July 4, 1970, until August 6, 1988, Casey Kasem hosted the American Top 40 on the radio. Through many of those years, Harry would listen to the four hour long program. Each week he would document in spiral notebooks what place each song was at within the chart. He would also note how many places up or down a song would travel. On mornings that we would have to be somewhere, Harry would somehow talk my dad into listening and writing in the notebooks when he wasn't able to. Somewhere within my parents house are these notebooks filled with AT40 history.
This documentation of The AT40 started Harry’s lifelong Harry’s Top Ten Album Lists of the Year that he would make. These were his top ten favorite albums of the year. He would send out his Harry's Top Ten every late December to me, our mom, his friend Jason and maybe a small handful of others he was close to. Harry would consciously not buy any albums late in the year as to not take a chance to have to make changes to his top ten that he would work on all year.
He could recall every Top Ten for as long as he made them without looking at anything. While going through some of his school notebooks for his last degree, I would find randomly in the middle of class notes, lists. Lists of a draft of his Top Ten at the time, lists of how many times certain artists had made an appearance in his Top Ten.
There wasn't a Harry’s 2019 Ten Ten Albums this December. Something that normally I would receive and scan over, but probably didn't take enough notice of like maybe I should have. But when it stops, you miss it.
I cannot rightly put together what I think would have been his Top Ten for 2019, as it was a rough 5 months for him, though there may be an incomplete 2019 list hidden in a notebook that I haven’t found yet.
I can though, share his top ten all time favorite albums, which yes, was written in many notebooks over the years of course.
- The Microphones - Mount Eerie
- Peter Gabriel - Passion
- Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
- Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
- Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
- The Dirty Projectors - The Getty Address
- Lou Reed - Magic And Loss
- Tom Waits - The Black Rider
- Neutral Milk Hotel - In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
- Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel #3