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Classic records you should own

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Established critical faves from this century and the last. We're not keen on them all, but they're definitely popular. Take a look at our Norman Records' Essentials collection too - we vouch for every one of those.

Beck
Odelay

Beck's famed record of folk pop, hip-hop and gleeful harmonica turntablism gets a reissue through its original label Bong Load! This alternative gem crossed a lot of paths, each united under the boy's smirky vocal, blending the mainstreams of rock and electronic into one neat package. A n...view item »

Eno
Another Green World

Another Green World is Brian Eno's third solo album and marks the beginning of his move from rock-based compositions to the ambient work he pursued in the late '70s. It contains some of his best known tracks such as St Elmo's Fire and the beautiful title track and is notable for guest spots from Robert Frip...view item »

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Electric Ladyland

Hendrix on 180 gram! Yes, you heard correctly. This double LP vinyl package has been lovingly put together by the Voodoo Chile's down at Legacy. You don't want to get stuck in Cross Town Traffic and miss this one. You don't need even need to go All Along The Watch Tower, but you do need to snap it up quickly. It's Jimi...view item »

Love
Forever Changes

Forever Changes by Love was one of a number of classic and highly original albums that were released in 1967. Led by Arthur Lee, the band were hampered by drugs and failing relationships, but the difficult atmosphere seems to have been the right one in which to make a classic. App...view item »

The Clash
London Calling

London Calling was the third album by The Clash and was originally released in 1979. It is widely regarded as the band’s greatest moment and one of the best albums to ever be committed to tape. It comprises a range of styles from punk to reggae and ska to rockabilly and dealt with many issues of the day such as un...view item »

The Sex Pistols
Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols

You can debate the aesthetics and ethics of the Pistols all you want, but there’s no arguing that their only real album is, well, the bollocks. Where would we be without the results of people being inspired by it, being annoyed by it, or reacting against it? This is all the Pistols you need, really (the odd stray b-side no...view item »

Radiohead
OK Computer - OKNOTOK 1997-2017

If you happen to be a fan of this album then here’s something you might want to get your mitts on. The whole album remastered plus the B sides from the singles of the time plus the holy grail for Radiohead fans,  three unreleased and long sought after tracks dug out of the vaults. All formats have all the b...view item »

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Clear Spot

Don Van Vliet’s reputation mostly rests on the mind-bending knottiness of Troutmaskreplica and similar work, but he could also dial down the weird and dial up the blues. 1972’s Clear Spot is his most successful attempt to nail a compromise between groove-driven blues rock and his inimitable creative eccentricities. T...view item »

Pink Floyd
The Dark Side Of The Moon

As literally one of the best-selling albums of all time (741 consecutive weeks in the charts!), you probably already have a copy of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon don’t you? But this new reissue has been remastered, and is pressed to 180g vinyl, and comes in a rather fetching package with a few extra bit...view item »

Jeff Buckley
Grace

Despite a number of archival and live albums, Grace was the only full studio album released by Jeff Buckley. Still, high points of the singer-songwriter's celebrated but tragically short career - 'Last Goodbye', 'Hallelujah', 'Lover, You Should Have Come Over' - were part of the collection, and deservedly so....view item »

Iggy Pop
Lust For Life

Iggy’s second solo album came hot on the heels of the similarly Bowie-produced, but stylistically very different The Idiot (both 1977). With the Sales brothers on bass and drums and Carlos Alomar and Ricky Gardiner on guitars, this is much more of a rock a...view item »

Ramones
Ramones

1, 2, 3, 4! As one of the most influential documents in rock’n’roll history, Da Brudders’ 1976 debut hardly warrants an introduction. Still, it’s always a shock to hear how raw and minimal the Craig Leon-produced album is. And all done and dusted in 29 minutes, baby. This LP reissue is cut from analogue m...view item »

