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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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Pop - Released April 13, 2018 | Sony Music CG

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Two chords on the synthesiser and everything is said! More than enough to recognise the singular sound of Eurythmics, the emblematic band from the 1980s. The tandem of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart symbolises perfectly this new synth-pop wave (pop in essence, futuristic in form) so typical of this decade during which guitars had almost become personae non-gratae… And while the British duo topped the charts during the entire decade, Sweet Dreams remains their greatest work. On the partition, Dave Stewart dabbled in a darker new wave, a-la Bowie (Love Is A Stranger) and dared venturing into “krautrock” light (Sweet Dreams). He could go funky (I’ve Got An Angel) or even disco (Wrap It Up). On vocals, Annie Lennox is impressive, as always, switching from soul to a bleak singing voice at will. A true classic! © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Rock - Released December 1, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Records

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After a magical first work of fairly rough alternative country (A.M.) that was conceived at the time of the turbulent separation of his group Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy took his time to release a second album with Wilco. Already, the work was ambitious as it was a double album. Blending all their musical similarities, this was an album that from the moment it was released in October 1996 led quite a few journalists to write that Tweedy had signed his own Exile On Main Street. Much like the Rolling Stones’ masterpiece, eclecticism is the crucial ingredient to this mix of basic rock’n’roll, bluegrass, country rock, psychedelia, folk and soul. With loose guitars, pedal steel, brass and unlimited instrumentals, Wilco weaves here an impressive web between the Rolling Stones from their golden age, The Replacements, The Beatles and Big Star from the album Third. Alternating between ballads and electronic soundstorms, Tweedy demonstrates above all else that with a timeless and classical base, he is taking the lead with his grandiose songs and the stunning architecture of his compositions… This remastered Deluxe Edition offers, as well as the original album, fifteen unpublished bonus tracks notably including alternative versions of I Got You and Say You Miss Me alongside a live recording from 12th November 1996 in Troubadour, Los Angeles and a session for the radio station Santa Monica KCRW taken the next day. © MZ/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 24, 2017 | Rhino - Elektra

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Released in 1976, this fifth album from the Eagles would remain their greatest success. Opened by the eponymous hit single, Hotel California marked a turning point in the career of the American group. Bernie Leadon, the most country-orientated band member, jumped ship and Joe Walsh came on board. For his part, Don Henley also seemed to take more control the business. The result was a much more mainstream record than the album’s predecessors with truly enveloping sounds at the peak of their tracks. Everything is XXL here! The production, the solos, the melodies… everything! A masterpiece of classic rock, this is above all a work that crosses decades and makes the crowds go wild. Glenn Frey, Don Felder, Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner and Don Henley would never again find again such impressive complicity and efficiency… Published in November 2017, this 40th anniversary edition offers an original remastered album as well as an energetic Californian live session recorded at The Forum in Inglewood, October 1976. © CM/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released November 24, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Records

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The rules of the game were certainly perfectly clear after their first album: in the third instalment of the Ramones' story, they surpassed themselves. And even refined their art! Once again, with this Rocket to Russia, released on 4 November 1977, at the height of the Cold War, it was all about three-chord symphonies, enthusiastically cretinous and 100% adolescent hi-jinks and above all, taking rock'n'roll back to its birthplace: the garage! But the refrains of Sheena Is A Punk Rocker or Teenage Lobotomy are peerless in their re–imagining of their rock’n’roll, bubblegum pop and surf heritage. And even when they cover the cult tracks Surfin’ Bird by the Trashmen or Do You Wanna Dance? (made famous by Cliff Richard, the Beach Boys and even Bette Midler) our delinquent punks from Queens produced savage and raw rock like nobody else! This edition to mark the 40th birthday of this sublime sonic attack offers two mixes of the album: the original, and a new mix, entitled Tracking Mix by Ed Stasium, the sound engineer on the original release. It also includes 24 rare or unreleased tracks, demos, alternative versions and B–sides. And the cherry on the cake is a dazzling, unreleased live version by the four Ramones brothers (all from other mothers) recorded on 19 December 1977 the Apollo Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 20, 2017 | Rhino

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For their third album, The Smiths are at the top of their game: a tortured crooning voice, crystalline arpeggios seeping from a limpid guitar, romantic and cynical lyrics, everything’s gathered for some 100% British pop, like The Kinks, The Who and The Jam knew how to create in their day… The Queen Is Dead, Bigmouth Strikes Again, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are all introspective gems that the charismatic Morrissey transforms into pure poetry. Teenage worries, social paintings, subtle caricatures, Mozzer dips his pen here in the ink of perfection. © MD/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 10, 2017 | Kill Rock Stars

