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174. Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

174. Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

OK, I’ll admit it, I didn’t get along too well with The Mothers of Invention or Captain Beefheart on this list, and there’s a part of me that suspects I’m doomed to be forever “what the fuck?” when it comes to Frank Zappa. This album though… this album gives me...
173. Alexander Spence – Oar

173. Alexander Spence – Oar

Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, Sinead O’ Connor, Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain… there’s always been a parallel between rock music and mental illness, just as there has been with pretty much any art form worth bothering with. To say that Alexander ‘Skip’ Spence is no...
172. The Stooges – The Stooges

172. The Stooges – The Stooges

About fucking time. There’s only two albums from the sixties left in this list, but for me it’s been a long time since I kicked it off with Joan Baez, and for all the top tuneage there’s been, my Generation X loins have been aching for something a bit more… well… … a...
171. Scott Walker – Scott 4

171. Scott Walker – Scott 4

There’s something very cerebral and earnest about Scott Walker – whether it’s his haunting voice or his famed introspection and reclusiveness, there’s something about his work that makes you feel like you’re part of a cultured few discovering his music. Of course,...
170. Fairport Convention – Liege and Lief

170. Fairport Convention – Liege and Lief

Oh dear, more folk… Right then let’s get this over with. Belts off, trousers down… bite the pillow… … Oh, actually it’s not bad. “Liege and Lief” is often talked about as the album that defined, even created the British folk-rock genre. It came hard on the heels of...
169. Leonard Cohen – Songs from a Room

169. Leonard Cohen – Songs from a Room

For me at least, one of the big paradoxes of Leonard Cohen is that, for all the outward melancholy, there’s something uniquely uplifting about his songs. Whether it’s “Sisters of Mercy”, “Suzanne” or the later and stranger “First we Take Manhattan”, every one of them...
166. The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead

166. The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead

The Grateful Dead… why do I feel like I’m opening a Pandora’s box here? Truth is, I know that the ‘Dead were big. I know that they had a massive following, that back in the day they were a proverbial Hajj for every stoner out there. But yeah, never really paid them...
165. Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul

165. Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul

The sixties were a golden age of soul, as Otis, Solomon and Marvin would happily testify, but with the decade coming to a close, things were starting to change. The Temptations and Sly and the Family Stone were getting their funky trousers on, but this epic, EPIC...
164. The Youngbloods – Elephant Mountain

164. The Youngbloods – Elephant Mountain

“Come on people now… smile on your brother… everybody get together.” For most, The Youngbloods are remembered almost entirely for that refrain, an anthem for baby boomers and, thanks to Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings”, an icon of satire for us Gen X’ers. And it was...
163.  Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking

163. Fairport Convention – Unhalfbricking

I’ve never really got into folk music. Not that I think that there’s anything definitively bad about the genre you understand – Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez and Donovan all evolved from the folk stable and created masterpieces. It’s...
161. Tim Buckley – Happy Sad

161. Tim Buckley – Happy Sad

I’ll admit it – when I reviewed Tim Buckley’s “Goodbye and Hello” way back when, he was essentially just ‘Jeff’s dad’, and it was a journey of discovery listening to it. Since then I’ve explored more of his stuff,...
160. Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!

160. Sly and the Family Stone – Stand!

If The Temptation’s “Cloud Nine” wasn’t enough to convince you that the seventies were well and truly knocking on the door by now, then this would. Sly and the Family Stone were the proverbial bomb. “Stand!” is a mixture of upbeat...
159. The Temptations – Cloud Nine

159. The Temptations – Cloud Nine

OK, so TECHNICALLY “Cloud Nine” hit the shelves in February 1969, but in terms of getting the seventies funk going, this album was a watershed. This, let’s not forget, is The Temptations. One of Berry Gordy’s finest, they’re the band that were there from...
158. MC5 – Kick Out The Jams

158. MC5 – Kick Out The Jams

True story – I worked for a while as a copywriter for a company that sold office supplies, and I once tried to use “Kick out the Jams” as a tagline for a rather nifty inkjet printer. I guess it was that one tricky following word that send me back to my laptop for...
157. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

157. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Discovering these albums 25 years later, as I did, it’s easy to miss out on the timescales of how they came out. I’ve always loved “Led Zeppelin II”, but taking in the fact that it came out just a few short months after their debut gives it a great big heap of new...
156. The Band – The Band

156. The Band – The Band

If “Music from Big Pink” subtly shook things up in the music world, this eponymous follow-up from The Band was clearly designed to pick up where it left off. Much like its predecessor, it’s pretty innocuous on the first couple of listens – there’s warmth and...
155. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I

155. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I

So long flower children… A new decade was coming and things were getting interesting. From the initial DUH-DUH of the opener “Good Times Bad Times”, the debut of the mighty Led Zeppelin hit like a sledgehammer, all oiled up and ready to rock. It’s difficult to...
154. Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails

154. Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails

It doesn’t take much to win me over, and a side-long psychedelic trip through Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” will do nicely, ta. Now, granted, on this album there’s not much left of the original track, but for the 26 raucous minutes this one belts out on Side A,...
152. Elvis Presley – From Elvis in Memphis

152. Elvis Presley – From Elvis in Memphis

The sixties never really swung for Elvis. After his brief but totally kicking return from Army duty, he soon buggered off into a lot of very shitty movies and by the end of the decade, it seemed like his career was pretty much finished. Most of his fans had tuned in...
151. Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

151. Dusty Springfield – Dusty in Memphis

On a grim January morning*, where I’m filled with flu and a monster writers’ block with this blog, it was always going to be Dusty that broke me out of the funk. “Dusty in Memphis” is a delightful, comforting album, which is somewhat ironic considering its...