Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere; notes on the margins of everywhere

This piece of writing was originally supposed to be posted in September, then at Halloween, but now that it’s finally finished maybe November is the right time after all. It’s about those nameless places that are nowhere, or even the ‘middle of nowhere’, and maybe places feel most like nowhere – or, nowhere feels most itself – in November, when as Ted Hughes wrote:

“… After long rain the land
Was sodden as the bed of an ancient lake,
Treed with iron and birdless”
Ted Hughes, ‘November’ from Lupercal (1960) Faber & Faber, p.49 (my copy is from 1985)

This was, pompously, to be a ‘photo essay’, but the photos are – necessarily I think and not unintentionally – a bit drab and nothingy, so I wrote this too. Firstly, I should explain what I mean by ‘nowhere’ and concede straightaway that by now there probably isn’t a place in the world truly deserving that non-name, let alone in a land mass as small and populated as Britain, where if nothing else, the places I have photographed could be described as being a part of Fife, a part of Scotland, etc, etc. But still; these are places that have no name that I know of (not the same as having no name I realise), that are no longer maintained or used for anything (by human beings at least) and that don’t have any special landmarks or signs to say what they are, were, or who if anyone owns them.

the gate to nowhere

So, for instance; this is nowhere, there’s not much to see. This particular nowhere has clearly not always existed; it’s the evidence of people having once been here that makes it feel like nowhere, an abandoned place, a place that perhaps used to be somewhere, but isn’t anymore; absence rather than simple emptiness. Unique in its details and at the same time interchangeable with other nowheres, like the nowheres of your childhood; places that writers (especially horror writers) call ‘vacant lots’ or ‘disused yards’, although if you’re there to see them they can’t be all that vacant and if kids play there they aren’t actually disused, so much as re-used.

What was this place? It would probably be relatively easy to find out, but finding out would make it somewhere, even if the name that denoted the place was a dead, ghost name. I remember playing in ‘the factory’ as a child, but ‘the factory’ was just cracked concrete floors and crumbled remains of walls; which means that it wasn’t a factory. Pedantic, yes (always), but while the names of places like the factory are often just words: ‘gates’ or ‘ports’ that once existed or nominally ‘new’ places that are very actually very old (“The New Forest”), there are other names we use for places that are in themselves an admission that we don’t know what they are, or were.

the crumbling pavements of nowhere

Maps mark places of significance with both of these kinds of words; the ones that mean they are somewhere we know something about (tumulus, castle, church) but also the ones that fill gaps in communal memory with blunt, easy to understand descriptions designed to keep ‘nowhere’ at bay like ruin or better yet, standing stone.
These substitute names can themselves become names through the lack of anything better; like Stonehenge, a name that literally means something like ‘stone prehistoric structure’ but, more broadly means ‘this place was important to people once’.

The fragment of path leading nowhere (see picture) doesn’t have a lot in common with Stonehenge, except that human beings made it, presumably used it, and then abandoned it*. Usually, I don’t have much time for Keats’s “negative capability”, whatever way you describe it (he famously wrote “that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason“) because it amounts at times to ‘ignorance is bliss’ and personally, I find the poetry of the rainbow in no way reduced by knowledge of how it ‘works’ (quite the opposite, when you consider that human beings apparently see brighter, more colourful rainbows than other creatures. Just the idea that reality is that subjective, that the number of actual colours depends on who is seeing them, feels like a metaphor waiting to happen, as well as raising the logical idea of other ‘prime colours’ that are beyond the human eye’s ability to see. I remember as a child trying to picture another colour as unrelated to blue, red and yellow as they are to each other, but mainly ‘seeing’ purple or brown; another metaphor-in-waiting maybe.

* or, more poetically, Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon/burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.

plants that no-one would plant, growing in a place where no-one would plant them

The appeal of nowhere, when it is noticed enough to have an appeal, can be the determination to see the beauty in ordinary things, like Edward Thomas’s beautifully understated/drab Tall Nettles:

Tall nettles cover up, as they have done
These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough
Long worn out, and the roller made of stone:
Only the elm-butt tops the nettles now.

