Song of the Day by Eric Berman – Top Albums 2014 from “The Alta Cocher Rocker”

So this is my 34th Top Albums of the Year list and occasionally I go back to the older lists that I still have and see if I am still as enamored about my picks now as I was then. For the most part I think the records that make my lists are pretty solid for their time and manage to have some staying power years later. There are, of course numerous instances of picks over the years that have me now asking myself “What the heck was I thinking?”

Nevertheless, these are indeed the greatest of times for music lovers. Never has so much music been at our disposal for unlimited listening pleasure. With dispensaries like Spotify, you have access to pretty much everything, instant playback 24-7. What more could a music lover want?

Now I fully admit that Spotify has changed my relationship with music. I am now exposed to much more music than I actually buy, and freed of the expense, I’m more willing to listen to stuff I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past.

But I also believe that never before has physical product been more important, at least to me. I know, I’m totally old school, but I like the whole package with my music. The artwork, the liner notes, the credits and the lyrics…I want them all, and I want to hold them in my hand and preferably see them spinning on my turntable. They aid to the enjoyment of the music. They give the music an importance that a download never could. And the old argument, vinyl does sound better than the digital counterpart.

That said, this is the first year that I don’t own physical versions of about half of the records listed. This is especially true of the recommended listening section which is comprised of records I found myself going back to many times throughout the year and are more than worthwhile of your attention if you’re so inclined…

At any rate, listen to what you like, and I hope you’ll be inclined to share your lists with me. Have a safe and healthy new year to all!


  1. Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
  2. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  3. Lost On The River – The New Basement Tapes
  4. Afghan Whigs – Do To the Beast
  5. TV On The Radio – Seeds
  6. Spoon – They Want My Soul
  7. Pharrell – G I R L
  8. Tweedy – Sukierae
  9. Ravonettes – Pe’ahi
  10. Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Common Ground – The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

Compilations/Reissues (“This one goes to 11”)

  1. Bob Dylan and The Band – The Complete Basement Tapes
  2. Sleater-Kinney – Start Together
  3. John Coltrane – Offering: Live at Temple University
  4. Miles Davis – Bootleg Series Vol. 3: Miles At The Fillmore 1970
  5. Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot
  6. Herbie Hancock – The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972)
  7. Beatles – White Album in Mono
  8. Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection
  9. Sonny Rollins – Road Shows 2
  10. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY 1974
  11. Michael Jackson – Xscape


  • Alvvays – Alvvays
  • Beck/Various Artists – Song Reader
  • Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
  • Black Keys – Turn Blue
  • D’Angelo & the Vanguard: Black Messiah
  • Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
  • Freeman – Freeman (Aaron Freeman of Ween)
  • Jack White – Lazaretto
  • Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
  • Julian Casablancas & The Voids – Tyranny
  • Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
  • Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions
  • Neil Young – A Letter Home
  • Neil Young – Storytone
  • New Pornographers – Brill Busters
  • Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
  • Perfume Genius – Too Bright
  • Prince – ArtOfficialAge
  • Robyn Hitchcock – The Man Upstairs
  • The Roots – and then you shoot your cousin
  • Rudy Royston – 303
  • Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
  • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want
  • Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
  • Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack
  • U2 – Songs Of Innocence