TNPC presents… SEVEN & SEVEN IS: THE GREATEST 100 TRACKS OF OVER 7 MINUTES DURATION

Greatest Records
Goes on a bit, dunnit? Anything which elicits this response from you will have had no place in your submission to our latest list, of songs lasting seven minutes or longer. 
Making a song last for this duration is a venture fraught with danger which should not be undertaken lightly. Essentially, for the listener, lengthy songs need to be handled in much the same way as a well-refreshed guest; if they start to ramble aimlessly, repeat themselves unnecessarily or generally outstay their welcome, then it’s time for them to go. If, on the other hand, they continue to hold you rapt with charismatic presence and engaging storytelling, then let’s open another bottle. Let’s face it, anyone can drone on for a quarter of an hour or more (insert feeble joke about the House of Commons here) but commanding undivided attention for that length of time is an art in itself.
Speaking only for myself, it’s why I have Heroin on my own list but not European Son. You Can’t Always Get What You Want bit not Can’t You Hear Me Knocking. Dirt but not We Will Fall. This doesn’t mean that I dislike any of the songs I’ve rejected, far from it. It’s just – well, I find they do go on a bit. For me at least, strip away the Iconic and Canonical status and they just don’t hold my attention in the way that the best seven-plussers do. But what’s meandering for some will be mesmerising for another.
Going into this, we were well aware that the Ramones, the Minutemen and Guided By Voices wouldn’t be well represented but the likes of Miles Davis, Can and Dylan would have a rather better chance. The Fall could, if they chose, do the business in 120 seconds or fewer, as on Dice Man or Prole Art Threat, but they could with equal adroitness pummel the mangled message repeatedly home on The NWRA or Hip Priest. It’s been interesting, as well, to reflect on all of those who rarely, if ever, crossed the seven-minute rubicon but would have easily had the gumption and ideas to pull it off if they wanted – the Clash, REM, Magazine, the Go-Betweens, to give a few random examples; you could count on either one or no hands the number of occasions they and many others took the long jump.
There’s no question that extra time suits some genres and periods infinitely better than others. In rock and pop, radio stations were discombobulated in the late ’50s and early ’60s when the Animals’ House Of The Rising Sun and Marty Robbins’ El Paso had the effrontery to exceed four minutes but before long, as with so many things, Dylan rewrote the rules – from the start, he was going beyond not only four minutes but five and his House Of The Rising Sun was even longer than the Animals’, as well as preceding theirs by two years. In an often-repeated quote, Bruce Springsteen likened the snare crack which opened the (six-minute – getting there) Like A Rolling Stone to “somebody (kicking) open the door to your mind”; meanwhile, his long-standing lieutenant, Steven Van Zandt, lamented this period as the time when the primary response to pop ceased to be dancing and became listening. Of course, they both have a case but few would be able to sustain frenetic footwork to, say, Going To A Go-Go or Gloria beyond their allotted lengths, while jazz, psychedelia, funk, ambient and, of course, classical don’t have freneticism written into their job description and so have greater scope for reach, exploration and, at least sometimes, longueurs.
But anyway, why should a song just be two or three minutes? If a story needs time to unfold, if hypnosis is the most powerful instrument you have, if you have more to explore than seven inches can accommodate, then why not crack out the compass and get voyaging? If the 10pm curfews were being imposed by The Man, then the three-minute curfews were being breached by The Maaaan and it’s way too glib and too simplistic to equate longevity with self-indulgence. Marquee Moon’s vertigo-inducing skyscraper climb, performing all of its own stunts; the tense but patient unravelling of Visions Of Johanna, which still refuses to yield the enduring secret of the ghost of electricity; the Mercy Seat’s terrified, terrifying green mile march, almost as if it really were the last seven minutes of a life; Autobahn’s odyssey from a nation’s fearful past to a place of anxious hope, now more poignant than ever; Land’s bloodless conquering of new territories, increasing 1000 dances to 100,000. Layers of noise, torrents of texture; this is music you can’t take your ears off for one minute, five minutes, 10 minutes. No lumbering or tail-chasing here; this is how the long game should be played.
There’s ample opportunity for flexibility and loopholes to smuggle some songs in through alternative versions – 12-inches, remixes, live versions and, increasingly in the era of archive plundering, alternate takes. Tempting as it might be to  look on one version of a song as definitive, it’s a pretty short stroll from set in stone to petrified; after all, Deadheads and non-Deadheads alike would be unlikely to acknowledge the 2:44 original of Dark Star over the Live/Dead and manifold Dick’s Pick’s and bootleg incarnations which inflated the length 10, 15, 18 times over. At least one submission we received nominated a live recording of the Byrds’ Eight Miles High, which boosted the (pretty much perfect) sub-three minute stripling of a single version into 16 minutes and four seconds of flight, while you can even, if you wish, get more than double your Sister Ray from numerous live forays.
For my part, while both the Banana and Live 1969 versions of the aforementioned Heroin qualify, I specified the latter in my vote. It’s simply subtler and more dramatic; where the acceleration on the most renowned studio version is out of the gate each time like a greyhound on sight of the rabbit, the San Francisco take holds it back, slipping into fourth gear but resisting overdrive until near the end, when the panic and desperate energy have been firmly ingrained. I’ve also always felt it actually benefits from the absence of the viola of the by then departed John Cale; without it, Venus In Furs would struggle to exist but in Heroin it gets in the way and the song thrives and capers in the spaces it leaves.
As it turned out, Television’s Marquee Moon was a convincing and deserved winner, continuing the success of the album which bears its name in our 1974-1985 poll; the fact that it was a top 30 hit becomes ever more glorious and even harder to believe with the passage of time. It has perhaps benefited in our poll from its place in a comparatively small body of work which leaned heavily on fairly long songs but, crucially, only a few of those songs breached seven minutes.
David Bowie also ran only a handful of marathons but they’re even more conspicuous in his vast catalogue. Station To Station, our runner-up, saw its reputation spike in the wake of his death and it’s been maintained ever since. Blackstar, inextricably linked with his passing but brilliant in his own right, also easily qualifies in length and that leaves just a couple of others – Cygnet Committee, Width Of A Circle – which were worthy contenders but missed out, perhaps occupying relatively unexplored corners of Bowie’s repertoire.
Among those with more of a penchant for going the distance, Van Morrison and Miles Davis are tied for the most songs receiving votes – 17 each – but wound up with just two entries each in the final 100, on the rough end of a split vote (Birth of the cruel? Unfair play?). Highest number of entries went instead to Bob Dylan, with five entries out of 16 songs voted for. The Velvets,  Neil Young and Can secured four places each, while there were three entries for Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk. Others squeezed out included Mogwai, who saw just one of their 11 nominated songs reach the hanging-around 100, and Yo La Tengo, who had no return at all on the eight songs which received votes.
Let’s also spare a thought for those unfortunate songs which fall a few agonising seconds short of our brutally arbitrary cut-off point and are forced to watch on like losing semi-finalists. Our commiserations to, among others: Elvis Costello’s I Want You; Neu!s Seeland; Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europe Express; Neil Young’s On The Beach and Love’s You Set The Scene. Longer versions of some of these do cross the line and could have got them in on a technicality but we assure these songs that it’s nothing personal and we’ll keep playing them, however long or short they may be.
I hope I haven’t gone on too long. Many thanks for voting and, especially right now, keep well (PG).

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The Top 100

100. ‘Little Red Riding Hood Hit The Road’ – Robert Wyatt (from Rock Bottom LP, 1974)

99. ‘B Movie’ – Gil Scott-Heron (from Reflections LP, 1981)

98. ‘Rapper’s Delight’ – Sugarhill Gang (single – long version, 1979)

97. ‘Southbound Jericho Parkway’ – Roy Orbison (single, 1969)

96. ‘Good Times’ – Chic (from Risqué LP, 1979)

95. ‘Poptones’ – Public Image Ltd. (from Metal Box LP, 1979)

94. ‘The Rainbow’ – Talk Talk (from Spirit Of Eden LP, 1988)

93. ‘As’ – Stevie Wonder (from Songs In The Key Of Life LP, 1976)

92. ‘I Think I’m In Love’ – Spiritualized (from Ladies & Gentlemen…We Are Floating In Space LP, 1997)

91. ‘Small Hours’ – John Martyn (from One World LP, 1977)

90. ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ – Mogwai (from Mogwai Young Team LP, 1997)

89. ‘Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys’ – Traffic (from Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys LP, 1971)

88. ‘Paperhouse’ – Can (from Tago Mago LP, 1971)

87. ‘1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be’ – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (from Electric Ladyland LP, 1968)

86. ‘When The Levee Breaks’ – Led Zeppelin (from Led Zeppelin IV LP, 1971)

85. ‘Voodoo Chile’ – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (from Electric Ladyland LP, 1968)

84. ‘Future Days’ – Can (from Future Days LP, 1973)

83. ‘In A Silent Way / It’s About That Time’ – Miles Davis (from In A Silent Way LP, 1969)

82. ‘Losing My Edge’ – LCD Soundsystem (from LCD Soundsystem LP, 2005)

81. ‘New Grass’ – Talk Talk (from Laughing Stock LP, 1991)

80. ‘What Goes On’ – The Velvet Underground (from 1969: The Velvet Underground Live LP, 1974)

79. ‘So What’ – Miles Davis (from Kind Of Blue LP, 1959)

78. ‘Love From Room 109 At The Islander (On Pacific Coast Highway)’ – Tim Buckley (from Happy Sad LP, 1969)

77. ‘Shine A Light’ – Spiritualized (from Laser Guided Melodies LP, 1992)

76. ‘Little Johnny Jewel (Pts 1 & 2) – Television (single, 1975)

75. ‘Sinnerman’ – Nina Simone (from Pastel Blues LP, 1965)

74. ‘Good Morning Captain’ – Slint (from Spiderland LP, 1991)

73. ‘A Love Supreme Part 1: Acknowledgement’ – John Coltrane (from A Love Supreme LP, 1965)

72. ‘Soon’ – My Bloody Valentine (from Glider EP, 1990)

71. ‘Loaded’ – Primal Scream (from Screamadelica LP, 1991)

70. ‘Free Bird’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd (from Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd LP, 1974)

69. ‘Pictures Of You’ – The Cure (from Disintegration LP, 1989)

68. ‘War Pigs’ – Black Sabbath (from Paranoid LP, 1970)

67. Für Immer‘ – Neu! (from Neu! 2 LP, 1972)

66. ‘Interstellar Overdrive’- Pink Floyd (from The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn LP, 1967)

