Hopefully this post will be less controversial:
Locust Street has a great post about early Dylan material, including an interview in which he claims to have been raised in the carnival.
It took me a long time to warm up to Dylan's solo acoustic material, having started with the mid-'60s rock records and moved on to the warmer and moodier 21st-century material pretty quickly. But I picked up The Times They Are A-Changin' on the cheap and listened to it while walking the cold 32 Nebraskan blocks to work one morning, and something about the record struck a chord with the bleakness and grayness of the Omaha morning. Now, if I'm not mistaken, that's the highest-ranked Dylan record on my list.
I still haven't picked up his debut, and the few songs I've heard from it are interesting mostly as a historical curiosity, but that post is a must for Dylanphiles.
David Remnick of The New Yorker asked jazz expert Phil Schaap to come up with 100 Essential Jazz Albums. Nothing too surprising, although when a particular genre hasn't really moved forward in thirty years, that's kind of by necessity. After my concerted effort last year to get into jazz, I'm pleased that I have tracks at least by 70-80 percent of the performers on the list.