1001 albums - Chapter #1

In January 2018 I decided to give myself a musical education and try to work my way through as many "must listen" albums as possible (1001 are conveniently listed here). Here are my thoughts ... 

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (1977)

The album that is part responsible for inspiring this little musical expedition after listening back to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack and forgetting how brilliant The Chain is. Over time, I have heard pretty much all of the tracks on this album somewhere or other but never have I sat and digested them all in one go. Why? I have no good explanation and I’m incredibly sad that I hadn’t done so until last week. I have been told, and would have to agree, had I listened to this a few years back, this would have definitely been one of my go-to albums and so I’m going to rectify this and listen to it at least a hundred times more. Will it earn a place on “the shelf” someday? It’s quite possible. (Note: “The shelf” is our joint record collection filled with vinyl that I believe I will never grow tired of and will want to pass down to my children, should they ever exist. Not a lot of albums make it, but an original Spice Girls’ “Spice” currently has a spot, so judge as you see fit and I will happily argue the toss).

Black Flag - Damaged (1981)

Black Flag are a band I have always wanted to like in a desperate attempt to justify all of the times I wore one of their t shirts without the ability to name 10 songs. Feel free to click away now if you so wish. I enjoyed this a lot actually, maybe more so than in previous sporadic listens. Perhaps I could have chosen the listening environment more wisely, which was sat at my desk, wearing headphones, ideally you should be on your feet, preferably cramped next to a bunch of like-minded people and at an un-safe distance to a very loud PA. Admittedly, I think part of the reason I have never gone back to Black Flag is that I’m not a huge follower of Henry Rollins (who I recently noticed was in the terrible Christmas movie, Jack Frost. Weird). I’ve been to his spoken word live show and whilst everyone in the audience seemed to lap up every bit of his apparently non-preachy, dialogue, I for one, found it to be exactly that. But this, a fast, aggressive collection of 1 and 2 minute songs, was thankfully everything but and something I will definitely listen to again. Now, where is that t shirt?

Lynrd Skynrd -Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd (1973)

So many good memories came flooding back when I listened to this eight-track record of triple-guitar led southern rock. Another record in which I have heard the majority of its contents multiple times but never in the intended order. That’s mainly thanks to my old boss who had great taste in music and always had it blasting through the speakers in our old store. Stocking shelves is much more fun when you can shuffle along to Black Sabbath. I have always loved "Simple Man" and "Tuesday’s Gone", they are simply gorgeous songs, and of course "Free Bird" (slightly spoiled by the fact I could never finish it in Guitar Hero II). I’ve been meaning to listen to this in full for some time so I enjoyed this one a lot.

Air - Moon Safari (1998)

A recommendation from a friend at work. When I was at school, only the cool scene kids listened to French electronic music so I never felt it was my lot in life to join them. This album’s most famous track “Sexy Boy”, has been used many times in film and TV along with several others, so much of this record is instantly recognisable. I like this a lot, it’s cool but still a little bit cheesy, exactly the kind of thing I can appreciate. I just read one of those “How we made ..” pieces in The Guardian about this album, where Nicolas Godin, one half of the band said, “The night we did Sexy Boy, I knew my life would change”. I love that, what an amazing thing to be able to say. It’s also fitting that the album turns 20 this week just in time to join in on those “seminal album” conversations - yes, the plan is working!