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

$16.49

Rock - Released June 1, 1967 | EMI Catalogue

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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
$16.49

Rock - Released July 10, 1964 | EMI Catalogue

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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
$39.49
$32.49

Rock - Released December 4, 2015 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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
$14.99
$12.99

Pop - Released June 4, 2012 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$28.49
$23.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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
$14.99
$12.99

Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$15.49

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

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
$14.99
$12.99

Pop - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino - Maverick Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$14.99
$12.99

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

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Alternative & Indie - Released October 30, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Download not available
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.

Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | Beggars Banquet

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Download not available
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
$68.49
$59.49

Rock - Released September 25, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$25.49
$21.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1966 | Capitol Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$14.99
$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1966 | Capitol Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$20.99
$17.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1966 | Capitol Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$13.49
$11.49

Pop - Released January 1, 1954 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$16.49
$14.49

Punk / New Wave - Released July 24, 2015 | Rhino

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
$7.49

Rock - Released January 1, 2000 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Lauréat du Mercury Prize
During her career, Polly Jean Harvey has had as many incarnations as she has albums. She's gone from the Yeovil art student of her debut Dry, to Rid of Me's punk poetess to To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire?'s postmodern siren; on Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea -- inspired by her stay in New York City and life in the English countryside -- she's changed again. The album cover's stylish, subtly sexy image suggests what its songs confirm: PJ Harvey has grown up. Direct, vulnerable lyrics replace the allegories and metaphors of her previous work, and the album's production polishes the songs instead of obscuring them in noise or studio tricks. On the album's best tracks, such as "Kamikaze" and "This Is Love," a sexy, shouty blues-punk number that features the memorable refrain "I can't believe life is so complex/When I just want to sit here and watch you undress," Harvey sounds sensual and revitalized. The New York influences surface on the glamorous punk rock of "Big Exit" and "Good Fortune," on which Harvey channels both Chrissie Hynde's sexy tough girl and Patti Smith's ferocious yelp. Ballads like the sweetly urgent, piano and marimba-driven "One Line" and the Thom Yorke duet "This Mess We're In" avoid the painful depths of Harvey's darkest songs; "Horses in My Dreams" also reflects Harvey's new emotional balance: "I have pulled myself clear," she sighs, and we believe her. However, "We Float"'s glossy choruses veer close to Lillith Fair territory, and longtime fans can't help but miss the visceral impact of her early work, but Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea doesn't compromise her essential passion. Hopefully, this album's happier, more direct PJ Harvey is a persona she'll keep around for a while. ~ Heather Phares
$7.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Following the tour for Rid of Me, Polly Harvey parted ways with Robert Ellis and Stephen Vaughn, leaving her free to expand her music from the bluesy punk that dominated PJ Harvey's first two albums. It also left her free to experiment with her style of songwriting. Where Dry and Rid of Me seemed brutally honest, To Bring You My Love feels theatrical, with each song representing a grand gesture. Relying heavily on religious metaphors and imagery borrowed from the blues, Harvey has written a set of songs that are lyrically reminiscent of Nick Cave's and Tom Waits' literary excursions into the gothic American heartland. Since she was a product of post-punk, she's nowhere near as literally bluesy as Cave or Waits, preferring to embellish her songs with shards of avant guitar, eerie keyboards, and a dense, detailed production. It's a far cry from the primitive guitars of her first two albums, but Harvey pulls it off with style, since her songwriting is tighter and more melodic than before; the menacing "Down by the Water" has genuine hooks, as does the psycho stomp of "Meet Ze Monsta," the wailing "Long Snake Moan," and the stately "C'Mon Billy." The clear production by Harvey, Flood, and John Parish makes these growths evident, which in turn makes To Bring You My Love her most accessible album, even if the album lacks the indelible force of its predecessors. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$7.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Dry was shockingly frank in its subject and sound, as PJ Harvey delivered post-feminist manifestos with a punkish force. PJ Harvey's second album, Rid of Me, finds the trio, and Harvey in particular, pushing themselves to extremes. This is partially due to producer Steve Albini, who gives the album a bloodless, abrasive edge with his exacting production; each dynamic is pushed to the limit, leaving absolutely no subtleties in the music. Harvey's songs, in decided contrast to Albini's approach, are filled with gray areas and uncertainties, and are considerably more personal than those on Dry. Furthermore, they are lyrically and melodically superior to the songs on the debut, but their merits are obscured by Albini's black-and-white production, which is polarizing. It may be the aural embodiment of the tortured lyrics, and therefore a supremely effective piece of performance art, but it also makes Rid of Me a difficult record to meet halfway. But anyone willing to accept its sonic extremities will find Rid of Me to be a record of unusual power and purpose, one with few peers in its unsettling emotional honesty. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine