I had just sorted through my CDs for the first time ever when the news emerged that the average person has 89 albums. So I tried to work out which 89 I valued the most. Rock only, because I don't know enough about other kinds of music. It was a ridiculous exercise, but fun. Short cuts, The Guardian, November 16 2005

The average person, according to a survey by Napster, owns 126 albums Ė and 37 of them have been lost or pinched. Which leaves 89. Just 89! How on earth do they manage? Sales figures suggest that these 89 probably include three by Robbie Williams, two by Dido, a few by Queen, and one by James Blunt. But letís be charitable and assume that all of those are among the 37 youíve mislaid.

Here, if you really are going to have only 89 albums, are the 89 you should have. With such a tiny collection, you are in no position to be snooty about compilations, so there are plenty of those. You need to be firm with singers who never really go away, like Elton John: if they are always in the ether, thereís no need to have them in the house. And you will have no truck with albums that appear more often on lists like this than on anybodyís hi-fi. Letís face it, Astral Weeks has had a good run.

STUDIO ALBUMS (42)
Arcade Fire: Funeral
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
The Beatles: Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt Pepper, Abbey Road
David Bowie: Hunky Dory, Low
Johnny Cash: American IV
The Clash: London Calling
Leonard Cohen: Iím Your Man
Elvis Costello: Armed Forces
Bob Dylan: Highway 61, Blonde On Blonde
Bryan Ferry: These Foolish Things
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
Fugees: The Score
Marvin Gaye: Whatís Going On
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man: Out Of Season
Gorillaz: Demon Days
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass
Carole King: Tapestry
Annie Lennox: Diva
Nick Lowe: Jesus Of Cool
The Magnetic Fields: 69 Love Songs
Mary Margaret OíHara: Miss America
Pink Floyd: Dark Side Of The Moon
Prince: Sign Oí The Times
Radiohead: OK Computer
Lou Reed: Transformer
Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure, Avalon
Scissor Sisters
Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks
Bruce Springsteen: The River, Born In The USA
Talking Heads: Fear Of Music
U2: The Joshua Tree
The Velvet Underground & Nico
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones
White Stripes: Elephant
Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life

INDIVIDUAL COMPILATIONS (41)
Abba, Blondie, Blur, James Brown, Kate Bush, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Sam Cooke, Crowded House, the Eagles, Eminem (out Dec 2), Aretha Franklin, Peter Gabriel, Al Green, Emmylou Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, the Kinks, Kraftwerk, Led Zeppelin, John Lennon, Kirsty MacColl, Madonna, Bob Marley, George Michael, Van Morrison, New Order, Randy Newman, Roy Orbison, Pet Shop Boys, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Rolling Stones, Diana Ross, Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon solo, the Smiths, Dusty Springfield, T.Rex, The Who and Hank Williams.

MIXED COMPILATIONS (3)
Shake, Rattle & Roll: 50 Classic RockíníRoll Hits
The Songs of Phil Spector And The Brill Building
Flashback! Classic Disco Hits

SOUNDTRACKS (2)
The Sound Of Music
Saturday Night Fever

That makes 88, which leaves room for one record that nobody else has got, or probably even heard of. Mine would be I Confess by Holly Palmer. So there it is: a mini-collection, containing no rubbish, no kiddiepop, no new romantics, hardly any prog-rock, no comedy records, and not a whiff of heavy metal. If your favourite band isnít there, you can be sure that theyíre bubbling under.