This is in alphabetical order so that there is no winner. I can't believe i've got it down to 15!
Belle And Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister. Everything that C86, Felt, Young Marble Giants promised according to NME write ups but never quite delivered, B&S have made 3 of the greatest albums of modern times. Clever, moving lyrics and great tunes. This one just shades it.
Kate Bush - The Dreaming. Never has someone so accurately portrayed my time as a troubled teenage girl! Considered commercial suicide at the time by cloth eared idiots. Suspended In Gaffa makes me die everytime she says she's 'Scared of the changes'
John Cale - Paris 1919. Better than anything by the Velvets or Lou Reed. Europe . It's better than nearly every other album. If you haven't heard this, hear it.
Chameleons - Script Of The Bridge. There we're a lot of serious young men with long coats and effects pedals in the early to mid eighties. I loved the blustering sounds of U2, The Alarm'Big Country etc, but The Chameleons had a small town desperation about them that rang truer with me than the more poetic emptiness pedalled by their rivals. They never really cracked it. My vinyl copy of this album is signed to me by singer Mark Burgess. I treasure.
Go Betweens - Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express. Twin Layers Of Lightning and The Wrong Road are two songs that I have played every month since this album came out. The rest of it is pretty damned good too. I believe the late Grant Mclennan once wore a Dentists T-Shirt on stage.
Human League - Travelogue I'd ideally like this as a double album with Reproduction as they are both astonishing records. Most synth wielding experimentalists of the new wave period made strange noises and couldn't write their way out of a paper bag. The 'League we're versed in classic songwriting, they just happened to use primitive keyboards as their medium. They were funny, moving, sci fi obsessed geniuses. Dare was good but these two albums we're great.
Manic Street Preachers - Generation Terrorists. In a rather bleak time for British music this was a bolt from the blue. They walked the walk, the talked the talk. It was produced by Wham's producer, it had Traci Lords on it, it had Stay Beautiful on it, it had Motorcycle Emptiness on it. I defended this album to the hilt at the time. They we're considered a bit of a joke by most people. Not by me they weren't!
Momus - Poisoned Boyfriend. I still remember hearing this for the first time a couple of years after it had come out and couldn't belive I had never heard him before. Smart arsed songs about religion and sexuality mostly. He moved between folky guitar picking and hi-energy disco in the space of 10 minutes and he had no shame. He was Justin from Del Amitris cousin. He comes in my shop sometime. He makes me nervous.
Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk. My main lyrical influence . They seem to have been written out of post punk history. The first 4 albums were great, even Mirror Moves. This has no bad tracks on it, it hasn't even got any average ones.
Rush - Moving Pictures. First heard while stacking sheves in the co-op in the mid eighties. This was the album along with Back In Black and the first Van Halen album that made me realise the smelly grebos at school might have been on to something.
Simple Minds - Sons and Fascination. When someone asked me to describe this album once I came up with 'Cold War Obsessed Progressive Disco Post Punk' When people say that Simple Minds are shit I just play them 'Theme For Great Cities', 'Love Song', '70 Cities As Love Brings The Fall' and then explain to them how wrong they are. They let themselves down later on but around this time they we're amazing.
Sisters Of Mercy - First And Last And Always. I liked goth, I liked goth girls, this was my favourite goth album. They had the best songs. I saw them at the Lyceum when this album came out. It's still inm my top three gigs of all time.
Soft Cell - The Art Of Falling Apart. I'd been a big fan of their first album but this was like the bit in the 'Wizard Of Oz' when it goes technicolour. Everything about it was bigger and better, the tunes, the themes,the hair! Marc signed my copy of Memorabilia, he is a lovely chap. People forget how good these songs are.
Al Stewart - Year Of The Cat. A close run thing between Y.O.T.C. and Modern Times but this just shades it. I know historical folk rock is not the coolest thing in the world but I have been playing this album every few weeks now for nearly 25 years. By the way doesn't Neil Tennant sound like Al.
Wire - 154. People at work who don't even like Wire know every track on this album. One of those albums that works as a whole. From the pop majesty of 'Map Reference' to the none more disturbing 'The Other Window' this album is bloody genius. One of my favourite moments in music is on '40 Versions' when they sing 'Niagra Falls' .
Apologies for my terrible English. Apologies to Jesus & Mary Chain, Nirvana, Peter Hammill, The Jam, The Hold Steady, Husker Du, Ride, Waterboys, Swervedriver, Magazine, Coil, Metallica, Killing Joke, Ultravox, Kinks, Scientists, MC5, Mission Of Burma, Blur & The Smiths. You were so