Friday, 9 December 2016

50 albums to take to my grave #47-50

Tough. That's how this series has been. Many people would struggle to name 50 albums they've ever heard, but when you've been listening to music obsessively for nigh-on four decades, it's hard to set yourself a strict limit of records you'd take with you to your grave, particularly when you factor in other self-imposed rules (one LP per artist, mustn't overlap with songs in the other list, etc...)

My 50 songs series was the same, and if I revisit these lists in 5-10 years, I'm sure there would be a few changes. But they are what they are. This list has to end now, but I still struggled to decide what to include and what to leave out. You see, there are plenty of 'proper' albums I could include, but there are some acts whose music I really want to take with me but I just can't narrow down to one album over another. One reason is that with some artists, I'm most likely to play a compilation of singles over any particular album.

This might be seen as a bit of a cop out to some, but I'm going to conclude this series with four 'best of' compilations. I make no apologies for that. I kind of have a bit of a problem with it myself though, in that no 'best of' comp is ever going to be perfect. Truth be told, I generally compile my own so I get what I want. But the rule I'm setting myself here is they must all be commercially-available compilations. Box sets and special editions are not permitted either.

#47: 'The Singles' - Inspiral Carpets
Put simply, Inspiral Carpets were one of the best and most consistent singles bands of the 90s. Even their new stuff is decent, but there's not a bad track on this. Their albums got progressively better, but their singles remained top notch throughout, even if little ever topped This Is How It Feels for me (though there's probably a reason for that...)


#48: 'Best Of' - The House Of Love
This is a particularly good collection as it includes album tracks as well as singles. OK, so it's missing the really early singles (Real Animal and the original Shine On) as well as anything from the final pre-split album 'Audience Of The Mind', but it covers pretty much everything there is to love about the House Of Love, including Destroy The Heart. Especially Destroy The Heart!


#49: 'Great Expectations: The Singles Collection' - New Model Army
'Thunder And Consolation' so very nearly made it onto the list, but I decided it would mean leaving too many other great tunes behind (like No Rest and Here Comes The War), so I plumped for this US-only set instead which covers material from 1983-2000. OK, so the recent stuff is missing, but there hasn't been an update. A shame, as the most recent three NMA albums have been excellent.


#50: 'The Singles 86>98' - Depeche Mode
This was so nearly The Coral 'Singles Collection', but I opted for Depeche Mode in the end as there is a distinct lack of electronic music on this list and it would satisfy any craving I have. This period of 'The Mode' is easily my favourite. The early stuff is too 80s synthy for my liking, as good as the songs are. Some of their recent stuff is decent, but from 'Black Celebration' to 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' they were pretty much flawless, certainly from a singles perspective, at least.


So that's it, another series complete. At last! Thanks for humouring me.


  1. All in all you'll have a grave you can well be proud of, Robster! This was a neat series and I enjoyed it mightily indeed ...

  2. An excellent and epic series Robster although I'm sure you are a wee bit relieved that it has come to an end

  3. Great piece of art to illustrate your list. So many of my favorites are here too. As for your last picks, Depeche Mode should be coming up very soon in my vinyl collection series. We like different eras, but the Mrs. would very much approve of your choice... and that disc in particular. I can't tell you how many times it has been played in this house.