Please enter a valid password. Keep me logged in. Want an ad-free experience? Subscribe to Independent Premium. View offers. Download the new Independent Premium app Sharing the full story, not just the headlines Download now. Shape Created with Sketch. The 40 best albums to listen to before you die Show all Chris Harvey. When Jerry Wexler signed the daughter of a violent, philandering preacher to Atlantic records, he "took her to church, sat her down at the piano, and let her be herself".
The Queen of Soul gave herself the same space. Helen Brown. Propulsive polyrhythms drive against the lyrical pleas for us to stop and take stock. Same as it ever was. The album that carried reggae music to the four corners of the Earth and made Bob Marley an international superstar also set the political tone for many artists to follow.
Released outside of Jamaica by Island Records with guitar overdubs and ornamentation, the original Jamaican version is a stripped-down masterpiece. An unprecedented hours of studio experimentation saw George Martin and The Beatles looping, speeding, slowing and spooling tapes backwards to create a terrifically trippy new sound.
The album was also about an artist taking control over her own narrative, after releasing records that asked the audience — and the press — to like her. Millennials coming at this album can end up feeling like the guy who saw Hamlet and complained it was all quotations. Oh no. Oh no no no no no, no one ever did teen heartbreak quite like the Shangri-Las. But the Shangri-Las sang with an ardour that was so streetwise, passionate and raw that it still reaches across more than half a century without losing any of its power.
This compilation captures them at their early Sixties peak. He may have come to rue his Ziggy Stardust character, but with it, Bowie transcended artists seeking authenticity via more mundane means.
It was his most ambitious album — musically and thematically — that, like Prince, saw him unite his greatest strengths from previous works and pull off one of the great rock and roll albums without losing his sense of humour, or the wish to continue entertaining his fans. In their brief career, ended by the suicide of year-old singer Ian Curtis, Joy Division created two candidates for the best album by anyone ever.
Closer may be a final flowering, but Unknown Pleasures is more tonally consistent, utterly unlike anything before or since. The mood is an all-pervading ink-black darkness, but there is a spiritual force coming out of the grooves that is so far beyond pop or rock, it feels almost Dostoevskyan. Though her album, Blue, is usually chosen for these kinds of lists, Mitchell surpassed its silvery, heartbroken folk five years later with a record that found her confidently questioning its culturally conditioned expectations of womanhood.
The answer to whether Robyn could follow up the brilliance of her self-titled album came in a burst of releases inthe EPs Body Talk Pt 1, Pt 2 and Pt3, and this track effort, essentially a compilation album. Body Talk is simply jammed with great songs. Produced by Quincy Jones, the sophisticated disco funk nails the balance between tight, tendon-twanging grooves and liberated euphoria.
Glitter ball magic. How good can rap get? This good. There are albums where the myth can transcend the music — not on Illmatic, where Nas vaulted himself into the ranks of the greatest MCs inLP), with an album that countless artists since have tried — and failed — to emulate.
Nas used the sounds of the densely-populated New York streets he grew up on. This is the album that changes everything. All electronic dance music starts here.
Kind of Blue is unrepeatably cool. Recorded in just two eight-hour sessions, in which Morrison first played the songs to the assembled musicians then told them to do their own thing, Astral Weeks still feels as if it was made yesterday. An unanswered prayer for a united and forgiving USA.
It is the greatest articulation of his alchemic experiments with musical fusion — the sum of several projects Prince was working on during his most creatively fruitful year. Stitched together with the utmost care, as if he were writing a play with a beginning, a middle and an end, the album is a landmark in both pop and in art. Caught in the psychological undertow of family trauma and all those commercial surf songs, year-old Brian Wilson had a panic attack and retreated to the studio to write this dreamlike series of songs whose structural tides washed them way beyond the preppy formulas of drugstore jukeboxes.
Notes pinged from vibraphones and coke cans gleam in the strange, sad waves of bittersweet melody. Weave a circle round her thrice… Joanna Newsom is dismissed by some as kookily faux-naif, but her second album, before she trained out the childlike quality from her voice, may be the most enchanted record ever made. Producer Hank Shocklee creates a hard-edged sound from samples that pay homage to soul greats such as James Brown and Isaac Hayes, and Flavor Flav gives it an unmistakeable zest.
