Best albums since 1976

Yes it’s a rather bold statement but I thought I’d try and write a list since the halcyon days of Punk Rock. There’ll be other music lists appearing in the future , they take ages to do and do forgive me if your favourite album isn’t mentioned here , these are what i’d say were the best and the ones I’ve listened to the most , but I haven’t heard every album ever released and not spent the time exploring them all.

These albums also aren’t the best sellers or most popular either , they are important albums though even though a lot of them never charted and many of those that did stayed outside the top 20 at the time. This is a decent start though. What nailed it for me was remembering that I’d been presenting the show that Nirvana made their European debut on , playing ‘Smells Like teen Spirit , I also met and spoke to Kurt Cobain that day and I wasn’t that impressed – it all seemed a bit woe is me , and although I think Smells Like teen Spirit is a great song , I always wondered why I was never that enamoured of the band , nor did I ever feel like sticking Nevermind in my CD player , in brief , nothing annoys me more than people who say Joy Division were over rated.

Joy Division is why I can’t listen to Nirvana or Nine Inch Nails or any of those other hate-myself-and-want-to-die pornographers of misery. The Insights are too shallow and vain, the music too plain, the hope too absent. Maybe it’s because I’m an Englander, that Curtis’s view of depression – and Hannett’s exquisite framing of it – is something that I do relate to. You want scream ‘Rape me or somesuch tantrum, but you don’t because it’s showy and undignified and rape is something done to you , not craved. And if the British working class don’t have a stiff upper-lip and an ability to front it out we have nothing else. Curtis’s deep rich impossible voice is the very essence of stoicism and strength under pressure, and the fact of his suicide doesn’t negate that. Unknown Pleasures sounds like a man trying to cure himself not wallowing in the pleasurable self-pity of his goodbye to this cruel world.

Unknown Pleasures isn’t an album that I’d play to someone who was suicidal It’s too precise , too much of a kill or cure which in its way explains why we’ve ended up with Coldplay, White Lies et al . Empty misery is soothing to those who don’t want to look too closely at the facts. Some of us though would rather take it and take it straight. Unknown pleasures puts my problems into perspective because I know I’ve never hurt like that , nowhere near.

1976
1.THE RAMONES – THE RAMONES
Key tracks – Blitzkrieg Bop, Judy Is A Punk, Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue,, Beat On The Brat, 53rd & 3rd.
2. STEVIE WONDER – SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE
Key Tracks – As , I Wish , Isn’t She Lovely, Pat Time Paradise, Village Ghetto Land, Have a Talk With God, Black Man , Sir Duke.
3. THE MODERN LOVERS _- THE MODERN LOVERS
Key tracks – I’m Straight, Old World, Roadrunner, Pablo Picasso , Someone I care About

1977

DAVID BOWIE – LOW

Key tracks – Be My Wife, Breaking Glass, Warszawa, A New Career In a New Town, Sound And Vision.

1. THE CONGOS – HEART OF THE CONGOS
Key tracks – Fisherman, The Wrong Thing, Can’t Come In , La La Bam Bam, Children Crying.

2. TELEVISION – MARQUEE MOON
Key tracks – Marquee Moon, Prove It, See No Evil, Friction , Venus
4. IGGY POP – THE IDIOT
Key Tracks – China Girl, Nightclubbing, Funtime, Sister Midnight, Dum Dum Boys
5. KRAFTWERK – TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS
Key Tracks – Trans-Europe Express, Metal On metal, Europe Endless, Hall Of Mirrors, Showroom Dummies.

6. THE CLASH – THE CLASH
Key Tracks – I’m So Bored With The USA, White Riot, Police And Thieves, Janie Jones, Garage Band , 48 Hours , What’s My Name.

7. IAN DURY AND THE BOCKHEADS – NEW BOOTS AND PANTIES
Key Tracks – Clever Trevor, If I was With A Woman, Billericay Dickie, Wake Up And Make Love With Me. I’m Partial To Your Abracadabra.

8 .RANDY NEWMAN – LITTLE CRIMINALS
Key Tracks – In Germany Before The War, Short People. Baltimore. Sigmund Freud’s Impersonation Of Albert Einstein In America. Jolly Coppers On Parade.

9. TALKING HEADS ‘77
Key Tracks – Psycho Killer. No Compassion. Don’t Worry About The Government. The Book I read. Happy Day.

10. ROXY MUSIC GREATEST HITS
Key Tracks – Mother Of Pearl. Street Life. Do The Strand. Virginia Plain. Love Is The Drug.
11. THE SEX PISTOLS – NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS
Key Tracks – Bodies. Holidays In The Sun. Anarchy In The UK. God Save The Queen. Pretty Vacant. New York.

12. WIRE – PINK FLAG
Key Tracks – Mannequin. Ex-Lion Tamer. 12XU. Fragile. Strange.
13. BRIAN ENO – BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE
Key Tracks –Kings Head hat. Backwater. No One Receiving. Julie With …. . Here He Comes.

14.DAVID BOWIE – HEROES
Key Tracks – Heroes. Joe The Lion. Blackout. Beauty And The Beast. V-2 Schneider.

15.IGGY POP – LUST FOR LIFE
Key Tracks – Lust For Life. The Passenger. Tonight. Sixteen. Some Weird Sin. Neighbourhood Threat.
16. THE RAMONES – ROCKET TO RUSSIA
Key tracks – Teenage Lobotomy. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker.I Don’t Care. I Wanna Be Well. Rockaway Beach.

