Album Club [Steve Lamacq]

Episodes

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Ac-dc Back In Black20211117Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays AC/DC's Back in Black in full.

Released in July 1980, it was the band's first album to feature singer Brian Johnson, following the death of the band's previous lead singer Bon Scott. The album was the follow up to their commercial breakthrough album - 1979's Highway to Hell. The band had planned to record a follow-up quickly, but in February 1980 Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning. However, instead of disbanding, AC/DC decided to carry on and recruited Johnson before heading to the Bahamas to record. The album's all-black cover was designed as a sign of mourning for Scott.

The album was a massive success with estimated sales of 50 million worldwide. It is often stated to be the second biggest album of all time.

Steve Lamacq plays AC/DC's Back in Black in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Alabama Shakes - Boys And Girls - In Full20210127Steve plays Alabama Shakes' debut album from 2012 in full, introduced with a classic interview with the band.

Formed in Athens, Alabama, the blues-rock band led by Brittany Howard recorded their first record as live in The Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville. It shot them to success, thanks to the hit opening track Hold On and the group's sensational live show. The following year they had three Grammy nominations and they followed this record with the Grammy-winning Sound & Colour in 2015 before Brittany began her solo career.

Album Club Special: De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising20220706It's a special Album Club this week as Steve plays the whole of an album that's not on streaming services - De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising Album Club [steve Lamacq]
Arcade Fire - Funeral20200902Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with Arcade Fire's debut album 'Funeral' in full
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not2021042820210505 (6M)Steve plays Arctic Monkeys' Mercury Prize-winning debut album from 2006 in full.

Having built up a following through Myspace and giving their CDs away for free in the few years leading up to this, anticipation was at a fever-pitch for the Sheffield band's debut album. All this despite frontman Alex Turner telling people don't believe the hype on the video for their huge single I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. Despite some criticisms in the press for depicting a man smoking on the front cover the record was a huge success, becoming the fastest selling debut album in British music history - a record no band has surpassed to date. Turner's witty lyrics about nights out and unfiltered real-life observations from his hometown also helped the album become a hit with critics - a Brit and a Grammy Award joining the Mercury Prize in the band's trophy cabinet. Whilst indie music had been on the rise since The Strokes and The Libertines released their first albums at the start of the decade, it was arguably the breakthrough of Arctic Monkeys that opened the doors to a flood of indie bands in the second half of the 00s. Arctic Monkeys set a standard which arguably none of those bands could match, with this album consistently ranked by critics and music fans as one of the best of the decade, even of all time.

Steve plays Arctic Monkeys' debut from 2006 in full.

Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul20210317Steve plays Aretha Franklin's twelfth studio album from 1968 in full for the latest edition of the 6 Music Album Club. The record includes some of The Queen of Soul's biggest hit singles such as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone. It also features guitar from Eric Clapton and Cissy Houston's group Sweet Inspirations on backing vocals.
Ash - 197720220302Steve revisits Ash's 1996 debut album 1977 and plays the album in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club. Get involved and join the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub

There are albums that define generations, and then there are those that will forever soundtrack a flash rather than a lingering resonance heard across the years. Ash's debut LP, named in honour of the year Star Wars hit cinema screens and 'opened' by the scream of a TIE Fighter (unless you had a CD copy with two hidden tracks at the beginning – this writer did), falls face-first into the latter category, sauce from last night's takeaway still sticky on its chin and with a less-than-faint whiff of booze about it.

1977 is perhaps best remembered by those who shared in its sentiments – written by a trio of teenagers, for an audience of the same, it preoccupied itself with chugging alcohol, chasing after girls and messing about with martial arts. Frontman TIM WHEELER was just 19 at the time of its release and, like most 19-year-olds, was likely enjoying legal drinking age status; but his songs recall a time just previous to chucking away the fake ID, where park benches were bar stools and a bottle of flavoured wine drink was the choice of the get-drunk-quick teen on their way to a parents-away party.

For this writer, who sold a games console to pick up this record (amongst others, in a since-closed-down-local-indie-shop binge), singles like Angel Interceptor, Girl From Mars and Kung Fu will forever soundtrack foggy memories of spilling out of houses that weren't home, at a time when bed should have been reached some hours earlier. And this writer is certain he's not alone in feeling that way.

But listening today, almost 16 years after its release, 1977 isn't all pop-punk knock-abouts in the vein of its mini-LP predecessor Trailer (one of its tracks, Jack Names the Planets, is one of the pre-Lose Control hidden gems). Goldfinger has stood up to the test of time mightily well, roaring into life with a maturity that wouldn't fully compose itself until Ash's third album, 2001's Free All Angels. Here, bespectacled drummer Rick McMurray sounds as if he's pounding mountains while lanky bassist Mark Hamilton's pulling off Jedi mind tracks with his four-string; at the time of writing, the toes can't help but tap along to something of a Britpop-period classic.

Hamilton's sole solo composition, Innocent Smile, is amongst the simpler arrangements, in debt to stateside grunge bands and replete with delinquent lyrics – but its raw energy remains as infectious in 2012 as it's ever been. Best-known cut Oh Yeah helped shift its share of albums, peaking at 6 on the singles chart in the June of 1996, and Wheeler's imperfect vocal makes its tale of teenage infatuation all the more believable. He'd become a better singer, but has never quite conveyed emotion as perfectly as he did so here. And to the ears of a 16-year-old, his words were gospel: this was the way to rule.

And rule Ash certainly did: every single from 1977, 95's Girl From Mars onwards, went top 20, and their between-LPs effort A Life Less Ordinary (from the film of the same name) was also a top 10 hit. Their stock may have fallen in recent years, but to listeners of a certain vintage Ash will forever be summer holidays and half-inched hooch, stained into the grey like a spilled alcopop.

Mike Diver 2012 -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/xz5c/

Steve plays the whole of Ash's 1996 debut album 1977 as part of the #6MusicAlbumClub

Basement Jaxx - Remedy20211124Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays the whole of Basement Jaxx's 1999 debut album Remedy.

For Basement Jaxx, South London producers Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, their desire for the album was to move away from the 'shiny and robotic' house music of the time. Unsatisfied with dance music of the time, they wanted to create an record that was about togetherness. Hence the title, Remedy, which was chosen as 'an antidote' to the 'poisons' they saw within dance music.

Steve plays Basement Jaxx's debut album Remedy in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Belle And Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap20210113The Glaswegian band's 1998 album in full plus a classic interview discussing the record.
Billy Bragg - Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy20201209Billy Bragg's Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy is inducted into Steve Lamacq's Album Club.
Black Sabbath - Paranoid20210616Steve Lamacq plays this 1970 rock classic in full. The band's second album features some of their best-known tracks such as Iron Man, War Pigs and the title track Paranoid.

Originally called War Pigs (hence the soldier on the album artwork) the band's label pushed to name the record after the successful lead single Paranoid. The decision paid off commercially, with the record topping the UK album chart, and going four times platinum in the US. Despite mixed reviews from critics at the time it's become a key part of the heavy metal genre, with bands for decades after inspired by these eight tracks.

Bloc Party - A Weekend In The City20211020Steve Lamacq plays Bloc Party's second album in full.

Released in 2007 as the follow-up from their hugely successful debut Silent Alarm, it was produced by Jacknife Lee and saw the band develop their sound with choirs and samples joining their frantic guitars and fast-paced drums. The record aimed to capture inner-city life with all its joy and sadness. Frontman Kele Okereke's lyrics touch on the loneliness of living in a big city, the feeling of fear present in the wake of 2005's July 7th London bombings as well as his experience as a second generation immigrant feeling unwelcome in his hometown - themes which still resonate almost two decades later.

Steve Lamacq plays Bloc Party's second album from 2007 in full.

Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays Bloc Party's second album - A Weekend In The City - in full.

Listen along as Steve Lamacq plays Bloc Party's second album from 2007 in full.

Blondie - Parallel Lines20210526Steve Lamacq plays Blondie's third studio album from 1978 in full, introduced with an archive interview from 1977 with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.

The album features some of the band's seminal hits including Hanging On The Telephone, Heart Of Glass and One Way Or Another. It was produced by Mike Chapman and recorded in just six weeks in the band's hometown, New York City. The record reached number one in the UK album charts in February 1979 and number six in the US two months later - making it their commercial breakthrough on both sides of the Atlantic as well as many other countries across the world.

Steve plays this1978 album in full, introduced with an archive interview with the band.

Blur - The Great Escape In Full20200813Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with Blur's fourth album The Great Escape in full.
Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home20210512Steve plays Dylan's fifth studio album from 1965 in full.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago20220323STEVE LAMACQ plays Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club. Join the conversation via #6musicalbumclub.

Getting it together' in the country has long been the prerogative of musicians. Back in the mists of time BOB DYLAN did it, Traffic boogied on the lawn of their cottage and Led Zeppelin went off to Wales to get the whiff of Bron-Yr-Aur up their nostrils. It also proved to be something of a creative restorative for Justin Vernon, now trading under the name Bon Iver (a bastardised version of Bon Hiver, French for 'good winter') who retreated to a log cabin in Wisconsin after the break-up of his band, DeYarmond Edison in 2006.

Originally self-released in 2007, For Emma, Forever Ago, became a short-run sell out with the buzz spreading like wildfire. It's easy to understand why. Acoustic-based songs are presented with a subtle though austere back-to-basics ambience, with a voice moving between a John Martyn-like tight-lipped mumble through to expressive and precocious declamations that wouldn't sound out of place on an album by Prince or Antony and the Johnsons.

Not surprisingly for music that was formed and shaped by three months in a Wisconsin landscape gripped by winter, the prevalent mood is sombre and even spiritual in places, encoded into a series of oblique lyrics that read on the page like terse poetry. Blindside talks of human contact melting the metaphorical and literal ice; the heartbeat throbbing of Lump Sum holds back judgement until things get warm; For Emma sees 'death on a sunny snow' and the simple meditation of Re:Stacks laments love frozen in the ground.

The sensitive production is a text-book case in getting the maximum from the most minimal materials. In the reflective pauses between chorus and verse of the opening track Flume, there are tiny sparkling harmonics frostily twinkling so briefly you might miss them in amongst ghostly rattles of feedback that form the harmonic spine of the piece – just one of many hair-raising, glorious moments. The strength of this set is founded on the unflinching clarity of a musical vision that transcends styles to create something utterly enthralling from start to finish.

Sid Smith - 2008

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/4rqv/

STEVE LAMACQ plays Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in full.

Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.

Steve Lamacq plays Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club. Join the conversation via #6musicalbumclub.

Getting it together' in the country has long been the prerogative of musicians. Back in the mists of time Bob Dylan did it, Traffic boogied on the lawn of their cottage and Led Zeppelin went off to Wales to get the whiff of Bron-Yr-Aur up their nostrils. It also proved to be something of a creative restorative for Justin Vernon, now trading under the name Bon Iver (a bastardised version of Bon Hiver, French for 'good winter') who retreated to a log cabin in Wisconsin after the break-up of his band, DeYarmond Edison in 2006.

Originally self-released in 2007, For Emma, Forever Ago, became a short-run sell out with the buzz spreading like wildfire. It's easy to understand why. Acoustic-based songs are presented with a subtle though austere back-to-basics ambience, with a voice moving between a John Martyn-like tight-lipped mumble through to expressive and precocious declamations that wouldn't sound out of place on an album by Prince or Antony and the Johnsons.

Not surprisingly for music that was formed and shaped by three months in a Wisconsin landscape gripped by winter, the prevalent mood is sombre and even spiritual in places, encoded into a series of oblique lyrics that read on the page like terse poetry. Blindside talks of human contact melting the metaphorical and literal ice; the heartbeat throbbing of Lump Sum holds back judgement until things get warm; For Emma sees 'death on a sunny snow' and the simple meditation of Re:Stacks laments love frozen in the ground.

