6. Words For The Dying – John Cale

Conceived around the time of the Falklands War, this is essentially some Dylan Thomas poems set to music and recorded with an orchestra. Considering the elegiac words there’s an enormous optimism to the songs and it’s a hugely moving piece of work.

7. A Salty Dog – Procol Harum

All their albums are brilliant but this is really something. Stick the title track on dead loud and just let it work it’s magic. This band is so criminally undervalued it makes me spit.

8. Shiny Beast – Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band

Could easily have been Decals, TMR or Spotlight but I’ll settle for this cos Bat Chain Puller is a work of genius, just wish it was half an hour long!

9. ’75 – Neu!

God, it could be any of em but I had this first, picked up from a junk shop in Harborne, Birmingham on my way back from school. I thought it looked interesting and I was right! A perfect record to start my life-long love affair with Mssrs Dinger and Rother.

10. Live Herald – Steve Hillage

Saw this tour at Birmingham Odeon in 1979 and it was brilliant. It really showed the schoolboy me that passion and creativity wasn’t just what the post- punk bands were up to, it’d always been around. Hillage had been in Gong and he embraced all the late seventies musical changes rather than be sneeringly scared shitless like many muzo sorts. This album is brilliant.

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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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