Vortices, Gherkins and Domes, Oh My
Cinematic Crosstalk

Hitsville UK

Zounds! Just in time for the weekend, it's another list, and a very British one at that.

The Observer polled 100 British musical figures (panelists listed here), asking each to name ten choices for inclusion among the 100 Greatest British Albums. The #1 choice is, for a change, not from Liverpool.

You can read the list in full as well as a vast editorial apparatus including a traditional "Why are we concocting another ruddy list?" piece, item by item commentary on the contents of the list, and samples of individual panelists' choices both brief and more expansive (scroll down). (The whole thing came to my attention via the hardy perennial Hit & Run.)

Having a soft spot for British popsongcraft, I am compelled to re-start the "Bold List" game previously played with books. Again, the assignment is to bold those items that one has owned/listened to complete. The large subset of "albums from which I've heard a track or three" will go unmarked, as will the much smaller class of "albums I've never even heard of."

The first 30 listees follow, with the remaining 70 consigned to the continuation for the benefit of completists. Reader comments welcome, of course. Now set your mental turntables spinning with these fine products of old Albion:

1. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
2. Revolver, The Beatles
3. London Calling, The Clash
4. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
5. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
6. The Beatles ['White Album'], The Beatles
7. Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones
8. Exile on Main St, The Rolling Stones
9. Blue Lines, Massive Attack
10. Metal Box, Public Image Ltd.
11. The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, David Bowie
12. Beggars Banquet, Rolling Stones
13. The Clash, The Clash
14. Never Mind The Bollocks, The Sex Pistols
15. Club Classics Vol. 1, Soul II Soul
16. Five Leaves Left, Nick Drake
17. The Specials, The Specials
18. Closer, Joy Division
19. Definitely Maybe, Oasis
20. Loveless, My Bloody Valentine
21. The Smiths, The Smiths
22. Hounds Of Love, Kate Bush
23. For Your Pleasure, Roxy Music
24. OK Computer, Radiohead
25. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Pink Floyd
26. Roxy Music, Roxy Music
27. Unhalfbricking, Fairport Convention
28. Abbey Road, The Beatles
29. Stranded, Roxy Music
30. Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division

31. New Boots And Panties!!, Ian Dury And The Blockheads
32. Rubber Soul, The Beatles
33. Spirit Of Eden, Talk Talk
34. Every Picture Tells A Story, Rod Stewart
35. Bryter Layter, Nick Drake
36. Rock Bottom, Robert Wyatt
37. The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths
38. Ocean Rain, Echo And The Bunnymen
39. Low, David Bowie
40. Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin
41. The Bends, Radiohead
42. Lexicon Of Love, ABC
43. The La's, The La's
44. Bummed, Happy Mondays
45. John Lennon And The Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon And The Plastic Ono Band
46. Solid Air, John Martyn
47. Hatful Of Hollow, The Smiths
48. Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin
49. Here Come The Warm Jets, Brian Eno
50. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, Small Faces
51. The Yes Album, Yes
52. Handsworth Revolution, Steel Pulse
53. Just Another Diamond Day, Vashti Bunyan
54. Searching For The Young Soul Rebels, Dexys Midnight Runners
55. Entertainment, Gang Of Four
56. All Mod Cons, The Jam
57. Village Green Preservation Society, The Kinks
58. Cut, The Slits
59. Urban Hymns, The Verve
60. Maxinquaye, Tricky
61. My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
62. Meat Is Murder, The Smiths
63. Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd
64. Aladdin Sane, David Bowie
65. Power, Corruption and Lies, New Order
66. Something Else, The Kinks
67. Moondance, Van Morrison
68. Screamadelica, Primal Scream
69. Goodbye Yellow Brickroad, Elton John
70. (What's The Story) Morning Glory, Oasis
71. The Slider, T Rex
72. Grand Prix, Teenage Fanclub
73. Jailbreak, Thin Lizzy
74. Quadrophenia, The Who
75. Original Pirate Material, The Streets
76. Parklife, Blur
77. Dusty in Memphis, Dusty Springfield
78. Let it Bleed, Rolling Stones
79. Penguin Eggs, Nic Jones
80. Station To Station, David Bowie
81. Dummy, Portishead
82. Basket Of Light, Pentangle
83. My Generation, The Who
84. Road To Freedom, Young Disciples
85. Hunky Dory, David Bowie
86. Don't Stand Me Down, Dexy's Midnight Runners
87. This Nation's Saving Grace, The Fall
88. Young Americans, David Bowie
89. Band On The Run, Wings
90. Regatta De Blanc, The Police
91. Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin
92. Paranoid, Black Sabbath
93. Parachutes, Coldplay
94. Behaviour, Pet Shop Boys
95. Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner
96. Dare, The Human League
97. Heaven Or Las Vegas, The Cocteau Twins
98. Rattlesnakes, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions
99. The Holy Bible, Manic Street Preachers
100. Sweet Dreams, Eurythmics


david giacalone

Not another one of George's lists!? As usual, you are a Bold Dude. However, I'm surprised that the following albums were not in Bold print on the list of our Illustriously Eclectic Fool.
4. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
5. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
6. The Beatles ['White Album'], The Beatles
40. Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin
50. Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, Small Faces
51. The Yes Album, Yes
57. Village Green Preservation Society, The Kinks
82. Basket Of Light, Pentangle
83. My Generation, The Who
91. Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin

"I hope I die before I get old!"

George Wallace

Just keeping myself honest, David: I have never actually owned any of those very fine albums, nor listened to them straight through on a less than fleeting basis. I know and enjoy an awful lot of the music that's on them though. (And I did bold "Sgt. Pepper.") Nice of you to assume that I'd know the Pentangle album. And isn't it interesting that of The Who's 'concept'-type albums, it's "Tommy" that's not on the list?

Rick Coencas

Unsurprisingly, our lists (axis) bold (as love) would be very similar. I would add but a few it it were my list, inclucing:
Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
The Beatles ['White Album'], The Beatles
John Lennon And The Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon And The Plastic Ono Band
All Mod Cons, The Jam
Paranoid, Black Sabbath
But would have to admit never having actually owned Exile on Main Street, and you've got me with The Verve, Coldplay and Human League.
I was also very happy to see that Here Come the Warm Jets made the Observer's cut.

George Wallace

Rick, among the eminent panelists I know that you would particularly approve of Morrisey's views: asked to list ten great albums, he insists that "he can only think of one truly great British album and that this is it" -- Roxy Music's "For Your Pleasure."

Readers, for Rick's perspicacious take on that very fine album, click through here.

The comments to this entry are closed.