The first inkling that scuba diving was perhaps not going to be my new favourite thing came when I experienced an anxiety attack in the training pool. Spending the rest of the lesson sitting in the shallow end staring through a thin layer of chlorinated water above my head and trying to breath slowly and […]

Sharing some of the spins that have been enjoyed at Vinyl Connection HQ over the past little while. Any favourites amongst these? The third LP in the ‘trilogy’ of this particular period of King Crimson. While not as startling as Discipline, it remains an under-rated album from Robert Fripp’s Jedi knights. Rick Wakeman’s solo debut […]

2  MARVIN GAYE — What’s Going On Soul gets serious with Marvin Gaye’s ground breaking album. In a year full of turbulence and change, the golden voiced hit-parader found a new groove, eschewing fantasy to write about what was really going on. The result was one of the great albums of its era, one that—amazingly, […]

4  ROLLING STONES — Sticky Fingers Sticky Fingers is the most consistent collection of quality songs and most satisfying overall album by the Rolling Stones. Discuss. Well, it was certainly no tossed off blues-rock pastiche. The songs on the Stones ninth (UK) studio album were laboured over across a two year period and show clear […]

This piece was originally published at Vinyl Connection in 2014. It is re-posted because I still rather like it and hope others who have stumbled across the blog in the intervening years might enjoy it too. * The first half of 1977 was spent sitting in my room. It wasn’t locked; I just couldn’t find […]

7  DAVID BOWIE — Hunky Dory This is David Bowie hitting his straps. Looking outward, observing; turning inward, mining; drifting starwards, dreaming. Confidence growing, stature expanding, ambition exploding. This is a singer-songwriter straining against the leash, still with an arm around his folk-rock roots (“Song for Bob Dylan”) but also pointing towards the future with […]

10  KING CRIMSON — Islands Perhaps the most misunderstood album in the King Crimson catalogue, Islands signalled a change in direction for Robert Fripp’s merry band. With Keith Tippet on piano and compositions that took elements of the band’s live improvisational style into the studio, the pieces on Islands stretch and search, incorporating woodwinds and […]

#15  FLEETWOOD MAC — Future Games Mick Fleetwood described Danny Kirwan as “an exceptional guitar player”, and so he was. Kirwan joined the band in August 1968 and appears on the albums from Then Play On to Bare Trees, contributing many excellent songs. One of his absolute best opens Future Games, the shimmering, mesmeric “Woman […]

In the post 1971 COUNTDOWN: #29 — #26, an instalment in the seemingly endless Vinyl Connection series, Focus’s second album, Moving Waves, was featured. Scott, veteran blogger at HMO, expressed his appreciation of the album, mentioned my other favourite Focus LP, and revealed his acquisition of a boxed set of solo albums from the band’s guitarist, […]

#20  FUNKADELIC — Maggot Brain One listen to the brief opening monologue and you know you are entering a different world… “I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe…” One look at the cover and you know you are not dealing with production line funk here. Still confronting half a century on, […]