Edward Thomas, ‘Tall Nettles’ (c.1916), Selected Poems of Edward Thomas, Faber & Faber, 1964 p.35

Nowhere also has the appeal of escape, not just the escape from familiar surroundings into somewhere unknown, but maybe the actual evasion of people and consequences, as in Tom Waits’s songs about hair-raising characters dwelling on the margins of society, of which the classic example may be ’16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six’ from Swordfishtrombones (1983):

Plugged sixteen shells from a thirty-ought six
And a black crow snuck through a hole in the sky
And I spent all my buttons on an old pack mule
And I made me a ladder from a pawn shop marimba
I leaned it all up against a dandelion tree…

…Now I slept in the holler of a dry creek bed
And I tore out the buckets from a red corvette

this used to be somewhere

A more gothic, elaborate version of this kind of nowhere appears in Nick Cave’s early work with The Birthday Party, and is taken to a poetic extreme in his first novel And The Ass Saw The Angel (1989) set in a fantasy version of America’s Deep South.  At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Thomas Hardy’s projection of how he hoped to be remembered in anthology favourite Afterwards with its accumulation of beautifully-observed everyday minutiae (“when, like an eyelid’s
soundless blink/The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn”) and its near-refrain “He was a man who used to notice such things.”

Although indebted to the poetry-is-everywhere writing of Thomas Hardy and far removed from the dramatic, lawless nowheres of Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Philip Larkin takes ‘nowhere as escape’ to its logical conclusion in poems like ‘High Windows’ (1967) with its ambivalently yearning ending:

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

Philip Larkin, ‘High Windows’ Collected Poems, Faber & Faber, 1988, p.165

stairway to nowhere

Even on a far less drastic level than Larkin’s biophobia,  
‘not knowing’ is a key part of the enjoyment of being in the middle of nowhere.  I write ‘not knowing’ rather than ‘mystery’, because mystery suggests a sense of excitement entirely alien to Edward Thomas’s nameless place of nettles, or this blocked off stairway (left). The pleasure of not knowing (and not wanting to know) needn’t be exciting enough to warrant being called a mystery. There’s an odd building in the local area, on a path that connects a small town with a nearby village, a couple of miles of muddy track over a hill, through woodlands and alongside some fields. The building is one room, the size of a small shed, the side walls close enough to touch with (my) outstretched hands when standing inside. It has a mangled, rusted metal door in the front; so far, so twentieth century. It’s made of (I think) concrete but, crucially, it’s shaped like a pointed arch; that seems odd. What is it? Why is it where it is, on a hill, in some woods, outside a market town? It doesn’t seem like a useful situation for anything or, anyway, a useful building beyond the sense that any shed is useful. It doesn’t seem to be connected with the farmland that surrounds it, though it could be part of an estate that no longer exists. It’s not eerie exactly (concrete, no windows; it feels more like a portaloo than a cell). But still, that odd, ecclesiastical shape. It was new once, and used for something. But now it’s in the middle of nowhere and its abandonment creates an odd pang of feeling for people and things long since lost to time; a feeling all the stronger for not being known. So in this case maybe mystery after all.

the middle of nowhere?

I don’t feel like that (not so much anyway) about just any building with a ‘to let’ sign on it, so why should it be easier to feel some kind of human kinship with the unknown builders of unused paths or the erectors of giant stones whose meaning is lost? Well firstly and obviously because those humans are absent and therefore not annoying; ‘human beings’ yes, but not ones with agendas, attitudes or personalities that we can know about.

And also perhaps because they aren’t around to tell us about their buildings and constructions and more importantly, to mind us looking at them.

the boundary of nowhere?

Because the ridiculous fact remains that while this place (right) is nowhere, it probably isn’t nobody’s – but ownership of places is a strange and slippery thing. When King Lear finds himself on the heath, a place between places; not a palace, not a hovel, not even a grave, which is at least something:

Thou wert better in a grave than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies… Unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art”

William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act III, Scene IV, Penguin Books, 1972, p.125

he is reduced (I think the right word for what Shakespeare does, though not a concept one necessarily agrees with) to the condition of an animal, albeit a more anguished one than, say, a rabbit seems to be. But crucially, up until the earlier events of the play, the King, presumably, owned this same bleak and inhospitable heath: whatever that ownership means. If a person can own a place (and clearly they can) what they can’t own, is what Shakespeare describes; someone’s experience of a place. The piece of land owned by this developer or that corporation isn’t *the same* as this piece of land with its enigmatic fragments of structures and their allusive, suggestive qualities.

