The Kinks, ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’
270. The Kinks, ‘The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society’ (1968) Pye.
Ray Davies’ roving muse alights at a picturesque village in the English countryside; cue a wistful song cycle lamenting new technologies and the waning of British tradition.
Coldplay, ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’
266. Coldplay, ‘A Rush Of Blood To The Head’ (2002) Parlophone/EMI.
If Coldplay were stressing about following ‘Parachutes’, they weren’t showing it. ‘In My Place’ and ‘Clocks’ were among the standouts on a record NME described as “an album of outstanding natural beauty”.
Boogie Down Productions, ‘Criminal Minded’
262. Boogie Down Productions, ‘Criminal Minded’ (1987) B-Boy.
Packed with vérité snapshops of gun crime and turf war, ‘Criminal Minded’ comes on like a blueprint for East Coast gangsta rap. It also introduced one of rap’s all-time greatest rhymers, the mighty KRS-One.
Public Enemy, ‘Yo! Bum Rush The Show’
259. Public Enemy, ‘Yo! Bum Rush The Show’ (1987) Def Jam/Columbia.
Mark Stoermer, The Killers: “I think I was 10 years old when I started to get into hip-hop. I just liked the cover, but I got really into it, and I bought every Public Enemy album after that for the next four years. There was something about the beat and they used 79 guitar samples and cool synths.”
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ‘The Boatman’s Call’
257. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ‘The Boatman’s Call’ (1997) Mute/Reprise.
Romance and religion are Cave’s meat and drink, but he seldom tackled them with the sort of dark poetry he brought to bear on ‘The Boatman’s Call’, the Bad Seeds’ attack softened into something both grandiose and intimate.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions, ‘This Year’s Model’
25. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, ‘This Year’s Model’ (1978) Radar.
Defining UK new wave, Costello’s second found him at his most amphetamine-fuelled and lyrically savage, ravaging pop culture, romance, fashion and politics on ‘No Action’, ‘Pump It Up’ and ‘(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea’.
Metronomy, ‘The English Riviera’
255. Metronomy, ‘The English Riviera’ (2011) Because Music.
Pure escapism that was seized on not just by those of us who had grown up on the English Riviera, Metronomy here gave us a shimmering pop classic that put the sound of sunshine in our ears and the logo of the Torbay tourist board in the hippest record collections on the planet.
Prodigy, ‘The Fat Of The Land’
249. Prodigy, ‘The Fat Of The Land’ (1997) XL.
Featuring crossover hits ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Smack My Bitch Up’, The Prodigy’s third album was a commercial smash and their ticket to techno’s top table. On Blogs: NME staff choose their favourite Top 10 records of all time.
Super Furry Animals, ‘Fuzzy Logic’
245. Super Furry Animals, ‘Fuzzy Logic’ (1996) Creation.
The pill-popping, unicorn-riding, Howard Marks-adoring valley boys’ first LP provided an eclectic and technicolour insight into the mind of a pop one-off: a psychedelic blast of the weird and truly wonderful.
Leonard Cohen, ‘Songs Of Leonard Cohen’
232. Leonard Cohen, ‘Songs Of Leonard Cohen’ (1967) Columbia.
Full of ”half-crazy” women and erotic anguish, the first musical foray from this published poet and author became an essential ’60s cult artifact thanks to its stark depictions of anger, lust and romance.
Grace Jones, ‘Nightclubbing’
211. Grace Jones, ‘Nightclubbing’ (1981) Island.
A glimpse into the sordid disco depravities behind the velvet rope at Studio 54, ‘Nightclubbing’ and its standout smash ‘Pull Up To The Bumper’ shunted new wave, reggae and disco firmly into the seductive neon ’80s with a single arse/car metaphor.
The Magnetic Fields, ’69 Love Songs’
210. The Magnetic Fields, ’69 Love Songs’ (1999) Merge.
Stephin Merritt’s awe-inspiring magnum opus of eclectic wonder rarely dipped over three hours of genre-hopping melodic brilliance, from baroque ballads to industrial electro-pop. Romantic, audacious, breathtaking.