Staff Picks: All Time Top Vinyl & What I’m Listening To This Week

To give you, our customers, the chance to get to know the team behind, we like to let show you what we are about and what we have been listening to lately. This week is a member of our stock addition team, Phil.

What are your top five albums of all time?

  1. Rainbow – Rising  I love everything about this 1976 album from the sleeve to the music. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is at his absolute creative and playing peak and it introduced me to singer Ronnie James Dio, my absolute favourite.
  2. Iron Maiden – Powerslave. By 1984 Maiden had grown into a rock powerhouse who were not afraid to take risks and do things their way. A 15 minute piece based around The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner shouldn’t work. But it does, superbly.
  3. Judas Priest – Painkiller. If someone asks me a definition of heavy metal this is my go-to choice.
  4. Machine Head – The Blackening.  This 2007 album came out of nowhere and just blew me away. The complexity and dexterity of the arrangements is staggering. And so heavy its ridiculous.
  5. Rush – Permanent Waves. Opening with Spirit Of Radio, one of my all-time favourite tracks and finishing with the 9 minute 3-part epic Natural Science this is everything I love about this band.

No matter how embarrassing, what was the first piece of music you bought?

First record I remember buying with my own money was Gudbuy T’Jane by Slade on 7″. Played it to death, still got it somewhere.

What have you been listening to this week?

This week I’ve been listening to the new live and rarities album Live At The O2 Arena because I was there. Also the New Trivium album The Sin And The Sentence seems really good.

What album would you recommend customers check out if they haven’t heard it before? 

The album I would recommend would be Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son by Iron Maiden because although its heavy it remains accessible and melodic with not a bad track on it. Classic Maiden!

What are the top five gigs you have attended?

Choosing five gigs from forty two years is tough but some do stand out.

  1. Queen – Hammersmith 1975. My first gig and what an introduction to the power of live music. Freddie controlling the crowd and Brian’s amazing guitar solo, just incredible.
  2. Rainbow – Hammersmith 1976. Hearing Ronnie James Dio sing live for the first time is something I’ll never forget and the 30 foot computerised rainbow spanning the stage was very impressive. And the legendary Cozy Powell’s 1812 Overture drum solo was stunning.
  3. Iron Maiden – Hammersmith 1984. Part of the World Slavery Tour and four sold-out nights at the venue with the legendary Egyptian themed stage show and the whole thing was recorded for a live album.
  4. Machine Head – Hammersmith 2016. Billed as ‘An Evening With….’ who could resist a 3 hour set by one of their favourite bands? This was an unrelenting assault on the senses without a support act. All the classics and so much more.
  5. Alter Bridge – Royal Albert Hall 2017. A real privilege to witness a band who I have seen develop and grow from small venues to playing at London’s most prestigious venue with a 52-piece orchestra was astounding. Perfection.

If you could take home one item we have in stock today, what would it be and why?

The AC/DC Backtracks Collector’s Box Set looks pretty amazing and it does contain a lot of unique items. Also the packaging is a working amp!

Finally, does music really sound better on vinyl?

I think vinyl can sound better than other formats but it depends on the quality of the system used. The thing with a physical record is that it takes time and effort to listen to an album, turn it over half way through, enjoy the packaging and artwork whilst settling back to soak it all in.… the world’s best online store for rare, collectable and out of print Vinyl Records, CDs & Music memorabilia since 1987

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