17 episodes

Music is finite, opinions are endless. On The Album Years podcast, long term friends, collaborators and music nerds Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness discuss and bicker about their favourite music released during the golden album years, which they reckon to be from around 1965 to the end of the millennium. Each episode focuses on a single year picked at random. At the end of each episode they pick their personal favourites and the album they think had the most long-term impact on music. Can you guess which albums they will pick?

The Album Years Steven Wilson & Tim Bowness

    • Music
    • 4.9 • 231 Ratings

Music is finite, opinions are endless. On The Album Years podcast, long term friends, collaborators and music nerds Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness discuss and bicker about their favourite music released during the golden album years, which they reckon to be from around 1965 to the end of the millennium. Each episode focuses on a single year picked at random. At the end of each episode they pick their personal favourites and the album they think had the most long-term impact on music. Can you guess which albums they will pick?

    #17 - The Album Years 2021 Christmas Special with special guest Paul Sinclair

    #17 - The Album Years 2021 Christmas Special with special guest Paul Sinclair

    As Noddy Holder keeps on reminding everybody, "It's Christmas!!!". So to celebrate instead of the usual format this episode finds us looking back, and discussing the general state of the physical album based music industry. To help us in this endeavour we are joined by special guest Paul Sinclair, the founder of influential music website SuperDeluxeEdition.com. We also hang our heads in shame at numerous schoolboy errors, answer a few listener's questions, and Tim once more tries to make a case for McCartney II as a masterpiece, but this time with Paul on his side.


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    • 1 hr 14 min
    #16 (1986) Talk Talk, The Smiths, Peter Gabriel, Metallica, Prince & more

    #16 (1986) Talk Talk, The Smiths, Peter Gabriel, Metallica, Prince & more

    Steven and Tim find themselves marvelling at the greatness of what they’d assumed was a typically flat mid-1980s placeholder year. Talk Talk, The Smiths, Peter Gabriel, Arthur Russell, Miles Davis, Metallica, Momus, XTC, Prince and many an Album Years drinking game favourite are discussed. We also discover that Tim saved a man from drowning while listening to Depeche Mode, and Steven forever associates Peter Hammill’s Nadir’s Big Chance with vile pink medicine.


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    • 1 hr 24 min
    #15 (2006) Arctic Monkeys, Thom Yorke, David Gilmour, The Flaming Lips & more

    #15 (2006) Arctic Monkeys, Thom Yorke, David Gilmour, The Flaming Lips & more

    The boys' time machine lands in 2006 and the fresh fields of 2001 seem to have become neglected and funky (and not in a glorious James Brown kind of way). Artists discussed include Scott Walker, The Who, Thom Yorke, Joanna Newsome, Arctic Monkeys, Sparks, The Flaming Lips and more. Elsewhere, the fractious duo fiercely debate the merits of Marmite. Yum? Yuck?


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    • 55 min
    #14 (2001) Radiohead, Opeth, Bjork, Tool & more

    #14 (2001) Radiohead, Opeth, Bjork, Tool & more

    2001, a music odyssey! Tim and Steven venture into the 21st century and, against expectations, they like what they see. Good Lord, it might even be a Golden Age! Artists discussed include Radiohead, Opeth, Bjork, Tool, Elbow, Mercury Rev, Brigitte Fontaine, The Caretaker, Prefuse 73 and Prefab Sprout (with a special shout out to Paddy MacAloon's beard).


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    • 58 min
    #13 (1981) Rush, Japan, Iron Maiden, Magazine & more

    #13 (1981) Rush, Japan, Iron Maiden, Magazine & more

    Giving overviews of the years that in the duo's opinion define the era of ‘the classic album’, Season Two opens with 1981. Taking in Post-Punk, Electro-Pop, Metal, Progressive, Jazz and more, in this edition Wilson and Bowness discuss artists as diverse as Japan, A Certain Ratio, Rush, Grace Jones, Rupert Hine, OMD, Pat Metheny, Iron Maiden, Magazine and others. Against all odds, they also make a valiant attempt to defend Phil Collins' masterwork Face Value! Launched at the beginning of the UK lockdown in 2020, The Album Years ended up being in the Top 5 music podcast charts in nearly 30 countries.


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    • 1 hr 6 min
    #12 (1974) Gentle Giant, Roxy Music, Tangerine Dream, Egg & more

    #12 (1974) Gentle Giant, Roxy Music, Tangerine Dream, Egg & more

    Tim declares 1974 the year of ‘Peak Prog’, while elsewhere Bowie the dog and Tim’s neighbour’s electric drill make debut podcast appearances.


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    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
231 Ratings

231 Ratings

atomicbeat ,

Addictivly informative…

Discovered this via Paul Sinclair's excellent SDE website.

I've only listened to a few episodes so far but I'm definitely hooked. I've always been a No-Man fan (how about some vinyl reissues of the early albums...) so the idea of the podcast piqued my interest.

However, the freewheeling conversation, interesting insights and interplay between Steven and Tim are what make this so great.

Tim and Steven have also covered some of my favourite albums including Seventeen Seconds (which Steven correctly identified as their best), Sakamoto's B2 Unit, Godley and Creme's Consequences, Tusk by Fleetwood Mac , Japan's Tin Drum... while also devoting time to some of my favourite bands, like (early) Simple Minds, Talking Heads, Gabriel, Bill Nelson, Can, XTC, Roxy, Bowie, Sparks, David Sylvian, The Cabs... the list goes on.

However the thing that really sold me was hearing Steven waxing-lyrical about one of my all-time favourite tracks 'I Pity Inanimate Objects'.

I've been making a list of albums to investigate based on some of the unknown (to me) ones that they guys mention (Climate of the Hunter and Tabula Rasa to name a couple).

Can I also suggest you guys give the band Random Hold a listen - the line up produced by Peter Hammill, not the later stuff after the line up changed totally. Gabriel was a fan and got them to support him before eventually poaching their guitarist, David Rhodes.

All in all a really interesting and often informative podcast - and I’m someone that has never really found the time to listen to podcasts of any kind.

P.S. Well done Tim for attempting to valiantly defend McCartney II (definitely an album of merit despite what Steven might think 😃)

Steve Thorpe ,

Excellent listen

I’ve binged listened all of theses in my work van last couple of weeks, really interesting insight and also being born in 1967 we have similar experiences, also discovering things I haven’t heard. Now going through the Spotify playlists.

The Last Man in Europe ,

Listen to this, if you bought, read about and loved/love albums!

This podcast is FANTASTIC! I’m 47 and grew up buying albums. Not only that, learning about, analysing abs listing albums and musicians. This is such a great show. Well done, guys and thanks

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