Not all of these are in order of release date as I was too young for a couple of the now ‘classic’ albums on my list. Instead I’ve placed them in order of when I was listening, from earliest to most recent time.
1. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses, March 13th, 1989
I was blown away when I first heard The Stone Roses. I was just leaving school and this album seemed to define my mood perfectly. The only Stone Roses song I had heard up to this point was ‘Fools Gold’ which I assumed was the best they had to offer (seen as it was the only song that seemed to have remained commercially popular) but I was completely wrong. I can remember watching the commenwealth games one year and they used the song ‘This Is The One’ over the closing credits of the program. I absolutely loved it and it lead me to look into the band and to this album.
It’s obviously a classic, and although there wasn’t a great deal from them since (The come back is now on though) they will always be a very special and influential band. John Squire created some amazing memorable melodic guitar riffs with effects, and the driving energy of the rhythm section of the band was to die for. Ian Browns mumbling vocals also fit perfectly. I loved the atmospheric sound with all the reverb and echo etc. It’s just a shame for me and all John Squire’s music fans that, for a long time, he preferred art much more to his music!
A ‘proper’ band with it’s own unique sound and a bit of a masterpiece of an album.
2. By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers, July 8th 2002
One of the albums from my college days from the technically sound, bizarre lyric writing RHCPs. I was listening to this album when it was first released and wasted many an hour playing retro video games with this album as my background soundtrack. A lot of that coursework never did get done because of this!
Ah, those were the days, “Fly away on my zephyr…..
3. Up All Night – Razorlight, June 2006
One of my first forays into the ‘trendy’ indie scene. I get memories of ‘Golden Touch’ being played constantly at the places we went at the time. A very punky and energetic album and definitely memorable for me, some decent songwriting on here. I pretty much stopped liking the band after this album though, heard bad things about Johnny Borrell too.
4. Nevermind – Nirvana, Sept 24th, 1991
I heard some of Nirvana’s songs previous but didn’t start listening to the band properly until I was in college when I really got into this album. This album is just full of atmosphere and is an example of brilliant and simple songwriting, often the best way to write music…make it simple! It was the soundtrack to a dark, winter holiday I went on to Sherwood Forest in Nottingham during the festive holidays between college terms.
5. Down in Albion – Babyshambles, 14th Nov, 2005
I am personally far from a fan of Pete Doherty and would love to have seen the guy actually fall to sleep whilst playing live with Babyshambles like some of my friends did (Quite an achievement!) but I digress, I must admit this is actually a very good album. There’s some great songs on here throughout and the production suits Doherty’s unorganized, drunken, rambling style well, like the Libertine’s studio albums. I also probably have such clear memories of it because because it was released before I went away to university.
6. Hot Fuss – The Killers, June 7th, 2004
I can often pin an album to a very definite moment in time from my past but that’s not quite the case for this album. Many songs from here have obviously remained well know and commercial and I heard them all often at the time without ever really listening to the album when it was released. I think I revisited a couple of years later and discovered that most of the album was great. My personal favorite track being ‘Jenny was a Friend of Mine’ a beautiful song with the baseline thieved from the The Smiths’ ‘Barbarism Begins At Home’.
7. From Under The Cork Tree – Fall Out Boy, May 3rd, 2005
I’ve loved all their albums and used to listen to them all the time. It was definitely hard to pick a favourite. I love their sound, the comedy lyrics and the full sentence song titles. Patrick Stump is also one hell of a singer with a great vocal range! I don’t find them pretentious like some people bang on about. This ‘breakthrough’ album is definitely one of, if not the best that they released and for me they have never released a bad one. I thought their first album ‘Evening Out With Your Girlfriend’ was great, although it was understandably under produced. If you’ve not heard it it’s a great insight into the sound of the band still in transition. It doesn’t sound anything like the FOB most people know.
8. All we know is Falling – Paramore, July 27th, 2005
Early Paramore. I’m a big fan and Hayley has an amazing voice and great style. She also seems to be a genuine down to earth girl that you would like to hang out with. I’m just annoyed that they always seem to use drop C tuning on their guitars. I was always too lazy to re-tune and try learn any of their songs!
9. A weekend in the City – Bloc Party, Jan 24th, 2007
A great album I listened to when it was released for its energy, frantic tracks and cool guitar riffs and later returned to actually listen to it’s lyrics and relate to. Bloc Party’s singer/songwriter and guitarist Kele Okereke is obviously a very sensitive guy who finds it hard to relate to modern English society and that’s definitely something I know I feel and understand.
10. Appetite for Destruction – Guns n Roses, July 7th, 1987
A bit of a change in direction from what I listened to as a kid and I ended up getting into Guns n Roses as I seemed to develop a bit of a blues style of guitar playing and therefore a bit of a liking for Slash… and Jack Daniels.. or even just vodka!
It’s an obvious, undoubted classic full of energy and amazing memorable songs and guitar riffs. It’s also mainly very fast in tempo in most places and they were actually a semi punk rock band at this early raw stage. When they returned with ‘Use Your Illusion I’ just over four years later everyone had taken a lot more drugs and everyone was on a very different plain, they sounded completely different.
Its a shame I couldn’t get a Metallica album on here but I only have ten spaces to fill 🙂
What would go on your list? What albums relate to special memories, places and times for you?