Long Players

whats going on - marvin gaye After playing the 100 Greatest Songs of all time parlour game with my friend Doug Miller over Christmas (me in the North of London, him in the South of France) he came back with the 50 Greatest LPs of all time challenge (no compilations, only one record per artist/band). I failed miserably – couldn’t boil it down to less than 75. So here they are – the 75 best LPs ever (of course, I’ll be popping back from time to time to make the odd sneaky change):

Beauty Stab – ABC
The Stars We Are – Marc Almond
The Last Waltz – The Band
The White Album – The Beatles
Post – Bjork
Go Tell It on the Mountain – Blind Boys of Alabama
Plastic Letters – Blondie
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Love Bites – Buzzcocks
The Clash – The Clash
A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
* A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me – The Cure
* Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Don’t Stand Me Down – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Hot August Night – Neil Diamond
The Doors – The Doors
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
Bill Evans – Conversations with Myself
Tiger in the Rain – Michael Franks
* Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Score – The Fugees
* What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Flesh – David Gray
Guys & Dolls movie ST
Are you experienced? – Jimi Hendrix
The Miseducation of – Lauryn Hill
Yarona – Abdullah Ibrahim trio
All Mod Cons – The Jam
Jesus Christ Superstar
Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division
On Song – Brian Kennedy
Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
Imagine – John Lennon
Cinquieme As – MC Solaar
The Snake – Shane MacGowan & the Popes
Madness – Madness
Correct Use of Soap – Magazine
Exodus – Bob Marley & the Wailers
* Solid Air – John Martyn
New World Order – Curtis Mayfield
Monk’s Dream – Thelonius Monk quartet
A Night in San Francisco – Van Morrison
Blues and the Abstract Truth – Oliver Nelson
Throw Down Yours Arms – Sinead O’Connor
Meddle – Pink Floyd
Dummy – Portishead
Metal Box – Public Image Ltd (in the metal box)
O – Damien Rice
Some Girls – The Rolling Stones
Stranded – Roxy Music
Rumblefish OST (Stewart Copeland)
The Crack – The Ruts
Abraxas – Sanata
Gymnopedies – Eric Satie
Never Mind the Bollocks – The Sex Pistols
* Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
The Scream – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Six Days in June
Easter – Patti Smith
The Specials – The Specials
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen
We’ll Never Turn Back – Mavis Staples
Tea for the Tillerman – Cat Stevens
Brilliant Trees – David Sylvian
Remain in the Light – Talking Heads
Sweet Baby James – James Taylor
Stan Tracey – Under Milk Wood
Joshua Tree – U2
Signing Off – UB40
Live in Leeds – The Who
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
Harvest – Neil Young
*Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples

And in case you’ve ever lain awake at night wondering what the top 7 LPs of all time are in order, here you are:

1 Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
2 What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
3 A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
4 Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
5 Solid Air – John Martyn
6 Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples
7 Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead

Doug’s top 50 is somewhat more sophisticated as befits an international man of mystery:
1. Mariano/Vant’hof/Catherine – Sleep My Love
2. Garbarek/Gismonti/Haden – Folk Songs
3. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
4. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
5. Beyond Skin – Nitin Sawhney
6. Soro – Salif Keita
7. Leftfield – Leftism
8. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
9. Airto Moreira – Seeds on the Ground
10. Khomsa – Anouar Brahem
11. Santana – Caravanserai
12. Edu Lobo – Cantiga De Longe
13. Remain in Light – Talking Heads
14. Eastern Sounds – Yusef Lateeef
15. Devotional Songs – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
16. The Velvet Underground and Nico
17. Gabor Szabo & Bobby Womack – High Contrast
18. The Isley Brothers – 3+3
19. This Is My Country – The Impressions
20. Pharaoh Sanders – Journey To the One
21. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
22. DJ Shadow Entroducing
23. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
24. Sigur Ros – Takk
25. Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
26. Brian Eno/Harold Budd – The Plateau of Mirror
27. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
28. Tabula Rasa – Arvo Part
29. Mothership Connection – Parliament
30. Lou Reed – Transformer
31. Led Zeppelin – 2
32. David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive
33. Free Will – Gil Scot Heron
34. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name
35. Spirit – 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus
36. Jdilla – Donuts
37. Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake
38. Clube De Esquina – Milton Nascimento
39. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
40. Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
41. Anthony and the Johnsons – I am a Bird Now
42. TheInflated Tear – Rahsan Roland Kirk
43. Blue Camel – Rabih Abou-Khalil
44. What Colour is Love – Terry Callier
45. Fat Albert Rotunda – Herbie Hancock
46. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
47. Assagai – Afrorock
48. Biosphere – Sub-Strata
49. Ein Deutche Requiem – Brahms (Simon Rattle)
50. The Nordic Quartet – Rypdal/Surman/Storaas.Krog

