I remember this album being played non-stop in the background as I was doing my lifeguarding course in Manchester in 2002. There was a team of 10-12 of us doing the course and we were doing a written test at some point and one of the questions was: Name some high risk groups of people that might be in the water. And one of the guys wrote down “forigners” (original spelling). I Remember loving that guy for this. They don’t make them like that anymore: straight, dumb and Mancunian. Or maybe they do, but I don’t hang out with them anymore [insert sad face]
2. Robyn - Robyn (2007)
My favourite part are the first couple of seconds of With Every Heartbeat, where this wall of sound launches on you and you don’t know whether to dance or cry. Not that I’m capable of doing either.
I remember seeing videos of Brendan and Donnell and Scott and a few others dancing around to Who’s That Girl from this album, in a country mansion somewhere celebrating Donnell’s birthday AND I WASN’T THERE. I don’t know where these people got the right to enjoy these songs without me, especially as I introduced them to them.
I listened to this album all the time with Scott when we first started going out. I wonder what Scott is up to these days. If anyone knows, please say hi from me.
I remember being at a house party before this album was actually released and somebody has downloaded it already (as had I, actually) and they were playing it there, and I was at the party with Bryant who’s a big Madonna fan and then I Love New York started playing and one of the guests at the party said that he didn’t like this song and then Bryant told me “I don’t trust him” and we didn’t speak to this person again.
5. #1 - Fischerspooner
My favourite part of the album is 22 seconds into Emerge, when a very loud singular blip sound goes off and takes you by surprise each time, because you had forgotten it’s there, because you’d rather forget everything, because it hurts less that way.
I remember being at a festival years after this was released and I was warching Fischerspooner and then they started playing Emerge and I started doing some ridiculous dance where I was also clapping and I was there with Nats, who didn’t like that at all.
6. Kittenz And Thee Glitz - Felix Da Housecat (2002)
My favourite part of the album is when Miss Kittin sings that “she’s famous, she’s vanish, she’s rich”, with vanish presumably being an alternative version of the word “vain” that she just made up, because she didn’t know any better. Or maybe I’m mishearing this.
I remember being in the car with Andrews when I had just bought this CD and playing it for the first time and thinking, WHAT is she on about? But more importantly, I remember being in a club in Athens years later, in 2005 and Silver Screen Shower Scene was playing and I told Andrews that I was gay and this was the first time that I had come out to anyone.
7. Bloodsport - Sneaker Pimps (2002)
I remember going through my I-like-the-Sneaker-Pimps-a-lot phase in my early 20s, and Enid’s friend G who was in a band had supported them or something, so she knew the singer, and this meant a lot to me at that point, that I had a – remote – connection to the singer from the Sneaker Pimps.
8. First Album - Miss Kittin (2001)
My favourite part on this album is the last second of Frank Sinatra, where a beep sound censors the word “dick”, even though it’s been heard about 25 times in the song already.
I remember being in a lecture at University and sitting with some Greek people (I know, right?) and me writing the phrase “your arse, my place” on a note pad and passing it on to one of them – a girl – even though I didn’t want her arse anywhere near me to be quite frank.
10. Bleed American - Jimmy Eat World (2001)
I remember seeing the video for The Middle and thinking, oh this is what American college kids listen to, my God, I must join in. So I bought the album. Those were the days when I was trying desperately to be straight and generic, which I later gave up. Now I’m just still striving for the generic.
11. Anniemal - Annie (2005)
I remember seeing Annie live in a free “secret” gig in some pub in East London with Mean years later, but we left soon after she started playing her last (and best) song, Heartbeat, in order to catch the tube.
12. In Ghost Colours - Cut Copy (2008)
My favourite bit on this album are seconds 1:12 to 1:19 in Lights And Music, before the first chorus kicks in.
I don’t really have any great memories from this album, because it’s too recent and I haven’t had the time to wrap it up in unrealistic idealisation.
