Recently my nephew challenged his Facebook friends to pick their top 10 albums but only one album from each artist, I thought the Starts at 60 followers would like to participate. My list is as follows in no particular order:
#1. To me The Beatles never made a bad album, but I select their first PLEASE PLEASE ME, when I first heard the title track I went straight out and bought the album. Best tracks are the cover of The Shirelles “Baby It’s You” and easily the greatest version of “Twist And Shout”.
#2. I fell in love with Helen Shapiro when I was 16 and saw her live, my favourite album of hers is THE ESSENTIAL MASTERS, she sings cover versions of lots of hits and also shows what a fantastic jazz/blues voice she had with “Basin Street Blues” and “St. Louis Blues”.
#3. JEFF WAYNE’S MUSICAL VERSION OF WAR OF THE WORLDS, this is rock opera at its best, the narration of Richard Burton, the harmonies of The Moody Blues along with various artists and wonderful orchestration.
#4. KOSMOS FACTORY, introduced the world to the bayou, rock-a-billy sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a great party album, with the extended version of “I Heard It Through The grapevine” and the gospel inspired “Midnight Special”
#5. Every track on Carole King’s TAPESTRY could have been a top ten hit for herself but others benefited from this remarkable song writer, like Aretha Franklin with “A Natural Woman”; The Shirelles with “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”; Martika with “I Feel The Earth Move”; and James Taylor with “You Got A Friend” among others.
#6. Chris Isaak reminds me of the vocalists of the great 60’s era and on THE BAJA SESSIONS, he quotes on the disc notes that Baja is on the California coast “A great place to slow down and play your guitar and the perfect place for romance”. This is reflected in the sounds like his interpretations of “South Of The Border’; “Only The Lonely”; “Yellow Bird” and “Return To Me”.
#7. The best “live” album I have ever heard is A NIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO, with Van Morrison and lots of friends like Georgie Fame, Jimmy Witherspoon and John Lee Hooker along with a great backing group giving the show of a lifetime, enough to fill a double disc.
#8. Another great “live” album is Neil Diamond’s HOT AUGUST NIGHT, from the opening “Crunchy Granola Suite” to the end “Soolaimon / Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” it showed his versatility.
#9. Along with Van Morrison’s Them, my favourite band from Ireland was Thin Lizzy and LIZZY KILLERS is up there with the great rock albums, the late Phil Lynott puts his own spin on an Irish classic “Whisky In The Jar” and the rocking “The Boys Are Back In Town”.
#10. I will indulge myself with the final pick, because it is a four disc boxed set, BACK TO MONO, a collection of the fantastic wall of sound tracks produced by Phil Spector with artists like Ben E. King, The Crystals, The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and Ike & Tina Turner, the set also includes my favourite Christmas album A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM PHIL SPECTOR when all his artists from The Brill Building sing Spector’s take of classic Christmas songs.
If I was asked to participate on the old radio programme Desert Island Discs these would be my selection.
Among the others in the final reckoning were “American Pie”, Don McLean; “Journey Through Time”, The Moody Blues; “The Travelling Wilburys”; and “Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth”, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.
Tell us, what would be in your top 10 albums of all time?
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