Top Albums of All Time: Our Personal Canon

In this episode we discuss the value of a “canon” of albums and share our top 3 albums each.

One thought on “Top Albums of All Time: Our Personal Canon

  1. As mentioned by everyone, having a shortlist of three albums that have stood the test of time in your own life, is not an easy thing. For me without resorting to ‘Classics’ like Rumours, Bridge Over Troubled Water etc. which are just wonderful albums, I would go for Sheer Heart Attack – Queen, their coming-of-age album and introducing a great selection of songs, some of which would be known by lots of people, and others less so. Moving into the Queen sound from their more whimsical Prog first two albums, Now I’m Here, Killer Queen & Dear Friends are all commonly heard, but Brighton Rock, recorded or live allows Brian May to go nuts and show off his extraordinary repertoire, using technology to play against himself. My personal favourite is She Makes Me (Stormtrooper in Stilettos) for no specific reason other than it always has been.

    Second on the list, Mark Hollis, by the ex-front man of Talk Talk. As Talk Talk progressed on their journey from chart-based pop to something completely different, losing the masses along the way, Mark Hollis showed the ability to open himself up to a very different range of musical expressions, fulfilled in his solo album. Sparse and deep, it harks back to an earlier time, evoking classical, jazz and aspects of world music in its approach. Chamber Music for the Modern Age.
    Each and every track allows space for thought and pondering, both of the music and anything else. It is not something you have on in the background, but that you actually listen to.

    Third would be perhaps Sarah McLachlan – Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. This, her third album took her in a different, more internalised direction, inspired by Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden as it turns out, and reflecting on a range of challenges that had arisen in her life. Whilst some of the tracks appear straightforward on first listening, a deeper dive shows a different side to things, darker and more troubling, or troubled. While this is a major part of the soundtrack of my courtship, it has continued to accompany me through life’s varying landscapes. Key tracks for me are Possession, Elsewhere, Good Enough and Ice Cream, but the album as a whole works for me.

    Close behind, or taking the place of any of the above would be:

    Recovering the Satellites – Counting Crows
    Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
    Kate Rusby – Hourglass
    Portishead – Dummy
    Pearl Jam – Ten
    The Cure – Disintegration
    Sade – Diamond Life

    All of which have stood the test of time, and the changes that life brings, to still have meaning as I enter my 7th decade (that is a scary thought).

    I hope everyone’s well again, but keep safe.

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