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 Bros.

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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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Punk / New Wave - Released November 24, 2017 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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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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Rock - Released June 2, 2017 | Virgin Catalog (V81)

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Rock - Released March 18, 1977 | Virgin Records

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Rock - Released March 18, 1977 | Virgin Records

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In 1976, the Stooges had been gone for two years, and Iggy Pop had developed a notorious reputation as one of rock & roll's most spectacular waste cases. After a self-imposed stay in a mental hospital, a significantly more functional Iggy was desperate to prove he could hold down a career in music, and he was given another chance by his longtime ally, David Bowie. Bowie co-wrote a batch of new songs with Iggy, put together a band, and produced The Idiot, which took Iggy in a new direction decidedly different from the guitar-fueled proto-punk of the Stooges. Musically, The Idiot is of a piece with the impressionistic music of Bowie's "Berlin Period" (such as Heroes and Low), with it's fragmented guitar figures, ominous basslines, and discordant, high-relief keyboard parts. Iggy's new music was cerebral and inward-looking, where his early work had been a glorious call to the id, and Iggy was in more subdued form than with the Stooges, with his voice sinking into a world-weary baritone that was a decided contrast to the harsh, defiant cry heard on "Search and Destroy." Iggy was exploring new territory as a lyricist, and his songs on The Idiot are self-referential and poetic in a way that his work had rarely been in the past; for the most part the results are impressive, especially "Dum Dum Boys," a paean to the glory days of his former band, and "Nightclubbing," a call to the joys of decadence. The Idiot introduced the world to a very different Iggy Pop, and if the results surprised anyone expecting a replay of the assault of Raw Power, it also made it clear that Iggy was older, wiser, and still had plenty to say; it's a flawed but powerful and emotionally absorbing work. ~ Mark Deming
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 18, 2016 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 29, 2010 | Mute, a BMG Company

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With guitarist/keyboardist Roland Wolf and Cramps/Gun Club veteran Kid Congo Powers on guitar added to the ranks, along with guest appearances from old member Hugo Race, the Seeds reached 1988 with their strongest album yet, the insanely powerful, gripping Tender Prey. Rather than simply redoing what they'd already done, Nick Cave and company took their striking musical fusions to deeper and higher levels all around, with fantastic consequences. The album boldly starts out with an undisputed Cave masterpiece -- "The Mercy Seat," a chilling self-portrait of a prisoner about to be executed that compares the electric chair with the throne of God. Queasy strings from a Gini Ball-led trio and Mick Harvey's spectral piano snake through a rising roar of electric sound -- a common musical approach from many earlier Seeds songs, but never so gut-wrenching as here. Cave's own performance is the perfect icing on the cake, commanding and powerful, excellently capturing the blend of crazed fear and righteousness in the lyrics. Matching that high point turns out to be impossible for anything else on Tender Prey, but more than enough highlights take a bow that demonstrates the album's general quality. "Deanna" is another great blast from the Seeds, a garage rock-style rave-up that lyrically is everything Natural Born Killers tried to be, but failed at -- killing sprees, Cadillacs, and carrying out the work of the Lord, however atypically. The echoing, gentle-yet-rough sonics on the Blind Willie Johnson-inspired "City of Refuge" and the gentler drama of "Sugar Sugar Sugar" also do well in keeping the energy level up. On the quieter side, Cave indulges his penchant for gloomy piano-led ballads throughout, and quite well at that, with such songs as "Watching Alice," "Mercy," and the end-of-the-evening singalong "New Morning." "Sunday's Slave" has a beautifully brooding feeling to it thanks to the combination of acoustic guitar and piano, making it a bit of a cousin of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal." ~ Ned Raggett
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Rock - Released March 12, 1967 | Polydor

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Metal - Released June 1, 1970 | Rhino

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Rock - Released August 5, 1966 | EMI Catalogue

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Everyone has their favorite Beatles record, but Revolver will always be a truly pivotal point, one of the most influential (THE most?) albums in the history of rock. This seventh studio recording, which was released in August 1966, waves goodbye to the friendly and playful image of the Fab Four from Liverpool in order for them to become the architects of a total pop revolution. With Revolver, backed by the indispensable production of George Martin, the group embarks on some of the wildest experiments in the service of creating their most fascinating material ever. They tinker with their sound and explore new territory once again, they thrive on prohibited substances (also evoked in their lyrics), introduce an impressive range of instruments (harpsichord, trumpet, sitar, organ...) and strengthen their writing, once so carefree in the infancy of their careers. Notably, the Fab Four then decided not to perform on stage again, preferring to use the recording studio as an instrument in itself, if not sometimes as an additional member. For the rest, the simple song titles written in procession is apt conclusion: Tomorrow Never Knows, Eleanor Rigby, I'm Only Sleeping, Got To Get You Into My Life, Taxman... ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released December 3, 1965 | EMI Catalogue

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With its more ambitious compositions, Help! had made it clear that the Beatles did not intend to stay remain that nice little group from Liverpool much longer. Four months later, Rubber Soul was released in December of 1965, and the Fab Four show that they have indeed grown up artistically. There are more mature texts (written by Bob Dylan, a real influence on the Beatles as confessed by McCartney himself) and more daring harmonies. They even bring their instrumentation to unknown territory as demonstrated by Norwegian Wood or the bass on Think for Yourself. As for ballads like Girl or Michelle, they are beautiful and will remain timeless. Above all, this sixth studio album mixes more musical styles - be it pop (of course) but also R&B, folk, soul and psychedelic. Rubber Soul also marks the point where we see each member of the group affirm their unique personalities, and with the support of producer George Martin, John, Paul, George and Ringo were encouraged to move away from their "youthful" habits. ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released June 1, 1967 | EMI Catalogue

