15 years of albums

The good folks at NME are running a Best Albums of the Past 15 Years vote, which has sent me spiralling into a deep pit of nostalgia – and feeling more than just a tad anxious about the passing of time, I must confess. Go on, admit it. You also thought of Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell. That’s not mathematical ineptness on my part, Mr Davies, just sheer shock at how fast the time is flying by. It came out in 1994, you all know that, and so falls just outside the target area. If you really got close to the edge and stretched as though your life depended on it, your tingling fingertips might just brush the case (cassette or CD, probably both knowing you lot), but, alas, you’d never be able to drag it inside; it’s too far gone.

So, noting with some reluctance that only those albums released since 1996 are valid, and allowing myself a loose chronology to order my selections neatly…

1996

Everything Must Go by the Manic Street Preachers. Yes, some said they sold out and became too mainstream and commercial with this release, but if there was one reason to acquire and cherish this album, it was ‘A Design For Life’ with its opening line: “Libraries gave us power, then work came and made us free.”

Also this year, Ocean Colour Scene’s Moseley Shoals received a lot of play in my Discman, which unlike my iPod still works, I’ll have you know.

1997

Lots to choose from this year. Bob Dylan’s 30th studio album, Time Out of Mind; the promising debuts from Stereophonics (Word Gets Around) and Mogwai (Young Team); The Verve’s Urban Hymns and Charlatans’ Tellin’ Stories. By this time, of course, Britpop was noticeably waning and perhaps that was no bad thing. (Discuss?)

1998

Another from the Manics (This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours). Didn’t really need much more, to be honest, as also released were the Greatest Hits of the Lemonheads.

1999

The Man Who from Travis, its opening track and debut single, ‘Writing To Reach You’, perfectly sets the tone for the sensitive, melodic and dream-like music that follows. I guess many of us could, in 1999, relate to this lyric:

“Every day I wake up and it’s Sunday
Whatever’s in my head won’t go away
The radio is playing all the usual
What’s a Wonderwall, anyway?”

Not forgetting Californication from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

2000

Coldplay’s swirly, shimmery Parachutes is the only original work to compete with The Best of The Doors and of The MC5, I feel. Presumably we can all overlook the tediousness of ‘Yellow’ just this once. And the fact that reissues don’t count.

2001

There’s only one: the Manics again and Know Your Enemy. A return to form, many felt, they ditched their politeness and offered some vitriolic lyrics, starting with ‘Found That Soul’ and ending with ‘Freedom of Speech Won’t Feed My Children’ (“it just brings heart disease and bootleg clothing”). It also has a gem of a hidden track, a cover of McCarthy’s ‘We Are All Bourgeois Now’.

Unusually, it’s the only album of theirs, I believe, to feature a Parental Guidance sticker warning of explicit lyrics (in part for their observations on the campaign to Free Tibet):

“We love to kiss the Dalai Lama’s ass
Because he is such a holy man
Free to eat and buy anything
And to fuck from Paris to Beijing”

Wonderfully offensive.

Actually, there is another and, frankly, it’s better on many levels: the debut from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – simply B.R.M.C. What a debut it is. So loud and grungey with unforgettable riffs, the type of album you play from start to finish and never really know which song is which.

2002

Coldplay’s second and the point I lost interest in them, to be honest: A Rush Of Blood To the Head. I thought Idlewild also peaked with The Remote Part. One of this album’s two hit singles – ‘American English’ – ends with the delightfully bleak “You’ll find what you find when you find there’s nothing.” Indeed.

I should also list the following:

– The Mooney Suzuki, Electric Sweat
– Queens of the Stone Age, Songs for the Deaf
– Starsailor, Love is Here

2003

This year was all about the refreshingly new Kings of Leon, who released Youth and Young Manhood. Back when they were hairy and far from being anyone’s darlings, they seemed to be a breath of fresh air. I’m not sure what happened next.

The year’s other stand out, for me, was Take Them On, On Your Own from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which managed to be even darker than their previous effort with superb lyrics such as these, from ‘U.S. Government’, for example:

“I spit my faith on the city pavement
To keep a smile
I bought my legs from the US government
To keep me in line”

2004

Again, only one and it was Jet’s Get Born. Thrashy and catchy, if parts of it were not soon to be overplayed.

2005

Two debuts: Little Barrie’s extremely funky We Are Little Barrie and the eponymous Wolfmother. To be fair, Howl from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club could have been created by a completely different band, so far is it from their previous two albums. Almost entirely acoustic, with Howl they blended Blues, Country and even Gospel to produce a fine piece of work. Dare I say, Dylanesque?

2006

Oh my, what a year.

– The Blue Van, Dear Independence
– Burning Saviours, Hundus
– Ray Davies, Other People’s Lives
– Bob Dylan, Modern Times
– Jet, Shine On

Special attention must be paid to Neil Young’s powerful, poignant, pin-prickly Living With War. Its lyrics, as you’d expect from a wound-up Neil Young, hit hard. One example from ‘The Restless Consumer’:

“People around the world, we need someone to listen
We’re dying from our disease, we need your medicine
How do you pay for war and leave us dying?
When you could do so much more, you’re not even trying”

Oh, and David’s On an Island. We liked that one, didn’t we?

