Firstly a proviso: This is my list, so it almost certainly won’t match with anyone else.
Secondly, I’m English so this maybe a bit Anglocentric, so apologies there too. Actually, looking at it again there’s only two British bands in my list, so not guilty!
I’m also no spring chicken, so my picks tend to fall in my formative years during the late 60s and 70s — when the music was better, right?
Coming in at number 5: ‘Dark Side of the Moon‘ Pink Floyd – EMI 1973
This had to make my top 5. Everything from the concept, production, musicianship, lyrics… is top notch.
Coming in at number 4: ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water‘ Simon & Garfunkel – Sony 1969. A wonderful collection of songs that have stood the test of the last 50 years.
Coming in at number 3: ‘Aja‘ Steely Dan – MCA 1977. This is not actually my favourite album by this band now. This maybe partly due to the fact it got ‘played to death’ whilst I was at college. Nevertheless, head ruling heart, I have to acknowledge the sheer painstaking craftsmanship that has gone into this, producing something almost peerless; intellectual yet accessible; sophisticated but easy on the ear.
Coming in at number 2: ‘Blue‘ Joni Mitchell – Reprise 1971. Again, this is probably not my favourite of Joni’s repertoire these days. But the songwriting is just wonderful, heart on sleeve stuff, so painful at times, but always simply beautiful. The best of a singer songwriter at their peak.
And finally, coming in at number 1: ‘Revolver‘ The Beatles – EMI 1966. Ok, I know — what about ‘Sgt. Peppers..’? I just think this is better. So much variety in one album, fantastic songs which are very short and wonderfully produced. The Beatles at their peak in my opinion, at the turning point of their first era of predominantly love songs, looking towards the future of experimentation… and so influential: ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ anyone?
Copyright Francis Barker 2020