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Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Without a doubt, George Harrison's first solo recording, originally issued as a triple album, is his best. Drawing on his backlog of unused compositions from the late Beatles era, Harrison crafted material that managed the rare feat of conveying spiritual mysticism without sacrificing his gifts for melody and grand, sweeping arrangements. Enhanced by Phil Spector's lush orchestral production and Harrison's own superb slide guitar, nearly every song is excellent: "Awaiting on You All," "Beware of Darkness," the Dylan collaboration "I'd Have You Anytime," "Isn't It a Pity," and the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life" are just a few of the highlights. A very moving work, with a slight flaw: the jams that comprise the final third of the album are somewhat dispensable, and have probably only been played once or twice by most of the listeners who own this record. Those same jams, however, played by Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon (all of whom had just come off of touring as part of Delaney & Bonnie's band), proved to be of immense musical importance, precipitating the formation of Derek & the Dominos. Thus, they weren't a total dead end, and may actually be much more to the liking of the latter band's fans. © Richie Unterberger & Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
After a lengthy absence, Faithfull resurfaced on this 1979 album, which took the edgy and brittle sound of punk rock and gave it a shot of studio-smooth dance rock. Faithfull's whiskey-worn vocals perfectly match the bitter and biting "Why'd Ya Do It" and revitalize John Lennon's "Working Class Hero." © John Floyd /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A high watermark of early alternative metal, Troublegum is a spectacular, powerful, clutter-free record. Densely packed at 14 songs in 40 minutes, there's sharpness on every level, demonstrating that the promise evidenced on Nurse was no mirage. Chris Sheldon's job on the boards provides separation among all the instruments, avoiding the mashed effect from Therapy?'s previous outings. Fyfe Ewing and Michael McKeegan basically do what they've been doing all along as a rhythm section, but the increased clarity really allows for one to fully appreciate their abilities. Andy Cairns' vocal range and ear for melody increase tenfold, and his guitar takes on countless tones and textures only hinted at before. Detractors might claim that the riffs are too predictable and too "metal," which is somewhat understandable but ultimately unfair. One could call them simple, and one could call them focused; it's more the latter. Since the songwriting is more direct and less concerned with merely knocking things out and stopping after three minutes or so, everything is fully formed and completely realized. It's the absolute opposite of aimless, which is something Therapy? was sometimes guilty of. There's much more variety, too. With each play, it becomes increasingly obvious that no two songs sound much like each other, yet each song hangs together to form a singular piece. Metal-phobes can't help but give in to the irresistable pop-punk hooks of "Screamager" and "Nowhere." An obvious influence is acknowledged in a storming version of Joy Division's "Isolation," which pays tribute and transforms at the same time. "Unrequited" can't be missed, featuring a rattling guitar riff that gets yanked away by a violent cello tug from Martin McCarrick. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2012 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While mostly accurate, dismissing Never Mind the Bollocks as merely a series of loud, ragged midtempo rockers with a harsh, grating vocalist and not much melody would be a terrible error. Already anthemic songs are rendered positively transcendent by Johnny Rotten's rabid, foaming delivery. His bitterly sarcastic attacks on pretentious affectation and the very foundations of British society were all carried out in the most confrontational, impolite manner possible. Most imitators of the Pistols' angry nihilism missed the point: underneath the shock tactics and theatrical negativity were social critiques carefully designed for maximum impact. Never Mind the Bollocks perfectly articulated the frustration, rage, and dissatisfaction of the British working class with the establishment, a spirit quick to translate itself to strictly rock & roll terms. The Pistols paved the way for countless other bands to make similarly rebellious statements, but arguably none were as daring or effective. It's easy to see how the band's roaring energy, overwhelmingly snotty attitude, and Rotten's furious ranting sparked a musical revolution, and those qualities haven't diminished one bit over time. Never Mind the Bollocks is simply one of the greatest, most inspiring rock records of all time. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2012 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
