My Top 20 Albums – ‘MTV Unplugged in New York’ by Nirvana.

In the fall of 1993 Seattle three-piece Nirvana was arguably the biggest rock band in the world. Their debut album Bleach had planted seeds of vehement potential, while everybody and his dog picked up a copy of its all-conquering follow-up Nevermind. Then came the eclectic rarities compilation Incesticide, before recently released third LP In Utero, […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘Surfer Rosa’ by Pixies.

I was deep into my Nirvana phase when a friend of mine suggested another American band I might enjoy, “They totally influenced Kurt Cobain!” he exclaimed with wide eyes. A few days later he personally hand delivered two CDs, a mini LP called Come on Pilgrim (1987) and a thirteen-track debut album by the name […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘Bringing it All Back Home’ by Bob Dylan.

It took me a long time to get Bob Dylan. For years I was totally immune to his harmonica-laced charms, happy to tell anyone who would listen that I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. After all, the guy couldn’t even sing and having only been exposed to his protest song era, he […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘Definitely Maybe’ by Oasis.

It’s easy to forget what an unparalleled tour de force Oasis were when they burst onto the scene in the summer of 1994. Dangerously cool, razor-edge witty and a whole new level of arrogant, they were impossible to ignore, the musical equivalent of Jack Nicholson smashing the door down with his axe in The Shining. […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘Figure 8’ by Elliott Smith.

Anyone familiar with my reviews will be far from surprised to hear I’m a big Elliott Smith fan. Like Nick Drake before him, Elliott was a deeply troubled soul who wore his heart on his sleeve, writing immensely cathartic alt-rock throughout a tragically brief solo career. Time and time again I find myself falling for artists […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘Lost Souls’ by Doves.

In the summer of 2000 I turned twenty-two and as per tradition back in those days I was treated to a bunch of CDs from my core group of music-loving friends. It was always exciting to receive a pile of albums all at once, even if I knew I’d be getting exactly what I’d asked […]

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My Top 20 Albums – ‘The Queen Is Dead’ by The Smiths.

I have a somewhat sheepish confession to make. Now bear with me, but the first time I heard The Smiths I was not impressed. The track I’d stumbled across was Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others, a quirky little tune that appeared as simplistically self-explanatory as its title suggested. ‘‘Some girls are bigger than others’’ […]

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