The Essential: Laurel Canyon

The artists of the Laurel Canyon movement were a mellow, yet tightly knit bunch who formed bands, wrote songs, partied hard and slept together and, as Gary Tipp details, released an incredible catalogue of music… Laurel Canyon is a mountainous neighbourhood located in the Hollywood Hills district of Los Angeles, California. With the birth of the film industry in 1910, it attracted a host of … Continue reading The Essential: Laurel Canyon

The Essential: The Who

The Who probably could have been more prolific, and they probably should have enjoyed more chart success. But no matter – as Sean Egan demonstrates in this rundown of rarities and must-have vinyl, The Who’s varied back catalogue is a many-splendoured thing… On the surface, The Who made no sense. They stayed together through thick and thin, despite the fact that they couldn’t stand the … Continue reading The Essential: The Who

The Essential: Jimi Hendrix

Perhaps the most irresistibly magnetic and natural performer in musical history, Jimi Hendrix was also a studio visionary who expanded rock’s horizons, then departed – leaving a tangled posthumous legacy in his wake. Owen Bailey says: ’Scuse me while I list this guy… Jimi Hendrix’s untimely death in September 1970, aged 27, left the world of music with just three official studio albums. Yet work … Continue reading The Essential: Jimi Hendrix

The Essential: Queen

As flamboyant as they were musically diverse, the larger-than-life foursome filled stadiums across the globe and shifted millions of albums, not to mention singles, with their bombastic, mock-operatic, largely unclassifiable yet hugely accessible sound. There’s no stopping Sean Egan now… There was never another band quite like Queen. Plenty of groups have essayed rock, prog rock, opera, funk, pop and 20s pastiche – but not … Continue reading The Essential: Queen

The Essential: Motown 45s

From R&B stompers and smooth pop ballads to psychedelic soul symphonies and gritty urban funk, Motown has given the world some of the most joyful music of the last 60 years…   With its roster of towering talent, there’s little surprise that there have been some amazing albums released on the Motown label since its inception in 1959. Hitsville USA’s famed LP releases include Marvin … Continue reading The Essential: Motown 45s

The Essential: Samplers

Despite often costing far less than a regular LP, many samplers have become highly collectible. Surely a definitive list of 40 is impossible? Step forward Mark Sampson… The birth of the sampler album is generally attributed to Jac Holzman, the head of Elektra Records. With no budget for advertising, he looked for other ways of promoting his catalogue (then) of folk and world music. Always … Continue reading The Essential: Samplers

The Essential: SKA 45s

Jamaica’s revolutionary back-to-front beat developed as a fresh and frantic take on US R&B and has been filling dancefloors with sweaty herberts ever since. Gary Tipp is in the mood for ska… In the early 1950s, Jamaicans were busy listening in to American music via radio stations in New Orleans and Miami, in particular, the R&B and jump blues of artists such as Fats Domino … Continue reading The Essential: SKA 45s

The Essential Bob Dylan

From the young folkie of the early 1960s to the gruff old crooner of the present day, Bob Dylan’s influence on modern music is beyond measure – and, as Gary Tipp discovers, his vinyl back catalogue ain’t bad either… Over the course of a recording career stretching back to 1962, Bob Dylan’s songwriting genius, amazing vinyl output and singular approach to the music business has … Continue reading The Essential Bob Dylan

The Essential Pink Floyd – Part Two

Though the numbers may be getting smaller the prices certainly aren’t. We continue our guide to the essential Pink Floyd with the Top 20 records in their catalogue… 20: A Momentary Lapse of Reason [1987] If 1983’s The Final Cut was a Roger Waters solo album in all but name, then this, the first record of the post-Waters era, is inarguably a David Gilmour record. … Continue reading The Essential Pink Floyd – Part Two