I’ve talked about my favourite TV shows, films and videogames, so the last hobby to cover would be music. It’s time to highlight some of the best albums in music history!
Some quick rules – I’m only including one album per artist (I’ll give a runner-up to each just for fun, though) and I’m not picking any best-of / live albums.
Here are a few honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut:
- Thriller (Michael Jackson)
- Minecraft – Volume Alpha (C418)
- Inside (Bo Burnham)
And here are a few of my related blog posts:
20 – Are You Experienced (Jimi Hendrix)
Honourable Mention: Electric Ladyland
I tend not to delve into 60’s music unless it’s Beatles or Led Zeppelin, but the only other exception to this is Jimi Hendrix.
“Are You Experienced” is a psychedelic rock album full of absolute bangers, and tracks like “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady” fully deserve their esteem.
19 – Nevermind (Nirvana)
Honourable Mention: In Utero
Everyone loves a bit of Nirvana, and I’m no exception. There’s just something about the grungy sound and Cobain’s moody lyrics that seem to resonate with people of all ages.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a banger, of course, and others like “Lithium”, “Come As You Are” and “Something In The Way” are fantastic too.
18 – A Night At The Opera (Queen)
Honourable Mention: The Game
“A Night At The Opera” was when Queen reached legendary status, and songs like “You’re My Best Friend”, “The Prophet’s Song” and “Love Of My Life” are prime examples of their mastery.
For as good as those songs are, I’d be kidding myself if I said this album’s inclusion wasn’t purely for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, one of the greatest songs of all time.
17 – AM (Arctic Monkeys)
Honourable Mention: Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
A lot of people point to the first two Arctic Monkeys albums when talking favourites, but I’ve always had a soft spot for their smash-hit “AM”.
Tracks like “Arabella”, “R U Mine?” and “Do I Wanna Know?” are intrinsically catchy, and the mellow “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” is my favourite Arctic Monkeys song of all.
16 – LA Woman (The Doors)
Honourable Mention: The Doors (debut)
The Doors have such a unique sound, one that shaped the musical landscape of the 60’s, but my favourite album of theirs is actually from the following decade – “LA Woman”.
The title track is a frantic banger, the opener “The Changeling” is immensely underrated, and the two heavy-hitters “Love Her Madly” and “Riders On The Storm” deserve all the praise in the world.
15 – Led Zeppelin IV
Honourable Mention: Led Zeppelin II
You’d be hard-pressed to find a musical artist nowadays that isn’t influenced by Led Zeppelin in some way or another, and their second and fourth albums are some of the greatest in music history.
“Led Zeppelin IV” is a pure masterpiece from start to finish, with tracks like “Black Dog” and “When the Levee Breaks” providing the hard rock goodness. Oh, and “Stairway to Heaven” is decent too.
14 – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (Oasis)
Honourable Mention: Definitely Maybe
“(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?” is a record that consistently makes the list of greatest British albums, and for good reason.
This is Oasis at the peak of their powers, and tracks like “Wonderwall”, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and “Champagne Supernova” are now integral parts of British culture.
13 – Travelling Without Moving (Jamiroquai)
Honourable Mentions: The Return of the Space Cowboy / Synknronized
A lot of Jamiroquai’s discography is pretty interchangeable – it all sounds reasonably similar, but the album with the best consistency is “Travelling Without Moving”.
Just the opening two songs along – “Virtual Insanity” and “Cosmic Girl” – were enough to qualify it for this list, but others like the title track and “Alright” have some peak Jamiroquai grooves.
12 – The Stone Roses
Honourable Mention: n/a
The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut must have been absolutely mind-blowing when it released in the late 80’s – it doesn’t sound like any other rock album I’ve heard before or since!
“Fools Gold”, “I Am The Resurrection”, “I Wanna Be Adored”, “She Bangs The Drums” … it’s gold track after gold track, and I love every second.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t picked an honourable mention, that’s because “The Second Coming” isn’t my cup of tea – and that’s their only other album!
11 – Rumours (Fleetwood Mac)
Honourable Mention: Tango in the Night
Everyone and their dad’s favourite 70’s album, Fleetwood Mac struck gold when they made an album during a messy break-up period.
“The Chain”, “Gold Dust Woman” and “Songbird” are already phenomenal, but two of the greatest songs of all time are nestled in the tracklist – “Dreams” and “Go Your Own Way”.
10 – Lonerism (Tame Impala)
Honourable Mentions: The Slow Rush / Currents
It’s baffling to me how “Lonerism” is over a decade old – it still sounds as fresh today as it did 2012, and it remains Tame Impala’s magnum opus.