65. ‘LA Woman’ – The Doors (from LA Woman LP, 1971)

64. ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pts I-V)’ – Pink Floyd (from Wish You Were Here LP, 1975)

63. ‘Fun House’ – The Stooges (from Fun House LP, 1970)

62. ‘Matty Groves’ – Fairport Convention (from Liege & Lief LP, 1969)

61. ‘MacArthur Park’ – Richard Harris (single, 1968)

60. ‘Layla’ – Derek & The Dominoes (from Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs LP, 1970)

59. ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ – Funkadelic (from One Nation Under A Groove LP, 1978)

58. ‘All My Friends’ – LCD Soundsystem (from Sound Of Silver LP, 2007)

57. ‘Jenny Ondioline’ – Stereolab (from Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements LP, 1993)

56. ‘Melody’ – Serge Gainsbourg (from Histoire de Melody Nelson LP, 1971)

55. ‘A Very Cellular Song – The Incredible String Band (from The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter LP, 1968)

54. ‘Hurricane’ – Bob Dylan (from Desire LP, 1976)

53. ‘The End’ – The Doors (from The Doors LP, 1967)

52. ‘Echoes’ – Pink Floyd (from Meddle LP, 1971)

51. ‘Idiot Wind’ – Bob Dylan (from Blood On The Tracks LP, 1975)

50. ‘Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ – The Velvet Underground (from Loaded LP, 1970)

49. ‘The Mercy Seat’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (from Tender Prey LP, 1988)

48. ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’ – Crosby Stills & Nash (from Crosby, Stills & Nash LP, 1969)

47. ‘BlackStar’ – David Bowie (from Blackstar LP, 2016)

46. ‘O Superman’ – Laurie Anderson (single 1981)

45. ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles (single, 1969)

44. ‘Some Misunderstanding’ – Gene Clark (from No Other LP, 1974)

43. ‘Riders On The Storm’ – The Doors (from LA Woman LP, 1971)

42. ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ – The Beatles (from Abbey Road LP, 1969)

41. ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ – Bob Dylan (from Blonde On Blonde LP, 1966)

40. ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ – Bauhaus (12″ single, 1979)

39. ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking’ – The Rolling Stones (from Sticky Fingers LP, 1971)

38. ‘Down By The River’ – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere LP, 1969)

37. ‘Come Together’ – Primal Scream (from Screamadelica LP, 1991)

36. ‘I Am The Resurrection’ – The Stone Roses (from The Stone Roses LP, 1989)

35. ‘Purple Rain’ – Prince (from Purple Rain LP, 1984)

34. ‘Ambulance Blues’ – Neil Young (from On The Beach LP, 1974)

33. ‘The Message’ – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (12″ single, 1982)

32. ‘Halleluwah’ – Can (from Tago Mago LP, 1971)

31. ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ – The Who (from Who’s Next LP, 1971)

30. ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’ – The Temptations (from All Directions LP, 1972)

29. ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ – The Rolling Stones (from Let It Bleed LP, 1969)

28. ‘Living For The City’ – Stevie Wonder (from Innervisions LP, 1973)

27. ‘Jungleland’ – Bruce Springsteen from Born To Run LP, 1975)

26. ‘Neon Lights’ – Kraftwerk (from The Man Machine LP, 1978)

25. ‘Like A Hurricane’ – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (from American Stars ‘n’ Bars LP, 1977)

24. ‘Astral Weeks’ – Van Morrison (from Astral Weeks LP, 1968)

23. ‘Frankie Teardrop’ – Suicide (from Suicide LP, 1977)

22. ‘Walk On By’ – Isaac Hayes (from Hot Buttered Soul LP, 1969)

21. ‘Cowgirl In The Sand’ – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere LP, 1969)

20. ‘Madame George’ – Van Morrison (from Astral Weeks LP, 1968)

19. ‘Land’ – Patti Smith (from Horses LP, 1975)

18. ‘Mother Sky’ – Can (from Soundttracks LP, 1970)

17. ‘I Feel Love’ (extended version) – Donna Summer (12″ single, 1977)

16. ‘Europe Endless’ – Kraftwerk (from Trans-Europe Express LP, 1977)

15. ‘Move On Up’ – Curtis Mayfield (from Curtis LP, 1970)

14. ‘Visions Of Johanna’ – Bob Dylan (from Blonde On Blonde LP, 1966)

13. ‘Cortez The Killer’ – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (from Zuma LP, 1975)

12. ‘Blue Monday’ – New Order (12″ single, 1983)

11. ‘Maggot Brain’ – Funkadelic (from Maggot Brain LP, 1971)

10. ‘Heroin’ – The Velvet Underground (from The Velvet Underground & Nico LP, 1967)

9. ‘This Is What She’s Like’ – Dexys Midnight Runners (from Don’t Stand Me Down LP, 1985)

8. ‘Slip Inside This House’ – The 13th Floor Elevators (from Easter Everywhere LP, 1967)

7. ‘Desolation Row’ – Bob Dylan (from Highway 61 Revisited LP, 1965)

6. ‘Street Hassle’ – Lou Reed (from Street Hassle LP, 1978)

5. ‘Hallogallo’ – Neu! (from Neu! LP, 1971)

4. ‘Autobahn’ – Kraftwerk (from Autobahn LP, 1974)

3. ‘Sister Ray’ – The Velvet Underground (from White Light / White Heat LP, 1967)

2. ‘Station To Station’ – David Bowie (from Station To Station LP, 1976)

1. ‘Marquee Moon’ – Television (from Marquee Moon LP, 1977)

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Bubbling Under: 101-200

101. ‘Oh Yeah’ – Can

102. ‘Dirt’ – The Stooges

103. ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ – Bob Dylan

104. ‘This Corrosion’ – Sisters Of Mercy

105. ‘Private Psychedelic Reel’ – The Chemical Brothers

106. ‘Leave Them All Behind’ – Ride

107. ‘A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules From The Centre Of The Ultraworld – The Orb

108. ‘Fools Gold’ – The Stone Roses

109. ‘Perfect Kiss’ – New Order

110. ‘The Donor’ – Judee Sill

111. ‘Slow Life’ – Super Furry Animals

112. ‘Sea Breezes’ – Roxy Music

113. ‘I Dream A Highway’ – Gillian Welch

114. ‘Dark Star’ (Live) – The Grateful Dead

115. ‘Court Of The Crimson King’ – King Crimson

116. ‘Don’t Worry, If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go’ – Curtis Mayfield

117. ‘Higher Than The Sun (A Dub Symphony In Two Parts) – Primal Scream

118. ‘Metronomic Underground’ – Stereolab

119. ‘Rain Song’ – Led Zeppelin

120. ‘My Favorite Things’ – John Coltrane

121. ‘Djed’ – Tortoise

122. ‘Summertime In England’ – Van Morrison

123. ‘Deacon Blues’ – Steely Dan

124. ‘Got To Give It Up’ (Pts 1&2) – Marvin Gaye

125. ‘A Sailor’s Life’ – Fairport Convention

126. ‘I Believe’ – The Buzzcocks

127. ‘Safe Surfer’ – Julian Cope

128. ‘Thick As A Brick’ – Jethro Tull

129. ‘The Width Of A Circle’ – David Bowie

130. ‘Listen To The Lion’ – Van Morrison

131. ‘Love To Love You Baby’ – Donna Summer

132. ‘Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymystic’ – Isaac Hayes

133. ‘You Doo Right’ – Can

134. ‘Tam Lin’ – Fairport Convention

135. ‘Chasing A Bee’ – Mercury Rev

136. ‘Kashmir’ – Led Zeppelin

137. ‘Refractions In The Plastic Pulse’ – Stereolab

138. ‘Murder Most Foul’ – Bob Dylan

139. ‘Free Your Mind…and Your Ass Will Follow’ – Funkadelic

140. ‘Willie The Pimp’ – Frank Zappa

141. ‘No.1 Song In Heaven’ – Sparks

142. ‘Scum’ – Bark Psychosis

143. ‘I Trawl The Megahertz’ – Prefab Sprout

144. ‘It’s A Rainy Day Sunshine Girl’ – Faust

145. ‘Expressway To Your Skull’ – Sonic Youth

146. ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’ – Galaxie 500

147. ‘Protection’ – Massive Attack

148. ‘Higgs Boson Blues’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

149. ‘I Walk On Gilded Splinters’ – Dr. John

150. ‘Let It Happen’ – Tame Impala

151. ‘Father Cannot Yell’ – Can

152. ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ – Isaac Hayes

153. ‘You Going Miss Your Candyman’ – Terry Callier

154. ‘The Osmonds’ – Denim

155. ‘Take Me’ – The Wedding Present

156. ‘Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts’ – Bob Dylan

157. ‘Hip Priest’ – The Fall

158. ‘Moon In June’ – Soft Machine

159. ‘Ballerina’ – Van Morrison

160. ‘Dead Flag Blues’ – Godspeed! You Black Emperor

161. ‘The Payback’ – James Brown

162. ‘Space Is The Place’ – Sun Ra

163. ‘This Is Just A Modern Rock Song’ – Belle & Sebastian

164. ‘All Blues’ – Miles Davis

165. ‘Faith Healer’ – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band

166. ‘No Bulbs’ – The Fall

167. ‘Water Get No Enemy’ – Fela Kuti

168. ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ – David Bowie

169. ‘Cypress Avenue’ – Van Morrison

170. ‘Hero’ – Neu!

171.’La Ritournelle’ – Sebastian Tellier

172. ‘Be Thankful For What You Got’ – William deVaughn

173. ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’ – Yes

174. ‘When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease’ – Roy Harper

175. ‘La Femme d’Argent’ – Air

176. ‘Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind’ – Yo La Tengo

177. ‘Babe I’m On Fire’ – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

178. ‘Frittering’ – Mercury Rev

179. ‘Disco Devil’ – Lee Perry

180. ‘The Bogus Man’ – Roxy Music

181. ‘svefn g englar’ – Sigur Ros

182. ‘Starless’ – King Crimson

183. ‘Three Days’ – Jane’s Addiction

184. ‘Blindness’ – The Fall

185. ‘This Train’ – Bunny Wailer

186. Run Christian Run’ – Super Furry Animsls

187. ‘One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)’ – Wilco

188. ‘Riding On The Equator’ – Felt

189. ‘He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot’ – Grandaddy

190. ‘The Diamond Sea’ – Sonic Youth

191. ‘Revolution 9’ – The Beatles

192. ‘Sea Within A Sea’ – The Horrors

193. ‘Never Never Gonna Give You Up’ – Barry White

194. ‘Paid In Full’ – Eric B & Rakim

195. ‘Man-erg’ – Van Der Graaf Generator

196. The Creator Has A Master Plan – Pharoah Sanders

197. ‘Death Of A Ladies’ Man’ – Leonard Cohen

198. ‘Right Off’ – Miles Davis

199. ‘Melting Pot’ – Booker T & the MGs

200. ‘Bel Air’ – Can

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Long But Not Forgotten

For many of you, this has been the most enjoyable part of our polls – particularly for the more adventurous listener, and this is a list of wonderful curios which were nominated for inclusion but didn’t quite make the Top 200. Enjoy!

