"EIGHT TRULY IS THE MAGIC NUMBER..."
Pete Morris, Eight Albums #45.
And just like that, Eight Albums is one.
What a year it’s been since that Saturday morning on 30th May 2020. We got up early and nervously spoke on the phone as Matt prepared the last few IT related things that needed doing before we hit LIVE on the site and our first entry (Adam Farrer: Eight Albums #1).
Since that day we’ve had 57 entries (or 456 album selections). We’ve shared stories by friends, family members, strangers and strangers who have since become friends. We’ve had musicians, office workers, a jewelry maker, teachers, a radio host, a retired Navy man. There have been lots of writers. Our youngest contributor was 18 at the time of their entry, our oldest was in their 60s. All of our Eight Albums band members are linked by the fact that they love music and each week we’ve been lucky enough to share stories of their lives, all through the lens of eight albums that are important to them.
The response to the site has been overwhelming. We thought people would like it but you never know how it will go when you put something out into the world.
This piece is not supposed to be a Greatest Hits collection of the last year, because that would be seen as making one Eight Albums more important than another, and that was never the point. That said, one of our favourite bits of Eight Albums is how each week readers and contributors come together to talk about the albums and recommend new stuff to each other. Molly Williams (Eight Albums #4) and Paul Cuddihy (Eight Albums #14), two people who didn’t know each other prior to taking part, and who (to date) are the only two people to choose a Duran Duran album, have since taken their music conversation to a whole new level and created The Duran Duran Albums podcast where they discuss all of the band’s albums in detail.
That’s the thing we are most proud of about Eight Albums: the community it’s created.
So, instead of this post being a list of our favourite moments of the last year, it feels right to let the people who have made the site what it is, the contributors, tell us what it means to them.
Phil Torpey, Eight Albums #11:
“Eight Albums has become part of my Friday morning routine. After I get up, and before I shower, I check how many of the albums I own, I know, and which new ones I’m going to listen to that weekend.”
Catriona Child, Eight Albums #12:
“I’ve always loved the way that hearing a certain piece of music can transport you back to another time, another place. The way it can bring people and memories to life again. Eight Albums celebrates this power that music has over all of us and lets us share our own personal soundtracks while discovering those of others.”
Kate Hook, Eight Albums #18:
“I love Eight Albums because it gives me the chance to discover new music and artists, as well as to dip into some tired and trusted favourites for the Friday work playlist. Being a bit nosey, I enjoy reading the about people’s lives too, and how the albums have played a part.”
Chris McDonald, Eight Albums #22:
“I love the community that it has fostered - it’s been great to meet others and discuss albums that I’ve never heard of before.”
Rhian Burge, Eight Albums #23:
“There’s something immensely satisfying about seeing one of your favourite records in someone else’s Eight Albums list. I love reading the stories behind the choices, and creating a picture of the person.”
JD Whitelaw, Eight Albums #33:
“I like the finite nature of it. It focusses the mind, makes you think about MORE than eight albums, brings up all the nostalgia and fun that makes you love music in the first place.”
Pete Morris, Eight Albums #45:
“It’s taken my love of music to another level. It made me go back and listen to things I’d forgotten and opened my mind to things I’d never go anywhere near. It reaffirmed I was right about everything I thought I was right about. It’s the broadest of churches and a place to bang your own drum. It’s an ‘Are you kidding me?’ An ‘I can’t believe I didn’t pick that’. It’s one of the best things about my Friday. And there are never any wrong answers... Eight truly is the magic number...”
And finally, the man who started it all:
Adam Farrer, Eight Albums# 1:
“Writing an Eight Albums entry is an exercise in honesty. There is no deception, no commitment to cool, no guilty pleasures. No pretending that your musical awakening came after hearing ‘Trout Mask Replica’, when in truth it was Janet Jackson’s ‘Rhythm Nation’. These are the albums and the songs that made you, and sometimes that’s uncomfortable. You could say it’s a time machine, nailing you to pivotal moments in your life, good and bad. Or an act of confrontation and public disembowelment. It’s also just a list of albums.”
Adam is right, of course. Eight Albums is just a list of albums. Those lists are important to the people that have written them. And they’ve become very important to us.
Thanks to everyone who has read, shared, contributed, told a friend about, joined in the conversation each week. We appreciate you helping make Eight Albums more than we thought it ever would be.
Here’s to another year.
Matt and Steven
Previous Eight Albums entries can be found on the Archive page.