January 12th, 2008

Stuffed CD

My Top 50 Albums

Yesterday, liamtreasure challenged me top compile a list of my top fifty albums. For some insane reason, I have accepted the challenge despite the fact that I find even a top ten to be close to impossible. I already disagree with this list; I doubt I could ever make a list that I would stand behind for more than five minutes. However, I do feel that it is a very strong selection of music. The criteria is somewhat confused and I have not quite established whether this is a best or favourite fifty, but I did enforce a couple of guidelines:

1. The release must be a studio album. No EPs, singles, live albums, compilations, etc. I am permitting just one exception: The Shadows. Their best material was released in 1960-62, when the single rather than the album was dominant, so the easiest way to get their material is via compilations. As The Shadows have been so influential on my musical tastes, it would be wrong to omit them, so the compilation I own is on the list.
2. Once five Porcupine Tree and two Blackfield albums appeared in the top 25, I said "that's it, no more". This isn't a Steven Wilson And Friends list. I am fairly confident that had I kept going, every Porcupine Tree album apart from On The Sunday Of Life would have made it, and at least another album from one of his side projects would be floating around too. I otherwise felt no need to limit any band.

One of my concerns was high placings for albums that are very recent and yet to stand the test of time - however, this is a snapshot of my opinions right now, so my qualms about including releases from the last few years is thus pretty minimal. I've provided brief explanations of why I like each album or what it sounds like, but I have tried to keep it brief - more successfully in some places than others.

So here goes!

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That was very hard. I'm really only confident in my top three. Regardless of the order and what I may remove in future, these are all fantastic albums that are well worth a listen and they come highly recommended from me.