‘Love Is Peace’ – Amon Düül (from Paradieswärts Düül LP, 1970)

‘Stone In Focus’ – Aphex Twin (from Selected Ambient Works Vol 2 LP, 1994)

‘Amboss’ – Ash Ra Tempel (from Ash Ra Tempel LP, 1971)

‘Quick Canal’ – Atlas Sound featuring Laetitia Sadier (from Logos LP, 2009)

‘Rhapsody In Druz’ – Robbie Basho (from Zarthus LP, 1974)

‘The Breaks’ – Kurtis Blow (from Kurtis Blow LP, 1980)

‘Happy Cycling’ – Boards Of Canada (from US release of Music Has The Right To Children LP, 1996)

‘Let’s Start The Dance’ – Hamilton Bohannon (12″ single, 1978)

‘Folk Song’ – Bongwater (from The Power Of Pussy LP, 1990)

‘In A Mist’ – Duncan Browne (from Duncan Browne LP, 1973)

‘Funky Drummer’ (long version) – James Brown (from In The Jungle Groove LP, 1986)

‘Fire Eater’ – Rusty Bryant (from Fire Eater LP, 1971)

‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’ – Gavin Bryars (from Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet LP, 1993)

The Crown’ – Gary Byrd & the GB Experience (12″ single, 1983)

‘Ides Of March’ – John Cale & Terry Riley (from Church Of Anthrax LP, 1971)

‘Kandy Korn’ – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band (from Mirror Man LP, 1971)

‘Time Has Come Today’ – The Chambers Brothers (from The Time Has Come LP, 1967)

‘It’s Broken!’ – Bob Chance (from It’s Broken LP, 1980)

‘Forest & The Shore’ – Keith Christmas (from Pigmy LP, 1971)

‘Ritz’ – Cockney Rebel (from Psychomodo LP, 1974)

Here In The Year’ – Cold Sun (from Dark Shadows LP, 1989)

‘Peace’ – Ornette Coleman (from The Shape Of Jazz To Come LP, 1959)

‘Something About John Coltrane’ – Alice Coltrane (from Journey Into Satchidananda LP, 1971)

The Side of Man & Womankind’ – Tony Conrad & Faust (from Outside The Dream Syndicate LP, 1973)

Saddle Tramp’ – Charlie Daniels Band (from Saddle Tramp LP, 1976)

‘Gondwana Pts 1 & 2’ – Miles Davis (from Pangea LP, 1975)

‘Outside’ – Dead C (from The White House LP, 1995)

‘Out To Lunch’ – Eric Dolphy (from Out To Lunch LP, 1964)

‘Season Of The Witch’ – Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity (from Open LP, 1967)

‘Silence’ – The Durutti Column (from Without Mercy LP, 1984)

‘Lost In The Cold Sun’ – Earthless (from Sonic Prayer LP, 2005)

‘The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party’ – John Fahey (from The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party & Other Excursions LP, 1966)

‘Panther Phobia: Manifesto!’ – Tav Falco’s Panther Burns (from Panther Phobia LP, 2000)

‘The Stagnant Pool’ – Felt (from The Splendour Of Fear LP, 1984)

‘Supper’s Ready’ – Genesis (from Foxtrot LP, 1972)

‘Timeless: Inner City Life’ – Goldie (from Timeless LP, 1995)

‘I Didn’t Know’ – Al Green (from Al Green Is Love LP, 1975)

‘Sun In Your Eyes’ – Grizzly Bear (from Shields LP, 2012)

‘Chameleon’ – Herbie Hancock (from Headhunters LP, 1973)

‘Sehr Kosmisch’ – Harmonia (from Musik Von Harmonia LP, 1974)

‘You Shouldn’t Do That’ – Hawkwind (from In Search Of Space LP, 1971)

‘Living In The Heart Of The Beast’ – Henry Cow (from In Praise of Learning LP, 1975)

‘Cropduster’ – High Llamas (from Checking In Checking Out  EP, 1995)

‘Boy In The Moon’ – Julia Holter (from Ekstasis LP, 2012)

‘Morale…You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ – The Human League (from Reproduction LP, 1979)

‘Reoccurring Dreams’ – Hüsker Dü (from Zen Arcade LP, 1984)

‘Trieulogy’ – Kak (from Kak LP, 1969)

‘Cemalim’ – Erkin Koray (from Elektronik Türküler LP, 1974)

‘Somehow The Wonder Of Life Prevails’ – Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle (from Perils From The Sea LP, 2013)

‘Time’ – La Düsseldorf (from La Düsseldorf LP, 1976)

‘Rainy Day Bergen Women’ – Jackie Leven (from Creatures Of Light & Darkness LP, 2000)

‘Amazing Grace’ – Low (from Trust LP, 2002)

‘What Went Wrong’ – Grant McLennan (from Horsebreaker Star LP, 1994)

‘Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)’ – Melanie with the Edwin Hawkins Singers (from Candles In The Rain LP, 1970)

‘Pithecanthropus Erectus’ – Charles Mingus (from Pithecanthropus Erectus LP, 1956)

‘Only Skin’ – Joanna Newsom (from Ys LP, 2006)

‘Confessions of 349-18-5171’ – Ken Nordine (from Word Jazz Vol. 2 LP, 1960)

‘A New Dress’ – Nurse With Wound (from Automating Vol 2 LP, 1989)

‘Atomic Bomb’ – William Onyeabor (from Atomic Bomb LP, 1978)

‘Planet Of The Shapes’ – Orbital (from Orbital 2 LP, 1993)

‘War On The Bullshit’ – Osiris (from War On The Bullshit LP, 1986)

‘Vibrate Onn’ – Augustus Pablo Meets The Upsetter (single, 1977)

‘Jack Orion’ – Pentangle (from Cruel Sister LP, 1970)

‘Hundred Syllable Mantra’ – Phurpha (from Gyer Ro LP, 2017)

‘Acid Tracks’ – Phuture (12″ single, 1987)

‘Otče’ – Agon Orchestra & The Plastic People Of The Universe (from Pašijové hry Velikonoční LP, 1978)

‘Flex’ – Prolapse (from backsaturday LP, 1995)

‘Who Do You Love (Suite)’ – Quicksilver Messenger Service (from Happy Trails LP, 1969)

‘Katy Song’ – Red House Painters (from Red House Painters LP, 1993)

‘Poppy Nogood & The Phantom Band’ – Terry Riley (from A Rainbow In Curved Air LP, 1969)

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‘Strings Of Life’ – Rhythim Is Rhythim (12″ single, 1987)

‘Faith’ – Paul St. Hilaire & René Löwe (from Faith LP, 2003)

‘Ask Me No Questions’ – Bridget St. John (from Ask Me No Questions LP, 1969)

‘Upper Egypt & Lower Egypt’ – Pharoah Sanders (from Tauhid LP, 1966)

‘Inspiration’ – Section 25 (from From The Hip LP, 1984)

‘Up In Her Room’ – The Seeds (from A Web Of Sound LP, 1967)

‘Measuring Loneliness’ – Shizuka (from Planning For Loneliness LP, 1994)

‘A Meditation Mass’ – Yatha Sidhra (from A Meditation Mass LP, 1974)

‘Se Lest’ – Sigur Ros (from Takk LP, 1995)

‘This Fear Of Gods’ – Simple Minds (from Emires & Dance LP, 1980)

‘Illegal Bodies’ – Simply Saucer (from Cyborgs Revisited LP, 1989)

Khidr & The Fountain’ – Six Organs Of Admittance (from Dark Noontide LP, 2002)

‘Dopesmoker’ – Sleep (from Dopesmoker LP, 2003)

‘Man Next Door’ – The Slits (from Cut LP, 1979)

‘Patchwork’ – Laurie Spiegel (from The Expanding Universe LP, 1980)

‘Vito’s Ordination Song’ – Sufjan Stevens (from Michigan LP, 2003)

‘Atlantis’ – Sun Ra Arkestra (from Atlantis LP, 1969)

‘In An Autumn Garden’ – Toru Takemistsu (from In An Autumn Garden LP, 1973)

‘Journey Through A Burning Brain’ – Tangerine Dream (from Electronic Meditation LP, 1970)

‘Closer To God’ – Television Personalities (from Closer To God LP, 1992)

‘White Punks On Dope’ – The Tubes (from What Do You Want From Live LP, 1978)

‘Hi-Tech Jazz’ – Galaxy 2 Galaxy / Underground Resistance (12″ single, 1993)

Barely Breaking Even’ – Universal Robot Band (12″ single, 1982)

‘Melody Laughter’ – The Velvet Underground (from Peel Slowly & See Box Set, 1995)

‘The View From Her Room’ – Weekend (12″ single, 1982)

‘The Visitation’ – White Noise (from An Electric Storm LP, 1969)

‘Youth Of America’ – Wipers (from Youth Of America LP, 1981)

‘Harpooned’ – Wire (from Wire LP, 2015)

‘Volga Delta’ – La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela (from The Black Record, 1969)

‘Moon Revolutions’ – The Young Gods (from Only Heaven LP, 1995)

——————————————

Our Contributors:

