Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Never one to shirk a challenge...

So here's the thing.  Matt has a University project that requires him to name/discuss his 'all time top ten favourite records'.  Not an easy project, and actually whittling down his favourites to a top ten has proven difficult.  I, of course, have put my oar in and have, in turn, been challenged by him to "make a list of your all time top ten favourite records... Not records you think should be on there (Dark Side, OK Computer, Sgt. Peppers etc) but your actual favourite ten albums. Warts n' all."

Warts n' all, indeed.

So here goes.  In pulling this list together, I have set a few ground rules for myself which I think are important.

Firstly, no compilations, no box sets, no 'Greatest Hits'.  Only albums that were recorded, and intended, to exist as a single artistic statement.

Secondly, no more than one album per artist.  Otherwise there are a couple of artists who might dominate, and I want to present a spectrum of music to you.  And if these are the ten albums that I have to take to my desert island, I will want the variety.

Also, these are not necessarily the albums I play most.  Mainly because for most of them, every note, every word, is already seared into my brain - I don't have to play them to appreciate them, they are already hard-wired into my consciousness.

Finally, this is today's list.  Tomorrow's list would - almost certainly - look (and sound) completely different.

Anyway, this is the list I gave Matt.  In no particular order;

1. Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan

Even now I'm wavering.  No Clash, no Hendrix, no Zeppelin?  Nothing from the Atlantic or Stax labels?  No reggae - no Bob Marley?  Revolver or Rubber Soul?  Or Abbey Road?  Painted From Memory rather than This Year's Model or Imperial Bedroom?

Well, the list is what it is.  And now to put some flesh on the bones - over the next few days let's try and articulate just why these ten made the cut....

1 comment:

simonc68 said...

What a challenge and an interesting list! Love the Costello / Bacharach album.

To also meet the challenge I have just written down the top 10 albums that leap into my mind. No over thinking what is artistically better just what have been some of the albums I have always turned back to (for example I know the Beatles for Sale is not by any stretch of the imagination the best Beatles album but this was the first one I got given & I fell in love with).

Recent albums have been excluded as I believe that albums take time to mature (just my opinion and I can understand why they might be included) and the fact that some that I have loved on release haven't weathered well (Wish by The Cure & Robert Plant's Faith of Nations spring to mind). This has counted out Bruce's Magic album, The '59 Sound' by the Gaslight Anthem and Ian Hunter's Man Overboard which have rarely left my virtual turntable since purchasing them in the last couple of years.

Also live albums have been left out which excludes some of my most played albums of all time in UFO's Stranger in the Night, Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Live at Brixton Academy, Ozzy's Randy Rhoads Tribute album, and Bowie's Ziggy Startdust the Motion Picture.

I have also stuck to your criteria of no greatest hits and only one album per artist. So finally here is my top 10 (in no particular order):

1. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
2. Violator - Depeche Mode
3. Beatles for Sale - the Beatles
4. Grace - Jeff Buckley
5. End of the Innocence - Don Henley
6. Master of Puppets - Metallica
7. Gold against the Soul - Manics
8. Rise & Fall - Madness
9. All About Eve - All About Eve
10. Pretenders - Pretenders

Bubbling under would be Wrecking Ball - Emmylou Harris, Mock Tudor - Richard Thompson, Disintegration - The Cure, Everything's Different Now - 'Til Tuesday, Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos, Honky Dory - David Bowie, The Game - Queen, Blue - Otis Redding & Placebo - Placebo.

Like the individual reviews!