Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Top Albums List

NB. Check the post below this one first for my weekend - it's a really good 'un!
Top Albums of All-Time...
According to this place. The funny thing is - I've got copies of most of 'em these days! Well, 42 out of this list of 100, anyways, heh heh.

Personally, I much prefer to listen to whole albums of a particular artist, rather than just a few selected songs. Helps me to get a better appreciation of what they're trying to say thru their art.

Of course, any such list as this is always subjective to the listeners' own sense of taste and sensibilities. I'd love to see what people think of any of these selections.

1. Abbey Road by The Beatles (1969) - I totally agree, as this would most probably be one of my top three. I'd take this to a deserted island etc etc etc. I grew up listening to this, and whenever I need an uplift - on it goes. Covers the whole gamut of emotions for me, this one does. Almost perfect writing, performance, production, feeling, vibe... not bad, considering they were sick-to-DEATH of being 'Beatles' when they recorded this, their very last studio effort together. Hopefully next year I'll make it to London for the first time myself, and do the whole pedestrian crossing thing... kinda like a pilgrimage of some sorts.

2. Revolver by The Beatles (1966). It'd be in my top five... some great songwriting, great sounds, amazing production [considering they were playing live and tinkering with 4-track!]. Who can go past "Tomorrow Never Knows" - can you just imagine what it would have been like to hear that for the first time back in '66...? Mind boggling... it still is for me. This is the set-piece for the 60's, like in "The Wizard of Oz" when everything goes from black-and-white to Technicolour (albeit with the iconic contrast of the black-and-white album cover for something so vibrantly alive... so downbeat, so un-typical, yet a statement of the changing times). The three albums, "Rubber Soul", this one, and their next one, "Sgt Pepper" do it all, as far as The Beatles and enlightening popular culture are concerned for me.

3. Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan (1965). A good solid album, but I personally prefer "Blonde on Blonde" that came shortly after this one. Some amazing sounds, amazing lyrics, wild imagery! Dylan trying something new... sometimes it works, and when it does - wow!

4. A Love Supreme by John Coltrane (1965). A jazz standard in the mould of coolness personified. I slip this on from time to time, but I personally prefer Miles Davis' slant on cool jazz on "Kind of Blue" (below). Tis a nice one to mellow out to. Brilliant playing, atmospheric.

5. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis (1959). If you want to own one jazz CD - this is it. You would have heard some of this stuff subconsciously floating around space from time to time, surely. Cool jazz that just makes you wanna totally unwind, de-stress, take a deep breath, breath into your soul for the first time in a long time, and smile on the inside for a while. This is seriously "good shit"! lol All the more amazing as it was recorded live (in the studio) with practically NO rehearsal!!!

6. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady by Charles Mingus (1963). I don't own this... I haven't heard it, so I can't rightly comment on it.

7. The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground (1967). Got it, but not a particular fav. My ears are more 'pop'-orientated, and some of this stuff, albeit brilliantly dark and gothic in its sweep of underground New York, doesn't always 'do it' for me. Mind you, the Warhol cover art is worth the price of admission alone.

8. OK Computer by Radiohead (1997). For a long time I couldn't get into this album. But about a month ago it totally clicked for me. Yes yes - a late-90's sonic-cousin of "Revolver". Extremely creative musically, instrumentally, and awesome use of studio technology doesn't overawe the strong songwriting.

9. Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan (1965). Another classic Bob album from his break-thru electric era. Same kinda feel, vibe and sound as "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blonde on Blonde"... I usually listen to all three back-to-back, if I'm going to listen to them at all. That gives me a deeper scope as to help appreciate the vision this guy had at the time. As Robbie Robertson once said, "I love the idea that he had no idea...".

10. Blood On the Tracks by Bob Dylan (1975). Yes yes, definitely a goodie. Almost upto the feel and conviction of his early and mid-60's vision, yet with a voice of reasoned maturity. "Idiot Wind"...

And there you go!
  • Mind you, No. 11 is my preferred Dylan album, "Blonde on Blonde".
  • Bowie's Ziggy Stardust came in at No. 13.
  • Pink Floyd came in at No's. 14 & 15
  • Hendrix 15.
  • And a totally unappreciated classic late 60's piece of British pop sensibility, The Kinks masterpiece "Village Green Preservation Society" came in at 24.
  • Led Zeppelin's magnum opus IV/Zoso at 25
  • And staggeringly - The Beach Boys (well, Brian Wilson's) "Pet Sounds" sits at 27 - this has GOT to be part of the blueprint for all pop music to follow after it. No doubt.
  • Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" at 30 is a fair recognition of this totally under-valued genius.

Of course, music continues to play a huge part of my psyche.
Here's my current
personal music catalogue. Enjoy browsing.
Peas be with ewe

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  1. What no Moody Blues in their top 100 :(

  2. Oh! No Moodies! Bugger!
    Yeah, I knew this silly list would upset some people! heh heh.

  3. Ohh-a list! Yeah-how come I haven't heard of some of these guys? Guess I am going to have to do some exploring :)