Ronnie’s Blog – Favourite Albums

Posted on September 16, 2010 in Ronnie's News

I was taking my usual browse through Facebook without getting involved in anything much. Other than letting you know what’s going on at the bar through the bar’s pages I don’t tend to enter into conversations on Facebook. It’s nothing personal against anyone it’s just a time thing I suppose.

Anyway, whilst looking at it this morning, one of my Facebook friends put up a rather interesting thing about listing your favourite 15 albums in less than 15 minutes.

I thought this is interesting. I am a prolific buyer of music. I have hundreds of CDs. I had hundreds of albums on vinyl and I have thousands of tunes in my iTunes library and subscribe to Spotify. How on earth can you pick your 15 favourite albums then in less than 15 minutes? So I thought go for it, but rather than put my list on Facebook, I decided to put my list out to Ronnie’s Bar subscribers and post it on line. There’s also a link at the bottom of the page if you wish to buy any of the albums I list as well.

Music is a very emotive thing. It reaches your soul. It connects you with memories, helps you through sad times, inspires you, lifts your spirits, it is literally the soundtrack to your life.

So here’s my list along with my reasons. In the order in which they leapt into my mind:

Quadrophenia – The Who

Whenever I feel down in the dumps or need the energy to start a long journey in the car, I like to listen to this double album (I am talking the original album not the movie soundtrack) from start to finish. By the end of it I feel great, inspired and ready to conquer the World.

Rattlesnakes – Lloyd Cole & The Commotions

This album reminds me of my hedonistic life after Sheffield Poly and before kids. I used to listen to it before I went out and, if unsuccessful with the ladies, when I got in again with my kebab. Some fantastic stand out tracks but Forest Fire is my favourite.

The Seldom Seen Kid – Elbow

Just a fantastic album that is currently my most played in the car. It reminds me of my daughter Jordan as she used Grounds For Divorce in her end of year fashion show last year. It reminds me of my daughter Ruby because of One Day Like This which is one of her favourites. And it reminds me of my eldest daughter Ashley as I listened to the whole album before, during and after passing out in a red wine fuelled glow on the plane when we went over to New York together last week.

Entertainment – The Gang of Four

Reminds me of being a student at Sheffield Poly back in the early 1980s. I saw the Gang of Four twice in that time. The raw edgy power has made them one of the best, if not the best, live acts I have ever seen. This album captures it all. In the remastered CD version which I now own, there are sleeve notes from a host of modern greats citing a specific gig in Seattle which blew everyone away and inspired the likes of REM, the Chilli Peppers and Nirvana. I wasn’t at that gig in Seattle but I saw them twice in Sheffield, they just blew everything else away.

Soul Mining – The The

I reacquainted myself with this album about 4 years ago when mooching round a CD store in Soho. In the mid 80s it was an ever present on my playlist. I listened to it a hell of a lot but it mostly reminds me of a drunken lads holiday to Tenerife in 1985. We met a group of girls from London who had a copy on cassette with them and it was just a great time, arseing around in the pool with them, drinking loads of beer listening to Soul Mining.

Closer – Joy Division

Just a great album. It was the last album Ian Curtis worked on. It is testament to his and the band’s genius. I played it a lot in my time in Sheffield. But I remember it most fondly when I moved to London in 1985 as this was the first album I played when I sat in my cold unforgiving room in a shared house in Finchley. I can picture the room now. I stayed there for a month but it was a shit hole and I couldn’t get out of there quickly enough.

Café Bleu – The Style Council

Weller’s first album after The Jam and I don’t think many expected the heavy jazz influence on it. But I loved it. Head Start For Happiness is one of my top five favourite songs ever and that track alone makes the album worthwhile.

Abbey Road – The Beatles

This was the first Beatles album I actually owned. Though my older sister claimed it was hers. Anyway, the Beatles have done some immense work. This is not one of the most critically acclaimed but it is still the one I listen to the most.

Parachutes – Cold Play

Reminds me of my 40th birthday. I got the album as one of my presents, they were just starting to get recognised at the time but it is a great album. Anyway I had a great weekend in London for my 40th with my wife (I was happily married then) and my girls. It was a great time.

Heroes – David Bowie

I’ve got a lot of Bowie albums and it is hard to decide which is my favourite one. I went for Heroes though as the title track is just immense and the experimental stuff written by Bowie and Eno was just way ahead of its time.

Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder

Utterly brilliant album. I once saw a programme on the making of this album and from that you get to realise just what a genius Stevie Wonder is. He can play any instrument. The whole double album is brilliant but there are at least 6 stand out tracks.

Definitely Maybe – Oasis

Oasis brought a swagger bag to Rock music with this album. Brilliant lyrics and some timeless classics. Live Forever though is my favourite.

Leftfield – Leftism

I have had three all time great nights which tracks from this album provided the soundtrack. It is still a fantastic album and one I listen to when I need an escape from work and reality.

Discovery – Daft Punk

This was the soundtrack of a terrific family holiday in Greece back in 2001 or 2002, not sure which. It was such a great time and reminds me of when my life was normal.

Cast the First Stone – Virginmarys

I had to put this album in the list. It’s more of an EP than an album as there are only 6 tracks on it, but it is highly significant to me. When Ronnie’s opened in 2007 it was the start of my life reconstruction after the meltdown of my marriage and previous career. And there’s no better music than this to remind me of the development of this chapter of my life. I first saw the Virginmarys live in my bar back in 2008, they went on to perform regularly here especially during the residency year. They have never ceased to deliver outstanding live music and they’re now moving on to a much bigger stage. And deservedly so.

It’s been quite difficult coming up with this list. And even now I think I ought to have something by The Smiths, New Order, Johnny Cash, The Faces and I can think of a host of others. But I came up with the list in 15 minutes and it had to be 15. I’d be interested in other people’s choices so let me know. You don’t have to be as self indulgent as me and give your reasons, a simple list will do.

Anyway, if you wish to buy any of these albums just click on them below:

Ronnie’s 15

Just a quick reminder about this week’s entertainment at Ronnie’s – tonight it’s Steeve Mac’s Soultastic. There’s more great free live music at Ronnie’s on Friday night with the Bridgewater Blues Band playing live from 7pm.

You can see a clip of them in action below.

They will be followed by our fantastic Friday night DJs Bert and Brighty. Then on Saturday night its One Stop Beyond with Steeve Mac. All free and top quality guaranteed.

See you soon

The heart of entertainment in Macc

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