Your greatest albums

Satanfriendly

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So what are your own personal best albums of all time?

No top 10 or anything like that just anything which got to your musical soul. In my case my top album will always be my top album and everything else changes more regularly than my blades.

If this has been done before I do apologise

1. Never Mind the Bollocks - Sex Pistols

A reflection of the angst and anger of the time and if ever the nation needed a kick up the posterior then this album delivered. Poorly recorded, poorly performed, but it is what it is warts and all. Gritty, grimy, filthy and furious, it couldn't be anything else

2. The Clash - The Clash

For much the same as my No.1 except it dived it from a slightly different angle. Short fast and manic songs which were more adrenaline inducing than NMTB but equal in their message. What happened to The Clash after this great album I have no idea but they lost the plot and I Don't have much time for what followed.

3. The Art of Falling Apart - Soft Cell

A sudden change of direction here but an album I have always had time for. More sexy, more dirty and more seedy than Non-stop Erotic Cabaret and with some quite cynical and weird songs in the mix.

4. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedy's

I was never that keen on American punk (The Ramones and The Avengers aside) as it was all too avant garde for me. The DK's though struck a chord with me and it doesn't get much better than this album. It delivers at break neck speed. Terribly bright recording but so What? A band more talented than most will give credit. East Bay Ray, what a guitarist

5. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

What more can one say? For me a far better offering than DSOTM with more musicality about it. Whereas I always think DSOTM is trying too hard, Wish You Were Here delivers with more natural musical fluidity. A first class recording if ever.

6. Peer Gynt Suite Greig - Decca Jubilee

My earliest musical memory. They used to play 'morning at every junior school assembly. As a consequence I became very attached to the suite as a whole and love the moods and shifts in directions it takes. It is like a complete musical journey.

7. Tocatta - Michael Schnider- Eros records

A mind boggling recording of Tocatta played by the exceptionally talented organist Michael Schnider. A piece you can feel the musical expression pouring through to the point you can touch the music. A sublime recording. Best 50p spent in a charity shop

8. Singles Going Steady - The Buzzcocks

It is strange to place a compilation album in a best list but it just has everything. Pure power pop stripped back to the basics and delivered in an energetic orgasm of music. Very formulated but delivered with gusto and honesty. Harmonies in my head is one of the best ever songs written in my opinion.

9. Jumpin' Jive - Joe Jackson

If anyone says 'Show me your system' it is inevitable this will be first album the stylus hits. Powerful, involving and incredibly stylish. An exceptional recording which makes bad systems sound terrific. Great songs played with great enthusiasm and Joe Jackson is more than just a great talent

10. Xeno - Cross Faith

When I first saw this band walk on stage we were 'WTF is this?'. Japanese chaps in slick shiny suits? But when the music started it was mind blowing. This album continues from their concert. A very imaganitive and different Nu-Metal album which pumps out energetic and powerfully strong songs. Very nicely recorded vinyl LP which makes a welcome change to many of the usual modern pressings.

Probably gone on a bit here but music is such an important part of my life.

Be interesting to hear what albums others have in among their favorites
 
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I'll give it a go;

Without a doubt my favorite album is "Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys. Although not a particular fan of their's - this album is something else. Brian Wilson's approach to it's production and trying to emulate Phil Spectre's wall of sound is beautiful. Aided by a jobbing lyricist in Tony Asher; there are some moving moments. Also happens to contain my favorite song of all time. This song gets me every time:


Second up, "The Stone Roses" by the The Stone Roses. Bloody marvelous. A rattling good album from start to finish. Some really clever lyrics and amazing guitar work. To this day "I'm the resurrection" must stand up as one of the greatest songs written?

.

The Last Broadcast by Doves. Now this band are my favorite EVER! Each of their tracks, on each of their albums has a particularly meaning for me. This album, their second is a work of art. Beautiful and moving. Check out There Goes the Fear. Not too shabby for a group of hairy blokes from Manchester! This is my top moment:


"Hinterland" - Strabge Cargo - is actually William Orbit. A lovely and smooth offering. A proper chill out album. Takes me back to the summer of 1995. I love to sit and sound bathe to this album. Good for destressing:


Honorable mentions:

"Breakfast in America" - Supertramp
"Murmur" - REM
"Up to our hips" - The Charlatans
"Summer Camp" - Summer Camp
"Holes in the wall" - Electric Soft Parade
"His n Hers" - Pulp
 
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Satanfriendly

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I started to appreciate the Beach Boy thing after seeing Brian Wilson live. Then some bloke sold me the complete collection of their albums for £1 each. All first pressings. I pointed out the value of Pet Sounds alone but he insisted £1 It was to be. I was a happy man if ever. But I don't sell albums as it is all about collecting to me and I feel as if I am selling a soul.
 
