All You Need Is…4

This ought to be fun…

As far as albums go all you will ever need (note: NEED, not WANT/DESIRE) by any one single artist is four. Or less. Even if you’re a diehard fan of a particular artist I still believe this to be true. Sure, you’ll buy everything your fave puts out, and there’ll be some great songs on each, but how often will you listen to the whole thing? I mean, I’m a completist as well, ok, but I’m saying that if it was a matter of life and death, and you had to pick just four albums per artist to keep the Reaper away, it would be a pretty easy task. Here, let me attempt and prove my theory with some examples:

The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Exile On Main Street and Sticky Fingers.

The Clash: The Clash, London Calling, Sandinista and Combat Rock.

The Kinks: Face To Face, Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur and Muswell Hillbillies.

Queen: Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, A Night At The Opera, The Game.

Electric Light Orchestra: El Dorado, Face The Music, A New World Record, Out Of The Blue.

The Who: My Generation, Tommy, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia

Nick Lowe: Jesus Of Cool, Labour Of Lust, The Impossible Bird, At My Age.

Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!

AC/DC: High Voltage, Let There Be Rock, Highway To Hell, Back In Black.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory.

The Damned: Damned Damned Damned, Machine Gun Etiquette, The Black Album and Phantasmagoria.

The Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic, The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, At War With The Mystics.

Alice Cooper: Love It To Death, Killer, School’s Out, Billion Dollar Babies.

Bob Dylan: Hwy 61 Revisited; Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding, Blood On The Tracks

David Bowie: Hunky Dory, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane, Scary Monsters.

Ramones: Ramones, Rocket To Russia, Leave Home, Road To Ruin.

Wilco: Being There, Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost Is Born.

…and even the Mighty Beatles: Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Peppers and The White Album. Without these four I couldn’t exist, but Abbey Road never really did it for me, ditto Let It Be, and their early stuff sounds great on a compilation but I don’t need all the filler and cover versions. And while we’re on it, all you need by McCartney solo is RAM and Band On The Run and all you need by Lennon are Plastic Ono Band and Imagine.