51 for 50 – 1979

Most of my childhood, bar the first couple of years, was spent living in Watford, a not particularly interesting little town to the North West of London, just outside the Orbital M25 motorway. But for a few years in the late 1970s and early 1980s my parents, wanting to get more space than the two-up, … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1979

51 for 50 – 1976

The Stevie Wonder albums from the 1970s are things of wonder and delight. Grown up from his "Little Stevie" days, they are complex and nuanced, political and funky. We had Talking Book at home - the cover etched into my brain with Stevie in his long robe sitting in the dust, the typography surrounding. But … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1976

51 for 50 – 1975

So it turns out that next to no music from 1975 has permeated into my consciousness. Certainly no albums. The year before Punk, when Rick Wakeman was doing concept albums about King Arthur, I'd like to think it's because of my good taste. But there were generally acclaimed great albums by Led Zepplin, Patti Smith, … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1975

51 for 50 – 1974

The godfather of rap? Possibly. Gil Scott Heron set the mould for bombastic, political rhyme that would be followed years later by the likes of Public Enemy. But alongside the polemic, there was also the tender. Songs like Lady Day and John Coltrane and When You Are Who You Are are simply great pop songs. … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1974

51 for 50 – 1973

The first artist on this list that I’ve actually seen perform live, Herbie Hancock first came into my field of musical view from his crossover hit Rockit in my hip hop-obsessed early teens. In my twenties, occasionally getting the chance to DJ chill out rooms at the hard house nights that friends ran in Camden, … Continue reading 51 for 50 – 1973