The sensitive production is a text-book case in getting the maximum from the most minimal materials. In the reflective pauses between chorus and verse of the opening track Flume, there are tiny sparkling harmonics frostily twinkling so briefly you might miss them in amongst ghostly rattles of feedback that form the harmonic spine of the piece – just one of many hair-raising, glorious moments. The strength of this set is founded on the unflinching clarity of a musical vision that transcends styles to create something utterly enthralling from start to finish.

Sid Smith - 2008

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/4rqv/

Steve Lamacq plays Bon Iver's debut album For Emma, Forever Ago in full.

Catatonia - International Velvet20220330STEVE LAMACQ plays Catatonia's International Velvet as part of the #6MusicAlbumClub

Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.

Steve Lamacq plays Catatonia's International Velvet as part of the #6MusicAlbumClub

Cocteau Twins - Heaven Or Las Vegas20210602Steve Lamacq plays Cocteau Twins' album Heaven or Las Vegas in full.

Released in 1990 on 4AD, this was the group's sixth studio album and their most commercially successful, breaking the UK top ten. Band members Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie were writing and recording the album around the time their first daughter Lucy was born, eventually releasing it on the date of her first birthday. This directly influenced the record with tracks Pitch the Baby and Iceblink Luck referencing Elizabeth's experience of giving birth and welcoming a child. Another key event which contributed to the record's darker moments was the death of bassist Simon Raymonde's father - evident on tracks like Cherry-Coloured Funk and Fotzepolitic. It was a success with critics at the time and was has been retrospectively named as one of the best records from the 90s.

Steve Lamacq plays Cocteau Twins' sixth studio album Heaven or Las Vegas in full.

Daft Punk - Discovery20210407Steve plays the French electronic duo's second album from 2001 in full.

Daft Punk, aka Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, announced their split earlier this year after almost three decades together. A notoriously publicity-shy duo, they first found success with their 1997 debut album Homework and the follow-up, Discovery, was an audacious record which featured references to 70s disco and 80s crooners - even sampling Barry White. The record was the first in which they adopted their robot personas and included the singles Digital Love, One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

De La Soul Talk About Making 3 Feet High And Rising2020061720200624 (6M)Steve chats with Plug 1 and Plug 2 about De La Soul's album 3 Feet High and Rising.

It's the third edition of the #6MusicAlbumClub - Steve chats with Plug 1 and Plug 2 about De La Soul's hip-hop masterpiece 3 Feet High and Rising and they explain their influences from The Clash to Steely Dan and how they left school to take the album on tour after selling 100,000 copies in just 6 months.

De La Soul's 3 Feet High And Rising In Full20200617Lammo plays De La Soul's hip-hop masterpiece 3 Feet High and Rising in full.
Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels20220316STEVE LAMACQ plays Dexys Midnight Runners debut album - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels - in full. Join the conversation via #6musicalbumclub

Although coming four years after the first summer of punk, Searching For The Young Soul Rebels by Birmingham eight-piece Dexys Midnight Runners is probably the truest capturing of the movement's spirit ever released in Britain. Leader Kevin Rowland had indeed seen quite a bit in his '23' years, (as stated on Tell Me When My Light Turns Green – he was actually 27). He'd been in a smash'n'grab band of Birmingham punks; he'd toyed with a look that was to marry glam and safety-pin chic together (that was later half-inched by the new romantics) – recruiting a team of experienced players, he wanted to marry the anger of new wave with the emotion of soul music.

Remember, this was a time when soul was seen as something of a delicacy, liked by the northern crowd or females while the boys had their prog or Pistols. When Dexys played songs such as OTIS REDDING's Respect in their set, young British audiences had largely never heard of them and thought they were the group's originals.

And what originals they had. With its biographical essay on the sleeve (“The firm was complete, now for the caper?), Searching... was unlike anything that had come before. Producer Pete Wingfield achieved a sound with the three-piece horn section that has never been recreated on vinyl. Close mic'ed and recorded right to the front, they sledgehammered their way into your heart.

The album begins with a radio being turned off after playing relics from rock, punk and 2-Tone, before Rowland calls the group to arms for Burn It Down, an attack on all who demean the Irish by reeling off a list of the country's literary giants. It at once stated the moral ground that Rowland would operate on – a strong sense of Irish nationalism and a demand to be, if not understood, listened to with respect.

The album contained the No. 1 single, Geno; the powerful I'm Just Looking and also Keep It where the closing vocal duet between Rowland and his lieutenant 'Al' Archer has a fascinating intensity to it. The final song, There, There My Dear, made a spoken plea to cast all else aside and welcome a new soul vision.

Sincerity and belief were exceptionally unpopular in the early 80s; Dexys Midnight Runners on Searching For The Young Soul Rebels embodied it. Nearly 30 years on, it has lost little of its power. Although Rowland may have had bigger hits (Too Rye Ay) and made a greater work (1985's Don't Stand Me Down), SFTYSR - fierce, raging and passionate - remains one of the greatest debut albums of all time.

Daryl Easlea 2008

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/ccmq/

Steve plays Dexys Midnight Runners - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels - in full.

Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.

Elastica - Elastica20201014Steve inducts Elastica's self-titled 1995 debut into the 6 Music Album Club.
Elo - A New World Record20211201Released in September 1976, ELO's A New World Record was the band's 6th studio album and was a record that marked the shift towards shorter 'pop' songs. Indeed, Jeff Lynne noted that his song writing hit a peak on this album.

A New World Record became the band's first top ten album in the UK and reached multi-platinum status in the US and UK, selling five million units worldwide within its first year of release. The album yielded a number of hit singles, including 'Livin' Thing', 'Telephone Line', 'Do Ya', a remake of the 1972 single by The Move, of which Lynne was a member between 1970 and 1972.

Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays ELO's A New World Record in full. Join in the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub.

Join the album club & listen along as Steve Lamacq plays ELO's A New World Record in full.