Feel free to join in…

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15 comments so far

  1. Practical Psychologist on

    I am absorbing yours and will comment later. How did I forget John Martyn! Garce and Danger will be in when I adjust my selection.

  2. Practical Psychologist on

    A new 75. In no particular order:

    1. Mariano/Vant’hof/Catherine – Sleep My Love
    2. Garbarek/Gismonti/Haden – Folk Songs
    3. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
    4. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
    5. Beyond Skin – Nitin Sawhney
    6. Soro – Salif Keita
    7. Leftfield – Leftism
    8. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
    9. Airto Moreira – Seeds on the Ground
    10. Khomsa – Anouar Brahem
    11. Santana – Caravanserai
    12. Edu Lobo – Cantiga De Longe
    13. Remain in Light – Talking Heads
    14. Eastern Sounds – Yusef Lateeef
    15. Devotional Songs – Nusrat Fateh Khan
    16. The Velvet Underground and Nico
    17. Gabor Szabo & Bobby Womack – High Contrast
    18. The Isley Brothers – 3+3
    19. This Is My Country – The Impressions
    20. Pharaoh Sanders – Journey To the One
    21. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
    22. DJ Shadow Entroducing
    23. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
    24. Sigur Ros – Takk
    25. Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
    26. Brian Eno/Harold Budd – The Plateau of Mirror
    27. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
    28. Tabula Rasa – Arvo Part
    29. Mothership Connection – Parliament
    30. Lou Reed – Transformer
    31. Led Zeppelin – 2
    32. David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive
    33. Free Will – Gil Scot Heron
    34. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name
    35. Spirit – 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus
    36. Jdilla – Donuts
    37. Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake
    38. Clube De Esquina – Milton Nascimento
    39. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
    40. Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
    41. Anthony and the Johnsons – I am a Bird Now
    42. TheInflated Tear – Rahsan Roland Kirk
    43. Blue Camel – Rabih Abou-Khalil
    44. What Colour is Love – Terry Callier
    45. Fat Albert Rotunda – Herbie Hancock
    46. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
    47. Assagai – Afrorock
    48. Biosphere – Sub-Strata
    49. Ein Deutche Requiem – Brahms (Simon Rattle)
    50. The Nordic Quartet – Rypdal/Surman/Storaas.Krog
    51. Dusty in Memphis – Dusty Springfield
    52. Grace and Danger – John Martyn
    53. I am Shelby Lynn – Shelby Lynn
    54. One Nation Under a Groove – Funkadelic
    55. Go – Dexter Dordon
    56. Zoot Allures – Frank Zappa
    57. Phaedra – Tangerine Dream
    58. Caught Up – Millie Jackson
    59. Hot Buttered Soul – Isaac Hayes
    60. Dave Douglas – Freak in
    61. Air – Moon Safari
    62. Quarteto Novo – Quarteto Novo
    63. Bob Marley – Catch–a-Fire
    64. Straight Life – Art Pepper
    65. Piano Concertos 21,23,25 Mozart – played by Ashkenazy
    66. 3rd Symphony – Gorecki
    67. Akathist of Thanksgiving – John Tavener
    68. Live at the Five Spot (Vols 1and2) – Eric Dolphy
    69. Dreamer – Bobby Bland
    70. Motion – Cinematic Orchestra
    71. Abdullah Ibrahim – African Sun
    72. Sweetnighter – Weather Report
    73. The Minimalism of Eric Satie – Vienna Art Orchestra
    74. The Third Man – Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani (I am listening to this as I write these!)
    75. Black President – Fela Kuti

    The next is top twenty compilations.