Play loud, alone and after dark. Lauryn Hill raised the game for an entire genre with this immense and groundbreaking work. Its sonic appeal has a lot to do with the lo-fi production and warm instrumentation, often comprised of a low thrumming bass, tight snares and doo-wop harmonies.
Why has it taken the world so long to appreciate her? Let England Shake digs deep into the soil of the land, where buried plowshares lie waiting to be beaten into swords. Boy in da Corner goes heavy on cold, uncomfortably disjointed beats, synths that emulate arcade games and police sirens, and Dizzee himself delivering bars in his trademark, high-pitched squawk.
The human vulnerability of her voice and traditional instruments are given an electrical charge by her pioneering use of synthesisers.
Thrilling and immersive. Desert meets Delta Blues. It can be found in every song on this brilliant track compilation. All the irreplaceable soul voices, from Aretha Franklin to Bobby Womack, were steeped in gospel. This is a great place to hear where they came from. Companion album The Great Gospel Women is a marvel, too.
The horrors of drone warfare, paedophilia and global warming are held up to the bright lights in disconcertingly beautiful rage. Disheartened by the media obsession with his personal life and the fans clamouring for the same old shit, In Utero is pure, undiluted rage.
Curtis Mayfield had been spinning golden soul music from doo-wop roots with The Impressions for more than a decade before releasing his first solo album, which contains some of his greatest songs.
While some point to the Blaxploitation soundtrack Superfly as the definitive Mayfield album, Curtis is deeper and more joyous, its complex arrangements masterly.
To spend time with Curtis is to be in the presence of a beautiful soul. Before they went their own way, Fleetwood Mac decided to tell a story that would be the quintessential marker for American rock culture in the Seventies.
At the time of its release, it was the fastest-selling LP of all time; its success turned Fleetwood Mac into a cultural phenomenon. A virtual unknown to rock fans just a year before — Hendrix used Are You Experienced? Few debuts have changed the course of rock music as Hendrix did with his. Sister Sledge gave Rodgers a chance to work with warmer, gutsier vocals than the cool voices he used to give Chic records such laid-back style and the result is a floor-filling dance party, punctuated by mellow ballads.
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Cancel Post. At first, Mike Appel was against the band concept on the album; he envisioned a folk album. He later recalled, "I was too caught up in his lyrics. Bruce said, 'It's just because you listened to it on guitar.
You can't tell exactly how it will sound. Bruce Springsteen plays piano and electric bass and sings vocals on this track, and is backed up by Clarence Clemons on saxophone and backing vocals and Vini Lopez on drums and backing vocals. All three provide clapping sound. The track, as well as the whole album, was produced by Mike Appel and Jimmy Cretecos. The circulating studio version is probably from one of those two sessions.
He mentioned that in late and earlyone of the albums he was listening to a lot was The Band's then-new Cahoots album. That was their fourth album, released in September That's one of the Robertson penned songs on the album, and it contains the following lyrics:.
In a November interview with Castiles. He also mentioned that Bruce always called him "Hazy". Hazlett was the drummer in Mercy Flight, a Richmond, VA based college rock band that existed between and The band opened for Bruce Springsteen's Steel Mill several times from late until Augustwhen the band's singer Robbin Thompson quit to join Steel Mill as a second lead singer and songwriter.
At the time, Lopez was stuck in Richmond for about a month sorting out some legal difficulties. Although Greasy Lake, where the action takes place, is a mythical place, drummer Vini Lopez has stated that it is actually a composite of two locations that band members used to visit.
One was Lake Carasaljo, near the intersection of U. The other was a swampy lake near Garden State Parkway exit It gets its name from the idea that homeless people living around the lake used it for bathing, washing dishes, etc. The website is run from Denmark and has been online since After signing the contract with CBS Records, Laurel Canyon Productions was to receive an immediate cash advance from CBS and this money was to be used LP) pay for the studio time to record Springsteen' debut album.
During June Springsteen had finalized the selection of the musicians that would be used for the initial sessions. Van Zandt ended up partaking in almost none of the Sound Studios band sessions because of a prior commitment to tour as a member of The Dovells Spirit In The Night - Bruce Springsteen - And The Band Played (Vinyl group.
