Backstage: WLRN's Ed Bell's Top Five Double Albums

Music vet and New

Times scribe Lee Zimmerman shares stories of memorable rock 'n' roll

encounters that took place in our local environs. This week: ... WLRN's Ed Bell

chimes in on his all time favorites

Ed Bell knows South Florida. More specifically, he knows

South Florida's vibrant music scene. Now in his 40th year of broadcasting on

the South Florida airwaves, Bell is best known for producing and hosting WLRN's

"South Florida Arts Beat" since 1999. With a signal that covers four counties

in addition to streaming worldwide on,

the show has gained a popular following by featuring interviews with local arts

types as well as monthly live, in-studio performances by local and national

bands of renown. Since he went to the University of Miami with yours truly -- we

both deejayed at WVUM, although he still looks the same now as he did that -- he

was a natural choice to provide his top five listening favorites. I was finally able to convince him to limit his choices, but not without

some push back...

"Because I really have a Top 1,000 list -- but, because there's not enough space for my nonsense -- I've chosen a few "twofers," or as most people know them -- double albums." Okay Ed, whatever works for you... 

1) The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out - "Frank Zappa's musical excursions took his bands into rock, blues, classical, Latin, jazz and avant garde styles. His sick sense of humor was the icing on the cake." 

2) Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland -- "Recording this in his own studios in Manhattan, Hendrix was at the top of his game. Structured songs join blast-out jams featuring a host of great international rock musicians." 

3) The Beatles - The White Album -- "Even though the band was on its last legs, there's more creativity on one side of this incredible double disc set than can be found on both sides of most single albums." 

4) Miles Davis - Kind of Blue -- "This is still a consistent seller for Columbia Records decades after its release. The music is sublime and features among all the legendary players on the record, the great Julian "Cannonball" Adderley from Fort Lauderdale, who formerly taught at Dillard High School. This is one of jazz's all-time top ten LPs and should be in every jazz-lovers collection." 

5) Alison Krause and Union Station - Paper Airplane or O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack -- "Krause is the WHOLE package, great fiddler, angelic voice, great composer AND she's a beauty too! Phew, I've got to sit down. Oh yeah, her band is about the best in the country/bluegrass field." 

"I could go on for years (we KNOW!) but, really, nobody wants to hear my Blah, Blah, Blah." 

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Lee Zimmerman