Ghosts in the house
London quintet Ghosts have been together since school. Having signed to Atlantic Records last year, their infectious, harmony-drenched guitar-pop anthems are finally poised to hit the mainstream.
Recent single Stay The Night was a Top 30 hit and an album, The World Is Outside, is due for release in June. Here, frontman Simon Pettigrew reveals his favourite albums of all time.
I suppose it's a bit Alan Partridge to pick a "Best Of" album in this list, but I played this tape to death when I was about 10. You can't argue with the Queen of Pop. I'm sure I subconsciously steal melodies from her to this day.
Simply life-changing. I was on holiday in the south of France aged 13 at a rubbish school trip disco when Smells Like Teen Spirit came on. Until this point, everyone had been sat around glumly; by the end it was chaos. I bought the album the next day, put it on in the car and it lasted 30 seconds before my parents turned it off. I was sold!
It took me a while to get into this, but it's now pretty much the first record that comes to mind when someone asks me what my favourite album is. Beautiful, melodic, ambitious, insane levels of attention to detail and production that is second to none, this is spectacular.
As a child I was obsessed with Hendrix, obsessively hunting down endless bootlegs on cassette, painstakingly working out as many guitar parts as possible (without much success). It's hard to pick one Hendrix album over another, but I'm going with Axis... mainly for the song Little Wing.
It's pretty hard to leave out The Beatles, and for me this is by far their greatest album, full of great songs with interesting structures and arrangements. You Never Give Me Your Money has more ideas than most bands manage in a career.
My Bloody Valentine
I was a latecomer to this, but in terms of sonic originality (even though I heard it for the first time 10 years after it was released), this is pretty peerless. Guitars are mangled out of recognition into unbelievable beauty and whole mixes veer in and out of tune. It has a sound all of its own. The making of it almost bankrupted Creation records, but even if it had denied us Oasis, it still would have been worth it.
I was a big Mercury Rev fan and went to see them in Oxford and this support band came on and comprehensively upstaged the headliners. My love of The Flaming Lips was born. This is their masterpiece - beautiful vocals, expansive arrangements, heartbreaking songs.
The sound of a successful band not giving two s**ts about alienating their fanbase and just making the record they were always meant to make. Unrecognisable from the band that released It's My Life, this is freeform beauty.
1997 was probably my favourite year for records, and this ties with Spiritualized as the best of a vintage year. I don't need to say much about this record because it has all been said already. Jonny Greenwood is up there with Hendrix in my opinion.
The best band of recent times. I didn't "get" this album originally, being at the time obsessed with records with perfect production. But I saw them play at Reading Festival 2005 and all of a sudden the whole thing made sense. Neighbourhood (Power Out) gets me every time.
1st May 2007