And Now The Top 10

10. The The – Soul Mining

Whilst it shows its age a little now some 20 years on this was the album that launched me into an enduring love affair with the music of Matt Johnson who was and is the main protagonist behind The The. Soul Mining is the perfect angst music for teenagers the lyrics are fraught with feeling and a combination of hurt, anger and fear. It was also the first small step in my questioning society and my place in it. “I’m just a symptom of the moral decay that’s knawing out the heart of the country”

9. Deacon Blue – Raintown

For those who don’t know this album it may be an obscure choice but those who do know it will understand why it’s there. It’s something of a recurring theme these albums that go back to that time when I was between 16-19 but I guess that is an important time musically. Raintown was I think the first album I ever bought devoid of peer pressure, no-one else had heard of it and I only knew of it fro having seen one of those late night music shows that tend to feature alternative artists.

8. U2 -Achtung Baby

When I first heard Achtung Baby I thought it was shite apart from The Fly. It was the first and I think to date the only album I had actually bought on the first day of release. It came after a long wait and I had listened to The Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum incessantly despite it constantly reminding me of my first love. 1990-1 were years that I had spent time in Berlin (East & West) and acquired a fascination of Trabants as well as the mystique of the city itself, so I felt that U2 had developed at the same time and in the same place as I had. Gradually the songs began to grow on me until I regarded it as one of the best U2 albums.

7. Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

I remember hearing this when it first came out in 1977 when the guy my Ma was going out with was into this new phenomenon that was computerised electronic music, centred very much around the Düsseldorf scene. To me I was too young to realise how it sounded like nothing really heard before but when I got older I sought out the album again and it is still somewhat ahead of its time. If anybody tries to tell you that modern day electronic music came from anything other than Kraftwerk then they’re talking out of their arse!

6. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (20th Anniversary Vinyl Pressing)

I don’t wish to ponce about eulogising about Dark Side because many emminently more qualified have done so before me. I have not run it in tandem to the Wizard of Oz nor do I wish to! To me is is the embodiment of that 70s rock scene that had moved on from the hope, love and optimism of the 60s into a more bland, brown and grey depressing world that we lived in then.

5. Led Zeppelin – The Unnamed Album (Symbols, IV, ZOSO)

The unnamed album is a well-known classic including Stairway To Heaven which is perhaps the most famous Zeppelin single that never was. I always found the backcover for me was in many ways a view I will always have of London it could not be anywhere else to anyone who’s lived there for any time. The Zeppelin influence had moved into a polarised mode with Jimmy Page’s Blues and Robert Plant’s Folk.

4. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

A more obvious choice but it’s a classic. The Beatles may be considered to be the epitomy of establishment now what with the accession of ‘Sir Paul’ to the status of Mr status quo but back in the days Sgt pepper was the psychadelic album and judged on its own merits it is well worth its place in the top 10.

3. The The – Infected

So many of the albums I chose go back to things I listened to at that crucial time in my life between 15-19 and this is one of the most crucial. After the angst of Soul Mining Matt Johnson delivered an album with considerably more bite in Infected. This was the album that started to awaken my interest in serious politics, songs like ‘Heartland’ which is the most damming indictment of Thatcher’s Britain that there is in music, ‘Angel of Deception’ which began to draw up the battle lines between America’s global dominance and those of us left who saw it and disagreed with it.

2. U2 – The Joshua Tree

Another throwback to my teenage years this is just a classic pop music album, I could venture that it is the classic pop music album -it is for me anyway. With or Without You is for me the finest song U2 ever did and they did many great tracks but the album has much more than that and the U2 B-sides of the times show an increasing awareness of the global political scene.

Drumroll please….. here it is the Baron’s No. 1

1. Led Zeppelin I

The absolute finest album ever, I thought I would have to agonise for ages before picking the No. 1 but actually it was comparatively simple. Led Zeppelin I has Rock, Blues and the first signs of what was to be a strong folk influence. This album can be traced as the birth of heavy metal due to ‘Communicaation Breakdown’ and that could be seen as grounds enough for the top spot. This really is one of the only albums that no matter how many times I listen to it I can still listen to the whole thing without the urge to fast forward anything. I mean Dazed and Confused, Your Time is Gonna Come, How Many More Times there is no other band that can come up with that quality as a debut album. Other Zeppelin albums are fantastic but all of them will be measured against this one.

Song Of The Day – Led Zeppelin ~ Communication Breakdown

Original Comments:

A visitor made this comment,
Wow. Really like your blog. If you don’t mind, I’m going to add you to my blog links…peace

[Redbaron responds – Mind? Mate, I’d be delighted]

comment added :: 16th November 2004, 20:39 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
Hmm. Nice. Glad you managed to throw The Beatles in there. Always knew you were a U2 fan, that’s no shocker. Can’t say I’m familiar with Kraftwork.
Visit me @

comment added :: 16th November 2004, 20:59 GMT+01
haywood made this comment,
here, here! I declare this list aceptable to the standards of the #3 top blog in Music.
I enjoyed this list, I have only heard a few songs by THE THE, soul mining, and uncertin smile. but from what I’ve heard i like.

Nice call on 1, a great album from 1969

sorry I’m sure I’m breaking some unspoken baron rule, but I have never heard of Kraftwerk.

Visit me @

[Redbaron responds – Something of a departure from our normal style of music I agree but I fancy you might like it if you give it a whirl.]

comment added :: 16th November 2004, 22:22 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
I still think Abbey Road is the best of the Beatles albums. I think agree with you on Achtung Baby and Joshua Tree, though…their best. Although I do feel pretty sad that they’re hawking iPod now…what happened to the boys of “Sunday Bloody Sunday”? Damn, it sucks to get old.
Kristie []

[Redbaron responds – Abbey Road is a quality album without question and one I remember very much listening to in my bedroom when my Ma had it on the stereo. But Sgt Pepper had more impact on me personally so that’s why Abbey Road is only no 16.]

comment added :: 16th November 2004, 23:17 GMT+01
rayts made this comment,
oh i should have known Led Zep would be top on your list. and yeah, how could i forget Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…but i’ve listened to that album quite a few times and thought that Abbey Road would still apt the top spot…anyway it’s just me.
what?! not even a single album from the Doors made it to your list? hehe.

Great choice nonetheless….so Baron, who gets all these collection of yours when you get old and weary and deaf?! hehe these albums are precious possessions yah know…

care to include me in your last will and testament??? (just kidding)


[Redbaron responds – Ha ha nice try rayts, I am hoping that my kids will share my enthusiasm for Vinyl that I inherited from my parents. As a Vinyl inheritance from me and the folks my kids are going to be getting well over 500 albums, ‘course I’m not telling them or my days may be prematurely numbered!]

comment added :: 17th November 2004, 01:51 GMT+01
rayts made this comment,
haha. now, i wish to be reborn and be one of your kids, really…if only for those albums. maybe i should go to your place and rob your house..(travel that far just to rob RedBaron’s place…what a psycho)
care to give me your address? hehe :p

[Redbaron responds – I have now alerted the small army at the gatehouse and told them to be on the lookout for a Fillipino potential LP snaffler.]

comment added :: 17th November 2004, 03:15 GMT+01
rayts made this comment,
ha! goodluck with your army…they won’t even have the sligtest idea what i’ll look like…i’ll have my surgery in due preparation for the biggest theft in the history of Baron’s life…harhar.
[Redbaron responds – He he he, you are young Grasshopper but you will learn, as soon as you started taking an interest in the LPs your IP address was logged and your location tracked, you will now be monitored. Surgery will therefore be irrelevant. Do not underestimate the lengths the Baron will go to to protect his albums!]

comment added :: 17th November 2004, 03:54 GMT+01
JohnSherck made this comment,
I know about half the albums on the list (maybe I can be forgiven for that since I wasn’t so much hearing albums when the came out in 1977 as I was being born in ’77?), and like all of those, so I guess I’m going to have to check out the others.
I teach an introductory music class, and I slip in two of these albums–always Zeppelin I and often Dark Side. I use Abbey Road for the Beatles. My high school students, in general, are just so unaware of anything that happened before, say, the mid-90s, that I feel a certain duty to introduce them to stuff they missed. For that matter, of course it’s stuff that I missed the first time around!

Visit me @

[Redbaron responds – Well done you John, it would otherwise be like me ignoring RocknRoll and the Blues. The beauty of almost all the albums on my list is that because they are old they are now cheap! What always irritated me was when the cover versions came out by these assanine idiots and the kids think it’s original. Same with samples on dance tracks, I mean they’ve even started covering Stevie Winwood for Christ sake, I mean Stevie Winwood and club smash wouldn’t normally trip off the tongue!]

comment added :: 17th November 2004, 22:13 GMT+01
Pimme made this comment,
Hehe, yeah, I heard of Kraftwerk! ;^)
I don’t own any of their albums, though. Zeppelin is always good to have in the top ten.
Visit me @

[Redbaron responds – Hoorah Pimme wins the Avant-Garde Award for being the first American I’ve run into to have heard of Kraftwerk. Must be the European in her!]

comment added :: 18th November 2004, 00:07 GMT+01
JohnSherck made this comment,
Your mention of covers reminded me… I was a big fan of Queen, once upon a time, and knowing this one of my friends was like “Hey, I just got this Metallica CD where they cover a Queen song!” He played it for me and it sounded pretty much like Queen’s version, only with a different vocalist. When I played Queen’s version for him, he couldn’t believe Queen could be that heavy. *Sigh*–no sense of history. 😉
Visit me @

comment added :: 18th November 2004, 20:03 GMT+01
Easy made this comment,
Love the list. I’ll be doing one of my own, I think. I’d have rated Physical Graffiti as the best Zeppelin album. That’s the one that I grooved my 1st copy of.
I’m familiar with Kraftwerk. KSHE-95 fm played several of their songs, and you can still catch them on the Sunday morning classics show.

I’d stop by here more often, but something about his page screws with my browser and it’s really frustrating.

(PS- I have a ton of vinyl downstairs myself.)

comment added :: 18th November 2004, 21:06 GMT+01