Birthdays. For those of us who respire and are reading this incoherent rambling right now, it’s a milestone where we drink and eat lots to ignore the fact we’re one year closer to our inevitable deaths but for albums, it’s a little bit less depressing. They serve as reminders to what music was like when the LP was made, like mini time capsules, and make us think about how far we’ve came in terms of how we listen to our music and what kind of music we listen to. There are countless albums celebrating theirs this years but I’ve chosen my personal favourites, ones that I’ve grown up with, ones that have moulded my taste in music and have had an impact on music overall.
The Cure – Head On The Door
Released: 26th August 1985
The Cure were always one of these bands that I’d see get referenced in shows like South Park when I was younger but I never had much interest in listening to them. Maybe it was because their music constantly being described as Gothic rock sounded unappealing to me or maybe it was the eery stare of front-man Robert Smith but I delayed listening to them until I was about 16. That’s when I decided to give them a go and as luck would have it that I chose The Head On The Door to listen to first, a choice that I was immediately satisfied with as soon as poppy, upbeat In Between Days came on. It was an exciting and odd experience as the sound the band made on this, their sixth LP, was so cheery and upbeat but the lyrical themes about loss and fear seemed so out of place but at the same time so right. I wasn’t the only one who found the album so exciting as this was the English band’s first international success, paving the way for future critically acclaimed such as Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration.
The Smiths – Meat Is Murder
Released: 12th February 1985
It wouldn’t take a genius to know what message Morrissey was trying to get across on his band’s sophomore album. Meat Is Murder was surprisingly more politically driven that its predecessor, addressing issues such as vegetarianism and corporal punishment which has helped the album to age very well, although the amount of times I’ve been asked if the eponymous album titled track was the reason I went vegetarian is a painful amount. Although it covers some hardly cheery themes, The Smiths have the same take on these as The Cure do by accompanying them with some upbeat guitar riffs, something that both bands are masters at. On top of this, the album is home to fan favourites such as Barbarianism Begins At Home and I Want The One I Can’t Have in addition to That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore which bassist Johnny Marr regards as one of his favourites that explores themes of loneliness and suicide, helping to create a diverse sounding album with something to say.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Released: October 24th 1995
Arguably the band’s most accessible band, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is nothing short of iconic. Whether it be the angst ridden, full to the brim with rage track Bullet With Butterfly Wings where glimpses of front-man Billy Corgan’s messiah complex show or the dream-esque sound of 1979 that shines with soft, looping synths, the album’s scope is undeniable. Not only that but the album is split over two cds, something that most bands cannot justify but thankfully The Smashing Pumpkins can, providing some of the greatest songs of nut just their career but some of the best songs to grace alternative rock. Regardless if you dislike the band for their mediocre stuff they produced later on in their career or not, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is undeniably an important album that deserves all the praise it gets.
Coldplay – Parachutes
Released: 10th July 2000
Saying “I like Coldplay” nowadays is pretty much the equivalent of asking someone to kick you in the balls. There’s a popular attitude of people just hating Coldplay for the sake of hating them and as much as I don’t like their past two albums, everything preceding that has been amazing. Take their debut album Parachutes for example, the first glimpse the world had of the British band before they became a worldwide phenomenon. Even the band’s harshest critics will find it hard to call the album terrible, featuring some amazing tracks such as Yellow which tells the tale of lead singer Chris Martin’s unrequited love. Even the years of people posting lyrics from the song on Bebo and Facebook hasn’t tainted the sheer simplistic genius of the song. Although the band themselves prefer to pretend this album didn’t exist, Parachutes serves as a wonderful reminder of how talented the band were years before they experienced mainstream success.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Released: February 2nd 2005
An album that has been argued as being one of the best of the noughties, let alone 2005, Silent Alarm came out of nowhere to take the music world by storm. Although other indie rock artists such as Kaiser Chiefs were releasing music that year, their album being the vastly popular Employment, no other artist could make the same dent as Bloc Party did. Evoking global and political woes at the time such as the Iraq War (Pioneers) and the rise in price of oil (Price of Gas), Silent Alarm is a true testament to the power music has. Even now, a full decade after the album was released, Silent Alarm’s messages are more relevant than ever and manages to showcase not only Bloc Party’s excellent lyrics but also their tight music writing that manages to show off its energy while still keeping its head afloat to deliver its message.
And so there we have it. There’s probably loads of albums that I’ve missed out and I’ll no doubt follow this post up with some other favourites of mine but for this I just wanted to keep it to a 10+ year or more celebration. If any of your favourites got left out then comment them below or tweet me @blogclyro , thanks for reading to the end!