Florence + The Machine - Lungs - In Full20200930Steve plays Florence + the Machine - Lungs in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club

Steve Lamacq's Album Club

Fontaines Dc - Dogrel20210714Steve Lamacq plays Fontaines DC's album Dogrel in full, introduced with highlights of an interview recorded by Steve with the band in the week the record was released in 2019.

From Dublin, Ireland, Fontaines DC met while attending music college and named their band after Johnny Fontaine from The Godfather. Their music was championed from the early days by Steve and when debut album Dogrel was released on Partisan Records in April 2019 it was met with wide critical acclaim. The record was nominated for the Mercury Prize and towards the end of the year was named 6 Music's album of 2019.

Steve Lamacq plays Fontaines DC's acclaimed 2019 debut album Dogrel in full.

Foo Fighters20220413Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - In Full2021012020210127 (6M)Steve plays Franz Ferdinand's Mercury Prize-winning self-titled debut album in full, introduced with a classic interview with the band from 2003. The record features classic indie anthem Take Me Out plus the singles Darts Of Pleasure and The Dark of the Matine. Influenced by the likes of Talking Heads, Pulp and Joy Division the suave and confident album was recorded at Gula Studios in the Swedish city of Malm. Alongside the Mercury Prize the album was Grammy-nominated and the band picked up two Brit Awards the following year. It has since been certified 4x Platinum in the UK and sold over a million copies in the USA.

Steve plays Franz Ferdinand's Mercury Prize-winning debut album in full.

Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control20220119Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays the whole of Gossip's 2006 album Standing in the Way of Control.

The album, the band's 3rd, was released in January 2006 and reached number 22 in the UK Charts and number 1 in the UK Indie charts. Produced by Guy Picciotto and Ryan Hadlock. The Irish Times described Beth Ditto's performance on the album as 'a compelling combination of Brenda Lee, Dolly Parton and Siouxsie Sioux.

The album's title track was placed by NME magazine at number 23 in its list of the '50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever'. In October 2011, NME placed it at number 34 on its list '150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years' and in 2009, Pitchfork placed the song at number 429 on its list 'Top 500 Greatest Tracks of the 2000s'.

Join the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub

Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future20210915teve Lamacq plays Klaxon's debut album in full.
Madness - One Step Beyond... - Interview20200701Steve Lamacq talks to Suggs from Madness about the their album One Step Beyond...
Madness - One Step Beyond... In Full20200701The debut Madness album, 'One Step Beyond...' in full.
Massive Attack - Blue Lines20210505Steve plays Massive Attack's debut album from 1991 in full, introduced with an archive interview with 3D from Radio 1's Evening Session. The record is recognised as the first trip hop album, fusing electronic music, hip hop, dub as well as 70s soul and reggae, with the iconic artwork as well known as the album itself. Among the tracks is the iconic Unfinished Sympathy as well as classics like Daydreaming, Safe From Harm and Be Thankful For What You've Got.
Muse - Origin Of Symmetry - In Full20200610
Muse - Origin Of Symmetry - Interview20200610Steve and Muse look back at their 2001 epic Origin Of Symmetry.

Steve Lamacq Album Club Interview

Another chance to hear Lammo in conversation with Chris and Dom from Muse as they talk about the making of their Classic album Origin Of Symmetry.

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless20211103Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays the whole of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album.

Released on the 4th November 1991, Loveless is the 2nd studio album from My Bloody Valentine and was released on Creation Records. The album was recorded between February 1989 and September 1991, with Kevin Shields leading the sessions and experimenting with guitar vibrato and some nonstandard tunings. The album reached number 24 on the UK Albums Chart, and was widely cited as a landmark shoegaze album.

Steve plays the whole of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album.

New Model Army - Thunder And Consolation20201118New Model Army's Thunder and Consolation is inducted into Steve Lamacq's Album Club.
Oasis - (what's The Story) Morning Glory? In Full20200812Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with Oasis' (What's The Story) Morning Glory in full.
Oasis Talk About Making (what's The Story) Morning Glory?20200812Steve presents the 6 Music Album Club.
Orbital - Orbital20200708Steve talks to the band about their 1991 debut album Orbital.
Orbital - Orbital In Full20200708Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with Orbital's debut album, 'Orbital
P J Harvey - Let England Shake20200624Steve talks to P J Harvey about her Mercury Prize winning album Let England Shake.

Steve Lamacq Album Club Interview

P J Harvey - Let England Shake - Interview20200617
P J Harvey Talks About Making Let England Shake2020062420200617 (6M)Steve talks to P J Harvey about her Mercury Prize winning album Let England Shake.
P J Harvey's 'let England Shake' In Full20200624P J Harvey's 'Let England Shake' played in full
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon20220223Steve Lamacq plays the whole of Pink Floyd's legendary album The Dark Side of the Moon. Listen along and join in the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub

Contextually speaking this was the Floyd's saving grace. By 1972 they'd firmly claimed the avant garde (read: musically unadventurous but prone to hitting large gongs and setting fire to stuff onstage) art rock mainstream as their own playground. Yet these middle-class boys still craved, like, bread, man. After a prolonged period of fumbling soundtracks for European arthouse movies they'd finally emerged from under the shadow of founder/visionary/lost-marble icon, Syd Barrett with a coherently beautiful album, Meddle. Roger Waters had some big ideas about madness, life, death and all that deep stuff. EMI had a rather splendid studio with some top-notch engineers. Six months later...voila!

What made this concoction so popular at the time was a series of coincidences. The western world was now fully stereoed-up; the band hooked up with an immaculate engineer by the name of Alan Parsons (yes, that one with the project) and last, but not least, the band bothered to write some really fine songs. This was a long way from the half-baked nonsense that had plagued Ummagumma or Atom Heart Mother. Gilmour's guitar was now exquisitely tasteful (the heart still breaks over that little phrase about 36 seconds into 'Breathe') and zen-like in what he could leave out (check the most underrated track 'Any Colour You Like'). The sound effects are as hackneyed as a 70s stereo demonstration record (that this album effectively replaced in most hi-fi stores at the time), yet the overall flow of the album still satisfies as it merges existential ballads ('Time', 'Us And Them') with cynical rockers ('Money') and arena-impressing freak outs ('The Great Gig In The Sky').

