Captain Beefheart, Trout Mask Replica (Warner Bros., 1970)
Somebody recently gave me some unreleased Captain Beefheart rehearsals from the late '50s that are hilarious ... really, really great. But my favorite "official" release is Trout Mask Replica. Everyone calls that a revolutionary album, and I would totally agree.
Phil Anselmo of Pantera
Nina Simone, Verve Jazz Masters 17 (Verve, 1994)
This is true soul. A lot of people say she was akin to Billie Holiday, but her voice has more depth and power. The music is just so beautiful and haunting it brings me to another place. . . . This is one album I cannot get rid of -- it comes with me everywhere I go.
Singer-songwriter Jann Arden
Emmylou Harris, Wrecking Ball (Asylum, 1995)
I have been so mesmerized by Daniel Lanois' production and Emmylou's haunting singing. She truly is the heart of country music. But to see her do covers of such great songwriters and make them so much her own vision, it's mind-boggling.
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath (Warner Bros., 1970)
Oh, my God, Ozzy has an incredible voice. He stretches the limits of creativity all the time. Sonically, I really like the relationship between the bass and drums and the way the songs are mixed -- the kick drum sounds soft, even though it's a metally sound.
Andrea Bocelli, Romanza (PolyGram, 1997)