The Five Greatest Coding Albums
review office

Preamble

I was perusing the reddit programming FAQs the other day and I found a lot of great opinions to the age-old question: What is the best music to listen to while coding?

Choosing the proper music can make or break a coding session. Fundamentally, an album must block ambient distractions and simultaneously not itself be distracting. However, the best coding albums take coding and music to a whole other level. These albums are cohesive—tracks are exceptional from start to finish with no fluff or repetition. I am not about to break my concentration to switch songs in the middle of coding a for loop. Lyrics must be minimal and instrumentation must be tasteful. Yes, I realize that my last sentence makes me sound like I’m eighty. I will give a tremendous amount of latitude here, but excessive use of bagpipes, whistles, shouting, screaming, and other cacophony is highly frowned upon. Another quality I’ve noticed about great coding music is that it almost universally makes phenomenal party music. It heightens the atmosphere of the social gathering whether it is an intimate dinner or crazy rager without being distracting and getting in the way of people interacting. This is the same quality that makes music work so well with programming.

What follows are my picks for top five greatest coding albums of all time. This list took me about a week to create. I assembled a group of what I thought were the best 25 albums in about 30 minutes. Selecting five from this draft list and then ranking them took me the rest of the week. Without further ado, here are my top selections for the five greatest coding albums of all time:

The Top 5 Coding Albumns

  1. Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue
  2. Murray Perahia: Bach: Goldberg Variations
  3. Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon
  4. Kruder & Dorfmeister: The K&D Sessions
  5. Massive Attack: Mezzanine

Honorable Mentions