5. Billy Bragg – Back To Basics

A compilation of the first two albums. Bill was and still is a friend and hero of mine as we came from similar backgrounds, areas, Labour family roots, and we both supported West Ham. I reviewed him live a couple of times for Sounds and the NME but never got to interview him properly as his Road Manager at the time Andy Kershaw was a strict gatekeeper and thought I was a bit of a hustler. I used Bill’s quote about me on the cover of one of my books ‘Sex, Lines and Videotape’ where he said ‘Paul is a persistent little herbert’. One of my favourite tracks ever ‘Between The Wars’ is on here and it makes me fill up every time I hear it. Absolute quality punk-folk.

4. Derek and Clive Live

Me and my spars at school used to know every word of this filth from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as a couple of cockney toilet cleaners chatting shit: ”I’ve never laughed so much since Auntie Mable caught her left tit in the mangle’ Surreal, hilarious brilliance.

3.Public Enemy – Yo Bum Rush The Show.

The greatest band America have produced in my humble opinion. I used to play review copies of this before it was released on my LWR pirate station show (the station that launched Pete Tong and Westwood) sent to me by Def Jam. That was if we weren’t getting raided or getting our transmitters cut down. I used to see DJs jumping out of windows with their record bags if the DTI smashed their way in to our studios in heavy areas like the North Peckham Estate and and seized our equipment. ‘Public Enemy Number One’ was one of the truly awesome old skool hip hop anthems!

2. Rage Agaisnt The Machine – Renegades.

It’s a covers album with tracks by Dylan, Springsteen, Devo, Eric B, Cypress Hill, Rolling Stones etc but it’s their version of the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’ that is the bad ass track on the album. I saw them live at the ‘anti Simon Cowell and X Factor ‘ free gig at Finsbury Park when Rage’s ‘Killing in the name of’ stopped another bell-end from X Factor getting to Number One. The NME called it ‘one of the top 5 best gigs of all time’ and I couldn’t argue with that.

1. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On.

The most perfect album of social conscience, swag and soul ever. With lyrics like ‘Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on’.
Hasn’t really aged since it came out in 71. Every track is flawless lyrically, musically, politically and technically. I’ve got it on every format in case I lose or break a copy.

The best of the best….bubbling under;Cockney Rejects – Greatest Hits Volume 1; Carl Orff – Carmina Burana; Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues; Sleaford Mods – Key Markets; Cafe Del Mar – Uno Y Dos; John Lee Hooker – House of the Blues; Buena Vista Social Club soundtrack; Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti; The Smiths – Hatful of Hollow; John Coltrane – A Love Supreme.Bubbling under the bubbling under list: The Specials – The Specials; Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures; John Cooper Clarke – Snap, Crackle and Bop; Gang Of Four – Entertainment; The Clash – Sandinista; Max Romeo – War Inna Babylon; The Jam – The Gift; David Bowie – Hunky Dory; Happy Mondays – Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches; Plan B – Ill Manors

Articles, interviews and reviews from Paul Wellings: Rock’s Backpages.
Writer profile of Paul Wellings. From Rock’s Backpages: The ultimate library of rock music writing and journalism. Thousands of articles, interviews and reviews from the world’s best music writers and critics, from the late 1950s to the present day. Read the best writing on rock music here.
Articles, interviews and reviews from Paul Wellings: Rock’s Backpages.
Writer profile of P
Articles, interviews and reviews from Paul Wellings: Rock’s Backpages.
Writer profile of Paul Wellings. From Rock’s Backpages: The ultimate library

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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