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From the Publisher

Listen to This If You Love Great Music

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Illmatic 1994

Listening to Nas’ debut album Illmatic is as close to walking the streets of New York as you can get without boarding a flight. At times, his lyrical flair is so intimate and so exact that listening to his Music becomes a type of role play; from getting on the subway to feeling the sidewalk beneath your feet, Illmatic is a wholly absorbing, incredibly immersive experience.

A classic first time out, Nasir Jones’ 1994 debut album didn’t set the charts alight and failed to provide a hit single. Yet its astonishing artistry ignited the ultimate slow burn, with phenomenal production– predominantly from Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Q-Tip and L.E.S. – uniting with an MC who combines photographic exactness with a poetic understanding of emotional nuance.

‘N.Y. State Of Mind’ finds the rapper in solemn harmony with his surroundings, the slate-grey concrete and broken glass of his Brooklyn streets merging with the intense sense of purpose he finds in his artistry.

‘The World Is Yours’ shares the intoxicating appeal of Scarface, while ‘One Love’ is a series of sketched-out letters to incarcerated friends. Indeed, Illmatic offers searing, timeless testimony to the hardships of poverty and the bonds degradation can fuse between young people. It’s an album of survival and ambition amid the daily grind, one that rarely succumbs to inertia.

PLAY THESE ‘N.Y. State Of Mind’, ‘One Love’ Like This? Try These: Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full Notorious B.I.G – Ready To Die Jay-Z – Reasonable Doubt

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Odelay 1996

Beck became famous almost by accident. Emerging from the leftfield anti-folk scene, his 1994 single ‘Loser’ was a departure that became a hit. Pushed into the public gaze, he initially struggled to find a path forwards, sketching out subdued, acoustic-based material in an attempt to channel the shifts in his life.

Reaching an impasse, Beck threw out this work, deciding instead to link with production team the Dust Brothers. Famed for their work in hiphop – the duo’s resume included LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys – the production team would lay down a sampledelic framework that Beck would playfully exploit.

Exploding his work in a thousand different directions, Odelay blends hip-hop, Latin pop, ’60s psych and more besides, with Beck’s plunderphonic approach redefining his work for the post-modern ’90s.

Lead single ‘Where It’s At’ set the tone for what was to follow – riding that delicious organ riff, Beck steals a vocoder phrasing from old-school hip-hop group Mantronix before dressing up as Captain Beefheart for the video. Superbly direct, Odelay feels like pop Music beamed in from another dimension.

PLAY THESE ‘Where It’s At’, ‘The New Pollution’, ‘Sissyneck’ Like This? Try These: The Beta Band – The Three EPs Eels – Daisies Of The Galaxy Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

100 of the best photographs ever captured on camera, Gemma Padley offers concise, insightful summaries on just what it is that makes each one so special. 100 of the best artworks ever produced, inside is a collection of insightful summaries on just what it is that makes each one so vital. 100 of the best albums from the last four decades,​ editor Robin Murray shares his passion for exceptional Music and offers insightful takes on what elevates these records above the competition.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Ivy Press (April 6, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 071125608X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0711256088
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.5 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.9 x 1.05 x 9.15 inches