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Excellent thread. Several of my favourite bands, and a couple of my personal favourite albums have already been mentioned. Music has been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember, and certain albums over the years have stood out and indeed 'got to my musical soul'. Here are a few of mine:

1) Rum Sodomy & The Lash - The Pogues

By this album, they'd perfected their distillation of raw punk energy and traditional Irish folk. Shane Magowan's poignant and evocative lyrics ("A Pair Of Brown Eyes" especially) are masterful. The band had one decent album left in them (If I Should Fall From Grace With God) before inevitably imploding.

2) Blue - Joni Mitchell

More mature and original than her earlier work, yet more accessible and heartfelt than the avant-garde jazzy meanderings of her later work. This is Joni at the peak of her powers.

3) Who's Next - The Who

When it was released, Pete Townshend was frustrated that this album was a compromise - 'merely' a collection of songs from his grandiose failed 'Lifehouse' project. In fact I think it is actually the most cohesive album The Who ever made. Epic and ambitious, with a timeless quality that makes it hard to believe it was released in 1971.

There are others I can add, but it's tough narrowing them down to just a few.

Of those already mentioned by @Satanfriendly: I have very similar thoughts to yours on 1, 4 and 5. Although I did (and still do) enjoy a lot of US punk/hardcore, and for me the DKs finest work was the more adventurous yet still ferocious Plastic Surgery Disasters.

And finally, yes @Glen_Lee - The Stone Roses. Utter Perfection. A solid contender for greatest ever debut album. Such a shame that everything the band did after that merely tarnished their reputation.
 
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Peter Kruder - Peace Orchestra
Iggy Pop - Lust for Life
DJ Shadow - Entroducing
Diplo & Tripledouble - AEIOU volume 2
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
The Velvet Underground - 1969: The Velvet Underground Live volume 1
The Chemical Brothers - Singles 93-03
Keith Jarrett - The Köln Concert
Glenn Gould - Goldberg Variations
Herbie Hancock - Takin' off
 
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Three albums would be the ones I would keep above others.
Broken English by Marianne Faithful. Gritty songs by a classy lady.if you get the chance to see her concerts grab the tickets.Nothing like she was in the 1960s.
Rumble doll by Patti scialfa. Mrs Bruce Springsteen, say no more.
Leaving the Land by Jean Redpath. A Scottish singer. This album has contemporary folk songs which paint wonderful pictures and stories.
 
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Still thinking about this. I'm trying to consider albums that I'd still want to listen to in their entirety rather than just 'in the mix' and I have a couple for you:

Hawkwind: Live '79 Is just a classic festival album with some rip roaring tracks but for an album as a journey I'd go for Hawkwind: Hawkwind

OMD whilst I love all the first 4 albums I think, as a journey, Architecture and Morality is the winner just beating Dazzle Ships which is very much a concept album and so as much noises as music.

Kraftwerk: The Man Machine classic sparse electronic gorgeousness! Trans-Europe Express or Radioactivity would do as well.

Beatles: White an excellent 'trip' of an album, a nice meandering journey to get to Number 9....number 9....

David Grey: White Ladders a modern blues trip which I still play as a full album on a regular basis, worth a listen if only for the Soft Cell cover.

Gong: The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy - Flying Teapot; Angel's Egg; You
Make a pot of mushroom tea and settle in for the journey - what a long strange trip it's been. I'd very rarely listen to them all back to back these days but I'd rarely listen to any part not in it's entirety.

Repo Man Soundtrack, just works nicely as an album with some great tracks. Let's have a WAR!!

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene or Equinoxe I got the tapes of these given at about the same time as I got a 'Walkman'. Listening to these on headphones gave me a whole different appreciation of music and sound leading eventually to my first separates HiFi, Tangerine Dream lead to the first proper speakers.

The Waterboys: Fisherman's Blues - one of those albums that speaks of a specific time in all it's complexity and reflects the passing of the years since that time. Fortunately it's an excellent album in it's own right.


