So I’m currently listening to “The Expression” by The Expression and started thinking about how most of us probably have a few albums that we really love that others on here either may not know about or had passed over at the time of release.
So I thought I’d make a thread in the hope that it will lead to me (and the rest of you) “discovering” some “new” music.
The idea is to name five albums that are personal favourites but that either never made it big, or possible did but have been forgotten.
My five are:
The Expression - The Expression (A bit like Spandau Ballet…new romantic type synth stuff)
Rebel - John Miles (just pure mid 70s stuff…the single “Music” got quite a bit of airplay)
Night Out - Ellen Foley (the main backing vocalist on Bat Out of Hell…not the one in the videos)
Supersystem - The Feelers (Kiwi band…just good rock music imo)
Night and Day II - Joe Jackson (Joe Jackson well past his chart stage…includes several guest vocalists who actually sing lead on their tracks…typically interesting stuff from Joe)
dEUS - The Ideal Crash (for fans of Radiohead, Elbow)
Superdrag - In The Valley Of Dying Stars (for fans of earlier Foo Fighters)
Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming Of The True (the fans of Peter Gabriel, Waters-led Pink Floyd)
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk (for fans of XTC, Queen, ELO, Fountains Of Wayne)
The Posies - Amazing Disgrace (for fans of Cheap Trick, Big Star)
Ups And Downs - Sleepless EP (for fans of early Church, early REM and 80’s Oz jangle-pop)
Michael Penn - Free For All (for fans of Crowded House and Squeeze)
The Lilac Time - Astronauts (for fans of Nick Drake, with one exception which is totally out of place)
I’m not underground by any means so there’ll be no Dead Kennedies or…I dunno Washington punk…
The Ghosts That Haunt Me - Crash Test Dummies
The album before Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm.
Got into it because I heard Superman Song, and I immediately fell in love with that baritone (obv) and in this case, the absolute sincerity of delivery on a very silly subject.
It’s kinda folk. It’s morbid, At My Funeral, and emotionally thoughtful, the title track, and glib at times, but there’s an optimism to it. And I love the way the male and female vocals work together.
And it has a really good cover of Androgynous on it, which I think still stands up today.
It’s my warm blanket album. I know it’s not perfect.
Idlewild - 100 Broken Windows
(Not a bad song on it imo. They got better again next album and then faded, but this was like REM played by punk kids with a point to prove.)
Kissing The Pink - Naked
(Lots of variety and killer tracks galore, 80s synth alternative post-punk? I reckon Arcade Fire took a fair nibble of a couple of these songs.)
The Frank And Walters - Trains Boats And Planes
(Side 1 needs to be heard in one go, it’s early 90s Brit indie jangle pop gold. “After All” got a spin at my wedding party.)
Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart
(Every punk band was selling out around ‘94, but these guys and girl actually got way radder, way more out there, riffs like Helmet, angular like Fugazi, abrasive like Gang Of Four, melodic like Jawbreaker.)
Death Cab For Cutie - We Have The Facts…
(When they were in the zone of underground indie and assured songs and creativity. None of the off-putting wet emo indie kid trappings which came later.)
The Coral: Coral Island.
Coral Island is the tenth studio album by English rock band The Coral. Described as a psychedelic album it drew some comparisons to The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society. I got into this album through a music message board and gave it a listen one day while out in the garden. It’s a great collection of songs that thematically fit together as a complete story. Each song connected through spoken narration from one of the band members grandparents. When I listen to this I think of seaside amusement parks of yesteryear.
Other notable mentions:
Brad - United We Stand. More than a little ‘side project’ by Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam fame. These guys did about 5 albums I think? Unfortunately singer Shawn Smith is no longer with us. A great collection of rock/pop songs.
Tom Petty - Wildflowers. Classic Petty from start to finish. There’s a great movie on you tube about the making of the album too.
The War on Drugs. It was hard to select which album I’d choose of theirs for this list. I’ll go with…Lost in the Dream. Benchmark alt rock from 2014. Saw them live recently too! Wow! A truly great band.
Neil Young - Mirrorball. I’ll admit I’m not a massive Neil Young fan, but I like bits and pieces of his stuff. This however is a true alt/rock n roll mid 90s classic. Belted out in a few days with Pearl Jam (minus Eddie Vedder who only appears minimally on two tracks) this chugs like a bastard from start to finish. Check out final track Scenery for some seriously great guitar. Crank it to 11.