Published 22/04/2013 |00:11
I listen to at least one new Irish album each week and often wonder which of them will last the test of time. Some that I once adored don’t seem so special now, while others have only grown with age.
Conversely, some of the venerable albums that are regularly cited as Irish classics may not deserve their lofty status.
With Record Store Day today, now is as good a time as any for me to choose. I’m not considering live albums (so no Live and Dangerous, Thin Lizzy fans) or compilations (that rules out The Blades’ superior Raytown Revisited).
The full top 30 countdown is available in the slideshow below.
30. Music in Mouth - Bell X1 (2003)
Songs of hope and heartbreak, borne out of deeply personal circumstances. Paul Noonan’s idiosyncratic songwriting was evident in the gorgeous Eve, the Apple of My Eye and the harrowing In Every Sunflower. The playful Tongue leavened the darkness.
29. Tourist History - Two Door Cinema Club (2010)
An effervescent debut in which any of the 10 lean tracks could have been released as singles. Even the ubiquity of Undercover Martyn and Something Good Can Work on TV commercials couldn’t dampen the collection’s giddy euphoria.
1. Astral Weeks - Van Morrison (1968)
An obvious choice? Maybe. But then there’s a reason why Van’s debut is still held in such high regard. This was a game-changing album that redefined the parameters of popular music. The loose, intuitive playing from New York jazz musicians that the Belfast man barely knew was staggering and his poetry was as beguiling as it was elusive. There was invention at every turn. And songs like Cyprus Avenue and The Way Young Lovers Do will last forever.