  3. Greg on

    I have a lot of respect for anyone that will stand by the Jesus Christ Superstar OST LP as a top 75

    It’s amazing.

    Not so sure about David Gray or Coldplay though…

  4. ArkAngel on

    You have to allow for emotion and nostalgia in these things. I listened to my mum’s copy of Jesus Christ Superstar constantly while drawing, spread out across the dining room table, as a kid. I was pleased to hear Sinead O’Connor cover one of the tracks (I Don’t Know How to Love Him) on her last album (Theology).

    David Gray’s first two albums (The Century Ends and Flesh) are full of excellent songs performed with great passion.

    And I think Coldplay get too much of the cold shoulder. There are very good songs on all three records and I wrote a film I was very pleased with listening to Rush of Blood. So associations, emotions and nostalgia are all of the essence…

  5. practical psychologist on

    So come on Greg. Let’s see your 75?

  6. practical psychologist on

    Arkangel – I am about to revisit this. I can’t believe I didn’t include the first Lewis Taylor album (do you know this? – it is a work of genius). Son of Marvin.

    Also Gris Gris by Dr John. And 666 by Aphrodite’s Child. And The Heart of the Congos by The Congos.

    Now…what to leave out?

  7. ArkAngel on

    I know Lewis Taylor – he comes from Barnet where I first lived when I moved out from home. I prefer spending my time listening to Father of Lewis (i.e. Marvin himself) but you’re right, he is very accomplished.

  8. Practical Psychologist on

    As we are now halfway through the year we need to start preparing for Christmas revisions. ‘First Take’ by Roberta Flack is a guaranteed inclusion. Can’t believe this has slipped below my radar for the whole of my life. My suggestion is that we progress to a top 100. Amy will be probably be in there. It’s all girls at the mo…

  9. ArkAngel on

    I think we should move on up to a new game – something thematic?

  10. Practical Psychologist on

    Themes – interesting. As it is about 35 degrees here I went through my itunes doing a search for songs with ‘summer’ and then with ‘sun’ in the title.

    Result?

    Summer = 30

    Sun = 57

    Love resulted in a staggering 302. A friends cousin bemoaning the banality of adult music once said that all adults sing about is ‘love lost’ or ‘loved hoped for’. Too true.

  11. ArkAngel on

    I think we need something more oblique or challenging…

  12. ArkAngel on

    practicalpsychologist on 15 March, 2009:

    I see The Guardian yesterday managed to run a supplement based on the best songs about love ever. They included a couple of bits of Marvin duet fluff and somehow couldn’t find space for ‘Let’s Get It On’ or “Heard it Through The Grapevine’. Arguably the first is about sex (with Marvin having a supply of ‘helpers’ to get him in the mood for vocal recording) but both should have been in.

    However, it was good to see two Chi-Lites tracks included though probably the wrong two. The greatest sweet-soul band ever.

  13. ArkAngel on

    Agree, no surprise, on your suggested Marvin tracks. Though When Did I Stop Loving You would have been a bold end of love choice. Chi-lites I’ll have to explore further on your recommendation. Nabbed a copy of the supplement from work so will have a butcher’s tomorrow.

  14. practicalpsychologist on

    Chi-Lites may be a little ‘sweet’ for you. They did a great version of inner city blues by the way. You may know Paul Weller’s version of Stoned out of Mind. But did some good protest songs too ‘Give More Power To The People’. This is also the title of the best compilation of their stuff. A double CD for about 7 quid.

  15. ArkAngel on

    Thanks for the steer. Forgotten where we were talking about Fleet Foxes (I know you’re a big fan) but have you heard Bon Iver? (a much less irritating take on the same kinda thing) Think FF meets Elliott Smith with a bit of Antony & the Johnsons thrown in for good measure.


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