Tag Archives: 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

Included in – 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

Oh My Jesus

Playing this vinyl and actually thinking about my record collection resulted in a ‘road to Damascus’ moment, one that shook my musical beliefs/assumptions to the core (in an earthquake in Kent kind of way).

In an earlier post I covered a Led Zeppelin compilation CD and stated “Whilst I have a preference for earlier Led Zeppelin there’s nothing wrong with any of the tracks on this album.” Now, while I still stand by that statement, there does comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and decide whether to make a stand for what you really believe or continue hiding behind a mask for the rest of your days.

I’ve looked in that mirror and I’ve decided that I find the mask suffocating and it’s time to take it off.

So, what I’m about to say will be sacrilegious to many but it’s the truth and I can’t go on living a lie.

Here goes……….I like the idea of Led Zeppelin – a group of four virtuosos where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, extending the blues into modern rock music and forging a new path, stories of excess that can only be dreamt of by those that came before and after them, concerts that rewrote the meaning of improvisation for rock bands with no two performances ever being the same – more than I enjoy the reality.

I like many individual tracks but a lot of the music doesn’t hit me like I think it should, a lot of it is pure aural bombast, albeit of the highest order – or is that the point and am I just missing it?

Where it does all come together for me is on this album and it’s the only Zeppelin album in my collection that I return to on a regular basis. It’s a mix of new tracks and cast offs from previous sessions and that might be why it works for me – from the haunting “In The Light”, through the spontaneity of “In My Time Of Dying” ending up with the epic that is “Kashmir” – it delivers on so many different fronts.

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975) – Triple Vinyl (2015 Reissue)

  •  Custard Pie
  • The Rover
  • In My Time of Dying
  • Houses of the Holy
  • Trampled Under Foot
  • Kashmir
  • In the Light
  • Bron-Yr-Aur
  • Down by the Seaside
  • Ten Years Gone
  • Night Flight
  • The Wanton Song
  • Boogie with Stu
  • Black Country Woman
  • Sick Again
  • Brandy & Coke (“Trampled Under Foot”) (Initial/Rough Mix)
  • Sick Again (Early Version)
  • In My Time of Dying (Initial/Rough Mix)
  • Houses of the Holy
  • Everybody Makes It Through (“In the Light”) (Early Version/In Transit)
  • Boogie with Stu (Sunset Sound Mix)
  • Driving Through Kashmir (“Kashmir”) (Rough Orchestra Mix)

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 23, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 17, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 555, Time: 41h 44m 36s

Identity Is The Crisis

As an antidote to the previous post I’ve just played X-Ray Spex at serious volume in the car. I was never into them back in the day, I couldn’t handle Poly Styrene’s vocal (in my defence it is an acquired taste, after listening to this album for any length of time I always get a psychosomatic sore throat) or the fact that they had a saxophone player, this was meant to be punk after all!

In fact this is a damn good album that has passed the test of time with flying colours. This is music to be enjoyed loud and by jumping around, this isn’t noodling about like the music in my previous post. This is a group voicing their fears of the modern world and what the future holds in the only way they know how – loud and with rhythm. This is an album that I agree with being in “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”.

The standout track for me is “Identity” (closely followed by “I Am a Poseur”) always played loud in the car with me singing along – this is where I get a true sore throat………..

X-Ray Spex – Germfree Adolescents (1978) – CD (1991 Issue)

  • The Day the World Turned Day-Glo
  • Obsessed with You
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Identity
  • I Live Off You
  • Germ Free Adolescence
  • Art-I-Ficial
  • Let’s Submerge
  • Warrior in Woolworths
  • I Am a Poseur
  • I Can’t Do Anything
  • Highly Inflammable
  • Age
  • Plastic Bag
  • I Am a Cliché
  • Oh Bondage Up Yours!

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 23, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 16, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 533, Time: 39h 41m 11s

Yes? More Like No!

So I’ve just bought a new car and the sound system allows me to play music straight from a data stick. Earlier today I copied 40 albums onto a stick, went out for a drive, turned up the volume and picked an album at random.

The album that played is a prog rock classic and has sold over a million copies. Unfortunately it’s also the biggest load of tripe I’ve had to listen to in a long time. I don’t understand what happened, my timeline for the 70s is now totally screwed, if Yes released “Close To The Edge” in 1972 why didn’t punk rock appear in 1973 to blow them all away? Why did we have people twiddling away with this sort of music for another four years?

Now don’t get me wrong I like prog rock and have loads of albums to share over coming posts but this album just sounds like people trying to show how clever they are (actually ‘smug’ is probably the best description) and totally forgetting about basics such as structure, form and the enjoyment of the listener. There’s an argument that this album may be a soundscape but that’s as far as I would go.

