Nicky Tesco, former frontman of The Members; My Top 10 favourite albums

The Members are one of the great lost bands of the punk years…

Whilst not strictly punk the band had the sharpness and the spikey energy of the movement and a reggae undertow that saw them fully embraced by the scene in the late seventies.

Their big hit ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’ (Virgin Records Feb 1979 UK Chart #12) is one of the great punk singles – powerful and inventive, with great lyrics and was a harbinger for the great debut album ‘At The Chelsea Nightclub’ (Virgin Records 1979 UK Chart #45) which we loved when it came out.

Their charismatic frontman Nicky Tesco was like a Jagger on the dole and the band really could play, switching from Clash style chops to twangy neo Shadows to dub grooves in the space of one song with the musical dexterity and the aggression like another older band who GOT IT, The Stranglers.

There is a version of the band still out on tour but Nicky Tesco hung up the mic years ago but he was kind enough to give us his Top 10 albums…

The Rolling Stones – Exile On Main Street (1972)

In the beginning you were Beatles or Stones. I was always Stones. For me they made four of the best rock albums of all time Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and this; I always come back to Exile. At the time of Exile’s release, Jagger said, “This new album is fucking mad…”

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971)

In my teens, off my head on acid and a friend says “you have to hear this”. It still sounds as good as that first time, every time. The first Marvin Gaye album credited as being produced by the artist himself…

In worldwide critics’, artists’ and public surveys, it has been voted one of the landmark recordings in pop music history and is considered to be one of the greatest albums ever made. In 2003, the album was ranked number six on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, placing that same position nine years later.

U Roy – Natty Rebel (1976)

So very hard to think of one album in this area when there’s Tapper Zukie and Big Youth on the shelf too. But this is Friday night good vibes. Ewart Beckford was born 21st September 1942, Kingston, Jamaica, better known by the stage name U-Roy; legendary Jamaican vocalist and pioneer of toasting.

Stevie Wonder – Talking Book

Second of the trilogy he recorded with Tonto’s Expanding Headband which brought the fat analogue synth sound centre stage. That opening clavinet on Superstition is so fucking amazing. The fifteenth album by Stevie Wonder, released on October 28, 1972. Opening track “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”, earned Wonder his first Grammy Award, for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The album is credited as being the recording that shattered the myth that R&B artists were incapable of creating music that could be enjoyed by a rock audience.

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (1968)

So many dawn choruses, so many sunrises, so many good times with Madame George as the soundtrack. Also one of my son’s favourites.

Part 2 of Nicky Tesco top ten favourite albums is HERE

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