I always looked forward to the release of a new Motown Chartbusters album. Between 1968 and 1982 there were 12 issued in total: each one filled with the top Motown tracks of the time. I bought most of them and chose this one for my list just because I liked it enough to buy it twice: as a vinyl LP and as an eight track tape! This album includes tracks by The Supremes, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, The Temptations and many others.
This was Elton John’s first double album. It contains the hit singles: 'Candle in the Wind', 'Bennie and the Jets', 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' and 'Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting'. My favourite track on the album is the opening track, 'Funeral for a Friend' fused with 'Love Lies Bleeding'. In 2009, Channel 4 placed it at No. 59 in their list of “Top 100 Albums of all Time”.
This is the album that saw the breakthrough of this Scottish Funk/Soul band. The single 'Pick up the Pieces' came from this, their second album. The band is still touring and their concerts sell out quickly. One of my favourite bands of all time and I never get tired of playing this album!
If you regularly read My Top 10 series on this website, then you’ll know that my favourite female singer of all time is Maggie Bell. I can’t remember when I first heard her but she blew me away with her huge, earthy, yet soulful voice. Although critically acclaimed, this album was not a big seller. It’s full of wonderful bluesy songs such as JJ Cale’s 'After Midnight' and John Prine’s 'Souvenirs'. Having lost my vinyl copy many years ago I was thrilled to find it on CD more recently.
How to choose which Bowie album to put into a Top 10 list? It’s tricky but I’ve plumped for Hunky Dory, simply because it was the first Bowie album that I bought. I remember thinking “WOW” when I saw Bowie performing 'Oh You Pretty Things' on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. Like most music lovers, I followed the ever changing career of the great man with excitement through the decades. Hunky Dory gave us a taster of what was to come!
Once again, I could have picked any of Pink Floyd's albums from the 70s for this Top 10 list, I loved them all but I’m going for this one as it’s one of the most iconic albums of the decade. I used to love sitting in the dark alone, listening to these songs about: greed, death, insanity conflict and the passing of time. It’s not really like me to enjoy listening to music that is about such melancholy subject but this stuff is special!
It’s hard to put Steely Dan in a box. They are an American band whose music is a blend of jazz, rock, R&B, funk and pop. This is their debut album and it spawned two singles, the dance floor hit 'Do It Again' and 'Reeling in the Years'. The title of the album is taken in reference to the opening line of the Bob Dylan song 'It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry'.
I was lucky enough to see Queen in concert twice in the 1970s, both times at smallish venues. This album takes its name from the Marx Brothers’ film, A Night at the Opera, which the band were watching during the recording of the album. It features the band’s first No.1 single, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. Some of the songs included are quite quirky. Well that’s the thing about Queen isn’t it; they always came up with something unusual!
The 16th Studio album by the wonderful Stevie Wonder, Innervisions was themed around subjects that bothered him at the time: racial inequality, drugs, and the dire conditions of inner city living. The song, 'He’s Misstra Know-it-all' is allegedly an attack on President Richard Nixon. I sometimes play a track from this album on my Vintage Soul Show on Newport City Radio, Thursdays at 9pm.