While mostly accurate, dismissing Never Mind the Bollocks as merely a series of loud, ragged midtempo rockers with a harsh, grating vocalist and not much melody would be a terrible error. Already anthemic songs are rendered positively transcendent by Johnny Rotten's rabid, foaming delivery. His bitterly sarcastic attacks on pretentious affectation and the very foundations of British society were all carried out in the most confrontational, impolite manner possible. Most imitators of the Pistols' angry nihilism missed the point: underneath the shock tactics and theatrical negativity were social critiques carefully designed for maximum impact. Never Mind the Bollocks perfectly articulated the frustration, rage, and dissatisfaction of the British working class with the establishment, a spirit quick to translate itself to strictly rock & roll terms. The Pistols paved the way for countless other bands to make similarly rebellious statements, but arguably none were as daring or effective. It's easy to see how the band's roaring energy, overwhelmingly snotty attitude, and Rotten's furious ranting sparked a musical revolution, and those qualities haven't diminished one bit over time. Never Mind the Bollocks is simply one of the greatest, most inspiring rock records of all time. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection Les Inrocks
Expanding the latent arena rock sensibilities that peppered Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by slowing them down and stretching them to the breaking point, the Cure reached the peak of their popularity with the crawling, darkly seductive Disintegration. It's a hypnotic, mesmerizing record, comprised almost entirely of epics like the soaring, icy "Pictures of You." The handful of pop songs, like the concise and utterly charming "Love Song," don't alleviate the doom-laden atmosphere. The Cure's gloomy soundscapes have rarely sounded so alluring, however, and the songs -- from the pulsating, ominous "Fascination Street" to the eerie, string-laced "Lullaby" -- have rarely been so well-constructed and memorable. It's fitting that Disintegration was their commercial breakthrough, since, in many ways, the album is the culmination of all the musical directions the Cure were pursuing over the course of the '80s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Expanding the latent arena rock sensibilities that peppered Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by slowing them down and stretching them to the breaking point, the Cure reached the peak of their popularity with the crawling, darkly seductive Disintegration. It's a hypnotic, mesmerizing record, comprised almost entirely of epics like the soaring, icy "Pictures of You." The handful of pop songs, like the concise and utterly charming "Love Song," don't alleviate the doom-laden atmosphere. The Cure's gloomy soundscapes have rarely sounded so alluring, however, and the songs -- from the pulsating, ominous "Fascination Street" to the eerie, string-laced "Lullaby" -- have rarely been so well-constructed and memorable. It's fitting that Disintegration was their commercial breakthrough, since, in many ways, the album is the culmination of all the musical directions the Cure were pursuing over the course of the '80s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Thin Lizzy found their trademark twin-guitar sound on 1975's Fighting, but it was on its 1976 successor, Jailbreak, where the band truly took flight. Unlike the leap between Night Life and Fighting, there is not a great distance between Jailbreak and its predecessor. If anything, the album was more of a culmination of everything that came before, as Phil Lynott hit a peak as a songwriter just as guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson pioneered an intertwined, dual-lead guitar interplay that was one of the most distinctive sounds of '70s rock, and one of the most influential. Lynott no longer let Gorham and Robertson contribute individual songs -- they co-wrote, but had no individual credits -- which helps tighten up the album, giving it a cohesive personality, namely Lynott's rough rebel with a heart of a poet. Lynott loves turning the commonplace into legend -- or bringing myth into the modern world, as he does on "Cowboy Song" or, to a lesser extent, "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" -- and this myth-making is married to an exceptional eye for details; when the boys are back in town, they don't just come back to a local bar, they're down at Dino's, picking up girls and driving the old men crazy. This gives his lovingly florid songs, crammed with specifics and overflowing with life, a universality that's hammered home by the vicious, primal, and precise attack of the band. Thin Lizzy is tough as rhino skin and as brutal as bandits, but it's leavened by Lynott's light touch as a singer, which is almost seductive in its croon. This gives Jailbreak a dimension of richness that sustains, but there's such kinetic energy to the band that it still sounds immediate no matter how many times it's played. Either one would make it a classic, but both qualities in one record makes it a truly exceptional album. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Some albums exist outside of time or place, gently floating on their own style and sensibility. Of those, the La's lone album may be the most beguiling, a record that consciously calls upon the hooks and harmonies of 1964 without seeming fussily retro, a trick that anticipated the cheerful classicism of the Brit-pop '90s. But where their sons Oasis and Blur were all too eager to carry the torch of the past, Lee Mavers and the La's exist outside of time, suggesting the '60s in their simple, tuneful, acoustic-driven arrangements but seeming modern in their open, spacy approach, sometimes as ethereal as anything coming out of the 4AD stable but brought down to earth by their lean, no-nonsense attack, almost as sinewy as any unaffected British Invasion band. But where so many guitar pop bands seem inhibited by tradition, the La's were liberated by it, using basic elements to construct their own identity, one that's propulsive and tuneful, or sweetly seductive, as it is on the band's best-known song, "There She Goes." That song is indicative of the La's material in its melodic pull; the rest of the album has a bit more muscle, whether the group is bashing out a modern-day Merseybeat on "Liberty Ship" and bouncing two-step "Doledrum," or alluding to Morrissey's elliptical phrasing on "Timeless Melody." This force gives the La's some distinction, separating them from nostalgic revivalists even as their dedication to unadorned acoustic arrangements separates them from their contemporaries, but it's this wildly willful sensibility -- so respectful of the past it can't imagine not following its own path -- that turns The La's into its own unique entity, indebted to the past and pointing toward the future, yet not belonging to either. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
If Fleetwood Mac, Humble Pie, and Foghat had never formed, Free would be considered one of the greatest post-Beatles blues-rock bands, and Fire and Water shows why. Conceptually fresh, with a great, roots-oriented, Band-like feel, the album found Free distinguishing itself with the public like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple did (in terms of impact only) in 1970. Free presented itself to the world as a complete band, in every sense of the word. From Paul Kossoff's exquisite and tasteful guitar work to Paul Rodgers' soulful vocals, this was a group that was easily worthy of the mantle worn by Cream, Blind Faith, or Derek & the Dominos. © Matthew Greenwald /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This album marked the formal debut of the psychedelic-era Moody Blues; though they'd made a pair of singles featuring new (as of 1966) members Justin Hayward and John Lodge, Days of Future Passed was a lot bolder and more ambitious. What surprises first-time listeners -- and delighted them at the time -- is the degree to which the group shares the spotlight with the London Festival Orchestra without compromising their sound or getting lost in the lush mix of sounds. That's mostly because they came to this album with the strongest, most cohesive body of songs in their history, having spent the previous year working up a new stage act and a new body of material (and working the bugs out of it on-stage), the best of which ended up here. Decca Records had wanted a rock version of Dvorak's "New World Symphony" to showcase its enhanced stereo-sound technology, but at the behest of the band, producer Tony Clarke (with engineer Derek Varnals aiding and abetting) hijacked the project and instead cut the group's new repertory, with conductor/arranger Peter Knight adding the orchestral accompaniment and devising the bridge sections between the songs' and the album's grandiose opening and closing sections. The record company didn't know what to do with the resulting album, which was neither classical nor pop, but following its release in December of 1967, audiences found their way to it as one of the first pieces of heavily orchestrated, album-length psychedelic rock to come out of England in the wake of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's and Magical Mystery Tour albums. What's more, it was refreshingly original, rather than an attempt to mimic the Beatles; sandwiched among the playful lyricism of "Another Morning" and the mysticism of "The Sunset," songs like "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Twilight Time" (which remained in their concert repertory for three years) were pounding rockers within the British psychedelic milieu, and the harmony singing (another new attribute for the group) made the band's sound unique. With "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin" to drive sales, Days of Future Passed became one of the defining documents of the blossoming psychedelic era, and one of the most enduringly popular albums of its era. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
