Frigid Stars LP still remains as one of the best albums of the genre and it will keep bringing us down for many decades to come. If this was goodbye, what a way to say it. Sad and Elliott Smith are two inextricable companions.
Picking the saddest of his albums is a futile exercise, but here we are. Few albums, if any, captured the technologic disappointment awaiting us with the energy of the sophomore album by Grandaddy. The Sophtware Slump was released soon after the turn of the millennium and it combined traditional elements of the American underground with unexpected themes for the time.
This is not science fiction, this is an utterly sensitive author opening up in infinite new creative ways and letting us have a look at his anxiety. I was about to write in here: everything ever released by Grouper. Liz Harris has built one of the most wonderfully unique careers in the industry since she started releasing music in the mids.
Her music exists outside of time and trends, and what you feel the first time you listen to it is very similar to finding hidden treasure from a past civilization buried in the soil. Mysterious, atmospheric, and haunting, Ruins was released in Because of how stripped down her songs are after years of heavy layering, it felt like her most direct and impactful release.
Liz Harris, her piano, a portable 4-track recorder and a Sony stereo microphone were enough for her to capture the enigmatic and gloomy atmosphere that persists through the album. The debut album by Interpol is a whole mood in itself.
James Blake took the world by storm with this debut album. A new way of making music showcased his sensibilities to the world and the album was an instant hit.
Not only sonically, but the lyrics also dig deep into the soul of a tortured crooner. In his most recent release, Assume Form , James Blake deals with very different feelings, a much happier and fulfilled Blake is in front of our eyes. He made it. In our previous blog post , we got roasted pretty hard for not including one single album by Joy Division.
I agree, probably no other band will ever achieve this level of sadness and depression while at the same time delivering good even catchy melodies and profound lyrics. At 40, Unknown Pleasures is still one of those albums that you come back to over and over each year, and few albums can stand the test of time with such grace.
Few albums out there evoke winter both in a metaphorical and literal way as Songs Of Love And Hate does. Most of the time, when you think of sad albums, you think of minimal instrumentation and naked songwriting. Let me start out by thanking the Discogs Community for pointing me to this album. I was familiar with Lisa Germano probably thanks to the fact that she was part of the roster of 4AD during the nineties.
But I never listened to any of her albums, and Geek The Girl feels like a revelation. While not necessarily sad at all times, whenever Lisa Germano tried to get there, she delivered stunning results. A lot of our users were quick to claim that Berlin is the saddest album ever recorded.
Lou Reed released Berlin in as a rock opera recalling the story of a couple — Jim and Caroline — whose lives spiral out of control while covering subjects as rough as drug addiction, prostitution, depression, domestic violence, and suicide. All the B-side of this album, when things get really ugly for the couple, is super sad.
In my book, both are fantastic examples of the endless talent of Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, one of the most beloved and iconic couples of the American underground. I Could Live In Hope is still revered as the most representative slowcore album and one that opened infinite doors to other musicians by slowing down the rhythm. But this time, happily, we already included it in our previous list. As devastating as this all sounds, Mount Eerie took all of that sadness, grief, hopelessness, and disorientation and turned it into A Crow Looked At Me.
Because empathy is one of the reasons why we all love sad music, A Crow Looked At Me is an album that relentlessly asks us to join Elverum through the dark path of grief. A week after you died, a package with your name on it came, and inside was a gift for our daughter you had ordered in secret, and collapsed there on the front steps. I wailed. A backpack for when she goes to school a couple years from now. Nobody can be emotionally prepared for this album. After the incredibly sad and unforgettable Skeleton Tree , Nick Cave continues mourning and takes us along with him.
Even though officially it is not just about the tragedy , at times this album requires an insane amount of emotional stamina to stand. This double album is as beautiful as it gets, but be ready to get a lump in your throat throughout. The music Drake manages to create with just his voice and an acoustic guitar is a testament to both his immense skill as a songwriter and guitar player. Desertshore is such a raw, at times desperate, piece of music history. For Nico, the easiest would have been to simply remain as an appendix to The Velvet Underground history.
But she was much more than that and she was ready to prove it to the world. After releasing the equally stunning Chelsea Girl and The Marble Index , Desertshore felt like her true leap of faith into unknown territory. Also, how many other artists out there got their albums reworked by Throbbing Gristle? Harvey also tries out a different vocal style for this album, moving into the higher end of her range, allowing her voice to take on more vulnerability, fragility, and precariousness at the edge of her register.
Where some of the albums on this list offer a contrast of upbeat instrumentals with despairing vocals, or glimpses of light at the corners of depression, White Chalk is unyieldingly grim. Even 25 years after it was released, nothing really sounds like Dummy. It gets under your skin and feels like being deserted on an alien planet.
