11. Rangeela by A.R. Rahman.
I am sure some of you have, at least, heard some of Slumdog Millionaire‘s music, if not seen the movie and listened to the album. Even if it won a couple of Oscars, I would consider it as Rahman merely doodling, in comparison to some of his masterpieces like Rangeela. Rangeela is an important document of my childhood, contains my favourite song from my part of the world, “Tanha Tanha”, and is just a fun, vibrant album, that combines both traditional elements, and synthpop in a way that is purely, buoyantly exquisite. Most of you will not understand a word that is sung, but I bet it won’t stop you from wanting to break into dance.
12. Dil Se by A.R. Rahman.
While we do have a strong pop and rock scene in India, as well as an electronic music scene, Bollywood is where all the money and talent is, or wants to be. Also another soundtrack from the nineties and my childhood, this one may not be as much of a crowd pleaser as Rangeela, given the subject matter, but the soundscapes created on this album are simply divine. With only five, mammoth songs, Rahman arranged, produced and composed some of the most interesting sonic experiences ever. The videos that go along with it also add to it, with “Chaiyya, Chaiyya”, filmed atop a moving train, achieving instant iconic status.
13. Hounds of Love by Kate Bush.This one was the most difficult to choose of this entire list. Kate Bush is an anomaly in music. Any genre you try to fit her into, there will be a substantial amount of her music that would be the polar opposite of it. More importantly, she is everything I ever wanted in any artist, across all art. To me, she is the greatest storyteller, and a strong female energy in my life. There is the kind of music that moves you, or makes you want to dance along and be happy. With Kate, you feel as though the song has somehow caressed you, and made you feel less alone, as if it were your friend. Her artistry is like an entire universe unto itself, one you are glad to be forever lost in. Hounds of Love is only one of those many pathways to that universe. Every song is recommended, and not just on this album.
14. Let it Be by The Beatles.
I will be less obvious and not include Sergeant Pepper‘s on this list. I appreciate Let it Be more than some fans and critics do for one reason – it’s the only opportunity you get to see them at work. The Beatles are, obviously, every kind of great, but despite being a great live band (having the ability to send London in a tizzy with an impromptu rooftop concert of new, unheard material), they are an even greater studio band. There isn’t much “cheerfulness”, if any in Let it Be, the documentary film (which contain much more music than the album, including “Don’t Let Me Down”), but it is an absolute treat to see them create, or just jam along to their own favourites like “You Really Got A Hold On Me”.
15. A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles.
None of the afore-mentioned albums are in any order, but this one for me, is easily number one. Say, it was the end of the world. We were being taken to a new planet, and no art was allowed in your baggage being deemed unnecessary. I would carry this with my paracetamol. Yes, A Hard Day’s Night is the paracetamol of all pop music albums. So basic, so simple, and yet, so healing. If I encountered aliens, I’d give them a copy. If I have grandchildren, I’d give them a copy. If I marry, my husband better have a copy and love it. If I hear one negative thing about this, I won’t approve of your comment. It’s been a hard day’s night making this list, and I better go listen to it to relax.
That’s all folks! I’ll be back to my Of-finess soon!