Amy Winehouse
Back To Black

Back To Black was the second and final album by Amy Winehouse. It was regarded as a classic pretty much upon on its release. Here she found her ideal musical partner in Mark Ronson whose soulful production was the perfect backdrop to her incredible voice. Contains Rehab, Love Is A Losing Game a...view item »

Arcade Fire
Funeral

So now to the bands of today that actually matter. Cos they're good, rise way above the hype & release thought provoking, original music. Arcade Fire are Rough Trade's latest bagging & with immediate effect they make me think of The Walkmen. FB says The Waterboys but his hearing is tuned into a rusty wi...view item »

Wu-Tang Clan
Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers)

Do you want me to introduce this record to you? Really? Because if you don’t yet know what happens when you Enter The Wu Tang, you should probably just buy this on sight. For existing Wu-Tang Clan fans, this is the classic debut reissued, pretty crucial for your collection....view item »

Portishead
Portishead

Essential three LP re-press of the Bristolian soundtracky trip-hoppers second LP from back in 1997.  This is the one that eschewed their debut's occasional pop moves and delved deep into sample-delica and disturbing textures. It's an intimate and occasionally frightening listen full of regret and pathos between the grooves.  ...view item »

Scott Walker
Scott 4

From way back in 1969, Scott 4 is a classic of intense and majestic songcraft; the first set of entirely Walker penned songs combining sophisticated, easy-listening pop with lyrical complexity touching on the darkest of subject matter. Seen as a something of a commercial flop at the time of its release compared to his four previous albums, Scott...view item »

The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main Street

The Rolling Stones took themselves off to the French Riviera to record their classic double LP Exile On Main Street. This could well be the album from which all the stories of excess associated with rock stars stem from. But let’s not let that overshadow the music. Since it’s release in 1972, Exile On ...view item »

Nick Drake
Made To Love Magic

The catalogue of Nick Drake has always been nicely curated and this 2004 compilation just does enough to justify its existence. It contains lots of early and alternative versions of some of Drake's best known songs but the main talking point is the appearance of an unheard composition 'Tow the Line', possibly the last song he ever performed. As ...view item »

Portishead
Dummy

Truly a game changing record. 'Dummy' took the Bristol noir sound of Massive Attack to a new level which proved to be both inspirational and commercially successful. Beth Gibbons wracked vocals sit perfect over Geoff Barrow' loops and electronics and when you add in 60's spy film like guitar atmosphe...view item »

R.E.M.
Life's Rich Pageant

Right, people listen up. R.E.M were fucking amazing. Let's just take what they did in the '80s on it's own and we have an incredible body of work. 'Lifes Rich Pageant' was the moment they went from pastoral mumblers to a potential stadium rock band and hits the sweet spot just right. The album has so many highlights that it's hard to kno...view item »

Arthur Verocai
Arthur Verocai

Well for once, the press release -- "one of the greatest albums ever made" -- sounds less like the usual over-enthusiastic blurb (hyperbole) and more in keeping with widely-held muso opinion. Arthur Verocai's self-titled solo record was a masterpiece produced, directed and created by the self-taught musician. Original copies of ...view item »

Talk Talk
Spirit Of Eden

I'm trying really hard to write an intro that will ensure you click the 'Add to Cart' button straight away but what is left to say about this that has not already been said about this superb album? Umm... as you may or may not know Talk Talk were kind of a Duran Duran who after a couple ...view item »

Joy Division
Unknown Pleasures

Debut album by Salford post-punkers Joy Division. Recorded in April 1979, Martin Hannet's unique production techniques and Ian Curtis's doomed lyrics and monotone vocal lend the album a downbeat greatness that has been often emulated yet rarely surpassed. One of only two albums recorded by the band before Curtis's tragic suicide in 1980. ...view item »

The Smiths
Hatful of Hollow

'Hatful of Hollow' was a wonderful compilation of the Smiths earliest moments with many tracks taken from John Peel sessions. This gives them a rawer feel to their album contemporaries but unlike many session compilations this works pretty brilliantly as an album. It also contains early singles and B sides showcasing some of their very best song...view item »

