There’s a big meme thing happening on facebook at the moment where people are sharing the 12 influential albums that shaped their teenage years. And because I’m a complete mark for that kind of viral shenanigan, I’ve spent far too much time trying to come up with mine.
Here they are, in no particular order.
- Levelling the Land – Levellers (just. It’s pretty much a toss up between this one and their next, eponymous album. They’re both awesome)
- Vitalogy – Pearl Jam (this could easily have been Ten, but Vitalogy hit me at a more impressionable moment)
- The Bends & OK Computer – Radiohead (I can’t choose between them. I just can’t)
- 30 Something – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
- Nevermind – Nirvana (The pretentious musos will claim In Utero is the better album, but it’s not. Despite being the more “commercial” LP, there’s far less less filler on Nevermind)
- Automatic For The People – R.E.M. (Just gorgeous from start to finish. Although New Adventures in Hi-Fi is also pretty awesome)
- If I Should Fall From Grace With God – The Pogues (I was introduced to them at the tail end of my teens and played this non-stop for a good year or two)
- Coming Up – Suede (I was too young and naive to ‘get’ Dog Man Star or their debut. But this was fantastic)
- Dookie – Green Day
- August & Everything After – Counting Crows
- Flood – They Might Be Giants
- Different Class – Pulp
There are a load of others that could have made the cut. Everything Must Go by the Manics (again, I got to them late and didn’t really understand The Holy Bible), Jamiroquai’s Emergency On Planet Earth, Alabama 3’s Exile On Coldharbour Lane, Parklife, Blur, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Americana, Moon Safari… However, I’ve purposely chosen to not put an Oasis album in there – not because I wasn’t a fan, but rather because I never thought that either Definitely Maybe or What’s The Story Morning Glory were decent from start to finish. If you squashed the best bits together, you’d have an absolute barnstormer of an album, but there’s just too much vanilla on both for my liking. Plus The Masterplan is far superior. In fact, screw it, I’ll have that one as my 13th pick.
Of course, there are also the albums that passed me by at the time but which I eventually came around to once I reached my twenties. So that’s where Superunknown, Rage Against The Machine, Dirt, Jar of Flies, Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, The Blue Album, Grace, Throwing Copper and Dummy come in. I wish I’d been more in-tune with those in my teenage years but good things come to those who wait, right?