1978

1. BUZZCOCKS – ANOTHER MUSIC IN A DIFFERENT KITCHEN
Key tracks – Love Battery. Fast Cars .Get On Our Own . No Reply. I Don’t Mind. Fiction Romance. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat.

2. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER – ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
Key Tracks –Jive talkin’, Night Fever , Stayin’ Alive by The Bee gees , Disco Inferno By Tramps . More Than A woman – Tavares

3. ELVIS COSTELLO – THIS YEARS MODEL
Key Tracks – Lipstick Vogue. (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea. No Action. The Beat. This Years Girl.

4. XTC – WHITE MUSIC

Key Tracks – Radios In Motion. Statue Of Liberty. I’m Bugged. X Wires. This Is Pop.
4. PERE UBU – THE MODERN DANCE
Key Tracks – Non-Alignment act. The Modern Dance. Street Waves. Humor Me. Life Stinks.

5. THE ROLLING STONES _ SOME GIRLS
Key Tracks – Shattered, Miss You , Respectable, Before They Make Me Run. Miss You. Beast Of Burden.

6. THE REZILLOS – CAN’T STAND THE REZILLOS
Key tracks – can’t Stand My baby. No. Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight. Top Of The Pops , Flying Saucer attack. (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures.

7. THE BEST OF EARTH WIND ND FIRE
Key tracks – September. Fantasy.Shining Star.Love Music. Can’t Hide Love.

8. THE JAM – ALL MOD CONS
Key tracks – Down In The Tube Station At Midnight. In The Crowd. The Place I Love. To Be Someone. Billy Hunt.

9. DR ALIMANTADO – THE BEST DRESSED CHICKEN IN TOWN
Key Tracks – Poison Flower, I Killed The Barer, Best Dressed Chicken In Town , Gimme Mi Gun , Just The Other Day, Can’t Conquer Natty Dread.

10. BLONDIE _ PARALLEL LINES
Key Tracks – Heart Of Glass , Picture This, Fade Away And Radiate, One Way Or Another, Hanging On The Telephone.

11. X-RAY SPEX – GERMFREE ADOLESCENTS
Key Tracks – Identity, The Day The World Turned Dayglo, Germfree Adolescents, I Am A Poseur, Let’s Submerge.

12. WIRE – CHAIRS MISSING
Key Tracks – Outdoor Miner, I Am The Fly, Mercy, I Feel Mysterious Today, Practice Makes Perfect.

13. KRAFTWERK – THE MAN MACHINE
Key Tracks – The Model, The Man Machine,Spacelab, Neon Lights, The Robots.

14. DEVO – ARE WE NOT MEN ? WE ARE DEVO
Key Tracks – Satisfaction, Come back Jonee, Sloppy, Shrivel Up , Mongoloid.

15. SIOUXIE AND THE BANSHEES – THE SCREAM
Key Tracks – Mirage, Jigsaw feeling, metal Postcard, Nicotine Stain, Carcass.

16. ANNETTE PEACOCK – X DREAMS
Key Tracks – My Mama Never Taught Me How To Cook, Dear Bella, This feel Within, Don’t Be Cruel, Real & Defined Androgens.

1979

1. THE FALL – LIVE AT THE WITCH TRIALS

Key Tracks – Frightened, No Xmas For John Quays, Bingo-Masters Break-Out, Industrial Estate, Underground Medicin.

2. ELVIS COSTELLO – ARMED FORCES
Key Tracks – Olivers Army , Accidents Will Happen, (what’s So Funny Bout) Peace Love And Understanding, Two Little Hitlers, Green Shirt, Chemistry Class.

3. MAGAZINE – SECONDHAND DAYLIGHT
Key tracks – Permafrost, I wanted Your Heart, Back To Nature, Feed Thev Enemy, Believe That I Understand.

4.THE UNDERTONES – THE UNDERTONES
Key Tracks – Teenage Kicks , Male Model, Get Over You, Girls Don’t Like It, Billy’s Third.

5. EARTH WIND AND FIRE – I AM
Key Tracks – Star, In The Stone, Boogie Wonderland, Can’t Let Go, let Your Feelings Show.

6. THE B-52’S – THE B-52’S
Key Tracks – Rock Lobster, Dance This Mess Around, 52 Girls, Planet Claire , There’s A Moon In The Sky ( Called the Moon).

7 . XTC – DRUMS AND WIRES

Key tracks – making Plans For Nigel, Complicated Game, Ten Feet tall, Scissor man, Helicopter.

8. MICHAEL JACKSON – OFF THE WALL
Key Tracks – Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, I Can’t Help It, It’s The Falling In Love, get On The Floor, Off The Wall.

9. JOY DIVISION UNKNOWN PLEASURES
Key Tracks – Disorder, New Dawn fades, She’s Lost Control, Shadowplay , Interzone

7. TALKING HEADS – FEAR OF MUSIC
Keytracks – Cities, Air, Mind, Animals, Life During Wartime.

8. GANG OF FOUR – ENTERTAINMENT

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mark Donnelly says:

    Keep ‘em coming

  2. Gary Hough says:

    Terry Christian – That’s a bloody good list and one that is almost bang on with my own thoughts on the same subject/era.

    Like it!

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