Features

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As a result of an obsession with BBC4's "Top of the Pops: 1984" we had a look at the era's other pop behemoth - the sprawling Now That's What I Call Music series. Starting at volume 1 and carrying on until we get bored we'll report back with highlights and lowlights of each release. Here's our take on Now 2.

Release Date: 26 March 1984

Peak UK Chart Position: #1

Best Song: David Bowie - Modern Love

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Busy year again. A lot happened. A lot. The world took a few steps closer to nuclear annihilation, Britain took a few more steps towards a cliff and Rodney Bewes died. Some amazing albums came out too and I've listed CrackleFeedback's favourite 30 here. Merry Xmas!
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As a result of an obsession with BBC4's "Top of the Pops: 1984" we had a look at the era's other pop behemoth - the sprawling Now That's What I Call Music series. Starting at volume 1 and carrying on until we get bored we'll report back with highlights and lowlights of each release. First up, John Wilson goes right back to the start and gives us his take on Now 1.

Release Date: 28 November 1983

Peak UK Chart Position: #1

Best Song: Tracey Ullman - They Don't Know

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Russian three-piece Gnoomes have just released their latest album Tschak! which was recorded after a series of brushes with the law (and even the army) forced the band to ditch their "psychedelics" and find other means of inspiration. Luckily the album turned out great and you can listen to a sample below, but first take a look at some of their musical prescriptions in #52 of our Broken Record series.

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Nadine Khouri's dreamy atmospheric debut album The Salted Air has just been released on her own label One Flash Records. The LP was recorded live by the eminent John Parish and is correctly receiving a great deal of praise from all the right people. Watch a live recording of her track "Broken Star" below, but before that take a peak inside Khouri's record collection for #51 in our Broken Record series. 

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Vessels are a three piece from Brooklyn who are about to release a new EP called Halogen Days, their first material since 2015's festive Here We Come a Vassaling EP. It's a punchy 4-pack of tracks that shifts between high octane rock'n roll and psychedelic pop. It's also a good appetiser for the full length LP which is "on the horizon". Here, Vessels' drummer Jon Smith talks us through some of his record collection in #50 of our Broken Record series. PS - He's proven himself to be an all-round cool dude by correctly identifying Cake's Fashion Nugget as the best driving record.

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New York City musician Kristeen Young has got quite a CV. She regularly records with Tony Visconti, she's played with David Bowie and Dave Grohl and toured with Morrissey (who rather astutely described her as "Maria Callas, if not for the keyboard that she plays like a set of drums"). Her new single "NICE" is a serious take on modern day male celebrity told through a cavalcade of crunching bass musical shifts that would put Rick Wakeman to shame. Part Kate Bush, part Sparks, Young has a knack for writing odd songs that you can still dance to.

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You may have heard of Irma Vep (aka Edwin Stevens) because of his superb recent album No Handshake Blues. You may have heard of him because he gets played on BBC 6Music quite a lot (the ever-reliable Marc Riley is a big fan). You might have heard of him from one of his many other projects (Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Yerba Mansa)...or from his regular "Very Bon" club nights in Manchester...or his tape label...or his collaborations with the equally workman-like Kiran Leonard.

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2106 - widely regarded as the worst year of all times, but there were at least 20 albums released by 20 artists who kicked against the pricks (Trump, Farage, The Grim Reaper etc). Here are our top 20 albums of the year. As usual, the top of our pile didn't originally get the highest score of all the albums listed here (although it still got an impressive 8.5), but it's the album that's spent most time on the turntable, and who can argue with that? NOBODY!
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Five years on from their debut album, Civil Civic are back with a bang, and a hyperactive new LP called THE TEST. Aaron Cupples and Benjamin Green are originally from Melbourne but are now based in London and Barcelona, a long distance relationship which might go some way to explaining the five year gap in albums. Anyway, they are back now and that's all that really matters. Here in #47 of our Broken Record series, Ben Green (bass / synth) tells us about lots of the records that he loves/hates.