2007

Just the one, but it is rather special and also a double album. Surely nothing could top the first Eagles album in 28 years, several years in the making: Long Road Out of Eden. The title track is ten minutes of indescribable brilliance with Don Henley at his finest. Another record very much of its time, it won two Grammy awards, one of which was in recognition of a most utterly haunting instrumental, ‘I Dreamed There Was No War’. If you haven’t, really, you should. I hope you do.

2008

The debut from Fleet Foxes, predictably called Fleet Foxes, was the one everybody talked about, but Neil Diamond gave us something of great beauty in the form of Home Before Dark. To this, add Paul McCartney’s third and hastily-done (not that you’d think it) project with producer Martin Glover, better known as Youth from The Orb: The Fireman, Electric Arguments. Amazing what you can do in just thirteen days.

There was also the Frank Sinatra CD+DVD compilation, titled Nothing But the Best to mark the tenth anniversary of his passing.

Oh, and something called Live in Gdańsk. I seem to remember some of you mentioning it once or twice…

2009

Speaking of exquisite live albums, not that we should as they don’t count, Leonard Cohen was Live in London and live at lots of other places, too. If you didn’t see him on tour, kick yourself and ask the nearest person to kick you, as well. I can only hope that you heard this recording.

Also for 2009, two modern supergroups: first, The Dead Weather (made up of The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, Jack White of The White Stripes, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs) – with Horehound – and second, requiring no title, Them Crooked Vultures (‘them’ being John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age).

2010

Last year, other than smatterings of Baby, I’ll Play from the Thomas Oliver Band, nothing really caught my ear and I found myself preferring the sound of silence to much of the newer musical creations I’d been exposed to. Similarly, I don’t think there’s been very much this year which has particularly interested me beyond the latest offering from Mogwai. If there’s something I should be listening to, please tell; I have to ask Father Christmas for something other than socks and books, after all. (I will ask him for the new album from Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues, fear not.)

I hope I’ve jogged a memory or two with my above selections; memories of pleasantly rowdy house parties, of the seemingly limitless opportunities afforded by jukeboxes to provide suitable accompaniment to time spent around pool tables, of the eternal soundtrack to college lounges and long, familiar bus rides, of hours lost and parts of lectures missed because of the plastic wonders of HMV. It’s certainly been emotional looking back and listening to the music of the Nineties and, to a lesser extent, the Noughties. I suspect I’m not alone in wondering just when this time machine that Sci-fi has been teasing us with for so long is finally going to materialise and allow us to return to possibly happier, simpler times.

Were those Parkas not great in the Nineties? As were the shabby, flared jeans. The decade’s fashion seems so much more tasteful than the current, hideous Eighties revival with its ankle-grabbing, lycra-infested denim, complemented, if you can say that, by plimsolls. Yes, plimsolls. For goodness sake, it feels as if we only just got rid of them and now they’re back in all their slip-on horribleness.

But, I digress.

To help you along, here are your favourite Nineties albums, some random nonsense from 2008, as well as a further dose covering those albums released since 2000.

Lastly and just a bit mischievously, hands up who thinks Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black (2006) would still feature so prominently in the NME list were it not for her tragic death earlier this year.

Save it for the chatroom, if you prefer. It will be open tomorrow from 1pm (UK).

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

105 thoughts on “15 years of albums”

  1. Mmmm… let’s see now –

    The Eagles – Long Road Out Of Eden
    Joe Bonamassa – New Day Yesterday
    Carole King & James Taylor – Live At The Troubadour (Doesn’t Count but still worth a mention)
    Warren Haynes – Man In Motion (Crackin’ album… check it out!)
    Noel Gallagher – High Flying Birds… another good album!
    David Gilmour – On An Island

    1. I’m enjoying Warren Haynes. Thanks for the suggestion, Paul.

      I haven’t given High Flying Birds a listen yet. I wasn’t blown away by Liam’s new band, Beady Eye, but they’re not bad. What did you think?

    2. I’ve never been a fan of Oasis, I simply refused to listen to anything by them because I absolutely could not stand one of their songs, I don’t even know what it’s called. It’s the one that sounds very like John Lennon and has a vocal repeat in it that drones on and mournfully on. I’m afraid it’s another of those that makes me want to smash up the radio it’s escaped out off!

      However. . . I saw Noel Gallagher in an interview (and have heard him play with Paul Weller) and I found myself, to my own surprise, actually liking him. 😀 I’m going to have to give him a listen.

      ash

  2. FEd…

    Liam and Beady Eye just don’t do it for me… the songs have no melody… nothing memorable about them at all. Noel’s new album has some seriously good tracks on it… very George Harrison All Things Must Pass -ish… AKA Broken Arrow is worn down on my CD player. :v

    Warren covers some Floyd stuff with Gov’t Mule the odd time… he’s one very talented chap.

  3. 😡 Dear David, my name is Fernando and I live in Brazil.

    As a diehard fan of Pink Floyd my dream since my teenage years was a concert by the band here in Brazil. As we no longer have Richard with us there is still hope for their presentation with Nick here in my country.

    You will be well received, you can be sure. Roger Waters was here several times this year and comes back. With respect to the thousands of fans of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and would like to watch your show once here.

    I hope to raise awareness with my appeal because time does not wait.

    A big hug and I would like to get a response.

    Thank you.

