Have you taken part in our competition?! We have a 1930s restored gramophone to give away. Share a photo of your favourite album cover with us @Preloved using the hashtag #PrelovedRestored and you could win this great piece of history.
The team wanted to share their favourite LPs with the rest of the community. We tried making a top 10, but we just couldn’t agree! There are so many different tastes in music that we thought each one deserved a mention. So here are our favourite albums!
Stephen – Web Engineer:
Bach’s Goldberg variations – Tatiana Nikolayeva (2000)
Tatiana was a Russian pianist and composer. She made over 50 recordings duringher career, predominantly works by Bach. Steven finds that “listening to baroque music, especially Bach, during my drive to and from work is both calming and engaging, and keeps me sane on the M6 and the M62. The subtle structure and complex interplay of parts in the music is deeply satisfying. It’s not to everyone’s taste I’m sure, and I would have scoffed at it when I was younger, but now I love it!”
Arcangelo Corelli’s 12 Concerti Grossi – The Orchestra of St Martin in the Fields (1995)
An Italian violinist and composer of the Baroque era, Corelli influenced other composers, such as Bach, and Steven describes this album as a “wonderful baroque counterpoint, like a perfect piece of clockwork machinery: intricate, precise and complex, but also fluent and flowing.”
Tina – Business Partnerships Manager
Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette (1995)
The third studio album touches on themes of aggression and broken relationships ranking as one of the best-selling albums of all time. Different from others, and marked as alternative rock music, the critic Erlewine described it as “as slick as the music is, the lyrics are unvarnished and Morissette unflinchingly explores emotions so common, most people would be ashamed to articulate them”. Tina says that this was “one of the first albums I ever bought when I started university. I thought I was super cool (do people still say ‘cool’?), and liking her made me a real individual; even though everyone else owned the exact same album. Mentally, I’m stuck in 1996/7. It was a simpler time.”
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (1977)
This is the 11th studio album by the British-American rock band. The lyrics of the album were influenced by relationship breakups and conflict within the band. It was praised for its harmonies performed by the three vocalists and was recorded with a combination of acoustic and electric instruments. Tina assures us that she was “only born in the (late!!) 70’s so I missed them in their heyday, but this album is timeless.”
Alex – Head of Community:
Doolittle – The Pixies (1989)
The American band’s second studio album is full of references to surrealism, torture and death. The album was the band’s first international release and it was also the first time the Pixies cover photographer, Simon Larbalestier, and the band’s cover artist Vaughan Oliver had access to the lyrics. They agreed that it made a fundamental difference when it came to designing the cover as it resulted in the art being full of links to the content. Alex defines the band as “pioneers of grunge; without them Nirvana wouldn’t have been created!”
The Queen is Dead – The Smiths (1986)
Produced by Morrissey and Marr, it spent 22 weeks on the UK Album Charts. The cover was designed by Morrissey and features Alain Delon from the 1964 film L’Insoumis. A few of the songs were written as a comment on the band’s experience in the music industry, such as The Boy with the Thorn in His Side”. It is said that the album is defining of the 1980s, although it was criticised to have words from authors such as Shelagh Delaney or Oscar Wilde, whose quote “Talent borrows, genius steals” was incidentally etched in the vinyl run-out grooves of “Bigmouth Strikes Again”. Alex refers to this album as “poetry from those lads from Salford. Also Jonny Marr might be the strongest guitarist of all time.”
Lauren – Newsletter Editor:
Piano Man – Billy Joel (1973)
This is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter. It was heavily influenced by his confrontation with his former label, and the single Piano Man is based on his experience as a lounge singer in Los Angeles. For Lauren, the album “reminds me of growing up and big family holidays in the summertime. This always gets played at family parties.”
Sticky Fingers – The Rolling Stones (1971)
The 9th studio album by the British band was the first release under the band’s own label Rolling Stones Records. With this change, the band could release their music and art as they pleased. The album would go on to be regarded as one of the best of the year, and the cover features a close-up of some jeans, adding to the innuendo of the album name. There was a lot of thought and detail put into the album cover, but countries such as Spain, who was under Franco’s fascist dictatorship at the time, replaced it with a can of fingers due to censorship. To Lauren, the single Brown Sugar “also reminds me of family parties. My uncle does a really uncanny Mick Jagger!”
Natalie – Creative Writer:
A Night at the Opera – Queen (1975)
The title of the 4th studio album was taken from a film from the Marx Brothers the band watched while they were recording and it was number 1 for four weeks. The album of course includes songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, which was written and composed by Freddie Mercury, and I’m in Love with My Car, written by Roger Taylor and inspired by one of the road crew.
Natalie tells us that “Queen was among the albums my parents had; and among The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, it is a band I like to listen to while I’m being creative. Bohemian Rhapsody in particular is one of my favourite songs, and through researching the band I learned about Freddie Mercury and his story. Their music just strikes a chord with me and has so much meaning attached”.
Sign, Sealed, Delivered I’m yours – Stevie Wonder (1970)
This album was released in 1970 and it is the first in which Stevie Wonder is credited as a producer. He co-wrote seven tracks from the album, which was deemed the best soul album of the year.
Natalie tells us that she “can’t remember when I first heard the song Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours, but every time it is played on the radio I will stop whatever I’m doing and sing along, probably with a makeshift mic in my hand. It reminds me of road trips with my partner.”
Matty – Web Developer:
Pure Heroine – Lorde (2013)
It is the debut studio album by the New Zealand singer which treats the topics of youth and critiques mainstream culture. The electropop album did very well internationally, and challenged the mainstream music industry. Signed at the age of 14, Lorde started writing her own songs and bonded very easily with co-writer and producer Joel Little. Matty likes Lorde because “she is edgy, upbeat and downbeat all at once. She is just so different to anything else and her lyrics are really relatable. She rose to fame on her own merits and this album totally reflects that.”
If you Leave – Daughter (2013)
The British Indie-Folk band self-released the first three singles before signing with a label and started work on their debut album. According to the band’s guitarist, they followed a very organic approach to recording their music in the sense that they did not rehearse the songs beforehand. To Matty, “their first album is definitely one of those albums that’s a little bit depressing, but that’s the reason why I love it. It’s an album that made me really reflect on things and one that helped me through a breakup. I think it’s just such an emotional, atmospheric album that deserves recognition.”
Justine – Creative Editor:
The Rhythm of the Saints – Paul Simon (1990)
This is the 8th solo studio album by the American singer-songwriter and his lyrics refer to world events such as Chernobyl. As a fan of music from the world, he was heavily influenced by Latin American music in this album, yet he has contributions from saxophones, harmonica and keyboard among other instruments. Justine says that “with world music influences, this is not an album to play quietly! Especially the first track “Obvious Child”; I soon find myself being part of the band, drumming along. I grew up with this album, and I still love it today.”
The Whitest Boy Alive – Rules (2009)
This indie pop band only released two albums. The name of the band is based on the idea of a naive, European white boy; which is reflected by their music. This is one of Justine’s favourite groups: it’s “an electronic dance group from Berlin including Erlend Øye, singer guitarist from the 2-man band Kings of Convenience. I discovered them whilst at university, and never tire of listening to their albums”.