You'll notice from our selection of prints that music plays a big part in our portfolio and definitely a big part in our day-to-day lives.
The Record Collection was all about the tactile and aesthetic part of being a music lover. Our print derives from a selection of titles taken from a great book - '1,001 Albums To Listen To Before You Die'. It chronicles all the best from the eras and genres of music.
The vinyl album is something a download can't match. i.tunes is a great way to download music but it's a poor substitute for getting a real connection with a band's music and for many that row upon row of album records and sleeves is about an obsession and love for music as a whole. It's a statement of taste and a very evident show of a hobby that can consume.
What we wanted to illustrate through the poster was the sheer variety of music that’s been produced over several eras where tastes come and go, but the Rolling Stones remain!
It’s always a massive debate and there’s no definitive answer to the best but for the sake of provoking further debate here’s our list of stand-outs and why we think they broke new ground and changed the way people looked at music and their influence on others.
The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 1967
it’s one thing to be labelled experimental, but the depth of the music and lyrical quality of the album makes it a stand-out. From ‘A Day in the Life’ to ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ there’s a variety in production and soundscapes that not only raised the bar but provided such an influence for bands for years to come.
The Prodigy – Music for a Jilted Generation 1993
The Rave culture had been around for a while before this album but it brought the whole hardcore techno right into the mainstream – and whilst many can argue for a better representation of the genre this was the act, the performance, the look that really gave the music scene a good kick in the belly. The brainchild of the act was without doubt Liam Howlett but it was also frontman Keith Flint who really delivered the whole antagonistic approach and of course the visual antagonism.
Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back 1988
The genre of hip-hop and who started it can be taken back to the early seventies but the cradle of hip-hop was definitely the Bronx and New York’s surrounding areas. Long Island’s Public Enemy got their break supporting The Beastie Boys but what stood them apart was their poetic and highly political stance, particularly on racial issues. ‘It Takes A Nation…’ was a follow up to their debut ‘Yo! Bum Rush the Show’ but their second album really pushed themselves onto a global stage with the electrifying singles ‘Don’t Believe the Hype’ and ‘Bring the Noise’. Sometimes the political stance outweighs the quality of the musical output but this album, rightly, threw open the doors to a sound as subtle as it was crackling with upbeat tempo and lyrical dexterity.
Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure 1973
Roxy Music was as much an artistic concept as they were a band. The sound was different, the look was different - they swam completely against the tide. ‘Do the Strand’ and ‘Virginia Plain’ messed with the whole verse/chorus strategy and whilst the presence and vocal charisma of Bryan Ferry fronted, the sound from Eno’s keyboard experimentation and the almost ‘drunken’ melody of Andy Mackay’s sax brought out a highly unique sound. Roxy Music should have had a season at the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining’.
The Smiths – The Smiths 1984
Nothing new about drums, bass, guitar and vocals. Except this band somehow created the perfect storm. In those glamorous, sparkly, electro early eighties, The Smiths rocked up with songs that touched on misery, despair, lonliness and ruined love – and it sounded great. Morrissey’s ‘ironic’ vocal effect and Johnny Marr’s brilliant guitar play and sound made for a unique sound. The Smiths brought normal ‘glamour’ to their look and suddenly a gritty reality and the championing of vulnerability in music had never been more popular. But behind it all was the tunes – haunting melodies and killer lines like “Did I really walk all this way Just to hear you say : "Oh, I don't want to go out tonight" ?
So much music to love but here's a Desert Island Discs offering.
1. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
2. Sabotage - Beastie Boys
3. Say A Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin
4. London Calling - The Clash
5. A Town Called Malice - The Jam
6. Lust For Life - Iggy Popp
7. A Day in the Life - The Beatles
8. How Soon is Now - The Smiths