I have always been inspired by electronic music and I started to think about which artists and albums have inspired me the most. I decided to make a top ten list but it turned out to be top 12 in the end. Electronic music can be so very different and is probably the genre with the biggest sub genre categories. I like electronic music with melodic themes and I am a bit of a romantic when it comes to music. If you have listened to Ketil Lien aka Wim you can probably hear that its a big massive blend of all the artists and albums listed below. Listening to these favourite albums thousands of times have made me the musician I am today. These are my all time favourite electronic albums. The best electronic music as I hear it.
- Oxygene by Jean Michel Jarre.
This epic electronica album was launched just before Christmas 1976 and is for many (me included) the very definition of ambient electronica . The melancholy and the ambience takes the listener to an everlasting journey. I cant’t tell how many times I have listened to this album. Truly a timeless piece of music. All time favourite.
- Equinoxe by Jean Michel Jarre.
The follow up album to Oxygene was also launched just before Christmas, the year was 1978. Jarre continues his journey and takes us even further in the same type of soundscapes as the Oxygene album. Another masterpiece from the French synthesizer king. Using analog synths in a way that people even today struggle to imitate.
- Rendez-Vous by Jean Michel Jarre.
The album was released in april 1986 and is the closest thing you ever will come to an electronic symphony. Introducing his famous laser harp this album takes you to another dimension. From dark melancholic basses to glorious synths. His second most famous track after Oxygene part 4 is found on this, Fourth Rendez Vous.
- 1492 Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis.
Released in 1992. A soundtrack for the film 1492. Vangelis teamed up once more with director Ridley Scott whom he had worked with on the famous Blade Runner soundtrack. This album shows how beautiful electronic music can be. If you like romantic music and melodic themes this is the number one album. I remember I had tears in my eyes the first time I listened to conquest of Paradise.
- Indigo by Patrick O’Hearn
Patrick O’Hearn has released many quality albums and I have most of them in my CD collection, but none of them can compare to the amazing Indigo which he released in 1991. This is new age, ambient at its peak. So melancholic, sad and beautiful at the same time. Perfect music for a rainy and cold evening.
- Watermark by Enya.
Released in 1988 and was her second album. Not many had heard of Enya before this release, but that changed drastically after this musical masterpiece came out. Her huge world hit Orinoco flow made her one of the best selling electronic artists. She gave us a whole new style, combining lush pads and piano with ethereal vocals and chanting. Her thick- layered vocal tracks became her trademark and you will not find better music for relaxation than Watermark by Enya.
- MCMXC a.D. by Enigma
When this album was released in 1990 I remember I didn’t like it that much in the beginning, but this album grew on me like no other album has ever done. Its mesmerizing and seductive rhythms combined with the melancholy og the Gregorian choirs made it the best chillout music you could get.
- From Source to Sea by Gandalf
Gandalf is an Austrian multi instrumentalist that has released a vast number of albums. His music combining the electronic with the symphonic and classical genre making him one of the most popular New Age artists in the world. From Source to sea was released in 1988 and is my definite favourite. The album is an electronic journey thru symphonic landscapes. It grabs the listener from start to end.
- Violator by Depeche Mode
This band are the kings of synth rock, and I got Violator as a Christmas present in 1990. Its very rare that an album in this genre consists of more than 3 or 4 big hits. On Violator however all the 9 tracks are massive hits. It includes those epic tracks Personal Jesus and Enjoy the Silence. This is the album that the band definately picks the most tracks from when playing live gigs, and it’s for a good reason. A must have Depeche Mode album.
- Melrose and Goblins Club by Tangerine Dream.
I could not make my best of list without having at least one Tangerine Dream album on it. I could not decide between Melrose and Goblins Club because these are without a doubt the two TD albums I have listened most to. Melrose released in 1990 and Goblins Club in 1996. These german synth kings was pioneers in electronic music, starting in the beginning of the 70s and even though they have lost some members the band is still going, having a vast collection of albums.
11. Leftism by Leftfield.
Released in 1994. I remember I read the amazing reviews that this album got, and I bought it based on what I had read about it. Truly one of the best modern electronica albums out there still, even though its 22 years old. To bad he never could make another one just as good as Leftism.
12. The Songs of Distant Earth by Mike Oldfield.
Most people probably don’t connect Mike Oldfield with electronic music, but he uses a lot of synths and some of his albums are almost all electronic including offcourse his wonderful electric guitars. This album was released in 1994 and is my favourite album from Mike Oldfield. An adventurous musical journey with delicate melodies and lush rhythms.