Saturday, May 09, 2020

10 albums

There's a thing on Facebook at the moment. People posting the 10 albums they feel are most influential on them. You're supposed to just post the pictures with no commentary, but most people can't resist a bit of commentary.

I thought it would make an interesting blog post, though. Which 10 albums would I pick? I've had a go, and included a couple of recent ones that will be influencing me for a while to come. 

I got obsessed with Midnight Oil in my teens and into my early twenties. I bought their entire back catalogue of albums and singles and anything I could get my hands on. I connected with them the first time I heard Beds are Burning playing on the Radio 1 breakfast show on the bus to school. Diesel and Dust was the peak of their success. I think what I liked most about them is that their songs were actually about stuff that mattered.

In school I got into rock. The next two albums were very big for me when I was 14.

Yeah, yeah, mock me all you want. But tell me Animal isn't a great 80s rock song. And New Jersey is stadium rock at its finest. 

I can't tell you how many times I listened to this next album in my first year at university.

I was also massively into the Eagles, round about the same time. Desperado was always my favourite Eagles album, and the one I would come back to again and again.

Then along came Cathy. She changed my life. So did this album that she introduced me too. It is one of the few albums ever produced where every track is solid. No duff filler to be seen.

Because I loved Midnight Oil, I bought a random protest single they recorded with a few other bands, including the Tragically Hip. That's how I got into the Tragically Hip. Fully Completely is another perfect album. I recite a section of At the Hundredth Meridian as my 'calm mantra'. 

Hot Fuss probably isn't the best Killers album. It has the best first five tracks though, starting with Jenny was a Friend of Mine and working up to All These Things That I've Done. Yes, there are other albums with great songs on. I love The Man off their most recent release. But Hot Fuss is where it all began and those first five tracks in particular are better than entire albums produced by lesser bands. 

This album is absolute gold even though it's only a couple of years old. We played it relentlessly on a summer holiday in Dorset so I associate it with hot long summer days, beaches and the sea. It is driving music, and relaxing music, and meal prep music, and background music, and foreground music, and everybody sings along music.

And onto the tenth album, and the most recent. Doom Days is Bastille's third album. OK, it doesn't have Pompeii on it, but it is a really solid listen throughout and their most musically accomplished complete album. We have played it a lot recently and I can't see me growing tired of it any time soon.

So, there you go. 10 albums. 

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