Sunday, December 21, 2008

Top 50 Albums I Like The Most

As someone so very politely requested it

From the Chris Marsh-created Facebook Group: "The best 50 records ever and you are completely wrong if you disagree" (which Quiz Blogger-reading FBers can still join if you want, though time runs short).

Disclaimer: This certainly isn't what I think are the fifty greatest records of all time. They're just my favourite comfort albums, which I have listened to again and again and again. Old friends still propping me up like bookends. Though, obviously, the selection gives the striking impression that I gave up on new music after 2004. This is because the list is heavily influenced by a seven-year period of buying thousands of CDs, getting hundreds of them free via nefarious, cunning and PR-aided means and doing a fair bit of music journalism and student radio (the "I'm going to play loads of obscure stuff I bought in Selectadisc's obscure American indie section (RIP) this afternoon" kind of wireless gold). The problem was I then went into my obsessive novel-buying phase (never mind the reading).

However, I do still listen to new music, even if the old record shop visit routine has long since bitten the dust. I say, aren't Amy Winehouse and the Kaiser Chiefs all novel and fab! ... oh I jest, I jest. Though I highly recommend in all seriousness: Born Ruffians, The Gaslight Anthem, Owen, Vampire Weekend, Mates of State and all those new bands that have decided to use variants of the F-word in their name, e.g. ... Up, ... Buttons, and Holy ... - the naughty blighters. And Ladyhawke. Again.

Also, no band is duplicated, so I've added a load of the also rans and almost made its and were in the top 50 until I changed my minds.

Actually, the same goes for my top 10 films. I went in for some intense cinema education and video-buying in my late teens and so it's exactly the same selection (with one possible exception) since 2000. Though I still do gather secondhand DVDs by the bucketload, like poor lost children from Blockbuster branches. I mean, they're so damn cheap compared to the VHS days, which really irritates me (especially when I think about all those Tartan and Artificial Eye videos I bought for exorbitant prices). Yesterday, I got Das Boot: The Director's Cut - and yes, thoughts of Mark and Peep Show sprang to mind the instant I picked it up and saw Jurgen Prochnow's grim, aquamarined face - Idiocracy and An Inconvenient Truth for a disgustingly cheap 3 for £10. Kids have got it so damn easy these days. The young sods. Hope the recession teaches them a lesson or two about frugality hurr-hurr.

Anyway, those titles you wanted before I get even more RRRRANTALICIOUS.

TOP 50
1 Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
2 Weezer - The Blue Album
3 Mogwai - Young Team
4 Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker
5 The Blue Nile - Hats
6 Gillian Welch - (Time) The Revelator
7 Guided by Voices - Bee Thousand
8 The Beatles - Revolver
9 Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes
10 Jeff Buckley – Grace
11 Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
12 Super Furry Animals – Radiator
13 Wheat – Hope and Adams
14 Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I See a Darkness
15 Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
16 My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
17 Brendon Benson – Lapalco
18 Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day
19 The Wedding Present - Seamonsters
20 Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People
21 Jim O'Rourke – Eureka
22 Slint – Spiderland
23 Rosie Thomas - When We Were Small
24 Smog - Knock Knock
25 Iron and Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle
26 The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen
27 Pedro the Lion - Winners Never Quit
28 Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
29 The National - Alligator
30 Yo La Tengo – Electr-O-Pura
31 Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West
32 Low - Things We Lost in the Fire
33 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
34 The Replacements - Let It Be
35 Ganger - Hammock Style
36 Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
37 Wilco - Summerteeth
38 The Futureheads – The Futureheads
39 Miles Davis - In a Silent Way
40 Red House Painters – Rollercoaster
41 American Music Club - San Francisco
42 ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead–...And You Will Know...
43 Burning Airlines - Mission: Control!
44 Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
45 Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans
46 Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted
47 Ice Cube – The Predator
48 John Cale - Paris 1919
49 John Martyn - One World
50 The God Machine - One Last Laugh In A Place of Dying

