Fifteen Albums

Caught the tail end of this meme that’s been doing the rounds for the last few weeks: list fifteen albums that will always stick with you. Supplementary rules: one album per band, don’t take longer than fifteen minutes, don’t think too hard about it. I might have already broken that last one. Whoops.

There also seems to be an optional extra of inserting a bit of misty-eyed waffle regarding why each album is special, which I’ll definitely be partaking in. So, in no particular order:

Rage Against The Machine - Evil Empire: One of the first CDs I ever owned (though I think my first copy was actually a bootleg). Imbued my youth with a rebellious streak that persists to this day in my refusal to eat McDonalds.

Pink Floyd - Pulse: First heard late one night while driving up to London with my friend and his dad to help him move flats. Been hooked on Pink Floyd ever since.

Radiohead - In Rainbows: I like just about all the Radiohead albums but this one really hit the spot for me. A joy from start to finish.

Million Dead - Harmony No Harmony: Million Dead got me through GCSEs and sixth form. Only got to see them once, sadly, still living in hope (or delusion) that they might reform someday. Absolutely stunning angry post-hardcore.

Hybrid - Wide Angle: Also among the first CDs I ever had. My original night-time-driving soundtrack (though back then it wasn’t me doing the driving).

The Living End - The Living End: Vintage Aussie rockabilly that a cousin sent me on a mixtape many many years ago from down under. That tape has come to shape my musical taste in a fairly remarkable way.

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing: I first heard “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt” by complete chance after stumbling across someone’s hidden Winamp stash on a PC at school.

Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland: I was a bit of a latecomer to Hendrix - I picked up this album and listened to it on repeat for more than a day a few Christmasses ago while doing Uni assignments. An amazing journey of an album.

Soundgarden - Superunknown: “Black Hole Sun” is possibly my favourite track of all time, and this album wraps it perfectly.

Chris Cornell - Euphoria Morning: After getting into Soundgarden and Audioslave I heard of Chris Cornell’s solo stuff and bought this album - a superb downtempo counterpoint to his work with those bands.

Powderfinger - Double Allergic: Another gem from the mixtape from down under. “Living Type” and “JC” are just superb.

Runaways UK - Progress: Fairly obscure UK trip-hop duo - discovered, like quite a bit of my music, through the soundtrack to a snowboarding video. I prefer their instrumental stuff, of which “Momentum” is a crowning glory.

Death in Vegas - Dead Elvis: Another great night-driving album. Second year of Uni.

The Doors - The Doors: I got into the Doors after hearing “The End” on the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now. This, their debut album, remains a firm favourite.

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - Knives Don’t Have Your Back: I listened to a lot of Metric before I discovered Emily Haines’ solo stuff. This can be quite a depressing album if you’re not in the right mood - I used to listen to it when I was feeling particularly melancholy, and I think it helped. Lovely album, nonetheless. First year out of Uni, feeling very disillusioned about just about everything.

Well that was a nice trip down memory lane, pipe and slippers firmly installed.