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Recommended CDs: Popular Music > W



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

 imageartist/title (release year), memo
 The Heart of Saturday NightTom Waits/The Heart of Saturday Night (1974)

Blues and jazz styles. Thick-voiced vocals. 2nd album.
 Boy ChildScott Walker/Boy Child (1967-1970)

The collection of the solo works by Scott Walker (real name: Scott Engel), who was known as the vocalist of US idol pop group the Walker Brothers. With his deep bass voice and dark, introspective style, he had an influence on the UK artists such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, David Sylvian (Japan), Marc Almond (Soft Cell) and Julian Cope (The Teardrop Explodes).
 The World is a GhettoWar/The World is a Ghetto (1972)

An American funk band formed in California in 1969, War's third album (#1 on the US album charts). Released after Eric Burdon (ex-the Animals) left the band. Fusion of jazz, funk, rock, R&B, Latin and reggae. A masterpiece of Latin soul/Caribbean funk. Features "The Cisco Kid" (#2 on the US charts) and "The World is a Ghetto" (#7).
 This is the SeaThe Waterboys/This is the Sea (1985)

Influenced by Bob Dylan. Emotional and spiritual. Recommended to the fans of U2 and the Alarm. Includes "The Whole of the Moon".
Good!The Chess BoxMuddy Waters/The Chess Box (1947-1972)

Chicago blues. One of the roots of rock music. A box set of 3 discs.
 La VarietéWeekend/La Varieté (1982)

A Welsh indie pop band formed by ex-Young Marble Giants vemale vocalist Alison Statton, Weekend's only one studio album. Released on Rough Trade (#4 on the UK indie charts). Acoustic-oriented indie pop based on jazz, Latin American music such as samba and bossa nova, afrobeat and folk. Produced by Robbin Millar. The 2006 reissue (Cherry Red) features eight bonus tracks, including a single "Past Meets Present/Midnight Slows" (produced and arranged by Simon Jeffes (The Penguin Cafe Orchestra)), demos and 12 inch versions. Recommended to those who like Everything but the Girl and Haircut One Hundred.
 Weezer (Blue Album)Weezer/Weezer (Blue Album) (1994)

The US alternative guitar pop band influenced by the power pop like Cheap Trick and the noisy guitar bands like the Pixies, Weezer's debut album. Formed in 1993 with Rivers Cuomo (vocals, guitar) as the leader. Sweet and wistful melodies, heavy guitar, punk beat and chorus harmonies like the Beach Boys. The individual sound also called "Geek Rock". Includes "Buddy Holly", "Undone-The Sweater Song" and "Say It Ain't So". Produced by former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek.
 We'll Never Stop Living This WayWestBam/We'll Never Stop Living This Way (1997)

A German techno DJ born in 1965 (Birth name: Maximilian Lenz) who had worked as the leader of the German house/techno scene since the early 1980s, known as the founder of the German techno record label Low Spirit, and the originator of electronic dance music festivals, "Love Parade" and "Mayday" (since 1991), WestBam's 1997 album. His moniker "WestBam" comes from Westphalia (his place of birth) and American DJ Afrika Bambaataa. It consists of continuous techno and house tunes based on the electro (electro funk) with simple and minimalistic sounds. Includes the theme of Love Parade 1997 "Sunshine" (#5 on the German charts) by Dr. Motte and WestBam, and the theme of Mayday 1997 "Sonic Empire" by Members of Mayday. American hip hop DJ Afrika Islam (son of Afrika Bambaataa) joins in "Free Me". The Japanese edition includes "Cherry Blossom Dub" by WestBam & Takkyu Ishino as a bonus track.
 The College DropoutKanye West/The College Dropout (2004)

