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Thread: Your favourite top 10 albums

  1. #1

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

    Your favourite top 10 albums

    We've done this thing before, but it's been a few years now, and I can't remember the last time we did it, and I can't find the last thread for it.

    This was triggered in another thread by Gryzemuis. I replied to it there, but the more I thought about it, the more curious I got about what everybody else think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    What are your 10 favorite albums of all time ?

    Artists should appear not more than once on the list. It's only 10 entries. If you can't pick an album, you can combine two, or three, albums from one artist. E.g. if I wanted something from The Cure on my list, I'd put Seventeen Seconds/Faith/Pornography combined as one entry on the list. (FYI, that combination would not be in my top 10, but it would be in my top 100).
    No fads of the day. I'd like to hear what sticks.
    I'll start. I've trimmed my list down a bit to just be 10 albums. It's very hard for me to do so, my list would ideally be a lot longer, but those are the rules. 10. No more. :ahem: Here we go:

    Autechre: Tri Repetae (techno)
    Covenant: Sequencer (EBM/electronic noise-pop, absolutely perfect in every way)
    Depeche Mode: Black Celebration (electronic pop)
    Front Line Assembly: Tactical Neural Implant (EBM/techno/industrial)
    Kraftwerk: Computerwelt (genre defining electronic pop/techno)
    KMFDM: WWIII (industrial rock)
    Sisters of Mercy: Floodland (goth rock, except Eldritch always hated being labelled "goth")
    They Might Be Giants: Flood (quirky surreal alternative rock)
    Underworld: Dubnobasswithmyheadman (techno)
    VNV Nation: Empires (EBM/electronic pop)

    Ordered alphabetically, not by quality.

    It pains me to have to delete classics like Front 242 and Clan of Xymox and 808 State, and many others, but hey, 10 albums is the rule. I stand by my choice. What's yours?
    Boing. Peng. Boom-Tschak. Peng.

    System Shock 2 Walkthrough

  2. #2
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'm going to do this by albums with ratios of good songs, and restricting myself to 1 album per artist, but will add mentions about close calls with other albums:

    1 - Thriller - Michael Jackson (every single last song on this album is perfect)
    2 - Use Your Illusion 1&2 - Guns'n'Roses. I'm cheating a bit here as they are technically 2 separate albums. But they released at the exact same time, and really should have been a singular double album.
    3 - Melon Colie and the Infinite Silence - Smashing Pumpkins. The Siamese Dream album is a close second.
    4 - Dookie - Greenday - Every song on this album is gold.
    5 - Black Album - Metallica. Injustice for All, close second, Master of Puppets closely following.
    6 - The Real Thing - Faith No More. Angel Dust close second. King for a Day, Fool for a lifetime, gets third place.
    7 - Born to do it - Craig David
    8 - Deadwing - Porcupine Tree
    9 - Forever Blue - Chris Isaak
    10 - Machiavelli and the Four Seasons - T.I.S.M

  3. #3
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah good idea, it has been a while since we did one of these, and I like Gryz' idea of combining albums for artists where you're uncertain which is the best one.

    TOP 10!

    1. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
    2. Todd Snider - The Devil You Know
    3. MF DOOM - MM... FOOD/Madvillain
    4. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    5. Cake - Fashion Nugget/Comfort Eagle
    6. Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison
    7. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose
    8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Let Love In/Murder Ballads/The Boatman's Call
    9. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells/Elephant
    10. Björk - Debut/Post/Vespertine

    In lieu of descriptions, give em a listen, here's a 10-song Spotify playlist with some of my fave tunes from these albums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    They Might Be Giants: Flood (quirky surreal alternative rock)
    As it happens, I listened to this for the first time last week! Was scrolling through their discography and noticed "wow, this one has Birdhouse, Istanbul and Particle Man! I love those, bet the rest of the album will be great!" Sadly, aside from "Whistling in the Dark" none of the other tracks really stuck with me after the first listen.

  4. #4

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Oh, they will. They'll get stuck in your head and you'll never, ever be able to get them out again. Ever. Trust me on this. It's been 30 years and they're still in there.

