Friday, 6 July 2012

Top 5 Essential House Albums

Still to come...

A - Z of House Music

Armand Van Helden – 2 Future 4 U (1998)

Basement Jaxx – Remedy (1999)

Chip E – Jack Trax (1985)

Daft Punk – Homework (1996)

Etienne de Crécy – Super Discount (1996’)

Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk – No Vocals Necessary (1988)

G – Guy Called Gerald, A – Hot Lemonade (1989)

Hernán Cattáneo – The Masters Series (2004)

Inc., Fingers – Another side (1988)

Jesse Saunders – House Trax Vol 1 (1992)

K-Klass – Universal (1993)

Leftfield – Leftism (1995)

Mr Fingers (aka Larry Heard) – Ammnesia (1989)

N-Joi – Inside out (1995)

One-T – The One-T ODC (2002)

Phuture – Acid Trax (1987)

Quentin Harris – Sacrifice (2010)

Roy Davis Jr. – Soul Electrica (1999)

S'Express – Original Soundtrack (1991)

Ten City – Foundation (1989)

Underworld – Dubnobasswithmyheadman (1993)

Victor Calderone - Presents Statrax Unmixed Vol. 1 (2004)

Wamdue Project – Program yourself (1998)

X-Press 2 – Muzikizum (2002)

Yost, Kevin – One Starry Night (1998)

Z-Factor – Dance Party Album (1984)

Top 5 Heavy Rock/Metal Albums

1) Cream - Disraeli (or is it derailleur) Gears (1967) - a confused roadie talking about racing bikes gave the album it's name. It is a great, great, great, great album by a band that really fucking hated each other. Maybe that's why it's so driven? Cream are a supergroup and this album is testament to that ideal. Fantabulous tracks like Sunshine of your Love, Strange Brew and Tales of Brave Ulysses make this album no 1 on this list.  I even love the Ginger Baker sung Blue Condition, even though it could be an audience splitter.

2)  Led Zeppelin - IV (1971) - Blues Rock, Heavy Rock and sumptuous hippy-dippy Folk all rolled into one. The result makes for a holy grail album that has created a nation of floppy-haired guitar-mashing male youth. This album certainly helped push forward the development of Heavy Metal and it just made it look cool to be in a band! There are no duds on this album, every song is a genre-defining tome. This should certainly be a bookend to most album collections.

3) Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970) - the album that the devil gave birth to, ushering in the new genre of Heavy Metal - yes it is that old! The album's sound was created by howling part man, part werewolf Ozzy Osbourne, the 3 fingered grim-reaper-esque guitarist that is Tony Iommi, the sludgy dark bass renderings of Geezer Butler and the skull banging drumming of Bill Ward. A sonic overload that cannot be ignored. It is all thanks to a reliance on the triton - the devil's chord. The Sabbath declared war on the world with this their first album and gathered an army of like minded followers in the years that followed. Thank fuck for Birmingham!

4) Mercyful Fate - Melissa (1983) - Great hard-rockin' album from Danish metallers that reeks occasionally of Spinal Tap but that's what makes it for me! Part NWOBHM, part prog metal, part black metal - all good! king Diamond's vocal acrobatics take the overall sound to a new level, higher than many of their contemporaries.

5) Nirvana - Bleach (1989) - before the back-breaking release of Smells Like..., Nirvana birthed this cheap (600 dollars) but significant pre-commercial grunge-laden album. It has Negative Creep, About a Girl and School, all great tunes to shake yer mullet to. This may not be on the list of most music fans but it was much a youth-defining moment for I. Nirvana were very much a hidden treasure before the world knew them for THAT song, the one that killed Kurt's spirit.

A - Z of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal

AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)

Cream – Fresh Cream (1966)

Dio – Holy Diver (1983)

Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin at dusk (1997)

Fate, Mercyful - Melissa (1983)

Guns N Roses – Appetite for destruction (1987)

Helloween – Keeper of the 7 keys part 1 (1987)

Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast (1982)

Judas Priest – British Steel (1980)

King Diamond - Abigail (1987)

Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory (2000)

Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)

Nirvana - Bleach (1989)

Overkill – The years of decay (1986)

Pantera – Cowboys from Hell (1990)

Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime (1988)

Rainbow – Long Live Rock N Roll (1978)

Slayer – Reign in Blood (1986)

Testament – the Legacy (1987)

U.D.O. - Dominator (2009)

Venom – Black Metal (1982)

W.A.S.P. – W.A.S.P. (1984)

Xandria – Sisters of the light (2007)

Yngwie J Malmsteen – Rising Force (1984)

Zeppelin, Led – IV (1971)


Top 5 Glam Albums

1) Jobriath – Jobriath (1973) - A weird combo of science fiction imagery, odes to a young gay lover and Bowie at his Hunky-Dory-est best. Part Bowie, part Elton and part Jagger, this American singer has produced an album ahead of its time, loved by those in the know. It is one of Morrissey's fave albums, which explains a lot. Musically it is better than a lot of the other American Glam being taunted at the time. It is one Glam album that could be listened to by those who detest this tacky musical genre. Most people hated it at the time and are now just waking up to its intense beauty, including me!

