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

$15.49

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 25, 2007 | Tommy Boy Music, LLC

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Most of Coolio's hit debut It Takes a Thief was fairly upbeat material, but the appearance of the stark single "Gangsta's Paradise" in the summer of 1995 signaled a change in the rapper's music. Driven by an ominously deep bassline and slashing strings, the creeping, threatening funk of "Gangsta's Paradise" was the most chilling thing Coolio had recorded to date, but the menace didn't come at the expense of his considerable talent for immediate, catchy hooks. Consequently, the single shot to the top of the charts and hovered in the Top Ten for many weeks. The album followed shortly afterwards, and it didn't fail to deliver on the promise of the single. Not only did Coolio expand his sound, but his songwriting skills improved, as Gangsta's Paradise has very few weak moments. Alternating between slow, funky grooves and elastic, party-ready anthems, Gangsta's Paradise is proof that Coolio is one of the most exciting and interesting hip-hop artists of the mid-'90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$102.49

Country - Released September 21, 2018 | Capitol Records Nashville

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More than eight and a half hours of music! Bobby Gentry absolutely deserves such a generous celebration, even though her glory years only really lasted about a decade. Retiring in the early 1980s into total anonymity, this great voice of the 1960s and 1970s is presented here in a deluxe selection. Across 8 records, 177 tracks are brought together: her six studio albums for Capitol (Ode to Billie Joe from 1967, The Delta Sweete and Local Gentry from 1968, Touch ‘Em With Love from 1969, Fancy from 1970 and  Patchwork from 1971), the record she made with Glen Campbell in 1968 and over 70 unreleased tracks including alternative takes, demos, BBC live recordings and all kinds of rarities! Hidden behind the mystery of her premature retirement and the cult following which has only grown with time remain these songs. Bobbie Gentry was more than just a simple country, folk and pop singer like so many others of her generation. Only Bobby could’ve written hits like Mornin' Glory, Fancy, Okolona River Bottom Band, Chickasaw County Child and most famous of all, covered the world over, Ode to Billie Joe, the fascinating story of the suicide of the mysterious Billie Joe McAllister who leapt from Tallahatchie Bridge. In France, Joe Dassin would go on to put a French spin on the song: Billie Joe became Marie-Jeanne and the Tallahatchie Bridge became the bridge over the Garonne… There is class, freedom and striking sensuality in Bobbie Gentry's voice. There are also brilliant arrangements and an instrumentation that line up perfectly with the songs, from slightly kitschy lounge strings (but they're so cool) to a simple guitar that clings to the contours of her voice. Bobbie Gentry was never fully country, fully pop, fully soul or fully folk. She was Bobbie Gentry. Full stop. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released August 17, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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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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R&B/Soul - Released March 21, 2018 | Epic - Legacy

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Classical - Released March 2, 2018 | Sony Classical

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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Jazzwise Five-star review
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Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Contemporary

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Country - Released November 4, 1997 | Mercury Nashville

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Shania Twain's second record, The Woman in Me, became a blockbuster, appealing as much to a pop audience as it did to the country audience. Part of the reason for its success was how producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange -- best-known for his work with Def Leppard, the Cars, and AC/DC -- steered Twain toward the big choruses and instrumentation that always was a signature of his speciality, AOR radio. Come on Over, the sequel to The Woman in Me, continues that approach, breaking from contemporary country conventions in a number of ways. Not only does the music lean toward rock, but its 16 songs and, as the cover proudly claims, "Hour of Music," break from the country tradition of cheap, short albums of ten songs that last about a half-hour. Furthermore, all 16 songs and Lange-Twain originals and Shania's sleek, sexy photos suggest a New York fashion model, not a honky tonker. And there isn't any honky tonk here, which is just as well, since the fiddles are processed to sound like synthesizers and talk boxes never sound good on down-home, gritty rave-ups. No, Shania sticks to what she does best, which is countrified mainstream pop. Purists will complain that there's little country here, and there really isn't. However, what is here is professionally crafted country-pop -- even the filler (which there is, unfortunately, too much of) sounds good -- which is delivered with conviction, if not style, by Shania, and that is enough to make it a thoroughly successful follow-up to one of the most successful country albums by a female in history. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released November 4, 1997 | Mercury Nashville

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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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Classical - Released August 3, 1988 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 8, 2017 | Melee - Wild Pitch

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Masterpiece alert! When the first album from the trio Main Source came out at the height of the summer of 1991, the group formed by New York MC Large Professor and Canadian DJs Sir Scratch and K-Cut from Toronto were already very well-respected on the hip hop underground. Written and recorded throughout the previous year, with the legendary E-mu SP-1200 sampler, Breaking Atoms marked a turning point in rap, in particular with its production that held up sturdily against an avalanche of jazz, soul and funk samples. We encounter snatches of song from Donald Byrd, Bob James, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Taylor, Lou Donaldson, Lyn Collins, MFSB, Kool & The Gang, the Three Sounds, Lou Courtney, S.O.U.L., Funk, Inc. and the Detroit Emeralds. Funky to the point of madness, Large Professor's flow and the subtlety of his punchlines set the album apart from the competition. Breaking Atoms is a major record of golden era hip hop, and also legendary for the début, on Live at the Barbeque, of a young rapper of 17 named Nas… This remaster of Breaking Atoms includes several bonus tracks, like the grandiose single Fakin' the Funk, released in 1992 on the soundtrack to White Men Can't Jump, and carried by its sample of Magic Shoes by The Main Ingredient. © Marc Zisman/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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Electronic/Dance - Released May 5, 2017 | Sony Music CG

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 14, 2017 | Aftermath

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To Pimp a Butterfly's proper and oft-biblical follow-up arrived on Good Friday, 13 months after untitled unmastered., an intermediary release that eclipsed the best work of most contemporary artists. If Kendrick Lamar felt pressure to continue living up to his previous output, there's no evidence on DAMN. He's too occupied tracing the spectrum of his mental states, from "boxin' demons" to "flex on swole," questioning and reveling in his affluence, castigating and celebrating his bloodline, humble enough to relate his vulnerabilities, assured enough to proclaim "Ain't none of y'all fuckin' with the flow." Throughout, he intensely examines most of the seven deadly sins, aware all along that his existence is threatened by anyone who objects to the color of his skin or clothes -- or, in the case of the blind stranger who shoots him during the album's opener, nothing that is apparent. Compared to the maximum-capacity, genre-twisting vastness and winding narratives of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN. on the surface seems like a comparatively simple rap album that demands less from the listener. There's relative concision in the track titles and material, and a greater emphasis on commercial sounds -- such as Mike WiLL's lean and piano-laced trap beat for the strong-arming "HUMBLE.," Lamar's first Top Ten pop hit, and a couple productions that are merely functional backdrops lacking distinction. In a way, however, DAMN. is just as lavish and singular as the preceding albums, its quantity and weight of thoughts and connected concepts condensed into a considerably tighter space. It contains some of Lamar's best writing and performances, revealing his evolving complexity and versatility as a soul-baring lyricist and dynamic rapper. Although it's occasionally distorted, stretched, smeared, and reversed to compelling and imagination-fueling effect, his voice is at its most affecting in its many untreated forms. Take "FEAR.," in which he switches between echoing hot-blooded parental threats to enumerating, with a 40-acre stare, various death scenarios. His storytelling hits an astonishing new high on "Duckworth," the album's finale. Over ethereal funk sewn by 9th Wonder, Lamar details a potentially tragic encounter between his father and future Top Dawg CEO Anthony Tiffith -- and the conditions leading to it -- that occurred long before Kung Fu Kenny was known as K. Dot. ~ Andy Kellman