The Ones That Were Left Behind. In a Rapture-like fashion.
David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name, Public Enemy - Apocalypse 91 ... The Enemy Strikes Back, Floor - Floor, Pedro the Lion - Control, The Afghan Whigs - Black Love,
Nellie McKay - Get Away From Me, The Clash - London Calling, Laura Nyro - New York Tendaberry, Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers, The Strokes - Is This It?, Carole King - Tapestry, Richard Thompson - Mock Tudor, Miles Davis - Kind of Blue, Beastie Boys - Ill Communication, Sly & The Family Stone – There’s a Riot Goin’ On, Radiohead - OK Computer, The Stooges – Funhouse, Smog - Dongs of Sevotion, Smog - Julius Caesar, Sonic Youth - Dirty, John Coltrane - A Love Supreme, Mogwai - Ten Rapid, Primal Scream - XTRMNTR, Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual, Nirvana - Nevermind, Weezer – Pinkerton, Interpol – Antics, NWA - Straight Outta Compton, Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights, My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything, Ice Cube - Death Certificate, Sigur Ros - (), Feist - Let It Die, The Beatles - Abbey Road, The Beatles - Let It Be, Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway, Red House Painters - Songs for a Blue Guitar, Red House Painters - Down Colorful Hill, Red House Painters – II, Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel of Love, Saves the Day - Stay What You Are, Low - The Great Destroyer, Low - Secret Name, Velvet Underground - Loaded, Damien Jurado - Rehearsals for Departure, Arab Strap - The Week Never Starts Round Here, Arab Strap - The Red Thread, Santogold - Santogold, Radar Bros. - The Singing Hatchet, Built to Spill - There's Nothing Wrong With Love, Lou Reed - New York, Damon and Naomi - With Ghost, Joan of Arc - Live in Chicago, 1999, Radio 4 - Gotham!, Beulah - When Your Heartstrings Break, The Olivia Tremor Control - Music From the Unrealized Film Script, Dusk at Cubist Castle, Beach Boys - Pet Sounds, The Killers - Hot Fuss, Texas Is The Reason - Do You Know Who You Are?, Whiskeytown - Stranger's Almanac, Beach Boys - Surf's Up, Willard Grant Conspiracy - Flying Low, Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne, Wilco - Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, Green on Red - Gas Food Lodging, Big Black - Songs about F***ing, Gang of Four – Entertainment!, Jim O'Rourke - Insignificance, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - No More Shall We Part, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus, Shellac - 1000 Hurts, Richard & Linda Thompson - Shoot Out the Lights, Joan as Policewoman - Real Life, Codeine - The White Birch, Daft Punk - Discovery, Foo Fighters - The Colour & The Shape, The Replacements - Tim, The Wrens - Meadowlands, Tom Waits - Blue Valentine, Tom Waits - Frank's Wild Years, Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones, LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver, Gram Parsons - Grievous Angel/GP, The Flying Burrito Brothers - The Gilded Palace of Sin, Six by Seven - The Closer You Get, Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, Pearl Jam - Vs, American Music Club - United Kingdom, Arcade Fire - Funeral, The Verve - A Northern Soul, Josh Rouse - Under Cold Blue Stars, The Notwist – Neon Golden, Nirvana - Unplugged in New York, Pixies - Doolittle, Nick Drake - Pink Moon, Randy Newman - Good Old Boys, Outkast - Stankonia, Brian Eno - Another Green World, Steve Earle - El Corazon, Sparklehorse - Good Morning Spider, M. Ward - Transfiguration of Vincent, Nick Drake - Bryter Later, Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet, Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman, Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness, The Black Heart Procession - 2, The Black Heart Procession - Three, Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral, Fountains of Wayne - Fountains of Wayne, The Be Good Tanyas - Blue Train, Love as Laughter - Destination 2000, The Stooges - Raw Power, Television - Marquee Moon, REM - Automatic for the People, Kings of Leon - Youth and Young Manhood,
Trans Am - The Surveillance, Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, Aphex Twin - Richard D. James, My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves, Come - Near Life Experience, Gastr Del Sol - Camoufleur, The New Pornographers - Electric Version, Les Savy Fav - Go Forth, Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous, Can - Future Days, Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours, Radiohead - The Bends, Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray, New Ruins - The Sound They Make, Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On, Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther, Dinosaur Jr - You're Living All Over Me, The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed, The Smiths - The Queen is Dead, Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You, Dusty Springfield - Dusty in Memphis, The La's - The La's, Olu Dara - In The World: From Natchez to New York, Johnny Cash - Solitary Man: American III, Mercury Rev – Deserter’s Songs, The Dismemberment Plan – Invitation & I, Guns n' Roses - Use Your Illusion II, The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin, Emmylou Harris - Wrecking Ball.

And that was my shortlist. I'm tired now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

my comment never appeared :(

3:51 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

But my man, where are Rancid. Where are The Posies? Surely, no-one can have a top 50 albums without including 'Amazing Disgrace'? And what about Soul Asylum - 'Let Your Dim Light Shine' was a classic to top all classics.

Good list, tho.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Josh Brown said...

Wow, brilliant list. Amazing how many of those I would have in my own top 50. Just need to get round to making one...

4:12 AM  

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