Chris Jones

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/gncz/

Pixies - Doolittle20220105Pixies' Doolittle, originally released in April 1989, came in a year which had already given us New Order's Technique, Lou Reed's New York and was about to unleash astonishing debuts from both The Stone Roses and Soul II Soul alongside The Cure's last fully good album, Disintegration. A vintage year indeed.

Doolittle's power and influence has barely been beaten. It was this album that inspired Kurt Cobain's vision for Nirvana, created the quiet/loud dynamic that Mogwai owe a career to, had everyone from Bowie to Radiohead, Blur to PJ Harvey awestruck and when they reformed – one of the first to do so in the last few years before it got silly – it was Doolittle that many middle-aged indiepeople were wanting to hear and howl and scream along to.

It's not hard to see why. After building themselves a nice reputation on the back of their 'proper' debut, Surfer Rosa, it was Doolittle that took them from being fawned over in Melody Maker into the actual charts to become one of 4AD's biggest successes of that time. With the key singles Monkey Gone To Heaven and Here Comes Your Man, Black Francis had distilled death, horror, whores, biblical imagery and undersea myths into a succession of short sharp chunks of immense catchiness. The unearthly howls of Debaser and Dead; the calm dead-eyed destroyer of Wave Of Mutilation; the warped southern soul of Hey; the controlled abandon and angles that Joey Santiago coaxed from his guitar throughout. Even drummer David Lovering got a song with La La Love You. And that's not to mention that the very presence of Kim Deal – a year away from inventing The Breeders - on this album consolidated her position as one of the coolest women on Earth.

There is little flab or room for negotiation with Doolittle, its 15 tracks could be released now and still wipe the floor of many of late noughties efforts. It's as perfect today as it was back then. Genuinely amazing.

Ian Wade - https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/g9jw/

Listen along as Steve Lamacq plays Pixies' 1989 album Doolittle in full.

Portishead - Dummy20211006Steve plays Portishead's debut album in full, introduced with an archive interview with band member Geoff Barrow.

The Bristol three-piece's first record, Dummy, was released in August 1994. With a title taken from a 1970s TV drama of the same name, the album was a commercial and critical success, winning the prestigious Mercury Music Prize in 1995.

Steve plays Portishead's Mercury Prize-winning 1994 debut album in full.

Primal Scream - Screamadelica20210922Steve Lamacq plays Screamadelica in full to mark thirty years since its release.
Public Service Broadcasting - The Race For Space2021032420210331 (6M)Steve plays Public Service Broadcasting's second album The Race For Space in full. Released in 2015, the band worked with sound samples from The British Film Institute to integrate the story of the American v Soviet space race. Opening with a speech from John F Kennedy, it features the events of Sputnik 1, the Apollo 1 disaster and the Apollo 11 successful moon landing.
Pulp - Different Class20210310Steve revisits Pulp's 1995 album Different Class.
Radiohead - Kid A20211110Steve Lamacq plays Radiohead's ground-breaking fourth album Kid A in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Released in October 2000, Kid A was Radiohead's fourth album and was produced by collaborator Nigel Godrich. The album drew on a wide range of diverse influences from electronic and ambient music through krautrock, jazz, and 20th-century classical music. The band also expanded their musical palette by using more modular synthesisers, samples and loops as well as brass sections and strings.

The band also didn't release any singles from the album and became one of the first groups to harness the power of the internet as a promotional tool with the album being streamed upon released. Kid A debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart and became Radiohead's first number one album in the United States. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Steve plays Radiohead's Kid A album in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Steve Lamacq plays Radiohead's groundbreaking fourth album Kid A in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Released in October 2000, Kid A was Radiohead's fourth album and was produced by collaborator Nigel Godrich. The album drew on a wide range of diverse influences from electronic and ambient music, though krautrock, jazz, and 20th-century classical music. The band also expanded their musical palette by using more modular synthesiser, samples and loops as well as brass sections and strings.

The band also didn't release any singles from the album and became one of the first groups to harness the power of the internet as a promotional tool with the album being streamed upon release. Kid A debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart and became Radiohead's first number-one album in the United States. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Steve plays Radiohead's Kid A albumin full as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

Ride - Nowhere20200909Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with Ride's 1990 debut album 'Nowhere' in full.
Roni Size And Reprazent - New Forms20210721Steve Lamacq plays Roni Size and Reprazent's Mercury Prize-winning drum'n'bass classic in full.

Released in 1997, Roni Size and Reprazent's debut album is a drum'n'bass classic. By the time it came out the genre was coming towards the end of its original peak period, beginning to become a gimmick in the eyes of many. The group, who were Roni Size, Onallee, Dynamite MC, DJ Suv, DJ Die and Krust, proved that the genre could sustain a diverse and high-quality album, working with musicians such as Si John (who provided the legendary double-bass groove in Brown Paper Bag) and numerous guest vocalists and co-writers such as Tracey Thorn. The record took home the prestigious Mercury Music Prize later the same year, beating huge acts like of Radiohead, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and not forgetting, The Spice Girls.

Steve Lamacq plays this Mercury Prize-winning drum'n'bass classic from 1997 in full.

Steve Lamacq plays Roni Size & Reprazent's Mercury Prize-winning drum'n'bass classic in full.

Released in 1997, Roni Size & Reprazent's debut album is a drum'n'bass classic. By the time it came out the genre was coming towards the end of its original peak period, beginning to become a gimmick in the eyes of many. The group, who were Roni Size, Onallee, Dynamite MC, DJ Suv, DJ Die and Krust, proved that the genre could sustain a diverse and high-quality album, working with musicians such as Si John (who provided the legendary double-bass groove in Brown Paper Bag) and numerous guest vocalists and co-writers such as Tracey Thorn. The record took home the prestigious Mercury Music Prize later the same year, beating huge acts like of Radiohead, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and not forgetting, The Spice Girls.

Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) In Full20200916Steve Lamacq plays Simple Minds - New Gold Dream in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club
Sly And The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On20211027Listen along as Huw Stephens inducts Sly and The Family Stone's 1971 classic album There's A Riot Goin' On into the 6 Music Album Club and plays it in full, just a few days before it turns fifty on 1st November.

The group's fifth album, it was originally titled Africa Talks To You but was later changed in response to Marvin Gaye's album What's Going On, released just a few months earlier.

Listen along as Huw Stephens plays this classic Sly & The Family Stone album in full.

Steel Pulse - Handsworth Revolution20201007Every Wednesday we've been dipping into the archives to bring you an interview with one of our favourite acts, then celebrating their legacy by playing one of their finest albums in full We've heard from the likes of Buzzcocks, P J Harvey, Blur, De La Soul, The Prodigy and Florence and the Machine.

Now as we start Black History month, we reach for Handsworth Revolution the debut album by Steel Pulse. Amongst other topics the album deals with David Hinds' experiences of the racial prejudices of the time which we still see today and as such contains some strong racial language.

Steve Lamacq's plays out Steel Pulse - Handsworth Revolution in full in the Album Club

Super Furry Animals - Fuzzy Logic20210414Steve plays Super Furry Animals' debut album from 1996 in full. The Cardiff band were one of many groups at the time spotted by Alan McGee and signed to his Creation Records label. This first album helped contribute to the growing cool Cymru movement of Welsh music which was competing with Britpop by the late 90s. The record includes some of the band's first singles such as Something 4 The Weekend and God! Show Me Magic, as well as former member turned actor Rhys Ifans contributing with a rambling voicemail message on the album's final track, Long Gone.
Teenage Fanclub - Bandwagonesque20210602Steve Lamacq plays Teenage Fanclub's third album in full - although it could be argued that the second doesn't count after 'The King', recorded in the same studio sessions as Bandwagonesque, was deleted on the day of it's release a few months earlier in 1991. Bandwagonesque was released in November 1991 on Creation Records and was the album which helped make them a success in the USA, even being named Spin's album of the year ahead of Nirvana's Nevermind.

Steve Lamacq plays Teenage Fanclub's third album from 1991 in full.

The Adverts - Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts20210203Steve plays this 1978 punk classic in full introduced with a classic interview with T.V. Smith.

Crossing The Red Sea with The Adverts was the band's debut album, recorded at Abbey Road studios and featuring the tracks One Chord Wonders, No Time To Be 21 amongst others. Founded by T.V. Smith and bassist Gaye Advert then joined by guitarist Howard Boak and drummer Laurie Driver, the band were a formidable live act who toured with The Damned and Iggy Pop. Their debut album was a perfect storm, one of the finest punk albums of the decade and the only record the four would record together as the band had a line-up change soon after before disbanding after a disappointingly received second album.

Steve plays this 1978 punk classic in full alongside a classic interview with T.V. Smith

The Buzzcocks - Love Bites - In Full20200603
The Buzzcocks - Love Bites - Interview20200603Archive interview with Buzzcock's Steve Diggle and the late Pete Shelley.

Steve Lamacq Album Club Interview

Buzzcock?s Steve Diggle and the late Pete Shelley talk about their classic album Love Bites, including their work ethic, a move into the mainstream and the real inspiration for their greatest hit, Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've).

The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole20201111is inducted into the Album Club

Steve Lamacq's Album Club

The Chemical Brothers - Surrender20220112Steve plays The Chemical Brothers' album Surrender in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club. Listen along 7 Join in the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub.

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A long time before Hot Chip tried unsuccessfully to pair their raving shoes with a deeper, reflective soul, the Chems had it nailed down. On Surrender, arguably the finest album Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons have yet produced, the blend of big, banging anthems and strung-out chill tunes is almost perfectly wrought.

There's a glut of cool and influential names involved, but regardless of the famous mates, the overwhelming feeling is one of resolute confidence and knowing execution.

Under The Influence is still a pulversing, intoxicating test of bass-freaks and stereos. Out Of Control, with its trancey synths and Bernard Sumner vocal, remains the best New Order song the Mancunians never recorded themselves. The Sunshine Underground? That epic supersedes its band namesake and continues to be a touchstone for any serious producer wishing to meld the downtempo with the dancefloor in one swoop.

Aside from the obvious highlights, there are beatific surprises. Asleep From Day, easily overlooked on an album including Mercury Rev man Jonathan Donahue and NOEL GALLAGHER, would settle gladly on a Boards Of Canada or Howling Bells record. It's contemplative and sweet like a summer evening just before the sun dips below the horizon.

There are moments when the staggeringly high quality control dips slightly, like on Got Glint? But even then, the chunky beats and supple groove leaves the Brothers' contemporaries in the shade.

No one should, or could, expect engaging lyrics or political depth on an album that is aimed to move mood to the highest heights via dancing. But these superstar DJs mastered the art of synth and beat urgency before Simian Mobile Disco or Justice even snagged a sniff of hipster recognition. It's almost a decade old but this mighty effort is still worth submitting to.

Lou Thomas 2008 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/cz8c/

The Clash - London Calling20220126Join the album club and listen along as Steve Lamacq plays the whole of The Clash's ground breaking 3rd album London Calling.

If music-loving aliens land and you find yourself, at laser-point, searching for one single example of how rock is supposed to be rolled, then you are strongly advised to recommend London Calling. Because this epic double album, from its iconic sleeve to its wildly eclectic mash-up of styles, is surely the quintessential rock album.

So good in fact that Rolling Stone magazine voted it the best album of the 1980s, even though it actually came out in 1979. This was when The Clash came of age, progressing from the brilliant-but-limited punk rock ire of their first two albums to the stage where they could turn their hand to reggae, ska, rockabilly and pretty much anything else they fancied.

Yet the record never lacks focus and Strummer and Jones' willingness to experiment is never let down by a lack of great songs. Pick from straight-up punk like 'Death Or Glory', sweet pop like 'Lost In The Supermarket' or dub like the Paul Simenon-penned 'Guns of Brixton'. They're even confident enough to leave possibly the best song of all, 'Train In Vain', un-credited on the sleeve when any other band would be screaming its presence from the rooftops.

