HIVE Challenge : 14 Albums That Changed my Life! an Off-the-Beat list without the Usual Suspects

in Music6 months ago (edited)

As our community member Slobberchops pointed out a few days ago, already for weeks a challenge is going around Facebook. Although I've seen it passing by a few times - friends contributions - to my knowledge I was not yet invited.

The challenge: Post Influential Albums

When seeing friends posting one of their top 10 albums, my thought was again and again: "When they invite me; What then? How shall I select 10 most influential albums? I can't make a top 10. I probably end up with a top 100, or a top 1000! And a top without a preferred order, all entries number 1!"

Then I read the post by Slobberchops [post] and I knew I had to try and create a top 10. Easier said then done, since throughout my life I heard so many great albums! To make it even more difficult: my taste in music goes from classical, blues, jazz to pop and modern electronic music and everything in between.

Intermezzo : the occasion, surrounding, company, emotional state and 'wanted' atmosphere has great influence on the right selection of music. And for each of these I can make my top X. These top X's can't be compared, and I can't really mix them as well. In my honest opinion, there is no such thing as the best album, or the best 10 albums; Too much great music created and released!

published on Amazon (source)

My Attempt

Under my (now) HIVE based QSOUNDS brand, I wrote posts about more than 300 albums and set recordings of which many of them can take a position in my top 10. It's exactly this source I took as the baseline for the list of albums I share with you as part of the challenge to pick influential albums. From a list of 40 odd albums, it took something like 3 rounds to cut this list short to, not a top 10, but a top 14.

I decided to bring you a more off-the-beat list, therefor I excluded all kinda mainstream albums other than Kate Bush and Vangelis (although the album I included from Vangelis is for sure not mainstream). Otherwise you would've seen albums included from bands and singers like: Sade, Dire Straits, Genesis, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Talk Talk (the more known ones), Depeche Mode, Prince, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk and many more.

Most of the albums are instrumental; The voice is an instrument to me; I never ever listen to the vocals, the words itself. When you are a poet and your work ends up as lyrics to a song, don't count on me to hear you story. Just get the right voice to sing it, and I'm happy! :)

My Top 14

As mentioned before, I was not able to cut my list down to 10: It become 14 albums altogether.

All albums in order of year, starting in the year of 1976 and ending in the year of 2015. Each entry has a direct link to play the album and it has a direct link to the post I've written before in support of the music; If you like you can read the stories and write-ups I did in last 4 years while listening the music :) Not all entries are albums, at least one is a recording of a performance. All post links are links to the respective posts on the Steem blockchain, since many of the images where not copied over to the HIVE systems correctly.

Simeon ten Holst - Canto Osinato (1976) ... performance | play | post |

This piece of music I discovered though some niche art TV show a decade or more ago. Immediately it grabbed my attention! Although the creator is a classical composer, this piece of music is quite unlike classical work and has everything that classifies the more modern rave music. The music that emerged in the 90s electronic underground scene embraced by people exploring different experiences to the normal Discotheque. A rave is all about drifting through the music for hours and hours with likeminded; A night of being together with friends and strangers with the feeling of being one, regardless of what position we have in society; The feeling it gives us if there is nothing else in the world then the here and now.

Although classical from creation and performance, this album can do similar things to our minds as rave music does. A special piece altogether, since Simeon left a lot open for the performer to do whatever he or she likes. Not all notes are laid out and ordered. It's a piece that can be played with a single instrument, but also with two or even four instruments. Originally written for piano, the recording I've included is one with a mix of two instruments: the piano and the marimbas (a kinda xylophone).

In my home country, every year a special performance is held in which the visitors do not standup, or sit on a chair, but lie down to listen and dream for a few hours. It's on my bucket list still!

Kate Bush - The Kick Inside (1978) ... album | play | post |

She made such an impression when her "Wuthering Heights" stormed the charts. I was about 8 years of age back then. First time I heard her in our first and most famous music TV program (TopPop for the Dutchies reading this) and was intrigued by not only the song itself, but certainly her exceptional voice and the music video.

She was one of the first artists releasing a video with her song, a proper filmed short story as by now no music can do without, so it seems. Back then, most of the TV shows airing music, would show a video recording of the singer/band in some studio. Kate Bush was one of the first adapting to the new media by making music videos. I wanted to also share another album "Aerial" - a more recent work with which she delivered again a TOP performance - but my love for Kate began back in the 70s!

