KT Tunstall: Uummannaq Song. Built around synthesisers and a two-string guitar, Tunstall invokes the primal feel of the
Marianne Faithfull: Broken English. Nicotine-stained vocals spouting words of war, Faithfull promises an unsmooth ride in her comeback LP.
Lindsey Buckingham: Wait For You. The maestro of Fleetwood Mac adds layer upon layer of guitars to evoke what words could never say.
Sheryl Crow: Ordinary Morning. Her second album, much heavier than the first, ends with this whirling pool of frustration and despair.
Kasabian: Secret Alphabets. One of the most eerie things you’ll ever hear, it’s worth buying the CD just for this tracks haunting melodies.
Stevie Nicks: Planets of the Universe. She’s possibly the one woman on earth who can sing long-worded, pissed-off poetry and keep her cool.
Cream: Crossroads. One day people finally realise that this song is about Jack Bruces pumping bass line that carries every Clapton solo.
Suzi Quatro: Strict Machine. Covering Goldfrapp, Quatro shows she’s still got the voice and killer bass-lines that took her to the top.
Eagles: Hotel California. If you’re ever driving down the motorway at sunset, it should be a legal requirement to play this late 70’s album.
Pink Floyd: Animals. If these guys ever stopped to take a breath, they might realise how boring and pretentious their elongated drivel is.
The Clash: Lost in the Supermarket. A melancholy highlight on an otherwise overrated album, this is class for The Clash.
Carole King: Tapestry. Back when women could sing without choreographed dancing and revealing outfits, King sings like a ‘natural woman’.
Meg Baird: Friends. A soft Philadelphian vocal over a plucked guitar piece, Baird proves that all folk music needs is an acoustic guitar.
Jimmy Destri: Heart on a Wall. It’s more faceless than the invisible man, but Blondie’s keyboardist and hit-writers solo LP is a winner.
. It may not exactly be
cool to like them, but I defy anyone to listen to Deckers voice and say they
are not stunned. Bridge
Curved Air: Marie Antoinette. Sonja Kristina’s operatic voice weaves the French queen’s story brilliantly in the 1972 prog classic.
Christine McVie: Northern Star. Put this on your iPod if you go for a walk on a lazy summer afternoon, McVie is the essence of soothing.
Goldfrapp: Dreaming. Only Alison Goldfrapp could make electropop this sexy; she’s nearly 50 and gay- Rhianna would kill to be so seductive.
Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells. This is the ultimate musical journey; either the 48 minute track will take you to another world or to a coma.
David Bowie: Space Oddity.
lifts you into his stratosphere, using his two-way intercom vocals and ‘spacey’
The Rolling Stones: Sway. Forget Brown Sugar, ‘Sticky Fingers’ is made by this improvised sounding swinger- not a first for the Stones.
Janis Joplin: Try. More polished than Big Brother, but rocks first woman knocks the varnish off Kozmic Blues with those bitter-sweet tones.
Blondie: Autoamerican. It’s got hip-hop, post-punk, 20’s pop, rap, techno, new wave and… jazz; so why does it work so well together?
Foo Fighters: Wasting Light. Okay, so it’s got big guitar riffs and some memorable songs, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about.
Arctic Monkeys: Mardy Bum. Infectious guitar riffs are ironically complimented with
Turners regional accent voice slurring out the lyrics.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Something Big. Wonderful southern rock, beautifully arranged, but Petty sings like a goat with the flu.
Fleetwood Mac: Tusk. A 20 song double album and no filler in sight- get off the Rumours bandwagon already- it’s 1979, time for diversity.
Kim Carnes: Bette Davis Eyes. As smooth and as cool as the actress it’s based upon- Carnes’ husky vocals brilliantly contrast the smooth synths.
100 Miles from Memphis.
Sophisticated country- it could have been ripped from any Frey/Henley songbook
for an Eagles record.
Kim Richey: Just My Luck. If Dolly Parton was several bra-sizes smaller and, Kim Richey would rule the country/pop charts.
Patti Smith: 25th Floor. Never before has the verb ‘spitting’ a lyric been better applied to a singer’s performance style.
The Subways: Money and Celebrity. Juvenilia at its worst- this trio need to make songs that sound more sincere and mature.
Elton John: Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters. The expression is just as prominent in the piano parts, as always, as it is in Johns lilting voice.
David Bowie: Life on Mars.
chorus cries disproves this theory… if there were life on the red planet they
would have responded.
Elvis Costello: Watching the Detectives. An element of Woody Allen in Costellos somewhat goofy vocal, blended with a killer bass line.
Freda Payne: Band of Gold. A smoother Tina Turner, Paynes attitude slides right into this soul classic through a flawless vocal.
Espers: Dead Queen. Psychedelic, dark Philadelphian folk, Espers have the potential to conquer the world of music for seances.
Kirsty MacColl: A
England. An upbeat pop moment for an otherwise new-wave toughie,
MacColl should have played the pop card more often.
The Byrds: Eight Miles High. Low buzzing harmonies make you feel like you’re just taking off from a 3 minute long runway.
Led Zeppelin: Going to
It’s the calm before the storm (When the Levee Breaks) in one of the 1970s
definitive rock albums.
Oasis: Acquiesce. Guitar-driven 90s rock, great to hear Noels voice on the chorus contrasting little brother, Liams, voice on the verses.
Rae Morris: Walls. Sophisticated lyrics for a 19 year old, Morris’s voice only needs a piano for support in her deep and intense ballads.
Dire Straits: Heavy Fuel. If this song came along 15 years earlier it would have had more impact. Most of it’s been said time after time.
Jackson Browne: Running on Empty. If you want a west-coast taste of what it was like to be on the road in the 70s, this is the LP to get.
Fairground Attraction: Perfect. A fusion of jazz and pop, Eddi Reader’s voice controls the swing of the whole song- she’s sharp and soft.
Nick Glider: Roxy Roller. Bubblegum pop has a sprinkling of grit to it, as Glider trips through the bouncy rock ditty.
By James Nuttall