My Top Sixty-Five Albums of All Time

Last Saturday I was a bit bored and decided to make a list of my favourite albums of all time. I thought it would take about an hour but it has actually taken me more like ten hours; I just finished it now. It was a lot harder than I expected and even up to the last minute I was changing things. A lot of good memories came up during this process and so it was probably time well spent. I’m a bit surprised by the number of albums that were released before I was born.

When I was a youngster my favourite thing in the world was going to people’s houses and rummaging through their record collection. We still had proper vinyl albums back then but CDs were starting to become popular as well. I always thought that a record collection says a lot about a person. Surprisingly I felt a bit nervous about sharing my top Sixty-five albums on here – what will it say about me.

Some people may wonder why I have provided a top sixty-five. Well, the honest answer is that I didn’t have another ten hours to spare and it seemed like as good a number as any. I welcome any comments on my choices here.

Top 10

1 Nick Drake – Bryter Later (1970)
2 Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
3 Pixies – Doolittle (1989)
4 Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (1977)
5 The Beatles – The White Album (1968)
6 Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)
7 The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle (1968)
8 The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)
9 Billy Bragg – Talking to the Taxman about Poetry (1986)
10 R.E.M. – Automatic for the People (1992)

Top 11 – 20

11 The Pogues – Red Roses for Me (1984)
12 Blur – Parklife (1994)
13 David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)
14 Pixies – Bosanova (1990)
15 The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)
16 Nick Drake – Pink Moon (1972)
17 The Clash – The Clash (1977)
18 The Beatles – Beatles for Sale (1964)
19 U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
20 Levellers – The Levellers (1993)

Top 21 – 30

21 Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
22 The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
23 David Gray – White Ladder (1998)
24 The Clash – Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
25 The Beatles – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
26 Nirvana – Unplugged (1994)
27 U2 – Boy (1980)
28 The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)
29 The Cranberries – Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993)
30 Bob Marley – Legend (1984)

Top 31-40

31 REM – Out of Time (1991)
32 John Lennon – Imagine (1971)
33 Donovan – Greatest Hits (1968)
34 Radiohead – The Bends (1995)
35 Billy Bragg – Brewing UP With Billy Bragg (1984)
36 The Wonder Stuff – Never Loved Elvis (1991)
37 The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash (1985)
38 The Frames – For the Birds (2001)
39 U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)
40 Rage Against the Machine – Rage Against the Machine (1992)

Top 41-50

41 The Levellers – Levelling the Land (1991)
42 Thin Lizzy – Dedication (1991)
43 Deacon Blue – When the World Knows Your Name (1988)
44 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)
45 Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left (1969)
46 Damien Dempsey – Seize the Day (2003)
47 Big Country – The Crossing (1983)
48 Squeeze – 45s and Under (1982)
49 Crowded House – Woodface (1991)
50 George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (1970)

Top 51-60

51 Jamiroquai – Emergency on Planet Earth (1993)
52 Beach Boys- Pet Sounds (1966)
53 Half Man Half Biscuit – Back in the DHSS (1985)
54 Elliot Smith – From a Basement on a Hill (2004)
55 Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman (1988)
56 Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975)
57 Sterophonics – Performance and Cocktails (1999)
58 The Smiths – Meat is Murder (1985)
59 Pulp – Different Class (1995)
60 The Jam – Snap (1983)

The Bottom 5 (still great albums)

61 Madness – Absolutely (1980)
62 David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)
63 Rod Stewart – The Best of Rod Stewart (1989)
64 Once – Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (2006)
65 Alexander O’Neal – Hearsay (1987)

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37 thoughts on “My Top Sixty-Five Albums of All Time

  1. What a fantastic project Paul. I couldn’t begin to pare my favs down as I’m too flaky. I don’t really stick to one or another – I go from Dinah Washington to ACDC and back.

    I can mention a few off the top of my head though…

    Alison by Elvis Costello
    Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira
    Cabaret by Liza Minnelli

    … and now I’d better get back to my chores.

    PS: I’m one of those who gather in collections like the Rolling Stones Mag top 500 songs + the 1000 songs everyone must hear… great stuff.
    Catherine recently posted..A Thai Learning Thai- Lani- Part 2

    1. I love these types of lists because I always come across music I’ve missed. ACDC? Are you a bit of a headbanger and air guitarist? 🙂

      It would be great if WLT had a top 100 Thai songs – hint.

        1. Hi Martyn, I like Sek Loso too. He did a song on the “Black and White” album that was pure Kurt Cobain – including the screaming chorus. I can’t remember what the song was called.

  2. Paul, I’m normally into softer music – electric guitars usually give me a blinding headache.

    ACDC was all down to a guy I was sooooooooo hot about at one time. He was an ACDC fan (obviously) . We’ve long since split and I came away with a liking for the old ACDC albums. The lyrics are crude, but the memories… ah… the memories… sweet.
    Catherine recently posted..A Thai Learning Thai- Lani- Part 2

    1. I wonder if that guy had long hair then and if he still has now. During my mid twenties my hair was below my shoulders – look at me now 🙁 I once made fun of spam heads but now I am one.

  3. No, he was clean cut. And as his father (equally gorgeous) had a full head of hair at that time, he’s sure to have kept his. But no hair at all is ok too. Most women don’t mind as it does not detract from looks, but men do seem to be bothered by their lack.