  5. #5
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Spinning off the karmic wheel
    Top 10, in no particular order

    Abbey Road - The Beatles
    A Stranger in the Alps - Phoebe Bridgers
    A Black Mile To The Surface - Manchester Orchestra
    Glow and Fade - Kilbey Kennedy
    Between Dog and Wolf - New Model Army
    Heyday - The Church
    Priest=Aura - The Church
    man woman life death infinity - the church
    Disintegration - The Cure
    Rain Dogs - Tom Waits

    Alright, so I could have just listed 10 albums by the Church (a neo-psychedelic group from Australia most famous for their late 80s hit "Under the Milky Way"), but that would be no fun. Nonetheless, far and away my favorite group of all time, and I could just listen to them forever.

    Another vote for Rain Dogs, Tom Waits' best work (in, of course, my opinion).

    Abbey Road is a classic in all senses of the word. 2 stellar George Harrison songs, Come Together, Oh Darling!, the great medley on side 2. Even Ringo's contribution doesn't suck.

    Phoebe Bridgers' debut album is stunning. Also very sad. I quite like her voice. If you like folky sad music, find the song Funeral online & listen to it.

    Kilbey Kennedy is a side project of the lead singer from the Church. Glow and Fade is an album for Pink Floyd fans.

    Manchester Orchestra is an indie rock band from Georgia (USA). I liked individual songs off of their previous records, but never all of them. A Black Mile to the Surface is solid all the way through.

    New Model Army. A folk-punk band from Bradford, England. Been around since 1980. Never very popular here in the states. Political, but nuanced. I lost track of them after the mid 90s, but I heard a track or two off of Between Dog and Wolf, and got the album immediately. Very different from all their other output.

    Disintegration by the Cure. Very definitely goth, also pop. Also their best work.

  6. #6
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    1. Dark Side of the Moon- Pink Floyd
    2. I Robot- Alan Parsons Project
    3. The Stranger- Billy Joel
    4. News of the World- Queen
    5. Toys in the Attic- Areosmith
    6. Whatever and Ever Amen- Ben Folds Five
    7. Dreamboat Annie- Heart
    8. The Joshua Tree- U2
    9. The Book of Secrets- Loreena McKennitt
    10. Black Holes and Revelations- Muse
    11. Robot Hive Exodus- Clutch
    12. Hellbilly Deluxe- Rob Zombie
    13. The Strange Case of... - Halestorm
    14. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge- My Chemical Romance

    I went over. Sue me. It's roughly based on how they affected me at the time and there is sentiment mixed in with the decisions. Oddly no one Bowie or Beatles or Tom Petty album though I liked so many of their songs.

  7. #7

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I'm not here to enforce the rules, I'll happily leave that to Gryz, even though he didn't start this thread or might even be aware of it yet, I just pasted in what he said in another thread and that will serve as my basis here. And in that thread, I believe my top 10 was about 18 albums. I trimmed it down for this thread.

  8. #8
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    This is funny for me. I used to be all about top-10 lists and regularly kept a mental record of what my favourite albums are (a lot of my embarrassing music writing lives on in this forum). I haven't thought about it in a long time, though, and some of my so-called favourite albums I never really listen to anymore. So that being said, here's my revised list in no order.

    Steely Dan, Aja/Gaucho/Two Against Nature -- A three-way tie. I get why lots of people don't like Steely Dan, and I wish it wasn't my namesake here, but I still love these records so much; they have such depth and nuance. Steely Dan reminds me of summer road trips and Saturday night steak dinners with my family.

    LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver -- This is my coming-of-age album. I moved out of my parents' house to live with my bandmates and had a few fun years trying to make that work.

    Stars of the Lid, Avec Laudenum -- Really any Stars of the Lid record could go here, but this one is concise and mysterious and pretty much a perfect drone album.

    Tetsu Inoue, World Receiver -- My favourite of the 90s ambient/new age/synth albums. It reminds me of the kind of dreams you get during an afternoon nap

    Eluder, The Most Beautiful Blue -- A mostly unknown ambient album/artist that I discovered just as I was really becoming interested in the genre, and this one has stuck with me since. It's dark and swirling and relaxing but with a sense of urgency.

    Donald Fagen, Kamakiriad / Walter Becker, 11 Tracks of Whack -- Steely Dan solo albums that no one except me likes. Whatever.

    Tosca, Opera -- This was on my old list, and I think it still belongs here. Great classic downtempo but still weird and kinda ambient.

