Tuesday, July 08, 2008

One album per year

There's this blog post on the avclub where you're supposed to pick an album for every year you've been alive, and huge music geek that I am, I had no choice but to participate. There were a few tough calls, but I'm generally happy with the results. I will stand behind every last choice as a stone-cold classic, and I think overall the list stands as a pretty good representation of my range of musical tastes (there would be more folk music had I been born earlier in the seventies). Apologies to Reverend Glasseye: it was a tough call, but Johnny Dowd was the sentimental favorite. Also to Manic Street Preachers: if it makes you feel any better, there's no way you would have been supplanted by the Handsome Family had I written this five years ago.

1979: Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Armed Forces

1980: Tom Waits, Heartattack and Vine

1981: Ultravox, Rage in Eden

1982: Joe Jackson, Night and Day

1983: Heaven 17, The Luxury Gap

1984: Soft Cell, This Last Night in Sodom

1985: The Pogues, Rum, Sodomy & the Lash

1986: Stan Ridgway, The Big Heat

1987: Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses

1988: Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man

1989: The Cure, Disintegration

1990: Marc Almond, Enchanted

1991: Ray Fisher, Traditional Songs of Scotland

1992: Oysterband, Deserters

1993: James, Laid

1994: Suede, Dog Man Star

1995: Blur, The Great Escape

1996: Steeleye Span, Time

1997: Jim White, (Mysterious tale of how I shouted) "Wrong-Eyed Jesus!"

1998: The Handsome Family, Through the Trees

1999: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style

2000: 16 Horsepower, Secret South

2001: Johnny Dowd, Temporary Shelter

2002: Mary Gauthier, Filth & Fire

2003: Calexico, Feast of Wire

2004: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Abattoir Blues

2005: Decemberists, Picaresque

2006: Legendary Shack Shakers, Pandelirium

2007: Strawfoot, Chasing Locusts

2008: Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Cipher

2009: Sparks, The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman

2010: Munly & the Lupercalians, Petr & the Wulf


Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

The problem with this is that a lot of my favourite albums are grouped around the years 1989 and 1993-1994. For instance, The Cure's Disintegration, The The's Mind Bomb, and New Order's Technique all came out in 1989. Suede, Blur and Massive Attack all compete for the 1994 title, and there's no way I can choose between Underworld and James for 1993...

- SK

1:24 PM  
Blogger GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

Yeah, some years definitely had more candidates than others. I had a policy of only including one album per artist so as to make the list more interesting, which made some decisions a little easier. But sometimes, one had to simply CHOOSE! Be heartless! For the greater glory of the Republic!

1:45 PM  
Blogger GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

...I'm still not altogether happy about 1984, though. Ultravox? Really? Not The Smiths? Not Echo and the Bunnymen? I don't know, man. I just don't know.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Fun post, good albums. I'm going to have to protest Blur's Great Escape in 1995 and select Pulp's Different Class instead - I think, at the time and even now, it was a better quality and more relevant album. And how could you skip Oasis' Definitely Maybe for 94? Come on now :P


9:31 PM  
Blogger GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

'95 was more or less a toss-up; it really could've gone either way. I must maintain, however, that your assessment of The Great Escape is dead wrong. Blur never recorded anything better.

'94 was an easy choice, however. Oasis is great in their own way, but at their best, they would never have been able to do anything as thrillingly romantic as "The Wild Ones," as elegantly sordid as "The Asphalt World," or as simply sublime as "Still Life." It's simply not in their DNA. And Liam Gallagher's bellowing sounds awfully crude compared to Brett Anderson's tortured crooning. It's all just an aesthetic preference, I suppose, but for my money, there's no comparison.

2:36 AM  
Blogger GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

EUREKA. I now have the perfect 1984 album. How could I forget about Soft Cell?

4:03 AM  
Blogger GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

Updated for 2009!

6:25 PM  
Blogger Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX pontificated to the effect that...

Updated for 2010. Also, rejiggered so as not to violate the one-artist-only rule. Also feeling bummed out that Gabrielle (the anonymous "G," above) decided for some reason to decisively cut ties with all her old friends.

11:28 PM  

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