My top albums
1. The Beatles – The Beatles
I could have chosen almost anything from The Beatles for the top spot, but I find I listen to this one more than the others. It was a major influence on my guitar playing when I first began, and practically every song has a fond memory attached to it.
2. M.I.A. – Kala
If you’ve read my journal with any regularity over the past few months, you’ll know that I hold Maya Arulpragasam in high regard, to say the least. I’m so glad to live in a time when something as gloriously strange as Boyz can be considered pop. Maya’s out in a field of her own and no one else is even close.
3. Blur – Parklife
The ultimate pop record, Blur’s third album is a funhouse of melody, texture and sound held together by the sterling bass playing of Alex James.
4. My Bloody Valentine – Isn’t Anything
5. Nirvana – In Utero
The best thing that 90s alt-rock produced, this record hints at the incredible potential that Nirvana had yet to fulfill. The first three tracks just might be the finest opening sequence ever.
6. Madonna – Like a Prayer
No wait, this is the ultimate pop record. For the first and only time in her career, Madonna stripped away the artifice of her public image, swapped rhythm for melody and penned a set of emotionally raw songs about her tumultuous marriage, her strained relationship with her father and her mother’s death.
7. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
I have a lot to say on this record, so expect a journal in the near future.
8. Wire – Pink Flag
This is a virtually perfect deconstruction of rock history by British art-schoolers. All 21 of the songs are packed with wit, rancor and melody, and at less than 40 minutes, it runs no risk of overstaying its welcome.
9. Pixies – Surfer Rosa
10. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Though it’s not the masterpiece that everyone and their mother have made it out to be, Loveless is still probably the best guitar/technology fusion in existence. Kevin Shields married a set of delicate pop songs to his studio perfectionism and it turned out to be a winning match.
11. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
12. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
13. Fugazi – Repeater
14. Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
15. The Clash – Combat Rock
16. Sonic Youth – Sister
17. John Peel’s Festive 15 Mix CD
18. Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish
19. Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted
20. Radiohead – OK Computer
21. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever To Tell
22. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
23. The Beatles – Abbey Road
24. Dinosaur Jr – You’re Living All over Me
25. Kate Bush – The Dreaming
26. Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time
27. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
28. Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
29. Gang of Four – Entertainment!
30. Björk – Homogenic
31. Blur – Blur
32. Kanye West – Graduation
33. Primal Scream – Screamadelica
34. The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
35. Boris – Pink
36. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
37. The Smiths – Hatful of Hollow
38. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
39. The Fall – Hex Enduction Hour
40. The Beatles – Revolver
41. Madonna – Music
42. Nirvana – Nevermind
43. The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish
44. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
45. The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
46. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On?
47. Kanye West – Late Registration
48. Hole – Live Through This
49. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I
50. Slint – Spiderland
The artists I’ve discovered this year
The Kick Inside
Gang of Four
1800s Sea Monster
The Velvet Underground
A random assortment of tracks from artists mentioned in this entry
Click here to download
Pavement – Summer Babe (Winter Version)
An indie-rock classic bearing the same chord sequence as Straight to Hell and some of the most oblique lyrics I’ve ever seen. “Ice baby, I saw your girlfriend, she was eating her fingers like they were just another meal.” What on earth does that mean? Anyone?
1800s Sea Monster – B-a-n-j-o-r-e-e Banjorium
Never ones to rest on laurels, the band’s latest record (available from their Last.fm page) is a dalliance into country. Love them or hate them, once you try them out, you’ll have to admit that 1800s Sea Minster always keep things interesting.
The Kick Inside – Because Of Her Sex
This reminds me vaguely of those C86 bands, but with harder-edged guitars and vocals. I’m looking for good things from them.
Rainbow Party – Hoom Boot
One minute and forty seconds of pure venom, this track hilariously takes the aging Baby Boomer generation to task for their failings. Rainbow Party are one of my favourite new bands, and hopefully, they’ll be one of yours as well.
Hüsker Dü – Celebrated Summer
Kate Bush – Strange Phenomena
I might have chosen one of her singles, but I think this track demonstrates Kate’s quirkiness more than anything else. She apparently decided that she’d like to write a song about her menstrual cycle and this is what happened. I especially dig her delivery of the Indian mantra ‘om mani padme hum.’