    Well, that's 10 albums, and half of them are Steely Dan or related. I've had this list open for a couple hours now, typing it out here and there while I work, and now that it's done I feel a little embarrassed at how similar it is to my old list.

  9. #9
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Hrm. Going through my music collection with this idea in mind really brings home just how much of my collection is old Greatest Hits/Best Of albums and newer singles (now that singles aren't as ridiculously overpriced). For this I'm going to focus on "original" albums which I like as a whole, in alphabetic order:

    At Sixes and Sevens by Sirenia (I have a pile of old Sirenia, of which this is the most listenable to me - Nine Destinies and a Downfall used to be my favorite but now I find it too depressing, lol)

    Dark Passion Play by Nightwish (Most Nightwish is very hit-or-miss to me, this one's almost all hits)

    Revival by Selena Gomez (not just 'cause she's naked on the cover, I swear)

    The Silent Force by Within Temptation (Somehow nothing like other Within Temptation albums)

    Speak Now by Taylor Swift (Ah the sheer lovely blatant cattiness of this album)

    Top Gun soundtrack (Ever feel the need for a shot of pure 80's?)

    Twilight by Woodland (Now this is an obscure group. I downloaded the samples, and listened to them - just samples - on repeat for two days straight before realizing I really needed to buy this, which turned out to be much more difficult than I'd imagined, lol)

    The Unforgettable Fire by U2 (My favorite U2 album, probably because I was youngish teen at the time)

    The Unforgiving by Within Temptation (Their breakout hit album, and for damn good reasons)

    Vinland Saga by Leave's Eyes
    Last edited by Pyrian; 16th Oct 2019 at 00:08.

  10. #10
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    I'm not here to enforce the rules, I'll happily leave that to Gryz, even though he didn't start this thread or might even be aware of it yet, I just pasted in what he said in another thread and that will serve as my basis here. And in that thread, I believe my top 10 was about 18 albums. I trimmed it down for this thread.
    I'm not gonna enforce rules either.
    The reason I asked Gray for his top 10 list was selfish. I noticed that there is a certain overlap between some of his music tastes and mine. It turns out it was less than I thought. Gray seems to like faster more aggressive electronic music. While I like the slower, more mellow electronic music (ambient, lounge, dark ambient, chillout, etc). I wanted to hear his top-10 (or top-50), just so I would get to know maybe a few albums that are worth it (for me).

    That's why I asked for "no beatles, no pink floyd". Because I already know those artists and songs. There's not much to discover there. Gray didn't include that "rule" in the copy&paste. But for me, that was kinda the essential point of me asking. I also mentioned that it was ok to include an entry that consisted of 2 or 3 albums by the same artist. If you can't chose, I wanna know, because then I can listen all 2 or 3 albums, to see if I like that music.

    I also included my own list of favorites later. Because I think many people might appreciate these albums, even if you are not into this type of music. I can understand how some people won't enjoy The Cramps. But I don't believe anyone wouldn't like "It'll End In Tears". E.g. "Worlds in a Small Room" is a truly beautiful album. Not niche at all. But I doubt many people have heard (of) it before.

    Anyway, here's my personal top 10. I hope someone enjoys discovering some songs they like, because of this list.

    1980-85 - Tuxedomoon - Half Mute/Desire/Holy Wars
    1981-83 - Durutti Column - LC/Another Setting
    1982 - Virgin Prunes - If I Die I Die
    1983-84 - Sisters Of Mercy - Alice/Reptile House/Temple Of Love/Body & Soul
    1984 - Dead Can Dance - Dead Can Dance
    1984 - This Mortal Coil - It'll End In Tears
    1985 - Jansen & Barbieri - Worlds in a Small Room
    1985 - The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
    1986 - SPK - Zahmia Lehmanni
    1988 - Harold Budd - The White Arcades
    1988-93 - Benjamin Lew - Nebka/Parfum Du Raki
    1995 - Tricky - Maxinquaye

    Some more "classic" albums that not enough people have heard.

