As I prepare to embark on this musical adventure, I've come up with some general rules.
1. No albums by bands I'm already a huge fan of. I think that it'd be a copout for me to listen to a bunch of Dave Matthews, Decemberists, Gov't Mule, Five Iron Frenzy, and so on. The only exceptions to this rule are albums by these artists that I don't already own and/or that I just haven't absorbed. An example of this would be Five Iron Frenzy's last studio album, The End is Near. I often listen to the included recording of their last concert, but have only listened to the album maybe twice.
2. No compilation albums. This includes, but is not limited to, Greatest Hits, soundtracks (excluding original scores), burned mixes, samplers, etc. Sadly, this also includes live albums. I went back and forth about that one, but when it comes down to it, most live albums feature a string of an artist's hits with some other stuff peppered in. So basically, full studio albums only.
3. Albums from formerly favorite artists are acceptable, so long as it's been years since I've listened to it. I figure that enough time has passed that I can listen to it with fresh ears. An example of this might be dc Talk's Jesus Freak. I used to play it non-stop on my stereo, but I've probably listened to it twice in the last seven years.
4. I reserve the right to shut off an album prior to its completion if I find it unbelievably boring, annoying, craptastic, etc. But I receive full credit for the effort. And I have to listen to at least five songs before I can exercise this right.
And that's all I could come up with. I'll start on Sunday. And keep the recommendations coming. I've looked up a few of them already.