Readers’ favourite albums/tracks 2014

By Martin Smith | 29 December 2014


We asked readers of our blog to send in their five favourite tracks/albums of the year.

A big thank you to all those who sent theirs in. And sorry for the delay in putting them up, I forgot the login passes!

Here’s hoping 2015 will be a great year for music and may la lotta continua.

Alex P (DJ)

1. Gerd Feat Maecoradi: Still Believe
2. Richie Hawtin: Enter 2014 – not really a track it’s the name of his sets in Ibiza.
3. Sigma and Paloma Faith: Changing
4.Marco Carola: Music on Parties
5. Gui Boratto: Joker

Aunty Asbo (DJ)

1. Courtney Barnett: A Sea of Split Peas
2. Tensnake: Glow
3. Moodyman: Moodyman
4. Soul jazz presents: Black Fire New Spirits
5. Acid Thunder: Various Artists

Nick Grant

Album of 2014
Very late in the day the genius that is D’Angelo delivered the collection of songs he has featured in a couple of European tours on 15 December. ‘Black Messiah’ is a portentous and somewhat pretentious title, which nevertheless delivers the kind of sublime musicality that no amount of corporate hype can corrupt. ‘Another Life’ is currently my fave track.

Track of 2014
Apart from Pharell Williams’ ubiquitous ‘Happy’, which I thought was brilliant pure pop, gotta be something by The Sleaford Mods. From Nottingham record stores & Rough Trade London gigs via various Euro festivals to opening slots on the recent Specials tour and Manhattan club gigs, ‘Tiswas’ is a great video as well as typically acerbic lyric. Should be massive in 2015.

Band of 2014
Gotta be Snarky Puppy who I had been dying to see live, regretting having not listened to them in previous years because of their goddamn stupid name! Four gigs this year showed how without vocalists, showy stagecraft or pop tunes a fiercely talented repertory company of ace musicians can keep your ears and toes busy, to the point of many anthemic riffs echoing back from audience throats at every gig. On top of that they tour relentlessly but also do outreach/educational work wherever and whenever possible. It is hard not to rave about leader/writer/bassist Michael League’s infectious joy and determination. They won a Grammy to boot at the start of the year. No new release this year but two projects lined up for release early in 2015. Look out for those.

Gig of 2014
Drummer Chris Dave at Ronnie Scotts was a real treat. The Meters’ bass player George Porter at The Borderline with his quartet was fun. But the surprise was Lalah Hathaway’s set at the Love Supreme festival in July down in Sussex. She is a supreme vocalist with a great band. This clip is two years old but captures just how she won over her tented audience on the south coast. Looking forward to the same festival 2015. Highly recommended.

Best kept secret of 2014
Going to be outrageously egocentric here. My band Public Sector played a handful of decent gigs in 2014 and have started building up tracks for an album in 2015. ‘Boneyard’ tells the story of a 60s Brum soul boy, wide awake and coming down in the graveyard of the city centre cathedral as the night buses roll up. This provisional mix may alter but tells you where we are at

Farah Jasmine musician

1. Zara McFarlane: If You Knew Her

2. Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer: Wiring

3. Ambrose Akinmusire: The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint

4. Herbie Hancock: The Warner Bros Years (1969-1972)

5. Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden: Last Dance

James Maddock (Musician)

1. Louis Armstrong: Memories of You
2. Billie Holiday: Miss Brown to You
3. One Direction: Steal my Girl
4. Louis Armstrong: Beau Koo Jack
5. Guy Davis: Love Looks Good on you

Chloe and Shaun Carrick

Chloe and Shaun are school students who have begun collecting records – these are their favourites.

1. The Clash: Rock the Kasbah
2. Misty n Roots: Live at the Counter Eurovision
3. The Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
4. Bob Marley: Redemption Song
5. Joy Division: Transmission

Resident Advisor (on-line music magazine)

1. Andy Stott: Faith in Strangers
2. HTRK: Psychic 9-5 Club
3. Gesloten Cirkel: Submit X
4. Aphex Twin: Syro
5. Objekt: Flatland

DJ Liz Wheatley (dj/Urban Jazz Radio)

1. D’Angelo: Black Messiah
Released just in time to make the cut after a 14 year wait, this isn’t easy listening but is worth the effort

2. Leela James: Fall For You
From a consistently good gritty soul singer, this album features a lovely duet with Anthony Hamilton

3. John Morales Presents: Club Motown
A collection of Motown’s best club tracks, including remixes by Morales, featuring artists like Teena Marie, Thelma Houston and Debarge

4. Eugene Record: Eugene Record/Trying To Get To You
A CD reissue of two 70s albums by Chi-Lites singer Record including the excellent rare groove track Overdose Of Joy

5. House Masters: Masters At Work
A four CD collection from Louis Vega and Kenny Dope. If you like your house well produced with soulful vocals, this is the one for you.

Roger Huddle

1. Meshell Ndegeocello: Comet, Come to Me
2. Anna Prohaska (soprano) Eric Schneider (piano): Behind The Lines
3. Joseph Moran: All Rise. A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller
4. Sun Kil Moon: Benji
5. D’Angelo: Black Messiah

Lee Bilingham

1. Sleaford Mods: Tweet Tweet Tweet
2. Flying Lotus (ft. Kendrick Lamar): Never Catch Me
3. Ibeyi: River
4. Aphex Twin: 180db_[130]
5. Tazer: Wet Dollars

Jo Cardwell

1. The Micronaut: Panorama
2. Jessie Ware: Tough Love
3. Aphex Twin: Syro
4. Caribou: Our Love
5. Mos Def and Marvin Gaye: You are undeniable Amerigo remix

Russ Chandler

1. Stick in the Wheel: Bones
Wonderfully direct and honest music from an outfit that give the impression they completely understood folk music from about half way through the first song they ever heard. But didn’t care.

2. Peggy Seeger: Everything Changes
Bleak and honest.

3. Dead Belgian: Grand Jacques
Dead Belgian play the music of Jacques Brel and this is a great offering from a band growing in confidence and stature all the time. It will be interesting to see where they take it from here.

4. Adam Taylor: Earth Tones
Not from 2014 but I only heard it this year when I took up the gourd banjo. This is an album of gourd banjo music – one of the most primitive of instruments it’s played here with breathtaking lightness of touch and musicianship.

5. John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University
I thought this recording just aches with power, it made me think of lightening on the horizon when you are watching from the coast.

Martin Smith

1. Theo Parrish: American Intelligence
2. DJ Koze: Reincarnations Part 2
3. Fatima: Yellow Memories
4. Francis Harris: Minutes of Sleep
5. Daniel Avery: Drone Logic



  1. Paul grist said:

    I thought Sleaford Mods might be your bag Lee. Just in case you missed it Jason (I think his name is Jason) was interviewed by Tom Robinson on Radio 6 last week. He picked some of his favorite tracks. Well worth a listen

    29 December 2014 at 8:14pm
  2. Lee said:

    A belated cheers for the tip-off Paul, managed to hear that show just before it came off iplayer. Jason comes across well. What a breath of fresh air these have been. Off to see them in Camden tomorrow night , can’t wait.

    29 January 2015 at 10:41pm

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