Classic Albums

It was fifty years ago today … where flowers grew and the sun shone still

where flowers grew and the sun shone still

Nick Drake only made three albums, of which this was his last.  But it hasn’t stopped both him, and the albums, achieving cult status.  Even so, none of them made the charts until some 40 years after his death, and then only for a short time.  Doesn’t stop them from being classics, however.

Album: Pink Moon
Artist: Nick Drake
Released:  25th February 1972
Weeks in UK Album Chart: 3
Highest Chart Position: 27

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It was fifty years ago today … I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold

I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold

Neil Young’s fourth solo album, and probably his best, it was produced off the first break-up of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young but still featured the other three members on some of the tracks.  It features some of his best-known tracks, including his only US number one single Heart of Gold.

Album: Harvest
Artist: Neil Young
Released:  1st February 1972
Weeks in UK Album Chart: 40
Number of Weeks at No.1: 1

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It was fifty years ago today … from Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads

It seems strange to relate, 50 years later, that what is still the Bowie album I play more than any other was, at the time, what is known as a slow-burner.  Maybe it was the more acoustic feel of the tracks compared to Man Who Sold the World, maybe it was the lack of promotion from his new label, but somehow this absolute classic stayed out of the album charts for over nine months after release.  Once it got there, however, it stayed for three years – peaking at number 3, two places higher than its successor, Ziggy Stardust!

Album: Hunky Dory
Artist: David Bowie
Released:  17th December 1971
Weeks in UK Album Chart: 150
Highest Chart Position: 3

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It was forty years ago today … out in clubland having fun

There is little doubt that the early success of this debut album was down to the quite superb cover of an old Gloria Jones B-side from the early sixties that never charted.  The original version became a Northern Soul classic in the ‘seventies, before their cover shot Soft Cell to the top of the singles charts in the late summer of 1981.   But, as most of those who bought it recognise, that was just one of a number of well-crafted tracks on an album that, unfortunately, they never quite emulated afterwards.

Album: Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
Artist: Soft Cell
Released:  27th November 1981
Weeks in UK Album Chart: 46
Highest Chart Position: 5

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It was fifty years ago today … in and around the lake

around the lake

Strangely, most music ‘historians’ tend to mark the main importance of this, their fourth, studio album as the first one to feature Roger Dean’s cover artwork – a style that continued on the majority of their subsequent albums.  For me it was a transition album from their early, more rock-based music into being an out-and-out prog band.  Whether, long-term, that was a good thing or not is for fans to judge, but it is that transitionary sound that captures both styles is what makes this a classic album for me.

Album: Fragile
Artist: Yes
Released:  26th November 1971
Weeks in UK Album Chart: 16
Highest Chart Position: 7

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