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The history of rock loves fallen angels and geniuses with tragic stories. In this dark no man's land, Kurt Cobain and Jeff Buckley were joined by Elliott Smith. Only a few albums were needed for the Nebraska songwriter to reveal his sensitive voice, his exquisitely refined melodies and his intense lyrics, which offered up an elegant alternative to the dominating grunge of the ‘90s. Either/Or was his third album, released in February 1997, on which Nick Drake's ghost from Pink Moon is almost audible. But Elliott Smith also remained sensitive to pop melodies, the kind produced by The Beatles, The Kinks, The Zombies and Big Star, a sound that he stripped back to reach complete purity. Following Roman Candle (1994) and Elliott Smith (1995), he further amplified his vocal harmonies and showed that he was fully in control of his art despite the demons (of addiction and depression) that were eating away at him. Impressed by the musician's calibre, the filmmaker Gus Van Sant integrated the songs Between the Bars, Angeles and Say Yes into the soundtrack of his film Good Will Hunting. When you consider this, it’s hardly surprising that some refer to Elliott Smith as the "voice of a generation". © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2016 | Concord Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released September 9, 2016 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released September 9, 2016 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 18, 2016 | Light In The Attic

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Reissued by HackTone after its original CD issue in 1995, Heartworn Highways is the sonic companion to the classic 1981 documentary of the same name. David Gorman goes out of his way to tell listeners/purchasers that this disc is not the soundtrack to the film because there never was one. HackTone "had to go back to the original film elements and Nagra tapes with the film's editor and producer to create one," according to Gorman. They "spent months working between them and an audio restoration engineer in New York to make a stand-alone album out of audio that works perfectly well while watching the film but would sound horribly disjointed otherwise. In fact, most of the performances in the film are edited down to about 1/4 their original length." This is key because it must have been a very painful process at time--especially during the 'round table' recordings on Christmas Eve at the end of the album. The microphone was literally in motion during the entire evening, trying to capture whoever was singing lead; but you'd never know it by listening to the CD. The breathtaking sound quality is a credit to restoration engineer Alan Silverman. A number of performances were left off in order to make this fit onto a single disc. What is here is a vintage treasure trove of the then-emerging singer/songwriter movement from the (mostly) American South. What is most important to note is that these performances were recorded for the documentary; they are not licensed recordings from a catalog. Some of the artists included here are no longer with us, but their performances (e.g., Townes Van Zandt's "Waitin' 'Round to Die" and "Pancho and Lefty," Gamble Rogers' "Charlie's Place" and "The Black Label Blues") are chilling and top-notch. Yet, they are in context because these infromal performances are stunning throughout. Some of the truly notable ones are by songwriters who are not well known even now among the general populus -- for example, the great Steve Young, who decided on deeply moving covers of Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" along with his own "Alabama Highway". Youngis the guy who wrote "Seven Bridges Road," "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" (the anthem of Waylon's outlaw movement that didn't include him--though, who was an outlaw long before it became a marketing concept)--and his "Montgomery in the Rain." is also here. Larry Jon Wilson makes an appearance with his deep backwoods "Ohoopee River Bottomland," which is equal parts Tony Joe White and Lightnin' Hopkins, all of it wrapped in Young's swampy Georgia voice and guitar playing. Guy Clark is heard on five cuts, three of them well known, but "Ballad of Laverne and Captain Flint" makes it too. Other writers here include David Allan Coe and John Hiatt, both of whom originally hailed from the Midwest. Hearing Coe in this setting is especially rewarding, almost separated from his bullshit image, just playing and singing his utterly moving songs, especially "I Still Sing the Old Songs," done with only an acoustic guitar. The glimpses listeners get of Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle apart from the slick Nashville production on their own records is especially refreshing. This is a timeless collection that truly stands on its own whether or not you saw the film in 1981 (it is available on DVD thank goodness). It's a no-jive set of songwriters doing what they do best away from the hype, the myth-making, and the self-destructive impulses that have plagued many of them. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 4, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

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Them were one of the very best R&B acts to come out of the U.K. during the British Invasion era, as tight, wiry, and potent as their contemporaries the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Pretty Things. But as good as they were, their greatest strength was always their lead singer and main songwriter, Van Morrison, who even in his earliest days boasted a style that was raw and unapologetic but full of street smarts and imagination. Morrison's run with Them lasted a bit more than two and a half years, but it laid the groundwork for his wildly idiosyncratic solo career as well as setting a standard that the band would never equal after he left to strike out on his own. There have been plenty of collections devoted to Morrison's tenure with Them, but The Complete Them: 1964-1967 is not only comprehensive but has Van's seal of approval, as it was assembled by Morrison's own team and features liner notes from the man himself. Sequenced chronologically, The Complete Them devotes its first two discs to the group's two albums of the period, Them (aka The Angry Young Them) and Them Again, as well as non-LP single and EP tracks. Disc two is devoted to demos, alternate takes, and some live tracks cut for BBC Radio, nearly all of them previously unreleased. According to Morrison's notes, Them's lineup was never consistent, especially in the studio, as the group's producers often brought in studio musicians (including Jimmy Page) to beef up the performances, but the product was both consistent and strong, with razor-sharp guitars and swirling organs dominating the arrangements and Morrison's vocals sounding nearly possessed. Having essentially all of Them's studio recordings in one place is great, but the bonus material offers a glimpse of their power as a live act, and the outtakes and alternate versions reveal the growing sophistication of Morrison's approach over the course of 24 tracks. Morrison's essay offers as much opinion as it does fact, but given his well-documented reticence, the fact he wrote the notes at all is impressive, and when he sums up his notes with "I think of Them as good records...there's a lot of good stuff here," he's absolutely right. As a history of an underappreciated band's greatest era or the first steps of one of rock's most individual artists, The Complete Them: 1964-1967 is essential listening. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Maverick Records

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It's hard to overstate how much the songs of Jagged Little Pill — released on feminist pioneer Madonna's Maverick label at a moment when Hootie & the Blowfish and the theme from Friends were anesthetizing America — shook up pop radio in 1995. No one was prepared for first single "You Oughta Know," which stormed into ubiquity in a blaze of raw fury aimed at a "Mr. Duplicity" who rebounded too soon. Often mis-characterized as pure vengeance, the dynamics-propelled rocker (with bass and guitar from Flea and Dave Navarro, then of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) was really about being forthright and staking a claim to un-pretty feelings: "And every time you speak her name/ Does she know how you told me/ You'd hold me until you died." Of course, Morissette had no choice but to be divisive. From the album's opener "All I Really Want," you'll know if you love or hate her voice, with its affected tics and shrieks. Let it also be said that Jagged Little Pill is not an album for those who find harmonica grating, and that jaunty hit "Ironic" may drive literalists crazy with its litany of inconveniences ("It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife"). But it's that lack of self-consciousness from Morissette (19 years old at the time) that makes songs such as the grungy "Forgiven" — a defiance against patriarchal Catholic guilt — and self-empowerment bop "You Learn" a clarion call of independence for young women looking to ditch fear. It also let her create a completely new sound that didn't draw directly from typical female influences (save for the folksy "Hand In My Pocket", which comes on like the spiritual descendent of Edie Brickell's "What I Am") and left a mold for countless female artists after. © Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

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The Pleasure Principle was an important point of departure for Gary Numan, and a significant breakthrough moment in the context of his long and storied career. Released about six months after Replicas, it was an instant commercial success, quickly reaching the dizzy heights of number one in the UK Charts. On this record, his third solo effort (and first under his own name), Numan abandoned guitars completely, instead embracing a more synthetic style of production. The album heralded the purely electronic, distinctly robotic sound that this modern icon has become most famous for today. Numan employed a variety of Moog synthesizers to realise The Pleasure Principle, achieving his trademark sound largely by use of the distinctive ‘Vox Humana’ setting. Throw in a healthy dose of production trickery; including flanging, phasing, layers of reverb, and some solo violin, and you are the rest of the way there! Numan was influenced by the greatest pioneers of electronica - Kraftwerk’s epochal Autobahn ghosts the track ‘Cars’ (the very same synths were used!) – and, subsequently, he influenced a generation of new artists. Numan blazed a trail for Nine Inch Nails’s industrial rock, Afrika Bambaataa’s hip-hop explosion, and even early-2000s club bangers like Basement Jaxx’s immortal ‘Where’s Your Head At?’ A pleasure indeed.
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Rock - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Uncle Tupelo ended in volleys of bitter acrimony between founding members Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, and as most of Uncle Tupelo's final lineup joined Tweedy to form Wilco, Farrar set out to assemble a new band that suited his specifications. Teaming with UT's original drummer Mike Heidorn, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Boquist, and bassist (and Dave's brother) Jim Boquist, Farrar's new group Son Volt started with the deep, resonant sound of his work with Uncle Tupelo and moved it several steps further, and the band's debut album, 1995's Trace, ultimately displayed his talent to better advantage than any album he made before or since. Sequenced to highlight the dynamic push and pull between fierce rockers like "Route" and "Drown," full of Farrar's Neil Young-styled electric guitar, and quieter and more thoughtful numbers like "Tear-Stained Eye" and "Windfall," Trace honored both sides of Farrar's musical personality, and the muscular but unpretentious attack of his backing band was made to order for these songs. And the mixed themes of freedom, disappointment, and betrayal that punctuate Farrar's lyrics clearly reflected his state of mind as he walked away from one band and into another. One could reasonably describe Trace as Jay Farrar's version of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, a watershed work where the artist occasionally looks to an unsatisfying past as he sets out on a bracing new adventure, and like All Things Must Pass it was a triumph that Farrar would never quite repeat as he created a body of work that was satisfying but never balanced songs, performances, and mood with the easy perfection he achieved here. However, when Trace appeared in 1995, it was hard not to believe Farrar had broken up Uncle Tupelo for all the right reasons, and it's still a powerful, beautifully crafted, and deeply moving set of songs. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

