The Miracles, "You've Really Got a Hold on Me"
The vocal R&B band the Miracles are mostly known for launching the career of Smokey Robinson, but they had a long string of hits in their own right as well. I mean, this is basically irresistable.
Hammerhead, "Once Again...With Feeling"
Can I just re-iterate how delighted I am that Hammerhead got back together and recorded a bunch of new material? Coming across multiple Hammerhead records that I'd never heard before at once was such a delight. Listen to this! The urgency of the rhythm, the noisy grumbling of all the guitar and bass, the spacey breakdown, I'm just so happy.
Lily Allen, "Lost My Mind"
We're a pretty long way from the upbeat, danceable pop of her first (and thoroughly charming) record. But this is also twelve years later, so it's not a surprise that it's changed quite a bit. I mostly picked this up because I was curious what she sounded like these days, and the truth is, I really prefer the earlier stuff.
Run-D.M.C., "Wake Up"
The first Run-D.M.C. record was one of the first really big albums in hip-hop, showing the music industry that the music could be successful in this format. It does sound pretty primitive these days, but in 1984, the music was very much still evolving, and quickly. By the time Raising Hell released two years later (catching the ear of young Josh who heard "Peter Piper" on KZUU in Pullman, Washington), the music had evolved quite a bit. These days, this album is mostly interesting for historical purposes, to hear where things came from.
Shellac, "This Is A Picture"
I adored At Action Park, and was so happy to hear Albini back on record again. It was then a long four years until the next Shellac release, and what came out didn't sound like it had really evolved at all. Terraform still stands today as the Shellac record I listen to the least. It's not that it's bad, not really, it just doesn't quite satisfy anything that the other records don't do better.