2) Lou Reed - Transformer (1972). This needs little explanation. Not only has it got Vicious, Satellite of Love and Perfect Day but also Walk on the Wild Side. Altogether now, Doo-pee-do, Doo-pee-do, doo-doo doo-pee do.

3) Queen - Queen (1973) - first album by the band that seems an unlikely fit. It contains none of their well known hits and is therefore why it is so good and obviously underrated. Opener Keep Yourself Alive  is a killer and the rest of the album comes off like some understudy Led Zeppelin types, yet obviously camper and taking the self less seriously. Later Queen fans may not like it as it is so much harder than they are used to. It is Queen before they found their pop feet and thank God for that!

4) Vodka Collins - New York Tokyo (1972) - Japan has produced some amazing bands and VC is no exception. A mixture of Japanese and English songs undercut by the kind of campy Rock of bands like T-Rex and Roxy Music.  I think the Japanese adds to the campy glam of it all.

5) Zolar X -  Timeless (1982) - written during mid-to-late '70s but only released in 1982. Punky, Gothy, freaky but all Glam. The band come off like some outer space troupe who are trying to communicate with us through their native music. They were not adverse to singing in their own made-up language. Camp Klingons!

A - Z of Glam Music

Alex Harvey Band – Next (1973)

Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets (1974)

Cockney Rebel – The Psychomodo (1974)

David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars (1972)

Essex, David – Rock On (1973)

Fox – Fox (1975)

Geordie – Hope you like it (1973)

Hello – Keeps us off the streets (1975)

Iron Virgin – Rebels Rule (1974)

Jobriath – Jobriath (1973)

Kenny – The sound of Super K (1975)

Lou Reed – Transformer (1972)

Mud – Mud Rock (1974)

New York Dolls – New York Dolls (1973)

Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin (Glam Metal - 1986)

Pilot – From the album of the same name (1974)

Queen – Queen (1973)

Roxy Music – For your Pleasure (1973)

Slade – Slayed? (1972)

T-Rex – Electric Warrior (1971)

UFO – Phenomenon (1974)

Vodka Collins – Tokyo-New York (1972)

Wizzard – Wizzard Brew (1973)

X? (There doesn’t seem to be any Glam-orientated band beginning with the letter X)

Y and T – In Rock we trust (Glam Metal - 1984)

Zolar X – Timeless (1982).


Top 5 Essential Disco albums.

Giorgio Moroder - From here to Eternity (1977) Giorgio is certainly a vastly important figure in the modern music world. It was his production of 'love to love you baby' by Donna Summer that kicked off many modern musical genres and styles (that and the influence of Kraftwerk). The echoing of a thoroughly modern sound can be heard on 'from here to eternity'. I love 'I'm left, you're right, I'm gone'. It fills me with pride that one person could create such a song using just a synthesizer. Look to the future, look to the past! Dodgy picture on front, though! Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (1982) Disco influenced by early Hip Hop. Great baselines, frivolous drum beats and a sultry singing make for one hell of a funky disco classic and that's just the title track. The rest of the album shifts between early House music, Soul, Funk and hip hop but underneath it all is the constancy of the disco beat driving the sound. Don't go straight to the title track, try others...'the record keeps spinning' and 'when OTS talk' are great! One downfall is that some of it can sound a bit outdated however. Kendricks, Eddie – Eddie Kendricks (1973) I love Eddie Kendricks. An unlikely disco star, more a Soul man but this album is all disco. Previously the falsetto voice of the Temptations he went on to release this disco classic. 'Keep on trucking' is a dance floor whore of a song but yet still manages to drip with cool! It's Motown doing disco, which was a wise move. The rest of the album is also hip and happening as well! Pointer Sisters – Having a Party (1977) Having a party is a fun album. You can let your hair down to it and it's not just for he ladies. Some songs drip honey funk, such as 'don't it drive you crazy', some just make you want to jump out of your seat and dance like a loon ('having' a party'). Walter Murphy – The Best of... (1996) What can I say about Mr Murphy? A disco arranger of old classical music or utter genius. I will go for genius. Anyone who can write a 'fifth of Beethoven' deserves that status! The rest of the album is Funky beyond funky. It is defiantly of its age but who cares, it is great music!

A - Z of Disco


Arpadys – Arpadys (1977)

B.T. Express – Do it (‘Til Your Satisfied) (1974)

Chic – C’est Chic (1978)

Donna Summer – I Remember Yesterday (1977)

Eastside Connection – Brand Spanking New (1979)

Flirts, the – 10 Cents a Dance (1982)

Giorgio Moroder – From Here to Eternity (1977)

Heatwave – Too Hot To Handle (1977)

Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (1982)

Jackson 5 – Destiny (1978)

Kendricks, Eddie – Eddie Kendricks (1973)

Labelle – Night birds (1974)

MFSB – The Sound of Philadelphia (1973)

New Birth – The New Birth Disco (1976)

Odyssey – Odyssey (1977)

Pointer Sisters – Having a Party (1977)

Quartz – Quartz (1978)

Rose Royce – Carwash OST (1976)

Salsoul Orchestra – Nice N Naasty (1976)

T-Connection – T-Connection (1978)

Universal Robot Band – Dance and Shake your Tambourine (1977)

Van McCoy - The Real McCoy (1976)

Walter Murphy – The Best of... (1996)

X? (There doesn’t seem to be any Disco bands or artists beginning with the letter X)

Yambu – Yambu (1975)

Zulema – Z-Licious (1978)

Other - Saturday Night Fever OST (Bee Gees, Yvonne Elliman, Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band, Tavares, Kool and the Gang, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, David Shire, the Trammps and MFSB) (1977)

A - Z of Bhangra Music.

Achanak - signachure (1991)

Bhujangy Group - In Loving Memory - Best of Bhujhangy Group (2009)

Cornershop - Cornershop and the double 'O' groove of (2011)

Dhole Foundation -Big Drum Small World (2001)

E = MC - Fauj (2008)

Fakhr E Alam and Hameed Farooq - Yatagaan 'Rap Up' (2011)

Golden Star UK Malkit Singh - Best of Golden Star (2007)

Heera Group - Back to Desi (1996)

Indian, Apache - No Reservations (1993)

Jazzy B - Rambo (2008)

Kolektiv, Mentor - Broke (2006)

Lohar, Arif - Jugni (2006)

Mukhtar Sahota - Unpredictable (2007)

Nirmal Sidhu - Dil Nai Milde (2003)

Offlicence - Desilution (2008)

Pardesi -Pump Up the Bhangra (1988)

Q - cannot find a band beginning with this letter!

Red Baraat -Chaal Baby (2010)

Swami - Nu Skool Desi Beatz (2000)

Tony Talwar - Bhangratronica (2009)

U Music - The Intro (2009)

Various - Bhangra Fever (2008)

Wadali Brothers - Best of... (2003)

XLNC - De Ja Vu (2011)

Yogi, MC - Elephant Power (2008)

Zeus, Dr and Sharmilla - Zindabaad (2011)


I am not going to review or put up a top 5-10 of Bhangra albums as I feel it can all be said better by those at

Top 5 Essential Ambient albums

1. Brian Eno - Apollo, Atmospheres & Soundtracks (1983):
A part-collaboration with Daniel Lanois, Appollo... is the soundtrack to a US space launch at the time.
The album is a deep brain massage, lulling one to forget all of life's woes. It is beautiful, free, inspiring and spatious. I have not seen the film but I can imagine that the album provides the perfect scape for the orgasmic release of the spaceshuttle.

2. Banco De Gaia - Maya (1994):
A more beaty affair than Eno's above release. This was the album that pulled me away from my Indie music obsession at the time. Beautiful, trippy, chilled and other such adjectives! The whole album serves up a Middle Eastern Dubby vibe that allows one's mind to float alongside one's soul! Music to try acid to!

3. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun (1999):
Sounding like a deranged more ambient Radiohead, this album always makes me cry on the build up to the crescendo on song 'Svefn-g-englar'. An over-used adjective but it is truly BEAUTIFUL! To say anything else would be to do it an unjustice!

4. Global Communication - 76'14 (1994):
Intelligent Dance Music at its best, although in a more ambient vein. The title is the actual length of the album in mins and seconds, and each song is also named after the time length of the song. Hauntingly beautiful (there I go again!) and in my top 10 album to float off to sleep to.

5. William Orbit - Strange Cargo Series (1987 - 1995 - I to IV):
William Orbit is responsible for one of my favourite dance hits - Bassomatic's 'Fascinating Rhythm' and for making Madonna funky ambient on 1998's 'Ray of Light' album. It's alluring, mesmorising and ...sod it, I'm going to say's beautiful! Music to play at the dawning of the end of time. Ambient but also very danceable (but only if you dancing naked, alone and on a hill in Glastonbury). Warning - volume 1 is not good!



A - Z of Ambient Music