- Big Brother & The Holding Company - Cheap Thrills: aka "Janis Joplin sings the hell out of every note like her life depended on it".
- Sinead O'Connor - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got: I'm pretty sure going off the absurd title this was during here "burning pictures of the Pope" phase. With music this mundane no wonder she needed such crazy publicity stunts to get by.
- The Who - Live At Leeds/Sarah Vaughan - Sarah Vaughan At Mister Kelly's/James Brown - Live At The Apollo/Deep Purple - Machine Head, Made In Japan
Of course the one which gets heralded as the holy grail of all live albums is The Who's Live At Leeds. Quite rightly too, as it does what all great live albums should do and that's showcase an act at their peak and giving you a greater energy than they ever could on a studio record. "Summertime Blues" and "My Generation" were incredible. Maximum R'n'B indeed.
Equally powerful was Jame Brown's Live At The Apollo, which illustrated what a well oiled machine him and his touring band were, blistering through the likes of "I'll Go Crazy" and "Night Train".
Sarah Vaughan At Mister Kelly's is a great illustration of how the live album could showcase a jazz vocalist, with Vaughan sounding sumptuous on "September In The Rain" and hilariously improvising when forgetting the lyrics to "How High The Moon".
Deep Purple's Made In Japan is also talked about fondly, and was one of those rare live albums that proved to be the breakthrough for the band (that's how good the album was). Although listening to their best studio album Machine Head it's hard to see why people weren't getting it at first, "Highway Star" and "Smoke On The Water" were immense.
- M.I.A. - Kala:
Also, this reminds me of the time my friend found this picture on Myspace(!) years ago:
As some of you know I'm a massive R.E.M. fan, so this picture put a massive smile on my face. It brought an even bigger one to my face when said friend said "This could so be us in 10 years time". I'd be the one looking like Michael Stipe, obviously, there's no way I'll ever look as good as Maya!
- Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland, Axis:Bold As Love, Are You Experienced?
Axis:Bold As Love was perhaps the trippiest of the bunch and perhaps didn't make as strong an impression as the other two, but "Little Wing" and "If 6 Was 9" are undeniably great.
Electric Ladyland is full of the blistering riffs and highlights the incredible command Jimi had of his guitar - "Crosstown Traffic", "All Along The Watchtower" and my all time favourite Hendrix song "Voodoo Child" all stand out as you'd expect.
For me though Are You Experienced? is the best of the lot. Truly one of the great debut albums, tracks like "Foxey Lady", "Manic Depression", "Fire" and "Third Stone From The Sun" illustrate how masterful Jimi could fuse psychedelia and funk in with incredible guitar play.
- Korn - Follow The Leader
- Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back!: You bet your arse he's back! Although in hindsight the tracks I most enjoyed/the more famous tracks ("Are You Lonesome Tonight", "It's Now Or Never") only appeared on the reissue. Ah well.
- Miriam Makeba - Miriam Makeba: This was an unexpected gem. South Afirca's Makeba mixes both America and African style jazz to great effect. Really stands out from what other female singers were doing at the time.
- Michael Jackson - Thriller
- Duran Duran - Rio
- Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring
- The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out: More like timeless. Often imitated, never bettered, this album is the pinnacle of jazz. "Take Five" and "Unsquare Dance" are now so ubiquitous you can't imagine life without them.
- Ali Farka Toure - Savane, Talking Timbuktu (with Ry Cooder): These albums are the very definition of chill out music. Fantastic guitar play and such a relaxing pace.
- Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
The only tracks of hers I ever enjoyed were "You Know I'm No Good" and "Love Is A Losing Game" because Winehouse kept those two personalities completely separate. The latter being utterly timeless and proof that her voice was something to behold when clean.
Anyway I'm glad I got that off my chest.
- Morrissey - You Are The Quarry: This is often heralded as a great return to form for Moz, but I really didn't think this was anything special. Nothing lyrically holds a candle to his past work. "First Of The Gang To Die" is great though.
- Ozomatli - Street Signs: Well this one came out of nowhere for me. An absolutely fantastic blend of rock, gypsy, Moroccan and Latino jazz and hip-hop. The diversity alone makes this a complete and utter triumph, but the intensity of the delivery is the icing on the cake.
- Big Star - #1 Record: You need a lot of guts to give your album that title, but boy was this an enjoyable album. Really sweet and harmonic. Top class stuff.
- Kanye West - College Dropout
- Missy Elliott - Supa Dupa Fly
- Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness: I enjoyed this record but not as much as Siamese Dream. There's some of their best work on here like "Tonight, Tonight" and "1979" but the trouble is this is a double album, and at time it really drags in my view.
- The Cardigans - First Band On The Moon: Before crime drama, Scandanavia's top export was good quality pop music, like this gem from The Cardigans. Nina Persson's voice has always been a favourite of mine, and really is delightful on the likes of "Lovefool".
- Pet Shop Boys - Very: I can't hear "Go West" without singing "Oooo-arrrrrrr! It's Ambrosia!"
- Frank Black - Teenager Of The Year: A.K.A Pixies' lead singer Black Francis. Ignore the Operation Yewtree-baiting title and just enjoy the exhilarating guitars at play.
- The Isley Brother - 3+3: Regular readers who aren't bots trying to share malware with me will probably have gathered I love me a bit of disco and soul. So unsurprisingly I adored this record. "Summer Breeze" sounded fantastic in the good weather the other week.
- Joanna Newsom - Ys
- Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
- The Everly Brothers - A Date With The Everly Brothers
- John Prine - John Prine
- Count Bassie - The Atomic Mr Bassie
- Jack Elliott - Jack Takes The Floor
- Ray Charles - The Genius Of Ray Charles
- Air - Moon Safari
- The Icarus Line - Penance Soiree
- Method Man - Tical
- Marylin Manson - Antichrist Superstar
- Lightning Bolt - Wonderful Rainbow
- Simple Minds - New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84
- John Lee Hooker - The Healer
- Leftfield - Leftism
- Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust, Dig Your Own Hole
So, time to get cracking on with the other 452 then. See you round.