Jean Michel Jarre - Les Concerts En Chine (1982) ... album | play | post |

This French guy made such an amount of great albums! Have several of him in my collection. And heard almost all of them. I discovered him back in 1988 when I got a subscription to the first CD rental shop around the corner where I lived in Rotterdam. A brand new way of bringing music to the public and for me a great way to discover new artists without the need to spend time in some record shop. Every week I would rent a handful of CDs of artists I never heard of; Those I liked I would record to tape; Those I really liked I bought a brand new copy of from some of the shops around.

I've included the live album of mister Jarre; The one done in China. Back in 1982 not so many artists had shows in China, making this one quite special.

Vangelis - Antarctica (1983) ... album | play | post |

Who doesn't know Vangelis? This Greek producer of gazillion albums! In early 90s, the city of Rotterdam invited him to play open air; Not in a festival kinda setting; The location was in the middle of the city. As a matter of fact, his setup was build onto one of the bridges connecting the northern (where downtown is) with the southern part. Added to Vangelis music, was a most spectacular light show!

I'll never forget this event! Interesting enough, although many people showed up, I think such free to visit in-the-middle-of-a-city event would not be possible anymore; Too many people will show up. Today a festival setup is required, with licenses, gates, bars, food, toilets, security and all of that. Back then, nothing of that sort! Great days! :)

His "Antarctica" made the list; Definitely one I listened a whole LOT; This day and age maybe a little less, but I'm pretty sure I'll fire up my Spotify more often just for this one in the near future!

Mark Knopfler - Cal OST (1984) ... album | play | post |

Dire Straits! Who doesn't know them? But the fact the lead singer of the Dire Straits "Mark Knopfler" started his career producing soundtracks and other solo projects and albums, is much less known. For this list I had to make the selection between Mark's first two albums: "Local Hero" (a soundtrack) and "Cal" (also a soundtrack). By random choice, it became "Cal".

Manuel Göttsching - E2-E4 (1984) ... album | play | post |

Far after its initial release, I came across this album by master Göttsching. With E2-E4 he created an early form of the modern electronic music of today. I think this was for him a side project, since most of his work is 'classic' band material. But as quite a few artists back then when the first drum computers emerged; Also he started to experiment with the new technology.

By chance I discovered this album sometime in the mid 10s (something like 2003/4). When listening the album, you shall remember that the album was created in one take, without any practising and/or editing. Göttsching came into his studio; Started to create sounds; Pressed the record button; And only stopped after an hour or so. It was never intended to be released, but eventually the recording was taken as is and pressed on vinyl.

Éric Serra - Le Grande Blue (1988) ... album | play | post |

The first movie I've seen from the great Luc Besson; The French movie director known for movies like The Fifth Element, Nikita, Lucy and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. With "Le Grande Blue" (The Big Blue), music composer Éric Serra made his introduction. Some really cool works he made; Most - if not all - soundtracks. That time, both Luc and Éric where at the start of their careers, not well known by the public. By now, they are more or less mainstream; Well, at least Luc is.

Many of my friends don't know Éric Serra, but they recognise some of his music. Guess soundtrack makers have a difficult time to be recognised. Maybe because we skip the credits at the end of the movie? Maybe because many of us don't take too much notice of the music while watching? Fortunately I don't belong to 'many of us' :)

Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden (1988) ... album | play | post |

Maybe my most favourite band of all times! Short lived as a band, unfortunately! Though Talk Talk had a few songs in the top X in various countries around the world, this band is in my opinion totally undervalued and underrated!

"It's My Life" is one of their hits, and indeed a fantastic song. But what really blew me away was when they decided to go totally experimental and underground. The result: Two albums, "Spirit of Eden" and "Laughing Stock". Both Super Albums! The winner for this list: "Spirit of Eden". Such a Beauty! Goosebumps every time I listen it!

Ryoji Ikeda - +/- (1996) ... album | play | post |

It must have been the same first generation online distribution platforms through which I discovered master Göttsching, I discovered Ryoji Ikeda. An exceptional experimental sound recording! Many will not think this is music at all. And indeed, the tracks doesn't have too much melody or rhythm :) That said, it has many facets of what music is about: it attracts attention of the mind and it somehow manages to create harmony albeit in a very abstract way. Through this album, I started to explore the electronic experimental genre and become a huge fan! Though I don't listen Ikeda's work - and the genre as whole - too often; I do very much like the abstract extremes in music.