Self-aggrandising perhaps, but if your life is an adventure, or at least a sequence of events in which (as Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson would have it) YOU are the hero, then the fact remains that, whether you have deep roots in an area and a family tree stretching back to the dark ages, or you don’t even know who your own parents are, the experience of standing here, in the middle of nowhere, perceiving things with your senses and processing them with your brain, is something no-one else has ever done, and no-one else will ever do, even if everybody knows this is nowhere.

the sun shining on nowhere
peering through the bars at nowhere
the earth reclaiming somewhere to make it nowhere again



Anatomy of an Earworm

Despite the title, this isn’t really about earworms as such – although they certainly have a place here – this is to do with the background music/soundtrack to your – or my – life. There are serious, life-changing conditions like ‘Musical Ear Syndrome” (kind of a musical tinnitus) where the sufferer constantly hears music and in the cases of artists like Kristin Hersh or Nile Rodgers, these kinds of phenomena (not that theirs are the same, as far as I know) can be part of what fuels their creativity. That isn’t me. What I – and I suspect many people – have, is songs I already know, playing ‘in the background’ more or less constantly.

I decided to try to keep track, for a day, of what those songs were. Not an easy task, as trying to remember them if one doesn’t make a note of it is extremely difficult, once the moment has passed – and also because it seems likely that focusing on that background noise might well alter the experience.

Be that as it may, I tried to make a note whenever I could throughout the day, of what was ‘playing’ – and it’s an odd mixture. Most surprising to me are how few of the songs are ones I would normally listen to, or like, or have listened to or heard (to my knowledge) recently. Also surprising is the segue from one to another, which happens mostly without noticing and which seems to have no logic to it that I can see. The medleys are even stranger. Also odd that events like conversations, concentrating on work, watching TV etc seem to have little or no impact on the flow of the music, it just gets quieter for a bit.

So here, with many gaps, and with a few notes and repeat offenders marked in red – is my internal playlist for today. It is still ongoing of course (currently James Taylor’s cover of Tom Waits’ Shiver Me Timbers). I don’t see any patterns, but I do notice that most of these songs are surprisingly cheerful given what I mostly listen to on purpose; so that’s nice.

The day began around 6am with a shower; a key place for earworms and related music, in my experience – without further ado…

  • Barbizon by Debz
  • Don’t You Want Me by The Human League (I have never liked this song)
  • Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton
  • What’s The Frequency, Kenneth, by R.E.M.
  • Keep on Running by The Spencer Davis Group (but with silly alternative lyrics relating to what I was doing at work at the time)
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles (one of the few Beatles songs I really dislike)
  • Van der Valk theme tune (I have never seen Van der Valk, why do I know the theme tune??)
  • Save Your Love by Renée and Renato
  • Street Life by The Crusaders
  • I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend by The Ramones
  • Smokebelch I by The Sabres of Paradise (mainly just the bass)
  • Your Smiling Face by James Taylor
  • Orfeo ed Euridice – a particular bit from (I think) Act 1 of Gluck’s baroque opera
  • The Invisible Man by Elvis Costello
  • Knock Out Eileen by LL Cool J & Dexy’s Midnight Runners (strangely likeable mashup given my hatred of one of these songs – found on youtube)
  • Theme to Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  • Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine (actually a non-existent, jaunty , squeaky synth-pop cover of the tune of the verse to this song, I’d like to really hear it)
  • jingle from a TV advert for Mitchell’s Self Drive c. 1981 (with the lyric that kids used to sing to it: ‘Mitchell’s Self Drive/Where people eat pies”)
  • I Only Want To Be With You by Dusty Springfield
  • It’s A Shame by Bilbo Baggins
  • Temples of Syrinx by Rush
  • Rockit by Herbie Hancock
  • NIB by Black Sabbath
  • Car Thief by The Beastie Boys
  • Hook It Up by The Donnas
  • How Deep Is Your Love by The Bee Gees (the verse of this song gets stuck in my head often)
  • Your Woman by White Town (genuine earworm that was stuck in my head for days, I had no memory of what it was, didn’t remember the lyrics and had to search for ages to discover what it was; irony – hated it then, hate it now)
  • The Eye of the Witch by King Diamond
  • Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin
  • Georgie Girl by The Seekers
  • Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town by Talking Heads
  • Bergerac theme tune (not actually seen Bergerac since the mid 80s)
  • I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts (just the tune, but still!???)
  • The World In My Eyes by Depeche Mode
  • medley: You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon & Down Under by Men At Work (had this bizarre medley playing in my head every morning for months; oddly when it’s not ‘playing’ I can’t work out where the segue happens)
  • The Neverending Story by Limahl
  • Good Times by Chic
  • Fascination by David Bowie
  • Lovely Day by the Pixies
  • Graceland by Paul Simon
  • Shiver Me Timbers… but that you know.




