1. Belle & Sebastian | If You're Feeling Sinister
The title track of an album I've played so much over the years. A really great collection of songs recorded in a wonderful warts and all kind of way that really helped immortalise the energy of the band on the finished disc.
2. Small Faces | Tin Soldier
It's all about the break - a few short seconds of completely arresting Mod Magic. This was recorded the year before Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake which, had this been a top 10 albums list, would most definitely have featured.
3. Ramona Córdova | Heavy On My Head
The Boy Who Floated Freely by Ramona Córdova is a magical record. It's almost as if Ramon had never heard Popular Music before and sort of independently figured out how it should sound. It sounds simultaneously way out there and completely authentic.
4. Elvis Costello And The Attractions | Shipbuilding (Robert Wyatt Cover)
This is a really powerful piece of Music written during and about the Falklands War. A lot of folks prefer the Robert Wyatt version, which is fine, but they're wrong to.
5. Simon & Garfunkel | America
Paul Simon's story-telling and both his and Art Garfunkel's voices make this. Again, it's from an amazing album, Bookends, which deals with the pain and beauty of aging. There's a really subtly powerful line in this too - you'll know it if you've heard it.
6. Bon Iver | The Wolves (Act I And II)
Like a lot of people, I bought Justin Vernon's debut, For Emma, Forever Ago immediately after hearing Skinny Love for the first time. The same year Bon Iver played at End Of The Road Festival. He was on the main stage early and cured many sore heads with one of the most stunning performances I think I've ever seen at a festival.
7. Yann Tiersen | La Plage
As good an introduction as any to a genius.
8. Vashti Bunyan | Glow Worms
A beautiful simple and present recording. Such a lovely vocal! This sold in such low numbers in 1970 that Vashti Bunyan was disheartened enough to abandon Music. But it grew gradually in popularity over the course of 30 years or so becoming a cult classic. She was eventually encouraged to start playing and recording again.
9. The Cure | Just Like Heaven
Rhythmically infectious, it has you from first hits of the drums in the intro and doesn't let go.
10. Pavement | Range Life
A highlight from 1994's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. Got them into some sort of feud with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins who refused to play Lollapalooza shortly after this was released unless Pavement were removed from the bill. Lollapalooza pathetically obliged. Malkmus is a brilliant, free and quite mad writer.