He never had many favorite albums, favorite songs yes, a lot, but albums, very few. He used to tell how the first album he ever bought in his life was Erotica by Madonna, when he was around 11 or 12, and amused him to look back at it, how a 11 year old goes to buy Erotica as their first album. I gave him Erotica in vinyl as a present, but his favorite Madonna album was Bedtime Stories, which he bought to himself, also on vinyl. He did not cared about buying albums on CD though. His Beatles favorite was the compilation 1962-1966, the red album, he always preferred the early Beatles songs to their later ones, and that album featured several of his favorite ones. We made a video where he talks about that album and describes what is good about it. Same thing with Commodore Days by Billie Holiday. When on my birthday, we were browsing through records in a store and I see a couple that we could add to the collection. Ken offered to give me those as a birthday present, but in return I also bought him a present, so I asked him to pick a record he would like, and he sees a Billie Holiday one that has a painting-like cover of the singer. He then tells me he is taking that one, after checking what songs were there. The record was Commodore Days. We then talked about Billie Holiday and that is when I learned Strange Fruit was one of his very favorite songs, overall he loved Billie Holiday for her voice but also for the pain that same voice transmitted, the tragic diva. Another one o that he bought was I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) by Aretha Franklin, and Just a Poke by an obscure 1970’s Progressive Rock band called Sweet Smoke. Ken had great insight and instinct, he knew somehow how to decode if an artist or an album was good based on the cover art, he was always right. He bought the album Just a Poke because of its cover, and the music was indeed great. He even spotted a short passage of The Doors song The Soft Parade song in one of the albums tracks. David Bowie was the artist he got the most albums for himself. He liked The Man Who Sold the World and bought a limited edition of it on picture disc with a colorful artistic cover. His favorite song there was definitely The Man Who Sold the World. He also got himself a copy of Bowie’s Blackstar, we collected several and he got one for himself, and the last album he ever bought was Aladdin Sane, a limited edition in color vinyl, it is the album featuring out song, Drive In Saturday, he once told me it was maybe his favorite record cover. Ken did not liked to keep the records sealed, if he had bought them for himself, he opened and listened to them. Because he wasn’t a materialist person, he never cared about possessions and owning objects or things, so, these are pretty much the albums he liked keeping to himself, the ones he called “his own”, despite our record collection belonging to both of us.
This is a playlist featuring many of Ken’s favorite songs