The greatest album you’ve never heard of

Andrew Heskins’s vinyl obsession began early, with his parent’s collection of Motown, pop and disco. Then, in the 1990s, Heskins discovered acid jazz, a genre that was influenced by 70s funk and disco. Easy access to car boot sales and charity shops allowed Heskins to snap up older records for cheap. Now 43, Heskins has […]

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Essential Listening: Michael Chapman – Deal Gone Down (CD)

1974 album features Chapman on guitar with Nigel Pegrum on drums, Rick Kemp on bass, Maddy Prior and Bridget St.John on backing vocals. Includes bonus tracks. 1. The Rock N Roll Jigley 2. Party Pieces 3. Another Season Song 4. Stranger Passing By 5. Used To Be 6. Deal Gone Down 7. The Banjo Song […]

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Essential Listening: Fillmore Auditorium – February 5, 1967 (2CD) by Quicksilver Messenger Service

One of the very earliest known live recordings by psychedelic jam band legends who conquered San Francisco and later the world, Quicksilver Messenger Service! Features the rare Jim Murphy-led 5 piece line-up laying down the acid blues grooves the band would follow throughout their career with tracks such as Suzy Q, Smokestack Lightnin , Babe […]

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Essential Listening: The Band – Academy of Music: Live At The Academy of Music 1971 (Ltd. Deluxe Boxset)

A five-disc deluxe box set celebrating The Band‘s 1972 live album Rock Of Ages. Rock Of Ages was originally a 2LP set compiled from recordings made during The Band’s series of shows in late December 1971, at the Academy of Music in New York City, where they were augmented by a five-man horn section, with arrangements by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint. Although details […]

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Stone Roses: Still Mad for It after all these years A Stone Roses gig in 1990 was the defining moment of the indie scene. James Mottram watches a new film that revisits the legendary concert

From the archives: The sign says Spike Island was the “birthplace of the British chemical industry”. Well, that’s one way of putting it. For any music fan, the Widnes wildlife haven is synonymous with a more recent event: May 27, 1990, when The Stone Roses played their near-mythical gig to 27,000 fans. A genuine “were […]

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Essential Listening: Ten Years After – Stonehenged (2CD)

Ten Years After are an English blues rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200, and are best known for tracks such as “I’m […]

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John Cage (1912-92) Ten ways to fall in love with Cage

Philip Clark travels to Manhattan and absorbs the sounds surrounding the composer’s apartment in order to understand why Cage wrote the things he did. For those new to Cage’s philosophies and music, here are ten points of departure… 1) Gramophone recommended recording: The Seasons. Suite for Toy Piano (orch L Harrison) Concerto for Prepared Piano […]

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Ten myths about grunge, Nirvana and Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain loved Abba, wasn’t from Seattle and didn’t invent grunge. Everett True, the man who pushed the singer’s wheelchair on stage for his last UK show, sets the record straight. I was first flown out to Seattle at the start of 1989. I’d been asked by Melody Maker to write a cover story on […]

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Essential Listening: Giant Sand – Heartbreak Pass (CD)

The forthcoming album, Heartbreak Pass, by seminal alt-country/ rock band Giant Sand marks their 30th anniversary.  Individually, each track on the record looms large on its own but, when heard as one complete offering, you know that you are listening to something very, very special.  The Arizona desert has been a predominate theme and source […]

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Essential Listening: Live At The Troubadour 1969 (CD) by Tim Buckley

First unearthed in 1994, this live recording from Buckley’s “Happy/Sad” period received rave reviews and has been well-received by his fans “As this and other live Buckley albums prove, the singer’s live performance took him and his audience to another level entirely. Captured here in his most creatively fertile period (circa Blue Afternoon/Happy Sad), Buckley […]

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Essential Listening: David Bowie & friends – Birthday Celebration (Live In NYC 1997) (2CD)

A new live album recorded at his 50th birthday celebration on Jan. 9, 1997, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a 25-song set featuring guest appearances by The Cure’s Robert Smith (“Quicksand,” “The Last Thing You Should Do”), Lou Reed (“Queen Bitch,” “I’m Waiting For the Man,” “Dirty Blvd.”), Sonic Youth (“I’m Afraid […]

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Essential Listening: Grateful Dead – 30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story (1965-1995) (4CD)

30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story features one unreleased live song from each year of the band’s career plus one special re-released track from the band’s earliest recordings, under the name The Emergency Crew. Every year from 1965 1995 is represented. Also featured is an essay by Dead aficionado Jesse Jarnow dissecting […]

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