Bill Ainsworth, Camilla Aisa, Mick Anderson, Andy (‘Birmingham ’81’), David Ayling, Michael Bailey (Soft Hearted Scientists), ‘Barbie’, ‘Belfegore’, Caroline Binnie, David Bishop, Delko Blazanin, Andy Bolton, Eleanor Bolton, Lloyd Bolton, Chris Bounds, Mark Brend, Jim Brown, David Bruce, Paul Callanan, Chris Canham, Sean Cavens, Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance), Alan Choo-Kang, Si Cole, Chris Coleman, Mike Convery, Stuart Cosgrove, Mike Curry, Simon Cuthbert-Kerr, Stephen Dalton, Campbell Davidson, Laura Lee Davies, Steve Davies, ‘Dazed Bee’, Michael Deane, ‘Decramundo’, Hugh Dellar, Jon Dennis, Mick Derrick, Andrew Divine, Philip Downer, Lionel Duffy, Seamus Duggan, Johnny Echols (Love), Merlyn Edwards, Liam Elliott, Mark Fairhurst, Simon Farrier, Peter Ferguson, Jim Ferry, Declan Flanagan, Jim Flett, Stuart Fraser, Paul Gallagher, Stephen Gallagher, Alfie Gildea, Paul Gildea, Francis Gilligan, Simon Glass, Carl Goldspink, Ian Gosling, Ash Grace, Ben Graham, Grasshopper (Sean Mackowiak, Mercury Rev) Andrew Hall, Mark Hannaby, Paul Hannigan, Jeff Hartley, Gary Higgins, David Hintz, Hodge_nufc, Robert Hodgens, Christopher Hollow, James Hornsey (The Clientele), Jim Howie, Billy Hush, Maartje Jansma, Sophie Jay, Ian Fraser Johnston, James Johnstone, Johnnie Johnstone, Peter Johnstone, Allan Jones, Jack K, Danny Kelly, David Keller, John Kilbride, Harris King, Graham Kingsbury, William Knott, Jim Lambie, Peter Latimer, Adam Leivers, Lesoisogazouil, Paul Lester, June Lewins, Gerry Love, Alastair Macduff, Marc (‘Captain Howdy’), John Marcus, Gavin Martin, Leon Massey, Will McAlpine, Jim McCulloch, Raymond McGinlay, Stef McGlinchey, Grant McPhee, Fiona McQuarrie, Paul Meagher, John Medd, Graham Meikle, Memorial Device, Steve Mitchell, Thom Moore, Rob Morgan, Andy Morten, Tony Mulraney, Gerry Murphy, Peter Murray, Kris Needs, Huw Neill, Mike Norton, Jordan O’Hara, Brendan O’Leary, Paul Osborne, David Owen, Stephen Palmacci, Jake Palmer, Thomas Patterson, Richard Phillips-Jones, Andy Pidluznyj (New Apostles), Matt Piucci (The Rain Parade), Nick Portnell, Colin Pratt, Johnny Purcell, Gary Raine, Ian Rankin, Seamus Reilly, Chris Roberts, Dewey Rolles, Marco Rossi, Martin Ruddock, Jon Savage, Jo Scollin, Paul Scollin, Ann Sequinworld, Keith Shackleton, David Sharp, Simon Shaw, Derek Sinclair, Angela Slaven, John Smith, Sandy Sneddon, Mat Snow, Tim Sommer, Jason Spence, Iain Stansfield, Theo Stockman, David Stubbs, Jack Sullivan, Daniel Thompson, James Timoney, Terry Tochel, Ben Travers, Paul Turnbull, Richard Twine, Ryan H Walsh, Judah Warsky, Richard Watterson, Derek Webster, Helen Whiteley-McPhee, Dominic Whittingham, Ben Wilmott, Peter Wilson, ‘Winna Ding’, Sandy Wishart, Liam Wright, Jamie Young,

135. PLUSH – MORE YOU BECOMES YOU (1998)

Chamber Pop, Greatest Records, Singer-Songwriter

TNPC speaks to Liam Hayes about the making of Plush’s More You Becomes You…

Around 70 seconds or so into the third song on More You Becomes You, comes a moment which betrays the album’s sly masquerade. Liam Hayes, who had switched on the microphone to say “Hi” at the beginning of the record, suddenly buckles with laughter, his delivery cracking under the strain of reaching for a high note, before his voice miraculously recovers to soar through the remainder of the line, now carried on the wings of angels. It is a moment whose significance is unlikely to register with many upon first listen, but which reveals to the diligent listener the album’s little secret. Before the penny drops, one could be forgiven for believing they were listening to a live recording of someone settling down at the piano to knock out a few songs and then walking out of the room again. “I did my job well if you hear it that way” confesses Hayes. “I didn’t want the listener to be hearing all the work that went into it, because there was a lot of that. The irony of it is that the album was very carefully edited, I mean a lot of time went into it, lots of studio sessions, a lot of editing on tape, so to get it to the point where it sounded like that really took a lot of work. I recorded it in a lot of studios, on different pianos with different engineers, but we stitched it all together and that’s what you hear.”

More You Becomes You became Hayes’ debut album in 1998, released like most of his work under the nom de plume Plush (a name suggestive of a band, borrowed Hayes adds, “from an amplifier of that name”). Even then there were signs that here was a pop perfectionist. It had taken him three years to follow his extraordinary first 45 (‘Three Quarter Blind Eyes’ b/w ‘Found A Little Baby’) – to these ears possibly the greatest pop single of the 1990s – with anything at all. A second 45 (‘No Education’ b/w ‘Soaring And Boring’) finally surfaced in 1997. The music press had been swift and virtually unanimous in its acclaim for the first single, which contained all the maturity and composure of the great singer-songwriters of the late ’60s / early ‘70s – the sweeping fingerprints of Scott Walker and Jimmy Webb, the maudlin drift of Randy Newman, with the gnawing guitar jabs of Steve Cropper. It was so good Hayes agonised at length over his next move. “I wasn’t expecting the response we got. I was delighted, really encouraged. But the flipside of that was that it made me put myself under quite a bit of pressure to follow it up with something equally good. So I had to really think about how to do that.”

He succeeded by making his first album a perfect one, a record so intimate and immersive as to make it the listener’s own possession. At a little under half an hour in length, there was not a moment wasted, he couldn’t afford for there to be. The songs with Hayes’ deft production, segue together so inconspicuously that listeners might find themselves frequently double-taking at the track-listing, wondering which song is which. One was tempted to suspect that the album collected together little fragments of ideas for songs with no beginnings or endings and nowhere else to go. Was it initially envisaged as a suite of songs or did each track have a history of its own before the recording? “It sometimes happens like that” continues Hayes. “As I recall, when the album was really coming together it had its own identity, and was pulling ideas into its orbit. I felt like I was hearing things relating to each other in some kind of sequence, though I wasn’t sure at first what it was really about. I really was immersed in its world as the songs were beginning to evolve. It wasn’t part of another group of songs. They were only ever going to be on this album.”

From conception to realisation it would become for Hayes a painstaking labour of love, and yet despite its at times overwhelming melancholy, it is suffused with good humour and a little mischief too. On the title track for instance the subject appears to be “Virginia” – a little bewilderingly so, as that is the title of the preceding track, the album’s opener – which itself sounded as solemn as one of Satie’s ‘Gymnopedies’. Then there’s the little matter of having a track entitled ‘The Instrumental’ which isn’t an instrumental at all, while other ‘songs’ are of such brevity they barely even exist. ‘The Party I’ and ‘The Party 2’ clock in at a mere thirty seconds apiece, the latter containing lines delivered with such achingly fragile earnestness they always make me smile: “I saw the party look at me / They told me that I wasn’t free / I showed them my soul power”. Hayes’ impassioned performances mean the songs somehow manage to communicate something immediately personal to each listener, who may shed a tear or two without really understanding why. “Everything that I’m looking at and putting into my music is personal to me, but I hope that everybody else can take something from that. With every record that I’ve done – some more than others – I really tried to have there be a beginning middle and end. As far as a concept or theme, with More You Becomes You it was obviously a very inner thing. I think that you can enjoy it without it really telling you what’s happening. I’m happy there’s room for other people to make it more personal to them.”

Some have called More You Becomes You ‘chamber pop’, others might file it under ‘singer-songwriter’, and it is somehow both of those things and yet neither. Hayes is reticent to discuss specific reference points as influences: “I’m probably not going to be able to pick out individual things too easily, but just generally what it has always been for me is just popular song. Not really songs that were happening contemporaneously, but songs that I was aware of from earlier on in my life. Some people might put it into a singer-songwriter category I suppose – and I like a lot of those artists, but that was not my direct inspiration – it was more pop in general. Maybe because the tempo of the record is slow and intimate it’s easy to cast it in that light, but what I was hearing in my head was something that was a bit broader in scope.” There is certainly a freedom and looseness to the composition which might recall the spontaneity of Todd Rundgren or even Laura Nyro’s oscillating explorations of melody and timbre, but ultimately this is simply a collection of sublime songs, written by Liam Hayes.

With his ecstatic broken falsetto on ‘Soaring And Boring’ (“Like this love I’m ignoring/ Imploring, adoring / It’s mine, all the time / All the time, all the time / See it shine…”) and those minor chords which envelop one in a blissful haze, he gives a studiously understated performance throughout, and even when the ‘production’ becomes more noticeable – the vocal overdubs that rescue the falter on the aforementioned third track ‘I Didn’t Know (I Was Asleep)’, or the horn which suddenly emerges from nowhere on ‘Save The People’ or even the floating gorgeous coda to the album’s glorious finale The Sailor’ – the treatments are sufficiently cushioned so as not to break the spell.

More You Becomes You was released on Drag City / Domino in September 1998, and has developed a bit of a cult following over the years. Despite its ‘indie’ credentials, Hayes has never felt comfortable being positioned in that bracket with the limitations that might suggest. “All of my records are produced. They were not done in the way a lot of people might consider indie records are done. A lot of time and attention went into them. This was before everybody had a recording studio in their bedroom! If you go back in time and think about the way some of those records were being made 20 years ago, how cheaply they were being made, I mean that was what was being presented to me as an alternative. You can go into a studio and spend thousands of dollars or you can use this latest digital portable recording technology. Go back and listen to some of those records now! Hear how they sound. I took the decision. It was more expensive, more time consuming, more financially burdensome, but in the end what I was paying attention to, was making the best record I could. The production should support the songs, and on this album the minimal approach really worked.”

Another indicator of Hayes’ meticulous attention to detail was the original artwork which featured his own childlike drawing on a gatefold CD enclosed in a paper bag. “I’ve done all the designs for all of my records. I’ve been very involved at every level. It’s really about that balance between art and commerce. As an artist you are always going to see something that people from the commercial side of things will be oblivious to. You’re going to spot the defect in the layout or hear the part of the song where the mix turned left when it needed to turn right. I don’t do this just for myself – some people will say that won’t they ‘you know I just make art for myself’ – but if that were really the case, then I wouldn’t be talking to you just now. My effort is always to make it everything that it should be, but it also has to set to sail on the seas of commerce.”

