Sunday, August 11, 2013

First albums are best albums

In the Muslimgauze post I noted Veiled Sisters was my first purchase, and also realised it is probably my favorite album. Musing on this brought to mind a whole series of favorite firsts: these are the albums that I either bought or became aware of first and which I would pick as their best

  • David Bowie: Low
  • Brian Eno: Another Green World
  • Severed Heads: Come Visit The Big Bigot
  • Jerhro Tull: Living In The Past. My sister had Stand Up and Benefit which would compete with this, but I bought this before I had Aqualung
  • Steve Harley: The Best Years Of Our Lives. I love the weirdness of Psychomodo & enjoy the first album. Prima Dona has some personal resonances, but Best Years is he best. 
  • Yes: Tales Of A Topographic Ocean. I had been offered the early ones but never bit. 
  • Incredible String Band: U. Passed on by my sister who didn't like it. Rambling weird absorbing. 
  • King Crimson: Larks Tongue In Aspic. More complex, as Jeff Howard sold me In The Court which I don't remember playing much & like, but my other sister bought me LTIA & it blew me away, so it was almost like another group. So stays this side. 
  • ELP: Pictures At An Exhibition
  • Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down
  • Phillip Glass: Einstein On The Beach
  • John Martyn: Solid Air
  • Heaven 17: Penthouse and Pavements
  • UB40: Signing Off, though love Present Arms In Dub
  • Cat Stevens: Catch Bull At Four. I had Teaser from my sister so could count as the first, but I am discounting it (It's my theory), and Foreigner does come a very close second
  • PiL: Second Edition
  • 10cc: The Original Soundtrack

So then I had to see where the theory didn't hold. 

  • Steve Roden. Splint is close to the top, but probably not. I would highly recommend it as a great example of his work. But I actually baulk at picking a best/favourite 
  • Beatles: heard too many albums and tracks through the 60s to be able to identify a true first. 
  • Pink Floyd: the first i bought was Relics (with the Alfred E Neuman cover) and still very fond of, but Wish You Were is the best
  • John Foxx: Mysterious Ways is probably my favourite, but some of the early return ones are also good, but I think The Garden was my first purchase, probably before underpass. But then I wonder if some MW singles came in there.
  • U2: Unforgetable Fire was the first , but Zooropa is probably my favourite. 
  • Bill Nelson: too many to choose, but Love That Whirls would probably be chosen, and wasn't my first
  • Talking Heads: Remain In Light, though Fear Of Music comes close (not really sure which came first, but probably Fear)
  • Elton John: though in the mists of time it is hard to trace the contact exactly, but Madman/Honky Chateau/Don't shhot me hit my consciousness about the same time & are my favoutites.

And then, why the trend? I came up with

  • First loves - the nostalgic attachment to our first romances. The rosy glow of memory. Which is possible, but e still have the thing it is not just a memory. I can play any Brian Eno album, but will tend to pick AGW. It's not that I think I remember it as the best, I can reaffirm it at any stage. 
  • Timing - I got onto a musical bandwagon at the right time. Probably explains most - the choices are from an accepted golden age for most of them. And I just have a personal preference for a particular one from then. 
  • Sheer bloody mindedness - I won't agree that Thick As A Brick is Tull's best!
  • Immersion - if this was my first album I probably played it more, got familiar with it & it was a pathway to earlier albums and excitement over later ones. 
  • I also recognise that a lot (most) of these are from long term relationships, which seems to go with the immersion theory.  These albums led me into the artist, became the touch stone.

Anyway, just some thoughts

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