On Saturday it is the first ever National Album Day and to celebrate we wanted to share our favourite albums with you all. We both feel that albums are incredibly important creative outputs for musicians and hope that the people who have heard our debut album will agree.
First up here’s Ollie:
“I didn’t really like music growing up. We had a record player with my mum’s records from the 70s and I really liked Aga Do by Black Lace. I’d play that a lot. The record sleeve had the dance moves, it was like the precursor to the Maceranor. But most of the time I remember hating the shit played on the radio. I remember wishing I’d been born in the 50s so I could have grown up with the great music of the 60s and 70s. Instead I had to put up with this 80s shit.
Sometimes a song would come on the radio that got me excited but they were very few and very far between. I can remember a song by Roxette and a song by Seal sounded fantastic to me.
I had some older cousins who were into Jimi hendrix and AC/DC. They played guitar, shot BB guns, kept tarantulas and snakes, had girlfriends, smoked funny-smelling stuff and were generally very cool. I wanted to be like them so I tried to learn guitar but gave up as quickly as I started when I couldn’t instantly play like Hendrix.
Eventually Oasis exploded onto the scene. I was so thankful that someone was making pop guitar music like the 60s records of my mum’s that I loved but with modern production values. Their debut album Definitely Maybe helped me to realise that anyone can play guitar and write songs, so I had a go and got hooked. I saw it as a catharsis, and instead of a diary or relying on friends who had proven themselves untrustworthy, I poured my heart out into writing my own music that I enjoyed.
Oasis quickly felt immature and a friend recommended The Bends by Radiohead. It blew my mind and was clearly written to much higher standards. A higher-quality craft. I fell deeply in love and listened to that album too much. I have to be careful I don’t listen to it too often now as I can start to hate it due to being over-played.
Then at uni a girlfriend who had a mich greater music knowledge and appreciation than me introduced me to Grace by Jeff Buckley and again my mind was blown. I didn’t like it at first but she insisted I listen again and I got it the second or third time. Here was an even more meticulous piece of art, greater still than the Bends.
She then introduced me to Led Zeppelin. I’d heard of them but they seemed like an irrelevant band from the past. I don’t know if I think their art is higher than Buckley’s but I couldn’t have appreciated it the way I did if I hadn’t got into Buckley first”.
And next here is Daniel:
“Albums are special things. I have a loft with over 1000 of them on CD.
When people ask me what my favourite albums are I always struggle to be able to home in on such a few. But as I write this there are a few that really stick out. It was around the mid 90s that I really got into music.
Nirvana were easily one of the first bands that stood out for me (along with a million other kids across the world). I loved Nevermind and In Utero but wouldn’t put either of those as being my favourite of theirs and in some ways it goes against convention to choose a live album but Nirvana Unplugged was and still is one of the most beautiful records I know. I had MTV as a kid and watched the show but when the record was released it hardly ever left my disc-man It also very much became the album that made me learn guitar and I used to be able to play the whole thing. That raw emotion when Kurt sings ‘I shivered’ in where did you sleep last night will forever send shivers down my spine.
I then got into Brit pop and loved the early music by Pulp, Blur, Oasis and in particular Suede. Their second album Dog Man Star stood out from everything else at that time and although often dismissed by the band themselves due to the issues they were going through at the time it remains an incredible piece of music. It switches between the energy and darkness if We Are the pigs and Together to to the heartbreaking delicacy of Black and blue and Still life and don’t even get me started on Asphalt World.
At the same time as the indie stuff I was also heavily getting into dance music. The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, Underworld along with Orbital and Leftfield massively influenced me. I’m going to call out both Orbitals Snivilisation and Leftism by Leftfield here as being two of my favourite albums ever. Both are very different but utterly timeless. The Orbital album introduced me into blips and beeps and sonic synth sound scapes and heavily influenced the music I later made. And the left field album is in my view the greatest dance album ever made.
During all this time I loved Blur but it’s not Parklife or The Great Escape that stick out for me as great albums it’s their self titled Blur. That album came out when I worked at WH Smith’s and I got a copy the day it came out. I wasn’t expecting much from it but was then blown away by their hardened sound and the incredible musicality of them. It stayed in my car CD player for months and was even in there the day my car was stolen by joyriders so at least they had something good to listen to.
The last album I will mention for now is Kid A by Radiohead. I had loved all of their first three albums, all of which would easily take this spot. I was about to start my third year of uni and went back to my shared house a week early. I used to stay up late and listen to a lot of music late at night. I actually think Kid A was the first album I illegally downloaded – even tho I purchased it a week later. One night once the download finished I pressed play, not knowing what to expect and the opening notes of Everything in its right place transported me away to somewhere I hadn’t been with music before. The album took me on a journey and the sounds, production and feeling through that whole thing felt so powerful and relevant for me at that time.
Since 2000 there have been very few albums that have hit me and stayed with me as favourites but I’m always hoping there is something out there that changes my mind”.
So there you go, a little insight into what we like.
Don’t forget we released DEFIANCE our debut album last month and would love to know what you think so please have a listen.