Massive Attack - Mezzanine (1998) ... album | play | post |

Most of my friends working in the electronic music business know Massive Attack, but I'm not too sure how well known Massive Attack is by the general public. To me, it's a band that can't not be listed in a top X!

Some say they are linked to Banksy. Well, not just linked: Quite a few people think Massive Attack is Banksy. They base this on the fact that wherever Massive Attack had a show, Bansky art appeared. I learned this 'conspiracy' theory only way after I discovered their music.

"Mezzanine" is the album I listened by far the most. Good to know is this could have something to do with the fact the CD was in my car - with a bunch of others - while generally, I was a bit lazy to refresh the selection for months, sometimes even years. And at that time, I had a great sound system in the car. A system I moved from car to car, until the modern dashboards emerged taking away the ability to build in our own receivers without destroying the car itself.

Hooverphonic - The Magnificent Tree (2000) ... album | play | post |

Sounds a little strange to write, but Hooverphonic is maybe the last concert I've been to when they toured my little country promoting "The Magnificent Tree" album. I was never too much into going to concerts. My way of enjoying music is at a festival with multiple stages and a programming of an entire day, or two, three, four or more :) That said, back then in 2000/2001 a friend asked me to join her and I did. WOW. I was amazed by this band with 7 to 8 members. All sort of normal instruments and added to that electrical violins and some other instruments I don't know the english words for. Deep dark melodic and pop-ish. A genre I really really like!

Cobblestone Jazz - Mondo Madrid (2007) ... album | play | post |

"Mondo Madrid" is a live recording and was a supplement to their first album "23 seconds". Three artist producers all having their solo projects, from time to time come together and create and foremost play music. Live created on the spot: Keyboards, drum computers, modular systems; A whole truckload of it!

Although quite a few electronic producer/artists are playing live acts, not so many can actually make a real interesting one. Most are boring; No dynamics; No swung! Cobblestone Jazz - and also Mathew Johnson solo - are different! Every time I hear them in some club or at some festival, they are pleasing my ears and mind big time!

Minilogue - Blomma (2013) ... album | play | post |

Two guys from Sweden jointly created two notable electronic albums in the genre of minimal ambient techno: "Animals" and "Blomma"; Both jewels in my honest opinion. As with many other albums in this article, goosebumps every time I listen them.

"Blomma" is the first choice for the list. But the other one is great as well. Although I do like the works of "Sebastian Mullaert" after his Minilogue era, I wished for these guys - born and raised in the country of many top quality electronic music producer/artists - to have released more material! Ok ok, everything has a start and an end; I know. But their end should've been a little later than it effectively was.

HVOB - Trialog (2015) ... album | play | post |

The last and most recent album in my list: "Trialog" by Austrian's HVOB. They played the closing hour on the main stage at Fusion Festival; A multi day (almost a week) music and art festival in northeast Germany. By far the Best festival I've encountered in my whole life! And I've experienced quite a few festivals throughout the last two/three decades! :)

Usually I go to other stages then the main for closing time, but we were advised to go and see HVOB. So we did! Their melancholic electronic sound struck me by lightning and I could only leave for the after party, after the last sounds faded away. Since then, they made a few albums more, but their recent work I hardly listen; Too much of the same. But their first two albums "HVOB" and "Trialog" are regulars for my ears.

When I started to collect the material for this article, I thought: "Ok, lets make a selection, write the article and then next topic!". I probably don't write about music in the next posts, but I do think I'll come back to talk about other top X albums.

The whole process to come to this result made me go back in time to wonderful moments in my life. So much positivity this gave me! So much pleasure and happiness I got from this mini project! It turned my so so day into a great one! I wish, I wish I could go to some small and cozy music festival tonight! I want to hear good music while surrounded by likeminded, positive and happy people, trying our best to create the all-is-one atmosphere!


a HIVE original

qsounds music library with more than 300 entries | A...K | L...Z |
hive curator for illuminati-inc / c-squared / c-cubed

all images taken from Discogs except those mentioned otherwise


Buddy, you are killing it. Another of your best ever posts and I see you are much broader as I expected. Love the selection - hope I can come up with my post soon.

