ARRRR don’t help me!! I’m stuck on a island that’s a riding paradise and I never want to leave. But it gets better: I have five of my favourite albums to listen to while I’m on this not-so-deserted island. A great album is like a mountain bike ride; it takes you on journey. It starts with a warm-up and builds to an exciting middle that you look forward to, then as you finish brings you home leaving your senses completely satisfied, searching for a beer and the couch.
The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
It’s a little cliché to start with, but it’s the original album of all albums. Still number one on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 and can’t see anything knocking it off the top spot. The more I listen, the more I hear. Whether I’m riding my bike singing to myself, or coming down after a night out, it just seems to work on all levels.
Kanye West: Yeezus
Have you ever stopped mid-ride and thought to your self that maybe that Kanye West is a GOD? Have you ever entertained the thought, while mid-air, that he’s one of the most famous people in the world and has one of the hottest wives, and that he might be Jesus? No? Me neither… but Yeezus is pure genius and I can respect his artistry and also enjoy the fact he pisses off middle-aged white guys all around the world. It does take a few listens, but the more I listened the more it gives back and it has a flow that makes it an album you want to listen to from front to back. And if you don’t believe me, this review by Lou Reed helped put it in perspective. He’s kind of a big deal…
Queens of the Stone Age: Like Clockwork
It’s easy to say that QOTSA is my favourite rock band that is still producing music and Like Clockwork is an rock album for the ages. These days I find myself seeking old rock or new other genres to get my album fix. New rock bands seem to put out great singles but fall flat when the album drops and in the words of Josh Homme himself, “fuck the man and fuck Imagine Dragons“.
Like Clockwork starts off with “Keep Your Eyes Peeled”, a gentle but abrasive buildup that will help on any climb. Then it trail rides its way up through some truly great songs, but I feel like it’s building up to the final descent. “I Appear Missing”, the second to last song on the album, a song where at times I feel Josh Homme has harnessed the vocals of a still living David Bowie. To then close with the title track “…Like Clockwork” the perfect final warm-down.
Men without Hats: Greatest
A ‘greatest hits’ doesn’t really fit the whole ‘album’ premise of this article, but I’m allowed some guilty pleasures, right? This is the album I put on before a ride when it’s raining. It’s perfect for getting psyched up to hit a jump that I shouldn’t and then it can keep the party going once you’ve finished for the day. And the best bit is it’s so repetitive that you’ll know the lyrics before the song is done and be singing them loud as you can.
Merc Swazey: Cash
“Enduro, it’s still so hot right now, and I’m all over it, how can you not be?” Cash is the original Enduro music album and has since spawned many more albums like Loud by Merc Swazey. I can’t believe how much I love riding to Merc Swazey and he could possibly even break his genre of Enduro music and be perfect as Mountain Bike music! Check it!