The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Classic Albums

CULT ’80s: The Replacements – ‘Tim’

by Ed Biggs These kinds of stories just don’t happen anymore. The universal acclaim and critical attention given to their previous album Let It Be the year before allowed The Replacements, one of the most volatile, unpredictable and legendarily drunk bands in American history, to make the step up to the big time in 1985. Just like their cross-town Minneapolis rivals Hüsker Dü, they left their indie label Twin/Tone and signed

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CLASSIC ’90s: Pulp – ‘Different Class’

by Ed Biggs The rapid ascension of Pulp from perennial outsiders to chart toppers and festival headliners during the mid ‘90s, and the multi-platinum sales figures of their 1995 album Different Class, is the most dramatic illustration of the effect that Britpop had upon the British music scene. In pretty much no other place or time could such a band have achieved so much so quickly.

CLASSIC ’90s: Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’

by Ed Biggs While the commercial pomp and circumstance of Britpop was in full flow on the other side of the Atlantic in 1995, the biggest American guitar acts of the day were turning inwards, away from their audiences and exploring the limits of their own talents, not necessarily with any regard to what critics or fans thought about them. Pavement’s sprawling Wowee Zowee, Pearl Jam’s difficult but ultimately rewarding Vitalogy

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CLASSIC ’90s: Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

by Ed Biggs Whenever a new band breaks out and receives hype from the music press, the reaction from the general public is often sceptical or scornful. “They’ll never be as big as The Beatles” was something that generations of new music lovers have from their parents or grandparents. But for a fleeting period in the mid-nineties, Oasis actually were, and that status came off the back of their gargantuan second

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CULT ’90s: The La’s – ‘The La’s’

by Ed Biggs The long rise to fame, the fleeting brilliance, and the mysterious demise of Liverpool’s The La’s remains one of British pop music’s intriguing stories. There can’t be many people in the Western world that aren’t familiar with their signature song ‘There She Goes’, one of the purest pop records to ever fit into the indie genre, but their one and only album is not as appreciated or widely

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CLASSIC ’80s: Kate Bush – ‘Hounds Of Love’

by Ed Biggs If you were to compile and average out all of those articles that you see from time to time that profess to list the greatest records ever, it’s quite possible that Kate Bush’s fifth album Hounds Of Love would end up as the highest-ranking record by a British female solo artist. As well as containing some of Bush’s most memorable and highest-charting singles, it very quickly came to

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CLASSIC ’70s: Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’

by Ed Biggs With their ninth album, Pink Floyd faced the conundrum that all truly massive artists have to confront when they’ve ridden the initial wave of their success – how to follow it up. To repeat oneself will usually attract critical fire and garners only a fraction of the sales; to do something radically different is to let down one’s fans or commit commercial suicide; in short, both critics and

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CLASSIC ’60s: Bob Dylan – ‘Highway 61 Revisited’

by Ed Biggs With important albums turning 50 years old in the next 12 months, it’s perfectly arguable that Bob Dylan is the greatest artist of the 1960s, whose willingness to experiment with what pop music could sound like, and what topics it could address, predates even that of The Beatles. Fans often cite the three albums he made in 1965 and 1966 as his golden age, which saw him make

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CLASSIC ’70s: Bruce Springsteen – ‘Born To Run’

by Ed Biggs It seems difficult to believe it forty glorious years later, but in 1975 Bruce Springsteen’s career hung in the balance. His first two albums – Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, both from 1973 – had earned him critical respect but had not made him a star, falling far below Columbia’s expectations in the charts. So, under record label

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CLASSIC ’90s: Garbage – ‘Garbage’

by Ed Biggs Always one of the most underrated and overlooked groups of the ‘90s, Garbage were prime movers of the alternative rock trend that exploded in America that decade, at around the same time that Britpop was doing likewise across the Atlantic. Formed of three American producers and musicians – including Nirvana producer Butch Vig – plus their fiery Edinburgh-born Shirley Manson with her shock of red hair and streak

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