Only problem? You're stuck at your desk -- and it's only 9:15 in the morning. But if your boss lets you listen to music while you work, you're in luck. Give any one of the following 10 CDs a spin. They're guaranteed to make the time zip by and brighten your workday.

Ruckus
Galactic

This is pure New Orleans funk. Galactic mixes Theryl de'Clouet's '70s-era Motown singing style with instrumentals to create music that will have you dancing in your cube. "Bongo Joe" and "Mercamon" mix trip-hop and jazz with a side of jam band.

Unclassified
Robert Randolph & the Family Band

The souls of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan must have linked up with that of Mississippi guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph. If blasting this blues album through your headsets doesn't improve your productivity, nothing will. A great antidote to burnout.

The Whole of the Moon: The Music of Mike Scott and the Waterboys
Mike Scott and The Waterboys

I'm not usually a fan of greatest-hits CDs, but since this group's music is very hard to find, this will do just fine. The Waterboys will bring out the Celt in you. "Fisherman's Blues" and "Medicine Bow" mix Irish fiddles, barroom rock and folk lyrics. If you come across any of their other albums, treat yourself.

How Will the Wolf Survive?
Los Lobos

This band's style ranges from Tex-Mex blues to polka -- cool polka. The band sings in English and Spanish. By the time you're halfway through this one, you'll be in the market for an accordion.

Layla
Derek & the Dominos

We all know the song, now here's the album. Eric Clapton and Duane Allman (who died shortly after its release) craft a beautiful collection of songs here, including the masterpieces "Key to the Highway" and "Bell Bottom Blues." Put on your headsets, turn up the volume and be transported to music nirvana.

Hittin' the Note
Allman Brothers Band

This 2003 effort is the first Allman Brothers album since Dickey Betts left the band. Warren Haynes steps up, and he and Gregg Allman combine with Derek Trucks to create a rocking disc. The southern blues style the band originated is back with a vengeance on such tracks as "Desdemona."

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
The Traveling Wilburys

This is one of the best albums of the '80s. Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan mix basic rock ‘n' roll with great harmonies. This album will have you singing along with joy, especially during "End of the Line." Look for one of Bob Dylan's greatest songs -- "Tweeter and the Monkey Man" -- on this disc.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles

Pure rock, acid rock, orchestral rock and more. This album, which came out in 1967, is considered by many to be the greatest rock album of all time. I find myself humming "When I'm 64" sometimes without warning. Spin this disc and forget about work for 45 minutes.

Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen

OK, this one is a no-brainer. I am a huge Bruce fan, and if he were absent from this list, people would be checking to see if I'm OK. This album is loaded with such classics as "Thunder Road," "Born to Run," "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" and the epic closer, "Jungleland."

Full Moon Fever
Tom Petty

This 1989 album contains a great mix of pure driving rock -- from "Runnin' Down a Dream" to such fun sing-a-longs as "Free Fallin'." Much to the chagrin of my coworkers, I find myself singing out loud when I play this one. All together now: "'Cause I'm free, free fallin'..."

by Vincent O'Connell
Monster Contributing Writer


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