Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later?
Try Independent Minds free for 1 month to access this feature. Find your bookmarks in your Independent Minds section, under my profile. Subscribe Now Subscribe Now. Final Say.
Long reads. Lib Dems. US Politics. Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn. Robert Fisk.
Mark Steel. Janet Street-Porter.
John Rentoul. Chuka Ummuna. Shappi Khorsandi.
Gina Miller. Our view. Sign the petition. Spread the word. Steve Coogan. Rugby union. Motor racing. US sports. Rugby League. Geoffrey Macnab. Tech news. Tech culture. News videos. Explainer videos. Sport videos. Money transfers. Health insurance. Money Deals. The Independent Books. Voucher Codes. Minds Articles. Subscription offers. Subscription sign in. Read latest edition.
UK Edition. US Edition. Log in using your social network account. Please enter a valid password. Keep me logged in. Try Independent Minds free for 1 month See the options. You can form your own view. Subscribe now. Shape Created with Sketch. The 40 best albums to listen to before you die Show all Chris Harvey.
When Jerry Wexler signed the daughter of a violent, philandering preacher to Atlantic records, he "took her to church, sat her down at the piano, and let her be herself". The Queen of Soul gave herself the same space. Helen Brown. Propulsive polyrhythms drive against the lyrical pleas for us to stop and take stock. Same as it ever was. The album that carried reggae music to the four corners of the Earth and made Bob Marley an international superstar also set the political tone for many artists to follow.
Released outside of Jamaica by Island Records with guitar overdubs and ornamentation, the original Jamaican version is a stripped-down masterpiece. An unprecedented hours of studio experimentation saw George Martin and The Beatles looping, speeding, slowing and spooling tapes backwards to create a terrifically trippy new sound.
The album was also about an artist taking control over her own narrative, after releasing records that asked the audience — and the press — to like her. Millennials coming at this album can end up feeling like the guy who saw Hamlet and complained it was all quotations. Oh no. Oh no no no no no, no one ever did teen heartbreak quite like the Shangri-Las. But the Shangri-Las sang with an ardour that was so streetwise, passionate and raw that it still reaches across more than half a century without losing any of its power. This compilation captures them at their early Sixties peak.
He may have come to rue his Ziggy Stardust character, but with it, Bowie transcended artists seeking authenticity via more mundane means. It was his most ambitious album — musically and thematically — that, like Prince, saw him unite his greatest strengths from previous works and pull off one of the great rock and roll albums without losing his sense of humour, or the wish to continue entertaining his fans. In their brief career, ended by the suicide of year-old singer Ian Curtis, Joy Division created two candidates for the best album by anyone ever.
Closer may be a final flowering, but Unknown Pleasures is more tonally consistent, utterly unlike anything before or since. The mood is an all-pervading ink-black darkness, but there is a spiritual force coming out of the grooves that is so far beyond pop or rock, it feels almost Dostoevskyan. Though her album, Blue, is usually chosen for these kinds of lists, Mitchell surpassed its silvery, heartbroken folk five years later with a record that found her confidently questioning its culturally conditioned expectations of womanhood.
The answer to whether Robyn could follow up the brilliance of her self-titled album came in a burst of releases in , the EPs Body Talk Pt 1, Pt 2 and Pt3, and this track effort, essentially a compilation album. Body Talk is simply jammed with great songs. Produced by Quincy Jones, the sophisticated disco funk nails the balance between tight, tendon-twanging grooves and liberated euphoria. Glitter ball magic.
How good can rap get? This good.
There are albums where the myth can transcend the music — not on Illmatic, where Nas vaulted himself into the ranks of the greatest MCs in , with an album that countless artists since have tried — and failed — to emulate. Nas used the sounds of the densely-populated New York streets he grew up on. This is the album that changes everything. All electronic dance music starts here.
Kind of Blue is unrepeatably cool. Recorded in just two eight-hour sessions, in which Morrison first played the songs to the assembled musicians then told them to do their own thing, Astral Weeks still feels as if it was made yesterday. An unanswered prayer for a united and forgiving USA. It is the greatest articulation of his alchemic experiments with musical fusion — the sum of several projects Prince was working on during his most creatively fruitful year. Stitched together with the utmost care, as if he were writing a play with a beginning, a middle and an end, the album is a landmark in both pop and in art.
Coupled with the need for Dexter to be a stud and a family man came the need for Dexter never to face justice, and so every time a major character came close to uncovering him the writers fell back on the same frustrating solution. Would he finally cross the line? Would he kill an innocent person to protect himself?
No, because another character did it for him. Letting Dexter off the hook at every moral crisis robbed the character of any real progression, and so instead of internal change he suffered external consequence, most notably with the death of Rita in season four. That lightning bolt of an ending, much like Deb's discovery of Dexter's secret at the end of season six, was a smart narrative choice which elevated the show for an episode or two and seemed to suggest real upheaval.
But soon enough the writers' unwillingness to see Dexter as he was would win out — despite all the innocent people that had died or had their lives ruined as a result of his addiction — and back to its safe procedural formulas the show would trot. Though Dexter predated Breaking Bad by two seasons, the show's finales aired within weeks of one another in , and Walter White's slippery, horribly human moral decline threw all of Dexter's failings into sharp relief. Where Breaking Bad ceaselessly ratcheted up its conflict and forced its anti-hero into real and increasingly monstrous change, Dexter bent over backwards to make excuses for its anti-hero, making him less monster and more misunderstood puppy.
Robbed of all his menace and otherness, Dexter became a character that even the immensely skilled Hall couldn't make interesting, and the show dragged itself through four more mostly wretched seasons before finally sputtering to its end in one of the very worst television finales of all time. The show's success did allow the channel to build its identity around larger-than-life flawed heroes, from Nurse Jackie to Ray Donovan to Homeland 's Carrie.
In a broader sense the show also triggered a paradigm shift for both cable and network television — the airing of Dexter on CBS back in sparked controversy because its subject matter was deemed too dark for the public airwaves, yet a few years later serial killers were all the rage on network television, for better or worse. But despite the wider change it wrought, Dexter 's legacy is pedestrian — it's a masterclass in how to spin an unconventional and risky premise into a deeply conventional and safe series.
Type keyword s to search. Randy Tepper.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. More From Dexter. Michael C Hall defends Dexter's divisive ending. Michael C Hall is open to revisiting Dexter. That Dexter season 9 poster you're seeing?