Hi everyone and welcome to another edition of Classics Collected, where we at Spotisfaction have a little dig around the archives and bring out some classic records you may not have listened to for a little while. Whilst we always like to hail in the new, sometimes it’s good to blow the dust off an old record and enjoy the wonderful sounds you may have forgotten.
This week’s edition is an all-female edition with four great female artists to tempt your musical palette. In each case I’ve picked what I believe to be their breakthrough record, but for each example, to be frank, there is such an excellent catalogue of work you could pick any one of them and just enjoy their back catalogue for the day!
Tori Amos ”“ Under the Pink – Not her first album but in my mind the best of her early work, classic pianist and songwriter Tori has a lot in common with one of our later choices today, Joni Mitchell. Her sheer volume of work means you could probably spend the rest of the week enjoying her sound alone, she has kept up an unbelievable standard in the work. Whilst not as adaptive as, say, Madonna in changing sounds and trends, as the core dynamic remains there still is plenty of growth in her work. This album is relatively stripped down compared to some of her later work and focuses on her technical talent on the piano and her simply gorgeous voice.
BjÃ¶rk ”“ Debut ”“ The album that started it all, before the increasingly eccentric costumes, the airport bust-ups and the media battles. This album demonstrated her talent so well it became an instant hit and was a clear disconnect from her previous work with the Sugarcubes. Whilst a musician from a young age, this work has some real human qualities and subtleties that come across as an honest, driven debut from someone out to show her talent. It spawned a number of popular singles and shows a surprising complexity in places with a simple heart in others. It’s not hard to see why it was popular at the time and despite some of the oddness that followed, it remains a timeless work today.
Joni Mitchell ”“ Ladies Of The Canyon – There is so much that could be said for Joni Mitchell I fear that I could go onto a diatribe the size of the internet. So many owe a debt to her work over the years that it is odd she is not held in the same regard as other masters of the genre, song or spoken word. In many respects as an artist she’s up there with the likes of Bob Dylan, and although she was less commercially successful than Carole King or Janis Joplin, her career has stood the test of time regardless. For me, this is the best of her early work.
Beth Orton ”“ Trailer Park – This is one of my increasing number of slightly selfish picks. I have always had a special place for Beth Orton’s music in my heart (partly because of the way it intertwines with the early relationship with my wife) but I also believe she deserves a large amount of credit and I miss her work following her current hiatus. The sound she produced was certainly very unique, and in many ways had classic folk roots, but she eschewed much that came with the genre and added her own modern touches. There are undercurrents of other work (like the sound of the early Sneaker Pimps) creeping through this album, but at its core it’s one of unmistakable songwriting ability and a complete sound. This is definitely my pick of the week and I would strongly recommend listening to all her albums if you have the time.
We hope you enjoyed our picks for this week and as ever, if you don’t have the individual albums its all been lovingly collected in the following playlist with a few sneaky extra tracks hidden in for your delectation. We’ll see you all again next week for another edition of Tomorrow’s Sounds Today but until then enjoy these last beams of the sunshine!
Peace, Love and Music