Can you believe that No Doubt//Tragic Kingdom is almost 22 years old? Released in 1995, I picked it up from Poundland the other day to listen to in my car and just like Gwen Stefani herself – it hasn’t aged. When I take in to consideration that my music taste hasn’t changed since my youth, and I have no idea who John Legend is, it got me thinking about why I don’t really listen to newer music. The reason is pretty easy though. Most of the bands and albums I enjoy just haven’t aged. Unlike synth-pop music of the 80’s or disco of the 70’s. the past 20-25 years seems to have produced some of the most timeless alternative and indie music, ever. Looking at festival line ups over the last few years, it also seems that booking agents feel the same and are getting bands who were big a few years ago back on the stage for some ‘retro’ action, which could have just been released yesterday.
Here’s my run down of the top 7 Alternative Albums which simply just haven’t aged…
No Doubt//Tragic Kingdom (1995)
Obviously were kicking off the list with the album which sparked the entire thought process. No Doubt’s third studio album, Tragic Kingdom was the one that kickstarted their global success. With their massive, massive single ‘Don’t Speak’ being one of the stand out tracks, you can also get your reggae inspired ska punk groove on to belters such as Spiderwebs and Excuse Me Mr. All whilst pretending you’re Gwen herself.
Blur//Self Titled Album (1997)
Despite being the fifth studio album from Blur, this is once again, in my opinion, ‘the one’ that remains timeless to this day. I mean, Song 2….Helloooo?! How many adverts still feature this one and how many people still lose their shit when they hear it on a night out. WOOOOOO-HOOOO. Of course, with indie still being an ever popular genre, you can pretty much listen to any track from this 1997 album and pretend it wasn’t released 20 years ago.
The Strokes//Is This It (2001)
Speaking of indie music, I still remember when I heard ‘Last Night’ for the first time on a night out when I had just turned 18 in 2003. The album, of course, was released 2 years prior to this. In an age before the internet and with no MTV2 at your fingertips (unless you went to a friends house), you literally had to wait until you heard songs in a club or on the radio to discover a lot of new music back then…. I digress. The Strokes//Is This It seems to be such a complacent and easy to listen to album that you could easily imagine them supporting the Arctic Monkeys in 2018 and not realise the music came out years ago.
Queens of the Stone Age//Songs for the Deaf (2002)
Despite not being a massive QOTSA fan, I still somehow get tiny goosebumps whenever I hear No One Knows come on. Featuring Dave Grohl guest drumming on the album, it was a sure-fire recipe for musical success and won the NME award for best album. Taking you through grungy riffs with a kick of metal, from start to finish this 2002 album could easily hit the alternative charts today; without anyone knowing it’s actually almost 15 years old.
Death from Above 1979//You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine (2004)
When you go to your favourite indie club, is there ANYTHING more exciting than hearing Romantic Rights unexpectedly? Okay, probably. However, as soon as you hear that opening sludge-slash-guitar, you forget that 13 years ago this SONG DIDN’T EVEN EXIST. Dance punk is a genre that needs to come back and if it did, you can guarantee that this album could stroll back in without anyone realising it wasn’t bought out in 2017.
Interpol//Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)
15 years on and I am still in love with Turn on the Bright Lights by Interpol. In fact, this album comes very high in my top 10 albums of all time. I judge my top 10 by the amount of tracks I have to skip on an album and on this one… There’s only one skip (that one about Stella being a Diver FYI). I saw Interpol back in the day and in 2015, comparing both shows and all music leaves me feeling that this album will just remain timeless forever and ever and ever. I love it.
Phoenix//Wolfgang Amadeus (2009)
The most recent album on the list, but one which I believe will still be timeless in years to come. I didn’t discover Phoenix until around 3 years ago at Leeds Festival and I honestly thought they were a brand new band, but nope, they’ve been around for years which proves how timeless they already are.
What would you choose for your 7 most timeless albums of all time?