Thanks man :)
I almost like music from every genre. But I have my favourites to write about :)
Waiting for yours!

Impressive selection, respect. Also, must say, that you have some of the tunes I never heard before. I'm following you and thanks for sharing :)

Cool I could bring something new to you. In almost all music I shared with the community, sharing none mainstream music was always my intention. Thanks for stopping by!

That is a great selection and even better - I only know around 50%.

I will tune in, have Kate already running in the background and love to listen to more

Man, this pushes me to think about my music. There is so much well known and as well the hidden gems. 14 Albums - OK. I work on this...

Thanks for stopping by. Yeah Kate is simply fantastic! :)
If I may suggest, go for the hidden GEMS, always cool to discover 'new' music.
Looking fwd to your top X...

Note: I made a top 14 because I couldn't downsize to 10, the original number set by the initiator of this all: @

I have a few things where I need to find links.

There was a damn cool fresh band called "FFF" in 90'ties and a German band called "Mon Dyh" where I already made a steem post about some years ago.

Arrrghh - need more time for music

Music doesn't run away, so take your time :)

Wow, cool. Why did I not found it.

Am a master of search :)

Nice selection! I would have chosen some of those, too. May be a different album, though, like in the case of Vangelis. Antarctica is nice, but I think he made more remarkable albums earlier.
And Kate Bush - the woman is a god damn genius! Perhaps you know that she really composed all her music by herself, and she was 16 or so when she started. The same goes for the choreography in the videos. The best video in my opinion is "Experiment #IV" - wow, what a trip! And the actors in it are top notch british actors of the time.

Massive Attack was widely known around 1990, when they had their huge success song "Unfinished Sympathy". That was in the Top 40 for some time, and was played on the radio and all.

But of course you are right: 10 or 15 mentions is not enough by far. There were so many names that shaped entire genres, like Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Genesis, Brian Eno, Bob Marley and and and...
Unfortunatly the same cannot be said about the recent music. There are some very few exceptions, though, lets see where they will go in the future.

Didn't know about Kate Bush and her music was really hers. To be honest, I somehow expect artists to make their own music, but I guess the reality is quite different. In the electronic music business also ghost producing happens, but in the circles I'm in this is not necessarily considered a good thing.

You mentioned a bunch I would've also like to include, Tangerine Dream... Fanastic indeed. Brian Eno: In one of the curation rounds his 'music for airports' was filtered out; Such a great story around it!

When can we read about and listen the music of your top X? Or am I a bit to pushing now :)

I'll think about it. I didn't post much lately anyway, so perhaps its a good idea. :)

Don't think; Just do! hahaha When I started out writing my post yesterday, it gave me such great pleasure. Took me hours and hours to get it done, but hours well spend :)

The voice from Kate goes well together with Goosebumps

I do not know anything except Monologue and Massive Attack. It seems that a busy musical week just approach my soundsystem ;)

Hahahaha.... Quite some stuff from the 'old' days :) And then still just the late 70s 80s and a but 90s... rephrase: counted from 00 onwards, so a good amount from the 'old' days :)

Be prepared for some running between genres when listening all 14!

Good, older tunes are accelerating my imagination. I love to compare art and culture from the both sides of the Berlin Wall.

Let me know your thoughts after some music marathon! :) NJOY koningsdag!

hetzelfde ;)

There is a lot there that I have no clue about. The two that I do and stick out are 'The Kick Inside', which is probably the only Kate album that I truly got to grips with. The other is Spirit of Eden which is so so distant from the Talk Talk sound of the '80s that many heard.

I have never really got into Spirit of Eden but I have tried quite hard. To think this is the band that did 'Today' and 'It's My Life' which is so different.

The Massive Attack album I have thought about investigating at some point. Unfinished Sympathy was epic.

Oh and Jean Micheal. I was very much into Oxygene and Equinox. They were truly chilling tunes. Listen in the dark and close your eyes!

Yeah, the albums are a bit all over the place :)

Spirit of Eden as well as Laughing Stock are indeed nothing like their first four albums. I never researched why they stopped; Maybe the later albums (released a few years apart) were so niche it had no point to continue making music for the public. Hope that isn’t the reason though.