    Fernando – Brazil

  4. I’ll stick with your choices from 2008 and 2009. Excellent, as a fine wine or Champagne! :/

  5. I suspect I’m not alone in wondering just when this time machine that Sci-fi has been teasing us with for so long is finally going to materialise…

    Well, I can assure you that Pink Floyd are the ultimate “time machine”. I was in it and I felt just like Alice in her wonderland. It was scary at first, it was delightful, it was enlightening, it was very educational. I wish I could explain it, it was the most remarkable experience I have ever been on. This has probably gone over many people’s heads but it was a very real experience. And I was not on drugs at all.

    Another good thing about time machines, is if you do get to see what could be the future, you can prevent it from happening.

    Now I know that has gone over everybody’s heads. But one day, one day, I will write about it and put it in a way which is understandable.

    But going back through the midst of time is one joyous experience.

    Anway, enough of my tangent, I have always liked the Kaiser Chiefs to me they are a special blend of 60s/80s music. Well, that is what their music reminds me of anyway.

  6. No Radiohead? OK Computer is the best album of the last 15 years and better than Without You I’m Nothing by Placebo.

    I mostly agree with the NME Top 20 but I would take away the two by the Arctic Monkeys and the White Stripes and add On an Island obviously, Youth and Young Manhood by Kings of Leon, Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Know Your Enemy by the Manic Street Preachers.

    I think Know Your Enemy is better on the whole than the two that came before it, but Design For Life is one of the best singles of the last 15 years for sure.

    I would not include Any Winehouse because I thought she was always over rated.

    1. I would not include Any Winehouse because I thought she was always over rated.

      In that case, there’s room for one more.

      I can’t believe that Urban Hymns by The Verve is not already there. I thought I had the years wrong, but it was definitely released in 1997. Maybe people got tired of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’?

  7. Ben,

    We play a strange game here … everybody knows you are right about Radiohead and OK Computer in particular but everyone pretends they don’t like them, nay even loathe them … You may hear F’ed feign protests over Thom’s insufferable screeching for example.

    As a general rule, the more people say they dislike them, the more they secretly relish every minute of it …

    1. Not bloody likely, Tim. However, I would never ever, not even half-heartedly, dispute their right to be included in such a ‘best of’ list. They absolutely, positively and indubitably deserve to be there on the grounds that a lot of people like them and their work has been met with critical acclaim over a respectable length of time. They just wouldn’t be anywhere near my ‘favourite’ list, that’s all. “Insufferable screeching” is so right.

    2. There Ben, just see how much F’ed really loves ’em. 😀

      I’ll settle for that F’ed, you may even avoid an Italian mauling.

  8. Hi! This is my first post in the blog, I wanted to share my thoughts on this one.

    Here is my list, some records that must be listened at least once.

    1996 – Alice In Chains Unplugged: one of the best MTV Unpluggeds ever, interesting to see how Layne Stayley was slowly fading away from this world… quite sad.

    1998-Blind Guardian Nightfall In Middle-Earth: metal, not for everyone 😛 but still a masterpiece.

    1999- Blackmore´s Night Under A Violet Moon: great album, something to listen when you get home after a crappy day at work. 😀

    2001- The Black Crowes Lions: The Crowes, a band that always deliver quality albums, this one has a more Zep vibe.

    2002- Marc Ford It´s About Time: This one! Top 3 greatest albums of the decade. Marc Ford, former Black Crowes lead guitar, is the man that can bring back the 70´s but still sound fresh. Love this one, the song “Giving” is my favourite.

    2003- Opeth Damnation: Prog death metal band, but this record has no metal at all. Soft and dark songs most of them, more on the 70´s prog type. Another must.

    2006- David Gilmour On An Island: well… you all know this one. :v

    2007- Pez Los Orfebres: Argentinian band, every album is different, this one is more 70´s prog based but quite more powerful. You should give it a try.

    2008 – David Gilmour Live In Gdansk: This is another must, I think that On An Island is better on the live versions. I think that this tour was more Floyd than the last Floyd tours.

    Well, that´s all for now.

    Cheers!

    1. I think that this tour was more Floyd than the last Floyd tours

      You’re so right Gabriel, the real spirit of Floyd, stripped bare of histrionics, bombast and, though we love them in moderation, flying pigs.

      Thinking on it there are really plenty of good / great / perfectly fine albums that have come into being this last 15 years, many of them listed here. The trick is always to avoid the “pop scene” which was never much good anyway and dig around amongst those serious artists

      Thinking of the last year did you ever catch PJ Harvey’s Mercury winning effort F’ed? There’s another voice that can be an acquired taste but you can’t question her intelligence or integrity.

      1. I did and you’re right, you can’t question it. A brilliant intellect indeed. I need to be in a certain mood to listen to her, I have to confess. But then, the same can be said for most acts.

  9. Hi Fed and all

    Definitely ‘On and Island’ together with Live in Gdansk which we think gave us the best versions of Echoes, Comfortably Numb and Fat Old Sun ever, Richard was really on form that night and with the orchestra as well and David’s superb playing made a superb box set.

    Whilst on the subject of newly released box sets The Dark Side of the Moon Immersion set was brilliant, worth it alone for disc 6 with all the demos and Household Objects etc. Thank goodness Antonioni rejected Us and Yhem (and David put Fat Old Sun on Atom Heart Mother and not Ummagumma!!!)

    Best wishes to you Fed and all.

    Heather

  10. Just a few of my best buys recently:

    Elbow – Seldom Seen Kid
    Coldplay – X&Y
    Nerina Pallot – Year of the Wolf
    Neil Young – Prairie Wind
    Killers – Live at Royal Albert Hall
    REM – Live
    Kate Bush – Aerial
    Dido – Safe Trip Home
    Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
    Amy MacDonald – A Curious Thing
    Robert Plant – Band of Joy
    Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up
    Chris Rea – Road to Hell and Back
    David Byrne and Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

    Ian

    1. I shouldn’t have left out Elbow. Thank you for including them, Ian.

      I’ve only listened to X&Y once. Will give it another try later. As I recall, it was a bit too ‘electronic’ for my liking and reminded me of U2 when, at least to my mind, they started becoming pretentious and obnoxious (Achtung Baby). In all honesty, I tend to go off bands when they get too big for their boots, with the exception of those I haven’t watched progress through the years and whose albums I discovered years after they were released (and not necessarily in chronological order, which spoils it somewhat).

  11. Re: Time Machines …

    Unfortunately we can say with some certainty that there never will be a time machine (or at least one that goes backwards) because if it ever exists in the future, someone will already have come back to see us (Terminator doesn’t count) and there would subsequently be an huge number of such occurrences.

    This is not such a bad thing however because we have a tendency to take a rose-tinted view of the past and would find that the temporal grass was in fact no greener and probably includes more thistles (although this may please the Scots).

  12. Well, I have to admit that in 2007, I listened and sang along with Paul Thorn’s It’s a Great Day to Whoop Somebody’s Ass!

    1. That song is how I felt due to the fact that I was quitting cigarettes!!!

  13. Missed the chat yesterday — BUMMER. 🙁

    For me, a few memorable albums are (they all fall within the timeline, are in no particular order and likely wouldn’t make Album/s of the Year anyway):

    Judas Priest (sans Halford) – Jugulator (Nostradamus was a bit more challenging)
    Snow Patrol – Songs for Polar Bears
    Soundgarden – Down on the Upside (Blow up the Outside World was an outstanding track)
    Collective Soul – Disciplined Breakdown
    Gary Moore – Dark Days in Paradise
    Avenged Sevenfold – City of Evil
    Eric Clapton – Pilgrim
    Alice in Chains – Black Gives Way to Blue
    Gov’t Mule – High and Mighty
    David Gray – White Ladder
    Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia
    Smashing Pumpkins – Adore
    Demons and Wizards – Demons and Wizards
    Nickelback – Dark Horse (okay, so I lie … there is only one song on the album I like … Burn it to the Ground)
    The Posies – Amazing Disgrace

    Anything and everything Blue October – one of my favourites is this and has to be heard LOUD with headphones. Don’t have their recent CD and haven’t heard anything from it but I doubt it’ll disappoint (am saving all pennies for an ‘immersion’).

    Don’t care much for Coldplay, do enjoy Amy’s sassy Back to Black, ditto on Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication.

    This talk of nostalgia got me to thinking 😉 :

    “And you can fly
    High as a kite if you want to
    Faster than light if you want to
    Speeding through the universe
    Thinking is the best way to travel”

    1. I’m happy to see Alice in Chains “Black Gives Way to Blue” in your list.

      I decided not to buy it when it was released because I didn’t completely trust their decision to come back after so many years and with a new singer, but if you say it’s a good album, I will probably buy it soon.

      Mark Knopfler “Sailing to Philadelphia” is a beautiful album.

  14. I completely forgot about Shinedown, Rage Against the Machine and Gorrilaz’ Demon Days (especially Feel Good, Inc.) – none of which I would die for mind you but good listening nonetheless.

    Haven’t yet decided how I feel about AWOLNATION and Foster the People although their ‘hit’ tracks SAIL and Pumped up Kicks are catchy.

  15. One artist that I recently started to enjoy listening to is Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Apparently he has been around for years. Notable album would be his 1997 release: “Trouble Is….”

    Are you familiar with his work??

    Off topic and don’t know if this was discussed here earlier but did you see this?

    Of course I know that David is more a Fender guy and he prefers maple necks to rosewood but he does own at least one gold top Gibson Les Paul. I wonder what the thoughts are of the folks here regarding what transpired at Gibson. Where’s that DG blog friend from Nashville when you need him most???

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  16. I saw Pink Floyd at Anaheim Stadium in 77′ Quadraphonic. Nothing by any band, including PF, has ever come close. I keep hoping there is a recording of that show in Dave’s vault. And soon he will let it out. I cannot believe the expense of that show went unrecorded.

    Time to make another 100 million Dave. Release the video. I will buy at least 3 copies. The 77′ show clowned everything. I am so glad I experienced it. 🙂

    1. OK, sorry i got off subject.

      Best album past 15 years? Anything by Slipknot…. But then there is Tool, and… Well in the tradition of Pink Floyd, Dream Theater’s Pull Me Under is the closest thing to progressive rock in a long time.

  17. My own list would be very different and would include albums by The Pineapple Thief, Porcupine Tree, Anathema and David’s album of 2006.

    This year has, for me, produced some stunning albums.

    All slightly different in genre’s but brilliant nonetheless…

    Grace for Drowing by Steven Wilson
    Realistic by Snowy White
    All Rights Removed by Airbag

    Samples of all readily available on YouTube.

  18. … the best albums of the last 15 years, ey? Let me see (one album per artist):

    AC/DC: Black Ice
    Bruce Dickinson Tyranny Of Souls
    David Gilmour: On An Island
    Frank Zappa: Cheap Thrills
    Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier
    Judas Priest: Angel Of Retribution
    Lemmy: Damage Case (although the content is quite older)
    Michael Schenker: Thank You 4 (all of them are fine, especially the 4th one is great!)
    Phil Manzanera: The Music 1972-2008
    Pink Floyd: P.U.L.S.E (OK, it’s a live album, but what can I do? 😉 )
    Red Hot Chili Peppers: By The Way
    Uli Jon Roth: Transcendental Sky Guitar
    Velvet Revolver: Contraband

    In case you did not listen to Michael Schenker’s Thank You albums yet, you should give them a try.

    Best regards

    Taki

  19. Manic Street Preachers “Everything Must Go” and “Know Your Enemy” are both beautiful albums. I discovered them recently (you made me curious about them FEd, so thanks) and they certainly deserve a place in the list. I don’t know “This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours”, yet, but I have “Postcards From a Young Man” and I like it. Far better than most of 2010 albums, in my view.

    I also agree on Mogwai, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen.

    Apart from these albums and David’s ones, my favourites are:

    1996
    Crash – Dave Matthews Band
    To The Faithful Departed – The Cranberries
    No Code – Pearl Jam
    Evil Empire – Rage Against the Machine
    Murder Ballads – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    Boys for Pele – Tori Amos
    New Adventures in Hi-Fi – R.E.M.

    1997
    The Fat of the Land – The Prodigy
    The Boatman’s Call – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    Buena Vista Social Club
    Ultra – Depeche Mode

    1998
    Mezzanine – Massive Attack
    Yield – Pearl Jam
    Adore – Smashing Pumpkins
    Americana – Offspring
    Clandestino – Manu Chao
    Up – R.E.M.
    From the Choirgirl Hotel – Tori Amos

    1999
    Play – Moby
    Supernatural – Santana
    Bury the Hatchet – The Cranberries

    2000
    1 – The Beatles
    Binaural – Pearl Jam
    Mother Earth – Within Temptation

    2001
    Toxicity – System of a Down
    Love and Theft – Bob Dylan

    2002
    18 – Moby
    Up – Peter Gabriel

    2003
    100th Window – Massive Attack
    The Raven – Lou Reed
    Happy Songs for Happy People – Mogwai

    I’ll come back later to finish my list. 🙂

  20. 2004
    ?

    2005
    Aerial – Kate Bush
    With Teeth – Nine Inch Nails

    2006
    Stadium Arcadium – Red Hot Chili Peppers

    2007
    Into The Wild – Eddie Vedder

    2008
    Third – Portishead
    Death Magnetic – Metallica

    2009
    21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
    Backspacer – Pearl Jam
    If On A Winter’s Night… – Sting

    2010
    Postcards From a Young Man – Manic Street Preachers

    2011
    Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will – Mogwai
    Collapse Into Now – R.E.M.
    Give Till It’s Gone – Ben Harper

    Maybe it’s just my fault, but when I listen to present music, I rarely hear something that sounds actually new.

    I have spent a lot of time listening to new music in the Nineties, buying and (more frequently) exchanging CDs with my friends. I believe that was something like a social rite for us. If I think about it, I remember that everything seemed new and meaningful and that we were listening to the music convinced to find something important in it. Maybe it was so, maybe not, I don’t know, but I enjoyed that good feeling very much and I sometimes miss it.

    I think I’ve been lucky to be a teenager in the Nineties. 🙂

    1. Not a good year, 2004. There was Brian Wilson’s Smile, though.

      Something I didn’t appreciate at the time, although David did and had done for two years by the time the second album came out, was A Grand Don’t Come for Free by The Streets. Listening to it now, to the first album in particular (2002’s Original Pirate Material), I realise that it’s very clever.

    2. Bloody hell!!! Now I feel old and very anxious 😉 … I thought I was fortunate to be a teenager in the ’70s. Dang, where’s that time machine?!!

      Forgot about Santana’s Supernatural … really enjoyed it.

    3. FEd,

      So when you say “listening to it now” which is a phrase you say quite a bit on here. What are you listening to it now on? Are you an iPod junkie? Do you listen through your computer? Or do you have a sophisticated stereo system that set you back several thousand dollars and makes all your friends green with envy at the sound it produces?

      Thanks.
      Andrew

      1. No sophisticated stereo system, nor an iPod these days. Through my computer is preferable when I’m at my desk. I’d gladly recommend Logitech V20 notebook speakers, which produce a good, clear sound with plenty of bass, to anyone. Very portable and hard-wearing. Had them for years.

    4. Not a good year, 2004

      Probably because your ears were infected by the Scissor Sisters rendition of Comfortably Numb.

      However, David made an appearance on this as a way of recompense.

    5. Bloody hell!!! Now I feel old and very anxious 😉 … I thought I was fortunate to be a teenager in the ’70s. Dang, where’s that time machine?!!

      Pavlov,

      You’ve been very fortunate to be a teenager in the 70s, in my opinion. 🙂

      As I think it’s clear reading some (OK, many) of my comments, I don’t like very much the present time and I find this world particularly unsuitable for adolescents, who grow up surrounded by competitive spirit, greed and bad values and often become unable to look for experiences and true feelings, as they should naturally do.

      That’s why I think I’ve been lucky to be a teenager in the 90s: because it seems to me that, after that decade, many things have changed for the worse.

    6. I’m trying to listen to something by The Streets and, to be honest, I can’t say it’s my favourite kind of music, but I should know more songs and read the lyrics (as I can’t understand them while listening) to be sure about it.

      By the way, another 2005 album I really like, discovered thanks to David, is “Dimanche à Bamako” by Amadou & Mariam.

  21. Mmm, just 4 albums so far for me:

    Of course On an Island (2006)
    Keane – Hopes and Fears (2004)
    Undiscovered – James Morisson (2006)
    Patience – George Michael (2004)

  22. I decided to do some sleuthing to find out what co-workers and acquaintances are currently listening to. The list is diverse:

    Mushroomhead – Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children 😮
    Holly Miranda – The Magician’s Private Library (like what I’ve heard)
    OK Go – Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
    The Whigs?
    van Conto (interesting)
    Elvenking – Red Silent Tides
    My Darkest Days – My Darkest Days
    Drowning Pool – Drowning Pool
    Cyndi Lauper – Memphis Blues (have not listened to yet – can’t envision Cyndi singing the blues … just doesn’t seem right)
    Lethal Lipstick – Wild Child
    Carolina Liar – Wild Blessed Freedom
    Royseven – You Say, We Say (I’ve just listed to ‘Killer’ and really enjoyed it)

    Some are also listening to quite a bit of techno, hip hop and country which does nothing for me at all. A couple of the ‘younger’ ones are really into opera and classical music which thrills me no end!

    1. Absolutely FEd! It’s not the song that I heard a snippet of yesterday where they actually sounded more like Kings of Leon.

  23. I agree it’s a good idea to sneak Division Bell and P*U*L*S*E in. Can we also slip in Paul Weller’s 1995 Stanley Road? 😛

    1996
    Broken China by Richard Wright.

    1997
    Blur by Blur, Portishead by portishead or Bridges to Babylon by The Rolling Stones.

    1998
    This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours by Manic Street Preachers.

    1999
    Haven’t got one :!

    2000
    All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2.

    2001
    Gorillaz by Gorillaz.

    2002
    Up by Peter Gabriel.

    2003
    Come Away With Me by Norah Jones or Life For Rent by Dido.

    2004
    How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb by U2.

    2005
    Demon Days by Gorillaz or Employment by Kaiser Chiefs.

    2006
    🙂 There can be only one, On An Island by David Gilmour.

    2007
    Long Road Out Of Eden by Eagles.

    2008
    Off With Their Heads by Kaiser Chiefs.

    2009
    Them Crooked Vultures by Them Crooked Vultures.

    2010
    Wake Up The Nation by Paul Weller.

    2011
    New Blood by Peter Gabriel (which I actually haven’t got yet but I saw the cinema screening of the DVD and thought it was brilliant!)

    I had lots more on my list but went with the ones I liked best. 🙂

    ash

      1. Nah, you were playing by NME rules and they didn’t include any live albums or compilations, I don’t believe.

  24. 1996: I can’t believe no one mentioned ‘Broken China’ by Richard. Such a beautiful but underrated album. I love it.

    My ‘Best Albums of the Past 15 Years’ list would include ‘Origin Of Symmetry’, ‘Absolution’, ‘Black Holes & Revelations’, ‘The Resistance’ by Muse and ‘Bloodflowers’ by The Cure.

    You didn’t ask for it, but my ‘Worst Albums of the Past 15 Years’ list would include all the Céline Dion albums that came out between 1996 and 2010. That’s a lot of shit: 23 albums, I think 😮 (+ the Titanic soundtrack).

    1. I totally second the motion for worst albums of the past 15 years Michèle — ANYTHING and EVERYTHING Céline Dion … why I don’t know because when everything is broken down, her voice is actually a good instrument but the usage, oh dear, the usage!

      I too felt Broken China was underrated. Loved Breakthrough but always feel sad and pensive after listening to it.

  25. Also Green Day:

    Nimrod (1997)
    Warning (2000)
    American Idiot (2004) … really enjoyed Boulevard of Broken Dreams but with so much air time I became somewhat weary.
    21st Century Breakdown (2009)

    I was going to list Spacehog’s Resident Alien (was absolutely convinced it was released around ’97/’98 until I checked the sleeve and saw 1995 8| )

    And Stone Temple Pilot’s No. 4 …

  26. Here’s some of my collection from the last 15 years…

    1996
    Broken China – Richard Wright
    On Air – Alan Parsons

    1997
    Urban Hymns – The Verve

    1998
    I only bought compilations for some bizarre reason 8|

    1999
    No Angel – Dido
    The Time Machine – Alan Parsons
    Run Devil Run – Paul McCartney
    Darktown – Steve Hackett

    2000
    Is There Anybody Out There? – Pink Floyd
    Parachutes – Coldplay
    A Day Without Rain – Enya

    2001
    Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd
    Melody A.M. – Royksopp
    A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay

    2003
    Life For Rent – Dido

    2004
    Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
    A Valid Path – Alan Parsons

    2005
    Employment – Kaiser Chiefs
    X&Y – Coldplay
    Aerial – Kate Bush

    2006
    On An Island – David Gilmour

    2007
    This Is The Life – Amy Macdonald
    Long Road Out Of Eden – The Eagles
    Comicopera – Robert Wyatt

    2008
    19 – Adele
    Live In Gdansk – David Gilmour
    Safe Trip Home – Dido

    2009
    Out Of The Tunnels Mouth – Steve Hackett

    2010
    A Curious Thing – Amy Macdonald
    Metallic Spheres – The Orb
    Olympia – Bryan Ferry

    2011
    21 – Adele
    Beyond The Shrouded Horizon – Steve Hackett
    Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay

    (Coming soon… Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow)

  27. I do feel that Annie Lennox deserves an honorable mention. Bare was a fine album.

    Do singles count? Eminem’s Lose Yourself was remarkable and I am not a huge fan of hardcore rap or hip-hop.

    For all you guitar fiends out there, just got the current issue of Guitar Aficionado (suspect it’s a complimentary subscription that ends up on my desk – now why on earth would that be? :v ). Anyway, there’s a small segment on “Guitars that Shook the World” … a tempting morsel of sorts from a marketing perspective, I suppose. The Guitar Collection details the histories of 150 guitars — theguitarcollectionbook.com. Should note that I’m not affiliated in any way, shape or form and this is not a ‘pitch’ … merely an observation. Besides, even at “half price” on Amazon, it’s a King’s Ransom unless one is, in fact, a “guitar aficionado”.

  28. I agree with a lot of the picks so far including Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Paul Weller but these are some that I return to most often…

    1997 – Keys to Ascension by Yes
    1998 – Anonymous Days by Dark
    1999 – Stupid Dream by Porcupine Tree
    2000 – Is There Anybody Out There by Pink Floyd
    2001 – 137 by The Pineapple Thief
    2002 – Are You Passionate by Neil Young
    2003 – Together We Are Stranger by No-Man
    2004 – And Life Goes On – The Black Noodle Project
    2005 – Real Live by Kingston Wall
    2006 – On An Island by David Gilmour
    2007 – Little Man by The Pineapple Thief
    2008 – Night by Gazpacho
    2009 – Anno Domini High Definition by Riverside
    2010 – We Are Here Because We Are Here by Anathema
    2011 (so far) – Grace For Drowning by Steven Wilson

    1. And this one too. I prefer their second album ‘Yours Truly Angry Mob’. I have always loved the Kaiser Chiefs and okay, maybe I fancy the lead singer too. 😛

  29. Hi FE’d,

    Better late than never I guess. 😛
    This “task” showed me one thing and that is I don’t know a lot of these bands… especially the last 5 or so years. I guess that means I’m getting up there. In any case, leaving out live, re-releases and compilations here are some that I rather enjoy… full albums, not just a song or two:

    1996: Metallica – Load
    1997: Faith No More – Album of the Year (still one of my favorites)
    1998: Rob Zombie – Hellbilly Deluxe
    1999: Incubus – Make Yourself
    2000: Bon Jovi – Crush (hey, there are some good tunes on this one – I know you sing along)
    2001: Puddle of Mudd – Come Clean
    2002: Audioslave – Audioslave
    2003: Staind – 14 Shades of Grey (Aaron Lewis is awesome, saw him solo over the summer – just an incredible singer/performer)
    2004: Green Day – American Idiot
    2005: Nine Inch Nails – With Teeth
    2006: David Gilmour – On An Island
    2007: Satellite Party – Ultra Payloaded
    2008: Guns ‘N Roses – Chinese Democracy (I thought Axl did well after all those years. I’ll be at the show in NYC next weekend)
    2009: Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue (Even without Layne it rocks and shows their respect to him throughout – they tore up Terminal 5 last year. Great show)
    2010: Kid Rock – Born Free

    That’s it for me…some years were very light…

    Hope all is well with everyone!

    Cheers. 8|

  30. Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay

    The title of that album makes me think of an artificial sweetener that carries a warning not to eat too much of it as it’ll give you diarrhoea.

    I’m thinking listening to Para-para-paradise too often might have a similar effect.

    1. :)) Reading your comment, Lorraine, suddenly the Stereo MCs’ Connected popped into my head. It’s going to be a rough morning if I can’t get that out of my head!

  31. Speaking of electronic music, Jean Michel Jarre (hi, Andrew) put out ‘Oxygène 7-13’ in 1997.

    He must have a terrible accent, because I think I understood what he said about it. :))

    Here, one hour of his concert in Paris in 2007. A bit boring, perhaps.

    1. Sorry, I was talking about the original release of Oxygene back in 1977. But I still think that Zoolook is one of my favorites. I think we should put on some Jarre and enjoy some XOXO. Oui? LOL.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

  32. As winter, snow and christmastime is coming I would like to mention The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (released in 2003). I really like to listen to it on those calm winter days.

  33. i don’t have a good memory unfortunately, but the last album i remember is songs for the deaf by the queens of the stone age.

    cheers. love you ‘vid.

  34. Hi Fed,

    the Download Rock Fest next year, Donington, will be headlined by Metalica and none other than Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne. Now I don’t normally ask, but is David considering the event? That would be special.

    Regards
    Damian.

  35. I would give anything to have seen a Pink Floyd performance, but I was always working. Last year I re-discovered you all on YouTube. David, you are just beyond… outstanding in your art and caring for others. My compliments to you and all of your colleagues.

    I am 68, but when I wear my Pink Floyd T shirt, you can’t imagine how many young people say wonderful things about your work. The Prism image is, now, a UNIVERSAL symbol for Pink Floyd.

    Admiration to you all from Burbank, California.

  36. I watched Remember That Night at the Royal Albert Hall and was brought to tears because it was so beautiful. Thank you David for playing. I could see the youthfulness come out in you on stage. I especially enjoyed “High Hopes” because it came out in 1994 (the year I graduated high school). This song means something different to me now at the age of 35. I understand it now.

    Thanks again.

    1. I got my Remember That Night BD about a month ago, and I’m really happy with it as well. It was amazing and touching. So thank you David for playing again!

      Thanks
      Tucan

  37. I really think I should listen to that Long Road out of Eden album. Can’t believe I haven’t listened to it yet.

    Happy Days,
    Simon J

    1. Oh Simon. 🙂 If you have ever enjoyed the Eagles, you will really love this, it’s so familiar yet brand new.

      ash

  38. Thanks for the info Fed. Tickets on sale tmoz, me and Kat are going to Donington. It’s a dream fest for me. Hopefully Led Zep, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and the like will be announcing their presence shortly. :))

  39. I have some AMAZING news!

    Over the past few years, I am sure you know that I have been working for HSBC in Swansea. And at the end of every year, the company send a message round to everyone with regards to what charity the company should support for the coming year.

    Every year, staff have chosen Childline, an extremely worthwhile, brilliant cause. But every year, I always put my two cents in and state that one charity to consider is called ‘Crisis’.

    Today, HSBC announced it would be donating £40k to Crisis, and offering 10 volunteering placements to build a new shelter in London, by the 23rd of December.

    My requests never made this happen. But, the fact Crisis is becoming more widespread is extremely important.

    Fed, any chance of a Crisis link on your next blog entry? Every pound will count.

    I mean it more than ever this time,

    Happy Days,
    Simon J

  40. First off, I would like to thank you for introducing me to Mogwai. I am currently listening online to “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead”. Brilliant. I now have something new to look for in vinyl when I go to the record store.

    Here is my list of favourite albums from 1996 to the present. In some cases I have added more than one album per year where I have found it truly impossible to make a decision. I have also added some live albums that I really love and can’t unfortunately take off my list.

    1996 Wilco, Being there
    1997 Portishead
    1998 Beck, Mutations
    Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty
    1999 Joe Strummer, Rock Art & X-Ray style
    2000 Modest Mouse, Moon and Antarctica
    Oasis, Familiar to Millions
    2001 Bod Dylan, Love and Theft
    Joe Strummer, Global a Go Go
    2002 Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    2003 Joe Strummer, Streetcore
    2004 Beastie Boys, To the 5 Boroughs…
    …favourite cut An open Letter to NYC.
    2005 Beck, Guero
    2006 Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood…
    …(I could fall in love with her voice)
    David Byrne & Eno, Everything that happens
    David Gilmour, On an Island
    2007 Beastie Boys, The Mix up
    Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
    Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
    2008 David Gilmour, Live in Gdansk
    2009 Neko case, Middle Cyclone
    Steve Earle, Townes
    Wilco, Wilco
    2010 Arcade Fire, Suburbs
    Neil Young, Le Noise
    2011 Beastie Boys, Hot sauce Committee Part 2

    The end.

    I really enjoy the blog. Thanks!

  41. Hello David:

    Thank you for my dreams.

    My name is Luis, I am 48 years old and I’m from Madrid, Spain.

    Your music has made and make my dreams continue circling for the back side of the moon.

    Sometimes my dreams take me to a new concert in Madrid, along with Roger and Nick. Hopefully this dream becomes a reality.

    Again, thank you for my dreams.

    1. Get in there, Stevie lad.

      Thank you. I enjoyed it very much and the icing on the cake was watching Torres and Meireles leave the pitch as losers (again). Get in.

  42. ‘Lo all. Fed.

    Off topic. An artist who has been with me for many years sadly passed away last week. A great story teller from the Kingdom of Fife: Jackie Leven. Sadly it’s his back catalogue I am recommending to you and all.

    RIP big man, raising a jar to him now.

    Bloggers, keep it up. I know it’s mostly all shit at the moment, but you give me hope… have fun. x

    1. Ah yes, 2005, still the David tour ahead of us … I might even get tickets this time … and of course 18 league titles still seemed an unassailable record. 😀

  43. Totally off topic but am really looking forward to the release of Leonard Cohen’s “Old Ideas” come the end of January.

    With Thanksgiving being celebrated in the US tomorrow, I wanted to wish my fellow US ‘irregulars’ a wonderful day. We really do have much to be thankful for … FEd’s gift of this blog being one of them. 🙂

    1. The chatroom is a gift.

      Thanks for still opening it after all these years (next Friday, for example).

    2. Agreed. 🙂 Thank you for running the blog and chatroom Fed, it’s still a great place and the chat room is hilarious sometimes, thank you all you crazy irregulars. 🙂

      I can’t make that time on Friday. . . but if there’s a lock in, I’ll come in later.

      ash

  44. I would say that the album The Suburbs by Arcade Fire is the best album I have heard for 2010. It’s just so well done and I would have to say that it’s a real plus when all the songs are really good.

    Take Care and Happy Holidays to all,
    Thomas

  45. Whenever a magazine releases a list of top guitarists, it always raises a discussion on this blog. So Rolling Stone released theirs again. And here is an article that was released that is already disputing the list. But look what they say at the end. O, that will get the folks talking on here.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  46. Dear Mr. Gilmour,

    my name is Leandro, I´m 27 years old and I´m a huge fan of all your works. Unfortunately, I have never seen one of your concerts. There are thousands of others, who really dream about an opportunity to have your show in Brazil.

    Please Mr. Gilmour, make one of our dreams come true! Come play in Brazil!!!!!

    Happy new year for you, the band and your family.

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