Yesterday on twitter someone asked me what my personal favourite rock album was, not something I had to think about for long, in that genre there are a couple of bands for me that really stand out. When I replied to the question Christian Mohn responded as well, he had a different album in mind and based on that he wrote an article with his top 10. (Recommended read for sure!) I figured I would go through the same exercise. Not easy considering I listen to many different types of music, and there are many many albums I really like. Just like Christian I looked at some of my play stats, but they don’t necessarily reveal how I feel about an album and partly are also the result of a phase and what is happening around me.
So I sat down and started listing albums, and then started removing albums from the list. I tried to include at least 1 album from every genre I listen to, but with a strong focus on rock / alternative music. Ow, if the youtube link isn’t working in the country you live in there’s not much I can do about it… Also, if you are here purely for technology articles I appreciate that as well, just skip the article.
Here we go.
10. Elvis – If I can Dream (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
This is where it all started for me, not this particular album, but Elvis in general. My parents were fans, and as they owned a bunch of records it was what I played first on my own record player. Compared to what my friends were listening back then, if they were even listening to anything, it was a bit different… not as “current”. I guess this is where it started for me. This album in particular stands out, it has most of my favourite songs, it was released in 2015. Yes 2015, they recorded new orchestral arrangements and combined that with earlier recorded vocals. It sounds amazing. My favourite song is definitely Bridge Over Troubled Water. (youtube / spotify)
9. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
A newer band, a newer sound with an old touch I would say. I simply love how raw this album is and how these two guys manage to create a very thick/full sound. I love discovering new bands and this is one of those bands that all of a sudden came by and just stuck. I don’t know how often I played this album when I just discovered it, but it was definitely multiple times a day. It just doesn’t get boring, at least not for me. Loose Change is my fav song, it has an awesome vibe. (youtube / spotify)
8. Warzone – Sound of Revolution
I have many hardcore (punk) bands I love. If I look at the old school bands then Warzone is probably my favourite. I listened to their albums a lot. I mean when I was 15-25 probably 5-6 times a week if not more. I liked the fast pace, I liked the lyrics, I liked the energy, I just liked the band and especially their frontman Raybeez, what a legend. Sound of Revolution stands out the most for me, it is one of those albums that I will still play every once in a while… and for me the song At War With Reality is probably the best song on the album, although Throw Me a Line comes very close. (spotify)
7. Editors – An end has a start
Well not exactly rock is it? No it is not, but what a brilliant album and it is alternative enough for me to list it. Editors is a band that immediately grabbed me by the throat the first time I heard a song. It is dramatic, big but small at the same time. The lyrics are excellent and if you have seem them perform live you understand why they are listed, these guys are brilliant musicians. I have seen many concerts, but their performance is at the top of the list if you ask me. This album stands out the most to me, and picking a favourite song is difficult because all songs are great, but I will pick The Racing Rats. (youtube / spotify)
6. Born From Pain – Reclaiming the crown
Okay, I needed to compensate for Editors, which means picking a loud album. I also wanted to pick an album from a dutch band, and one in a genre which most of you are not too familiar with probably which is metalcore. I still listen to this album frequently and I can’t even recall how many Born From Pain concerts I have seen. The tracks on this album typically turned every venue in to one big mosh pit, not talking about people jumping around, but stage diving and what they called “violent dancing”. What is probably most striking is the friends I made during this period, the fun times, the adventures. Favourite song: When we were kings. Not because it is the best song on the album, but because of the collaboration with vocalists from other bands I love: Standard, Full Court Press, Length of Time and Crawlspace (youtube / spotify)
5. Arctic Monkeys – What People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not
This one couldn’t be missing from the list of course, the Arctic Monkeys… the band that gave me the name for this blog, yellow-bricks. I picked “What People Say I Am…” because that is the album that introduced me back to this genre and to the band. It is also is the best album they produced, although Favourite Worst Nightmare is very close, maybe even equal and that one holds Old Yellow Bricks. For this album I am going to go for Fake Tales Of San Francisco as my fav. song. (youtube / spotify)
4. Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape
Could I even have a list without the Foo Fighters? Of course not. Foo Fighters has the same problem as Nirvana though, they probably would have ranked higher if it was a favourite bands list, they have many great albums with amazing songs but in most cases the albums also contain songs which simply don’t do it for me. I had doubts for the longest time around which album to list, The Colour and the Shape contains Everlong which is probably my fav. Foo Fighters song ever. But Echoes. Silence, Patience and Grace also rocks, and what about Wasting Light? Both albums rank extremely high as well. Why I love this band? Well the energy, the vibe around it, and how these guys present themselves on stage but also off stage, they seem to be nice guys, open for a chat with anyone. I picked The Colour and the Shape, because of Everlong. No need to say that that is my fav song on the album. (youtube / spotify)
3. Nirvana – Nevermind
I found it very difficult to place Nirvana at a particular spot in this top 10, I did place them in the top 3 and one place higher than Foo Fighters as without Nirvana Foo Fighters wouldn’t exist. Nirvana is probably one of my favourite bands ever, they don’t have one particular album however which stands out to me. I love In Utero, and I also love their older work, but you cannot not list Nevermind as it literally was the start of a whole hype around grunge. The album has some great songs like In Bloom and Breed for instance, but also songs I personally don’t care much for like Come As You Are. Funny as Come As you Are is one of the most famous songs on the album. But I prefer the raw and energetic songs. My favourite song is In Bloom. (youtube / spotify)
2. Pearl jam – Ten
As I said yesterday, one of my favourite rock albums, probably my favourite, but why isn’t it on the number one spot then? Well simply because this list also has metal bands on it, and Iron Maiden is the greatest band on earth if you ask me. That doesn’t take away the fact that Ten by Pearl Jam is a brilliant album. This is most definitely the best PJ album ever made, I like ever song on the album and I can sing along every track word for word. Funny thing is that my favourite PJ song is not on the album, but was recorded during the same time frame but for various reasons never made it on to the album. What I like most about this album is the energy and how authentic it sounds. They had one goal: rock. Many bands try to make more out of it then it needs to be, pretentious is what I call that. But these guys stuck to the basics with this first album, they did not over think it, they just nailed it. Picking a fav song is difficult, but I will have to go with Black. (youtube / spotify)
1. Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time
I was 12 when Somewhere in Time was released, I bought it as soon as it was available in our local record store. I was already familiar with Iron Maiden as my cousin listened to a lot of metal and he made some mix tapes for me, which included Metallica, Testament, Slayer and the almighty Iron Maiden. It is very difficult to pick a favourite album as I like all early Iron Maiden albums, but Somewhere in Time is special as it was one of the first LPs I bought myself. Definitely not a coincidence, the second edition of the Virtual SAN book as an Iron Maiden quote in it from the song Wasted Years, which is my fav track on the album. “I close my eyes, and think of home. Another city goes by in the night. Ain’t it funny how it is, you never miss it ‘til it has gone away. And my heart is lying there and will be ’til my dying day.” (youtube / spotify)
I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to leave some music tips… always interested in discovering new bands!