Truly, a record so brilliant you'd have to be from another planet not to love it.

Mark Sutherland - BBC Music Review 2004

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/c3cz/

Steve Lamacq plays the whole of The Clash's 3rd album London Calling.

The Cure - Disintegration20211013teve Lamacq plays The Cure's eighth studio album Disintegration in full.
The Damned - Machine Gun Etiquette In Full20200826Steve plays The Damned's third studio album Machine Gun Etiquette in full #6MusicAlbumClub
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots20220309Steve plays the whole of the Flaming Lips' 2002 album Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.

Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.

The Housemartins - London 0 Hull 4 In Full20200722Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with The Housemartins debut album London 0 Hull 4.
The Housemartins Talk About Making London 0 Hull 420200722Steve talks to the Housemartins about their 1986 debut album London 0 Hull 4.
The Klf - The White Room20220209Steve Lamacq plays the whole of The KLF's ground-breaking album The White Room as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

First conceived as the soundtrack for their road movie, also called The White Room, about the KLF's search for the mystical White Room, the project was put on hold after the duo ran out of money and their next single 'Kylie Said to Jason' flopped. At the same time, their 1988 single 'What Time Is Love?', was getting played in the underground clubs of continental Europe; which lead The KLF to revert to a sound they dubbed 'Stadium House'.

The album was released in the UK on the 4th March 1991 and reached number 3.

Listen along and join the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub

Steve Lamacq plays the whole of The KLF's ground-breaking album The White Room.

The Maccabees - Colour It In20210217Steve plays The Maccabees' 2007 debut album in full, introduced with a classic interview with the band.

The south-London five-piece delivered on the promise of some exciting singles like About Your Dress, Precious Time and First Love with an album recorded in away from their hometown, by the sea in Brighton. The result was an album mixing indie dancefloor fillers with Orlando Weeks' romantic lyrics, plus one of the only songs written in tribute to a local swimming pool. Featuring several different editions of the artwork in different colours, this record started a run of four albums over the following decade with the band's star rising with each release.

Steve plays The Maccabees' 2007 debut album in full accompanied by a classic interview.

The National - High Violet20210609Steve plays the New York-based band's album from 2010 in full. The indie quintet's landmark fifth record catapulted them from cult curiosity to genre-titans and festival headliners. Produced by the band themselves in their Brooklyn studio, the transformative album features seminal tracks like Bloodbuzz Ohio, Anyone's Ghost and Terrible Love as well as high profile guest features from Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.
The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation In Full20200819Steve's 6 Music Album Club is back with The Prodigy's Music For The Jilted Generation
The Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now20220406Steve plays the whole of The Psychedelic Furs' third album - Forever Now - as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

The album was released in September 1982 and saw the now 4 piece band working with producer Todd Rundgren for the first time. The previous years had seen two of the original members – the saxophonist Duncan Kilburn and the guitarist Roger Morris – abruptly leave the band following the recording of their second album, Talk Talk Talk in 1981. The partnership with Rundgren who was widely known and respected for his work with many artists, including major label successes like Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell – was derided by some sections of the music press as the inevitable 'pop sellout'. But the band saw this collaboration as a positive development and have gone onto express pride in the results of the partnership.

Join the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub.

Hear a special tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who has died aged 50.

Steve plays the whole of The Psychedelic Furs' third album - Forever Now - as part of the 6 Music Album Club.

The album was released in September 1982 and saw the now 4 piece band working with producer Todd Rundgren for the first time. The previous years had seen two of the original members – the saxophonist Duncan Kilburn and the guitarist Roger Morris – abruptly leave the band following the recording of their second album, Talk Talk Talk in 1981. The partnership with Rundgren who was widely known and respected for his work with many artists, including major label successes like Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell – was derided by some sections of the music press as the inevitable pop sellout'. But the band saw this collaboration as a positive development and have gone onto express pride in the results of the partnership.

Join the conversation via #6MusicAlbumClub.

The Ruts - The Crack20210331Steve plays The Ruts' debut album from 1979 in full.
The Selecter - Too Much Pressure20210421Steve plays The Selecter's first album from 1980 in full.
The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses20211208Manchester at the end of the 80s was caught between two schools of musical thought. Still in thrall to the legacy left behind by both Factory records and the recently departed Smiths, it was also in the grip of early club culture. The odiously named Madchester scene was just on the horizon. No band summed up this schism as well as the Roses. Originally a punk-loving, bandana and leather trouser-sporting bunch of rowdy locals with a following and a Martin Hannett-produced flop to their names, they finally re-emerged with Johnny Marr's chiming Byrd-isms married to new bassist Mani's loping funk on 'Sally Cinnamon'. Guitarist John Squire now felt confident enough to let his influences shine, and Ian Brown had progressed from raw shouts to Mancunian cool. The sound was sorted. Now for some top, banging album action. On first listen, The Stone Roses is a strangely old-fashioned album. Brown's multi-tracked vocals (he was never a strong singer) mix pleasantly with Squire's chiming Rickenbacker to produce a very mellow, 60s West Coast vibe. But if you get insisde the heart of songs like 'I Wanna Be Adored' and 'I Am The Resurrection' there's that unmistakeable swagger and defiance that was to prove such a template for Oasis a few years later. It's also this strange friction between old and new that makes this album so durable. Certainly it was Squire who took the band into essentially 'freak-out' territory, especially on the wah-wah'n'drum work out at the end of 'I Am The Resurrection', and it was he who sank the follow-up with his adoration of Jimmy Page. But as an accurate picture of how working class hedonism fused dance and rock in the dying days of the 80s, this album is unbeatable. Chris Jones - https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/q6rg/

The Stranglers - Black And White In Full20200805Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with The Stranglers' Black and White in full.

Steve presents the 6 Music Album Club.

