Albums, like the movies before them, are notoriously difficult to pick. I have music to suit every mood that I may find myself in. This means that I have an eclectic mix of genres – everything from classical to rock / metal to more mainstream pop stuff. Basically if I like it I buy it!
I’m a child of the eighties – that was when I started too get really into my music. I bought a lot of singles rather than albums. Nowadays all those tracks are converted to MP3, so whenever I have a party all I need to do is stick the MP3 player on shuffle, plug it into the stereo and leave it running!
It seems that I’m quite lucky in that most of my favourite artists are all still putting themselves out there, making music and touring even though none of them are getting any younger! In fact, all the artists below are amongst those oldies still showing the youngsters how it’s done. Hmm, what will I do when they finish? I don’t see too many artists coming along to take their places!
Anyway, I digress, let’s get back to the list shall we? That is, after all, the point of this post!
First up is probably my favourite album of all time, The Number of The Beast by Iron Maiden. It quite simply is the best thing they’ve done to date. Oh, they’ve gone on to do some brilliant records but, for pure power this will not be beaten. Every track is timeless and sounds just as relevant today as it did back in ’82.
I follow that up with The Blue Meaning by Toyah. Toyah in those days (1980) referred to the band. My first concert was Toyah in some dive in Reading, but the energy that came from the stage was addictive and I became a firm fan from that night on. This was the second album and, if you’re into Toyah, has some of the old classics like Ieya, Insects, Love Me – actually most of the album is made up of classic Toyah songs. Like Maiden, Toyah (now just the woman) is still touring – currently doing a set of these early songs.
Back In Black by AC/DC has, like Number of The Beast for Maiden, become the standard that every album since is compared to. Like the two previous albums almost every track is classic for the fans – the title track is a given, but there’s also Hell’s Bells, Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution, You Shook Me All Night Long. Need I go on?
The Beatles’ White Album is next. I’ve always had the Beatles on the periphery of my musical radar, but when the albums were remastered and released on CD I went out and bought them all up. Picking just one was difficult, but this is made up of not-so-well-known songs that deserve to heard a lot more than they were.
My next album is Snow Borne Sorrow by Nine Horses. This is a David Sylvian project. Anyone not into Sylvian wouldn’t want to go here! It’s not mainstream but it’s a beautiful album. I can’t explain this music – if I did I would be doing it a grave dis-service, so I best not bother!
Anyone who knows me won’t be surprised by my next choice: Still Waters by the Bee Gees. Yeah, the Bee Gees, get over it! The first record I ever bought was by the Bee Gees and I stand by the fact that they are simply one of THE best group of musicians ever to grace our planet. This album is a true R&B album and, like most of their stuff, never got the recognition it deserved because of the stupid ‘disco’ backlash. I’ll restrain myself today and won’t go off on why their Saturday Night Fever songs were NOT disco – maybe another day!
Back to the eighties for the next one. And it’s Tin Drum by Japan – sorry it’s another Sylvian project! In my opinion Japan were the a brilliant band that weren’t as big as they should have been! You may mock but I can point you to many people who remember them from those days who say the same thing.
The next album on my list may be the one that I’d pick if you asked me to pick just one. It, no doubt, will be another surprise: Ray of Light from Madonna. I can’t explain why I love this so much because I’m not what you’d call a real fan. However, this album just hits the mark with every track – particular favourites are Frozen and Shanti Ashtangi.
Melissa Etheridge is next and her second album Brave and Crazy. Truth be told it was a toss up between this and the first album. I went for this one purely because I like the album as a whole; granted there are songs I absolutely love from the first album but Brave and Crazy is more of a complete album. At least for me!
Finally, those bearded wonders that are ZZ Top and their album Rythmeen. Now, this may be a strange choice. You would probably expect Eliminator or maybe one of the early albums. I just love this album – it may be the different, more ‘fuzzy’ guitar element that seals it. I don’t know … it’s just got that je-ne-sais-quoi!
So that’s me done. Another top ten rattled off for your delectation. I daresay if I think about this next week I’ll come up with a different ten but, hey, that’s the way it goes.