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12 Jay-Z Takeover Blueprint, 2001 Providing the highlight of Blueprint, his career-best album, Takeover is a witty and merciless attack on his rapping rival, Nas.
13 The Stone Roses Song For My Sugar-spun Sister The Stone Roses, 1989 The Mancunian four-piece packed their debut with spellbinding pop melodies like this, influencing a generation of Brit-poppers. 15 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Country Girl Déjà Vu, 1970 Even by CSNY’s considerable standards, the harmonies essayed here on this masterpiece of portentous hippy-folk rock are so complex the whole edifice threatens to collapse like Miss Havisham’s wedding cake.
That ravaged, wise, bleak, Old Testament prophet’s delivery convinces you that Cash really is up there on death row, strapped to his chair, uttering his last words.
The melody shimmers with a gorgeous melancholy; the guitars are like Lennon’s on Working Class Hero.
The Motown singer refused to release this as a single.
8 The Smiths Cemetry Gates The Queen Is Dead, 1986 ‘So we go inside and we gravely read the stones.’ Oh, you japesome punster, Morrissey.
Though Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others is catchier, this sun-shunning, poetic-name-dropping, bedsit-angst-fest with its famously misspelt title is about as Smiths as you could ever get.
For a faster, equally brilliant and also album soul alternative, try Stevie Wonder’s version from two years before.