It's hard to believe that the Cure could release an album even more sparse than Three Imaginary Boys, but here's the proof. The lineup change that saw funkstery bassist Michael Dempsey squeezed out in favor of the more specific playing of (eventually the longest serving member outside Robert Smith) Simon Gallup, and the addition of keyboardist Mathieu Hartley resulted in the band becoming more rigid in sound, and more disciplined in attitude. While it is not the study in loss that Faith would become, or the descent into madness of Pornography, it is a perfect precursor to those collections. In a sense, Seventeen Seconds is the beginning of a trilogy of sorts, the emptiness that leads to the questioning and eventual madness of the subsequent work. Mostly forgotten outside of the unforgettable single "A Forest," Seventeen Seconds is an even, subtle work that grows on the listener over time. Sure, the Cure did better work, but for a new lineup and a newfound sense of independence, Robert Smith already shows that he knows what he's doing. From short instrumental pieces to robotic pop, Seventeen Seconds is where the Cure shed all the outside input and became their own band. © Chris True /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Later hailed as one of the key goth rock albums of the '80s and considered by many hardcore Cure fans to be the band's best album, Pornography was largely dismissed upon its 1982 release, witheringly reviewed as a leaden slab of whining and moping. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between: Pornography is much better than most mainstream critics of the time thought, but in retrospect, it's not the masterpiece some fans have claimed it to be. The overall sound is thick and murky, but too muddy to be effectively atmospheric in the way that the more dynamic Disintegration managed a few years later. For every powerful track like the doomy opener "One Hundred Years" and the clattering, desolate single "The Hanging Garden," there's a sound-over-substance piece of filler like "The Figurehead," which sounds suitably bleak but doesn't have the musical or emotional heft this sort of music requires. Pornography is an often intriguing listen, but it's just a bit too uneven to be considered a classic. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
One of the finest debuts of the '80s, and possibly the defining album of the whole U.K. indie jangle scene that also included Prefab Sprout, Aztec Camera, and dozens of other bands, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions' Rattlesnakes is a college rock masterpiece of smart, ironic lyrics and sympathetic folk-rock-based melodies. The Glasgow-based band (Lloyd Cole on guitar and vocals, Neil Clark on lead guitar, Blair Cowan on keyboards, Lawrence Donegan on bass, and Stephen Irvine on drums) has a level of interplay remarkable in a group that had been playing for less than two years, and for all the attention given to Cole's hyper-literate lyrics, the album's finest moments are things like the slinky interludes between the wry verses on the Renata Adler-inspired "Speedboat" and Clark's glorious extended solo at the end of the album's finest song, "Forest Fire." Originally released in the U.S. by Geffen but reissued on CD as part of Capitol's acquisition of the Commotions in 1988 (with the original cover, which had been changed for the Geffen release), Rattlesnakes consists of ten perfect, or close to it, pop songs in just a hair under 36 minutes. Kicking off with the group's first U.K. single, the impossibly wordy, stream-of-consciousness "Perfect Skin," the album is basically a series of verbal snapshots of love gone wrong among the overeducated and underemployed. Cole's low-pitched and surprisingly soulful -- for a philosophy student from the University of Glasgow, anyway -- voice flits between earnestness, compassion, and arch derision ("Must you tell me all your secrets when it's hard enough to love you knowing nothing?"), while his lyrics sketch incisive character studies filled with smart and funny one-liners, near-obsessive name-dropping, and references to enough novels and movies for a semester-long pop culture class. The title track, for example, is based on a key image from Joan Didion's stark Hollywood novel Play It as It Lays, and its chorus compares the song's heroine to Eva Marie Saint's character in the film On the Waterfront. In less skilled hands, this would all be unbearably pretentious, but Cole's sly sense of humor and self-mocking wit keep things on the right side of ambitious. The German