#373 The Dears – Gang of Losers

I came across The Dears from their second album No Cities Left, the 2005 reissue that also contained their earlier Protest EP, and I fell a little bit in love with Murray Lightburn’s voice. A Canadian band from Montreal, but as different from their city siblings Arcade Fire as from Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Lightburn … Continue reading #373 The Dears – Gang of Losers

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#1125 R.E.M. – Monster

Like many people at the time, I was a little taken aback by Monster after the folky introspective soft rock of Automatic for the People. I didn’t dislike the album when released in 1994 but it took me a little longer to love it. But pushing people out of the perfectly created comfort zone of … Continue reading #1125 R.E.M. – Monster

#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

#792 Manic Street Preachers – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

I like the Manics. Not everyone does, put off by their oft pretentiousness, but there’s nothing wrong with being passionate, with being political, with being confident and intelligent and allowing your music to shine a light on all those things. Given that they are all of these things, they attract a somewhat obsessive culty fanbase. … Continue reading #792 Manic Street Preachers – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

#1034 Prince – Sign ‘O’ The Times

This is a sprawling sexy masterpiece: a double album, Prince’s ninth and the first proudly bearing the statement: “Produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince.” Featuring four hit singles including the era-defining Sign 'O' The Times, it’s actually the hidden gems amongst its 16 tracks that make this album so special. Starfish and Coffee, The … Continue reading #1034 Prince – Sign ‘O’ The Times

#320 The Clash – London Calling

This is a double album for god’s sake. A double album! Punk bands aren’t meant to release anything this long. Never Mind the Bollocks is barely 20 mins each side. There’s some rock classics on here: London Calling being the pick of the crop. Rudie Can’t Fail, Spanish Bombs, Lost in the Supermarket, The Guns … Continue reading #320 The Clash – London Calling

#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