I last saw Morrissey live in Hyde Park with A Girl last year, and the playlist was a bit shit. Regardless, I enjoyed taking my top off to reveal the words CRIMINALLY VULGAR written in my chest and back in black eyeliner when he sang How Soon Is Now. That made all the difference to everyone’s lives.
14. Statues - Moloko (2003)
I remember seeing Moloko live in Manchester at some point, and I saw this guy I recognised from the gym there, and I could tell that he was gay, and he said hi to me. Oh my God, a gay guy just spoke to me. That’s what I thought at that gig.
15. Pop-Up - Yelle (2007)
My favourite part on the album comes in 1:10 to 1:27 in A Cause De Garcons, where Yelle’s vocals are looped and she repeats “ton ton ton ton ton ton ton ton ton ton” in a very French way for 17 consecutive seconds. This of course is followed by 32 seconds of more looped vocals which go “ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah” before getting into the chorus. Amazing.
I remember first seeing/hearing Yelle last year when I was sat at home in London in those tortured London Preppy days, watching some Greek satellite music channel. It was lust at first sight.
I remember seeing Suede live with Andrews after they’d released this album, and they were playing Obsessions, so when the Bret Easton Ellis line came on I turned around and mouthed it to Andrews (he’s always stood behind me at gigs cause a) I’m more into it and b) shorter) and then Andrews said, I knew you’d do something when they sang your stupid line.
17. Overpowered - Roisin Murphy (2007)
My favourite part on the album is not on the album, it’s on the video for Let Me Know, where Roisin does a sideways kick / dance move in the cafe she’s at 1:02 exactly. Like a crazy.
18. Music - Madonna (2000)
When this song was first released on the radio/TV it was the summer of 2000 and I was stuck in Athens between University semesters. I did not have access to the internet. (Had the internet been invented then? Probably not). Anyway, all I could do was keep switching between any radio station and TV channel I thought might play it constantly throughout the day. It was the height of my French house obsession and for Madonna to bring out THAT, I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t been into a leading track from an album campaign so much since then.
I like the fact that Does He Have A Name is a 7:15 minute song, and I can listen to it endless times from the beginning to the end and it never feels longer than 3 minutes.
I remember seeing Gene play live for the last time, their last gig before they split up, and I went on my own to appreciate it more, and in the end Martin used a market pen to turn the name Gene on the drum kit, into Gone. I want pathetic sentimentalism like that please. Where is it now?
I remember spending a couple of years thinking that The Time Is Now is my favourite song of all time. I now think Bizarre Lone Triangle by New Order is.
21. Silent Alarm - Bloc Party (2005)
I remember being in an indie club on my own, the first week after I got to Sydney, and having gone there because I was missing home, and they started playing Banquet and predictably all the English backpacker kids stormed to the dancefloor.
22. Party Monster - OST (2005)
My favourite part on this album is the last minute of Give Me Tonight by Shannon, when the multi layered vocals kick in and Shannon is singing the chorus, Shannon is ad libbing, Shannon is singing oohs and aahs, it’s just all kicking off.
There is no other album that reminds me more of the first few weeks when I came out in February 2005. I can remember it right now, like it was yesterday, getting dressed to go to a gay club for the first time with this soundtrack playing the background. And how scared I was but also excited and curious and…well, mostly scared really.
23. Fever To Tell - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003)
I remember seeing Yeah Yeah Yeahs live in Manchester actually and she didn’t turn her back to us, but there you go.
24. Volta - Bjork (2007)
My favourite bit on this album are the punches that pass for beats on Innocence.
I remember that I played Earth Intruders so many times when it came out, that I eventually reset the play count on iTunes, because I didn’t want it to be my most played Bjork song (as others deserved it more).
25. Sexor - Tiga (2006)
My favourite part here is the middle part of Pleasure From The Bass, where Tiga sings the first half of each line and the bass is used to finish each sentence. Like a conversation between man and machine.