Not a list that represents my musical taste in its entirety or even at all. I usually listen to swathes of rock and roll, Blues, Punk, Reggae. Folk, Dance, Dub and so on in a mix or on random but tracks from these albums finish and I'm already singing/humming the next track.
 
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Gong: The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy - Flying Teapot; Angel's Egg; You
Make a pot of mushroom tea and settle in for the journey - what a long strange trip it's been. I'd very rarely listen to them all back to back these days but I'd rarely listen to any part not in it's entirety.
Wow! A long time since I heard the trilogy mentioned. Rarely gets a listen these days (25 years or so back?), but always a pleasure to do so. Daevid and Gilli were certainly two people who saw the world from some strange musical angles and yet so talented with their ability and approach. Great to see a mention.

Musical tastes are one of those things which changes with life's journey and the moods it sets. Mine changes daily but I am open to just about every genre there is but my soul always remains attached to punk and especially the early material. It was where I realised what music was and how it connects with us in life.

The fact that I am now an non-rebellious-in-a-way, well shaven and well scented old man is neither here nor there and I remain punk at heart
 
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Hawkwind
Gong: The Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy - Flying Teapot; Angel's Egg; You
Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene or Equinoxe
Those were all in regular rotation for me during the 1980s.

Oxygene and Equinoxe (on cassette too) often soundtracked my sessions of text adventure games (remember them?) on the Sinclair Spectrum.

Hawkwind and Gong (and Steve Hillage) inevitably coincided with my discovery of mind-altering substances. I haven't listened to any Gong/Hillage in years, but Hawkwind still occasionally get airtime in my house. The Robert Calvert-era ('76-'79) is my favourite. I reckon their output from that time had quite an influence on many post-punk bands. Calvert was a total maverick, space-rock poet and performance artist. Hawkwind managed one more good studio album after he left (Levitation), but were never as interesting without Calvert.
 
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Naturally, once I had started listing my favourite albums, the list grew ... and it grew ... and it grew ...

Distilled:

The Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
Big Black - Songs About F***ing
Beastie Boys - Ill Communication
Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen
Evanescence - Fallen
Faithless - Sunday 9PM
Nailbomb - Proud to Commit Commercial Suicide
Sigur Ros - ( )
Virgin Prunes - If I Die, I Die
Cream - Cream (Live)
Faith No More - The Real Thing
 
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@Francorelli @Satanfriendly Hawkwind 76-79 definitely the best years and I have the albums mentioned in the mix on the SD card in the car, 32Gb of music is a bit mind boggling when remembering tapes. Gong, Hillage still take me away though I reach for them less and less.
I like a bit of Punk as well but again hard to pick specific albums these days. Here's a few more I still listen to as albums I'm trying to not just say all the things I listened to a decade or two ago but no longer reach for.

Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman &/or Crossroads - The Police, always come late, if they come at all...
Pixies: Surfa Rosa
Silly Wizard: Live Wizardry
 
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Naturally, once I had started listing my favourite albums, the list grew ... and it grew ... and it grew ...

Distilled:

The Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
...
I don't think I ever had an album of theirs the first few EPs and a single or two though, New Model Army, Killing Joke come to mind as well.
 
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Pixies: Surfa Rosa
Forgot The Pixies. I would be lost between all their early material. When Kim Deal left they lost direction and The Pixies signature sound just seemed to disappear with her. My thoughts anyway......still hasn't stopped me buying everything they have produced
 
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Great idea @Satanfriendly!

Trying to keep it to 10 is tough. Here goes:

Top Ten

Boxer by The National
This band is so consistently excellent that I could have chosen several of their albums in this list. The National's front man, Matt Berninger, masters the art of 2am slightly disheveled dude in a lounge jacket at a cocktail bar cool. His wonderful baritone and biting lyrics are effortlessly supported by masterful lead and rhythm guitars from the Dessner twins. The icing on the cake is the second set of brothers in the band, Bryan and Scott Devendorf. Bryan's unique staccato drumming style is a hallmark of The National sound, and Scott is a flawless bass player who weaves his lyrical bass notes beautifully amongst the more articulate work of the Dessners. A breathtakingly good album.

For Emma, Forever Ago by Bon Iver
The pain of a recent relationship breakdown has rarely, if ever, been captured so agonisingly than by For Emma, Forever Ago, Justin Vernon's debut album. In a backstory that has become legend, Vernon isolated himself in a log cabin in mid-winter with his instruments and recording equipment. The resulting creation stands amongst the the very best of solo acoustic recordings.

