My Top 25 Favourite Albums Of All Time

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

The age-old question of "whats your favourite song?" is always a difficult one, but for me I personally find the "favourite album" the most tough. An album for an artist is their child, their baby, their story; it's a lot more personal than a single record, and therefore whittling it down to one favourite is never simple. 

I wanted to share my favourite albums with you; some predictable, some maybe not so much - all very different from each other, but all very special to me. I started with a top 10, then 20, then finally restricted myself to 25. Cutting that off was hard enough, so even just thinking about ordering them was a no-go! Instead, i'm going to list my faves from oldest to newest, as they're obviously all winners to me...

Bad - Michael Jackson (August 1987)
Favourites: Dirty Diana, Another Part Of Me, The Way You Make Me Feel. 

Kicking things off with one of the biggest albums of all time, there was no way I wouldn't be able to include a Michael Jackon release in my faves. I grew up on MJ's music and Bad specifically is an album I remember hearing countless times on my family stereo. Man In The Mirror, Smooth Criminal, The Way You Make Me Feel, and just about all the classics can be found on 1987's Bad. 

Ladies & Gentlemen - George Michael (December 1998)
Favourites: Freedom 90, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Jesus To A Child.

Okay, okay, i'm kinda cheating with this entry as it's a 'best of' album, but honestly choosing a George Michael album is like Sophie's Choice... Ladies & Gentlemen was super poignant in my upbringing, and George will forever be one of my all-time favourite artists and the celebrity death that hit me the most (hence why I named my cat after him)! From dance-floor fillers to heartfelt ballads, there was pretty much nothing George Michael couldn't deliver.

Born To Do It - Craig David (August 2000)
Favourites: Walking Away, Rendezvous, Fill Me In.

Next year marks a massive 20 years since Born To Do It was released, yet somehow it still sounds as fresh as it did back in 2000. We all know how much I love Craig David at this point, but it all stemmed from this record. A timeless classic that was voted second Greatest Album Ever by MTV viewers in 2009, only losing out to Michael Jackson's Thriller. The album that gave us old school favourites 7 Days and Rewind, Born To Do It will forever be a favourite.

Stripped - Christina Aguilera (October 2002)
Favourites: Fighter, Loving Me 4 Me, I'm OK. 

Stripped will always hold such a special place in my heart as it was the first album I truly fell in love with. The first piece of music that I felt I could relate to, and actually feel the emotions in the tracks. Of course, I was 12 years old at the time and didn't really have a clue what she was singing about, but I knew it was special. This is another one of those timeless releases that still holds so much power all these years later. Dirrty shocked the press, Can't Hold Us Down was the feminist anthem, and Beautiful tugged on our heartstrings; Stripped really was the peak of Aguilera's career.

Under My Skin - Avril Lavigne (May 2004)
Favourites: Nobody's Home, How Does It Feel, Slipped Away.

Avril's second release and without a doubt her best (no tea no shade to Let Go, another incredible album), Under My Skin was blasted from my bedroom for many, many years. It flew to number 1 in the US and UK, and soon followed in many countries around the world. From My Happy Ending to He Wasn't, Avril delivered ageless pop-punk bangers with this record.

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out - Panic! At The Disco (September 2005)
Favourites: Lying Is The Most Fun, But It's Better If You Do, I Write Sins Not Tragedies.

If I could have any band in the world do any album in full live, it would 100% be this one. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out opened my eyes to a whole new plethora of music and 15 year old me completely fell in love with the weird and wonderful world of emo. A theatrical extravaganza where we simply cannot take our eyes and ears off of Brendon Urie.

FutureSex/LoveSounds - Justin Timberlake (September 2006)
Favourites: My Love, What Goes Around Comes Around, Summer Love.

Following up Justified was always going to be difficult, but Justin Timberlake did it with such ease. I have so many memories surrounding this album, especially the live tour that accompanied it. I honestly cannot tell you how many times i've watched the Live At Madison Square Garden DVD... From massive comeback SexyBack to T.I. collaboration My Love, FutureSexLoveSounds' singles alone were strong, before even talking about the equally good album tracks.

Bring Me Your Love - City And Colour (February 2008)
Favourites: As Much As I Ever Could, Body In A Box, The Girl.

We all absolutely adored Dallas Green's vocals in Alexisonfire, so when he did his own solo acoustic stuff I was all over it. Bring Me Your Love is such a beautiful album, and seeing him live at Royal Albert Hall is a show i'll never forget; Dallas' vocals are truly outstanding and this record showcases him as a lyricist and performer so perfectly. 

Brand New Eyes - Paramore (September 2009)
Favourites: Ignorance, The Only Exception, All I Wanted.

Now the truth is that Paramore have never released a bad album; All We Know Is Falling grabbed my heart, and self-titled rolled out banger after banger, but when thinking about what had the most consistency and meaning to me, it had to be Brand New Eyes. An exceptional release that still holds so much substance a decade later. 

Rated R - Rihanna (November 2009)
Favourites: Te Amo, Russian Roulette, Rude Boy.

Rihanna is another one who has repeatedly released bop after bop, and my entry was a super close call between Rated R and Loud. Rated R pulled it out the bag for Te Amo alone - will I ever get over that video?! Probably not. This release introduced us to a darker, rockier side to Robyn Fenty, and we of course weren't surprised when she pulled it off so effortlessly. Is there anything this woman can't do?

The Fame Monster - Lady Gaga (November 2009)
Favourites: Dance In The Dark, Monster, Speechless. 

A reissue on her debut release The Fame, Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster is such a good album. There's not much more to say beyond that. Just listen to it; pop music at it's finest. The Monster Ball was one of the best tours i've been to, and I think the fact she returned to the UK on the same cycle 3  separate times in one year said it all (I of course went to them all). A true classic for me.

Cutting Our Teeth - We Are The Ocean (February 2010) 
Favourites: Confessions, All Of This Has To End, This Is Called My Home.

We Are The Ocean were my first stan-band; you know, attending multiple shows, creating fan blogs, tweeting them everyday until they replied. I was obsessed with Cutting Our Teeth and listening to it today brings back such a flood of good memories. They really did soundtrack my youth so i'll always have a lot of love for WATO, and Confessions is still to this day one of the best live songs i've ever experienced. Spare reunion tour please, sir?

Sinners Never Sleep - You Me At Six (October 2011)
Favourites: Bite My Tongue, Crash, Jaws On The Floor.

As much as I love it's predecessors, personally nothing will compare to Sinners Never Sleep when it comes to You Me At Six releases. Although I struggle with picking a favourite song of all time, Bite My Tongue would 100% be in my top 10. This album is strong from start to finish, and a firm favourite when doing my usual "what should I listen to?" Spotify scroll.

Channel Orange - Frank Ocean (July 2012)
Favourites: Pyramids, Thinkin Bout You, Bad Religion. 

Frank Ocean is simply the king of everything so is there any need for an explanation of Channel Orange's entry? Of course not. Critics loved it, the public loved it, and it's got to be one of the most significant and important debut releases of all time. 

Sempiternal - Bring Me The Horizon (April 2013)
Favourites: And The Snakes Start To Sing, Go To Hell For Heavens Sake, Can You Feel My Heart.

Sempiternal was a massive Marmite album with a lot of older fans not liking the change of direction, but I personally was a massive fan. I'll never forget seeing Bring Me The Horizon play at Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra; something I never thought I needed until it was presented to me. Truly sensational. 

The 1975 - The 1975 (September 2013)
Favourites: Robbers, Pressure, Settle Down.

Here she is! The album that completely changed my life. Yes, it's cringe, but it really is true. I love music - I always have and I obviously always will - but this was the game changer for me. I'd never felt connection like i'd felt with this release, and this band went on to give me some of the best memories and amazing friends. I know i've said I couldn't pick an all-time fave, but if we're including the Deluxe version of this record with all the EP tracks (Undo, Antichrist, Head.Cars.Bending, Haunt // Bed, Anobrain, Woman, I could go on...), I think we know what would undoubtably sit comfortably on the throne... 

Beyoncé - Beyoncé (December 2013)
Favourites: Partition, XO, Heaven.

Beyoncé dropped the self-titled visual album on us completely out of the blue. We all wondered how the hell she recorded, filmed, produced and released a whole-ass album with no one having any idea it even existed until it hit our ears, and it was definitely her best kept secret. The tracks, the visuals, the performances and everything just works so effortlessly. It of course stormed straight to number 1 and remains (in my opinion) the best thing Beyoncé has ever released.

Journals - Justin Bieber (December 2013)
Favourites: Confident, Hold Tight, Roller Coaster.

Justin Bieber delivered this album by releasing a new track every week up until Christmas, and I  still remember lil' Belieber me eagerly waiting online for the next one to drop every single Monday. Because of it's style of release I do think it gets overshadowed by his other records, but presenting a new, more mature version of his sound for the first time, Journals is by far the best thing Biebs has ever delivered. 

X - Ed Sheeran (June 2014)
Favourites: Tenerife Sea, Photograph, Afire Love.

This album reminds me of commuting to/from work as it was the only downloaded record on my Spotify for a while, and it definitely made my tube journeys 10 times more bearable. I was never overly bothered by Ed Sheeran until I saw him live, and it completely changed my opinion. This guy is extremely talented and his song-writing skills are unmatchable. 

White Noise - PVRIS (November 2014)
Favourites: Holy, My House, Fire.

If you like female fronted rock bands, you'll love PVRIS. Their debut album was on repeat since it's release, and the follow up All We Know Of Heaven All We Need Of Hell is equally as good. It's angry, loud, anthemic and dark, and it's everything you want from a rock album. PVRIS are big on their visuals, so i'd always recommend their videos and seeing them live if you get the chance.

I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It - The 1975 (February 2016)
Favourites: Somebody Else, This Must Be My Dream, The Ballad Of Me And My Brain.

The only band to get 2 entries out of the 25 was of course going to be The 1975. The most pretentious and annoying title ever? Yes. An incredible release that has me toying between this and the self-titled regularly? Also yes. The visuals is what captures this album, and i'm sure anyone that has had the privilege of seeing The 1975 live would easily agree. From almost-irritating synths to twinkly acoustics, I Like It When You Sleep is a true indication to all the genres The 1975 regularly explore. I strongly believe Somebody Else is one of the best - if not thee best - song ever written, so whatever album that fell on was always going to make a favourites list.

Starboy - The Weeknd (November 2016)
Favourites: Rockin, Six Feet Under, Die For You.

I never forget when this album was released cause I literally didn't listen to anything else for months. I absolutely adored the MJ vibes throughout (especially noticeable on I Feel It Coming) and The Weeknd's vocals are almost hypnotising. Starboy stormed the charts and my heart. Still 10/10. 

Rituals - Deaf Havana (August 2018)
Favourites: Sinner, Holy, Evil.

You know what I love? Consistency, and Rituals is consistent with small things like the titles of all the tracks being one word, or referencing older lyrics in new tracks. From start to finish Deaf Havana deliver a beautifully played out album that equates just as well live. I absolutely adored 2011's Fools And Worthless Liars and if I didn't favour Rituals just a teeeeny bit more, that would have definitely been an entry. 

Thank U, Next - Ariana Grande (February 2019)
Favourites: Imagine, Break Up With Your Girlfriend, Ghostin.

When Ariana Grande treated us to two full albums in just 6 months I think we all lost our minds a bit. The Pop Queen of current day was rolling out tracks quicker than hot dinners, and her second offering Thank U, Next was undoubtably the strongest (soz Sweetener fans). Since it's release earlier this year it's always been a firm favourite of mine to turn to, and from sassy anthems like 7 Rings, to heartbreaking nods to her ex's on Ghostin, Thank U, Next is perfectly executed and an album to remember.

When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? - Billie Eilish (March 2019)
Favourites: Listen Before I Go, All The Good Girls Go To Hell, Bad Guy.

For an album to have only been released 6 months ago but sits firmly in my favourite albums of all time, you know it's gonna be a good one. Billie Eilish has taken the world by storm with her weird and wonderful ways, and the success she has achieved at just 17 years old is outstanding. The lyrics, the music, the visuals, the delivery; it all works so effortlessly for Eilish. I absolutely adore this record and cannot see me outgrowing it anytime soon. 

What are some of your favourite albums? Let me know in the comments! 

© Image Source: Pexels

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