Your greatest albums

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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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