The album hasn’t been available for some time, but thankfully Hayes has plans to reissue it in the near future. “It was a happy coincidence that we talked because I am looking to reissue it within the next two or three years, do a proper reissue of it and remaster it – if I can find anyone with the right old and original technology to really bring out what’s there on the tapes.” (JJ)

TNPC presents The 100 GREATEST ALBUMS OF THE 21st CENTURY

Greatest Records

Beyond the Canon?

For those of us of a certain vintage, there was something quite disconcerting about identifying selections for the final TNPC poll. After all, we had grown up with the ‘canon’ and we lived out our youth through the latter part of the 20th Century. Much of the music made during that time meant the world to us. But what about the music of the 21st Century? There is a theory that when people reach the age of 33, they give up being interested in new music, and are content to revisit the past, seeking refuge in the familiar, perhaps reliving their adolescence? It’s a gross generalisation of course but there is an irrefutable logic to the claim. The responsibilities of adult life and balancing out work and family commitments, means that for many of us, the latest sounds are skimmed through with little patience. How different it was when we were younger – one had to really live with Trout Mask Replica and Bitches Brew, listening to them day in and day out for months on end in order to cultivate a true appreciation of their merits. And of course those albums – and many others – would prove to reward every ounce of perseverance. So when my early invitations to our contributors began to meet with blank responses (“I haven’t a clue”, “I’ve maybe only listened to ten albums since 2000”, “I reckon no classic record has been made since 1980”) I began to fear the worst.

Not all our contributors are middle-aged of course, but many of those, after their initial reticence, opted to take part in any case. The result? 1437 individual albums were nominated by around 120 contributors. From those,only one album received over 30 votes. If we contrast that with previous Poll-Toppers Forever Changes (45 out of 76) Marquee Moon (65 out of 125) and The Stone Roses (59) it points to a staggering lack of post-millennial consensus, with over 500 titles receiving only one vote. Without question then, the vast majority of our contributors have been listening to – and appreciating – a huge variety of contemporary sounds – far more than I have certainly. For myself, this exercise was always going to be something of an educational experience, overseeing the new list take shape.

The Results?

Block votes inevitably throw up one or two anomalies. Sometimes votes are split: consider the case of Mogwai or Six Organs Of Admittance, both of whom had 7 albums nominated, but neither of whose individual albums managed more than 3 votes – resulting in a frustrating absence from the final 100. More pleasingly, there was a plethora of votes for The Clientele, Low and Broadcast, each of whom is deliciously well represented in the list and rightly so. The most popular artist in terms of the sheer volume of nominations was by some distance, LCD Soundsystem,whose vote was also split very widely.

I’m less surprised about the results than I had anticipated, and know far more of these records than I had expected to know. The poll does not of course claim to be a new canon for the 21st Century, but alongside the other three polls, it should offer a few pointers to those looking to expand their horizons, and if anyone is looking to build a collection of popular music’s greatest 400 albums, they could do a lot worse than start here.

And the winner? Well, it’s somehow fitting that we round off this exercise with pop’s greatest star looking down from the summit, but, fine album though it undoubtedly is, it does somehow feel a little incongruous and unrepresentative – another inevitable consequence of the block vote. Only one person actually placed it as first choice. But there it is. I’m sure many will argue long into the night about its merits, but that’s democracy for you.

Once again, immense thanks to you all for your inspiring recommendations over the last three months. I have been furnished with enough new music to occupy me purposefully for the rest of my life. Now how exactly am I going to find the time to listen to it all? Skim listening just won’t do it. (JJ)

[As is customary, those albums just missing the cut (101-200) are listed in the first Appendix – following the list of contributors. A list of ‘One Vote Wonders’ should appear at the weekend]

………………………………………………..

The Top 100

100. Thunder Lightning Strike – The Go Team (Memphis Industries, 2004)

99. No More Shall We Part – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Mute, 2001)

98. The Drift – Scott Walker (4AD, 2006)

97. Any Other City – Life Without Buildings (Tugboat, 2001)

96. mbv – My Bloody Valentine (m b v, 2013)

95. World Music – Goat (Rocket, 2012)

94. Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill – Grouper (Type, 2008)

93. Norman Fucking Rockwell – Lana Del Ray (Polydor, 2019)

92. Rounds – Four Tet (Domino, 2003)

91. Donuts – J Dilla (Stones Throw, 2006)

90. The Woods – Sleater-Kinney (Sub Pop, 2005)

89. Up The Bracket – The Libertines (Rough Trade, 2002)

88. Turn On The Bright Lights – Interpol (Matador, 2002)

87. Speakerboxxx / The Love Below – OutKast (LaFace. 2003)

86. Raising Sand – Robert Plant / Alison Krauss (Rounder, 2007)

85. Not The Tremblin’ Kind – Laura Cantrell (Spit & Polish, 2000)

84. Voodoo – D’Angelo (Virgin, 2000)

83. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem (DFA, 2005)

82. You Are Free – Cat Power (Matador, 2003)

81. Strange Geometry – The Clientele (Pointy, 2005)

80. Love & Theft – Bob Dylan (Columbia, 2001)

79. Bloom – Beach House (Sub Pop, 2012)

78. Tomorrow’s Harvest – Boards Of Canada (Warp, 2013)

77. Diamond Mine – King Creosote & Jon Hopkins (Domino, 2011)

76. Sometimes I Sit And Think & Sometimes I Just Sit – Courtney Barnett (Milk!, 2015)

75. High Violet – The National (4AD, 2010)

74. Veckatimest – Grizzly Bear (Warp, 2009)

73. Master And Everyone – Bonnie Prince Billy (Drag City, 2003)

72. Lost Souls – Doves (Heavenly, 2000)

71. Time (The Revelator) – Gillian Welch (Acony, 2001)

70. I Love You Honeybear – Fr. John Misty (Bella Union, 2015)

69. The Archandroid – Janelle Monae (Bad Boy, 2010)

68. Kiwanuka – Michael Kiwanuka (Polydor, 2019)

67. The Silver Globe – Jane Weaver (Fire, 2014)

66. Ys – Joanna Newsom (Drag City, 2006)

65. Madvillainy – Madvillain (Stones Throw, 2004)

64. Vespertine – Bjork (One Little Indian, 2001)

63. Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Bad Seed Ltd, 2016)

62. The Greatest – Cat Power (Matador, 2006)

61. Light Up Gold – Parquet Courts (Dull Tools, 2012)

60. Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains (Drag City, 2019)

59. Party – Aldous Harding (4AD, 2017)

58. Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven – Godspeed You! Black Emperor (Constellation, 2000)

57. Good Kid MAAd City – Kendrick Lamar (Top Dawg, 2012)

56. Modern Kosmology – Jane Weaver (Fire, 2017)

55. Sea Change – Beck (Geffen, 2002)

54. Want One – Rufus Wainwright (DreamWorks, 2003)

53. Original Pirate Material – The Streets (Locked On / 679 Recordings, 2002)

52. Haha Sound – Broadcast (Warp, 2003)

51. LCD Soundsystem – LCD Soundsystem (DFA, 2005)

50. Channel Orange – Frank Ocean (Def Jam, 2012)

49. Oracular Spectacular – MGMT (Red Ink, 2007)

48. Tender Buttons – Broadcast (Warp, 2005)

47. Lost In The Dream – The War On Drugs (Secretly Canadian, 2014)

46. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend (XL, 2008)

45. For Emma Forever Ago – Bon Iver (Jagiaguwar, 2007)

44. Oceans Apart – The Go-Betweens (LO-MAX, 2005)

43. Teen Dream – Beach House (Sub Pop, 2010)

42. Since I Left You – The Avalanches (Modular, 2000)

41. Songs For The Deaf – Queens Of The Stone Age (Interscope, 2002)

40. The Noise Made By People – Broadcast (Warp, 2000)

39. Before Today – Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (4AD, 2010)

38. Rings Around The World – Super Furry Animals (Epic, 2001)

37. Untrue – Burial (Hyperdub, 2007)

36. American IV: The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash (American Recordings, 2002)

35. Halcyon Digest – Deerhunter (4AD, 2010)

34. Things We Lost In The Fire – Low (Kranky, 2001)

33. Carrie & Lowell – Sufjan Stevens Asthmatic Kitty, 2015)

32. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not – Arctic Monkeys (Domino, 2006)

31. Currents – Tame Impala (Modular, 2015)

30. I Am A Bird Now – Antony & The Johnsons (Secretly Canadian, 2005)

29. White Blood Cells – White Stripes (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 2001)

28. Suburban Light – The Clientele (Pointy, 2000)

27. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots – The Flaming Lips (Warner Bros, 2002)

26. Nixon – Lambchop (Merge, 2000)

25. And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out – Yo La Tengo (Matador, 2000)

24. XTRMNTR – Primal Scream (Creation, 2000)

23. Double Negative – Low (Sub Pop, 2018)

22. Elephant – The White Stripes (V2, 2003)

21. Lonerism – Tame Impala (Modular, 2012)

20. Figure 8 – Elliot Smith (DreamWorks, 2000)

19. In Rainbows – Radiohead (self-released, 2007)

18. Push The Sky Away – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Bad Seed Ltd, 2013)

17. Queen Of Denmark – John Grant (Bella Union, 2010)

16. Third – Portishead (Island, 2008)

15. Have You In My Wilderness – Julia Holter (Domino, 2015)

14. Back To Black – Amy Winehouse (Island, 2006)

13. Geogaddi – Boards Of Canada (Warp, 2002)

12. Come On Feel The Illinoise – Sufjan Stevens (Asthmatic Kitty, 2005)

11. The Trials Of Van Occupanther – Midlake (Bella Union, 2006)

10. Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea – PJ Harvey (Island, 2000)

9. To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar (Top Dawg, 2015)

8. Kid A – Radiohead (Parlophone, 2000)

7. Is This It? – The Strokes (RCA, 2001)

6. Funeral – Arcade Fire (Merge, 2004)

5. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Wilco (Nonesuch, 2001)

4. Sound Of Silver – LCD Soundsystem (DFA, 2007)

3. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (Bella Union, 2008)

2. Let England Shake – PJ Harvey (Island, 2011)

1. Blackstar – David Bowie (ISO / RCA, 2016)

…………………………………………………..