I really tried to get some positives out of this (as obviously over one million people have) but I can’t. I’ve also got lots of further ranting about this but life’s too short and I’ve already lost 37 minutes 51 seconds listening to the damn thing.

Play the below if you really have to, it is the shortest track on the album. I wouldn’t advise it however………

17/05 As a post script to the above (and to add insult to aural injury) I’ve just realised that Close To The Edge is included in “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” – Aargh! I need to find my X-Ray Spex CD and quickly………. 

Yes – Close To The Edge (1972) – CD

  • Close to the Edge
    • I. The Solid Time of Change
    • II. Total Mass Retain
    • III. I Get Up, I Get Down
    • IV. Seasons of Man
  • And You and I
    • I. Cord of Life
    • II. Eclipse
    • III. The Preacher, the Teacher
    • IV. The Apocalypse
  • Siberian Khatru

Rate – 0/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 22, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 16, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 517, Time: 38h 45m 41s

Cute In A Stupid Ass Way

If you have the good fortune to be taught by an inspirational teacher you find, as you grow older, that they have left an indelible mark on you. You may not think of them for years on end and then something happens and suddenly you remember them with such clarity it’s as if they’ve always been with you.

I was out with my good friend Mr B and Mr F last night and after a few drinks we were reminiscing about our teachers from 30+ years ago. After working through the key players who helped us build up relevant, and irrelevant, knowledge that is forever stuck in our brains (“the Sierra Nevada a block of igneous rock sloping gently to the west” – why did I ever need to know that?) we came across a collective space in our memories. There was one teacher who had been so ineffectual that he’d left an indelible blank. Like trying to capture a dream on waking the more we thought about him the more his name slipped from our grasp until, fuelled by further drinkage, the name Mr Atwell revealed itself.

Trying to remember his name had caused us so much aggravation that I agreed to record it here for posterity and as insurance against future moments of brain fade. So here it is once more – Mr Atwell.

We then moved onto the TV series ‘The Tomorrow People’ – not the awful US version that is briefly blighting our screens but the original UK series from the 70s. Cue opening credits –

Then Mr F reminded us that they used travel by ‘jaunting’. That’s right, whilst shows like Star Trek would have phasers, space ships, use tractor beams and have instructions to “Beam me up, Scotty” – we had the very English Tomorrow People based in a disused London Underground station with their computer (TIM) using bracelets to jaunt from place to place.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really used the word jaunt, after all I don’t live in the 1950s (having said that I am going to the Isle of Wight tomorrow……….). The closest I would have come to using it is in referring to someone wearing a hat at a jaunty angle, probably someone like Handsome Jack.

Handsome Jack is one of the names used by Scott Walker during ‘Jackie’ the opening track on his 1968 album ‘Scott 2’. Did you see what I did there? You thought all this tripe was just thrown together? Well it is but sometimes the tenuous links will appear as if by magic…

Scott 2 is an undeniable masterpiece as Walker continued moving away from chart hits (with The Walker Brothers) as he followed the path of musical freedom. An album of covers and some original Walker compositions, the matching of voice and orchestration means that this is more a collection of aural vignettes than the traditional pop songs he had been known for.

All human life is here as the darker side of experience is mixed with the occasional promise of hope and the album is all the better for it, as it gives a chance to discover – Jackie who moves through life from gigolo to ‘procurer of young girls’ and beyond, Billy who floats away like a balloon, the soldier losing his virginity in a mobile brothel, the Amorous Humphrey Plugg, a paean to the girls from the streets and the hope that Scott’s beloved will still be waiting for him in Spring.

Everyone should listen to this album at least once………

Scott Walker – Scott 2 (1968) – Vinyl

  • Jackie
  • Best of Both Worlds
  • Black Sheep Boy
  • The Amorous Humphrey Plugg
  • Next
  • The Girls from the Streets
  • Plastic Palace People
  • Wait Until Dark
  • The Girls and the Dogs
  • Windows of the World
  • The Bridge
  • Come Next Spring

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 21, Vinyl Singles – 16, LPs – 14, Downloads – 5

Total Tracks: 492, Time: 36h 20m 20s

Wash Over Me

After a day that could have been the one around which the phrase “it was just one of those days” was built you just need a good instrumental piece to wash over you.

Step up Mike Oldfield………..

I resisted listening to this for years on principle, it was so big when I was growing up that I was determined not to let it drag me in, but I eventually succumbed.

Tubular Bells

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (1973) – CD

  • Tracks
    • Tubular Bells, Part One
    • Tubular Bells, Part Two

    Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 7, Vinyl Singles – 10, LPs – 3, Downloads – 5, Total Tracks – 128, Time – 8h 37m 17s