The Stranglers Talk About Making Black And White20200805Steve celebrates the classic Stranglers album Black and White.
The Streets - Original Pirate Material2022032320 years since its release, STEVE LAMACQ plays The Street's album Original Pirate Material in full as part of the 6 Music Album Club. Join the conversation via #6musicalbumclub

It appears that many of those who have faced the challenge of reviewing this album are in agreement that word count is a real bind. There is just too much to say. In fact, a small book could, and probably will, be written examining what The Streets has achieved with the execution of Original Pirate Material.

It could be argued that not since Never Mind The Bollocks... has there been a record that has said as much about being young and living in the UK. Moreover, what makes this album even more remarkable is that it is the work of a one unassuming 22 year old, namely MIKE SKINNER.

Despite an early passion for hip hop and house Mike was never embroiled in the London's pirate radio scene, in fact he was working in Australia when the UK garage cemented its position in the mainstream. Perhaps it is this cultural and geographical distance that has kept Skinner's musical slate clean and allowed him to forge this unique 'high rise' style. Ska, dub, house, drum and bass, hip hop and UK garage have all been thrown in to The Streets' sampler for processing and rearrangement. When combined with his vocal delivery the results are mesmerising - not quite hip hop, not quite an MC and not quite slam poetry but somewhere in between. He's engaged, enlightened and writes with a degree of insight that is humorous, heart-wrenching, humbling and worthy of so much more than this little review.

By his own admission Original Pirate Material is the 'day in the life of a geezer' yet amongst the bitter sweet, inner city anecdotes of drugs, violence, playing computer games, trips to the garage and going clubbing, Mike's best punches are pulled when he is at his most sensitive. In 'Has It Come To This' he announces, 'The music's a gift from the man on high, the lord and his children'. More of these gems are revealed with successive listens and it is clear as the title in 'Let's Push Things Forward' suggests Mike is on a mission.

In the years to come if you're ever asked what it was like being young at the start of the twenty first century you could do a lot worse than dig this album out of your collection provided, of course, you've taken it out of your CD player. Genius.

BBC Music Review - Christian Hopwood - 2002

https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/zfdp/

20 years since its release Steve plays The Street's Original Pirate Material in full.

The Strokes - Is This It20210728Steve Lamacq celebrates twenty years since the release of The Strokes' debut album Is This It by playing the record in full.

Acclaimed as one of the best and most culturally significant album of the noughties, The Strokes' first album was released twenty years ago in the USA, on 30th July 2001. It proved to be a watershed moment an influenced guitar music on both sides of the Atlantic in the subsequent years. Featuring the huge singles Last Nite, Hard To Explain and Someday, within five years it had sold over 600,000 copies in the UK and over a million in the USA.

Steve Lamacq plays The Strokes debut album Is This It in full.

The Sundays - Reading, Writing And Arithmetic20210303Steve plays The Sundays' debut album from 1990 in full.

The Sundays began attracting attention in the late 80s with a sound that cut through against the popular Madchester and dance culture groups of the time. After an A&R battle to sign them, the single Can't Be Sure topped John Peel's Festive 50 in 1989 (beating a number of tracks now considered classics from the likes of Pixies, Stone Roses, James and more). The album Reading, Writing and Arithmatic (the title an homage to the band's hometown of Reading) was a top-five chart success in 1990. Singer Harriet Wheeler had both an exceptional range and a warmth to her voice which was complimented by the guitar work of her future husband David Gavurin. Despite the success the band faded away over the rest of the decade after a disappointing second album and third which got lost in the late 90s Britpop-dominated alternative scene.

The Undertones' Debut Lp20201104The Undertones' self-titled debut album is initiated into the 6 Music Album Club.
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells20201202STEVE LAMACQ inducts The White Stripes - White Blood Cells into the Album Club.

Steve Lamacq's Album Club

The Xx - Xx In Full20200715Steve presents the #6MusicAlbumClub with The xx's 2009 debut album xx.
The Xx About Making Xx20200715
The Xx Talk About Making Their Debut Album Xx, Plus Hear An Archive Session20200715Steve Lamacq has archive interviews and session tracks from The xx.
The Xx -xx In Full20200715
Tubeway Army - Replicas20201125Gary Numan's breakthrough LP, Tubeway Army - Replicas is inducted into the Album Club
Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants20210210Steve plays Underworld's fourth album from1996 in full.

The record was the second released by the second iteration of Underworld, known as Mk2, with Darren Emerson working alongside Karl Hyde and Rick Smith. Despite being released in the same year as the song that's become synonymous with the group, Born Slippy, this track did not feature on the album's original tracklisting. On the album's 73-minute runtime the group flexed their musical muscles, showing the full range of their raving abilities - an ambition shown by the opening track, the three-part shape-shifting suite Juanita : Kiteless : To Dream of Love. It would be the year that took Underworld to new levels of success, partly thanks to Born Slippy and Trainspotting, but also thanks to this exceptional record.

Unkle - Psyence Fiction20210623Steve Lamacq plays Unkle's 1998 debut album in full. The electronic classic was the brainchild of James Lavelle and DJ Shadow, working with numerous guest musicians including Thom Yorke, Richard Ashcroft, Badly Drawn Boy and Beatie Boys' Mike D. Perhaps a victim of impossibly high expectations following DJ Shadow's acclaimed Endtroducing...... the album had a mixed response from critics on it's release but has since been reassessed by many and praised for it's pioneering quality.
Weezer - Weezer (the Blue Album)20210707Steve Lamacq plays Weezer's debut album from 1994 in full.
X-ray Spex - Germfree Adolescents20210804Steve Lamacq plays X-Ray Spex's debut album in full, introduced with an archive interview with frontwoman Poly Styrene.

Released in 1978, this was the first and last album that the band would release. It was recorded at Essex Studios and released on EMI. Poly Styrene was inspired to start a punk band after watching The Sex Pistols perform at Hastings Pier Pavilion two years before. Germfree Adolescents has influenced a wide range of artists ever since, from Karen O to Kim Gordon, Beth Ditto and FKA Twigs.

Steve Lamacq plays X-Ray Spex's debut album from 1978 in full.