Hollywood film maker Martin Scorsese once said ‘Popular music formed the soundtrack of my life”. A quote that can be relatable in some many ways. Pop music has become the spine to our memories. A lyric jolting a past experience. A note or melody reminding you of a previous time. Pop music has the power to completely destroy you yet also make you extremely jovial. To celebrate the genre that spawned everything else, here are ten of the best pop albums of all time.
Number Ten: Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys
Brian Wilson’s pet project so to speak, was applauded and praised around the world. Strangely however the rest of the band didn’t really seem to understand why. Orchestrated mainly by Wilson himself. Pet Sounds sounded like it had come from another planet. With classics such as ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ ‘Good Vibrations’ and the emotionally outstanding ‘God Only Knows’ it even inspired The Beatles to come up with a different kind of pop album of their own.
Number Nine: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, David Bowie
Oh David Bowie, why did you have to die? Without Bowie the world would have been a very different place. Especially in the case of popular music. Harboring a catalog of sublime albums. It is Ziggy Stardust that really makes the grade. The album itself is a mish mash in genres. From the rock’n’roll ‘Suffragette City’, the sincere and soulful ‘Soul Love’ and of course the epic and monumental ‘Starman’. Ziggy Stardust is a journey to outer space pop rock classic.
Number Eight: Parallel Lines, Blondie
What’s a pop list without the pop goddess herself? Debbie Harry and band Blondie, which was a cultural mix of new wave post punk pop (if that is a thing?). Created one of the most creatively sounding pop albums of all time. With chic smash ‘Hanging On The Telephone‘ and banging anthem ‘One Way Or Another’ it was ‘Heart of Glass’ that really got people’s groove. Paving the way for female rockers everywhere, Blondie certainly knew how to write a killer song.
Number Seven: 21, Adele
Selling over 30 million copies worldwide, winning six Grammys and numerous weeks on the number one spot. 21 has quickly become one of the most popular albums in history. So, was it really that good? The answer being, yes! Relatable in so many ways. 21 has the power to narrate so many people’s lives. With just as many upbeat tracks to soul destroying ballads, Adele really knows how to resonate with her audience. Yet from all the tracks it is the stand out ‘Someone Like You’ that 99% of the world population can somehow understand.
Number Six: Thriller, Michael Jackson
Thriller was not only one of the most successful albums of all times but it also cemented Jackson’s place as the King of Pop and world wide superstar. With tune after tune and hit after hit, each track is famous as the next. It even gave birth to what we now know as the music video. From the groove tasting ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ to the sultry ‘Billie Jean’. It is Thriller that really showed the world what Michael was all about. It even had its owned choreographed dance.
Number Five: Grace, Jeff Buckley
Fan favorite. Jeff Buckley undoubtedly had the voice of an angel. However he also had a sense of innocence about him that shone in the lyrics he was singing. Passionate, endearing, heart breaking, heart warming. No matter how many adjectives you use, it can still seem impossible to describe. With a number of flawless choices in cover songs. It is his version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ that clearly stands out.
Number Four: One Of The Best Pop Albums. ABBA Gold, ABBA
Yes it’s a compilation album and yes ABBA aren’t applauded for being musical geniuses. However what they do do, is create the perfect pop song. Catchy melodies, amazing lyrics and banging choruses. ABBA really know how to tell a story about in love in 3 tuneful minutes. Commercially successful Sweden’s superstars have even inspired a musical. With tune after tune after tune so colorfully fulfilling. ABBA Gold deserves its place as one of the best pop albums of all time.
Number Three: (What’s The Story?) Morning Glory, Oasis
Blasting on to the scene with Definitely Maybe. It was their second album that really showcased their talent. With classics such as ‘Wonderwall’ , ‘Champagne Supernova’ and The Lennon homage ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’. Oasis not only fused pop and rock’n’roll but also created a whole new genre in Britpop. Spawning a whole new wave of copy cat musicians. Oasis will be remembered for the ones that kicked it all off.
Number Two: What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye
Marvin’s masterpiece. What’s Going On mixes religion, anguish, torment and devotion all in one. A roller-coaster of emotions, Marvin once claimed that the album had been written by god. Whoever wrote it. It is easily one of the best pop albums of all time from the frightful Mercy Mercy Me to the funky jam of What’s Going On. It’s a must listen from start to finish.
Number One: Abbey Road, The Beatles
Yeah Yeah, predictable it may be. But there is no denying that The Beatles were the princes of pop. Knowing exactly how to write it, play it and orchestrate the whole damn thing. The tricky thing however is to choose the best album. From the screaming days of early Beatles to the more creative sounds of the late 60s. It is Abbey Road however that really establishes their award of number one pop album of all time. With every song so different from the next, each a highlight in its own right. We are even treated to our very own medley of entertainment. Abbey Road was the last album written by the group as a collective with the last line fittingly declaring, ‘and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.’