5. Godflesh – ‘Like Rats’
(For numbers 7/8 in John Doran’s top 20 albums please go here)
If you were born into a working class family in the North in the 1970s then the monolithic shadow of Thatcherism fell across your childhood, whether you realised it at the time or not. And more than anything else… more than the wreckage visited upon the unions, more than what happened to the miners… what we lost then was hope for a better future. Her biggest ‘achievement’ was to finally destroy the last of the liberalism and optimism of the 1960s and out of this despair and nihilism grew a music of terrible beauty.
“My favourite albums recorded in Britain during this period reflected the death of hope in the future. Skullflower’s Xaman, Loop’s Heaven’s End, Spacemen Three’s Playing With Fire, Godflesh’s Streetcleaner, My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything and Psychocandy by The Jesus And Mary Chain. These records were the soundtrack to the death of liberalism and optimism. They sounded the retreat away from utopianism into nihilism and despair, which was not just to say that they were violent and inward looking but they even parodied the sun-dappled psychedelia of 1967. This was the brown acid really kicking in. And it felt like they had been written just for me.”
6. Aphrodite’s Child – ‘The Four Horsemen’
How can Manchester and Liverpool be so different? They’re only 35 miles apart from each other…
“The Aphrodite’s Child album 666 features in an urban myth that gets repeated in both cities, exact in every respect, with the only difference being an unspoken one of interpretation. The story goes that a young man comes in from a night out to find that his flat has been turned over. Everything is gone, the cupboards are bare, the furniture is missing, the fridge, the TV, the cooker and even the bed have been nicked. In fact the only solitary thing that remains in the completely empty flat is a copy of 666 by Aphrodite’s Child. The Mancunian who hears this laughs: “Not even a desperate smackhead burglar wants a copy of 666… what a top diss!” The Scouser who hears this laughs, “You can rob a guy’s fridge and you can rob his bed but you can’t take his copy of 666 la!””