The top ten albums, ever. Period.

Everyone loves lists, apparently. So here goes. By the way, I don’t believe in top ten lists. Subjective, subjective, subjective, plus dependent on which way the wind is blowing. And yes, they are of a certain era. Feel free to ignore this post.

Quadrophenia by The Who
There’s something about going down to Brighton and railing at the sea; I can’t get enough.

Late for the sky by Jackson Browne
I used to play this in the car and cry my eyes out. Still a sad and beautiful work.

Station to Station by David Bowie
Pure paranoid beauty, swirling Slick guitar and electronic noises, from Bowie’s Golden Years.

Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
At the time, everyone said that Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands was no match for Desolation Row; yet I find it intoxicating. Another favourite is Visions of Johanna; and not forgetting Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat.

This Year’s Model by Elvis Costello
My introduction to EC was when John Peel made Less than Zero his big single of the week. A couple of years later I had the privilege of seeing EC and the Attractions in full flow on the This Year’s Model tour: it really was “Pump it up, until you can feel it”. Sublime combination of primal energy and cerebral wit.

Layla by Derek and the Dominoes
It’s the guitar, and the emotion, and the fine songs; the tradition and the moment; sweet and sour; immaculate.

Liege and Lief by Fairport Convention
I’m struggling here, as two of my self-imposed rules for this list are first, no compilations, and second, no more than one for each artist. So I’m looking for a Fairport album with Meet on the Ledge, Who knows where the time goes, and Matty Groves. There are several live albums that would fit; but it’s the early studio albums I go back to most often, so I’m picking Liege and Lief; after all, how could I omit Crazy Man Michael?

The Four Seasons by Vivaldi; Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields
I gather this is a remarkably non-authentic rendition of Vivaldi’s played-to-death masterpiece; yet it has a certain magic and drama that I rarely find elsewhere.

Hearts and Bones by Paul Simon
According to the All Music Guide that this was a “commercial disaster”; I don’t know why because it’s my favourite of Simon’s works, maybe a bit twee in places, but it resonates with me because I think too much and agree with him about cars.

On the Beach by Neil Young
I started on the beach and that’s where I’ll finish.

Is that it? What a dull list. How conventional. How introspective. Why nothing by John Lennon, or King Crimson, or R.E.M., or Talking Heads, or The Cure, or Tom Waits, or Velvet Underground? Can’t answer that; but perhaps I’ll do another list tomorrow.