The Beatles
Rubber Soul

Rubber Soul by The Beatles, released in 1965,  was the follow-up to Help! And, therefore, the second album of theirs to consist entirely of original material. By this time, the band had given up touring and were able to focus all of their energies on recording in the studio. The results are b...view item »

Kraftwerk
Autobahn

This is Kraftwerk’s fourth album, though it’s treated by the band as their year zero, and not entirely without justification. Though retaining “real” instruments like flute, piano, guitar and violin, this marks the start of Kraftwerk as a focused, conceptually defined, electronic entity. The side-long, ...view item »

Marvin Gaye
What's Going On

Immediately recognisable from the cover alone, What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye feels like an album that was never not there. The soothing and enthralling tracks like Mercy Mercy Me and What’s Happening Brother, feel like they have always existed somewhere, a testament...view item »

Pulp
Different Class

Following the recent renewal of interest in Britpop comes the reissue of Pulp's widely revered 1995 LP 'Different Class'. Pressed onto 180g vinyl, this special issue comes with an insert featuring Cocker's bitingly deft lyrics. Alluding to society and the British class system, 'Different Class' was defiantly of its time, but still resonates toda...view item »

New Order
Power, Corruption & Lies

New Order’s second full-length achieves a fine balance between electronic and guitar-based music. While the preceding Movement LP was the work of a band who couldn’t quite shake off the weight of their past as Joy Division, Power, Corruption and Lies and the contemporary Blue Monday 12” saw them define a singul...view item »

Leonard Cohen
Songs of Leonard Cohen

Almost 50 years ago, Leonard Cohen made the move from writing poetry and novels into songwriting, releasing his debut album. Songs of Leonard Cohen is full of crucial numbers like ‘Suzanne’ and ‘So Long, Marianne’, that no student of song can really be without. Plus, can you really do without tha...view item »

The Libertines
S/T

Whether you could cope with their tabloid-friendly jack the lad personas or not, there's no arguing that this bunch of London wasters created a raggle taggle sound that refreshed British guitar music. At a time when most popular 'indie bands' were as benign and manufactured as any Simon Cowell protege, the Libertines lived their...view item »

Massive Attack
Blue Lines

Ah 'Blue Lines'. That time hip-hop, reggae, R&B, and soul all together under the mysterious cinematic umbrella of Massive Attack. The first time their special blend of breakbeats, sampling and rapping was heard and it's presence is still being felt 25+ years on. The usual guests are in place, Horace Andy, Tricky...view item »

Oasis
Definitely Maybe (Remastered)

Oasis’ debut album, Definitely Maybe is released on increasingly ostentatious formats for its 20th anniversary. The double vinyl LP contains the original album and comes with a download of bonus content. The triple CD box set contains the original album with all the original b-sides, rare and unreleased tracks fro...view item »

Oasis
(What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (Remastered)

Following on from 'Definitely Maybe', Big Brother are reissuing Oasis' second record and Britpop standard, 'What's The Story (Morning Glory)'. It will be available as CD, double LP or deluxe CD - the latter of which includes a 56 page hardback book, demos of "Hello" and "She's Electric", a replica 12", a replica casset...view item »

Eno
Here Come The Warm Jets

Here Come the Warm Jets was Brian Eno's debut solo album, credited under the name Eno it marked a continuation from the glam/art rock of Roxy Music but with a much more experimental bent. Tracks like the storming opener Needles in a Camel's Eye and Baby's On Fire anticipate the forward thinking art rock...view item »

Echo & The Bunnymen
Ocean Rain

'Ocean Moon' was initially released in 1984 by Echo & The Bunnymen, who are now recognised as one of the most formative post-punk bands. The record carried on the band's interest in using ornamenting arrangements to complement their despondent sound, including a string section, a la what the Waterboys did in order to make their simple rock m...view item »

