#315Albums is a list of 315 albums that appear on both the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, as well as the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book, edited by Robert Dimery. At its best, it is a representation of some of the greatest music ever released; at its worst, it is a journey through the history of music that the majority see as important, influential, and/or relevant. If nothing else, these albums are worth experiencing at least once to get a better understanding of music, which is why we are working to complete all #315Albums.

No. 035

“By the time [Earle] released his debut at 31, he had done two stints in Nashville as a songwriter and he wanted something else. Guitar Town is the rocker’s version of country, packed with songs about hard living in the Reagan Eighties.”

Artist: Steve Earle
Album: Guitar Town
Released: 1986
Label: MCA
Rolling Stones Ranking: 482

I remember the exact night I fell in love with country music. It was a star-studded show at the Pontiac Silverdome that my mom and my cousin had dragged my sister and me to. The show featured the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, and more. It was headlined, though, by the one and only Garth Brooks. That night was the first time I realized how fun, catchy, and listenable country music was, and I have been hooked ever since. The genre is an interesting one, though, as it has changed quite a bit since that evening back in the late ’90s. The thing is, I would argue that I enjoy today’s country music as much, if not more, than that music of the 2000s. Today’s album, though, instantly took me back to that night in the Silverdome when I first fell for the genre. Steve Earle’s Guitar Town is a fantastic album that really took me by surprise. It has a sound that feels like it should be out of the ’90s, and was a clear inspiration to many of my favorite country artists of that era. After listening through this, I am really surprised I had never heard of Earle before now. He’s fantastic! “My Old Friend the Blues” is arguably my favorite track, but there is something to like about the entire album, including the lullaby-like “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller”. The album ends on “Down the Road”, and it made me want to go right back to the beginning again. I loved this album, and it’s one that I will listen to over and over again in the future.

Cinefessions’ #315Albums Rating: 87%

Image and quote courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine.