- "Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols"
Indisputably number one. The lurid, ransom note logo and album cover by Jamie Ried (cf my own at the top of this page). The sheer fucking excitement of the opening of "God Save The Queen" or "Pretty Vacant" makes this a fantastic album. The opening of "Bodies" still sends a shiver up my spine.
- "London Calling" – The Clash
I’ll never forget buying this double album in 1979 for £3.50 (the same price as a single album) and the first time I played it. It was the first time I’d heard political music. It was my first exposure to reggae; I know it was from white boys, but until then I’d only heard sanitised pop reggae. The Clash just melted down loads of influences into something amazing. The cover is great – and the Elvis reference is genius.
- "Inflammable Material" – Stiff Little Fingers
As I’ve said in my S.L.F. gig review, you can’t doubt SLF’s sincerity.This album is almost live, it’s so raw; "Suspect Device" as a single backed with "Wasted Life" is a double-A side that is Punk’s equivalent of "Penny Lane" b/w "Strawberry Fields Forever". Other favourites are "Barbed Wire Love" and a shapeless Bob Marley cover/ reworking: "Johnny Was". My only quibbles are "Closed Groove" which is pretty wank, and the production of "Alternative Ulster": what’s going on with the vocals? Quintuple tracking through a comprehensibility-removing device?
- "The Undertones" – The Undertones
I’ve got the original, but the reissue is better, as that contains the first two singles, "Teenage Kicks" and "Get Over You". The reissue occurred when the song "Jimmy Jimmy" hit the charts unexpectedly, and gave the record company a jolt. My Grandad Jim had given me £5, and I decided to buy an album: I was wavering between Abba’s "Voulez-vous" and this album. Thank god I made the right choice. "Jump Boys", "Male Model" and "Family Entertainment" kick ass.
- "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" – Dead Kennedys
Conclusive evidence, when I was 15 or so, that America wasn’t only Ronald Reagan and mad Christians. Dead Kennedys: humour; intelligence, and an appreciation of world events ("Holiday in Cambodia") that isn’t generally associated with Uncle Sam. And "Kill The Poor" is a great song, even when Tim accidentally twisted his his cassette into reverse and played us "Lik lik lik the roop".
- "Parallel Lines" – Blondie
- "Going Steady" – The Buzzcocks (cheating, cos it’s a compilation; also, "Boredom" and "Breakdown" are great and not on that album.)
- "Best before 1984" – Crass
Another cheating compilation. Crass were angry and often unlistenable, but when punk was degenerating and loads of Nazi skins showed up, it was great to have a left-wing band who were hard bastards. Their album covers were great, too.
- "Best of .. " – The Jam
Pick your random best of, cos they were always a singles band. I loved "A Bomb In Wardour Street", "Strange Town", "Going Underground", even "Beat Surrender" – and (of course) "In the City".
Talking of which, they must’ve been livid when they heard the Sex Pistols’ "Holidays In The Sun".
- Aggghh .. where to start? Motorhead? Ian Dury’s "Hit me with your rhythm stick"? Some Joy Division? The Psychedelic Furs? The B52s debut album? The Ramones? MC5? I choose them all. (It’s my list and I’ll cheat if I want to).
On the other hand, Pippa’s just written to me berating me for forgetting The Stranglers, even though I’ve seen them live! So number 10 is Rattus Norvegicus, ‘cos I love "Hanging Around" and "Go Buddy Go".