Contributors:

Bill Ainsworth, Camilla Aisa, Michael Bailey (Soft Hearted Scientists), Andy Barratt, Billy Bell, Caroline Binnie, Nick Blakey (Underground Jukebox), Chris Bounds, Holly Boyd, Stephen Boyd, Johnny Browning, David Bruce, Helen Bull, Kevin Byrne, Julie Campbell (LoneLady / Warp Records), Marc (Captain Howdy), Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance), Lucy Clifton, Si Cole, Chris Coleman, Mike Convery, Joe Currie, Campbell Davidson, Laura Lee Davies, Steve Davies, Jon Dennis, Mick Derrick, Neil Douglas, Lionel Duffy, Seamus Duggan, Maureen Dunlop, Peter Ferguson, Jim Ferry, Jason Finch, Declan Flanagan, Feargus Flanagan, Paul Gallagher, Carl Goldspink, Ben Graham, Grasshopper (Sean Mackowiak / Mercury Rev), Darren Grayer, Andrew Hall, Jeff Hartley, Mark Hillier, Robert Hodgens, Dan Holway, Jane Hoskyn, Maartje Jansma, Sophie Jay, James Johnstone, Johnnie Johnstone, Martin Johnstone, Peter Johnstone, Allan Jones, David Keller, Harris King, William Knott, Peter Latimer, Julian Francis Lawton, Paul Lowman, John Marcus, Rob Martindell, Leon Massey, Will McAlpine, Jim McCulloch, Alastair Macduff, Douglas McIntyre, Gary McKenzie, Grant McPhee, Fiona McQuarrie, John Medd, Graham Meikle, Thom Moore, Rob Morgan, Tony Mulraney, Paul Murray, Peter Murray, Huw Neill, Brendan O’Leary, Richard Oxley, Jake Palmer, Thomas Patterson, Mark Paytress, Richard Phillips-Jones, Andy Pidluznyi (New Apostles), Nick Portnell, Brian Randall, Steve Rhodes, Don Richmond, Chris Roberts, Matt Rogers, Coinneach Rooney, Marco Rossi, Martin Ruddock, Chris Sawle, Jo Scollin, Paul Scollin, David Sharp, Amy Shaw, Simon Shaw, Angela Slaven, Jonathan Small, Jason A Spence, Arthur David Spota, Iain Stansfield, Theo Stockman, David Stubbs, Daniel Thompson, Terry Tochel, Ben Travers, Paul Turnbull, Iain Wade, Judah Warsky, Richard Waterson, Stevie Watt, Helen Whiteley-McPhee, Dominic Whittingham, Peter Wilson, Winna Ding, Sandy Wishart, David Wright, Jack Young, Bill Zzuka

…………………………………………………….

The Next 100…

101. You Want It Darker – Leonard Cohen

102. Fever To Tell – The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

103. Heartbreaker – Ryan Adams

104. Lesser Matters – The Radio Dept

105. One Day I’m Going To Soar – Dexys

106. Born To Die – Lana Del Ray

107. Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle – Bill Callahan

108. I’m New Here – Gil Scott-Heron

109. Quiet Songs – Jessica Pratt

110. Modern Times – Bob Dylan

111. Monomania – Deerhunter

112. The Great Destroyer – Low

113. Yellow House – Grizzly Bear

114. Teens Of Denial – Carseat Headrest

115. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire

116. Insignificance– Jim O’Rourke

117. Chutes Too Narrow – The Shins

118. Relationship Of Command – At The Drive-In

119. Rated R – Queens Of The Stone Age

120. Person Pitch – Panda Bear

121. Let’s Get Out Of This Country– Camera Obscura

122. Shields – Grizzly Bear

123. Brothers – Black Keys

124. Human Performance – Parquet Courts

125. Stay Gold – First Aid Kit

126. Sun Structures – Temples

127. Aerial – Kate Bush

128. Morning Phase – Beck

129. Blonde – Frank Ocean

130. The Next Day – David Bowie

131. Primary Colours – The Horrors

132. Sophtware Slump – Grandaddy

133. On Your Own Love Again – Jessica Pratt

134. The Power Out – Electrelane

135. Riot On An Empty Street – Kings Of Convenience

136. Yeezus– Kanye West

137. Oh Inverted World – Shins

138. The Real New Fall Album (Country On The Click) – The Fall

139. Joy As An Act Of Resistance – Idles

140. Depression Cherry – Beach House

141. Crack Up – Fleet Foxes

142. Abattoir Blues / Lyre Of Orpheus – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

143. Supreme Clientele – Ghostface Killah

144. Black Messiah– D’Angelo

145. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

146. The Decline Of British Sea Power – British Sea Power

147. Discovery – Daft Punk

148. Post Pop Depression – Iggy Pop

149. Wooden Shjips – Wooden Shjips

150. Hinterland – LoneLady

151. Cole’s Corner – Richard Hawley

152. Campfire Headphase – Boards Of Canada

153. All Mirrors – Angel Olsen

154. We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service – A Tribe Called Quest

155. Your Queen Is A Reptile – Sons Of Kemet

156. Want Two – Rufus Wainwright

157. Your Future Our Clutter – The Fall

158. Slowdive – Slowdive

159. Hail To The Thief – Radiohead

160. The Age Of The Understatement – Last Shadow Puppets

161. > – Beak

162. The Life Pursuit – Belle & Sebastian

163. Ease Down The Road – Bonnie Prince Billy

164. Ghosteen – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

165. Sung Tongs – Animal Collective

166. Stankonia – OutKast

167. Takk – Sigur Ros

168. Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes

169. Bisch Bosch – Scott Walker

170. Real Gone – Tom Waits

171. Hot Shots 2 – The Beta Band

172. The xx – The xx

173. A Ghost Is Born – Wilco

174. The Coral – The Coral

175. Tanglewood Numbers – Silver Jews

176. Margerine Eclipse – Stereolab

177. Devotion– Beach House

178. Bravery Repetition & Noise – Brian Jonestown Massacre

179. Beet Maize & Corn – High Llamas

180. Transfiguration Of Vincent – M Ward

181. White Chalk – PJ Harvey

182. The Epic – Kamasi Washington

183. Merriweather Post Pavilion – Animal Collective

184. Cucumber – Sexual Objects

185. Arular – MIA

186. Dongs Of Sevotion – Smog

187. My Maudlin Career – Camera Obscura

188. Designer – Aldous Harding

189. Ghosts Of The Great Highway – Sun Kil Moon

190. Let It Come Down – Spiritualized

191. Bavarian Fruit Bread – Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions

192. Titanic Rising – Weyes Blood

193. Rest – Charlotte Gainsbourg

194. Slow Summits – The Pastels

195. The Age Of Adz – Sufjan Stevens

196. Do Hollywood – Lemon Twigs

197. Kaputt – Destroyer

198. Ballad Of The Broken Seas – Isobel Campbell / Mark Lanegan

199. Bon Iver – Bon Iver

200. The English Riviera – Metronomy

……………………………….

And now for something completely different…

One Vote Wonders

Over 500 titles received only one vote. Here are 100 of the more interesting nominations…

Hinterland – Aim

Always – Anti-Socialites

Drukqs – Aphex Twin

Citrus – Asobi Seksu

Moo You Bloody Choir – Augie March

David Axelrod– David Axelrod

Jackleg Devotional To The Heart – Baptist Generals

Disintegration Loops – William Basinski

Every Step’s A Yes – The Bees

The Owl’s Map – Belbury Poly (Jim Jupp)

Antlers And The Sun And All The Things That Grow Old And Pass Away – Bird By Snow

A Sea Of Trees – The Blue Angel Lounge

Childqueen – Khadja Bonet

Hunter – Anna Calvi

Transverse – Carter Tutti Void

Popcorn Doublefish – Malcolm Catto

The Longest River – Olivia Chaney

X-Pianos – Chassol

The Cherry Blossoms – The Cherry Blossoms

Cheval Sombre – Cheval Sombre

Black Ships Ate The Sky – Current 93

Working Class Woman – Marie Davidson

You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine – Death From Above 1979

A Long Losing Battle With Eloquence & Intimance – Dredd Foole

Runout Groove – Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time

Here’s My Song, You Can Have It, I Don’t Want It Anymore / Yours 4-Ever – Nicolai Dunger

Allegranza! – El Guincho

We Are All From Somewhere Else – Exploding Star Orchestra

Devin Dazzle & The Neon Fever – Felix da Housecat

La Reproduction – Arnaud Fleurent-Didier

Record Collector – The Foreign Films

Insides – Fort Romeau

Personal Record – Eleanor Freidberger

Cabinet Of Curiosities – Jacco Gardner

Pop – Gas

Ghost Dog (The Way Of The Samurai) – Original Soundtrack

Underdog World Strike – Gogol Bordello

The Days Of Mars – Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russon

Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs – Henry Gorecki / Beth Gibbons

The Art Of Funerary Violin – The Guild Of Funerary Violinists

Y Dydd Olaf – Gwenno

In The Pink Of Condition – H. Hawkline

Fletcher Moss Park – Matthew Halsall

Black Blues – Keiji Hano

Excavation – The Haxan Cloak

Bright Penny – Liam Hayes & Plush

Health – The Heavy Blinkers

Chiaroscuro – Arve Henriksen

Proto – Holly Herndon

Human Don’t Be Angry – Human Don’t Be Angry

Edge Of A Dream – Bert Jansch

Black Origami – Jlin

Orpheé – Johann Johannson

100 Days, 100 Nights – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Take Me Apart – Kelela

Dracula Boots – Kid Congo Powers & The Monkey Birds

Kite – Steven Lindsay

Nerve Up – LoneLady

Hoverance- Raleigh Long

I Trawl The Megahertz– Paddy McAloon

Something For The Weakened – Meursault

MM Food – MF Doom

Les Revenants – Mogwai

The Moldy Peaches – The Moldy Peaches

Morgan Delt – Morgan Delt

Nichts Muss – Barbara Morgenstern

Entranced Earth – The Myrrors

Songs III: Bird On The Water – Marissa Nadler

Variations On A Theme – Om

Forroleidescope – Orquestra do Fuba

Heavy Rain – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry

Reachy Prints – Plaid

Music For Small’s Lighthouse – Plinth

Moses On A Snail – Robert Pollard

Your Mind Is A Box (Let Us Fill It With Wonder) – Poltergeist

Paranoic Critical – Port Sulphur

The Two Worlds – Brigid Mae Power

1992 – Princess Nokia

The Dark Realities Of The Moment – Professor Brian Oblivion

Matador Singles ’08 – Jay Reatard

Because Her Beauty Is Raw & Wild – Jonathan Richman

The Colossus – RJD2

A Wonder Working Stone – Alasdair Roberts & Friends

Hope Downs – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

How To Live With A Phantom – Shintaro Sakamoto

Live In The Earth: In Dub Chapter 2 – Sandoz

Coping Mechanisms – Si Schroeder

The Bells Of 1 2 – Sol Seppy

Whorl – Simian Mobile Disco

Ascent – Six Organs Of Admittance

EARS – Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve – The Soft Bounce

His Hands – Candi Staton

Funeral Mariachi – Sun City Girls

Pyroclasts – Sunn O)))

Bastard – Tyler The Creator

Thing Of The Past – Vetiver

Turning To The Rooster – Vibracathedral Orchestra

Also In White – Bill Wells Trio

Briarwood – Wooden Wand

Songbook – Woodpigeon

TNPC presents…THE 100 GREATEST ALBUMS MADE BETWEEN 1986-99

Greatest Records
Begin The Begin

The NME’s all-time top 100 of 1985, which marks the cut-off point for our second poll and the beginning of our third, fixed in the public imagination both the concept and the content of The Canon. There had, of course, been similar lists before  – not least the NME’s initial one in 1974, which set the boundary for our first poll – but they had been comparatively few and seemed to cause few wider ripples.