Play For Today – Current Playlist 8th February 2017


The world is not making me very happy at present (my thoughts on all that are covered to an extent here, so I won’t go on about it) – but I am still enjoying music at least, so here’s a selection of things that are currently sounding good to me:

Diamanda Galás and John Paul Jones – The Sporting Life (Mute, 1994) – I always find it surprising that a vocalist as completely extreme and melodramatic as Diamanda Galás can be as straightforwardly moving as she (sometimes) is – pretty pop by her standards, but a great album, with John Paul Jones creating perfect settings for that amazing voice.

Apokrifna Realnos
Apokrifna Realnos

Apokrifna Realnost – Na Rekah Vavilonskih (AnnapurnA Productions, coming March 2017) –  I would never have expected to love an album of archaic ritualistic/devotional music clandestinely recorded in Macedonia in the late 80s; but there you have it. It’s unsettling & deeply beautiful.

Teksti-TV 666 – 1, 2, 3 (Svart Records, 2016) The Finnish guitar-overlords are credited with playing a weird amalgam of punk, rock, shoegaze, krautrock etc; and I suppose they do, but the songs on this album are, underneath the noise and strangeness, pretty catchy indie rock that I wouldn’t expect to like but really do – it’s a great album.

Sauron – The Baltic Fog (Wheelwright Productions, reissue 2017) I wrote at length about this great Polish black metal release for Echoes and Dust, so won’t say much here. But it has all the atmosphere you’d expect from mid-90s black metal and some good tunes.

Heavy Tiger – Glitter (Wild Kingdom Records, 2017) – Very easy to like Swedish rock that is (lazy comparison) like The Ramones meets The Donnas with added glam attitude (plus good songs)

Heavy Tiger by Niclas Brunzell
Heavy Tiger by Niclas Brunzell

Blake Babies – Innocence & Experience (Mammoth Records, 1993) – On the whole I prefer Juliana Hatfield solo, but this compilation of the Blake Babies is pretty great.

David Bowie – Station to Station (RCA, 1975) – One of my favourite albums, this just seems to get better and better. Even if it just consisted of the supremely creepy title track & Word on a Wing it would be one of the best things Bowie ever recorded.

Makaya McCraven – In The Moment Deluxe Edition (International Anthem, 2016) – There’s so much amazing music in the 28 tracks here, plus literally some of the best drumming I’ve ever heard; superlative, brilliant jazz.

Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (Asylum, 1974) – Unsettling times sometimes call for comforting music, and this warm, funny, poetic and melancholy album is one of my favourites.

If I Could Kill Myself – Ballads of the Broken (self-release, 2017) – If you are unconvinced by (or just despise) depressive black metal this will probably not change your mind. Lo-fi, raw and revelling in the miserable characteristics of the genre, it’s not (and I assume isn’t meant to be) subtle, but has atmosphere and good tunes aplenty.



