#1125 Radiohead – The Bends

The creative leap from Radiohead’s debut Pablo Honey to this, their second album, is such that you would assume they had sold their souls to the devil, Robert Johnson-style. And perhaps they did. This album was the soundtrack to my final year at university. Like that year, it is full of hope, aspiration, despair, destruction, … Continue reading #1125 Radiohead – The Bends

#439 Electrelane – The Power Out

If the Velvet Underground has been an all-female band hailing from Brighton, singing songs in English, French, Spanish and German on subject matter ranging from Nietzsche to Radclyffe Hall to Siegfried Sassoon then they would have sounded pretty much like this. Music-wise this album is not quite so eclectic as the lyrical content, with a … Continue reading #439 Electrelane – The Power Out

#691 Jethro Tull – Aqualung

This is 35 years and musical worlds away from Joanna Newsom in terms of casual listening, but not so far in practice. A classical instrument played by the lead singer (Ian Anderson’s flute to Newsom’s harp), a folkish background, and a complex, intellectual set of lyrics; here, a fierce yet articulate deconstruction of Christianity. This … Continue reading #691 Jethro Tull – Aqualung

#218 David Bowie – 1. Outside

Subtitled "The Diary of Nathan Adler or The Art-Ritual Murder of Baby Grace Blue. A Non-Linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle" – Bowie was never one to do things by half. Conceived conceptually as a story about an end-of-the-millennium art thief, the songs are ‘merely’ part of that story, along with the written diary and spoken word … Continue reading #218 David Bowie – 1. Outside

#1112 Lou Reed – NYC Man

Subtitled ‘The Ultimate Collection 1967 - 2003’ this is probably the closest to ‘ultimate’ that’s ever likely to be released, given his death in 2013, his wayward career and idiosyncratic approach to his back catalogue. Here, Reed eschews chronology and adopts a mood-piece approach in this remastering of a mix of Velvet Underground tracks, his … Continue reading #1112 Lou Reed – NYC Man

#1188 Sigur Ros – Hvarf/Heim

A double disc set from the Icelandic post-rock group, released in 2007 along with the documentary film Heima. The first disc Hvarf, is a five-track collection of rarities from their vaults, dating from 1995 to 2002. The second, Heim, has six live acoustic performances from some of their best known tracks from roughly the same … Continue reading #1188 Sigur Ros – Hvarf/Heim

#452 Brian Eno – Another Day on Earth

This is Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno’s first solo recording featuring his vocal and what you might consider to be ‘songs’ as opposed to fluffy white clouds of ambient experimentation since Another Green World. There’s 30 years between them but there’s more than just a coincidental symmetry in the … Continue reading #452 Brian Eno – Another Day on Earth

#275 Can – Ege Bamyasi

I am a recent convert to Can. Not that I didn’t like them before, they just weren’t really on my radar. Heard of, obviously, but not really heard. So having immersed a toe tentatively in the murky depths of Krautrock I read up a bit on them and bought this album as my starting point. … Continue reading #275 Can – Ege Bamyasi

#204 David Bowie – Stage

The live album is a curious beast. Sometimes purely a novelty item for nostalgic fans who were actually there, or a consolation prize to those that missed ‘the gig of the century’, sometimes a mere contractual obligation when studio albums are thin on the ground, sometimes a showpiece for a band who are in fact … Continue reading #204 David Bowie – Stage