Within Temptation Live Recordings

  Montreux Festival July 2024

  Beth Gibbons New Solo LP


  Politics Is Failing

  Ani DiFranco New LP

  Pink Floyd’s Animals Remix


  Seasick Steve Alive & Kickin’

  Glen Hansard New LP/23-24 Tour

  Joe Bonamassa Live LP & Tour

  Pearl Jam New LP & Tour

  Feeder New LP & Tour

  “My country, right or wrong…”

  Heart Announce Live Tours

  Anais Mitchell HADESTOWN Returns

  The Photographer’s Selection

  My Favourite Records

  Gaza Nightmare Continues

  Gaza Nightmare Continues

  The Killers New LP & Tour

  Download 2024 First Acts

  Princess Goes COME OF AGE

  Springsteen 2024 Tour

  Philip ‘Seth’ Campbell Live

  This Troubled World

  Dark Side Of The Moon 50th

  The More I Hear The Less I Know

  Great Albums: Fresh New Life

  Hozier’s New Album

  Nicole Atkins Jim Sclavunos Live

  SBT (Sarabeth Tucek) Live

  I’m As Angry As Hell!

  Magnum - A Year in Ukraine

  Alessandra Sanguinetti Interview

  The Damn Truth Live

  Newton Faulkner Live

  The Handsome Family Live

  The State We’re In Pt II

  Eric Gales Live

  The Cavalry Never Arrived

  Chvrches Live

  Andrés Peña Flamenco Star Live

  Paul Draper Live

  A Fly-Free Zone

  Liverpool Jazz Festival

  The Charlatans Live

  UK Democracy Threatened

  Rag’n'Bone Man Live

  Sea Girls Live

  Martha Wainwright Live

  Politics is Failing

  Moby The Very Best Of Interview


  Joe Bonamassa Live!

  Rodrigo Y Gabriela Interview

  Amy Macdonald Rescheduled Gig

  Music & Brexit

  Happy New Year?

  On Barbra Streisand

  The State We’re In…

  Welcome Back! But To What?

  What Have We Done?


  Photojournalism Hero

  Samantha Fish Live

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

  Noah Gundersen Live

  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

  New Model Army Live

  Shakespears Sister Live

  Lamb Live in Manchester

  The Struts Live

  Sting & Shaggy Live

  Ana Popovic, Lynne Jackaman Live

  David Gray Live in Liverpool

  The Slow Readers Club Live

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Laura Marling Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death

My Favourite Records


After suffering a seizure while riding his bike to work in February 1996, Rainer Ptacek was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 1996. He described his frustrating symptoms to his friend, Fred Mills:

You know, these” — Rainer held up his hands and nodded at them — “know where they want to go. They remember the chords, the notes. The problem is that I still can’t remember all of those chords and notes.”


Rainer THE FARM. Glitterhouse. 2002

I’ve recently been considering my choice of best ever albums and partly because over recent years there’s been a general paucity of great quality music. How many times have you heard the adjectives ‘incredible’, ’stunning’ and ‘amazing’ used to describe albums being TV advertised? None of it true. I often wonder if people actually believe the hype backed by shed loads of radio airplay and media coverage. In short, I believe the art of music has been degraded to the lowest levels ever and by some artists who survive and prosper through hype rather than great talent. Many moons ago I decided to recommence my love for music in a more serious way. I invested in high quality audio and then happened upon a hi-fi magazine’s selection of the top 50 CDs for both quality of music and sound. So to restart my music collection over 4 months I acquired all 50 CDs selected as a start point.

To perhaps provide a start-point for anyone wishing to do the same (and with the greatest difficulty) I decided to select albums that for me represent the very best and meaningful popular musical art, including some of those that re-started my collection. At first I planned for a list my top ten albums but that was impracticable and ultimately impossible. However, it did mean that some real favourites would have to be discarded and kept for a possible second future list .

I opened by providing a quote from Rainer Ptacek because his last album, THE FARM, was recorded days before his death in 1997 and is a truly emotional and beautiful piece of work which moves me more than most albums I have ever heard. One can hear and feel the struggle and the love, and impending loss of family. It hits harder than you can imagine.

Virtually every album I’ve selected has a personal back-story that adds to their musical attraction. One of my most recent selection includes Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds SKELETON TREE which revolves around the accidental death of Cave’s twin son. For me all these albums have a special place in my heart and head not only for their musical brilliance but because they emerged at a time of a time of personal discovery, sadness and happiness. Several represent my first and best introduction to the acts.  I have avoided the temptation of picking more than one album from each act. If you’re looking to start a collection or are looking to join the growing band of music-lovers moving back to vinyl, then a large number of these recording are analogue - true vinyl classic. But above all these albums for me represent the finest music in fifty years of listening. The list is an eclectic mix and in no particular order, and will be to added over time…I will be adding a list of classical music very soon.


Andrea Bocelli SOGNO. Polydor. 2002


Ani DiFranco LITTLE PLASTIC CASTLE. Righteous Babe. 1998


Arcade Fire FUNERAL. Sony. 2004


Patricia Barber MODERN COOL. Premonition. 1998


Barbra Streisand JE M’APPELLE BARBRA. Columbia. 1966






Jeff Buckley GRACE. Columbia. 1994


Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Batt A MEETING BY THE RIVER. Waterlilly Acoustics. 1993

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