As the legendary Seattle label Sub Pop celebrates its official 25th birthday, we choose 25 significant records, beginning with Nirvana, ‘Bleach’. Kurt Cobain might have only written the raspily snarled lyrics on Nirvana’s debut the night before recording when he was “pissed off”, but the attitude’s there. All the potential was intact for later, more propulsive records.
Mogwai, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’.
Mogwai, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’. Some cracking titles including ‘You’re Lionel Richie’ – apparently named after the exact words Stuart Braithwaite used when he bumped into the soul singer at an airport – and a more stripped-down feel mark Mogwai’s 2011 classic. It still makes a gargantuan noise but veers away from their usual post-rock, embracing synths and motorik rhythms.
Flight Of The Conchords, ‘Flight Of The Conchords’.
Flight Of The Conchords, ‘Flight Of The Conchords’. So much more than a TV offshoot, Flight Of The Conchords’ debut album forensically pastiched everything from Bowie to hip-hop and saw the duo consolidate their formidable cult following. It was hilarious too.
Mudhoney, ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’.
Mudhoney, ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’. This delightfully titled album from Mudhoney is named after the band’s two favourite guitar effects, the Univox Super-Fuzz and Electro-Harmonix Big Muff. It’s a compilation of sorts, a snapshot of the stickier end of grunge’s golden age.
Green River, ‘Rehab Doll’.
Green River, ‘Rehab Doll’. 1988 album ‘Rehab Doll’ is Green River’s only full-length effort, but it’s more than just a curio. Vocalist Mark Arm and guitarist Steve Turner would go on to form Mudhoney, bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard would be founder members of Pearl Jam. Truly a seminal band.
Radio Birdman, ‘The Essential Radio Birdman (1974-1978)’.
Radio Birdman, ‘The Essential Radio Birdman (1974-1978)’. Radio Birdman were around when punk was in its most embryonic stages, and the compilation ‘The Essential Radio Birdman’ is still considered a cornerstone of Australian rock music.