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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 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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Rock - Released December 4, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

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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 | 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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Rock - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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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
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 21, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Interlocking the cold with the heat (or maybe it’s the opposite) is Gang of Four’s specialty. In Leeds’ northern gloominess, singer Jon King, guitarist Andy Gill, bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Bumham launch their post-punk revolution by means of disjointed guitars and sharp grooves. Entertainment !, their first album released in September 1979, imposes the singularity of this climatic yin and yang. Very very cold then in the melodies that Gill’s six-string clips through stridency and whittling away. But very very hot in its elastic and funky rhythms like the Talking Heads from that era. The pile-up is all the more violent that the texts from this Entertainment! aren’t really entertainment but rather small Molotov cocktails made using situationism, feminism, alienation, North-Irish conflict, Maoist guerrilla in South America and many other festive considerations… With their colleagues from The Fall, Père Ubu, Au Pairs or PIL, Gang of Four rattles the harmonies, the choruses, the solos and the melodies like no other. Their radicalism will influence years later bands like The Rapture, Radio 4, Editors, Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Punk / New Wave - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino

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Rock - Released June 30, 2015 | Rhino - Elektra

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The history of rock is full of bands that go unnoticed, along with their all-too neglected albums… Love and their record Forever Changes are at the front of the peloton in that category. Released in November 1967, this third studio album by the Californian quintet rivals some of the greatest records by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or The Kinks because it offers a unique alternative. The ingenious and elusive Arthur Lee mixed together every genre imaginable on the album, from pop, jazz, folk and flamenco to psychedelic rock, psychedelia and classical music. With a touch of baroque, we find rather daring and audacious brass and string arrangements by David Angel. Carried by Lee's whirling voice and Bryan MacLean's clear guitars, Love created a record that is melancholic at some points, cheerful at others, but always very profound. The eclectic sound stems from its authors; Lee veers towards more bluesy rock melodies while MacLean is open to plural sonorities, whether they are classical or world music... The Summer of Love dismantled its tent for a few months and Forever Changes, an album that meanders between baroque pop and psychedelic folk, became the soundtrack of the disillusionment of America and its citizens. They were still dreamers, just perhaps aware of the fact that years to come wouldn’t be quite so multicoloured. In short, this album fuses the sublime with the sinister, and the years slide past this masterpiece without ever eroding its beauty. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released June 30, 2015 | Rhino - Elektra

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The history of rock is full of bands that go unnoticed, along with their all-too neglected albums… Love and their record Forever Changes are at the front of the peloton in that category. Released in November 1967, this third studio album by the Californian quintet rivals some of the greatest records by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones or The Kinks because it offers a unique alternative. The ingenious and elusive Arthur Lee mixed together every genre imaginable on the album, from pop, jazz, folk and flamenco to psychedelic rock, psychedelia and classical music. With a touch of baroque, we find rather daring and audacious brass and string arrangements by David Angel. Carried by Lee's whirling voice and Bryan MacLean's clear guitars, Love created a record that is melancholic at some points, cheerful at others, but always very profound. The eclectic sound stems from its authors; Lee veers towards more bluesy rock melodies while MacLean is open to plural sonorities, whether they are classical or world music... The Summer of Love dismantled its tent for a few months and Forever Changes, an album that meanders between baroque pop and psychedelic folk, became the soundtrack of the disillusionment of America and its citizens. They were still dreamers, just perhaps aware of the fact that years to come wouldn’t be quite so multicoloured. In short, this album fuses the sublime with the sinister, and the years slide past this masterpiece without ever eroding its beauty. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released April 7, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Rock - Released December 3, 2014 | Columbia

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Alternative & Indie - Released December 1, 2014 | Matador

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue