Sunday, 22 March 2009

Ben Jones...singer/songwriter The Lovedays

Ben Jones is from Maidstone....the sleepy little county town of Kent. He is frontman for extraordinaire art-rockers The Lovedays. A veteran of the South East such a tender age. The Lovedays have a new album out NOW. Google it!

1. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys

I bought this album when I was 14 and I dont think it came off of my record player for the rest of the year.
The songs are beautiful, sublime arrangements, Brian Wilson at his romantic best, forever reminds me of the loneliness of being a teenager and how less lonely it made me feel.

2. Paris 1919 - John Cale

A Baroque pop masterpiece. Looked upon as the most "accesible" of John Cales records, its not that that got me. They are just wonderful songs about a very dark subject.

3. Mule Variations - Tom Waits

I could wax lyrical all day on the great rewards one gets in being a Tom Waits fan. This record has it all for me...The sad ballads, the sonic experimentation....ahhh, so good!

4. Boulders - Roy Wood

Made at the same time Roy was making the last Move album and first ELO album, he played every instrument, sang every vocal on this ecclectic little collection of great pop songs. A true maverick artist.

5. Love and Theft - Bob Dylan

A late career high for Mr. D. I could list 15 of his albums that have had a great, profound effect on me in this list, but its this album I probably enjoy the most. Cool songs, great blues/country production, and a great live feel. Bob actually sounds like he's really enjoying himself.

6. On The Beach - Neil Young

Like with Dylan, I could list 15 Neil Young albums I adore, but this one gets it for me. It perfectly encapsulates a time period in pop music when the sweet had very definitely turned sour. Songs about Laurel Canyon murderers and insecurity in a time gone mad, Beatiful, probably for all the wrong reasons.

7. Who By Numbers - The Who

I unashamedly love all of The Whos albums, even "Face Dances". To me Pete Townshend is Englands greatest living songwriter, he can capture the mood of a generation, a time, a personality. Whether it be on deeply personal songs like "However Much I Booze", sentimental laments like "Blue Red and Grey" and "Imagine a Man", or nonsical whimsy like "Squeezebox", this album has something for every mood. Its perfect to me.

8. The Village Green Preservation Society - The Kinks

Swiftly followed by Englands second greatest living songwriter. How Ray Davies could write songs of such deep experience about subjects of a seemingly bygone era will never cease to inspire me. He was, and is, a writer of first class calibre...People Take Pictures of Each Other, Village Green, Last of The Steam Powered Trains, Picture Book...fucking genius.

9. McCartney - Paul McCartney

Maccas first solo album - unashamedly raw, playing all the instruments himself, trying to find his own identity outside of the Beatles, a truly honest and brilliant album. Always a great inspiration.

10. Smile - Brian Wilson
This was one of those great things to get interested in for me as a teenager - The great lost Beach Boys album...all the stories behind its making and, ultimate, unmaking. Collecting bootlegs from wherever I could, it was a wonderful time in my life.... Brian Wilson then dumbfounded us all by not only finishing it, but it actually being fucking mindblowing 37 years after all the hype. And it came out the same time as I was making my first album, so it literally soundtracked the whole of the sessions for it.

11. Daybreaker - Beth Orton

A great mishmash of acoustic guitar and electronica, so laid back, so up and down, bit like my life was when it came out! The soundtrack to my early 20s.

12. Tapestry - Carole King

Literally stopped me in my tracks when I first heard her do "Will You Love Me Tommorow?" solo on the piano on a late night pop programme. If the 70s had been an album, this shouldve been it.

13. (Whats The Story) Morning Glory? - Oasis

Reminds me of when I was learning to play the guitar, and how Oasis helped rescur the british pop music scene, which was in danger of becoming Europop hell. Without a doubt, inspired a generation of teenagers to pick up a guitar, and for that, Like em or loathe em, we should always be grateful to Noel Gallagher.

14. The Globe Sessions - Sheryl Crow

The one where Sheryl went all experimental! Great acoustic album, with shades of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Band and The Rolling Stones all thrown in for good measure. And she produced it herself, after all the hits of the previous two records, to make a bold, exciting recorded statement, not about hits, but about art and emotion.

15. Robins Reign - Robin Gibb

A long out of print first solo album from Robin Gibb, when the Bee Gees went through a brief break up at the end of the 60s. Beautiful, Melancholic pop songs, with tender, orchestral arrangements. Truly a Baroque pop masterpiece, that if you had of slapped Scott Walkers name on would have got far more long term attention than it has. A maligned classic, long overdue its merits being recognised.
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Phil Dillon at 21:11 on 21 March
Tapestry was infused into my bloodstream from the day it came out, It's one of my earliest memories. I am old indeed.

It's interesting that we have two or three top albums in common, and wryly amusing that you selected McCartney where I selected Pepper. I can't actually disentangle McCartney from Ram in my memory, but I do know he never delivered like that again until Flaming Pie.

Youre on your own when you put Oasis in your top 10 though, old chap. Slade were original and better, with a fluffier and more articulate front man.... Read more

I'm off to look up Robin's Reign now...
Andy Fraser at 11:42 on 22 March
The Village Green Preservation of the most beautiful albums....I should've had it in my Top 15. I'm sure there are some you missed out, too.
Roy great. I saw him live a few times.
I'm surprised at the Beth Orton bit....and, like Phil, will check out Robin's Reign. I actually like Robin Gibb....I find him intelligent, witty and level-headed.
I'm putting your top 15 on the blog (link following)
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