I must apologize for not updating yesterday but had to work on an essay for my criminal law class such fun but I did it get ready in time and can now finish part 2 of my top ten favvy albums of all time! Now that apologies are out of the way we shall get on with the show.
5. Insane Clown Posse-Hells Pit
Release date: 2004
Genre: Horrorcore rap
Now this one will probably turn a few heads, but I absolutely love the Insane Clown Posse, yes they wear clown make up, yes they do have a few silly songs but at heart, in my opinion, they do have a serious message and a large amount of talent. They can rap and they do rap, just a little differently to other more mainstream rappers but each rapper has their own unique style, you can’t compare one to another. On this album it is the last of the first series of Jokers Cards, and the "other half" to The Wraith, this one shows the listener what will happen if they live a life of evil and show no compassion for others. The Wraith on the front cover is outstretching its hand to take you on a tour of Hells Pit. The lyrics are some of the darkest they have written, mostly devoid of their trademark humour that helps break up the seriousness of their message and with a production that is both murky and heavy on the bass. The band were at the time not speaking to their usual producer Mike E Clark and have got Esham on board, what else would you expect from the rapper responsible for the album "Kill The Fetus"? As with its sister album "Shangri La" the albums comes with either a concert CD or a mini film to their song "Bowling Balls"
4. The Smashing Pumpkins-MACHINA/The Machines of God
Release date: 2000
Genre: alternative rock
The last album recorded by what many consider to be the "real" Pumpkins, or you could say the last album before Billy Corgan’s ego caused them to implode. An album that was originally meant to be a two disc album about a rockstar living in a futuristic world named Glass who becomes some sort of a messiah figure and……… Yeah, Virgin Records for some reason thought a two disc album like this wouldn’t sell very well, especially after their previous album "Adore" had made fans feel distant from them and grunge was in its death throes and metal was all the rage. So Billy Corgan trimmed it down to one disc and released the incomplete disc 2 for free on the internet. *its still available and despite its convulted plot if you listen to it all at once its amazing!* Billy Corgan’s is raw and rough throughout the record, the guitars are tuned up high and dominate the sound once more like on their debut "Gish" sweeping syth sounds undercut the guitars giving the slow songs a little bit of a softer but for the most part this is a raw album and one that was made to be played live. While the plotline is a little thin on the ground, the lyrics are some of the best of Corgan’s songwriting career, I challenge anyone to listen to Eye of the Morning without feeling misty eyed. They are personal and definitely display how alienated the band where feeling at the time.
3. Elton John-Captain and the Kid
Release date: 2006
The nights me and Mark have spent drink in hand playing this album in the early hours of the morning are too numerous to mention but its one that has many fond memories for me. Elton’s paino is finally back at the forefront after years of soft rock and soppy love balladeering, and he sounds like he is having an amazing time and bashing out honky tonk contempary country style music. His voice is rough from his, at the time, recent throat operation. The album is a sequel to his and Bernie’s early 70s masterpiece "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" finishing the story of Elton and Bernie’s rise to the top filled with all of the broken relationships, drug addictions and reflections upon dear friends lost to the terrible AIDs virus. It’s a touching and intensely emotional album, one that when you listen to it you should have a good friend and even better drink with which to while away the night talking of adventures and friends and lovers long since past, because that is what this album is, it’s a conversation between Elton and Bernie about their lives together. Its short, sharp and maybe only ten tracks long but it gets in plenty of punches during that time.
2. Darren Hayes-The Tension and the Spark
Release date: 2007
So this album effectively killed Darren Hayes’ career for a few years and sent in to his record company in to panic mode, they expected another album in the style of his first solo album "Spin" a flashy pop album filled with light lyrics and dancefloor grooves. What they get was an album spawned from his divorce, his recent coming out and attempt to become involved in the gay scene and find love. So not a cheerful one. Whereas the previous album has many happy memories for me this is one I return to when feeling lost in love and life, an album that helps me reflect upon my problems, feel like I am not alone. I cannot believe that anyone in the world will not relate to at least one of these songs here. The music is cutting edge dark dance music, as usual he works with a team of collaborators’ and here is probably the tightest team he has ever worked with, never since the early days of Savage Garden has he been so at the fore front of dance music, the lyrics talk of the struggle between light and darkness, sex and love, friendship and hatred, and the music moves from orchestral synths and low, murky erotic dancefloor grooves. This is an album to be played alone, early in the morning, in bed and with a decent pair of headphones on. Only then can you experience the meaning of his lyrics and the subtleties of music. The NME called him a genius, they were not wrong.
1. David Bowie-Never Let Me Down
Release date: 1987
Genre: New wave/rock/pop
David Bowie apologised for this album publically saying how much he hated it and did not want his fans to hear it. Well I adore this album, its brilliant, never before or since have Bowie's lyrics been so socially conscious, has he sounded like he is actually having fun on record! His voice was sweet with enough ageing to give it a rich, deep sound and helps the listener get that Bowie knows what he is talking about, that the songs are lived in and well worn. This album was Bowie's full embracement of the new wave movement, a movement born from people who were know of age but in youth inspired by his "Berlin" trilogy of albums. Well that genre birthed some brilliant bands but it all sounded trite when Bowie himself stepped in to the scene. its an album that sounds sunny, the music is drenched in 80s excess and conjures up images of Miami Vice, every track on this album is simply begging to be played in a club, as with Blind Melon every party I have stuck this album on at has gotten people moving straight to their feet and started dancing. My all time favorite album, I never get bored of it and it never fails to put a smile on my face.
Well there you have it, my top ten favvy albums, these are the stories of my life, each one is connected to my life in some way, each one has a handful of good and bad memories.
I hope if you listen to any of these albums or songs from them you will please tell me in the comments below.