Despite being a critical darling, the sad core of this album really creeps up on you. It was his first studio album since SJ disbanded in Although Berman had long struggled with treatment-resistant depression — compounded with the death of his mother and separation from his wife of 20 years — the completion of Purple Mountains seemed to buoy his spirits.
Here we go again. Officially nobody was happy to see that none of the Discogs staff picked a record by Red House Painters for the saddest album of all-time. Well, again my friends, you were very right. Down Colorful Hill is and will forever be in my top five, at least. Every song is wonderful, so chill and such a unique sound. A great listen from top to bottom. I actually opened it because of the artwork of the cover and in that moment I knew, the song Texas Sun is my perfect bike summer song All of you stay healthy, and have a good time.
Greetings from Germany. Explore music. Claude Fontaine by Claude Fontaine. Howlin' Jacques Lisbon. Her pillowy and delicate vocals mixed with vintage instrumentation gives this debut a very melancholic and forlorn, yet confident feel.
Fontaine knows what she's doing, and the band behind her are legends, no doubt. What I love most is the lyrics. Fontaine really speaks from the heart in a blunt way, and you can't help but feel her heartbreak. This is a special record and not many sound like this in Favorite track: Strings of Your Guitar. Exactly what I needed! My favorite album! Other staples from the heyday of vinyl command equally astronomical prices. And that's the cheap stuff. Price gouging?
Not according to Better Records owner Tom Port. He thinks a thousand bucks is a bargain to hear a classic rock opus sound better than you've ever heard it sound before—stoned or sober. This is what passes for fiscal restraint in the world of high-end audio: drawing the line at three figures for mass-produced records that sold in the millions, the same dorm room relics found in milk crates at tag sales. But Port insists that his meticulously curated discs are special. Unlike many record dealers, he doesn't peddle the usual dreck pocked with scratches and pot resin.
He traffics strictly in "hot stampers," the very best of the best. Hundreds of factors determine what a vintage record will sound like, from the chain of ownership and whether it's been properly stored to the purity of the vinyl stock and the quality of the equipment that produced it.
One factor many serious record collectors fixate on is the quality of the stampers, the grooved metal plates used to press a lump of hot vinyl into a record album. Like any metal die, these molds have a finite lifespan. The accumulation of scratches, flaws, and other damage resulting from the tremendous mechanical stress a stamper is subjected to— tons of pressure during a production run—leads to a gradual loss of audio fidelity in the finished records.
To ensure the best sound quality, some boutique companies that press heavy vinyl today limit their stampers to 1, pressings. In contrast, during the peak of the vinyl boom, major labels churned out as many as 10, copies on a single stamper.
It's preferable to have a record pressed early in a production run, before the metal exhibits signs of wear, rather than toward the end, right before a fresh stamper is slapped on. Tom Port thinks a thousand bucks is a bargain to hear a classic rock opus sound better than you've ever heard it sound before—stoned or sober.
Nab an early pressing of an iconic title produced under ideal conditions, take really really good care of it for 40 years, and maybe it'll be judged a hot stamper worth four figures. Scott Hull, a recording engineer who owns Masterdisk , one of the world's premier mastering facilities, compares producing a vinyl record to making wine.
Everything matters, from plating the lacquers to various molding issues to the quality of the vinyl pellets. Selling these artifacts at these prices requires more than a list of customers with too much disposable income. It takes hard work, chutzpa and catalog copy that ignites neural brush fires in the amygdala. Port had me at "killer pressing. Although Better Records offers jazz, blues, classical, and the occasional genre novelty faux-Polynesian exotica is a recurring guilty pleasure , invariably it's nostalgic classic rock albums like that Stones semi-classic from that become hot stampers.
The painstaking process begins by scouring the used market—from Salvation Army bins to eBay—for a dozen or more clean copies of an album. Grunt work completed, the hot stamper king and his minions meet in the Better Records listening room for a round of tests dubbed a "Shootout.
By the standards of your stereotypical tube-loving, power-junkie audiophile, the amp Port uses as the hub of his Shootout machine is shockingly ordinary: a s Japanese integrated transistor amp rated at a feeble 30 watts per channel, a typical thrift-store find.
That can sound nice, but I need accuracy. The other components are much more upscale. Dennis Brown and Prince Buster were even born there. Its studios, shops and vinyl wagons have all but vanished.
The story of Rockers starts with one Augustus Pablo. Reggae music is the greatest thing that Jamaica has ever created. Williams, who tries to strike a balance between keeping the shop current whilst also enshrining its history, is currently refurbishing the building.