    1980 - Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (everyone should listen to this one. unique sound)
    2015 - Atrium Carceri - The Old City - Leviathan (soundtrack of a game)
    1982 - The Cramps - Off The Bone (true rock&roll)
    1983 - The Gunclub - Miami
    1997 - Bran Van 3000 - Glee (suprisingly diverse album)
    1986 - Coil - Horse Rotorvator
    2004 - Nouvelle Vague - Nouvelle Vague (only listen if you like/know 80's new wave music)
    1969/1972 - Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left/Bryter Layer/Pink Moon (more well known these days, and rightly so)
    2001 - Neil Halstead - Sleeping on Roads
    1983 - Marine Girls - Lazy Ways
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 16th Oct 2019 at 05:13.

  11. #11
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    I treated this as if I were packing up 10 albums to take with me to a deserted island.

    Genesis - Selling England by the Pound (1973)
    Led Zeppelin III (1970)
    Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out (1959)
    Phish - Story of the Ghost (1998)
    Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
    Paul Simon - Graceland (1986)
    Glenn Gould - Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981 version)
    Grateful Dead - Reckoning (1981)
    Brand X - Moroccan Roll (1977)

    I followed the rule of one album per artist, no greatest hits or compilations. I also self-imposed a few more criteria that seemed important to me. My first criteria was that it has to be an album that I listen to as a complete album - all the way from beginning to end, every time I play it. Second, I only considered albums that I've owned for a long time and keep coming back to no matter how my musical tastes have changed. All of the above I've owned for at least 20 years.

    And yeah, that's only 9. After that, I couldn't decide what to put in the last spot. There's too many choices and I could pick any one of them depending on mood. Here's some honorable mentions:

    Gary Burton - Like Minds (1998)
    Shawn Colvin - A Few Small Repairs (1996)
    Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)
    Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (1975), or The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
    Barenaked Ladies - Gordon (1992)
    Infected Mushroom - Converting Vegetarians (2003)
    Leo Kottke - 6 and 12 String Guitar (1969), or Sixty Six Steps (2005 calypso record with Mike Gordon)
    Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978)
    Bruno Walter, Columbia Orchestra - Beethoven No. 6 "Pastoral" (1958)
    Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (2013 - too new)
    Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (2015 - also too new)

    It's a hard question because my answer leaves a whole lot of music I love not represented, from Metallica to Little Feat, Jimmy Buffett, The Clash, The Police, Rush, Gentle Giant, Vampire Weekend, Cut/Copy, Bela Fleck, Steely Dan, REM, bluegrass, chamber music, film scores...
    Last edited by heywood; 16th Oct 2019 at 19:08.

  12. #12
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: 0x0x0
    1)The Wall, Pink Floyd. Made me pick up a guitar and learn to sing. Changed my life.

    The rest in no particular order but all had a big impact on playing. Picked one album per group but pretty much have the lot of everything these groups and their members have done.

    Moving Pictures, Rush
    Live Killers, Queen
    The Nightfly, Donald Fagen
    Powerage, AC/DC
    Fair Warning, Van Halen
    You Don't Mess Around With Jim, Jim Croce
    Sad Wings of Destiny, Judas Priest
    Axis: Bold As Love, Hendrix
    Couldn't Stand the Weather, Stevie Ray Vaughn

  13. #13

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Ok, Gryz, if that's the plan, I'll make a list of fairly interesting stuff you might not have heard yet. I'll leave out the ones you already mentioned. A bit too tired to do that tonight though, but I'll put it on my to-do list.

    Two quick tips for slower, mellow electronic mildly jazzy pop would be Mono: Life in Mono (UK Mono, not Japanese noisy Mono, although they are also good but for a very different reason) and Mine: Mine (Swedish electronic jazz, melancholy and very pleasing, I can't find it on youtube, if you like I can send it to you). [Edit: oh, and possibly Sadovaja, a bit bouncier. I can find darker/noiser/happier/ligher stuff on demand, just trying to figure out what is too poppy and what isn't poppy enough.]
    Last edited by Gray; 20th Oct 2019 at 01:02.

  14. #14
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    By coincidence I have "Life in Mono" in my collection. I've listened to it a few times (a few years ago). It was ok, but didn't really make an impact. Mine is indeed hard to find. No need to send it yet, because I there's enough other music in this thread that I need to listen to first. (I'm listening to "Flood" while I type this).