Massive Attack are well worth the visit, Unfinished sympathy from blue lines was indeed epic Shara Nelson made that tune, Mezzanine for me was them at their best, a much darker feel to it. Horace Andy reggae legend features on both these albums, his live performance with them was outstanding I was fortunate to be side stage at one of the early V festivals where I was providing VIP security, mind blowing and bloody loud.

You were the security guy.. and a fan as well? Did they ask you if you were a fan before giving you the job.. just interested!

OK Mezzanine.., I will get it... and listen,

I got into security about 1989 I was quite involved in the rave scene and started working the door at various venues. After a while I put a team together and provided a complete package. Like many in that yuppie era I had a financial adviser who happened to have a few names on his books which led to a bit of personal security at events.

That's a cool combo indeed; I guess you had/have a connection with the real rave music? What styles? For some reason I never made it to a live show.

I worked as security for a number of rave venues and artists back then. For me 88 to 91 was my time I enjoyed the most as a participant, acid house got me hooked also I liked garage and Balearic beats but to be honest many things rocked my boat and still do. Be safe dude.

Always cool to have a open mind to music and a like for a wide range of styles. Late 80s early 90s, thats right at the start of the whole rave thing. I got involved from 94 (or was it 95?). My brother used to go to raves already earlier than I, that time I hatted the music, but when he pulled me to an underground event all the way down in Slovenia, Techno sparked my interest and it became part of my live.

As said all things rock my boat and i'm not averse to a bit of techno.

Cool selection, It was a bitch to come up with mine, I have quite an eclectic taste but my selection ended up being quite mainstream, I think that's mostly down to popular albums led me to the more obscure stuff. My list was more about which albums opened the doors to different Genres. I struggled with not having Massive Attack in there, Mezzanine was a cracking album. It will be interesting to see what others come up with.

I'll be heading to your post in a bit, Yesterday didn't had the time to go through other submissions. Although I definitely like some of the more popular stuff as well, I mostly tend to listen to the lesser popular music :)
You can always edit in Massive Attack, if you will :)

I thought about it but i'm thinking I may do some other posts a bit more genre specific, they will definitely feature.


Holy crap, dude...this is the kind of post I wish I could upvote more than once. EPIC write-up on some stuff I am familiar with, and even more stuff that I've never even heard of before. Most excellent! :D

Many thanks :) Just sit back, relax and enjoy some of the music :)

Very interesting list. I surprisingly know most of them.... revisited Massive Attack whilst preparing dinner. Still not a great fan but does not offend me {smile}. Kate Bush mega talent, that particular album was flirting on the edges of my Top 10.
If you want to know a bit more about her ...

I did a Music Legends series based purely on vinyl in my collection.

I added the artists I did not know to my list made from Slobberchops I have some catching up to do listening wise!!

Massive Attack: cool it does offend you. I still remember the low bass of the first track rumbled my car so much I got a free massage while driving :)

I was only able to find a recent post with two music clips. Is that the one you meant, or you're still working on your top 10 post itself?

the birdies are loose...

amazing choices here.....especially my austrian fellows :)
I wish I would find time to do the same but I was already challenged on facebook :) to post one album per day :)

Thanks :) Collect the ones you posted on FB and plug them into your top X here on HIVE? ;)

Yes ! Will do :)

I am already after first batch of the albums and must admit that you really drag my attention with Simeon ten Holt and Kate Bush. Something new and absolutely stunning for me. To be honest I was quite disappointed with Vangelis, for me Antarctica is just a normal ambient album and looking for more music in this style, I would definitely pick up some ambient from Biosphere or atmospheric drum and bass from Alaska. Cannot write any opinion about Jean Michelle Jare yet. I feel that I need to give him a bit more time.

...more info soon...

Cool I could bring something new to you, you like. Regarding Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre: You have to keep in mind their music was created when ambient wasn't defined as a style, when dance music and PC's didn't exist. They both are early adapters of first generation drum computers, synths (that became popular in the 80s only) and the creation of electronic music. Another that shall be mentioned is: Tangerine Dream. But I do appreciate when you don't like it; For me it are memories and was crazy about these artists back then. Oww another life changing artists is Gandalf with a few of his most early work. All these artists showed me the beauty of music without words, the instrumental side of music.

Based on my youthful fascination with Kraftwerk, I can understand your point of view(regarding to Vangelis and JMJ). They were really a pioneers for me, a group of engineering scientists that build their own electronic instruments to create a music for generations.

Hear Hear :)