Apr
14

Blue

Blue

10 Albums that changed my life

Blue by Joni Mitchell

My eight choice. California in 1971 and this sublime record eked out 35 minutes of folk bliss. When released it was well received but it has taken the years to truly appreciate the sheer perfection of this album.

In the late 90’s as I was discovering chill I was also falling into the California scene and being blown over by James Taylor, JD Souther, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, Carol King, Joni and many more. It was a collection that just just kept giving. Imagine growing up musically in the middle of all this talent. This is exactly what Joni Mitchell did and on Blue it all just came together.

There are tunes on here that are truly beautiful and Joni’s voice climbs the scales so effortlessly.

This album also contains one of the greatest songs of all time – River. When I first heard it I cried. If it catches me out nowadays I will cry again.

Blue. Incredible.

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Apr
14

Songs from Northern Britain

Songs from Northern Britain

10 Albums that changed my life

Songs from Northern Britain by Teenage Fanclub

My ninth choice. In 1997 when Oasis were imploding in ‘Be Here Now’ and Radiohead were setting the bar as high as high could be with ‘OK Computer,’ Teenage Fanclub steered their own way with this delicious record.

This is my penultimate choice and it contains many of the most wonderful TFC tracks including ‘Start Again’ ‘Speed of Light’ and the all conquering ‘I don’t want control of you.’

I listened to the album on repeat at some difficult times in my life in the 90’s & noughties and it was my close friend. How can it be that a record written by three people that you don’t know can arrive just when you need it and it help you?!

Teenage Fanclub have continued to produce songs of great beauty, heartache and romance. Their soaring harmonies and tunes are a perfect foil to so much money and bluster that seeks to fill our music speakers.

In a world too of outrage, I choose to believe in records like this.

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Apr
14

Abbey Road

Abbey Road

10 Albums that changed my life

Abbey Road by The Beatles

My tenth and final choice is the last actually recorded album by The Beatles. In truth they were falling apart and yet produced, with the legendary George Martin again firmly in the hot seat, this masterpiece. It is without doubt a breathless piece of work culminating in 8 songs blended into a suite of beauty by McCartney & Martin.

The backdrop to the album is not a pretty one and I can’t imagine how they continued to work together with Lennon at his caustic worst and the dogmatic McCartney at the opposite end of the table with everyone else involved in the middle.

And yet…

This album has “Here Comes the Sun” & “Something.” With Lennon & McCartney at war is it an accident that these two beautiful pieces by George appear on this record? They are two of The Beatles finest records and most covered pieces.

It is viewed by many as the best record the band produced.

The three piece harmonies by McCartney, Lennon & Harrison here are as good as they ever recorded.

The newer recording methods were used to great effect.

And the album finish is arguably the best piece of writing to finish a record ever.

Not bad for a band at war.

In truth Abbey Road is an album that wears its heart on its sleeve. The tensions, upsets, hopes and dreams of all that had gone before and all that they hoped for are right here in the tunes. It was the end and McCartney & Lennon knew this. They would have already begun thinking towards their new careers, Macca excited about finally getting back on the road, Lennon thrilled to be his own man.

As a final hurrah to the most famous band ever, it’s incredible stuff and I have always loved it.

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Mar
18

If

If

‘If I want for anything, it’s the time I lost when I thought I wanted everything.’

Jasper Golightly

Jan
15

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg

‘That’s how you really change the world. Through romance, not politics.’

Billy Bragg

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