This month’s issue of Uncut, as you may have seen, comes with a free supplement showcasing our extensive end-of-year charts. We’ve decided, though, to post our 80 Best Albums Of 2013 list here.
You can read new assessments of these albums in the booklet. But in the meantime, click on the links to read the original Uncut reviews. A reminder, too, that Uncut staffers have been posting their individual 2013 lists:
While our current magazine features a 52-page supplement revealing Uncut’s top 80 albums of 2013, voted for by the Uncut staff and nearly 50 contributors, here we’re gradually publishing some of our staff’s individual picks of the year’s best releases.
Early on in Lawrence Of Arabia, the head of the Arab bureau, Mr Dryden, calls Lawrence into his office and invites him to investigate the progress of the Arab Revolt against Constantinople and to appraise the strength of the Arab tribes.
Oddly, perhaps, I've just signed off my film pages for the first issue of 2014. January is traditionally a strong month for releases, as the studios hit heavy for the big awards season push, all the same it looks like next year is off to a strong start with new releases from the Coen brothers, Steve McQueen and Spike Jonze.
We have about 24 hours to finish the next issue, and not much longer to complete another Uncut Ultimate Music Guide due in January, so no preamble this week: lots to hear and anticipate below. (Thanks, though, for all your feedback on my Best Of 2013 list; much appreciated, as ever).
The current issue of Uncut comes with a rather spiffing free 52-page magazine that hosts our essential guide to the best new albums, reissues, box sets, films, DVDs and books of 2013. This year we’ve expanded our new album section to a Top 80, as voted for by the Uncut staff and nigh on 50 of our regular contributors.
There are some things you never expect to see. Take, for example, a live performance of “Parallelograms”; a song of uncanny atmospheres and dynamics, recorded in 1970 by a dental hygienist with only a fleeting involvement with the music business.
OK, I’ve managed to remember 143 albums that came out this year and that I liked. As in previous years, I didn’t see much point in hacking my list down to a Top 100, or Top 50, or whatever. While it’d be a stretch to claim every one is an imperishable classic, I do feel broadly confident recommending them all.
Not uncharacteristically, I’ve spent the past few days repressing a bunch of unnecessary rage about the publicity afforded the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 poll. Not so much because of the artists selected, but because of the way it effectively presents an ultimatum to new talent: have something resembling success in the next 12 months, or else people will weary of your miserable underachievement and move on to the next batch of hopefuls.
There have been plenty of surprises and revelations in music during the last twelve months. Admittedly, perhaps not all of them have had the same impact as the sudden arrival of records by David Bowie or My Bloody Valentine; nevertheless, a Tweet on June 3 from Edwyn Collins’ label AED carried its own quietly momentous piece of breaking news. “A new @RoddyFrame record in the wind, on AED, early 2014. It’s a lovely thing, just wait til you hear it. Watch this space, popsters.”
There's a song on this new Purling Hiss album, playing again now, that sounds more or less like "Debaser" played by Dinosaur Jr. Along with the intensely spirited debut by Mary Timony's Ex-Hex and a comp of the pre-...