I’ve spent weeks trying to think of a clever spin on this week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, which is billed as ‘audio week.’ I did a list a few months ago of theme songs for books and also wrote a lengthy post about fictional characters’ taste in music, so I wanted to do something that combined books and music here, but have drawn a blank because I am back at school now and my brain is fried. So I decided to stop being a smartarse and just make a list of my favourite albums. It turns out that it is actually impossible to limit this to 10, and so this is actually a list of 10 albums I really like a lot, followed by all the ones that should have been here. It’s hard being me.
The Queen is Dead by The Smiths
I happen to have a really weird love of very depressing music, although I will state for the record that I don’t actually find The Queen is Dead depressing. Partly because trying to sing like Morrissey is a very entertaining activity. Favourite track: Cemetry Gates
Grace by Jeff Buckley
This is such a beautiful album and it’s basically impossible to listen to it without feeling really sad that it was the only ‘full’ album Buckley made. I have gone through several stages of being completely obsessed with this album, particularly Lover, You Should Have Come Over which I think is essentially the most gorgeous song ever written. Favourite track: Lover, You Should Have Come Over
Parallel Lines by Blondie
I found this album on vinyl for 50p in a charity shop and it was the greatest purchase of my life. Debbie Harry is obviously the coolest woman ever and her vocals alternately bleed nonchalance and growling ferocity all over this. I love it. Favourite track: Sunday Girl
Everything Must Go by Manic Street Preachers
The Manics were one of the first ‘proper’ bands I ever got into, and this album came out at a formative time in my music-listening life. It turned 20 years old this year and I was lucky enough to watch the band play the album in full live. It was basically a religious experience. Favourite track: The Girl Who Wanted to be God (it’s named after a Sylvia Plath quote, which just makes it even better).
Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon
I love the first album, but on this one you can actually understand the words which gives it a slight edge for me. I’ve been a fan of Kings of Leon for such a long time and am tentatively excited about their upcoming album; Mechanical Bull was a real return to form so I’m optimistic. Favourite track: Slow Night So Long
Fight Like Apes and the Mystery Medallion by Fight Like Apes
I randomly came across Fight Like Apes last year when BBC 6 Music playlisted Pretty Keen on Centrefolds, which led me back to their previous album. There is literally nothing about Mystery Medallion that isn’t brilliant. The songs are completely insane, there’s a satisfying amount of screaming, and one of them is about a character from California Dreams. What’s not to like? Favourite track: Jake Summers
London Calling by The Clash
I think this is a very predictable choice, and it’s a close-run thing between this and the first album, but London Calling wins because it’s got everything; the tenderness of Train in Vain, the foreboding of the title track (used in any US TV show that does a random London episode) and the euphoria of Death or Glory. A student gave me their vinyl copy of the album as a thank you present and it was the best thing ever. Favourite track: Clampdown
Antics by Interpol
I have a semi-worrying obsession with Interpol. I love the gloom. I love the moodiness. I love the lyrics that make no sense. I’ve seen them play live about a billion times and they are just the coolest. All their albums are great, but this is the one I’ve listened to the most. Favourite track: C’mere
Like Vines by The Hush Sound
Whatever happened to The Hush Sound? I’ve never seen them live and nobody else seems to have heard of them, which makes me worry that I made them up. In which case, I am very talented. Favourite track: Wine Red
More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley
Basically, I want to be Jenny Lewis. She is amazingly talented, supercool, has the voice of an angel and her hair is the colour that I put loads of effort into dyeing mine. Although not their first album, this was the first one I got hold of and I’ve listened to it a lot since then. There’s a really good mixture of different styles here, but all held together by Lewis’ distinctively gorgeous voice. Favourite track: Portions for Foxes
I’ve just made this list and then remembered the following, which has annoyed me: TLC’s CrazySexyCool, Hole’s Live Through This, Ben Folds Five self-titled album and, of course, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. And Is This It? by The Strokes. And the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s first album. Oh god. Look, obviously having to choose ten albums is just completely wrong, okay?