The themes of isolation and loneliness are conveyed expertly on tracks like “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?”, whilst other tracks like “Elephant” and “Apocalypse Dreams” provide the bangers.
Tame Impala is actually one of those bands that have never released a bad album – both “Currents” and “The Slow Rush” could have easily taken this spot on the list on another day.
9 – Sound of Silver (LCD Soundsystem)
Honourable Mentions: This Is Happening / american dream
From one band that never made a bad record to another, I had a tough time picking my favourite LCD Soundsystem album for this list. “american dream” is a great one, “This Is Happening” is growing on me, but “Sound of Silver” has a special place in my heart for being my gateway to the band.
The only track that I’m not fond of is “Watch the Tapes”, as otherwise the album is packed full of bangers. “Someone Great” is heart-breaking, “Get Innocuous!” is a fantastic opener, and “All My Friends” is one of the most anthemic songs of all time.
8 – Discovery (Daft Punk)
Honourable Mention: Random Access Memories
This was another really close choice – “Random Access Memories” has some of the best bops I’ve ever heard, but “Discovery” just has the X-Factor that makes Daft Punk so great.
“One More Time” is iconic, “Hard Better Faster Stronger” is a banger, and a slew of underrated tracks like “Face to Face” and “Voyager” means there’s never a dull moment.
7 – Plastic Beach (Gorillaz)
Honourable Mentions: Demon Days / Song Machine, Volume One
I didn’t think anything would ever top “Demon Days” as being my favourite Gorillaz album, but after a few listens of “Plastic Beach” I was enamoured.
It’s a flawless concept album, and the string of songs from “Rhinestone Eyes” to “Empire Ants” is one of the strongest in music history. If a song like “On Melancholy Hill” only just makes my top half of favourites, you know you’ve made a cracking album!
6 – In Rainbows (Radiohead)
Honourable Mentions: OK Computer / Kid A
I steered away from Radiohead for the longest time, seeing them as rivals to another band that I have coming up, but once I dipped my toes into their musical waters I caught the bug.
“OK Computer” and “Kid A” are sensational in their own right, but “In Rainbows” has always stood out to me as being the very best. It has bangers like “Bodysnatchers”, ballads like “Nude”, and jaw-dropping masterpieces like “Weird Fishes/ Arpeggi”. Brilliant from start to finish.
5 – Black Holes and Revelations (Muse)
Honourable Mentions: Origin of Symmetry / Absolution
Muse are one of those bands where I pretty much like every song from every album. “Origin of Symmetry” and “Absolution” are up there with the rock pantheon of greats, but “Black Holes and Revelations” is their definitive outing.
It starts and ends with a stunning opener (“Take a Bow”) and bombastic closer (“Knights of Cydonia” … or “Glorious” in the bonus editions), and everything in between from “Starlight” to “Supermassive Black Hole” gets me all riled up.
4 – Remain in Light (Talking Heads)
Honourable Mentions: Fear of Music / Speaking in Tongues
Talking Heads were the very first band that I fell head over heels for, and “Remain in Light” has always been their masterpiece.
They blend African polyrhythms like it’s nobody’s business, and tracks like “The Great Curve” and “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)” slap from start to finish. Oh, and “Once in a Lifetime” is the best song of all time.
3 – Station to Station (David Bowie)
Honourable Mentions: Low / Blackstar / The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
These top three albums are interchangeable on any given day, and “Station to Station” is always in with a shout at being my favourite.
It’s six tracks of Bowie perfection, and there’s never a dull moment. My only complaint, I suppose, is that I want more of it!
2 – The Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)
Honourable Mentions: Wish You Were Here / The Wall
Everyone who’s heard “The Dark Side of the Moon” knows exactly why I’ve ranked it so high. More so than any other Pink Floyd album, I think, it takes you on a musical journey to another world entirely.
“Money” and “Time” are two of the greatest songs ever, and deeper cuts like “Any Colour You Like” and “Breathe” feel like an out-of-body experience every single time.
1 – Abbey Road (The Beatles)
Honourable Mentions: Revolver / The White Album / Sgt. Pepper’s
The last album the Beatles ever recorded, and they saved the best ’til last.
Lennon provides the rock bangers with “Come Together” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”, McCartney pioneered the second-half medley, and Harrison comes in with two of the best songs ever – “Something” and “Here Comes The Sun”.
“Abbey Road” is an album that triumphs on every fundamental level, whilst also pushing songwriting and production to new, dizzying heights. For those reasons, it will always be my favourite album of all time.
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