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The advantage of music streaming during the coronavirus lockdown is that it’s easy to listen to albums that may not be in your own personal collection and wouldn’t even be on your radar under normal circumstances.
So here are 10 albums to check out while you’re stuck indoors.
- UK – by UK. The first album by this short lived outfit and the only one with the four piece line-up of Bill Bruford, Eddie Jobson, the late John Wetton and the late Alan Holdsworth. This is lightning in a bottle and was never to be repeated as Jobson felt that the US needed UK and Bruford thought what the US really needed was Holdsworth so they both left and formed the band Bruford. From then until his death last year, the bulk of Holdsworth’s career was carried out in the US. (Also check out Bruford – One Of A Kind and Master Strokes)
- A Love Supreme – John Coltrane. The classic chill out jazz album from 1965, superior even to Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool, which Coltrane also appears on.
- A Secret Wish – Propaganda. Synth-driven German outfit. One of the very few things released in the 1980s to stand the test of time thanks to Trevor Horn’s idiosyncratic production.
- Meltdown – King Crimson. A concert from 2017 by the finest live band on the planet, complete with three drummers. (Also check out any Crimson from 1968-82).
- Hejira – Joni Mitchell. Joni’s best album by a mile.
- Build A Rocket Boys – Elbow. Any album would do from this lot as they are timeless, but this one has some very special moments from the opener The Birds to the finale Dear Friends, which contains one of Guy Garvey’s best lyrics that never fails to bring me to tears.
- Infected – The The. Matt Johnson’s meisterwerk with some of the best lyrics ever committed to album.
- Aja – Steely Dan. No preamble. Just listen and be blown away. (Also check out Countdown To Ecstasy)
- The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life – Frank Zappa. From Zappa’s final tour with a 12-man line-up including five horn players. Unfortunately the band mutinied before reaching Britain and Zappa cancelled the remaining dates, sacking the band with the exception of bass player Scott Thunes. He never toured again, but this, along with its predecessor “Broadway The Hard Way” is a great example of what this outfit were capable of. (Also check out Sheikh Yerbouti, Joe’s Garage Acts I, II and III, One Size Fits All).
- The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway – Genesis. Peter Gabriel’s final album with the band before drummer Phil Collins became a pop star and the high water mark for any line-up. Lyrically on another level completely for its wordplay (Gabriel insisted on writing all the lyrics for this strange concept about a Porto Rican street kid stuck in a fantasy world. (Also check out Foxtrot and Selling England By The Pound).