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Behind all the Bowie-esque mimicry, the second and final album from Tubeway Army remains a true masterpiece of new wave electronica. Diving straight into the prose of Philip K. Dick, the Gary Numan helmed group scorched Replicas through with science fiction; the man-machine, androgyny, and other related themes all crop up frequently. Released in April 1979, the record was preceded by the hit single Are ‘Friends’ Electric? The track still offers a perfect, synthetic brand of pop; at the heart of which lies Numan’s clear sense of melody and streamlined choruses. Behind the impressive instrumentation, an arsenal of Moog and analogue synthesizers of all kinds, Tubeway Army recorded an album that well and truly marked the dawn of the 1980s. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2015 | Stunvolume

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For a first attempt, it was a masterstroke… Certainly, Garbage are no longer as fresh as when their first album appeared in 1995. The batch of rock’n’roll was produced by the legendary American Butch Vig (the same Vig who produced Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind) and sung by the brash Scot, Shirley Manson, and held an impressive batch of influences: grunge, metal, punk, shoegazing, pop, electronica, as all fused on this hard disc of formidable melodies. Yet, this disc is not an artificial collage. It is filled with guitar layers a la My Bloody Valentine (Supervixen), and Butch Vig disposed of the overtly funky electro rhythms and keys (as on Queer). And, when the atmosphere relaxes, the more urban Garbage rears its ugly head (Stupid Girl). It is one of the great post-grunge discs that graced the state of rock in the middle of the 1990s. This 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes a grand total of 21 tracks: the original album along with 9 additional rare pieces. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2015 | Stunvolume

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For a first attempt, it was a masterstroke… Certainly, Garbage are no longer as fresh as when their first album appeared in 1995. The batch of rock’n’roll was produced by the legendary American Butch Vig (the same Vig who produced Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind) and sung by the brash Scot, Shirley Manson, and held an impressive batch of influences: grunge, metal, punk, shoegazing, pop, electronica, as all fused on this hard disc of formidable melodies. Yet, this disc is not an artificial collage. It is filled with guitar layers a la My Bloody Valentine (Supervixen), and Butch Vig disposed of the overtly funky electro rhythms and keys (as on Queer). And, when the atmosphere relaxes, the more urban Garbage rears its ugly head (Stupid Girl). It is one of the great post-grunge discs that graced the state of rock in the middle of the 1990s. This 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes a grand total of 21 tracks: the original album along with 9 additional rare pieces. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 2, 2015 | Stunvolume

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
For a first attempt, it was a masterstroke… Certainly, Garbage are no longer as fresh as when their first album appeared in 1995. The batch of rock’n’roll was produced by the legendary American Butch Vig (the same Vig who produced Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind) and sung by the brash Scot, Shirley Manson, and held an impressive batch of influences: grunge, metal, punk, shoegazing, pop, electronica, as all fused on this hard disc of formidable melodies. Yet, this disc is not an artificial collage. It is filled with guitar layers a la My Bloody Valentine (Supervixen), and Butch Vig disposed of the overtly funky electro rhythms and keys (as on Queer). And, when the atmosphere relaxes, the more urban Garbage rears its ugly head (Stupid Girl). It is one of the great post-grunge discs that graced the state of rock in the middle of the 1990s. This 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition includes a grand total of 21 tracks: the original album along with 9 additional rare pieces. © CM/Qobuz
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Rock - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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After the freakish hard rock of The Man Who Sold the World, David Bowie returned to singer/songwriter territory on Hunky Dory. Not only did the album boast more folky songs ("Song for Bob Dylan," "The Bewlay Brothers"), but he again flirted with Anthony Newley-esque dancehall music ("Kooks," "Fill Your Heart"), seemingly leaving heavy metal behind. As a result, Hunky Dory is a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie's sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class. Mick Ronson's guitar is pushed to the back, leaving Rick Wakeman's cabaret piano to dominate the sound of the album. The subdued support accentuates the depth of Bowie's material, whether it's the revamped Tin Pan Alley of "Changes," the Neil Young homage "Quicksand," the soaring "Life on Mars?," the rolling, vaguely homosexual anthem "Oh! You Pretty Things," or the dark acoustic rocker "Andy Warhol." On the surface, such a wide range of styles and sounds would make an album incoherent, but Bowie's improved songwriting and determined sense of style instead made Hunky Dory a touchstone for reinterpreting pop's traditions into fresh, postmodern pop music. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo