The Toto soundtrack to the David Lynch movie. Simply epic....
2. Peter Gabriels Passion
This album is the soundtrack to the film, The Last Temptation Of Christ. Do not let that sway you in any way, judge the album on it's own merits. Gabriel immersed himself in the music of the region, Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew traditional music fuzed with a modern edge, this album is a must own... Also of note is his follow up, Passion Sources, which is a compilation of some of the music that inspired the sounds of his album.
This albums is a masterpiece, this album is so good at keeping players on their toes, not knowing what to expect from one moment to the next, breathless with enthusiasm and trepidation, that when I worked at the Devil's Darkside Haunted House in Kansas City when it opened in 1991, I convinced the owners to use it as background music... it continued being used after I left in 1996, presumably up until it closed.
4. Rodrigo Y Gabriela 11:11
The best musical act you have never heard of. This acoustic guitar duo operate with a level of talent most popular musicians can only dream of. If you are not hooked after watching that video, you have no soul. Of all the labums on this list, this might be the most distracting, if only because anyone who listens to it will eventually start tapping in time...
This is the first instrumental album from the Beastie Boyz, a funk and acid jazz excursion showcasing that the Boyz talent extends far beyond just rhymes and punk. Their second instrumental album, The Mix-Up, is every bit as good.
6. Joe Satriani's Surfing With The Alien
Guitar God, Joe Satriani's signature album.
There you have it, my picks for best background music. Feel free to argue at me in the comments section.