I remember playing 3 Weeks quite endlessly after ___ broke up with me and I was devastated, because 3 Weeks had the most appropriate lyrics I could think of, even if they’re set against an electro nightmare backdrop.
26. Fancy Footwork - Chromeo (2007)
I don’t have a favourite moment on this album, it just flows well. Poor Air. Not even one highlight in the whole album.
I remember going to a gig in Manchester to see Air after this album came out and there was a guy there with amazing shoulders and I said to my friend who I was with, oh my God this guy has amazing shoulders. And this friend was a girl who I think fancied me and even though I wasn’t gay/out back then, well I think this comment put an end to that anyway.
28. Sound Of Silver - LCD Soundsystem
My favourite thing about this album is the fact I’ve been trying ti learn the words to All My Friends from beginning to end, but I still can’t manage it.
I remember being in bed with ___ at some point and the album was playing the background and ___ says, what is this, and I says, LCD Soundsytem and ___ says, where DO you find this music (because ___ is quite sheltered culturally) and I says, for God’s sake ___, it’s only LCD Soundsystem, where have you been?
29. Long Gone Before Daylight - The Cardigans (2003)
I remember being 16 and seeing The Cardigans live in Athens at some festival and then hanging out near the backstage gate and getting my Cardigans t-shirt signed by two members of the band who came out to talk to the fans, but unfortunately Nina didn’t come out, because “she was too tired”.
30. Blackout - Britney Spears (2007)
My favourite bit on this album is this line in the bridge in Toy Soldier (a song with Britney at her robotic sex best, really) where Britney sings “peek-a-boo, he good, doing things you wish you could” (I had to look this up online because I couldn’t make it out) and her voice is so distorted, so electro, that it pisses on anything Ladytron have ever recorded.
Of course I remember the Gimme More performance at the VMA and Britney being at her absolute sexiest on four types of sedatives at once.
31. Finisterre - Saint Etienne (2002)
My favourite bit on this album is either 1:25 into Action where the beat drops, or the opening spoken line in Shower Scene about Notting Hill. I can’t decide.
I remember seeing Saint Etienne live when they were touring this album, and Sarah introduced New Thing by saying, OK you’re going to have to be patient now, because we’re going to play one of the new songs and I was thinking, oh shut up and play Only Love Can Break Your Heart.
32. The Alternative - IAMX (2007)
My favourite part of this album is clearly the opening line of The Negative Sex (“pay not attention to obedience”) followed by all the lyrics of The Negative Sex actually, which include a blood reference in the chorus. Thank you.
I remember being really pissed off when I realized The Sneaker Pimps were playing a gig in London two weeks after I left for Australia.
33. 604 - Ladytron (2001)
I remember seeing Ladytron live in Manchester at some point, and because Ladytron traded on the fact that they pretended to be emotionless humanoids at that point, some fat lesbian in the audiende thought it would be amusing to throw her bra Helen from the band as she was playing the keyboard. And it was funny, because Helen spent the next five minutes trying to stifle her laugh.
34. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem
My favourite part on this album are the two Daft Punk namechecks, in Daft Punk Is Playing At My House, plus in Losing My Edge.
I’ve run out of LCD Soundsystem anecdotes after the one above.
35. X-Factor Vol.1 - Richard X (2003)
I remember working at some office in Manchester and talking to some girl who also worked there and we had just bought this album and I was quite annoyed because she had also just bought the new Dannii Minogue album and I was thinking, oh my God, do I have things in common with this person?
36. Black Market Music - Placebo (2000)
I remember having seen Placebo live maybe three times within two years when I was 17-19, but that was quite accidental because I never really liked them THAT much.
37. Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea - PJ Harvey (2000)
My favourite thing about this album is the scene that’s set in the lyrics for You Said Something.
I remember listening to Radio 1 when PJ Harvey got a Best Female nomination at the Brits after this album came out, and Jamie Theakston said, what is that for? Just one the strength of one single? (He meant Good Fortune). And I thought, no you idiot, it’s a great album and she’s ace. That’s all.
38. Stainless Style - Neon Neon (2008)
Again, this album is too new to have attached pathetic melodramatic memories to it.
39. The Teaches Of Peaches - Peaches (2002)
I remember having sex to Fuck The Pain away on several occasions, not that I have sex.
40. Chicks On Speed Will Save Us All - Chicks On Speed (2000)
My absolute favourite part on this album is when Athens gets a mention in Euro Trash Girl.
I remember going to this really tiny, obscure electro club in Manchester when I lived there during the electroclash height and wearing a white t-shirt that I had heavily customized and written I Fucked Dior on the front in black marker pen, because I thought that I was so electro and they always plays Chicks On Speed there.
41. Devin Dazzle And The Neon Fever - Felix Da Housecat (2004)
My favourite part on this album is the chorus for Ready2Wear.
I remember that I had gone back to visit some friends in Manchester after I’d moved to London in 2004 and I was playing on the computer and I came across Ready2Wear and I hadn’t heard it before, so I downloaded it and I ended up listening to it for more than an hour on repeat as everyone was getting drunk before going out.
42. Or - The Golden Boy Ft Miss Kittin
My favourite part of this album is the verse in 1234, where Miss Kittin gives some advice to straight boys through the following line: “Aren't you the one that looks that woman body is walking down the street? You like girls, you have to know 'bout fashion too. And that's the way it is”. Wise.
Again, after four mentions of Miss Kittin on this list, I’m running low on anecdotes.
43. Out Of The Woods - Tracey Thorn (2007)
My favourite part of this album is a line in Grand Canyon, which says something about a hole in a person’s heart that nobody can ever fill and a gap between this person and the world and I want to relate to this line, because I think I’m so fucking special.
I remember playing this song to Donnell and Scott and poiting out that line to them and how amazing it is, and them looking back at me blankly and saying that they don't get it.
My favourite part on this album is the vocal on Is It Medicine, which sounds quite demented for the first minute at least.
Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve ever spoken with anyone about The Knife or doing anything of importance related to them.
45. Since I Left You - The Avalanches (2001)
My favourite part on this album is the female vocal on radio, even though I don’t understand what she says or what language that's in.
I remember talking to some girl I used to know at University about the video for Since I Left You, which features a fat guy tap dancing, and she was saying that he’s so graceful, and I was thinking no he’s not, you’re just saying this because you want to sound open-minded an encompassing to groups of people that society unfairly ostracises, because you’re a fucking student.
46. Chase This Light - Jimmy Eat World (2007)
My facourite part of this album is the line in Big Casino, which says: There are lots of smart ideas in books I’ve never read, when the girls come talk to me I wish to hell I had.
I remember that I had tickets to see Jimmy Eat World in London in 2006, but I ended up not going because I was clubbed out from going out at the weekend. I would never do that now. I was too young and recently out.
47. Production - Mirwais (2000)
My favourite thing about this album is that the track Never Young Again is basically the backing track for Madonna’s Music, only a bit less intense.
No stories about Mirwais.
48. Light & Magic - Ladytron (2004)
I remember reading an interview by Ladytron before this came out and they were saying that Evil is the closest they will get to sounding like Kylie. I did not like that very much.
49. Made In The Dark - Hot Chip (2008)
My favourite part of this album is after the breakdown in Shake A Fist, where they start playing laser noises for the next 2 minutes.
I’ve never really connected with Hot Chip.
50. ( ) - Sigur Ros (2000)
My favourite part of the album is that it all sounds like one big sequence of noise, but in a good way. Oh and that they’re from Iceland.
I remember starting to play this album to Scott when we were just relaxing one time before going out, and him freaking out and telling me to take it off because it was stressing him out. Madness.
Well, if you read up to here, what can I say, you’re a patient man.