When how you want

Another music meme: “Pick an album for every year of your life”.

I guess anyone born much before the mid-50s is going to have trouble with the early years, says Jim. You don’t know the half of it. I was born in 1960, and I’ve really struggled with anything before 1966. I like Rubber Soul well enough, and I think Another side of Bob Dylan is a really important album, but there’s no comparison with how strongly I feel about most of the later choices.

So my list starts in 1966 – around the time the clock stopped on popular music. Most of these are, in my opinion, seriously great albums; several of them are so great they’ve pushed out other great albums (Screamadelica, The Queen is Dead and the Beta Band’s 3 EPs are just some of the albums that surprised me by not making the list, not to mention anything by Robyn Hitchcock).

Share and enjoy. I think any three of these would give you a pretty good view of my mental soundworld, should you be interested in it.

1966 Bob Dylan Blonde on blonde
1967 the Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
1968 Family Music in a doll’s house
1969 Captain Beefheart Trout mask replica
1970 Soft Machine Third
1971 Anne Briggs Anne Briggs
1972 Nick Drake Pink Moon
1973 Faust the Faust tapes
1974 Eno Taking Tiger Mountain (by strategy)
1975 Patti Smith Horses
1976 Shirley Collins Amaranth
1977 David Bowie Heroes
1978 Wire Chairs missing
1979 the Homosexuals the Homosexuals’ record
1980 Elvis Costello Get happy!
1981 the Teardrop Explodes Wilder
1982 the Fall Hex enduction hour
1983 Laughing Clowns Laughter around the table
1984 Scott Walker Climate of hunter
1985 Yeah Yeah Noh Cutting the heavenly lawn of greatness… Last rites for the god of love
1986 Mighty Ballistics Hi-Power Here come the blues
1987 David Thomas and the Wooden Birds Blame the messenger
1988 Peter Blegvad Downtime
1989 Swans The burning world
1990 KLF Chill out
1991 The Orb The Orb’s adventures beyond the ultraworld
1992 Julian Cope Jehovahkill
1993 Underworld Dubnobasswithmyheadman
1994 Sabres of Paradise Haunted dancehall
1995 Tindersticks Tindersticks (second album)
1996 Future Sound of London Dead cities
1997 the Verve Urban hymns
1998 Embrace The good will out
1999 Clinton Disco and the halfway to discontent
2000 Godspeed you black emperor! Raise your skinny fists like antennas to heaven
2002 Simian We are your friends
2003 the Shins Chutes too narrow
2004 the Earlies These were the Earlies
2005 James Yorkston Hoopoe
2006 Beth Orton Comfort of strangers
2007 Radiohead In rainbows
2008 John Kelly Come all you wild young men


  1. Nick Carr
    Posted 15 July 2008 at 11:16 | Permalink | Reply

    Didn’t The Doors come out in 67?

  2. Posted 15 July 2008 at 14:43 | Permalink | Reply

    That’ll teach me to trust record labels. (It says 1971 on the label of my copy and 1973 on the sleeve. Very odd.) Well, it’s a fine album, but it doesn’t dislodge Pepper. That gives me a vacancy in 1971, which lets me get some more folk in. Sorted.

  3. Posted 15 July 2008 at 18:05 | Permalink | Reply

    Very odd indeed given that Morrison died in 1971. Or perhaps “died”…

    I reckon I’ve only heard four of your list all the way through. And that includes the first two.

  4. Posted 19 July 2008 at 01:54 | Permalink | Reply

    What can I say, except that you’re a big Julian Cope fan. Wouldn’t it have been a blast if he continued with Mac and Paul Simpson and made an album instead of splintering back in Liverpool then. Oh, what ifs?

    Love, T-Rex,Joy Div, The Smiths? Well, can’t put in everything. At least there’s The Fall! Can’t even start with my list or I’d go bonkers.

    Lively subject.

  5. Posted 19 July 2008 at 17:58 | Permalink | Reply

    I was only sort of interested in your list at first – some great picks and some that I was only marginally familiar with. But when I saw “Blame the Messenger” (an incredible, lost classic!) I knew I had some homework and listening to do…

  6. Posted 23 July 2008 at 11:41 | Permalink | Reply

    My own attempt is here.

  7. Posted 29 August 2008 at 21:26 | Permalink | Reply

    It’s funny, I have a bit of a grá for “The Good Will Out” by Embrace too…

  8. Posted 6 September 2008 at 17:23 | Permalink | Reply

    My first year is easy: Beatles ’65. Great album, currently only available in the Capital Albums boxed set.

    I pick Another Green World by Eno for the current year because I bought the CD and finally heard it for the first time. Is that acceptable, or does the album have to be released in the year it represents? Stupid memes.

  9. Gary Taylor
    Posted 14 February 2010 at 19:06 | Permalink | Reply

    Feel’s good to have been a band member on your 1986 album choice.. thank you very much! Will tell Chris & Steve to take a look at your website! Cheers

  10. Phil
    Posted 14 February 2010 at 19:41 | Permalink | Reply

    Cheers, Gary. That really was an excellent album – the Matchless EP was top, too. What happened to the band after that?

    • Gary Taylor
      Posted 15 February 2010 at 02:30 | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Phil. Well.. we split up, I was fed up of living on the dole and felt (probably wrongly) that we were hitting a wall so I left. Trev and Steve felt the same way and also threw in the towel. Chris however who was the brains of the whole outfit ie: lyrics and a lot of the music tried to carry on but found it very hard without us so had to quit. He does still talk to us but I would not have blamed him if he did’nt. I came up with quite a few of the ideas to make the dub work live, for example the endless wiring headaches of echo pedals and stuff… so I did play a good part towards it all. I still write some dub stuff it’s under the name papagrey on dubtronic via a friends website/esnips and facebook. It’s pc stuff on my small studio (a laptop, a bass, a guitar & a midi keyboard). Chris has a studio and has been making dub tunes for a long while. Will be helping him setup a somewhat smaller pc studio soon and will try and get him to release his songs online.

      • Gary Taylor
        Posted 15 February 2010 at 02:34 | Permalink

        Sorry it’s dubtrec not dubtronic it’s my age you know born 1960 :(

  11. Gary
    Posted 24 October 2011 at 16:16 | Permalink | Reply

    If you want any mp3’s of the MB stuff let me know

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Phil Edwards […]

  2. […] and counting… September 6, 2008 Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture. trackback Noticed this over at The Gaping Silence, and very good it is too. Take every year of your life and think of an […]

  3. […] one for each year of my life so far. It’s something I’ve been meaning to post since I read about the idea on Phil Edwards’ blog – almost two years ago. Still, I got there in the […]

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