National Album Day 2019

Don't Skip is the theme of this year's National Album Day on Saturday 12 October. The event highlights the benefits of taking time out of your busy day to listen to an album in full. Members of the ISM staff team have shared their favourite albums and tell us the reasons why they #DontSkip.

Megan Hand – PA to the CEO & Member Services Officer

One of my favourite albums that is most definitely a #DontSkip would be John Mayer’s Continuum. His songs such as “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” and “Gravity” are emotionally charged and are a definite hit of nostalgia. This album is certainly a rainy Sunday kind of album as his songs make for easy listening and the wonderful guitar riffs and solos performed by Mayer add a depth and texture to his music that he has become so well known for. Give it a listen!

Jessica Salter – Communications Officer

My favourite album that I could never ever skip through would be The Clash’s London Calling. It is full of iconic songs that take you on a journey through The Clash’s raw punk style and the cultural issues of the time. From the politically charged title track to the reggae influences on ‘Guns of Brixton’ and ‘Revolution Rock’ to the playful, sing-along final track ‘Train in Vain (Stand by Me)’ - it’s an album full of bangers!

Jon Kudlick – Interim Head of Marketing

My favourite album that I don’t ever skip through would be The Blue Nile’s Hats. It is a record of pure heartbreak, and can really only be listened to at night, indoors, and ideally with the sound of the rain beating down outside. Each song tells a story of love and regret, and you get carried away by the band’s distinct arrangements and melodies – glacial and warm at the same time. An album not to party to.

Francesca Treadaway – Senior Communications & Public Affairs Manager

The album I have recently rediscovered is KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope, which I picked up again after meeting KT herself at the taping of Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd’s podcast Reasons to be Cheerful. While I was instantly transported back to my teenage years (frightening) with the first strum of Heal Over, I experienced a fresh appreciation of the originality of the song-writing and composition; the simplicity of the acoustic guitar rhythms (now so familiar to us) and the gentle vocals. Favourite track: Suddenly I See. Such a sunny track. #DontSkip this album, ever!

Sam Flower – Membership & Marketing Officer

For me, I could never skip a track on Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. It’s the album that made me pick up a guitar aged 10. Tracks like ‘Never going back again’ highlight the skill and technical prowess of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Combining this with the wonderfully delicate ‘Songbird’ juxtaposed with the sheer savageness of ‘Go your own way’ makes for a truly brilliant album. Of course, when I later learned that they were all singing about each other, I had to listen again and again and again.

Raisa Pänkäläinen - Office & Member Administrator

My absolute favourite album is White Pony from Deftones, all the tracks are very heavy and raw but also so beautiful that it is impossible to skip any of them! When I was listening to the album for the first time, I thought that the next song cannot be as good as or better than the previous one, but they were! I still think it is a masterpiece.

Guy de Vito – Campaigns and Parliamentary Officer

One of the greatest and most underrated rock albums of all time is Television’s Marquee Moon. Acclaimed by critics upon its 1977 release, it cannot be placed into any one genre but combines elements of new wave, post-punk and ambient electronica; a fusion of dissonant melodies and transcendental vocals. ‘Guiding Light’ remains one of the greatest meditative ballads ever written, whilst the titular ‘Marquee Moon’ is a truly unique and timeless composition.

Jeremy Dunn – Legal Adviser

My favourite album that I never skip through is Original Pirate Material by The Streets. Its mixture of poetry and urban beats synchronised into an almost cinematic evocation of a time, place and lifestyle which always makes me smile.

Ruth McPherson - Senior Partnerships & Marketing Manager

I’ve recently rediscovered the joy of vinyl after receiving a record player for Christmas, and the album that I play over and over again is Paul Simon’s Graceland. It surely is one of the best world music fusion albums of all time, blending Western pop with South African a cappella and featuring the legendary Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Senegalese singer-percussionist Youssou N'Dour. The melodies are infectious, the rhythms are joyous - every track makes you smile.

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