  4. Paul, while everyone’s musical tastes are different you sure ticked off quite a few boxes for me.

    Any list that didn’t contain Thin Lizzy and Rod Stewart would definitely be given a miss. And Madness…gotta love Madness.

    Some I would have on my list:

    Genesis- Selling England by the pound
    Rory Gallagher- Wheels within Wheels or Big Guns
    Iron Maiden- Any album
    Mariillion Script for a jesters tear
    Blind Melon- Blind Melon
    Talen recently posted..The Elephant of 33 Heads- The Erawan Museum- Bangkok

  5. Paul, I’m afraid I’m on the ‘do not like long hair on guys’ side.

    I have dated guys with long hair.

    But it’s too much like dating ugly women so I’d rather give it a miss.

  6. I am a a bit embarrassed being a drummer, a huge fan of music as well as an aficionado of rock star biographies (they got high and died so I wouldn’t have to) that I rarely listen to entire albums anymore. Once compact discs came out, and I could fast forward to my favorite hit songs. Maybe need to collect vinyl.

    1. When I moved to Thailand I stopped listening to albums for a few years. I’ve only started back recently and it has been a rewarding decision. I would love to get a vinyl collection.

    1. I’ve lost so many albums over the years. At the time it never seemed like such a big deal, but I regret it now. In my twenties I gave away a bin liner full of CDs because I was entering a recovery program and worried that my music would remind me too much of alcohol. I also regretably once sold a girlfriend’s music collection for booze – something I’m deeply ashamed of.

  7. I have heard Joe Perry went totally broke and his wife sold his beloved Les Paul to pay the bills… rock and roll is a dangerous business.

    I read in your book how you sold the music collection. Were it just some Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond albums it might be forgivable and indeed a heroic act but if you were selling first edition Beatles 45’s you might fear the Lord of Rock and Roll plaguing you in eternity… or maybe you’ll just reincarnate as Boy George!

    1. Hi Dave, from what I remember the collection included; Belinda Carlyle, Transvision Vamp, Guns ‘n’ Roses, and the Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack. Maybe I was saving her from herself – bad joke.

  8. Hi Paul,

    Good to see somebody’s faves! Surprised by your # 1, not too many people know Nick at all. A very ‘English’ list by the way.
    The only ‘unknowns’ to me are #64 and #65.

    Undertones, Buzzcocks and Wire (Pink Flag) would be in my top 10, as would Neil Young be. The German band ‘Can’ (Soundtracks) would be very high on my list too! The Beach Boys, Big Star, the First ‘The Fall’ album, Cream, “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young”, Devo, Feelies, Zappa(!!!!), Funkadelic, Gram Parsons, Iggy Pop & the Stooges, Johnny Cash, Led Zep, ahhh, too many to choose from.

    When I moved to Thailand I sold my complete collection, 45’s, LP’s, 10″, T-shirts, cd’s, posters, you name it. Turned out that later I build our family house out of that money that we live in nowadays! There were a few collector items amongst them which raised a bit of money. My ‘previous live’ was in the music industry, alternative music.

    Saw Loso a few times live, the best part of their set was always a couple of Hendrix songs with feedback and such, completely confusing the crowds! Excellent stuff, hahaha.

    Good Thai bands are hard to find, too much love songs and ‘cater to girls’ bands.
    Camille recently posted..Camilles Samui Info blog- Koh Samui- Thailand daily weather update 28th November- 2010 delicious

    1. Thanks Camille, I have missed out a lot of great bands and albums. There is just so much good stuff out there to choose from. I think it would be great if something like punk hit Thailand; I can’t see it ever happening though.

  9. Interesting list Paul, even I miss some of my favourites like; Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Manfred Man, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, or some Blues folks. But generally I have to admit, it’s a great list.

    I would not know where to start such a list and I guess it would take me days just to get a top 20 going.

    My Thai favourite is Carabao…

    1. Hi Paco, the reason why this list took so long was because I had to decide who wouldn’t be on it – this wasn’t easy at all. I highly recommend doing your own list; it’s sort of therapeutic mixed with a walk down memory lane 🙂 Carabao are a good Thai band for sure; I prefer Sek Loso though.

  10. Well Paul, believe me, I tried once to make my top ten list in an other forum, but could never finish it. There are just too many albums out there that would make my top ten, and they change depending on my mood as well.

    Maybe for me, it would make things a little bit easier to have different top ten lists, like one for Rock, one for Ballade like music, one for Oldies, one for Spanish/Latin music, one for female singers, one for Thai music and maybe one for newer music? Still difficult. LOL can’t even make up the different list…

  11. Nice list Paul – I agree with about half of those. Who’d have guessed our taste is so similar?

    I don’t know “albums” as I usually listen to the mp3’s I grabbed from Napster years back. Don’t know what albums the songs go with.

    Here are some other favorites besides some that you mentioned (Smiths, Pixies, Bowie, U2, Radiohead, Joy Division, Tracy Chapman, Nirvana, REM)…

    I also like:

    The English Beat (ska type)
    Old Depeche Mode
    Old Sting
    Talking Heads
    Natalie Merchant
    Billy Holiday – anything by her, love that.
    Hawaiian Songs – especially with Ukelele
    Morlam music from Isaan
    Suzanne Vega
    Innocence Mission
    The Sundays
    Some Elton John
    Neil Young
    Led Zeppelin

    Lots of different stuff. Youtube is great for finding new music. I found Placebo on there – great band.

    Ok, cheers man…

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