Tuesday 16 August 2016

The Top 1,000 Albums of My Life

So several friends have now tagged me in this “post a great album cover” thingy that’s been doing the rounds on FB at the moment. I suppose I could just post a picture of the Dark Side of the Moon, tag a few people and move on. But music is too important to distill down to that level, and besides, I like to make my own rules, so I have…

I will be fifty this year. Even though many musical masterpieces were created before I was born, I have been fortunate enough to live through, in my opinion, the most creative and influential years in music, certainly in album form. I have therefore been through my entire collection and selected my top 20 albums form each year since I was born (1966), to compile a list of my top 1,000 albums of my lifetime.

I’ve had to impose a few arbitrary rules upon myself. No compilations, best of’s, greatest hits, re-releases or anniversary special editions, but I have included live albums, but for consistency, at year of release rather than year of recording.

As most of you know, I’m currently undergoing some very aggressive chemotherapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma and have been unable to work. Compiling this list, has given me some focus and a chance to revisit a lot of these great works. Despite the fact that I acquired most of the albums in the first 13 or so years retrospectively, when placed out in this order, they tell the story of my life. I can tell you where I bought each and every one of these albums and they all coincide with life events; births, deaths, marriages, holidays, locations, friends and emotions are all recalled when I scan this image of my life’s soundtrack.

Hopefully Blogger will allow you to open the image in a large enough format for you to be able to determine each individual album, and if like me, you have a deep passion for music, you’ll recognise most of these images and they may put you in mind of a certain periods in your life too.

Compiling the list also highlighted the greatest peaks and troughs this in this music period. Between 1969 and 1973 I really struggled to fit in all the albums I wanted to. Whereas between 1986 and 1990 many albums made the cut that perhaps wouldn’t have in other years. Despite never again quite achieving the lofty peak of the early 70’s, there was still a surprising number of great albums to choose from in the 90’s 00’s and 10’s showing that there is always great music out here if you just go and look for it. Do not content yourself with the simple and easily digestible dirge from over commercial Saturday night TV karaoke contests, 

I don’t suppose there’s anybody else out there who also owns all 1,000 of these albums?