The Crane Wife by The Decemberists
Indie darlings The Decemberists have led the charge of American indie-folk bands in the last decade or two. This is their finest hour - an epic journey of an album, with each track seamlessly blending into the next in the finest story-telling tradition.

(Come on feel the) Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens
Grand in both ambition, length, and scale, this double album is Sufjan Steven's dedication to the US state of Illinois, and tells its history in song. The sheer density of the music is staggering, as is the consistent excellence from start to finish. Magnificent.

Murmur by REM

Choosing a single album from such a superb catalogue of REM's recordings is not easy. However, the sheer energy and brilliance of their debut album gives it the slight edge. Michael Stipe's vocals became more legible as the band progressed, but his vocal range and power are spine-tingling on this recording. Peter Buck re-defines jingle-jangle guitar, and arguably the best bass player in recent rock history, Mike Mills, provides both rhythm and melody counterpoint, as well as fantastic backing vocal harmonies.

The Smiths by The Smiths
Emerging at a similar time as REM, The Smith's self-titled debut album shares the same confidence and swagger of a band that know they are seriously good, even on their first album. Morrissey and Johnny Marr transported the listener to the darker side of Mancunian folklore, and simultaneously sent a jolt of pure adrenaline through the music industry with their startling new sound.

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Almost universally loved by fellow musicians, this is a cult album that deserved so much more recognition. Songwriter, lead vocalist and frontman Jeff Mangum produced an album that veers wildly from alt-folk to post-punk, and much in between, yet maintains an immaculate sense of balance and melody. A recording that you simply don't want to end.

Dignity and Shame by Crooked Fingers
Another grossly underappreciated band is Crooked Fingers. Songwriter, singer and front man Eric Bachmann is also a wonderful guitarist, particularly when he is finger-picking on acoustic tracks. His impossibly deep baritone excels on the sinister ballads of this album, whilst the harmonies in the more upbeat tracks are heavenly.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Rick Wakeman
A live recording at London's Royal Festival Hall in 1974, it adroitly captures Wakeman's keyboard genius. Storytelling of the highest order, via sparse narration, and a wonderland of 70's rock, supported of course by The London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, not to mention the finest Rock guns-for-hire available.

Ágætis Byrjun by Sigur Ros
This Iceland band is a genre unto themselves. Other-earthly vocals and music that seems appropriate for the glacial landscapes of their beautiful homeland, they are spellbinding.

Near Misses
Mr. Beast by Mogwai - Scotland's finest with a wonderful example of post-rock thunder.
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix - Impossibly catchy French pop-rock.
Blinking Lights and other Revelations by Eels - Dark, moody, and superb songwriting and performance.
Neon Golden by The Notwist - Moody electronic rock with more hooks than a tackle box.
Rook by Shearwater - Grandiose indie concept band; their finest album.
The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit - Wonderful Scottish band; superb album. RIP Scott Hutchison.
Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady - Pure US bar rock, with genius lyrics from songwriter Craig Finn.
Hand. Cannot. Erase. by Steven Wilson - Peerless in modern Prog-Rock; his best solo offering by some margin.
In Rainbows by Radiohead - At times heartbreaking, at others uplifting; always excellent.
Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams - Alt-country bad boy Ryan Adams nails it.
Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies - A hidden gem that still astounds.
Hunky Dory by David Bowie - Slower and more reflective that typical Bowie; magnificent.
My Aim is True by Elvis Costello - So far ahead of its time.
The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden - A great album by a great band.
Paranoid by Black Sabbath - Blasting speakers and minds; a touchstone for all future metal.
The Way Out by The Books - Unique, crazy-good musicianship, a trip.
Brand New by Science Fiction - Who thought modern emo-punk could be so wonderful?
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen - Stadium Rock blueprint.
Tea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens - Try to find one weak song; landmark recording.
Sometimes by City and Colour - Canadian songwriter Dallas Green with a terrific indie-folk effort.
Aqualung by Jethro Tull - A timeless recording full of energy and power, with an Anglo-folk backbone.
50 Words For Snow by Kate Bush - Dreamy and gorgeous (both the music and the artist).
The Great Destroyer by Low - The band that invented slow-core, and Robert Plant's favourite band.
Everything is True by Paul Dempsey - Aussie legend of "Something for Kate" with his seminal solo release.
Top Priority by Rory Gallagher - The Irish blues/rock guitar god at his peak.
 
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