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, Richard.

What are your top five albums of all time?

I wouldn’t be a music enthusiast if I had a permanent “top five”. I probably have a personal top five-ish, which I switch daily depending what way the wind’s blowing!

Bob Marley & The Wailers – Exodus

Portishead – Dummy

Tom Waits – Blue Valentine

John Coltrane – Giant Steps

Dillinger Escape Plan – Calculating Infinity

These are just albums I love the songs & the sound of the most, or those that put my own musical abilities to the test. I grew up with best-of lists only to reject a hierarchy but it helped me to discover, & I think that’s their aim.

“Top five” vinyl is another matter – I look at my records [stuff you can’t find on CD] & there’s memories attached, some with travel stories or linked with friends, acquaintances, all of them involving time & effort to find, which we’ll save for another day!

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

DJ Hype – Drum & Bass Selection Vol. 1 on cassette. I must have been a wannabe [superstar] DJ as a kid.


What have you been listening to this week?

All fairly current; Donny McCaslin/ Circle/ Jlin/ Kaidi Taitham/ Chon/ Shobaleader One/ Dinosaur/ Black Queen/ Hiatus Kaiyote/ Ninet Tayeb/ Esperanza Spalding/ Yusef Kamaal/ Floating Points/ Vektor/ Preston Glasgow Lowe/ Sex On Toast…


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

Seeing as it’s been re-issued this week, The Walker Brothers – Nite Flights 1978. Only for the first four Scott Walker tracks! “Shoutout” through to the unforgettable “The Electrician” – surely some of the most powerful “art-pop” of its kind, apparently in rivalry with Bowie when released but in my mind beating his work, the album sank without trace.

For a whole album, how’s about Alice Clark – s/t 1972. Sure to bring a lump to the throat for anyone with half a soul.


What are the top five gigs you have attended?

Ennio Morricone – The 02 Arena, London 2016. Bellissimo (as was singer Susanna Rigacci)!

‘The Big 4’ – Metallica/ Slayer/ Megadeth/ Anthrax – Sonisphere Festival, Knebworth 2011. Beers, Cigs, Thrash.

George Duke – Ronnie Scott’s, Soho 2010. Lovely venue. Signed CDs. Natalie Williams support. Showstopping performance from Michael Manson who managed to re-string his bass mid-solo! And I shock his hand outside the gents [too much info].

Dillinger Escape Plan free gig – The Underworld, Camden 2005. Utter chaos. Crowd surfing from the off [the band, not the fans]. Flying pints of beer. Impossible riffs. Amps to 11. Potential injuries. The godlike Ben Weinman on guitar. Support from Hertfordshire’s Eden Maine.

Cardiacs – Harlow Square, Essex June 1999. This band blew me away at 15. I’m 33 now & haven’t forgot, hopefully means there’s more classic gigs to come!


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

Maybe something like the first BBC Radiophonic Music LP 660461. British electronica long before the term. I guess I’ve added hundreds of thousands of records to the site but there’s really only a few that I would have liked for myself. I still remember passing on Donna McGhee – Make It Last Forever LP [525252]. Now that’s a sexy record!

Finally, does music really sound better on vinyl?

By heck, yes. You do have to consider when, why & how the music was made though. There’s always reasons why some pressings are deemed better than others [format history, analogue vs digital, modern compression/mastering, the dreaded mp3!]. Overall, I find it a more heartening experience playing a record. Whether it means first press vinyl or a high quality remastering on CD, I’m not too fussed between the two & will hunt down the best sounding or appropriate version, regardless. I consume music everywhere which could mean Spotify whilst doing the washing up. All in all, use your ears & if you think it sounds good, job done!… the world’s best online store for rare, collectable and out of print Vinyl Records, CDs & Music memorabilia since 1987

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