Those of you who follow me on twitter or facebook will know I like my social media projects. My first one back in 2013 was to try and read twelve books in a year. For some I imagine that seems easy enough but since my son arrived on the scene combined with the ridiculous amount of time I spent in front of a PC or TV screen I’d just fallen out of the habit. I’d have been lucky to read twelve books in total over the previous three years. As it was I ended up reading twenty seven and although I haven’t quite kept up to that number of books since it certainly averages more than four a year. Admittedly my ‘to read’ pile has grown dangerously high again but it would have been much higher had it not been for my kindle.
In 2014 I ambitiously attempted to create my gig going time-line by posting what gigs I’d attended on the date they took place. This was a much bigger undertaking than I had anticipated. I’m a bit of a saddo and have kept most of my gig tickets over the years so I included a picture of each ticket where available. That was a lot of fun and brought back some great gig going memories and also highlighted I’d been to gigs I don’t ever remember going to. At the beginning of the exercise I estimated I’d been to about 1,000 gigs but the reality was closer to 700. I should hit 1,000 if I manage to reach 70. If you are interested you can still see the posts on my twitter and facebook using the #mygigsonthisdate hashtag.
For 2015 I did photographs of the Barrowlands Pathway which, for those who don’t know, is located in a park near the famous Barrowlands music venue in Glasgow’s East End. A selection of gigs that had taken place at the iconic venue had been created like albums on a shelf and made into a path. I took a number of pictures showing the path and commenting on some of the gigs I’d been to. Not really unique as you can find plenty of videos and pics of the pathway but it was just something I fancied doing. Again you can see my nonsense at the #barrowlandspathway hashtag
So onto 2016. I have had this idea for a while but never got round to putting it into action. It is basically a run down of some of my favourite albums. I started out thinking it would be a top 10 then quickly realised that when you have over 2,000 cds never mind vinyl and other downloads 10 is never going to enough. I then thought seeing as it’s my 50th year I’d do my top 50, that quickly moved to top 52 and do an album each week over 2016. That was just a sneaky way of opening up another 2 slots as I have found it almost impossible to narrow the list down to 52 never mind anything lower. I could easily have added another 20 or 30 albums and if I’d chosen the top 52 on a different days I would have got a different list. I should add that I was finally inspired to do this after attending a music book event where one of the writers involved was David Redford who spent a whole year listening to an album every day and tackling the history of music. You can find his journey in his book Pop 365: Journey Through Music History via 365 Albums. His was much more a look at the impact and place in history of albums. Mine is much more lazy and just simply albums I like.
Music, for me, is such a subjective and mood orientated medium that some days a particular album captures the mood perfectly and then I might not listen to that album for another 2 years. Other albums I will play constantly over a 2 or 3 week period. Some weeks it’s albums by a certain artist that take prominence. There is no rhyme or reason to what makes my brain pick one album or artist over another and this really didn’t make my task any easier.
That said there are albums that have made a certain impact in my life and are sign posts and road maps to where I find myself today. This is basically a nostalgia project for me to reminisce about the music I love and how and where I discovered it (if I can remember) and if anyone else is interested in my ramblings then great. It’s also an excuse to get a chance to listen to these albums again and also research the history and background of the bands and recordings to give them a context and flavour that may well have passed me by at the time.
If there is one thing about getting older that sucks it’s that you don’t get the time to listen to music as much as you used to when you were younger and this coincides with you having a much bigger music collection. One of the upsides of me being less than 100% health wise in the last few years has been the chance it has given me to listen to more music. I listen to music all the time, in the car, when in the kitchen I’ve got Rock radio on, the ipod is never far away when I’m out walking dogs or travelling and my most favourite time is when I have the house to myself and get to stick a CD in the hi-fi, my trusty separates system, which is now over 20 years old but still going strong, and cranking it up loud and just listening. A simple but priceless pleasure and one of the distinct advantages of having a detached house. I always know when my better half comes home as the music is turned down sharpish.
When I did decide I was going to do this I loosely set myself some rules. Loosely being the operative word. It could only be one album per artist although I did allow a select band of artists to have two where I just couldn’t make a choice. There was going to be no compilation albums but one sneaked through. I then had the problem of how do I decide which album to do each week. Chronologically didn’t really make sense, some kind of countdown from 52 down to 1 just seemed impossible. I’d be hard pushed to tell you what my favourite album is and it probably changes on any given day. So I bottled it and the solution was to put them all in a hat and let my son select one each week for me to listen to, research and comment on. Although I did pick the first one myself as it was just about where all this nonsense began.
So over the next 52 weeks you’ll get to hear music that isn’t necessarily my favourite album by the artist in question and some of the choices will probably surprise a few folk but at the time they may have sent me left at the crossroads when I could have gone right or straight on and subsequently led me to some interesting places or it may just bring back a memory or simply it was just a damn fine record. That’s the joy of music it can mean so many different things to so many people at different times.
And of course as you’ve probably noticed I’ve blundered into the world of blogging. About 10 years too late but it seemed the best way of doing this. It’s a bit of a learning curve so expect me to make a complete bollocks of this at some point when I press the wrong button.
So in summary I’m going to talk about albums I like for the next 52 weeks. Hopefully you find something that interests you. Feel free to comment whether you disagree, agree or ignore as I’m really just doing this for myself and boring others as I go.
You can find the first album at the following link