My Favorite Albums of All Time

Music has always been, for me, a time machine that enabled me to return to the most important moments in my life. In September 2020, Rolling Stone compiled a list of the 500 best albums of all time. And while they are the definitive guide to music, I thought that I would put my two cents in on the matter. Okay, so my list is not as comprehensive or properly cultivated as Rolling Stone’s. After all, they had the advantage of reaching out to music experts. Luckily, I am a kind of expert… in the things I like. So, because I have such strong opinions and emotions, I thought that I would put my own spin on this list.


If you have never heard of this album you are either a millennial or non-Latinx. Perhaps a millennial, non-Latinx! This is the definitive album of Selena. No. Not Gomez. The OG Reina. Tejano queen, Selena Quintanilla.

This album was released in 1994. The songs in this album quickly became hits. The thing I like about this album is that it is a melange of Latino music sounds. The songs in this album include cumbia, ranchera, and even pop en Español beats. There are so many good songs on this album. “Amor Prohibido” which tells of a forbidden love, “Bidi Bidi Mom Mom” a fun song that perfectly explains the feelings of early love, and “El Chico del Apartment 512” a tale of a secret crush, are just a few of my favorites.

The best thing about this album is that, for me, it creates a nostalgic feeling of happiness. When this album first came out and became popular, the world felt one way. These songs would play at quinceañeras and family fiestas. I associated them with the most fun times of my teenage years. Unfortunately, things would quickly change. Only one year and thirteen days after the release of this album, the world would learn of the murder of Selena Quintanilla.


I first learned of The Beach Boys in the 90s thanks to the biopic “Summer Dreams” which I saw on network TV. This movie of the week introduced me some of the best of music I have ever heard. The movie highlighted the pressure imposed upon the band by parents and record executives. It reinforced the idea of the tortured artist for me.

I bought this album on CD. And, I began to enjoy magnificent pop music. I really liked this compilation album. In fact, it is the album that taught me that musicians make “Best of” albums and compile all their most popular music in one package. This album will not disappoint. It includes may of The Beach Boys’ best songs like “Surfin’ USA,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” “I Get Around,” “Help Me Rhonda,” and “Good Vibrations.”

If you like “oldies,” listen to this album. After all, The Beach Boys are considered the architects of that California sound that is often associated with some of the best of 60s music.


I grew up in the Madonna heyday so it may not come as a shock to you that this album is on my favorite albums of all time list. Like Endless Summer above, is a greatest hits compilation album. On it, you will find Madonna’s most popular songs of the 80s. Many are modified in one way or another. But, they are excellently crafted. Thirteen of the fifteen songs on this album are the artist’s former hits. The two new tracks on this album- Justify My Love and Rescue Me- also received acclaim.

The first time I recall learning about this album was when I watched the video for “Justify My Love.” There’s some interesting S&M thing going on in that video that I did not quite understand as a fourteen year old living in small town USA! One cool thing I learned about this song while preparing this post was that Lenny Kravitz co-wrote it.

Although I have continued to be a fan of Madonna’s new music, I contend that this album contains all of her best music. Her 80s songs have energy and a good beat that, in my opinion showcase what Madonna was best at- over the top energy.


TLC’s Fanmail is the soundtrack of my twenties. In fact, FANMAIL is my favorite album of all time. I find myself listening to this album at least twice every year. That may not seem like much. But, I do think that is something. After all, thanks to the internet we have a world of entertainment available with the click of a finger. Yet, I still go back to this album often. More importantly, every time I hear this album I am blown away by how fresh and current it still sounds. I contend that it sounds as fresh as the music that people like Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat are releasing today. As such, I feel confident declaring this album a timeless classic.

This fourteen song album is, in my opinion, the definitive compilation of songs for young women. The tracks speak to the struggles of women entering adulthood often find themselves facing. From learning about standing up for oneself with the track “My Life,” dealing with the shitty dudes that call a woman a “Silly Ho,” realizing the type of man worthy of your affections with “No Scrubs,” identifying those feelings of insecurity with “Unpretty,” or claiming one’s sexuality with “I’m Good at Being Bad” or “Don’t Pull Out on Me Yet,” this album speaks to all of the struggles of modern-day mujeres.

The reason I like this album more than any other is that I honestly cannot pick a favorite song from this album. They are all that solid. Plus, it would be the last album from TLC that I really focused on as one of the group’s singers, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, would be dead less than two years after the release of this album.

Any of your favorite albums on my list? If not, which albums am I missing?

The RuPaul Mantras That Inspire Me.

I first learned of RuPaul when I was a teenager. It was late 1992 and her hit single, Supermodel, finally hit middle America. The song connected with me.

For years, I kept an ear out for Ru’s other projects. In 2010, I began to watch the show, Drag Race. In the show, she evaluates contestants’ “Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent” (or cunt.) Ru’s love your pussy ethos is a big part of the show. It is also a part of her music. RuPaul’s music encourages the listener to have the cuntfidence to be who they really are.

The bold assertions of RuPaul continue to inspire me. Today, I will share my favorite RuPaul catch phrases and music. For more information about Ru, check out the interview that Vanity Fair did with her.

The Music

From the first moment I heard Supermodel, I knew that Ru was my type of musician. The song resonated with the frivolous young person that I was. Her fun, club beats were danceable and easy to sing along. I was hooked.

Since 1992, RuPaul’s music has continued to have the same sing-along power and dance beats. It is positively fun. And, most of her music has powerful messages. For example, her song “Sissy That Walk” contains a great turn of phrase that reminds the listener to be true to themselves. “Mama said, people talking since the beginning of time. Unless they paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind.” That’s bold. Do not listen to the haters, she says. I could not agree more.

For my favorite collection of RuPaul songs, check out my Pandora playlist Power Pussy.

“If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Another thing that I love about RuPaul is the moments of wisdom she shares with her followers. One of my favorites happens every episode. At the end of each Drag Race episode, Ru reminds the contestants of the importance of self love with the sage words above.

These might be some of the most important words said on television. In our world, we are taught that finding love is everything. We are also taught that we are complete only when we have another person at your side. But that is not true.

To be happy, to be fulfilled, to be able to give ourself to another, we must love the people that we are. To feel sympathy or compassion for another person we must be able to give those things to ourselves. Without loving the entire person that we are, how can we love all the good and bad of another person. We cannot. Not really.

“When the going gets tough, the tough reinvent.”

This is another of RuPaul’s mantras that I love. Everything around us changes whether we want it to or not. In fact, this mantra harkens for me a quote from Confucius, “you cannot step in the same river twice.”

This idea is true. Every day, we are bombarded with new ideas, new information. Each new idea or information changes our worldview. And, unless a person is committed to being stagnant, they are also changing.

What I like about Ru’s mantra is that it reminds us that change can be intentional and that intentionality is what becomes reinvention. I think this should be the mantra of the new decade. And, I think we should reinvent ourselves into a world where equality and justice are not just reserved for the elite.

“We’re born naked and the rest is just drag.”

We get to my final favorite RuPaulism. This is one of Ru’s most powerful ideas. It reminds me that the world is an illusion. The individuals we present to the world are how we want to be seen. It is not necessarily the truth about what is or who we are.

This statement reminds me of William Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances….”

So, if indeed the rest is just drag, then we have the liberty to determine the drag we wish to present to the world. We can choose to be the version of ourselves that pleases the self. Or, we can choose to be what others expect from us. The choice lies within.

What is the “drag” you wish to present to the world.