The core "band" sessions were completed in LP) about two weeks. No unreleased band recordings from the debut album sessions have surfaced.
Following these band sessions the various band members scattered. It should be noted that Springsteen had not decided to form a touring band at this stage. Springsteen spent the next few weeks recording solo material. It was during this period that differences of opinion surfaced about what material was going to dominate the eventually released album.
There were two sides in this disagreement: Mike Appel and John Hammond wanted a solo-dominated LP while Jim Cretecos was in favor of a band-dominated one. Springsteen was undecided at first, but soon sided with Cretecos.
Appel later said that he was so impressed by Bruce's lyrics and told him, "Who needs a band when you can write lyrics like that? It seemed the album was finalized, but when then CBS president Clive Davis listened to the tracks he commented that not only did he prefer the band tracks, but he also felt the album lacked a potential hit single. In essence Davis was siding with Springsteen's vision of the album as being more rock-orientated.
Consequently a further "band" session was required. Therefore the final album was reduced from 10 tracks to 9, encompassing 7 band tracks and 2 solo tracks. Columbia Records' original intention was to release the album in late Novemberbut decided the album might get overlooked among the massive amount of pre-Christmas releases so the LP was held back for until early January.
Greetings From Asbury Park, N. It was produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. The album sold 25, copies only in its first year of release and did not chart until the summer of when the hype over the BORN TO RUN single attracted buyers to Springsteen's earlier albums. This is one of the rarest Springsteen records, mainly due to its virtually non-existent original sales, but the promo issue is more common than its commercial counterpart.
The song was also included a very rare US-only promo EP in The single was reissued four more times in the United States: in as part of Columbia's "Hall Of Fame" series, in the late eighties as part of Columbia's "Collectables" series, in as part of Columbia's "Hall Of Fame" series, and in the mid-nighties on Columbia.
According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour. The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set clocking at compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release.
A 3-disc limited edition clocking at was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.
It debuted and peaked at 14 on the U. Billboard album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached 28 on the UK Albums Chart. The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Spirit In The Night - Bruce Springsteen - And The Band Played (Vinylthis time as a 2-disc set clocking at with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits edition collection.
This reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases. Tour October to September Many of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Greetings From Asbury Park, N. The review could be for any of the twelve shows in the stand, but is more likely from one of the latter ones considering the late publication of the review. On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement, often featuring Springsteen on piano.
On this tour, the song was played in a full-band album-style arrangement, and at least a few of these performances featured Springsteen on the piano. Most or all performances on the leg of the tour, plus a few in the early part offeatured a "spooky" introduction including vocalizations by Springsteen see the live 06 Jan version. Some performances from later in the tour featured a jazzy piano introduction see the live 05 Feb version.
Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Born To Run Tour ; it may have been a stable number during the tour. On this tour, the song was played in its traditional full-band arrangement. Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Chicken Scratch Tour ; it may have been a stable number during the tour.
Some of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Lawsuit Tour ; it must have been a stable number during the tour.
A few of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates during the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour ; it may have been a stable number during the tour. A few of that period's setlists are incomplete or unknown, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates during The River Tourbut that's very unlikely.
Tour dates, June to Octoberall in August and September Nine of these performances featured Springsteen on acoustic guitar and vocals accompanied only by the backup singers on harmony vocals see the live 06 Nov versionand one performance featured Springsteen on vocals accompanied only by Roya Bittan on synthesizer and the backup singers on harmony vocals see the live 31 Oct version.
The song was played in an acoustic "band" arrangement.
Pandemonium (Original Mix), Colder - Charon (2) - Songs For The Sinners (CD, Album), Astronomy - Blue Öyster Cult - Imaginos (CD), Word Play - Bahamadia - Kollage (Instrumentals) (Vinyl, LP), Insomnia (European Vacation Mix) - Various - Armand Van Helden The Remixes (Vinyl), Mysterious Art - Lovin You / Awaken (CD), Noviembre - Juan Stewart - Oui! (CD, Album), Bonus Enhanced Material