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1027 Albums

November 23rd, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Music · No Comments · Music

You can't please all the people, so everyone will feel that the Grauniad's 1000 albums to hear before you die list thingy is missing some essentials.  No point in getting worked up about it…  but here are some of the albums by artists they missed out, one for each letter of the alphabet:

Apocalyptica – Plays Metallica by Four Cellos
Described on Wikipedia as a "Finnish Cello Metal trio".  I don't know if cello metal is a very large or popular genre but this is a great album made even better if you are familiar with the original Metallica songs.

Russ Ballard – Russ Ballard
I would include it for personal nostalgia reasons, but its a decent album with some beautiful songs.

Camel – The Snow Goose
Part of the whole 'Canterbury Scene, Camel came up with this ambitious concept album based on Paul Gallico's novel which is a prog rock masterpiece.

Dr Feelgood – Down By The Jetty
The best thing to come out of Canvey Island ever.

Eagles of Death Metal – Peace Love Death Metal
Nowhere near as hard and heavy as the title and band name suggest. 

Faith No More – The Real Thing
Includes the song Epic which is still one of the best rap-metal songs ever.

Green Day – American Idiot
The album where the American punks really expanded their audience.

Steve Hackett – Watcher of the Skies
The ex-guitarist of Genesis revisits some old Genesis songs and shows that he always imagined Los Endos as a Santana-type latin song.

Iced Earth – The Dark Saga
Where heavy metal meets prog rock

Jean-Michel Jarre – Revolutions
Some of the usual Jarre stuff, with some arabic infusions and a it of Hank Marvin thrown in for good measure.  This was the album which the London Docklands concerts were built on.

Angelique Kidjo – Aye
Earlier albums were more authentic and later albums more polished, but this was the breakthrough for Kidjo's fusion of African styles and Western funk. For a while this was my reference disc for testing out new stereos.

Les Negresses Vertes – Mlah
The first album from LNV, and the only one they made with singer Helno before the drugs killed him.  Sometimes dismissed as 'shouty French band' but, at this stage in their career anyway, nothing less than a French equivalent of the Pogues.

Megadeth – Peace Sells…  but who's buying?
Look beyond Megadeth's catchy heavy-as-fuck riffs and you find some wonderfully sardonic lyrics, especially on the title track.

Nine Below Zero – Don't Point Your Finger
This is what R&B is meant to be, not all that R.Kelly stuff. 

Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
So obvious but its easy to forget how huge this was at the time, how it kick-started Branson's career as much as Oldfield's, and how bloody marvellous it still is.  The version which was re-recorded a few years ago with a 5.1 mix is gorgeous.

Primus – Frizzle Fry
Or anything else by them really.  So idiosyncratic they get a whole genre to themselves in the ID3 tagging system for MP3s and notable for virtuoso bass playing.

Finlay Quaye – Maverick A Strike
The sound of summer captured on a small shiny disc

Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event
Surely one of the most technically proficient rappers – just listen to the track Gimme Some More – Busta crams a variety of styles into this album.

Shakira – Laundry Service
A huge star in Latin America well before hitting our charts with this album.  Her breasts may be famously humble but she writes good tunes.

Tonton David – Le Blues Des Racailles
Shows that reggae/ragga works better in French than might be expected.

Ultravox – Vienna
For me the title track was always eclipsed by All Stood Still.

Vybz Cartel – Trick Her
Just try and ignore the non-PC lyrics.  One of those acts which blurs the lines between dancehall reggae and hip hop.

Westlife…  only joking

Joachim Witt – Bayreuth
Huge in Germany but never made any impact over here.  Maybe his songs are too repetitive for us, or maybe its just because he is German. Sort of melodic industrial music.

X-Press 2 – Musikizum
Not much to choose from with the letter X, but this deserves a listen even if only for the song Lazy.

Yello – You Got To Say Yes To Another Excess
Just to show there is more this Swiss band than The Race.  Vaguely reminiscent of Sparks and using the classic electronic line-up of boffin at the keyboards and outgoing eccentric on vocals.  One of those albums I bought on tape just before CDs came along and which I keep meaning to convert to mp3.

The Zutons – Who Killed… The Zutons
Hard to describe. Easy to enjoy.

And a bonus compilation album:

Various artists – Mano Negra Illegal
One of those tribute album things.  In this case its a lot of French bands doing Mano Negra songs.  In at least one case the band includes an ex-member of Mano Negra and some of the covers improve on the originals.

Also missing were Art of Noise, Apache Indian, Arrested Development, Athletico Spizz 80, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Balanescu Quartet, Black Grape, Bow Wow Wow, Caravan, Daara J, Die Toten Hosen, Dread Zeppelin, Ian Dury, ELO, ELP, Erasure, Faithless, Gogol Bordello, Haircut 100, Interpol, Jethro Tull, Juno Reactor, Patricia Kaas, The Levellers, Mokobe, Niagara, New Model Army, Ojos de Brujo, Ozomatli, Penguin CAfe Orchestra, Rage Against The Machine, Rainbow, The Rezillos, Santana, Talvin Singh, Squeeze, The Tubes, Veruca Salt, Wolfmother, Joe Walsh, White, Xentrix, Yes, Yothu Yindi and Zazie.   I would have put nearly all of them in along with compilations Superfunk, Sampled, Wanna Buy A Bridge and Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown.

OK, so its not a life-or-death matter, but when Lieutenant Pigeon is deemed to be more worthy of a listen than any of those its hard not to over react just a little. Especially about Ian Dury.

On the other hand…  Jonathan is taking a more positive stance and getting what he can from this list instead of concentrating on what's missing.


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