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Record Sleeve
Cowboy Junkies
The Trinity Session
1988
The atmosphere they create on this is incredible. Their interpretation of other people's songs is astonishing, but after all it's the quality of their own compositions which makes this so great.
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Leonard Cohen
Songs Of Leonard Cohen
1968
At the age of 35 the then semi-successful writer and poet decided to put his words to music. The result was a piece of work which gave a new depth and sincerity to the genre of pop which still remains unrivalled to this day.
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Belly
Star
1993   Review
Yet another gem from the vast cannon of the Throwing Muses/Pixies family. Bubblegum pop this was called and, yes, that's exactly what it is.
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The Smiths
Strangeways Here We Come
1987
Their final album offers the widest range of instrumentation and the most complex arrangements. On the second half they show a glimpse of what they might have been able to accomplish in the future.
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Go Betweens
Liberty Belle And The Diamond Express
1986
Probably the band with the highest number of "good" albums in rock history. But this (and maybe to a slightly lesser degree "Oceans Apart") stood out with even "indier" songs.
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The Beach Boys
Pet Sounds
1966
An obsessed and fanatic musician trying to create the perfect piece of music. And succeeding. This does not top most best albums of all time polls for no reason.
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Mogwai
Mogwai Young Team
1997   Review
Why the Scottish, of all people, were so fond of playing post-rock is not known. After all, you can't get proper quiet-loud dynamics with bagpipes, can you? Never mind, great stuff, this.
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Rain Parade
Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
1983
The Rain Parade were part of the perfectly named Paisley Underground scene. This set of bands oloked back into the 60s whilst not looking sideways to US hardcore at all. Charmingly out of time they were.
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Sigur Ros
Agoetis Byrjun
1999
A record so out of time and out of sync with the rest of the world and so immersed in its own universe it could only come from a far away country. Iceland that is.
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Leftfield
Leftism
1995   Review
This was the best of the bunch of electronic albums that surfaced in the mid 90s. More varied than simultaneous releases by Underworld, Chemical Brothers etc. And as usual in that genre the guest vocalists provided the stand-out moments.
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Pavement
Slanted And Enchanted
1992  Review
The quintessential Lo-fi band with their lofiest album. One wonders if it is hard work for them to create songs that sound as half finished and fragmented as those featured here.
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Delgados
Peloton
1998   Review
They transported the indie ethos of the 80s into the 21st century. The very fine duetting on some of the songs made the fragile compositions sparkle and shine even more.
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Cowboy Junkies
The Caution Horses
1990   Review
The perfect synthesis of music, lyrics and voice. The difficulties of human existence have rarely been portrayed better as in this set of songs.
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Television
Marquee Moon
1977
At first listen it sounds like your average New Wave record. It's the way they make guitar solos sound cool that makes the difference eventually.
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Neil Young
Freedom
1989
After many good albums in the 70s and some not so good ones in the 80s this was certainly the greatest comeback ever. Showing both his soft and his hard side he reached his peak as a songwriter here.
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The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
2009
This band could easily have been on a C09 cassette alongside The Drums and Crystal Stilts, save for the fact that none of them are British. Nostalgia can be a good thing sometimes.
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Avi Buffalo
Avi Buffalo
2010
As things look at the moment, the current decade will not yield that many classic albums. And those few that will emerge will probably come from rather unexpected places. Like this one, which is basically music for adults made by teenagers.
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Pixies
Trompe Le Monde
1991   Review
More diverse and chaotic than their previous stuff but also slightly less flawless. If you play this next to the first Frank Black album you will seriously doubt that he was the only creative force in the band.
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Depeche Mode
Speak & Spell
1981
The German version with 'Dreaming Of Me' on it of course. One of the few nearly flawless efforts of the first wave of synthpop. The two Yazoo albums that followed have also aged remarkably well.
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Low
Things We Lost In The Fire
2001
The slowest band on the planet. Each note, each chord comes in drops. All held together by the harmony of two voices fitting together rather perfectly.