Antony Peyton Writer and Journalist

Antony Peyton
Ten Forgotten Albums

Forgotten, but by whom? Not by me and maybe not by you if you’re a music aficionado. Anyway, here are ten great albums that are worth a listen if you like to discover something new (or jog your memory). They’re in chronological order and standout tracks are on offer to whet your appetite.

1971: The Last Valley – John Barry

John Barry is a household name when it comes to his soundtracks – James Bond, ‘Zulu’, ‘Midnight Cowboy’ and many more classics. However, this score is not so well known despite its use of menace and drama. Time hasn’t been kind to the James Clavell-directed movie (yes, it is that Clavell – the author of ‘Shogun’), but it was enjoyable enough and starred Michael Caine and Omar Sharif. It was also an unusual subject – set during the Thirty Years’ War, a series of bloody wars in Central Europe fought between 1618 and 1648.

‘Main Title Theme’:

1972: Naturally – JJ Cale

A leisurely, laid-back delight full of Southern charm. A mixture of blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. This was a fine debut from the American singer-songwriter JJ Cale. Frankly, he’s kind of a big deal – Mark Knopfler, Neil Young and Eric Clapton are all admirers. (I also love the album cover with the dapper raccoon and his faithful dog.)

‘Don’t Go To Strangers’:

1980: Snap, Crackle & Bop – John Cooper Clarke

Salford’s John Cooper Clarke is a true gentleman, but armed with an acid tongue and razor-sharp wit. This is really a collection of dark poetry backed up with a touch of music. It’s biting and brilliant: “A lightbulb bursts like a blister, The only form of heat, Here a fellow sells his sister, Down the river on Beasley Street.”

‘Beasley Street’:

1989: Against Nature – The Fatima Mansions

Fronted by Cathal Coughlan (ex-Microdisney), this is Irish indie at its most intense and irate. An album that is angry, funny, beautiful – and all laced with killer melodies. (The band’s name comes from a housing project in Dublin.)

‘Only Losers Take The Bus’:

1993: Shame – Brad

Stone Gossard, the guitarist from Pearl Jam, teamed up with fellow musicians in Seattle to form the alternative rock band Brad. It was a side project and a smart move. Great debut and the tempo never gets too quick. A relaxing and quirky musical jaunt.

’20th Century’:

1995: Short Bus – Filter

Raw, brutal industrial rock – and a fine debut. Filter were the product of Cleveland, Ohio and the creation of Richard Patrick (ex-Nine Inch Nails). Incidentally, Richard is the younger brother of the actor Robert Patrick, who memorably played the T-1000 in ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’.

‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’:

1998: As Above, So Below – Barry Adamson

Ex-Magazine bassist Barry Adamson brings immense versatility and energy to the mix. The result is a deliciously dark combination of noir, jazz and rock. If Raymond Chandler had been born later and grown up in Moss Side in Manchester, he might have produced this. Well… maybe not, but you get the idea.

‘What It Means’:

2006: The Drift – Scott Walker

This isn’t easy listening. Nevertheless, an intriguing experience. Credit is due to Scott Walker for experimenting and challenging his audience. He could have kept on creating his marvellous baroque pop, but ‘The Drift’ goes avant-garde. In fact, this was his first studio album in eleven years. Worth the wait if you’re a fan.

‘Cossacks Are’:

2012: Drokk (Music Inspired By Mega-City One) – Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury

An odd one in all honesty. If you don’t know Judge Dredd in the British comic 2000 AD it won’t register on your radar or possibly appeal. The whole concept is a tribute to Dredd and his world (a witty dystopian satire) that’s been running since 1977. The album sounds like a cross between ‘Escape from New York’ and ‘Tron’. (Barrow is part of the mighty trip hop band Portishead, while Salisbury is a soundtrack composer.)

‘Council of Five’:

2013: Praxis Makes Perfect – Neon Neon

This was a chance discovery and a real gem. It’s a concept album (again), but that doesn’t matter as it’s based on the life of the Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Who? Exactly. It’s a fine blend of pop, electronica and hip hop.

‘The Jaguar’:


Related Posts:

Unknown Pleasures

The Big Dream

Closer


2 Responses to Ten Forgotten Albums

  1. Joel Peyton says:

    Definitely not forgotten by me either. More like 10 Obscure Albums, do you ever listen to Radio 6 Music, imagine it would be right up your street

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