Photography: Alexander Richter for Seven Clash. Go for: Dance music from Belgian new wave to Detroit techno, with a sideline in soundtracks and the avant garde.
Being located close to one of the biggest ports in the world obviously has its benefits. Open five days a week from Good chunks of the store are dedicated to hip-hop, both foreign and local, as well as soul, funk, jazz, beats and electronic styles.
Through the main room is a warehouse space, split across two floors and accessible only via special request. The store is located in Barranquilla, which used to be called the Golden Gate of Colombia because it served as the gateway into the country.
Once the biggest port in Colombia, Barranquilla acted as a melting pot of cultures, goods and also records. At one point Barranquilla could count forty-odd record shops on its bustling streets but today Discolombia is the only store that solely deals in records, the last place to find this unique mix of records. The shop is also home to the classic Colombian label Felito Records.
Playing a significant role in this evolution since it opened in is Waterloo Records, a record shop and vinyl hub that has itself expanded from a 1, sq ft space to the spacious 6, sq ft the main store enjoys today. Proud of its heritage, the store still gives prominent space to Texan musicians, although the remit is now broad and international, carrying new and second hand music across formats, DVDs, magazines, turntables, merchandise and tickets.
Vincent to name a few Waterloo has become so much more than just a record shop. When Phonica Records opened in , it entered an environment of decline. How times have changed. This Oslo store is a mecca for second hand vinyl, and a mythical vortex where time and space takes on new meaning. Not bad for a shop that looks like a budget CD shack from the outside. Come here for jaw-dropping jazz originals, Latin-galore, folk-funk, heavy hip-hop and boogie gems. No digging required!
Go behind the counter with Groove Merchant, as they pick 5 super-rare funk and soul records in our video here. By the time he opened a physical space in , Dub Store had already established itself as a world leader in Jamaican music, as one of the only outlets in Japan importing wax direct from Kingston, with a particular ear for the two decades between and With over titles under its belt, the label now distributes to shops around the world, and has in some ways become the de facto home from home for Jamaican music.
Expertly curated with jaw-dropping originals, the shop stock is smaller but way better than your average. Make sure you pop-in to Vintage Voudou next door and why not stick around for a live radio show. The pair had struggled to find certain records and CDs they wanted locally so decided to fill the gap with their own brick-and-mortar. At the time there was a dynamic music scene in Montreal, bolstered by the rise of post-rock and a boom in electronic music.
Despite all that, the pair say, local Montreal stores were very genre-specific. Their main goal for Atom Heart was — and still is — to stock a carefully hand-picked selection of titles from a wide-variety of genres, as well as offer local labels an outlet. The shop also provides a personalized special-order service for items that they may not have in stock so you can get almost anything here. And Can Records is very much a destination. Independently run by Martin Aalykke Kristiansen and his wife, the shop has built a reputation as the go to for dealers and DJs passing through the Danish capital.
But anyone looking to spend a day elbow deep in dusty crates will be disappointed. All killer, then. What you can expect is the finest selection of early electronic, ambient, new wave, disco, rare groove and world records for the head and the feet. Just let Martin take you there. Opened in , Amoeba Music Hollywood is a hangar-sized emporium with an utterly awe-inspiring catalogue of music that makes Tower Records look positively quaint.
Quite possibly the largest entertainment store in the whole of US, the shop occupies an entire city block on Sunset Blvd. The shop stocks millions of titles on vinyl, CD, tapes, 8-track and DVD, new and used, obscure and essential, and the stockpile is constantly evolving as customers trade in old collections.
Spread across two ludicrously large floors, must-visit areas include the Jazz room, the Out of Print section, the Punk aisle and sections dedicated to pop culture ephemera.
The Amoeba Music chain was originally established in with a branch in Berkley. Seven years later Amoeba crossed the Bay to open its San Francisco location, in a converted bowling alley at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park.
All of a sudden, there were screaming girls, weeping and tearing their clothes off as they watched their teen Album) perform. Retrieved March 15, November 4, Retrieved December 29, Select Platinum in the Certification field. In their breakthrough album, The Antlers told the story of the relationship between a hospice worker and a female patient suffering from terminal bone cancer. When the business went through a financial rough patch inhe sold the shop to employees Heartbreak Beach - The Generators - Life Gives . Life Takes (Vinyl House, Jude Crighton and Pete Donne. Author: Parker Hall Parker Hall.
Untitled, A WantonTrick - Ed McCurdy - The Best Of Dalliance (CD), Nicht Wie Ihr - Doreen* - Vorsicht Zerbrechlich (CD, Album), My Best Freinds Girl - Talisman (6) - Humanimal (CD), Trouble Blues