Well, my special guests are going to have to be much more restrained than me when it comes to identifying their Top Ten Albums. Even when I cheated, allowing myself a Joy Division compilation, I still failed to narrow it down past 12, er 13... I wouldn't say that they're in any particular order , apart from the #1 slot.
1 The Clash - London Calling (1979) I think that this is the best LP of all time. The release of London Calling was the high point in my life as a consumer of music- everything being perfectly right at the time - the eager anticipation, the discussion of the songs on the schoolyard, the sense of belonging to some huge gang whose members were spread across space and time.
2 The Specials - Specials (1979) The fact that I find this record as invigorating now as it was 32 years ago says it all...
3 Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever (1982) The blueprint for indie music for the eighties and beyond- literate, nostalgic, funky.
4 The Gun Club - Fire of Love (1981) Sex and death- according to Freud (who's theories I detest) these were everything. Everything in it's place. A scintillating punk blues hybrid.
5 The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow (1984) Strictly speaking I suppose this is a compilation. This record saved my life.
6 Happy Mondays-Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile(White Out) (1987) A toss up between this and Bummed. I chose this one because it's more raw and the music is quirkier. Love the bass on this LP.
7 Pixies- Doolittle (1989) Memories of vainly trying to convince all those lads who were raving about Nirvana that this was by far the superior model (those same lads had been listening to Guns n Roses when this came out).
8 The Monochrome Set - Strange Boutique (1980) Overlooked, literate... as I have written before the Monochrome Set's lack of success will astound me until the day i die.
9 Joy Division- Substance (1977-1980) Ok, I cheated here, I could have picked everything by Joy Division (and even one or two of New Order's earlier LPs). It's a compilation and it's absolutely brilliant.
10 The White Stripes - Elephant (2003) When I first heard this I was 38 and didn't expect to get blown away by a record in the way that I had been as a young teen.
11.The Birthday Party-Prayers on Fire (1981) I think that this was the first LP that made me realise that pop music could be serious art and that songs were poems.
12.Buzzcocks- Another Music in A Different Kitchen (1978) Punk rock and the DIY ethos in practice. Listening to this you could believe that you and your mates could form a band with instruments from the Marshall Ward catalogue and that you could make it onto the radio or even TV.
oh, and Kilimanjaro by the Teardrop Explodes (1980)... because it's lovely and it transports me back to a time when life seemed full of promise.
So, an epic fail on my part. When I get back from my vacation we'll have some special guests telling us about their Top Ten Albums...