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How to better a record like Revolver? Sign off another by the name of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. For many, this is truly the greatest pop and rock music of all time, if not one of the most significant works of art in popular culture from the second half of the twentieth century... After discovering the endless possibilities offered to them in the recording studio, John, Paul, George and Ringo continue their crazy musical experiments. More than ever considered as the ‘fifth Beatle’, producer George Martin runs out a magic carpet of discoveries that would go on to influence the future of pop. When this eighth studio album is released in June 1967, the era is one that has embraced the all-out psychedelic, and this concept album is a true hallucinatory trip (not only for Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds). Like the patchwork of his mythical pocket, Sergeant Pepper's journeys through pure pop, manly rock'n'roll, totally trippy sequences (to near worldly scales), retro songs of nursery rhymes, animal noises and even classical music! On the composition side, the duo of Lennon/McCartney is at the top of its game, delivering new songs that are still influential today. ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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Rock - Released July 10, 1964 | EMI Catalogue

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Soundtrack of the eponymous film directed by Richard Lester (dubbed in French Quatre garçons dans le vent or Four boys in the wind), A Hard Day's Night is a first for The Beatles, as for this third album released at the beginning of summer 1964, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote every song on the disc without any covers! And what songs! Can’t Buy Me Love, A Hard Day's Night, I Should Have Known Better - the level is very high and each hit track shows a rapidly developing musical and artistic identity as the group went from being national treasures to international icons. Every corner of this changing pop façade is fascinating. The irresistible melodies are pulled together by sparkling guitars in an innocent, feel-good tribute to all things melodic. A Hard Day's Night is the epitome of the early periods of that famous 'sound' of the The Beatles. Even in ballads such as And I Love Her, the Fab Four already demonstrate a fascinating musical maturity... A true joy for the listener. ©MZ/Qobuz, Translation/BM
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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
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Pop - Released June 4, 2012 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen

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Rushed out in 1970 as a way to bide time as the Who toiled away on their follow-up to Tommy, Live at Leeds wasn't intended to be the definitive Who live album, and many collectors maintain that the band had better shows available on bootlegs. But those shows weren't easily available whereas Live at Leeds was, and even if this show may not have been the absolute best, it's so damn close to it that it would be impossible for anybody but aficionados to argue. Here, the Who sound vicious -- as heavy as Led Zeppelin but twice as volatile -- as they careen through early classics with the confidence of a band that had finally achieved acclaim but had yet to become preoccupied with making art. In that regard, this recording -- in its many different forms -- may have been perfectly timed in terms of capturing the band at a pivotal moment in its history. There is certainly no better record of how this band was a volcano of violence on-stage, teetering on the edge of chaos but never blowing apart. This was most true on the original LP, which was a trim six tracks, three of them covers ("Young Man Blues," "Summertime Blues," "Shakin' All Over") and three originals from the mid-'60s, two of those ("Substitute," "My Generation") vintage parts of their repertory and only "Magic Bus" representing anything resembling a recent original, with none bearing a trace of their mod roots. This was pure, distilled power, all the better for its brevity; throughout the '70s the album was seen as one of the gold standards in live rock & roll, and certainly it had a fury that no proper Who studio album achieved. It was also notable as one of the earliest legitimate albums to implicitly acknowledge -- and go head to head with -- the existence of bootleg LPs. Indeed, its very existence owed something to the efforts of Pete Townshend and company to stymie the bootleggers. The Who had made extensive recordings of performances along their 1969 tour, with the intention of preparing a live album from that material, but they recognized when it was over that none of them had the time or patience to go through the many dozens of hours of live performances in order to sort out what to use for the proposed album. According to one account, the band destroyed those tapes in a massive bonfire, so that none of the material would ever surface without permission. They then decided to go to the other extreme in preparing a live album, scheduling this concert at Leeds University and arranging the taping, determined to do enough that was worthwhile at the one show. As it turned out, even here they generated an embarrassment of riches -- the band did all of Tommy, as audiences of the time would have expected (and, indeed, demanded), but as the opera was already starting to feel like an albatross hanging around the collective neck of the band (and especially Townshend), they opted to leave out any part of their most famous work apart from a few instrumental strains in one of the jams. Instead, the original LP was limited to the six tracks named, and that was more than fine as far as anyone cared. And fans who bought the LP got a package of extra treats for their money. The album's plain brown sleeve was, itself, a nod and nudge to the bootleggers, resembling the packaging of such early underground LP classics as the Bob Dylan Great White Wonder set and the Rolling Stones concert bootleg Liver Than You'll Ever Be, from the latter group's 1969 tour -- and it was a sign of just how far the Who had come in just two years that they could possibly (and correctly) equate interest in their work as being on a par with Dylan and the Stones. But Live at Leeds' jacket was a fold-out sleeve with a pocket that contained a package of memorabilia associated with the band, including a really cool poster, copies of early contracts, etc. It was, along with Tommy, the first truly good job of packaging for this band ever to come from Decca Records; the label even chose to forgo the presence of its rainbow logo, carrying the bootleg pose to the plain label and handwritten song titles, and the note about not correcting the clicks and pops. At the time, you just bought this as a fan, but looking back 30 or 40 years on, those now seem to be quietly heady days for the band (and for fans who had supported them for years), finally seeing the music world and millions of listeners catch up. ~ Bruce Eder & Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Bros.

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