#1172 Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No 8 (LSO)

I developed a bit of crush on Shostakovich when I was in my mid-teens. I think this is largely due to the Marxist phase I went through of loving all things Russian and revolutionary. That, and the LP I perma-borrowed from my Grumps of Dmitri’s Symphony No 12, dedicated to Lenin and subtitles 'The Year … Continue reading #1172 Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No 8 (LSO)

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#360 Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

This is THE jazz album. As Stephen Thomas Erlewine writing for Allmusic.com so accurately puts it, it’s the “Citizen Kane of jazz”. But exactly what is it about it that makes it so special? There’s the sheer craftmanship of the musicians Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, James Cobb and Wynton … Continue reading #360 Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

#1408 Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

This has already cropped up in its vinyl form – my copy being the 1976 re-release, American cover. This CD copy, which I’d bought a few years earlier, sports the original and most famous album cover in all its psychedelic glory. It’s a classic compilation and this 2006 CD reissue does a decent job in … Continue reading #1408 Various Artists – Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968

#1088 Radiohead – Pablo Honey

I remember clearly when I first heard Creep, Radiohead’s breakthrough single, the millstone around their neck ever since, and the undisputed highlight from this, their 1993 debut album. It was in the kitchen of the first student house I shared at university in Leicester. There should be a plaque on the wall outside, for whilst … Continue reading #1088 Radiohead – Pablo Honey

#636 Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix In The West

I first heard this record when I borrowed it from Norwich City Library (the one that burnt down) when I discovered Hendrix at the age of 15 or 16 and tried to get my hands on anything I could to hear more of his amazing playing. I recorded it onto tape cassette, as you do … Continue reading #636 Jimi Hendrix – Hendrix In The West

#727 Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

Electronic pioneers, their sound and image an equally well-crafted work of genius, Kraftwerk captured the industrial expansion of a divided Germany, looking to the future whilst still weighed down by its past. The motorik beat, the swathes of chugging synthesised keyboard chords, the deadpan vocals and even deader stage image are unmistakable. They’ve influenced everything … Continue reading #727 Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express

#1205 Patti Smith – Land (1975-2002)

Patti Smith, the punk poet laureate; there’s no one else quite like her. She stands alone yet has influenced many: from PJ Harvey to Peaches. Rock and Roll and women in rock wouldn’t be the same without her. This compilation is as idiosyncratic as she is, covering a generous 30 songs over 2 CDs and … Continue reading #1205 Patti Smith – Land (1975-2002)