The Shining Hour Jukebox


INSPIRATIONAL RECORDS
Favourite albums (in no particular order)

A kd Lang - Ingenue

k.d. LANG - INGÉNUE (sire/warner bros records)

I really didn't like this album much at first when Neale loaned it to me but after a few plays I was hooked on k.d.'s soaring vocals and complex arrangements. The album is a real grower - something that will stay with you over the years and still be appreciated many years later. The instrumentation and dare I say it, musicianship, is without fault. Acoustic guitars, piano, lap steel, accordion and strings blend perfectly to form some magical songs such as Constant Craving, Save Me, Outside Myself and Miss Chatelaine.


B The Trashcan Sinatras - I've Seen Everything

THE TRASHCAN SINATRAS - I'VE SEEN EVERYTHING (go! discs ltd)

A fine album by Scotland's Trashcan Sinatras containing 14 songs to treasure. Delicate melodies, sensitive vocals and intricate guitar-playing make this album a delight and a serious contender for the Desert Island albums list! Gems include, Send For Henny, I'm Immortal, Worked A Miracle and I've Seen Everything. The Trashcans followed up this album with 'A Happy Pocket' which also contains some superb songs. Why hasn't this great band got a record deal at the moment? It's scandalous.


C Crowded House - Woodface

CROWDED HOUSE - WOODFACE (capitol records)

On Crowded House's third album the songwriting and vocal talents of Neil Finn's older brother, Tim, were employed and individually or jointly they wrote 13 of the 14 titles. Neil Finn's famed sense of melody really shone on Fall At Your Feet, Whispers And Moans and She Goes On whilst the brothers conjured up the genius of Four Seasons In One Day, There Goes God and Weather With You. An essential album for anyone who wants to hear true songwriting mastery sound so effortless.


D R.E.M. - Reckoning

R.E.M. - RECKONING (irs records)

This is the one! The R.E.M. album that rejuvenated my love of jangly guitars and sweet vocal harmonies. Arguably, they may have made better albums but there is a sense of urgency and a live quality here. This was from 1984 when all around there was only R.E.M. and The Smiths to defend us from the likes of Spandau Ballet et al! This album contains the magnificent So. Central Rain - one of my Top 10 R.E.M. songs - and Letter Never Sent. They even toured this album in my home town of Worthing but I missed them. D'oh!


E

The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead

THE SMITHS - THE QUEEN IS DEAD (rough trade)

Without any doubt The Smiths' best album. No contest. This is a masterpiece. Everything is so right from the cover art to the blistering opening title track through the heartbreaking I Know It's Over, the whimsical Cemetry Gates, rocktastic(!) Bigmouth Strikes Again, plangent The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, poignant There Is A Light Never Goes Out and playful Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others. And I've missed out some goodies too! Johnny Marr was the perfect guitar hero and Morrissey wrote such endearing but witty lyrics. This albums shows them at their peak. Discuss!


F Steve McQueen - Prefab Sprout
PREFAB SPROUT - STEVE MCQUEEN (kitchenware)

Another masterpiece in my view. This time from Paddy McAloon. I bought this album at the same time as R.E.M.'s 'Fables Of the Reconstruction' and played both to death over a two week holiday period when I was recording my first songs onto four track. I liked both albums but this one really inspired me. The melodies are all there, the arrangements are ingenious and the production from Thomas Dolby is dazzling. Bonny, Goodbye Lucille #1, and Horsin' Around
are all standout tracks from this classic album.

G Amazing Disgrace - The Posies
THE POSIES - AMAZING DISGRACE (geffen)

The Posies came to prominence in the wake of the grunge era and were unfairly compared to Nirvana. Although heavy at times, what separated The Posies from some of the contemporaries was the songwriting ability of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. Both can sing well too and often you will find a duel vocal harmony attack which is magical. I originally favoured their previous album, 'Frosting On the Beater' but this one grew on me with tracks like Throwaway, Please Return It, Precious Moments and World. Ken Stringfellow sometimes plays as an additional musician with R.E.M.

H Radiohead - OK Computer RADIOHEAD - OK COMPUTER (parlophone)

The 'Heads third album was a phenomenal critical success and sold by the truckload too. Not an easy achievement to please both sides of the fence. But here's why: take a talented band with great songs and singer (Thom Yorke), add Jonny Greenwood's weird sonic wizardry and get top producer Nigel Godrich to add sparkle. What do you get? The beautiful Let Down, the scary Paranoid Android, the punchy Airbag and the inspirational Lucky.

I Daryll-Ann - Happy Traum DARYLL-ANN - HAPPY TRAUM (excelsior)

This album really grew on me to become the favourite, even over the triumph of the awe-inspiring Weeps. Such subtlety and beauty in music is a rare thing - unless you happen to know this band. The songs, arrangements, musicianship and singing are fabulous. Riverside, All By Myself, Everybody's Cool, Ask Anyone and Hope, Love & Happiness are some of the gems you'll find here.