So recently a few folk whom I respect a great deal posted up their top 10 albums of all time, initially I was like, OK, but having gone through the exercise myself I found it really enjoyable. Sure its quite self indulgent but seeing other people’s lists gives you a small glimpse into their life. After all musical taste is a hugely personal thing.
I approached my top 10 by considering which bands and albums had the biggest impact on me at a given time in my life and that I still enjoy today. It was kinda cool to go through my own play lists and see what “oldies” cropped up still in my current playlists of which I listen to on a regular basis.
This top 10 list is only compromised of albums from bands or solo artists, I did not include film sound tracks (of which I am also a huge fan of).
10. Dire Straits – Alchemy – Live
When the Brothers in Arms album landed in the 80’s I was blown away I loved every track but then a friend of mine way back then pointed me in the direction of this Live Album, in truth it was hard to choose between the two albums but for me this held more memories.
9. Levellers – Levelling The Land
In the early to mid 90’s I was a crusty wannabie, sure I never quite dived all the way in but with a few very good friends back then we had an absolute blast. Every song on this album holds good memories of simply being very care free, enjoying simple things. It goes without saying the Levellers had a great sound and mixed folk and rock in a fantastic and very catchy manner while also being very punchy with their lyrics.
8. Def Leppard – Hysteria
This album introduced me to rock music (back in 1986) and what an introduction. I cannot think of a single track on this album that I don’t love. I think it was the first album I purchased (on tape) and I practically wore it out. I still think its the best album they have ever produced.
7. Metallica – And Justice for All
Now this album introduced me to metal, I can remember begging a friend to lend me this album after hearing it for the first time. Walking home in the evenings with the driving riffs on my walkman (far too loud IIRC). The huge sound of the guitars on this album really struck me. Ever since any track from any artist that has something similar will always pique my interest.
6. Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
I can easily recall first hearing the track “Shape of my Heart” in Wembley Drum Center (back then I was an aspiring drummer) and it suck in my head for days. I was quick to get a copy of the album and was then introduced to the legend that is Vinnie Coliauta (on the drums). The varying time signatures laid down in an effortless fashion to fantastically written songs only pushed me to enjoy and learn more on the drums.
5. Foo Fighters – In Your Honor
I really like Nirvana but I was in crusty land when they were big so in terms of memories the Foo’s hold a lot more for me, it was this album that so far I have liked the most and this was a hard choice given the amount of quality the continue to produce.
4. Porcupine Tree – Deadwing
A good friend of mine introduced me to these guys and everything about them is creative and hugely talented. I can remember many times simply chilling on my daily commute to work listening to them, this album being my personal favourite. I really liked how they followed their own path musically and in arrangements while still being able to write immensely catchy tracks. Also the drumming is nothing short of awesome. (Gavin Harrison)
3. Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion II
So many of the tracks GnR wrote in general hold great memories for me but this album out of all of them holds the most. I was into them right before I went into my “crusty” phase. I can remember listening to this album (as well as others) with my mates, loving the raw sound and being amazed by just how good Slash was on the guitar.
2. Pink Floyd – The Division Bell
I am ashamed to say I had not really listened to Pink Floyd until this album landed in 1994 -that- was when I started to pay attention to what they had to offer. While I know many will argue that some of their older albums maybe be a better choice, for me it was this album that introduced me to them So for -that- reason alone I am most fond of it over the others. Listening to these guys in my car as loud as I liked was just a joy.
1. Joe Bonamassa – Live at the Royal Albert Hall
What to say, I was introduced to Mister Bonamassa in 2010 (late to the party I know) and I was utterly blown away. This album/DVD is for me is practically perfect, having his own blues sound and clearly enjoying every second that he plays, with fantastic vocals to boot. The track I have linked is nothing short of a religious experience. I would argue there are few harder working musicians/artists out there today. Producing album after album of great quality and gigging at a rate I personally think few can match.
So there we have it my current Top 10 favourite albums, feel free to comment.