Written by Music

Greatest British Albums

Observer Music Monthly published their list of the hundred greatest British Albums of all time yesterday. The list was compiled by critics, industry figures and pop stars.
The Stone Roses came out top, although I’d argue that this was really down to the age of the average rock/pop journalist and/or pop stars. The list of contributors is here. It’s worth noting that no album from before 1965 is on the list – and Blur’s Alex James wrote an interesting piece in the magazine about what was missing and possible reasons.
I suppose the big thing is to see how many of these “essential” albums you actually have. Well, I’ve been through the list and can proudly confirm that I have only seven of them. In order they are:
The Hounds of Love – Kate Bush (22)
OK Computer – Radiohead (24)
Lexicon of Love – ABC (42)
Parklife – Blur (76)
Dusty in Memphis (77)
Behaviour – Pet Shop Boys (94)
Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics (100)
So let’s look at the exceptions. Noting in the top 20? Well there’s plenty of Rolling Stones, who I’ve no real time for, and lots of Beatles, who I have plenty of time for, but who charge a fortune for their CDs. I’m not paying premium prices for this work, so I therefore have none of their albums. I don’t own any Bowie, Zeppelin or Oasis. No Who, Jam or John Lennon. No Joy Division, Clash or Van Morrison. If I did, I’d have more.
Still I’m glad that there’s not more recent stuff. If these albums truly are classics, then they can’t become that within a year or two of their releases.
I’d love to see this exercise again in ten years’ time to see how tastes have changed.