Every Dead Kennedys album. I can't pick just one because each is brilliant in its own special way. The DKs are probably my favourite punk band, but the first time I heard them - much like the first time I heard Beefheart - I thought they were awful. It sounded like some weird cabaret/surf/spaghetti western/jazz/experimental/garage/rockabilly hybrid. On top of it all was Jello Biafra's voice; a kind of helium-filled bleat of a thing. I still think they sound like that, but now I love them for it.
Adrenalin O.D: Humungousfungusamongus. This album has held a special place in my heart ever since I first heard it as a teenager. I remember having my headphones on, listening to it over and over again. My original vinyl copy was played so many times that the grooves wore out and it became unplayable. It's one of the few albums I love that is actually a lot of fun to listen to; the band never took themselves too seriously (see cover). An album that always puts a smile on my face.
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue. An album of emotional depth, exploration, freedom and beauty. If you want to be wrapped in a soft, warm blanket of utterly astounding music, listen to this album. Sublime.
Naked City: Naked City. There's not much I can say about this album that will do it justice. The band is the brainchild of avant-garde composer John Zorn, and encompasses free jazz, hardcore, experimental, country, lounge, film score, cartoons, surf, classical and much more. Many of the tracks flip between genres every few measures and feature frequent tempo changes. On first listen, the album might sound utterly bonkers, but the virtuosity and sheer scope mean I never grow tired of hearing it.
Neil Young: Tonight's The Night. What happens if you get a bunch of musicians completely shit-faced drunk, then get them to play unfamiliar songs as a tribute to two of their late friends? You get this album. It's ragged, ropey, shambolic and always on the verge of falling apart, but it's an absolute classic. It's a stumbling, gibbering, weeping, howling drunk of an album. It expresses loss and grief like few other records in popular music.
Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited. I love Dylan. I really don't think I have to say anything about him: if you don't know who he is, or what he does, you're probably better off reading something else. This is probably my favourite Dylan album, but ask again tomorrow and that might have changed. Controversially, 'Like a Rolling Stone' is my least favourite song on the album.