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BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

10)The Replacements-All Shook down. With Paul Westerberg either firing or replacing most of the original line up with session musicians, the omens for this, their final album were not good. But shock horror! It’s a minor classic. Plaintive, mature and melodic song writing was the order of the day. And it contains some of their best songs in the title track and ‘Sadly Beautiful’. Predictably, It bombed.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

9)Teenage Fanclub-Grand Prix. After the hype surrounding ‘Bandwagonesque’ and the creative nadir that was ‘Thirteen’, The Fanclub had a lot of work to do. Hiring a new drummer and going back to basics, Grand Prix was a band rediscovering a love for music. This album brims with quality songs and the Big Star and Byrds influence’s never obscure the bands classic and sometimes idiosyncratic songs.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

8)Tom McRae-Tom McRae. This Stunning debut, released in the autumn of 2001 was an instant classic that despite a Mercury music nomination and critical praise the Great British public largely ignored it. Which is a shame as McRae was lumped in with the ‘new acoustic movement’ that included a roll call of crap including Damien Rice and Stephen Fretwell amongst others.  McRae was in a league of his own though as just one hearing of ‘Bloodless’ and ‘The Boy With The Bubblegun’ will tell you.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

7)Rod Stewart-Every Picture Tells A Story. Obviously, his late 70’s disco phase and a string of celebrity blondes on his arm has somewhat tarnished his credibility. But this album made him. He never bettered it. It has great songs galore from ‘Maggie May’ to the rocking title track through to the plaintive ‘Mandolin Wind’. Forget the tight leopard skin trousers. Remember him this way.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

6)REM-Up. When drummer Bill Berry left the band some wondered whether REM would continue. Well they did by ditching their conventional folk rock sound and embracing electronica and post rock. Experimental, but never at the expense of a good tune. The sound was nearer to Suicide, Neu! and even Tortoise at times. Ok it could do with losing a couple of songs as its slightly overlong, but it is the last great album they ever made. Criminally underrated in their artistic canon.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

5)Pavement-Wowee Zowee. Pavement’s third LP literally has everything. From stoned country, ‘Father To A Sister Of Thought’ snotty punk rock, ‘Serpentine Pad’, wondrous Krautrock,’Half A Canyon’ and playful pop ‘Grave Architecture’. But it has it all. Stephen Malkmus and co’s sprawling album may have killed them commercially, but artistically was their zenith.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

4)Crowded House-Together Alone. While Woodface continues to gain the Kiwi outfit the most acclaim, this is the real fans favourite and for good reason too. Neil Finn peaked as a songwriter here. His melodic gifts are allowed to shine like never before. The gorgeous ‘Distant Sun’ is the best song Lennon never wrote, whilst on ‘Private Universe’ the band had never sounded so atmospheric and vital. Youth’s production allowed the band to stretch out musically and sonically as well. An essential listen.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

3)Bill Fay-Time Of The Last Persecution. This was Fay’s second album and last for almost forty years. But it is a stone cold masterpiece. ‘I hear You Calling’ may be the most heart breaking song you are likely ever to hear. And there are plenty more where that came from. Recently feted by the likes of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and producer/musician/noisemaker Jim O Rouke. Surely recognition of the mans talents is finally coming and long overdue.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

2)Bright Eyes-Cassadaga. Over produced! Cried some. Too conventional! Moaned others. Rubbish. Conor Oberst and producer Mike Mogis made a country album that was chock-a-bloc with timeless heartfelt music that cared not a jot about Indie cool and focused on the songs. And what songs they are.’ Classic Cars’ is the best song about an older lover since Rod Stewarts ‘Maggie May’. ‘Lime Tree’ an understated beauty of a closer. In Between 12 more songs that are all worth a closer inspection. A true classic from start to finish.

BETTER THAN YOU REMEMBER. 10 MOST UNDERRATED ALBUM EVER!!

1)Neil Young with Crazy Horse- Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. When Neil Youngs name comes up people often cite records such as ‘Harvest’ and ‘After The Goldrush’ as classics. Great records they are too. But he never beat this, his second solo album, but first with crazy horse. This is also home to such classic Young cuts such as ‘Cinnamon Girl. And ‘Cowgirl In The Sand’. This contains some of his best work showcasing his guitar skills in elongated jams such as ‘Down By The River’ but such jams never outstay their welcome. Overlooked by some, this is a truly underrated album.

 

 

/// David Mckillip

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