10. I Am a Wallet
An combination in music and politics that doesn't go over the edge. Besides, the 12-string guitars are vying for your attention too much. It all sounds so much more perfect with the confusion of Malcolm Eden's rather androgynous vocals.
Best Track: An Mp Speaks
9. The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall
- The Fall
The perfect point to capture The Fall's transition from their early more garage-ier sounds and their more conventional side (if The Fall were ever conventional). The original 9 tracks are split into two sides with Side 1 being the 'Frightening' side and Side 2 the 'Wonderful' Side. The Frightening side is dark, swaggering and sounds intimidating. The Wonderful side has sunnier sounds.
Best Track: Elves
- Pulp - 1987
Pulp's darkest offering, even darker than This Is Hardcore
eleven years later. Brooding, venomous with a soft underbelly in the name of Anorexic Beauty
, it's flaws are part of it's charm. I Want You
is the perfect balance of simple, poppy lyrics in the chorus and and a mounting sense of paranoia in the verses. The music remains eerie thanks to a particularly underrated production.
Best Track: I Want You
- The Clash
This is a fun album to own on vinyl. In this format, you feel more adventurous and you scower the whole 2 hour or so excursion that is Sandinista! 6 sides of vinyl with 6 tracks on each. A lesson in all the cool genres of music: rock, reggae, funk, northern soul, disco, old school hip-hop, rockabilly, dub, carnival rhythms, etc; etc; etc; Like a good book, you can't put this album down. Admittedly, not every track here does it for me, but the ethos makes up for it. There is literally at least something here for everyone. This album is a big reason why The Clash were so fucking cool.
Best Track: Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)
6. Isn't Anything
- My Bloody Valentine
A sonic massage/barrage, it depends on how much you enjoy a relative amount of guitar FX and feedback. Under a thin veil of guitar waves are bittersweet melodies disappearing into obscurity and reappearing again as unseperable girl/boy voices courtesy of Bilinda Butcher and Kevin Shields respectively. The best example of this has got to be All I Need
. Although this album is forever inferior to Loveless
, this album is the best way to prepare yourself for the aural journey that prime-MBV can take you on.
Best Track: You Never Should
5. Strangeways, Here We Come
- The Smiths
Everyone knows that Morrissey and Johnny Marr consider this to be their favourite Smiths album. But usually when an artist says that about their own records, they turn out to be their least impressive or listenable. But this album transcends the cliche. There are plenty of reasons why Strangeways... is better than The Queen Is Dead
. The songwriting is more suited to the band, Johnny Marr's composing wings have totally developed, Morrissey's voice is more precise and adaptable to emotion, the songs gel together better, the guitars are cooler, the rhythm section is groovier...the list goes on. This remains a fitting epitah to possibly the best band of the 80s.
Best Track: Paint a Vulgar Picture
- Happy Mondays
Bummed is the best way you could define Madchester. It sounds so Mancunian and dole-ful. You could smell the stench of the drugs from the opener Country Song
where Shaun Ryder exannounces that growing marijuana keeps that smile on his face. The laidback and hazy instruments compliment Ryder's non-singing so well. Happy Mondays are saying "I can't be fucking arsed, I'm absolutely fucked but I'll give it a shot" and they sounds good which is really quite a mean achievement.
Best Track: Do It Better
- The Field Mice
The Field Mice were the feyest and most plaest sounding band on the scene. Their songs were the most intricate and beautiful pieces of music ever commited to the groove. This album (their debut) shows their desire for love and romance. Their lyrics deal with both sides of love and romance. The pretty side where everything is a bed of roses and the girl is yours forever (Couldn't Feel Safer
) and (Everything About You
) and the ugly side (Let's Kiss and Make Up
and End of the Affair
). If you have the deluxe edition of this album then the best track is Sensitive
. It manages to balance both sides of The Field Mice particularly well with a jangly verse and all of a seudden My Bloody Valentine guitars blast out of nowhere.
Sensitive sets the biggest tingle down my spine with the lyric "We all need to feel safe then that's taken away. Sometimes I want to return, return to before the trouble began, that time of no fear". This lyric is the pathos of the album, all The Field Mice want is for a nice girl to come and hold them tightly forever. And who would say no to feeling safer than safe?
Best Track: (On album proper) Couldn't Feel Safer
, (On deluxe version) Sensitive
2. Ocean Rain
- Echo & the Bunnymen
This album is most definitely a grower with only Silver
and Crystal Days
sounding inviting from the off. The fantasy-esque lyrics of Ian McCulloch and the virtuosity of Will Sargeant's guitar abilities create a heady sense of location where land is fresh and the air is clearer than the mind of Jade Goody. The centrepiece is often referred to as The Killing Moon
. An epic of a track that has found favour with many film-watchers due to it's inception in film soundtracks (Donnie Darko et al). The song itself sounds East Asian at the beginning with a twangy acoustic which then picks up a steady pace galloping into a horse of a song. In my opinion, the song after, Seven Seas
, is the masterpiece. It doesn't have the most grandeur like other songs but it has the untarnished and simplisticly beautiful lyrics and voice of Ian McCulloch and tubular bells that give you the biggest headrush.
Best Track: Seven Seas
1. You Can't Hide Your Love Forever
- Orange Juice
An album worth finding. That is for certain. These songs affect me so much. They're jovial, jangly, joyful and just pure rapturous. The guitars are perfect. If a band were ever sound any more Byrdsian, they would have Gene Clark and Roger McGuinn in there. A noticeable change to the repetoire of Orange Juice are the addition of horns which were absent on Postcard versions of the songs. The horns compliment the spirit of the songs so well. Orange Juice's music is about having a good time and having a good dance. You can really get your arse wiggling in your seat when listening to Satellite City
. Wan Light
is the guitarist James Kirk's crowning glory. Musically, it's just perfection. Harmonies, indie pop, sharp, blaring horns, lovely lyrics and Edwyn Collins refrain of "is this what life is all about?" It literally makes you want to cry with joy sometimes. It is THAT good.
Best Track: Wan Light