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The albums that James Gunn calls "perfect"


When it comes to recommending great albums, you can rely on James Gunn. The director has earned the reverence of moviegoers and music fans with his expertly selected soundtracks for the original Guardians of The Galaxy movie and its equally beloved sequel. Here, Gunn provides us with a stunning selection of “perfect” albums.

The compilation surfaced after actor Ben Schwartz took to Instagram to ask for help putting together a comprehensive list of five-star records. Gunn quickly provided an apparently “un-thought out” list of classic albums ranging from 1970s punk and glam to ’90s hip hop.

Gunn’s extensive list begins with David Bowie’s revered 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars. I think it’s fair to say that everyone here at Far Out would agree with Gunn’s assessment. In an analysis of the classic album’s legacy, we wrote: “[Ziggy Stardust] stretched beyond the magnificent songs into new horizons.

Adding: “It was the moment that Bowie welcomed you into his own bohemian oeuvre, and for many fans, every other album has seemed somewhat shallow, in comparison, ever since. And on a subjective front, personally, I think it’s just about the finest collection of songs ever too.”

The Clash’s London Calling also finds a place on Gunn’s compelling list. The title song of that punk masterpiece has since become the group’s definite song, encapsulating their entire ethos in no more than three-and-a-half minutes. But ‘London Calling’ is just the tip of the iceberg.

Work your way down the list, and you’ll come across one classic track after another, including ‘Lost In The Supermarket’, ‘Spanish Bombs’, ‘The Guns Of Brixton’ and ‘Train In Vain’. Thanks to Joe Strummer’s knack for channelling the troubled world around him, London Calling stands as a time capsule of one of the most chaotic periods in post-war British history.

But Gunn doesn’t restrict himself to the realm of the classic album. His list also includes the likes of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back by hip hop innovators Public Enemy, Cuz I Love You by Lizzo and many more. You can check out the complete list of 23 perfect albums below. If you’re up for a challenge, I recommend listening to one daily for 23 days. You never know; you might just come across your new favourite record. Get started with Ziggy Stardust below.

James Gunn’s “perfect” albums:

  • Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
  • London Calling – The Clash
  • Pinkerton – Weezer
  • Rattlesnakes – Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
  • Time ‘n’ Place – Kero Kero Bonito
  • Buzzbomb – Vandalia
  • Closing Time – Tom Waits
  • Get the Knack – The Knack
  • Jonathan Sings! – Jonathan Richard & the Modern Lovers
  • Marbled – Abhi the Nomad
  • Cuz I Love You – Lizzo
  • Exile in Guyville – Liz Phair
  • Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper
  • Blood & Chocolate – Elvis Costello
  • It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
  • Purple Rain – Prince
  • From the Inside – Alice Cooper
  • Back to Black – Amy Winehouse
  • Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols – The Sex Pistols
  • Too Far to Care – Old 97’s
  • Rockers Delight – Monster
  • Yours Conditionally – Tennis
  • Mainstream – Lloyd Cole & the Commotions

Stream the playlist, below.