Sometimes when you first get your hands on a new album – be it downloaded or an actual physical copy (my preferred choice), you play it over and over trying to get a feel for it, and put in some quality time with it (in my case, usually until you know most of the words). Every once and a while after I’ve been through this process and moved on to another new artist or back to an old one, I’ll find my self going back to that ‘new’ record. Again, and again, and before I’ve even realised it, again! When this happens, I know it’s got to be a special album. Don’t get me wrong, there are some reallllyyyy good albums out there, but sometimes they can have more meaning to you or really resonate with you in a way that hasn’t happened before… whatever the reason for it, you can’t seem to stop going back to them and you never seem to tire of them. These are the types of albums that I like to call my ‘Spaceship Albums’. Albums I feel I couldn’t live without… as in, if you could only take 20 albums with you on a spaceship leaving Earth, which ones would you pick?
At the end of last year I was given a book called Music Listography by Lisa Nola which poses these types of questions that only us music geeks would ever think about. You’re supposed to fill out all the pages and then you’ll have a record of something in time. I’m so much of a geek that I haven’t even written in the actual book yet… I’m still writing my draft lists!! This book is such a brilliant concept, that really gets you thinking about the music you listen to, and perhaps how much certain artists/songs mean to you. I have always kept lists of albums, either a physical list on a post-it note or a mental one. This book got me thinking more about my ‘Spaceship Albums’, a list I had already compiled in my head over the last 10 years, but now I am writing them down, and better yet, blogging about them so I can share them with you!
As soon as people start mentioning ‘favourites lists’ or ‘greatest albums of all time’ it’s always assumed that it would be full of all the albums ever made by your favourite band/artist. However, you might be pleasantly surprised if you start actually thinking about which albums you gravitate back to all the time. A good way to start thinking about this is to look at your most played tracks in iTunes. For me, it’s more a matter of memory. For example, when I’m in one of those moods where I can’t decide what I want to listen to (which happens quite often!) I will generally pick a Spaceship Album, or I’ll hear a song from one of the albums played somewhere and I will immediately be full of happy thoughts and nostalgia which will spur me to play it again.
Over the coming weeks I will be going through some of my ‘Spaceship Albums’ (If I talked about them all in this post you’d be reading all week!!) I would love to hear some of your ‘Spaceship Albums’ so feel free to leave me a comment!
The first — in no particular order;
Stereophonics – Just Enough Education to Perform (2001)
I love this band. I have every one of their albums, but this is definitely my favourite of theirs. It has a lot more variety than their other works, and it also has some very fond memories of high school attached to it for me. Among the gems on this album are some classic ‘anthem’ songs like Mr Writer and the very uplifting Have A Nice Day. Every song on this record tells a story.. in particular Nice To Be Out and Lying In The Sun. Kelly Jones’ gravelly voice goes down like hot chocolate. This album is good in any season, good to sleep to and in particular good to listen to whilst looking out bus/train windows!
Alex Lloyd – Black The Sun (1999)
This is Alex Lloyd’s first album, before he was catapulted to fame with his song Amazing. Every song on this album is a winner. It’s reeks of 90’s indi and that first album innocence. The production is perhaps a little dated by today’s standards but that’s part of it’s charm for me. It doesn’t sound like anything that would be released today and I think that’s one of the reasons I turn it to so often.. The title track Black The Sun has made it onto countless chill out playlists of mine, along with Lucky Star. For a change of pace there’s the catchy What A Year. It’s a great album to chill out to, have on in the background or in your headphones whilst in transit.
Stay tuned for more from my list soon!