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Recommended CDs: Popular Music > N

      Good! Recommended
      Very good! Highly recommended  (This rating is on webmaster's personal taste.)

 imageartist/title (release year), memo
 Naked CityNaked City/Naked City (1990)

Featuring John Zorn (alto sax), Bill Frisell (guitar) and Fred Frith (bass). Noisy, speedy and concentrated hardcore sounds. Includes several covers of movie themes.
 ScumNapalm Death/Scum (1987)

The rock band from England, Napalm Death's debut album. The originator of 'grindcore', noisy heavy metal with high-speed blastbeat, influencd by thrash metal and hardcore punk.
 ImmigrésYoussou N'Dour/Immigrés (1984/1988)

A Senegalese singer and percussionist, Youssou N'Dour's early recording. The album "Immigrés" was recorded and released in France in 1984, and released on Earthworks label, the Virgin Records (UK) in 1988. The style is Senegalese popular dance music "Mbalax" (a fusion of Western popular music such as jazz, soul, Latin, and rock blended with Senegalese traditional music using sabar, a percussion instrument). Happy and expansive afro-pop, like Caribbean music, featuring complex polyrhythms with African percussions, Youssou's soulful vocals, and horns, guitar, bass, drums and synths. This album has a brief recording time (four tracks, 34 minutes in total), so it leaves something to be desired.
 Neu!Neu!/Neu! (1972)

The first album by the duo of Michael Rother (guitar) and Klaus Dinger (drums), ex-Kraftwerk members. The first track 'Hallogallo' is cool. Minimalistic, repetitive monotone beat. Greatly influential in later new wave in the late 1970s to the early 1980s (DEVO, Public Image Ltd., Joy Division and so on) and contemporary electronica music.
 Sail AwayRandy Newman/Sail Away (1972)

A songwriter, arranger, singer, pianist known for his mordant and satirical pop songs filled with love and hate for his country the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s, and his many film scores since the 1980s. His third studio album. Melodic songs mainly based on the piano accompaniment with orchestra. He himself said this combined the three elements, the orchestrated pop of his first album "Randy Newman" (1968), rock-oriented sound with the band in his second album "12 Songs" (1970), and songs with accompaniment on the piano in "Randy Newman Live" (1971). Includes many songs covered by other musicians. The title track "Sail Away" is covered by Ray Charles and Linda Ronstadt. "Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear" is a song offered to Harpers Bizarre. Ry Cooder (guitar) joined. Produced by Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman.
 From A to BNew Musik/From A to B (1980)

The U.K. synth-pop group featuring Tony Mansfield (guitar, keyboards, vocals), who worked as a producer with Captain Sensible, Naked Eyes, A-Ha, Mari Wilson and others in the 1980s. The debut album. Acoustic-oriented and bubblegum-tinged synth pop with using white noise. The most pop-oriented album of all the three New Musik albums, for it features the singles, "Straight Lines", "Living by Numbers", "This World of Water" and "Sanctuary".
 SubstanceNew Order/Substance (1981-1987)

Dance-beat techno by ex-Joy Division members. A collection of singles. Includes "Blue Monday".
 Low-LifeNew Order/Low-Life (1985)

3rd album. Includes "The Perfect Kiss".
 TechniqueNew Order/Technique (1989)

5th album recorded in Ibiza Island, Spain. Includes acid-house-style "Fine Time".
 Magic: The Very Best Of Olivia Newton-JohnOlivia Newton-John/Magic: The Very Best Of Olivia Newton-John (2001/1973-1990)

A compilation album (21 tracks) which covers all the major songs (including all 15 of the US top 10 hits) by Olivia Newton-John, a British-born Australian singer and actress who had produced lots of hits in country-pop, soft rock and adult contemporary genres in the 1970s and the early 1980s. Includes singles, "Let Me Be There" (#6 on the US charts), "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)" (#5 US), "I Honestly Love You" (#1 US), "Have You Never Been Mellow" (#1 US), "Please Mr. Please" (#3 US), "You're the One That I Want" (#1 US. From the musical film "Grease". With John Travolta), "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (#3 US. From "Grease"), "Summer Nights" (#5 US. From "Grease". With John Travolta), "A Little More Love" (#3 US), "Magic" (#1 US. From the film "Xanadu"), "Xanadu" (#8 US. From "Xanadu" . With Electric Light Orchestra), "Physical" (#1 US. A dance pop in the disco style), "Make a Move on Me" (#5 US), "Heart Attack" (#3 US), "Twist of Fate" (#5 US. From the film "Two of a Kind"), and others.
 New York DollsNew York Dolls/New York Dolls (1973)