The 1985 list, though, cast up a barrage of talking points of talking points and set the template for innumerable future lists, including NME reruns, although many simply appeared to shuffle the same albums into a different order and freshen it up with a few more recent releases.
But crucially, its also opened up a raft of, for many, hitherto obscure or unconsidered influences to be plundered  for years to come. It often seems that albums which recur on these lists are more often talked about than played, and those who claim their influence sometimes appear to have only half-heard them through a haze at 5am on numerous mid-’90s Sundays, but curiosity was undoubtedly piqued and that decade, in particular, would prove to be ripe for reinventing the funk, rusticity and hallucinations of another age.
Love Goes On!
The following decade and a half passed through three or four distinct phases and the landscape by the end of the millennium bore as little resemblance to the mid-80s as the mid-80s to the early 70s, or the Jazz Age to the Edwardian era.

In 1986, things were as fragmented and as polarised as they had ever been, with a particularly garish mainstream, the C86 scene which proudly defined itself against rock at its most troglodyte and pop at its naffest alike and the burgeoning house and hip-hop sounds which would come to conquer the solar system. Others didn’t fit into such tidy boxes – The Smiths, Prince, REM, Madonna – but their reward was to epitomise the era.

A lack of cohesion of this kind usually means a blank canvas and so it was that we saw the celebrated and extraordinary blizzard of creativity of 1988.  My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, Talk Talk and Pixies were among those who, independently but simulmtaneously, hit redoubtable peaks. Better still, they all sustained it with their follow-ups.

Also part of this glorious stampede was Happy Mondays’ Bummed, a cool-as-February bacchanal of physical possibilities, terrifying realities and scrambled visions. Early in 1989, I expressed the hope that it would shape the ’90s; it would, but not as I imagined. Like the Pogues and the Specials, for all their own brilliance, the Mondays’ influence would prove to be largely malign as they spawned a battery of hapless and sometimes horrible imitators. As did their Manc yang, the Stone Roses, of whom more later.

The alignment of both, particularly the Roses, to dance and acid house was, musically if not otherwise, occasionally vivid, more often vague, at times plain spurious. Those scenes were, as its staunchest  advocates were quick to remind us, an entirely different language which had no more in common with rock in any form  than Sanskrit has with Finnish. It came in on a wave of Chicago glory, unleashed drum and bass and delivered well over a decade of thrills, with or without pills.

But for a couple of years in the early ’90s, the nosebleed sound – which made so few demands on the listener that it barely seemed to exist – threatened to derail the whole thing. It coincided with a procession of bands whose primary influence was not the Who or the Clash or the Smiths or Pixies but the Wonderstuff, like a writer inspired more by Jeffrey Archer than by Dickens. Meanwhile, Nirvana brought a sound an attitude to the mainstream that had led from Black Flag, Minor Threat, the Minutemen and Husker Du – and led to Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.

Aye, they were a bleak time, the early ’90s. There was an upturn in the middle of the decade; Britpop may not ultimately have proved to be much more than a sugar rush but it did clear the air, although its own mould began to grow fast. The real action, though, was happening elsewhere.

After The Flood!

So what do we all see over the millennium bridge of 1986-99? It’s a vast horizon, broad enough to accommodate Paul Simon and the Aphex Twin, Lucinda Williams and the Wu- Tang Clan, Slint and Air. Plenty in here that you could lose yourself in – for me, the likes of Laughingstock, Mezzanine and Ladies & Gentlemen…in the words of Robert Christgau”(repay) prolonged listening with new excitement and insight.

Many I love. Many I like a great deal. None I actively dislike. Quite a few I’d like to explore further. But naturally, some I look for in vain; personal favourites such as the Band Of Holy Joy, High Llamas and Blue Aeroplanes have, despite  my own efforts, failed to gain the required support.

It’s gratifying to see my own number one, Spirit Of Eden, in the top 10. Its magic and mystery had been widely acknowledged long before Mark Hollis’ premature death last year and had even longer since been detached from the disbelief on its release that such a rich, complex and dazzlingly beautiful record had been made by a band peddling tracing paper-thin synth tunes a few years earlier (though we now know Hollis had aspired to these heights all along but limited resources had thwarted his ambition).

Pleasing as  well to see showings for the likes of Galaxie 500 and Mary Margaret O’Hara, both of whom had magnificent mayfly careers in the late ’80s and early ’90s but are now at risk of being lost to history. We’ve covered the latter and should have the former in the pipeline; that’s our job.

It wasn’t a great surprise to see the Stone Roses’ debut at the top; its popularity and influence aren’t in any doubt but I’ve always found it more than somewhat overrated. This isn’t to say that I thinks it’s a bad record; at its best, it proved that, after years of indie discos filling floors with music that could only be twitched to stiffly, they proved that this music could still be dance music. I just think there’s any number of records in a similar field that have better songs, more imagination, more guile – and haven’t  had the life sucked out of them by unending plays on Absolute Radio and XFM.

But I’m with former NME editor Steve Sutherland, who always maintained they were “a pretty good band” while remaining bewildered by the fuss, and your vote stands. Many thanks for taking part (PG).

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Like many of the other contributors to this, the third TNPC poll, I found the task of selecting my own personal Top 30 an extraordinarily uncomfortable one. That contrasted sharply with the previous polls. A considerable amount of time has passed since 1985 and the distance from then until now made it comparatively easy to remain objective in one’s analysis of the music made before then. But for my TNPC colleagues and I, just as for many of you, on this occasion objectivity did not and could not, enter the equation: this was our time, straddling the period between the twilight of our teenage years and ending well after the clock had struck thirty and we’d suddenly transformed into those hoary guys who create conspicuous little spaces around themselves at the odd gig they still manage to limp along to. It was a time which witnessed the golden era of hip-hop, an explosion in electronic music, the grunge phenomenon and something which came to be known as Britpop, most of which was so crassly opportunistic it had us reaching for the sick bag. The era was littered with records by cult favourites such as Felt, Low, Guided By Voices, The Durutti Column, The Chills and The Lilac Time, but unsurprisingly those artists seem destined never to feature prominently in this type of list. Likewise, my faint hopes that Mettle, It’s Time For Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Mercy Street and Stop Your Nonsense might dent the chart were soon vanquished by a steady stream of votes for more familiar fare. But the fact that one or two others voted for them at all felt like a small victory. It has been a pleasant surprise too to note artists such as Stereolab, Galaxie 500 and Mick Head / Shack move in from the margins to compete with the big hitters, and if I feel more than a little disappointed by the predictability of the top two, that is partly compensated for by the inclusion of some unheralded cult gems such as Rise Above and Forever Breathes The Lonely World in the Auxiliary Chart, both of which contrived to outscore the bazillion-selling Goliaths that are What’s The Story Morning Glory? (which finished up at no. 221!) and The Joshua Tree. Which is of course very much the spirit of TNPC, where on these pages – for the rest of the year at least – we continue to champion the music of the underdog.

Finally, just remember, whether the poll enthuses or enrages you, the only list that really matters is the one inside your head. Next stop the 21st Century…a whole new world of sound beyond the ‘canon’. Coming soon… (JJ)

[As is customary, the Auxiliary Chart of those albums placed 101-200, follows at the end of the main list, while the ‘One Vote Wonders’ list will be published soon.]

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The Top 100…

100. Yerself Is Steam – Mercury Rev (Mint Films / Jungle Records, 1991)

99. Sister – Sonic Youth (SST, 1987)

98. Infected – The The (Some Bizarre / Epic, 1986)

97. Ragged Glory – Neil Young & Crazy Horse (Reprise, 1990)

96. Darklands – The Jesus & Mary Chain (Blanco y Negro, 1987)

95. Radiator – Super Furry Animals (Creation, 1997)

94. You’re Living All Over Me – Dinosaur (SST, 1987)

93. XO – Elliott Smith (Dreamworks, 1998)

92. Harvest Moon – Neil Young (Reprise, 1992)

91. Miss America – Mary Margaret O’Hara (Virgin, 1988)

90. The Colour Of Spring – Talk Talk (EMI, 1986)

89. Car Wheels On A Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams (Mercury, 1998)

88. Dots & Loops – Stereolab (Duophonic, 1997)

87. The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest (Jove, 1991)

86. Today – Galaxie 500 (Aurora, 1988)

85. Copper Blue – Sugar (Creation, 1992)

84. Dog Man Star – Suede (Nude, 1994)

83. In Utero – Nirvana (DGC, 1993)

82. Blood & Chocolate – Elvis Costello & The Attractions (Demon, 1996)

81. Jordan: The Comeback – Prefab Sprout (Kitchenware, 1990)

80. Definitely Maybe – Oasis (Creation, 1994)

79. Nowhere – Ride (Creation, 1990)

78. Goo – Sonic Youth (Warner Bros, 1990)

77. Waterpistol – Shack (Marina, 1996)

76. Odelay – Beck (DGC, 1996)

75. The Boatman’s Call – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Mute, 1997)

74. California – American Music Club (Demon, 1988)

73. I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One – Yo La Tengo (Matador, 1997)

72. Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot – Sparklehorse (Capitol, 1995)

