These are compiled from my last.fm account, except for 2009 and 2010. Copy/paste job, more or less so some of the statements may differ from my current opinions:
1. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral.
First got into NIN, all I heard was Closer (in the Catty) and Hand That Feeds. When I heard online that they were pretty big back in the early-90s, I decided to give them a chance. I downloaded The Downward Spiral and I was blown away. Don’t know if its exactly industrial, but its so dark and aggressive. One of my favourite concept albums (I’m a sucker for good concept albums). Also, Hurts on it and I prefer it to the Johnny Cash cover of it.
2. David Bowie – Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust..
I overlistened to this one. I loved the title track, after hearing it on an Air Guitar album or someshit. Then I got the album and realised it was easily the worst song on it. It got the point where I listened to it twice a week.
3. Biffy Clyro – Infinity Land
I’ve always loved Glitter and Trauma, but I forgot about Biffy after the song got released. Puzzle came out and I got heavily into them. Great technical playing but with brilliant choruses(not shred or anything), kinda like Rush meets Weezer.
4. System of a Down – Toxicity
My favourite metal band. Completely original, no band sounds like them. 2 years after it was released, it was named in the top 5 best metal/rock albums. I wouldn’t go that far, but to me its a solid metal album.
5. The Beatles – White Album
More of a collection of songs, rather than the album type Sgt Peppers was. Just great songs, but I don’t listen to it as often as Abbey Road these days.
6. Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
Bonham was somehow a big influence on my rhythm playing. Hes got such a groove on songs like D’yer Mak’er and The Ocean. A good kinda experimental album, Zepp in their prime.
7. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
Generally a good album, Thunder Road is a solid introduction to the album. The whole escaping thing, working-class dream is what I could relate with when I got a shit job.
8. Jeff Buckley – Grace
Probably my favourite vocalist. Lover You Shouldve Come Over is reason enough to prove his voice was soulful as hell.
9. Q.O.T.S.A – Songs for the Deaf
Dark and kinda trippy. A peak that QOTSA haven’t yet reached again. Era Vulgaris came close though.
10. Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers
Singalong rock songs, the kind you could probably imagine Mick and Keith just sitting around with a group of folk singing 8 brilliant songs.
1. Tom Waits – Bone Machine
First bought the album because of how good Goin Out West is. His voice is one of those voices you either love or hate. The exact opposite of Jeff Buckley, gritty and flawed. And he is one helluva songwriter aswell. The few blues songs on the album are easy to play aswell. 3 chords and you can play Earth Died Screaming, although it would sound nothing like the original. Its class.
2. Biffy Clyro – Vertigo of Bliss
Definately a grower. Not much I can be arsed to explain about this one.
3. Radiohead – OK Computer
I first got this when my brother didn’t want. I gave it a listen and found only 3 songs I liked. Put it on my iPod, and one morning I decided to give it a fair listen. I slowly got into it more, and realised that under the bleepy noises there were great, well structured songs. Its rock but nothing like anyone heard at the time.
4. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
I dismissed them as a pretentious indie band (like I did with Radiohead). Bought Queen is Dead for £3, and loved every single song. Morrisseys vocals can get a bit annoying at times (I Know Its Over outro) but the lyrics are brilliant even they can be a bit sadsackish.
5. Alice in Chains – Dirt
My favourite grunge album. Loved Rooster on first listen but found the album had better songs like Rain When I Die, Down In A Hole and Junkhead.
6. The Stooges – Fun House
The most important American rock band, the band that despite being more than 35 years old could give Nickelback or any of that shite a aural kick in the balls. TV Eye is easily in the top 5 rock songs.
2009 (no explanations for these, just a list)
1. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight
2. R.E.M. – Automatic for the People
3. Radiohead – OK Computer
4. Marmaduke Duke – The Magnificent Duke
5. Tool – Aenima
6. Nirvana – In Utero
7. The Beatles – The White Album
8. System of a Down – Toxicity
9. Biffy Clyro – The Vertigo of Bliss
10. The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
For this list, I won’t include any albums on previous lists, can’t be fucked explaining them again. In no particular order
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
I was tempted to put Funeral into this, seeing as Neighborhoods #1 (Tunnels) is my favourite song by the group, but I find the Neon Bible is a textbook example of a band giving the phrase ‘difficult second album’ a kicking, progressing from their fantastic debut by offering a consistent, ambitious follow-up. This album solidified their status as one of the most intriguing bands on the indie-rock circuit.
Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
I first heard of this particular album on Pitchfork’s website. The review gave it a perfect 10.0, so I decided to give it a go. On first listen, it is catchy and somewhat bizarre. The second track King of Carrot Flowers Parts 2 and 3 starts with Jeff Mangum’s yell of ‘I love you Jesus Christ’. It verges on cringe-worthy, but the track quickly picks up with the wail of trumpets, crash of drums and fuzz of guitars. The album as a whole can best be described as an experience. Lyrically complex and abstract, the album is partly inspired by vocalist Jeff Mangum’s infatuation with the story of Anne Frank. Highlights include Two-Headed Boy, the fanfare of Holland 1945 and the soaring melody of Ghost. Essential listening, but don’t dismiss it on the first listen. This isn’t suited for background music while you do the washing.
Between the Buried and Me – The Great Misdirect
….And now for something completely different. BTBAM have been known in the metal scene as a challenging, immensely talented band. When their critically acclaimed LP Colors dropped, they reached new heights with ferocious vocals and unorthodox song structures. Their latest The Great Misdirect, is the one that I prefer. Its not that its better than Colors, its just different. Only six tracks, yet the album clocks in at just under an hour, each track has a great amount to depth to it. From the jazzy, atmospheric Mirrors through to the epic Swim to the Moon, its an album that grabs hold of you through its ups and downs. My favourite moment is probably the classic rock breakdown in the middle of Disease, Injury, Madness. BTBAM have to be one of the most ambitious progressive metal bands, they have a great amount of pride in their music, they never cut corners.
The Mars Volta – Deloused in the Comatorium
I was initially going to pick At The Drive-In’s last album Relationship of Command, but I very slightly prefer the Mars Volta’s debut. Or I could have picked Frances the Mute. Either way, the Mars Volta are a fantastic band. They remind me of a hybrid of Led Zeppelin and Santana, with such a tight dynamic. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has to be one of my favourite guitarists, and Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt is probably one of my favourite guitar tracks. Mainly for that freaky robotic solo bit. But yeah, Mars Volta/At The Drive-In are the dugs baws.
Weezer – Green Album/Pinkerton
When I heard that Weezer are planning to tour Pinkerton and the Green Album, I was ecstatic. Then I realised that Weezer hardly ever tour Europe, let alone the UK. Ah well, a guy can dream. Green Album was the best power-pop album this side of Cheap Trick. Buddy Holly, My Name is Jonas, Only in Dreams and Say It Ain’t So are highlights but there isn’t a bad song on it. I could say the same for Pinkerton, in all honesty. Although it was slated on release (named the worst album on 1996 for some unknown reason), it has stood the test of time. And while I’m on the subject of Weezer, they still aren’tthat bad. Raditude and Hurley are pretty okay albums, aside from the odd cringe-worthy song (Wheres My Sex? comes to mind), but I’d endure Beverly Hills on repeat for an hour if I could hear Tired of Sex live.
Can’t be bothered continuing, so I’ll just list some albums that would be on the list if I could be fucked describing them:
Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
Sufjan Stevens – Illinois
Sonic Youth – Goo (Yeah, I know I know, but I haven’t given any of their other albums a listen just yet)
Ryan Adams – Gold