Debating the quality of music must be one of Britain’s favourite pastimes. Rarely, however, does conversation turn to influential music. This list is designed not to provide a definitive guide, but to give you food for thought and provide a catalyst for further debate. So here goes: the 10 most influential albums of all time.
10. The Spice Girls - Spice
Mock if you will, but we’re talking about the most influential here, and make no mistake, The Spice Girls sensation changed music. Scary, Sporty, Posh, Baby and Ginger burst the Britpop bubble with the release of Spice: the fastest and bestselling album by a British artist since The Beatles. Liam Gallagher must have been sobbing into his Burberry jacket...
09. The Who - My Generation
Initially dismissed as a rushed and unrepresentative piece of work by The Who themselves after its release in 1965, My Generation has since cemented itself as one of the best rock albums of all time. The Who lent a fresh sound to rock, incorporating synthesized sounds that had rarely been heard beforehand, and inspiring future artists of the heavier rock kind, most notably, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Iron Maiden.
08. The Clash - London Calling
It’s difficult to imagine a more fertile music environment than the North of England in the 1970’s and 80’s. One could be forgiven for thinking that you wouldn’t be able to walk down the street in Manchester in 1980 without bumping into Ian Cutis or Paul Weller. The Clash were by far the most notable exception to the rule; Southern lads at the very forefront of the Mod rock revolution. London Calling marked a change in direction for the band; their intriguing blend of rock, ska and pop really gave those Northerners a thing or two to think about.
07. Michael Jackson - Thriller
The most commercially successful album of all time, Thriller is considered MJ’s greatest musical achievement. This was his sixth studio album, however, and for this reason, its actual influence in terms of a change in direction in music is debatable. Nevertheless, the influence Jackson had and continues to have on pop music is too significant to ignore. Everybody loves this album.
06. David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars
Put simply, there hasn’t been anything like this before or since. Bowie’s originality is little short of staggering, with this album undoubtedly being his very finest work. Consistently credited as one of the most significant rock albums ever, Ziggy Stardust transcended its glam rock foundations to influence a number of other musical genres.
05. Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley
One word springs to mind. Originality. There was absolutely nothing like this before Elvis released his debut album in 1956. One could argue that Bill Haley was the proverbial ‘Big Bang’ in the rock world, but The King was something different altogether. He was a trailblazer in every sense of the word. He dared to go where no artist had gone before. He pretty much invented, mastered and then set alight the world of Rock and Roll, becoming quite literally one of the most iconic and recognisable figures of the 20th Century. He transcended music, and occupies a mantle not all that dissimilar to that of God to this day. Enough said...
04. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
This album is another example of a true change in direction. The experimental vocal harmonies, inventive instrumentals and sound effects make the cut of this album’s jib very interesting indeed, and nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. Cited by Paul McCartney and The Beatles as a major influence on their work, Pet Sounds largely dictated the direction in which pop music went for decades into the future.
03. Oasis - Definitely Maybe
In bronze medal position, we have one of the most successful British bands of all time. These pioneers of Britpop followed in the footsteps of their punk and post-punk rock predecessors and perhaps defined the 1990s. Locked in an intense charts battle with main rivals Blur in 1996, Oasis ultimately won the war and continued to make critically acclaimed music well into the noughties. Definitely Maybe is often hailed as the greatest album of all time by critics and the list of bands that claim to have been influenced by Oasis reads like a who’s who of modern music. The Killers, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian; I could continue... Oasis’s influence is simply staggering and this is the album that introduced them to the world.
02. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Well, you knew it was coming didn’t you. Think this is a bit of a cliché? There’s a reason why things become clichés. It’s because they’re inescapably true. Every now and again something comes along that just changes everything, and in the world of music, this is one such thing. The Beatles’s eighth studio offering was received with both popular and critical acclaim, achieving incomprehensible commercial success. This album virtually provided the soundtrack to the 1960’s. One critic even branded Sgt. Pepper: "A decisive moment in the history of Western civilization". Make of that what you will. Maybe they were more popular than God...
01. The Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols
October 27th 1977. An unsuspecting British music scene is rudely awakened by Johnny Rotten screaming ‘I am an anarchist!’ If the previous 9 albums combined caused ripples in the music world, Never Mind the Bollocks was a 1000ft tidal wave of punk rock innovation that violently shook the very foundations of British music. Underestimate the influence of this album at your peril. It is unquestionably the most significant offering out of all the Manchester Brand artists of the era. When one considers that this list includes the likes of Joy Division, The Clash and The Jam, this statement mounts The Buzzcocks upon a solid gold plinth of musical infamy and superstardom. Without it, it’s unlikely you’d have heard of bands like Blink 182 and Greenday. It really was that important. Think I’m talking out of my hat? Listen to it and then listen to American Idiot. You’ll see what I mean...
25 November 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 stopcryingyourheartout.com 1 comment