An American rapper and producer, known for his production work for Jay-Z's "The Blueprint" (2001) as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, Kanye West's debut album (#2 on the US album charts). Melodic and soulful hip hop featuring rapidly spinning, high-pitched vocal samples from soul classics. Lots of catchy songs. Easy to listen to. Includes singles, "Through the Wire" (#15 on the US charts. It samples Chaka Khan's 1985 single "Through the Fire"), "All Falls Down" (#7 on the US charts. It features singer Syleena Johnson. It used Lauryn Hill's "Mystery of Iniquity" as interpolation), "Jesus Walks" (#11 on the US charts. It samples the gospel tune "Walk with Me" performed by The Arc Choir), and "The New Workout Plan". This album sold over 3 million copies in the US, and won the Grammy Award for the Best Rap Album.
 The FinalWham!/The Final (1982-1986)

A British pop duo formed in 1981 by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, Wham!'s compilation album (14 tracks) containing all the hits. Blue-eyed soul/adult contemporary-oriented dance-pop featuring catchy melodies, influenced by Motown sound (Smokey Robinson, the Supremes) and the 1970s soul/disco. Includes lots of hit songs, such as "Bad Boys" (#2 on the UK charts), "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" (#1 on UK/US), "Freedom" (#1 on UK/#3 on US), "Everything She Wants/Last Christmas" (a double A-side single. #2 on UK), "I'm Your Man" (#1 on UK/#3 on US), and "The Edge of Heaven" (#1 on UK). Especially "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Freedom" are good songs in Motown-style. "Last Christmas" is a famous Christmas song covered by lots of artists around the world. "Young Guns (Go For It!)" (#3 on UK) and "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)" are early rap tracks. "Club Tropicana" (#4 on UK) is a Latin funk track like Haircut 100. "Where Did Your Heart Go?" is a cover of Was (Not Was). "Careless Whisper" (#1 on UK/US) is George Michael's first solo debut song.
 An Electric StormWhite Noise/An Electric Storm (1969)

A London-based electronic music project led by an American David Vorhaus, White Noise's debut album. Released on Island Records. Psychedelic pop by using edit techniques by tape recorder and a primitive analog synthesiser (EMS VCS 3). Experimental sound with lots of electronic sound effects and manual sampling, like musique concrete and sound collage, but pop-oriented for it features melodic vocals, and chorus like the Beach Boys too. A cult classic of the late 1960s psychedelic/electronic music. The digitally remastered edition was released in 2007. Recommended to those who love Silver Apples and the like.
 ElephantThe White Stripes/Elephant (2003)

An American alternative rock band formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan, duo of Jack White (guitar and vocals) and Meg White (drums), the White Stripes' fourth album (major label debut. #1on the UK, #6 on the US album charts). Simple and lo-fi sound based on garage rock, blues and punk. Minimal organization only with vocals, guitar, piano and drums. Includes singles, "Seven Nation Army" (#1 on the UK charts) and "The Hardest Button to Button" (#2 on the UK charts). Won a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album. "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" is a cover of a song by Burt Bacharach and Hal David (sung by Tommy Hunt, Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick).
 The Who Sings My GenerationThe Who/The Who Sings My Generation (1965)

A typical sound of UK beat groups in the early years. 1st album. Includes the covers of James Brown, "I don't Mind" and "Please, Please, Please".
 The Who Sell OutThe Who/The Who Sell Out (1967)

An English rock band formed in 1964, The Who's third album (#13 on the UK album charts). A concept album in tribute to pirate radio stations in the 1960s UK. It imitates a broadcast by pirate radio station Radio London, and it includes faux commercials and real jingles between the songs of melodic psychedelic pop. Includes a single "I Can See for Miles" (#10 on the UK charts, #9 on the US). "Rael" in the rock opera style is like a prototype of the album "Tommy" (1969). The highlights are Pete Townshend's sensitive songwriting and guitar playing.
 Who's NextThe Who/Who's Next (1971)

Regarded as the best work of the studio-recorded albums by the Who, the UK rock band. The album released between the two 'rock opera' albums, "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia". Exhilarating hard rock featuring Pete Townshend's guitar, keyboards and ARP synth (sequencer), and Keith Moon's offbeat drumming. Includes "Baba O'Riley" and "Won't Get Fooled Again".
 Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWilco/Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

An American rock band formed in 1994 and based in Chicago, Illinois, Wilco's fourth album (#13 on the US album charts). Alternative rock having both experimental sound and pop vocal melodies, and including elements of country rock like Neil Young. In an introspective and melancholy mood, like Radiohead. Mixed by Jim O'Rourke. A hit album that sold over 670,000 copies.
 40 Greatest HitsHank Williams/40 Greatest Hits (1947-1953?)

