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DL at 50 : 50 Albums at 50

1 January 2007 2,083 views No Comment

These are the albums that have been provided me with constant inspiration over the years.

Looking over the pile of original vinyl records and CD’s this list is drawn from prompts many memories -from handing over 19 shillings for the budget Island Records sampler You Can All Join In- my first album purchase, through the various Zep milestone releases etc: every choice here tells a story. I’ve cheated a little in including a few multiple box sets, as lets face it every Zep album has to be in there and Nick Drake for that matter.

Here we go 50 at 50 IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER but commencing with my favourite two albums…

1: PHYSICAL GRAFFITI – LED ZEPPELIN
February 25 1975 – that was the day I laid out £4.49 for a double album that remains my absolute desert island fave. From rock to folk via eastern landscapes and back again. This one has it all.

2: PRESENCE – LED ZEPPELIN
And this isn’t far behind. Jimmy Page’s guitar rages revealing the real heart and soul Of Led Zeppelin.

3: THE BEATLES (WHITE ALBUM) – THE BEATLES
So many styles, so much class. The fab four no longer unified but still capable of immense creativity. A wonderful package too

4: WHO’S NEXT – THE WHO
A band at their peak – every song a winner – and not a wasted note to be heard. Funny how whenever I hear Won’t Get Fool Again, I have a strong desire to leap on something – preferably a stage!

5: DESIRE – BOB DYLAN
The Zim at his most enigmatic. Complex, often bizarre but never less than compelling.

6: FATE OF NATIONS – ROBERT PLANT
Hi best album – he told me that himself recently.

7: CROSBY STILLS & NASH – CROSBY STILLS & NASH
Fantastic late 60’s delight from the trio who together were always greater than the sum of there parts. Full of fantastic harmonies and declarations of universal oneness. Their catalogue remains a warm pleasure.

8: SEPTEMBER OF MY YEARS – FRANK SINATRA
As the sleeve notes state : “September can be an atitude, or an age, or a wistful reality. For this man, it is a time of love. A time to sing.”

9: A KIND OF BLUE – MILES DAVIS
The coolest album ever – got it on CD around my birthday mid 90’s. Played something from it just about every week since.

10: LIVE ON BLUEBERRY HILL (BOOTLEG ) – LED ZEPPELIN
Greatest live album of all time bar none. My first bootleg purches some 34 years ago and still a frequent inspiration

11: THE COMPLETE STUDIO RECORDINGS -LED ZEPPELIN
The essential box set – and my way of including every album. How could I not!

12: MARQUEE MOON – TELEVISION
Nick Kent’s ecstatic review in the NME had me scurrying to get this. It did not disappoint – another album never too far away from the player.

13: YOUNG AMERICANS – DAVID BOWIE
Inspires great 1975 memories. Love all of his early to mid 70’s catalogue.

14: OOH LA LA – THE FACES
From out and out rockers to reflective ballads – a wonderful set of songs. Ronnie Lane at his peak.

15: THE HISSING OF SUMMER LAWNS – JONI MITCHELL
Pure class all the way from the songstress.

16: ELECTRIC WARRIOR – T.REX
Bolan’s peak – so full of vitality – his use of Tony Visconti’s string arrangements added that extra ingredient.

17: BORN TO RUN – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Bruce on a creative high – so much depth to the playing here.

18: LET IT BLEED – THE ROLLING STONES
My bruv had this the week it came out in late ‘69. Gimme Shelter, Monkey Man,Live With Me – what a band.

19: BLIND FAITH – BLIND FAITH
Winwoods vocal,Clapton’s fluid gutar combined with great songs – a dynamic one off.

20: NO QUARTER UNLEDDED – JIMMY PAGE AND ROBERT PLANT
The evolution continued – the soundtrack to those hot August nights.

21: ALL THINGS MUST PASS – GEORGE HARRISON
The best solo Beatles record bar none. Overflowing with rich melodies.

22: PICTURES AT ELEVEN – ROBERT PLANT
The new beginning – a combination of passion,niavety and pure enthusiasm – this has worn very well.

23: SNAP – THE JAM
THE singles band of the 70’s/early 80’S

24: IT’S ONLY ROCK’NROLL – THE ROLLING STONES
Bought it the day it came out on October 18 1974 when I was in dire need of musical inspiration.

25: SOMETHING SPECIAL – DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
Expansive overview of the great Dusty’s career. Wonderful arrangements too of gems such as Tupelo Honey,Make It With You,The Look Of Love etc

26: THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON – PINK FLOYD
Never a massive fan – the bruv saw them in ‘73 but didn’t take me! My apprciation for this established classic has grown over the years. Their appearance at Live 8 was incredibly moving and led me again to re aquinting myself with this album.

27: FRUIT TREE – THE COMPLETE RECORDED WORKS -NICK DRAKE
Can’t seperate this catalogue.Every album is essential.

28: YOU CAN ALL JOIN IN – ISLAND RECORDS SAMPLER
First LP I ever purchased. Free,Jethro,Fairport – that was hip stuff for this then 13 year old.

29: REVELATIONS GLASTONBURY FAYRE – VARIOUS ARTISTS
Got this in 1972 and foolishly sold it a couple of years after. A superb package and great stuff from the Dead,Mighty Baby,Marc,Pete Townshend etc. I need it back big time!

30: IN A SILENT WAY – MILES DAVIS
Mood music Miles style – the beginnings of jazz rock

31: WHEN WE WERE KINGS / EARLS COURT (BOOTLEG) – LED ZEPPELIN
Every Earls Court CD is required listening in this house but this May 25 soundboard packs so much punch and has those encores including the amazing Communiacation Breakdown. I was there you know…

32: THE MERCURY YEARS – ROD STEWART
Three discs worth of the peak period. There was always a pleasing romantic vulnerability about so much of Rod’s interpretive material. Welcome anytime on the Totnes deck.

33: GOLDEN EGGS (BOOTLEG)- THE YARDBIRDS
Superb vinyl bootleg with a combination of Yardbirds material covering all three guitarists – first time I heard a lot of the Page led Yardbirds.

34: SGT PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND – THE BEATLES
This just has to be in – I remember being in the house of a guy I played subbuteo table soccer with and him showing me the sleeve the week it came out in ‘67. A couple of years later I was to realise what all the fuss was all about.

35: THRILLER – MICHAEL JACKSON
Every one a winner and one of the best album of the ‘80’s. Fantasically taut and edgy arrangements with his not quite human-ness appeal always lurking within.

36: THE WHO BY NUMBERS – THE WHO
Autumn of 1975 – those introspective songs meant a lot to me at that time and still do.

37: BEGGARS BANQUET – THE ROLLING STONES
Another of their finest – Sympathy For The Devil,Stary Cat Blues … sheer quality

38: COMPLETE SEVENTIES MASTERS – ELVIS PRESLEY
Fantastic box set of his early 70’s output. I’ve Lost You,Just Can’t Help Believing,It’s Over.etc. As good and in a many ways better than his more acclaimed 50’s peak.

39: GOING FOR THE ONE – YES
I had a wry smile when this topped the charts during the summer of punk in ‘77. All double gatefold sleeve and pomp rock. It’s worn very well – the tight yet expansive widesound of the title track and the masterful restraint of Turn Of The Century are still regularly clicked on the old DL ipod wheel.

40: SINGULAR ADVENTURES – THE STYLE COUNCIL
Much malinged post Jam Weller vehicle but his merging of jazz styles and pop sensibility more often than not hit the mark: Witness Speak Like A Child,Long Hit Summer,Your The Best Thing.

41: HENDRIX IN THE WEST – JIMI HENDRIX
Another 1972 purchase when I’d just started work. Dynamite live set stock full of matcheless virtuosity.

44: STRAIGHT SHOOTER – BAD COMPANY
No frills rock’n’roll from Mr Rodgers and co.The had a real groove about them at that time and tracks like Wild Fire Woman zip out the speakers with so much confidence. Shame it was not to last.

45: WALKING INTO CLARKDALE – JIMMY PAGE AND ROBERT PLANT
Perhaps a little inconsistant but what’s good here is very good – Blue Train, Upon A Golden Horse,Shining In The Light. Always prompts wonderful memories of that mad month of March 1998.

46: BLOOD ON THE TRACKS – BOB DYLAN
Bob laid bare reeling from bitterness but still desiring reconciliation. Often depressingly desloate but at the same time carrying a torch for a way out.

47: HIT MAKER! BURT BACHARACH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
A master songwriter of the era on a fantastic collection of his best work

48: HOT RATS – FRANK ZAPPA
Another album purchased during my early 70’s musical exploration period. An ambitiously intircate instrumental jazz rock masterpiece.
49: WHAT’S THE STORY MORNING GLORY – OASIS
The best album from easily the most interesting and captivating band of the last ten years.

50: EXILE ON MAIN STREET – THE ROLLING STONES
And last but never least, Mick and co on an absolute tour de force which has been a constant companion since it’s release in May 1972.

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