I chose to include Gold, because it seemed to be his breakthrough album as a performer to me. It was his first Top 10 album in the US and also is his earliest album that has been certified double-platinum by the RIAA. If you really want to replace it, "Moods" would be one possibility, though "Beautiful Noise" seems to be slightly more acclaimed and popular. "12 Songs" would be a possibility, too.
I don't think Gold was really a breakthrough for him...it was a big chart success, yes, but only because it had versions of songs that had already been big hits. He was a pretty big star as a singles artist by then.
You're right about Beautiful Noise being up there with Moods. I wouldn't include both of the Rubin albums, though--I think that would be over-emphasizing that part of his career.
Brett Alan wrote:
Neil is an interesting case, because his early stuff is clearly rock and some of his later stuff isn't, but I'd put him in. Dance-influenced acts such as Britney or Cristina to me do belong, but I wouldn't consider Celine or the Carpenters to be rock. I don't, for example, have Whitney Houston's first album on the Debut Albums list, and if it were eligible it would be top ten easy.
Céline Dion is partly dance-influenced, too. Some of her songs probably aren't rock, but others most certainly are. Carpenters are a pop duo, that also draws from different sources (traditional pop as well as rock). Where do you draw the line?
It's difficult. I mean, yeah, something like "That's The Way It Is" is dance-influenced, and if that were her only song, I'd call it rock. But I think Celine is really a pop balladeer at heart. I'd be interested to hear what other people have to say. (I will note that I can't recall anyone complaining about Whitney not being on that Debut Albums list. Then again, you could certainly say that some of her music is pretty dance-oriented. Hmmm....)