All-time favourite records
Skeleton Crew: Skeleton Crew
2005, ReR Megacorp/Fred Records [ReR/FRO 08/09]
Guitarist Fred Frith and cellist Tom Cora (died in 1998), later joined by Zeena Parkins. A fortunate assembly, which unfortunately lasted only too short. The musicians playing each several instruments, sometimes simultaneously (reportedly, this was usual also during concerts), while singing charming ditties. In fact, I should list two original albums: Learn to talk (1984) and Country of blinds (1986) - both released by Rift & RecRec Music; for the sake of simplicity, however, I put here only this double CD consisting of the two original albums, plus several bonus tracks. An absolute peak.
Bob Drake: 13 songs and a thing
2003, Crumbling Tomes Archive [CTA 13]
Jim O'Rourke: Eureka
1999, Drag City [DC162CD]
Tatsuya Yoshida: A million years
1997, Magaibutsu [MGC-12]
John Parish & Polly Jean Harvey: Dance Hall At Louse Point
1996, Island [314-524 278-2]
In my opinion, the best record by PJ Harvey. I admire John Parish for his simple, elementary playing guitars. He has good solo records (and I enjoyed very much his concert in Prague, few years ago), but the songs on this record with PJ are true masterpieces: raw, yet catchy; gentle, but sometimes quite hars; elaborated, but performed as if with negligence... I've read that Parish and PJ are preparing a new record together again - a good news. PJ's last solo record White Chalk had some good reviews, but I clearly prefer this one.
Albert Marcoeur: Celui ou y'a Joseph
1984, CDM/Harmonia mundi [LDX 74796]
Robert Wyatt: Rock bottom/Ruth is stranger than Richard
1981, Virgin [VGD 3505]
Joint edition of two remarkable records published originally in 1974 and 1975 - if these albums had not been re-released together, I would have to list them both, separately. Robert Wyatt: clearly recognizable, passionate, covered voice, melancholic melodies, stroung and distinct songs, sometimes very personal, sometimes openly political. Robert Wyatt became famous as drummer and vocalist of Soft Machine in late 1960 and early 1970. Since falling out of a window in 1973, he has remained on a wheel chair, with both legs paralyzed. In the subsequent years, he produced a number of unique, beautiful albums.
This Heat: Deceit
1981, Rough Trade [Rough 26]
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: Dog at the radar station
1980, Virgin Records [VA 13148]
Third Beefheart's record in my "all-time" selection, but I can't help... This is a later record, only a few years before Beefheart retreated into the realm of painting. A new band, a new, "modernized" sound and musical forms, but everything lovable about Beefheart is here, abundantly and in the best shape. More details here.
The Residents: Eskimo
1979, Ralph Records [RZ 7906]