Even if you have never heard them before.
Some albums are so insanely popular that we seem to be born with common knowledge of their sounds, regardless of whether we have heard them, let alone listened to them in their entirety. Such titles are also usually innately linked with the bands and artists who created them to the point that we just presume we've heard them, even if we cannot name any of their tracks beyond their stand-out single releases.
We may also lazily assume that the tracklisting of these albums is made up of the group's greatest hits because their much-played standout tracks are what we have heard on Spotify, or the radio, or on YouTube. But regardless of our preconceptions or misinterpretations, the rightly famous albums that follow are indeed iconic and worthy of close(r) listening.
They mean something and should be listened to. Their artwork, graphic design, production and gestation were probably constructed to reflect each band member's (or the originating artiste's) vision for the music and lyrics they contain, or perhaps everyone involved just got lucky during the creative process. Or possibly it was a combination of both.
But either way they deserve the accolades because in that complicated creative mix, they contain that musical magic that changed careers and affected lives, and which marked the times they were recorded in.
So, in case you are one of these lost souls who has sailed through a musical abyss, avoiding any discussions over the following albums lest your absent consciousness of their sounds and ideas is revealed, to follow is a breakdown of five popular and highly acclaimed LPs that you may think you already know, even if you don't.
Or perhaps you have heard them in their entirety in the age of streaming where they have become lost in a plethora of playlists and podcasts, waiting to be reappreciated all over again. In which case, and indeed whatever your circumstance, I hope you enjoy what follows.
The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (1966)
What you expect:
Sun, fun, surfing, girls and cars.
What you get:
Brian Wilson's opus.
The overweight and depressed genius decided to reveal his innermost fears to the public on this album and in the process became the songwriter for a lost generation. Which isn't bad when you consider his contemporaries were McCartney, Lennon, Jagger, Richards, Davies and Dylan. It might take a few listens, but as soon as Pet Sounds clicks, you will never want to listen to any other musical sound (pet or otherwise) ever again.
The album ebbs and flows like blood coursing through your veins, each track colliding into one another and ultimately moulding together as one.
Stand out track:
God Only Knows. Simply incredible music. Even Beethoven and Mozart would quiver with jealous resentment after hearing this bad boy.
Johnny Cash, Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison (1966)