Bluesy country music. Fascinating yodel. A set of 2 discs.
 Brian WilsonBrian Wilson/Brian Wilson (1988)

The first solo album of ex-Beach Boys Brian Wilson, who miraculously came back alive from mental disease and drug intoxication after the absence of about 11 years. The melody lines are just like the Beach Boys in the middle of the 1960s. Russ Titelman, Jeff Lynne and Lenny Waronker joined as co-producers. Includes the single track 'Love and Mercy'.
 Back to BlackAmy Winehouse/Back to Black (2006)

An English singer-songwriter known for her husky voice and contralto vocals, and music mixing jazz, soul and R&B, Amy Winehouse's second album (#1 on the UK album charts. #2 on the US). Pop vocal album including the elements of old vocal jazz, the 1960s/1970s soul, hip hop, and neo soul/contemporary R&B since the 1990s. A hit album which has sold over twenty million copies worldwide. This album won the Grammy Award for the Best Pop Vocal Album. Includes five singles, "Rehab" (#7 on the UK), "You Know I'm No Good", "Back to Black" (#8 on the UK), "Tears Dry on Their Own" and "Love Is a Losing Game". Produced by Mark Ronson (an English DJ) and Salaam Remi (an American producer known for his hip hop/reggae works).
 Pink FlagWire/Pink Flag (1977)

An English rock band formed in London in 1976, Wire's debut album. A peculiar, post punk-oriented music, as if to condense traditional rock song structure into brief and reconstruct it with mechanical/minimal rhythm, though it was released only a year after Sex Pistols' debut and based on art school punk. Wire's first three albums, especially this one had a wide-ranging influence on later music scenes, such as post-punk, the 1980s US indie rock, hardcore punk, the 1990s britpop and others. Produced by Mike Thorne. The digitally remastered CD was released in 2006. Recommended to those who like early Joy Division and the Cure.
 Chairs MissingWire/Chairs Missing (1978)

2nd album. Punk, electronic sounds, avant-garde, acoustic-oriented pop... This album is symbolic of the post-punk era.
 ArgusWishbone Ash/Argus (1972)

One of the popular hard rock bands of England in the early 1970s, Wishbone Ash's third album. Lyrical and delicate sound featuring the instrumental ensemble influenced by jazz and progressive rock, especially the harmony of twin lead guitars by Ted Turner and Andy Powell.
 InnervisionsStevie Wonder/Innervisions (1973)

Featuring the Moog synth. Includes a masterpiece "Livin' for the City".
 Songs in the Key of LifeStevie Wonder/Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

One of Stevie Wonder's greatest works in the 1970s, when he has both musical ambition and popularity. Released as double LP with 4-track EP (21 tracks in total). Acclaimed as his magnum opus. Topped the US pop album charts for 14 weeks, and won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal and Album of the Year. Features lots of impressive songs such as "Love's in Need of Love Today", "Sir Duke", "I Wish", "Pastime Paradise", "Isn't She Lovely","As" and "Another Star". The guest musicians are George Benson (guitar, vocals), Herbie Hancock (keyboards) and others.
 Construction for the Modern IdiotThe Wonder Stuff/Construction for the Modern Idiot (1993)

A powerful guitar pop band from England. Generally, the 1st album "The Eight Legged Groove Machine" (1988) is recommended, but this 4th is not so bad too.
 Wooden Foot Cops on the HighwayThe Woodentops/Wooden Foot Cops on the Highway (1988)

Acoustic-oriented sounds and speedy dance beats. 3rd album.
 Nothing Can Stop UsRobert Wyatt/Nothing Can Stop Us (1982)

Former Soft Machine vocalist and drummer. Includes lots of traditional folk songs in the world. "Red Flag" is a song in praise of the Communist Party.




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