Play For Today – Current Playlist, 12th January 2017


Currently working on several more substantial articles, but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve been listening to in the last little while; which quite a lot of actually new music, as it turns out…

julia kent

  1. Julia Kent Asperities (The Leaf Label, 2015) – a beautiful album of experimental cello music I like so much that I was moved to actual pay money for the vinyl version.
  2. BathshebaServus (Svart Records, 2017) – the forthcoming album from Bathsheba impressed me a lot; ‘atmospheric occult doom’ is something I’m actually a bit weary of, but the songs are great and singer Michelle Nocon has a Patti Smith-like authority that makes it all very compelling.
  3. Code – Lost Signal (Agonia Records, 2017) – I thought this EP of re-recordings (plus one new song) would be a waste of time, but no; really good in fact.
  4. Nick Mazzarella Trio – Ultraviolet (International Anthem, 2015) – the apparent contradiction of free, expressive jazz welded into tightly controlled compositions turns out to be a recipe for vibrant, gripping music.
  5. Ashen Spire – Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary (code666, 2017) – I have to admit the thought of melodramatic, A Forest of Stars-like artifice welded to doomy and atmospheric extreme metal is not something that always fills me with joy – but Ashenspire are more peculiar and less pantomimic in their theatricality than I expected, and the title song is one of several hugely effective compositions here. An acquired taste, as I assume it’s supposed to be, but one worth acquiring.
  6. Bruno Sanfilippo – Piano Textures 4 (2016) – beautifully evocative, modern minimalist piano pieces cover
  7. David Bowie – Hunky Dory (RCA, 1971) – This was my favourite Bowie album (actually, my favourite album) for years, but I hadn’t listened to it for ages. Being impressionable, the fact that a bunch of music critics voted it his greatest work sent me back to it again. I don’t agree, but I see why they think so; Bowie at his most accessible and (relatively) least artificial.
  8. Julie’s Haircut – Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin (Rocket Recordings, 2017) – hypnotic, psychedelic-occult-krautrock that is mesmerising without being boring.
  9. Cryfemal – D6s6nti6rro (Osmose Productions, 2016) Even though I wrote about how much I like Cryfemal here aeons ago,  I actually didn’t notice when they/he (Cryfemal is still just ‘Ebola’) released this album. It’s great – in theory nothing-special, bog-standard black metal, in reality that, only made fantastic by Ebola’s way with a tune.
  10. Nicole Sabouné – Miman (Century Media, 2017) – not 100% made my mind up about this, but when in the mood for langorous, Dead Can Dance-influenced baroque gothic pop, it’s definitely pretty effective.
  11. Uriah Heep – Sonic Origami (Eagle Records, 1998) – what could be less promising than an album by 70s rock dinosaurs, struggling to find their place in the post-grunge landscape of the 90s? And yet the mighty Heep rose to whatever occasion there was with warmth, grace and some understated rock tunes that still sound very nice indeed.
  12. Juliana Hatfield – Hey Babe (Mammoth, 1992) – still in the 90s, this alternative rock gem is a bit overlooked these days, but it still sounds great to me.julianahatfieldtop4
  13. The Veldt – In A Quiet Room (Leonard Skully Records, 2017) – my dubiousness about the current shoegaze revival almost made me overlook this great band, but I’m glad I listened;on paper their music is such a peculiar mix (experimental shoegaze + soul etc) but in fact it just sounds natural and right.
  14. Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night (Asylum, 1974) – to me, this is the album where he first found his true voice and, if not quite as great as Nighthawks at the Diner, it’s still a collection of great songs.
  15. Claire Waldoff – Die Berliner Pflanze (Berliner Musikinder, 2001) – I’ve been fascinated by the art and culture of the Weimar Republic for years* (just as well; seems like that’s the kind of period we’re living in now) and Claire Waldoff’s music from that period (early 30s mostly) is incredibly evocative and moving, and a bit silly. Plus, I love her voice and I am one of the few people I have come across who thinks German is a beautiful-sounding language, so that’s a bonus.
  16. Tenebrae In Perpetuum – La Genesi: 2001-2002 (Ordo MCM, 2017) – I’m a sucker for Italian black metal (the most underrated black metal scene in the world, mostly) and this reissue of the early works of Tenebrae In Perpetuum captures the band at their most atmospheric and unhinged.
  17. Kathy McCarty – Dead Dog’s Eyeball Songs of Daniel Johnston (Bar/None Records, 1994) – Kathy McCarty did a lot to make Daniel Johnston’s songs palatable to people who don’t like the lo-fi home-recordedness of his early work (or his voice, for that matter) and this is still a great album in its own right.
  18. Queen – The Miracle (Capitol, 1989) – an oddity for me, I really don’t like Queen much after Hot Space but I bought this for 50p in a charity shop and so have listened to it a few times. It’s not great, but I like the title song and a few other bits & pieces; Freddie’s voice is always nice to hear.qveen

and that will do for now!

  • re. The Weimar Republic & its culture, there’s a great article about the photographer Marianne Breslauer here

Play For Today – Playlist December 9th 2016

1. Jesca Hoop – Memories Are Now (Sub Pop, Feb 2017)  

Not listened to it many times yet, but the forthcoming album from singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop is sounding pretty good so far

photo: Laura Guy

2. David Bowie – Diamond Dogs (RCA, 1974)

The death throes of Bowie’s glam period are infinitely more interesting (to me) than the Ziggy era, I love this album.

3. Bethlehem – Bethlehem (Prophecy Productions, 2016)

Stunning return to form for Germany’s ‘dark metal’ overlords.

4. The History of Colour TV – Something Like Eternity  (Cranes Records/Weird Books, 2017)

The third album by Berlin indie/shoegaze/noise rock trio The History of Colour TV has some powerfully Sonic Youth-like squalling as well as some really good tunes.

5. Ma Rainey – Black Eye Blues (1930)

maHeartbreakingly sad but also funny and rebellious blues performance by one of my favourite blues singers, with brilliant guitar playing by Tampa Red

6. Heikki Sarmanto Serious Music Ensemble – The Helsinki Tapes, Vol 1, 2 & 3 (Svart Records)

Great, previously unreleased live recordings from the Finnish jazz scene. I was initially a bit disappointed when a singer appeared on some of the recordings, but in fact ‘The Pawn‘ from Vol 2  (featuring Maija Hapuoja) is a moody ‘Riders on the Storm‘-esque masterpiece.

7. Daniel Land – In Love With A Ghost (2016)

Much as I hate the term ‘dream pop’, it does suit a lot of the lovely, gently melancholy music on this album

8. Baby Tears – Succubus Slides (Choice Records, 2016)

Cool and unusual hip hop/trap type stuff, she has a style that is not quite like anything else (disclaimer – that I know of)

9. Isasa – Los Días (La Castanya, 2016)

The second album by Spanish guitarist Isasa has a mellow, slightly hungover charm, it’s spare, basic sound, accentuating his beautiful guitar playing and the atmospheric power of the tunes.

10. Tom Waits – Nighthawks At The Diner (Asylum, 1976)

One of my favourite Tom Waits albums, a funny, boozy and cheerfully melancholy live album (albeit recorded in somewhat contrived surroundings) I hadn’t listened to it for ages but I love it just as much as always.

11. 11Paranoias – Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World (Ritual Productions, 2016)

Forbiddingly sludgy and somewhat psychedelic doom with, crucially, great songwriting to make it more than just a cool sound – an addictive album.

12. Effie – Pressure (2016)

I was sent the promo of this single in the spring and just never got around to listening to it because I assumed it wouldn’t be my cup of tea; and it isn’t really. But it’s pretty good r’n’b/pop really, and she’s got a very cool voice.

13. Mithras – On Strange Loops (Willowtip Records, 2016)

Supercharged progressive death metal, maybe their finest album to date

14. The Fall – Grotesque (After The Gramme) (Rough Trade, 1980)

Maybe my favourite Fall album (definitely one of my favourites; so many great tunes, best of all ‘Gramme Friday‘, ‘Impression of J. Temperance‘, ‘Container Drivers’ – actually they are nearly all great.

15. The Staple Singers – Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Buddha Records, 1969)

Re-release of some of the family’s early gospel recordings, incredibly soulful and atmospheric.