It is 2 A.M. and you’re trying to beat a deadline. Or maybe you’re wrestling with an ailing server, trying to get it back up and running before multitudes of workers return to work at 8 A.M.

The only sounds in the server room come from you and the hum and buzz of machinery. It’s monotonous; no one is around. Time and space begin to distort. The caffeine buzz is long gone and if you don’t do something soon, your head is going to fall forward into a rat’s nest of CAT 5 cables and power cords.

You need something to wake you up and get your heart pumping. A little inspirational music might do the trick. Crank it up! Who cares?

Name that tune
We’ve all been stuck in a situation like this. And we each have our own special selection of music that gives us goose bumps or makes us want to get up and gyrate about. I’m talking about the music that really moves you!

If you were working late and could only take in one CD or album to your server room, what would it be?

Just to put you in the proper mind-set for this contest—and it is a contest, so read on—here are a few choices members of the TechRepublic staff would make.

  • Support Republic Community Editor Bill Detwiler said he’d pick Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound of Thunder double-CD. If we’d asked him a few years ago, he said his choice would have been Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, but we aren’t going to go there.
  • Our director of IT, Associate Vice President Troy Atwood, said without any hesitation that his choice would be AC/DC’s Back in Black. Then, he listed an eclectic group of choices before noting, “With the advent of MP3s, I don’t limit myself to just one group.” Too bad there isn’t room here to list the five gigs of “emergency” MP3s Atwood carries around with him.
  • Support guru Ted Laun goes in for a classical taste. He’d bring in the double-album Hot Rocks by The Rolling Stones. He’s just that kind of guy.
  • Ted’s brother and TechRepublic’s Exchange Administrator, Mike Laun, goes for something a little more modern. He’d listen to Hound Dog Taylor’s Beware of the Dog!.
  • Operations Engineer Josh Duglin said, “Well it was a long race, but in the end, there can be only one winner—Version 2.0 by Garbage.” Someone else will have to comment on that below, because I think it’s out of my league.

Now it’s your turn
Here’s how it works. Post a comment to this article, putting the album or CD’s title and artist in the Title Of Reply field, and add a brief explanation of why you’d choose it in the Body field. You can see an example in Figure A.

Figure A
Why does a specific collection of music inspire you?

Here are some rules to keep in mind when making your post:

  • If someone else has already entered the album or CD you wanted to mention, post a reply to his or her post, explaining why you agree, instead of creating a whole new entry.
  • Feel free to post a reply explaining why you disagree with someone else’s choice.
  • Describe why this record or CD has an invigorating quality. Does it invoke a mood? Is the beat strong and fast?
  • Don’t just give us an artist and say anything done by him or her would work. Pick a particular piece of work by this artist and justify why that CD or album would be better than any of the artist’s other creations.
  • We’re only interested in music. The Firesign Theatre might keep you in stitches, but we’re looking for tunes only.

We’ll pick three of the most interesting responses and award those folks the ultimate prize: a TechRepublic coffee mug. (These mugs hold twice the normal payload of caffeine-infused liquids and may be illegal in some states and countries because of it.)

There you have it. Post your comment now and share your musical opinion with your peers. We’ll report back with a list of the most popular albums or CDs.