Here’s my attempt to compile an almost impossible Top 10 albums of which I have either heard all of or own. Needless to say I have the lot in my collection since if you’re that impressed by a band’s artwork then you’ve just got to have it baby!
Before you go whinging on about the lack of Beatles or The Who then this is a list that has some personal meaning in my life. You’re looking at a bunch of stuff that has enjoyed hours of playing time, I mean if there were needles on CD players these days, they’d be well scratched up..
So let’s hear it for..
1. The Grateful Dead – American Beauty (1970)
For me, this is the perfect musical masterpiece, Instrumentally pleasing and almost light-headed in it’s substance, the tracks flow beautifully all the way through and you are left feeling that this is how things should be somehow..
2. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)
If you had the Beat Boom end of the ’60s, the punk shock end of the ’70s then this is what heralded in the Indie scene in 1989. Pop at its best, stunningly simple on the ear but eloquent and confident in its brilliance at the same time.
3. Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)
The Gallagher brothers put Rock & Roll back on the map in 1994 when this came out. It was what we needed at the time, fresh and honest music to thump out on the car stereo. Oasis makes you feel good, puts a strut in your step. Finally saw them live this year.
4. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
For people of my generation, this was something quite extraordinary.. Grunge rock from Seattle.. the way people danced to it too, bedlam on the dance floors of night clubs. Dark, brooding and soul-searching but epoch defining too.
5. The Real People – What’s On the Outside (1996)
Unheralded band from Liverpool, the Griffiths brothers actually helped put Oasis where they are now but here they created an album which has no weak tracks whatsoever. It’s also pretty much unknown, but discover this awesome band then you’ll see why. Saw them live too as a student in Derby.
6. Love – Forever Changes (1967)
Stablemates and contemporaries of the Doors on Elektra, it was either The Doors’ first album or this for the list and I think this nicks it for me as it has a unique sound. Very poetic and mysteriously crafted lyrics, I find that you can’t get bored of this album which was released in 1967. It kind of personifies the psychedelic era..
7. The Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks (1977)
Do I need to explain this? Perhaps not but this is supersonic energy, rage and vitriol all somehow packed into a small square box. I don’t think something like this could ever happen again.
8. The La’s – The La’s (1990)
Another Liverpool band which only ever produced this one album and it’s a gem. Also from the Indie period but it just showcases the genius that is Lee Mavers. the guy had all the talent but it seemed he was too much of a perfectionist to follow up this wonderful collection of songs. They could have been up there with the Beatles…
9. REM – Green (1988)
Another album without a weak link, clever artwork and title and a band that has produced many excellent records, this one I would choose as their finest. It pre-dated ‘Out of Time’ which propelled them to worldwide fame in 1991 and introduced me to the bizarre Michael Stipe. The drummer, Bill Berry’s nephew was a summer camper under my care in summer 1993 too. The band comes from Georgia, USA.
10, Guns & Roses – Appetite For Destruction (1987)
‘Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games…’. Exactly and I really got hooked on this full-on Rock & Roll feast. This is Rock’s equivalent of mean Mike Tyson punching his way around the ring… naughty and nasty.
Footnote: I could spend all day pondering the order of these records, but since I’ve spent nearly all evening selecting the ‘lucky’ 10, I’m gonna leave it as it is….
…..oh yeah and Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ was on the bench at number 11 which is cruel but the standards are so high they just had to miss out – ouch!