Features Reviews

Feature: Classics Collected

Hi everyone and welcome to Classics Collected, sister piece to the Tomorrow’s Sounds Today article. With this piece what we’d like to do is highlight some classic albums available on Spotify and list a few each fortnight which we feel are worth dusting off and giving a listen if you haven’t for a while.

With all this good music available on tap it is easier than ever to indulge musical tastes, and with only so many hours in the day we know it’s only too easy to let great albums sit unplayed. We aim to rectify that!

This week we have 4 suggestions for you; 4 great albums that all made their impact in the day or went on to become classics but you may not have listened to for a little while.

Massive Attack ”“ Mezzanine

Many people might ask why include this album rather than, say, “Blue Lines”, which arguably had the bigger social impact even if it had less commercial impact. My main reason for including this album in preference is for me it was the stronger overall. One of the major things about this album is that it plays so well as a complete experience, which is rare. It also marked an important point both for the group and the genre. Returning from a period out of focus with a relative explosion of other groups borrowing from their early work, this album showed that the band still had so much to give.

From an engineering perspective, the way the sounds are layered, the way the music just flows from track to track, the overal experience is sublime, bested only by Radiohead’s “OK Computer” in my opinion. The overall theme and pace of the album is consistent, but the sheer variety of style, instruments and vocals within takes you on a real journey and I would strongly recommend making the effort to just find that corner and let it flow over you.

R.E.M. ”“ Murmur

Of all their work this album in many ways was one of the most significant, and whilst not seen as that experimental it was a pivotal piece in starting a whole musical movement at the time. Fans of the group also argue that whilst individual tracks over the years may be better, they never really peaked the raw craftsmanship of “Murmur” and “Reckoning”.

It may sound dated to some but it still contains some of the stronger tracks ever released by the group as well as Michael Stipe’s well documented favourite track,Perfect Circle.

The starting piece of the R.E.M. sound, this was not their first recording experience but already it showed the group’s skill in moulding that alternative rock sound with some light country inputs. If you have the time, pair it with the “Chronic Town EP” which was released very close to this album and also contains some great work.

The Cure ”“ Disintegration

I’ve included this for many reasons, but the theme of the above two suggestions is also part of it. This album was the 8th studio release for the group so in many ways they were seasoned veterans by this point. However, they still seemed to be relatively unheard of, even if just commercially.

This album changed everything for the group, for the scene itself, musically. It represents one of their finest pieces of work and is still a strong album today.

The Chemical Brothers ”“ Dig Your Own Hole

The final album this week, and I thought lets end on a nice, punchy, positive note. This album was a huge success on its first outing, spawning a number of massive singles. It helped bring a new age of dance music to the masses and drove a period of dance prominence in the charts.

Aside from all that label success, it is in itself another glorious example of an album, not just a vehicle for a couple of singles padded with some filler. From track 1 to track 11 this album delivers at a constant pace and never really lets up with the quality.

This album is definitely for those moments where you want energy music to give you that boost to get you through whatever task it is you are doing, be it baking brownies to surviving a horror of a work day!

We hope you enjoyed our selections for this week and we’ll be back in a fortnight’s time with more suggestions of classic albums from the shelves to dust off and re-listen to. Please tune in next Monday for our other ongoing segment, featuring the other end of the continuum with all that is new and improved on the Spotify listings.

Peace, love and music

James Battin

By James Battin

James is the little voice in Dave's ear but certainly not his conscience...

Contributor, Writer, Playlister and general loiterer in the background... I have ideas but often need to help in following them through!

I love the variety of music on offer out there and am often told off for subconciously beatboxing while working.

I'm a Cisco engineer by day and tired parent to 2 awesome children by night.

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