So, here is the Part 2 to yesterday’s Part 1, and I am concluding the list of the twelve albums that mean the most to me, starting in no particular order with the seventh entry (although I can’t make the numbering start at “7” so it looks like another number 1)…
- “The Big Lad In The Windmill” by It Bites. This band were one of the first who gave me the sense that music could be something incredibly personal. They were a little bit of a one-hit-wonder following some success with a track (on this album) called “Calling All The Heroes”, and once in a blue moon, I still get to hear it on the radio even now. However, there was an episode of the Wogan show on BBC1, where It Bites were the musical guests performing a track, “Kiss Like Judas”, from their second album. It didn’t go on to have any great success but I loved it. I went out the following weekend and bought both their CD’s and I’ve loved them ever since, even though 99% of people have never heard of them.
- “Ready For This” by Tim Minchin. There is one thing that modern music repeatedly fails to accomplish… making you laugh. Ever since listening to things like the Barron Knights when I was really little, I have had a soft spot for comedy songs. All these earnest artists singing about life and love, about loss and heartache, about feeling great and enjoying yourself, but almost none try their hand at being funny. Tim Minchin has mastered the art form, by creating something with this live album that is absolutely not a novelty record, but is absolutely a fabulous one.
- “(What’s The Story) Mornin’ Glory?” by Oasis. Lots of people, who are much more clever and far more musically literate that I am, will have written about Oasis’ first record. Like how it might be derivative of The Beatles (who are conspicuously absent from my list) or some such. For me, though, this is one of those rock albums where each and every track is a blockbuster of sheer, unadulterated brilliance. I cannot begin to fathom how anyone could not love it.
- “Nearly Killed Keith” by John & Wayne. If 99% of people have never heard of It Bites, then 99% of the 1% that was left have never heard of John and Wayne. The eponymous John is, not quite coincidentally, the nephew of It Bites’ lead singer, and that is how I first got hear about these guys. John and Wayne are a Cumbrian folk duo who I absolutely adore. Simple, working class tunes that are raw and heartfelt but with brilliantly light-hearted touches that do that wonderful thing of just telling a story.
- “Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?” by Paloma Faith. There was a spot in this list where I had to pick an album of a certain ilk. I wanted a female singer-songwriter and the choice was vast. I could’ve gone for Joni Mitchell, Adele, Kate Bush, k.d.Lang, Lily Allen, Kate Miller-Heidke, Amy McDonald, Kirsty MacColl, the list goes on and on and on. I am actually getting to this point in this blog where I am a little embarrassed by the male-centric nature of who’s listed here, but in the end I had to plump for Paloma’s debut album, which is thoroughly flawless and in which she has a voice that bypasses all my social filters and hits me straight in the soul.
- “Hormonally Yours” by Shakespear’s Sister. I get the feeling that there might be quite a few people who can’t abide the contrasting vocal stylings of Marcella Detroit and Siobhan Fahey, and a fair few that got seriously pissed off with the enormous levels of overplaying that “Stay” got on the 1992 airwaves, so much so, that seeing this album on a list of supposed ‘greats’ would be anathema to them. They are wrong. This is a sensational tour-de-force and if you don’t have it in your record collection, I will judge you… badly.
And there we have it, twelve desert island albums that will forever remind me of how life-affirming music can be. So, many albums just failed to make the cut. I could easily have just populated the list solely with just Beatles or Queen offerings, or sneaked in some Bowie, Eurythmics, Def Leppard, Tori Amos, Eminem, Paul Simon, Florence and the Machine, Keane, Francis Dunnery, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. etc……..