Stevie Wonder
Songs In The Key Of Life

Classic Motown; Classic Stevie Wonder; Classic album! Songs in the Key of Life was the boy Wonder’s eighteenth studio album for Berry Gordon’s monster empire. A...view item »

Neil Young
On The Beach

On The Beach is probably one of Neil Young’s lesser known albums, but it is right up there with his best work. Originally released in 1974 it was less commercial than its highly successful predecessor, Harvest - a typical curve ball from a man who doesn’t like to stand still for too long....view item »

Paul Weller
Stanley Road

I don't know which Paul Weller album this is. It doesn't really matter. If you like him you'll be interested in getting it on vinyl. Whether you can afford the £32.99 asking price is another matter. The music industry screwed itself up in the past by charging £16 for CDs that cost pennies to make. Looks like they are...view item »

Nick Drake
Family Tree

Phwoar... More Nick Drake lovelyness with the Family Tree vinyl issue which is a double hand numbered LP on Sunbeam Records of just 1000 copies. You get 29 early home recordings for your money all recorded before the glorious Five Leaves Left LP. I quote "The songs range from folk and blues standards to early, influential compositions by his m...view item »

Robert Johnson
King Of The Delta Blues Singers

Robert Johnson’s Faustian pact is probably the defining myth of rock ‘n’ roll. This compilation of his 1936-37 singles is worth hearing for that reason alone. If you go in for that sort of thing, it was also ranked the 27th greatest album of all-time by Rolling Stone in 2003. Either way, the s...view item »

R.E.M.
Murmur

Murmur is the classic debut album. Sounding somewhat like the Byrds playing underwater with a singer who couldn't be bothered opening his mouth, the young Athens four piece proved that guitar music in the early '80s hadn't completely died a death. It's mysterious, catchy and completely unique. No record collection shoul...view item »

Iggy & The Stooges
Raw Power

It's called 'Raw Power', but much of the conversation around this seminal punk rock record from Iggy Pop & The Stooges is about its recording. Originally mastered by David Bowie, it got the remaster treatment from Iggy himself just over a decade ago, showing off both's approach to these ferocious songs. Both are available on this reissue fro...view item »

The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses

The Stones Roses eponymous debut is widely regarded as essential by many fans. it was originally released in 1989 and was central to the Madchester movement of the late 80s and early 90s. The vinyl reissue is an exact replica of the original, released for its 25th anniversary. It is also available on CD in a slimline dig...view item »

The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead (2017 Master) [Deluxe Edition]

Another magical example of when a single LP gets turned into a 5LP box set. The Smiths 4th best album finally gets the big set treatment with demos, b-sides live tracks and a DVD featuring Derek Jarman's short film made to accompany the original release. A must for all fans of this most special of bands. "Slip them into...view item »

Joy Division
Substance 1977-1980

Funny when you reach the stage in a band’s life (or afterlife in this case I suppose) when even the compilations are being reissued. That said, the material remains crucial, always good to have the stuff available on wax. Substance 1977-1980 contains most of your Joy Division favourites, and has been expanded by t...view item »

Interpol
Turn On The Bright Lights

Starting off with the new album by Interpol. Now I thought this was surprisingly great. Harking back to the days of the mid 80's indie ala Chameleons and Kitchens Of Dinstinction. In fact it sounds an awful lot like the Kitchens Of Distinction in places. Rammed full of pop tunes th...view item »

Radiohead
Hail To The Thief

Well we just got the new Radiohead album in. Been waiting a long time to hear this and have avoided the evil downloady websites which people have been telling me about in favour of waiting for it to be released. There's always far too many records to listen to. Lovingly packaged in a gatefold double al...view item »

Portishead
Third

I have to say I was mightily impressed by that Portishead single. So much so I couldn't wait for the album. Here's their imaginatively 3rd album called 'Third' which is available on CD, 2LP and special box set thing including the double LP, a P shaped USB stick with the album on, videos and other shite, the machine Gun 12" and an art print. All wra...view item »

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