71. Giant Steps – Boo Radleys (Creation, 1993)

70. Document – REM (IRS, 1987)

69. HMS Fable – Shack (London, 1999)

68. The House Of Love (Creation, 1988)

67. Liquid Swords – GZA (Geffen, 1996)

66. Reading Writing & Arithmetic – The Sundays (Rough Trade, 1990)

65. Tilt – Scott Walker (Fontana, 1995)

64. Spiderland – Slint (Touch & Go, 1991)

63. Bend Sinister – The Fall (Beggars Banquet, 1996)

62. Songs For Drella – Lou Reed / John Cale (Sire, 1990)

61. Graceland – Paul Simon (Warner Bros, 1986)

60. Nevermind – Nirvana (DGC, 1991)

59. Slanted & Enchanted – Pavement (Matador 1992)

58. Moon Safari – Air (Virgin, 1997)

57. Secrets Of The Beehive – David Sylvian (Virgin, 1987)

56. Warehouse: Songs & Stories – Hüsker Dü (Warner Bros, 1987)

55. Parade – Prince (Warner Bros, 1986)

54. The Magical World of The Strands – Michael Head & The Strands (Megaphone, 1997)

53. Fear of A Black Planet – Public Enemy (Def Jam, 1988)

52. She Hangs Brightly – Mazzy Star (Rough Trade, 1990)

51. If I Should Fall From Grace With God – The Pogues (Pogue Mahone, 1988)

50. Emperor Tomato Ketchup – Stereolab (Duophonic, 1996)

49. Songs From Northern Britain – Teenage Fanclub (Creation, 1997)

48. Selected Ambient Works 85-92 – Aphex Twin (Apollo, 1992)

47. Disintegration – The Cure (Fiction, 1989)

46. New York – Lou Reed (Sire, 1989)

45. Maxinquaye – Tricky (4th & Broadway, 1995)

44. Automatic For The People – REM (Warner Bros, 1992)

43. Laser Guided Melodies – Spiritualized (Dedicated, 1992)

42. Mezzanine – Massive Attack (Circa, 1997)

41. Green – REM (Warner Bros, 1988)

40. Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys (Capitol, 1989)

39. The La’s (Go!, 1990)

38. Bummed – Happy Mondays (Factory, 1988)

37. It’s A Shame About Ray – The Lemonheads (Warner Bros, 1992)

36. Grand Prix – Teenage Fanclub (Creation, 1995)

35. If You’re Feeling Sinister – Belle & Sebastian (1996)

34. Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express – The Go-Betweens (1986)

33. Hats – The Blue Nile (1989)

32. Isn’t Anything – My Bloody Valentine (Creation. 1988)

31. Grace – Jeff Buckley (Columbia, 1994)

30. Endtroducing – DJ Shadow (Mo Wax!, 1996)

29. Blue Bell Knoll – Cocteau Twins (4AD, 1988)

28. Music Has The Right To Children – Boards Of Canada (Warp, 1998)

27. Laughingstock – Talk Talk (Parlophone, 1991)

26. Time Out Of Mind – Bob Dylan (Columbia, 1997)

25. Deserters Songs – Mercury Rev (V2, 1998)

24. Life’s Rich Pageant – REM (IRS, 1986)

23. 16 Lovers Lane – The Go-Betweens (Beggars Banquet, 1988)

22. Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – Wi-Tang Clan (Loud, 1993)

21. Crooked Rain Crooked Rain – Pavement (Matador, 1994)

20. Heaven Or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins (4AD, 1990)

19. Dummy – Portishead (Go! Beat, 1994)

18. Blue Lines – Massive Attack (Wild Bunch / Virgin, 1991)

17. On Fire – Galaxie 500 (1989)

16. OK Computer – Radiohead (Parlophone, 1997)

15. Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space – Spiritualized (Dedicated, 1997)

14. Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth (Blast First, 1988)

13. Bandwagonesque – Teenage Fanclub (Creation, 1991)

12. Technique – New Order (1989)

11. Screamadelica – Primal Scream (Creation, 1991)

10. The Soft Bulletin – The Flaming Lips (1999)

9. Sign O The Times – Prince (Warner Bros, 1987)

8. Spirit Of Eden – Talk Talk (Parlophone, 1988)

7. 3 Feet High & Rising – De La Soul (Tommy Boy, 1989)

6. Surfer Rosa – Pixies (4AD, 1988)

5. Loveless – My Bloody Valentine (Creation, 1991)

4. Doolittle – Pixies (4AD, 1989)

3. It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back – Public Enemy (Def Jam, 1988)

2. The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths (Rough Trade, 1986)

1. The Stone Roses (Silvertone, 1989)

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The Next 100:

101. Mogwai- Come On Die Young

102. St. Etienne – Foxbase Alpha

103. Neutral Milk Hotel – In An Aeroplane Over The Sea

104. Silver Jews – American Water

105. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Your Funeral, My Trial

106. The Breeders – Last Splash

107. Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man

108. Plush – More You Becomes You

109. Pulp – Different Class

110. Dinosaur Jr. – Bug

111. Bjork – Debut

112. Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking

113. The Cure – Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

114. Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible

115. Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs

116. Wilco – Summerteeth

117. Julee Cruise – Floating Into The Night

118. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full

119. Kate Bush – The Sensual World

120. The Chills – Kaleidoscope World

121. The Fall – Extricate

122. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Tender Prey

123. Underworld – Dubnobasswithmyheadman

124. XTC – Skylarking

125. The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional

126. High Llamas – Hawaii

127. Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap

128. Guided By Voices – Bee Thousand

129. Radiohead – The Bends

130. Johnny Cash – American Recordings

131. Electronic – Electronic

132. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream

133. The Costello Show – King Of America

134. Depeche Mode – Violator

135. Hüsker Dü – Candy Apple Grey

136. Tindersticks – Tindersticks (first)

137. The Lilac Time – The Lilac Time

138. Wilco – Being There

139. Epic Soundtracks – Rise Above

140. Felt – Forever Breathes The Lonely Word

141. Big Black – Atomizer

142. Paul Weller – Wildwood

143. Sebadoh – Bakesale

144. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Good Son

145. Bonnie Prince Billy – I See A Darkness

146. Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire

147. Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years

148. Beastie Boys – Ill Communication

149. Beastie Boys – Check Your Head

150. Edwyn Collins – Gorgeous George

151. Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish

152. Tindersticks – Tindersticks (second)

153. A Tribe Called Quest – People’s Instinctive Travels…

154. Elliot Smith – Either Or

155. High Llamas – Gideon Gaye

156. The Orb – Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld

157. NAS – Illmatic

158. Stereolab – Mars Audiac Quintet

159. AR Kane – 69

160. The Chills – Submarine Bells

161. Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription

162. David Bowie – 1. Outside

163. Blur – Parklife

164. U2 – The Joshua Tree

165. Suede – Suede

166. The Replacements – Pleased To Meet Me

167. Mogwai – Young Team

168. The Cramps – A Date With Elvis

169. Grant Hart – Intolerance

170. Goldie – Timeless

171. The KLF – Chill Out

172. George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1

173. PJ Harvey – Rid Of Me

174. REM – Out Of Time

175. The Go-Betweens – Tallulah

176.. Whipping Boy – Heartworm

177. Daft Punk – Homework

178. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush The Show

179. Beck – Mellow Gold

180. St. Etienne – So Tough

181. Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session

182. Radiohead – Pablo Honey

183. U2 – Achtung Baby

184. Etienne DeCrecy – Super Discount

185. Leftfield – Leftism

186. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged

187. Felt – Me And A Monkey On The Moon

188. Julian Cope – Peggy Suicide

189. Stereolab – Transient Random-Noise Bursts…

190. Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills & Bellyaches

191. The Fall – Shiftwork

192. The Breeders – Pod

193. The Wedding Present – Seamonsters

194. Gang Starr – Step In The Arena

195. The Durutti Column – Vini Reilly

196. Momus – The Poison Boyfriend

197. Slowdive – Souvlaki

198. Arthur Russell – World Of Echo

199. Thin White Rope – Moonhead

200. Throwing Muses – The Real Ramona

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Strange, Sublime or still loved by some… (One Vote Wonders 1986-99)

Barry Adamson – Oedipus Schmoedipus

Apples In Stereo – Tone Soul Evolution

Autechre – Tri Repetae

B12 – Time Tourist
Baader Meinhof – Baader Meinhof
Basic Channel – BCD
The Bodines – Played
Bongwater – Too Much Sleep
Black Science Orchestra – Walter’s Room
Bronco Bullfrog – Bronco Bullfrog
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Their Satanic Majesties Request
The Cardiacs – Sing To God
The Chamber Strings – Gospel Morning 
Chorchozade – Made To Be Devoured
Coil – Astral Disaster
Bobby Conn – Rise Up!
The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover (OST)
Current 93 – Swastikas For Noddy
Holger Czukay – Rome Remains Rome
Damon & Naomi – More Sad Hits
Richard Davies – There’s Never Been A Crowd Like This 
Miles Davis & Michel Legrand – Dingo
Dead Moon – Unknown Passage
DreamWarriors – And Now The Legacy Begins
EPMD – Strictly Business
Eno / Cale – Wrong Way Up
John Fahey – Red Cross
Tav Falco’s Panther Burns – Red Devil
Field Mice – Snowball
Robbie Fulks – South Mouth
Godspeed You Black Emperor – Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada EP
Jean Luis Guerra – Bachata Rosa
The Gun Club – Mother Juno
A Guy Called Gerald – Black Secret Technology
Half Japanese – The Band That Would Be King 
Roland S Howard – Teenage Snuff Film
Hugo Largo – Drum
Zakir Hussain – Making Music
Jazz Butcher – Cult Of The Basement
Daniel Johnston- 1990
Jungle Brothers – Done By The Forces Of Nature
Katherine – Les Creatures
Kreisler String Orchestra – 226
Laughing Hyenas – Life Of Crime
LL Cool J – Radio
Low – Christmas
Luna – Penthouse
Lush – Scar
Luxuria – Unanswerable Lust
MC Solaar – Prose Combat
Madder Rose – Bring It Down
Kirsty McColl – Kite

Grant McLennan – Fireboy

Mekons – The Mekons’ Rock’n’Roll

Missy Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly

Morphine – Cure For Pain

Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares – Vol. 3

Negativland – Escape From Noise
Olivia Tremor Control – Black Foliage

Opal – Early Recordings

Orbital – In Sides

Augustus Pablo- Rising Sun

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra – On The Level, You’re A Little Devil

The Pastels – Mobile Safari

Pere Ubu – The Tenement Year

Lee Perry – From The Secret Laboratory

Louis Philippe – Azure

Prince – The Black Album

Steve Reich – Different Trains

Jonathan Richman – I’m So Confused

Kevin Rowland – The Wanderer

Royal Trux – Cats & Dogs

Salt ‘n’ Pepa – Hot, Cool, Vicious

Scott 4 – Works Project

The Sea & Cake – The Fawn

Shop Assistants – Shop Assistants

Silver Sun – Silver Sun