There is no doubt hundreds of albums that could be described as classics. This list is a guide to albums that have originally been released on vinyl during the period of the 70’s to the 90’s. The range of music is diverse from rock to ska, but they all share a similarity in that none of them have a ‘manufactured’ sound, they all contain ‘real’ lyrics and ‘real’ instruments!
They would be a respectable part of a record collection and if you already own them, they definitely deserve a dusting and should bring back some nostalgic memories:
Lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison tragically passed away just three months after the release of the iconic ‘L A Woman’ album.
As well as the title track, it contains hits including ‘Love Her Madly’ and ‘Riders on the Storm’. Despite Jim not being at his vocal peak, the album has a very raw quality and the style is a combination of blues and The Doors’ inimitable mystical rock sound. If you like raw music with proper musical instruments, ‘L A Woman’ deserves a place in your collection!
Although he is largely recognised for the hits ‘School’s Out’ and ‘Poison’, shock-rocker Alice Cooper has released an impressive 26 albums – and that’s just the studio ones!
It is hard to pick out one from so many, but a recommendation is ‘Killer’. It is said to have inspired musicians such as John Lydon of Sex Pistols fame, and shows there is more depth to Alice that his amazing live showmanship.
Although the album (released back in ‘71 by The Alice Cooper Band) only contains 8 tracks, each one deserves a listen; particularly ‘Halo of Flies’ which is more progressive rock in style, and ‘Desperado’, which is rumoured to have been written as a tribute to Alice’s former drinking partner, fellow rocker Jim Morrison.
Okay, so it is technically a compilation album, but nothing brings back memories of the early 80’s than a bit of ska by nutty boys Madness. ‘Divine Madness’ is aptly titled and features songs more memorable than Suggs’ pink suit and the ‘flying’ saxophonist in the ‘Baggy Trousers’ video! (Lee Thompson).
An impressive 22 tracks are on this album including ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘My Girl’, ‘House of Fun’, ‘Wings of a Dove’ and ‘Night Boat to Cairo’.
Duran Duran have released 14 albums and are still going strong today. The title of the ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’ album is actually a reference to ambition. The seven refers to the five members of the band and their two managers; the ragged tiger is a metaphor for chasing success – so now you know! ‘Seven and the Ragged Tiger’ is the band’s second album and contains hits ‘The Reflex’, ‘The Union of the Snake’ and the much underrated and underplayed ‘New Moon on Monday’.
Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ is undoubtedly an iconic, groundbreaking album which truly paved the way for the grunge scene. It has sold over 24 million copies globally and is very deep both musically and lyrically.
It contains many hits including ‘Come as you Are’. ‘Lithium’ and the unforgettable ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
There are many groups that have contributed to defining the 90’s, Oasis and Blur for example, but one band that tend to be overshadowed and deserve more recognition are Space.
Their first album ‘Spiders’ contains many hits such as ‘Neighbourhood’ and ‘Female of the Species’ (which has since been used in soundtracks including ‘Cold Feet’ and ‘Austin Powers – International Man of Mystery’.)
The album is unique musically, witty lyrically and even contains vocal samples of Jack Nicholson and an Ed Sullivan impersonator to add to the mood of the songs! Well worth an investment!
Similarly to Space, Pulp also had a knack of combining clever, witty lyrics on slightly taboo subjects with their own style of music. A lot of the songs on ‘Different Class’ tell stories and the hits include ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’.
The album is based around the theme of the British social class system, is saucy in places and contains the controversial ‘Sorted for E’s and Wizz’ – which is infact a very clever anti-drug song!
Alternative rocker Alanis Morissette has sold 33 million copies of the Jagged Little Pill album, which can’t be bad! The album has also received an impressive 5 Grammy awards.
It is clear from some of the songs including ‘You Oughta Know’ that Alanis intelligently draws on some of her own personal experiences in the songs, sometimes showing raw passion and sometimes her softer side (in ‘Head over Feet’ for example). The album also contains the hits ‘Ironic’ and ‘Hand in my Pocket’. Author: Karen Hill