  15. #15

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryzemuis View Post
    (I'm listening to "Flood" while I type this).
    Muahahahaha.... :rubs hands:


  16. #16
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    Location: Israel
    My list of int'l albums (I have a separate list of local music), in no particular order

    Tommy - The Who
    Transformer - Lou Reed
    A Night at the Opera - Queen
    Eldorado - ELO
    The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars - David Bowie
    Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
    The Crane Wife - Decemberists
    Funeral - Arcade Fire
    Ballad of the Broken Seas - Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan
    Hooverphonic Presents Jackie Cane - Hooverphonic

  17. #17

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Quote Originally Posted by sharonbn View Post
    Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young
    This makes me very happy. Thank you.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Oct 2013
    Location: Israel
    You could swap Rust Never Sleeps with any of his 70s albums, they are all masterpieces.

    regarding "electronic mildly jazzy pop", since Tricky was mentioned, then I assume you are already familiar with Martina Topley Bird. Her debut album, Quixotic, is superb. I also loved Sneaker Pimps' debut, "Becoming X" - highly recommended.

  19. #19

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    I have both. Both good.

  20. #20
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Neu - 75
    - basically the blueprint for punk, post-punk, and post-rock; no big deal really

    Harmonia - Deluxe
    - repackaged as the best Bowie album 2 years later

    Michael Rother - Flammende Herzen
    Cluster - Zuckerzeit
    - one person in 3 separate projects plus one he produced doesn't violate the "list an artist once" rule right

    Low - Secret Name
    Boards Of Canada - Music Has A Right To Children
    Squarepusher - Feed Me Weird Things
    - i'm buddy rich when i fly off the handle

    Harold Budd / Brian Eno - Ambient 2 The Plateaux Of Mirror
    - golly gee

    Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express
    - I feel like Ralf/Florian, Autobahn, or Radio-Aktivitat should be my favorite, but there's something about the Orchestron parts on this record that hits me in the feels; that, and it seems like it falls right in the middle of their earlier experimental albums and later electropop stuff

    Can - Ege Bamyasi
    Last edited by Jason Moyer; 25th Nov 2019 at 16:00.

  21. #21
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    I got another question for you all.

    Six months ago, I bought a sub-woofer. My stereo-system always sounded pretty good. But the bass was lacking a bit. (High and midtones are fantastic). Because I've started listening to music again last year, I started to notice the weak bass. So I bought a sub-woofer. I'm very happy with the result. All music sounds much more complete now.

    There are a few songs that I regularly play these days, because the sound of the bass is so exceptional.
    The song that shows this best is probably "Come Undone" by Trentemoller.
    (Track 4 on the album "Lost Reworks". NB There are multiple versions of this song).

    The drums sound loud, sharp and dry.
    But underneath the drums there's the keyboard. That sound is just amazing. I know of no other song where the bass sounds like that. I love it. The sound, the tone, of this song is unique. When listening to this on cheap speakers on a computer, it might not be impressive. But with a good stereo-system, and capable sub-woofer, it is.

    So my question to you:
    Do you know of any other songs that have such amazing, unique, low, loud bass ?

    (PS. Please no hiphop or heavy metal songs. I won't like those anyway. Anything else is welcome).

    Some other examples, but the base is not as overwhelming as Trentemoller.
    Alice by Pogo
    Il, Les Quitta A L'Aube by Benjamin Lew & Steven Brown
    Creeper by The Acid
    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 15th Mar 2020 at 13:03.

  22. #22
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    ^ Basically, look up anything Lorn's done.

  23. #23
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Thanks Sulphur. I'm still listening to Lorn's music, to decide if I like it or not. It hasn't grabbed me yet. But indeed, it has very low and very loud bass frequencies. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the suggestion.

  24. #24
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    I have a mix CD of tracks from my collection that I take around to audio dealers and shows for demos when shopping. Here's the ones I focus on for bass:

    Béla Fleck and the Flecktones - Flight of the Cosmic Hippo (song from album of same name)
    Trentemøller - Vamp
    LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver (song from album of the same name)
    Infected Mushroom - Suliman
    Royksopp - Skulls
    Donald Fagen - Morph the Cat
    Lyle Lovett - She's Already Made Up Her Mind
    Beastie Boys - Shake Your Rump

    These are not all deep bass. There's some in here that go deep, some loud, some fast and tight.

    And here a gimmicky track that bores me to death, but it's probably the most commonly suggested bass demo track if you ask around the internet:
    James Blake - Limit to Your Love

  25. #25
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Oh yeah, Morph the Cat has ridiculous bass for such a smooth kinda muzaky song.

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