Queer rock'n'roll, like glam rock or punk. 1st album. 2nd album "Too Much Too Soon" is recommended too.
Good!The Complete Roger Nichols & the Small Circle of FriendsRoger Nichols/The Complete Roger Nichols & the Small Circle of Friends (1968/1997)

An American composer and songwriter known for his hit songs in the 1970s, such as The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays" and Paul Anka's "Times of Your Life", Roger Nichols' debut album (A&M Records). A hidden masterpiece of A&M pop/soft rock/adult contemporary. Beautiful melodies, chorus harmony and orchstration arrangement. The world's first CD was released in Japan in 1987. The complete edition including seven bonus tracks (five songs released only single and two single versions) was released in Japan in 1997. "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "I'll Be Back" are covers of the Beatles. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is a cover of Burt Bacharach. "Snow Queen" is a cover of Carole King/Gerry Goffin. "The Drifter" is an excellent song written for Harpers Bizarre. Produced by Tommy LaPuma. Recommended to those who like A&M pop such as Harpers Bizarre.
 Chelsea GirlNico/Chelsea Girl (1967)

An actress/model from Germany who joined the Velvet Underground's debut album as a vocalist. Her solo debut album. Folk-rock-flavored beautiful sound featuring Nico's languid vocals with arpeggio guitar, string quartet and flute. The songs by Lou Reed, John Cale, Jackson Browne and others. Produced by Tom Wilson.
 Midnight MadnessNight Ranger/Midnight Madness (1983)

One of the most popular hard rock bands of the mid-1980s US, Night Ranger's second album. Featuring twin-lead guitar of ex-the guitarist of Ozzy Osbourne's band, Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson known for his eight-finger technique. Melodic pop-metal. Catchy songs. A hit album that includes a ballad "Sister Christian" (#5 in the US charts) and "(You Can Still) Rock in America".
 The Downward SpiralNine Inch Nails/The Downward Spiral (1994)

A one-man unit by volcaist/producer/multi-instrumentalist Trent Reznor. Noisy industrial sound featuring metal guitars, in a direct line from Ministry. The second album.
 NevermindNirvana/Nevermind (1991)

Heavy guitar pop (grunge). Noisy and melodic.
 Chicken RhythmsNorthside/Chicken Rhythms (1991)

A guitar pop band from Manchester. Danceable beats.
 Ready to DieThe Notorious B.I.G./Ready to Die (1994)

An American rapper from New York City, The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album (#15 on the US album charts). One of the greatest hardcore rap/gangsta rap albums from the East Coast. Pop-oriented sound produced by Sean Combs (Bad Boy label) and others, featuring lots of samples from soul/funk/hip hop/jazz tracks. Includes singles, "Juicy" (#27 on the US charts. Samples "Juicy Fruit" by Mtume), "Big Poppa" (#6. Samples "Between the Sheets" by The Isley Brothers), and "One More Chance" (#2. Samples "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5).
 The Pleasure PrincipleGary Numan/The Pleasure Principle (1979)

British synth pop influenced by Kraftwerk, David Bowie and Brian Eno. Thick sound with using analog synths (Minimoog). A smash hit album (#1 on the UK/#16 on the US album charts) featuring 'Metal', 'Complex' and 'Cars' (#1 on the UK/#9 on the US charts).
 Straight Outta ComptonN.W.A/Straight Outta Compton (1989)

The rap group featuring Ice Cube. Formed in Los Angeles, CA in 1986. A west coast hardcore/gangsta rap classic released in 1989. Includes a controversial track "Fuck tha Police" (FBI and the U.S. Secret Service ordered them never to perform the song).
 Eli and the Thirteenth ConfessionLaura Nyro/Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968)

An American songwriter-singer born in The Bronx, New York City in 1947, Laura Nyro's second album (#181 on the US album charts). noted as her most accessible and famous album. Vocal pop influenced by gospel, R&B and jazz. Also including rock elements. Featuring songs with lots of rhythm/tune changes, her soulful and emotional vocals with vibratos, her own piano accompaniment, and gorgeous arrangement by Charles Calello including horns and strings. The 5th Dimension's cover versions of "Stoned Soul Picnic" and "Sweet Blindness" reached #3 and #13 on the US charts. Three Dog Night's cover version of "Eli's Comin'" reached #10 on the US charts. Co-produced by Charles Calello. The 2002 remastered edition includes three previously unreleased demos.
 New York TendaberryLaura Nyro/New York Tendaberry (1969)

A singer/songwriter from Bronx, New York. Spiritual, expressive and free-form singing based on gospel, soul, folk, and jazz, with her own piano accompaniment.

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