1. “Blonde on Blonde” – Bob Dylan
For some reason I had this on repeat during the dark days of 2001 when I was totally lost in life. I stayed in bed for about 6 months and the only thing I really done was listen to music. Loudly and with the lights off and curtains drawn. The only way to listen to good music! Amazingly, the album didn’t depress me further but helped me out of the hole.
If I had to pick standout tracks they’d be:
- “4th Time Around” – (Lovely guitar lick throughout)
- “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” (Long but lovely)
2. “A Rush of Blood to the Head” – Coldplay
This was the first album I streamed when I got my first ever PC in 2002. I also attempted to illegally download it by holding a mic up to the pc speakers! I’ve come a long way since.. I listened to it a lot just as I became a “man”.
3. “Brothers in Arms” – Dire Straits
This is a bit of a cliche to have in your favourites list but I don’t care. It’s awesome.
4. “Talkie Walkie” – Air
I’ve been listening to Air for at least 12 years now. It’s absolutely beautiful chill out electronica from France of all places. I want to make music like this some day.
- “Biological” – (Sciency love song extrordinaire!)
- “Alone in Kyoto” – (Such a delicate, subtle but awesome track)
5. “The Soft Parade” – The Doors
The Doors have to be here somewhere and I wasn’t going to pick an obvious album. Having deconstructed and even recorded every single Doors album song in my time as well as having been in a Doors tribute band at one stage, I know these songs inside out and can appreaciate them, even the weird ones, more than most.
I feel like the Doors had fun with this one and let loose their respective influences in what on the surface sounds like a mismatch of styles but when you dig deeper or even just treat each song on it’s own merits, there’s some real gems here. Everything from Rock to Ballads, to Jazz to Country!
- “The Soft Parade” – (You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!? A Doors 8 min epic..)
- “Tell All The People” – (“Molded, flowing revelry…”!)
- “Wishful Sinful” – (Lovely chord progressions and lyrics)
6. “Definitely Maybe” – Oasis
When I first got into music seriously and was learning guitar, Oasis was fairly popular. The first band I joined in the late 90s were mad for Oasis and Britpop in general and before I turned them into a Doors tribute band (ahem!) we had good fun with some of Oasis’s songs. I remember really enjoying playing these songs on stage:
- “Married With Children” – (Remember playing this on stage in Eamon Dorans, Temple Bar. Just me and the singer. Can still play it!)
- “Supersonic” – (Cool lyrics, Drums & Riff)
- “Cigarettes and Alcohol” – (Is it my imagination!?)
7. “The Bends” – Radiohead
Similarly re Oasis, we played a lot of Radiohead songs in the bands I was in. The Bends was out then and is still probably my favourite Radiohead album. Loved these ones:
- “Street Spirit” – (Lovely finger style riff throughout)
- “High & Dry” – (Hard to sing but nice acoustic feel)
- “Just” – (Intense!)
8. “Mellow Gold” – Beck
Beck has a way with words…and music! There were some great old style influences in the tunes on this album. These songs are permanently in my head:
- “Pay No Mind” – (Lovely acoustic ballad with weird lyrics!)
- “Nitemare Hippy Girl” – (The lyrics!?)
- “Beercan” – (Cool as fuck lyrics again…”Winos throwin frisbys at the sun…”)
- “Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs” – (Rude start gives way to a cool tune….and more mad lyrics)
9. “The Black Album” – Metallica
I learned to play lead guitar or maybe guitar in general with Metallica’s riffs. This album used to get me to sleep at night…in a good way! Standout tracks include:
10. “Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys
Are you a Pet Sounds or Sgt Pepper person!? Sgt Pepper was obviously groundbreaking but there’s a bit too much messing with electronics and recording tricks for me. Pet Sounds is just beautiful music from start to finish from the genius mind of Brian Wilson and has way more depth than Pepper. I love these most: