I spent some time today drawing up a list of favourite albums - one for each year of my life so far. It's something I've been meaning to post since I read about the idea on Phil Edwards' blog - almost two years ago. Still, I got there in the end.
I added a couple of rules for myself. First, I decided not to use any artist more than once. Second, I've restricted myself to albums that I own - so no records that I remember fondly from my youth but no longer have a copy of. It's very much written from my present perspective; I wasn't that big a fan of Kraftwerk when I was four, for example.
Here's the list. Where available, I've linked to the album on Spotify.
1974: Stevie Wonder, Fulfillingness' First Finale
1975: Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks
1976: David Bowie, Station to Station
1977: Brian Eno, Before and After Science
1978: Kraftwerk, Die Mensch-Maschine
1979: Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps
1980: Elvis Costello, Get Happy!
1981: Soft Cell, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
1982: Sun Ra, Nuclear War
1983: Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes
1984: The Fall, The Wonderful and Frightening World of
1985: Tom Waits, Rain Dogs
1986: REM, Lifes Rich Pageant
1987: Prince, Sign O The Times
1988: Pixies, Surfer Rosa
1989: The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
1990: A Tribe Called Quest, People's Instinctive Travels...
1991: Massive Attack, Blue Lines
1992: Sugar, Copper Blue
1993: Morphine, Cure For Pain
1994: Pulp, His 'n' Hers
1995: Bjork, Post
1996: Belle & Sebastian, If You're Feeling Sinister
1997: Radiohead, OK Computer
1998: Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
1999: Mos Def, Black on Both Sides
2000: Outkast, Stankonia
2001: Matthew Herbert, Bodily Functions
2002: The Roots, Phrenology
2003: The Postal Service, Give Up
2004: Republic of Loose, This is the Tomb of the Juice
2005: Roots Manuva, Awfully Deep
2006: TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain
2007: Hanne Hukkelberg, Rykestrasse 68
2008: Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
2009: The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love
The list itself surprises me in how mainstream it is. It's not easy to choose just one album for a given year and I think I'm a sucker for the idea of 'the classic' album. Perhaps I'll do this again another time and pick my second favourite for each year.
Yes it's anoraky to make lists (and I did say this blog was turning entirely into a blog of lists) but I'd recommend that you try it yourself. It's an englightening way to chart your life.