CD of Rattlesnakes (Polydor 823 683) will be of interest to North American Commotions fans. The disc not only contains the original versions of three songs Geffen had Ric Ocasek remix for the U.S. release (which are also on the Capitol reissue); it also features a unique version of "Forest Fire" with the guitar solo coda extended by nearly 40 seconds and four B-sides from British singles of the period: "Sweetness," the wry Warhol superstars portrait "Andy's Babies," "The Sea and the Sand," and the phenomenal "You Will Never Be No Good." In any incarnation, Rattlesnakes is a classic. © Stewart Mason /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Sometimes memories distort or inflate the quality of recordings deemed legendary, but in the case of Dusty in Memphis, the years have only strengthened its reputation. The idea of taking England's reigning female soul queen to the home of the music she had mastered was an inspired one. The Jerry Wexler/Tom Dowd/Arif Mardin production and engineering team picked mostly perfect songs, and those that weren't so great were salvaged by Springfield's marvelous delivery and technique. This set has definitive numbers in "So Much Love," "Son of a Preacher Man," "Breakfast in Bed," "Just One Smile," "I Don't Want to Hear About It Anymore," and "Just a Little Lovin'" and three bonus tracks: an unreleased version of "What Do You Do When Love Dies," "Willie & Laura Mae Jones" and "That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho)." It's truly a disc deserving of its classic status. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A true one hit wonder… One album and that’s it! An album released during the autumn of 1990, carried by one of the most perfect singles in the history of pop music: There She Goes. Following the footsteps of their illustrious elders from the 60s (The Kinks, The Beatles, Small Faces) the La’s perform marvel after marvel, pop songs sculpted with an edgy, at times pristine guitar, incredibly catchy choruses and musical arrangements of insane purity. But this noble parentage does not weigh heavily on the album, as the Lee Mayers crew don’t make it feel like taxidermy. Much like their fellow countrymen from Oasis, Jam, Smiths and Blur, the La’s were able to digest their elders’ precepts and adapt them to their time. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1997 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Being from northern California, Grandaddy always gets compared to Pavement -- and rightly so, in some respects -- but this probably isn't the best way to start on the band. Some of the tracks on Under the Western Freeway are more in the Weezer vein ("Summer Here Kids," "A.M. 120"), and the few that are truly reminiscent of Pavement are more like Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain's drawling "Range Life" than the angular guitar work more usual from Pavement. Comparisons aside, what's important is that Under the Western Freeway is a fairly brilliant album, combining a warm, earnest, and rustic feel with sometimes goofy experimentation (looped drums, bleeping keyboard hooks) -- and it's all very pleasant and friendly. And what's more, these guys can write a solid, catchy melody. A couple listens to tracks like "Nonphenomenal Lineage" and "Go Progress Chrome" make this all too clear. © Nitsuh Abebe /TiVo
CD€13.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1983 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This one-off collaboration between the Cure's Robert Smith and Siouxsie & the Banshees' Steven Severin resulted in an eccentric, and at times incompatible, mix of psychedelic sounds wrapped around alternative '80s pop. Writers Smith and Severin's more eccentric tendencies are as likely to evoke pictures of a carnival as a funereal march, but the backbone rests largely on tightly constructed tunes with occasional forays into the experimental. Jeanette Landray sings the majority of the tracks, while Smith takes the lead twice amongst a smattering of instrumentals. Standout tracks include the Middle Eastern-twinged "Orgy" and the more conventional "Mouth to Mouth." Smith's distinctive warbling on the first-class "Perfect Murder" takes the album directly into Cure territory, as do the instrumentals which could equally find a home on Seventeen Seconds. While musically diverse, the album's lyrics rarely stray from the dual themes of death and sex, furthering the gothic undertones so often heard in Smith and Severin's previous work. Blue Sunshine's eclecticism makes this an interesting side note for long-time fans of the Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshees, but a somewhat more inaccessible listen for others. © Brendan Swift /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1979 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The title track and "Moulding" are two of reggae's most haunting meditations ever. © Roger Steffens /TiVo