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Staff Picks

@ Fopp

With a vast array of music knowledge spread across our five stores, we’re proud to have our colleagues pick out their favourite records to retain a permanent place in our staff picks offer. Here’s a few of the cracking albums they’ve picked out.

Frank Zappa – Hot Rats

From 1969, Zappa’s 2nd solo album is his most revered. 5 of the 6 songs are instrumentals containing extensive soloing. The music is both thrilling & complex with intricate parts for flute, clarinet, organ and the brilliant Jean-Luc Ponty on electric violin. The interplay between Zappa’s astonishing guitar work and Ponty has to be heard to be believed. Zappa never repeated himself so this album is to be cherished. A high point of the counter culture and one of the great albums of the late 60’s.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £7  LP  £25


Mark – Fopp Covent Garden

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on you – the best of Screaming Jay Hawkins

Unable to break through as an opera singer, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins became instead one of the most influential soul, R&B and rock n roll performers of all time. With his incredible stage presence and booming baritone voice, he was prone to emerging from coffins on state, kept a flaming skull named Henry as a companion and truly brought theatricality to rock n roll as an early pioneer of shock rock.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £4


Shell – Fopp Manchester


Captain Beefheart – Safe as Milk

Over 50 years after it’s release, this record sounds just as sour as it ever did. While not as whacked as the surrealistic masterpiece,Trout Mask Replica, Safe As Milk is not only one of Beefheart’s most accessible albums, but one of his most rewarding and consistent.  This is blues-rock gone slightly askew, with jagged, fractured rhythms, soulful, twisting vocals from Van Vliet, and more doo wop, soul, straight blues, and folk-rock influences than he would employ on his more avant-garde outings.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £11


Matt – Fopp Glasgow


ESG – Come Away with ESG

New York Post/Dance Punk legends bring their own rhythm on their 1983 debut. Taking a minimalist approach to funk by stripping away brass, guitar and keys and focusing primarily on vocals, bass and percussion. Groove is most certainly at the heart of this record as ESG deliver a hybrid of funk, punk and disco, paving the way for future Dance Punk acts such as LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture. Expect plenty of cowbell.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £13


Alex  – Fopp Covent Garden.


Squid – Bright Green Field

An energetic shouting match of vivid new wave, Krautrock, and post-punk influences, Bright Green Field is the much anticipated debut album from Squid. Across the album, which tops 50mins in length, the band veer between genres, styles and moods with abandon, mirroring the frightening, ever-changing political & cultural landscape it was created in. The music is busy, but rarely familiar, and certainly stimulating. On ‘Bright Green Field’ in all its weird, frantic and fantastic glory, they’ve gone above & beyond.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £8  LP  £30


Stewart  – Fopp Glasgow


Grateful Dead – Live/Dead

Fantastically recorded, this finds the dead in their element before an adoring stones audience. Live the Dead were a different beast achieving mind bending music that journeyed to realms other bands could only dream of. Here is their finest available performance of the mythical ‘Dark Star’ clocking in at 23 minutes long it is mind-boggling brilliant psychedelic heaven.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £9


Mark – Fopp Covent Garden

Madlib – Beat Konducta Vol. 5-6 – A tribute to J Dilla

Producer extraordinaire Madlib compiles a lengthy beat tape of instrumental hip-hop in tribute to his friend & collaborator – the late, great J Dilla. Made in the style of Dilla’s iconic ‘Donuts’ over 40 short vignettes whizz by boasting a frenzy of boom bap beats, boomin’ soul samples with all the fizz, crackle & hiss of vintage vinyl samples.



Fopp’s Price:  CD  £9


Frenchie – Fopp Manchester

Bee Gees – Main Course

Immediately preceding Saturday Night Fever, Main Course offers a departure from a pop sound and shows how adept the group were at making music with a heavy funk influence. Hinting at what’s to come, songs like ‘Wind of Change’ and well crafted hits ‘Nights on Broadway’ and ‘Jive Talking’ showcases their brilliant song writing talents. Ballads ‘Song Bird’ and ‘Come on Over’ the latter a throwback to their unique 60’s sound round out the album. If any doubts about the Bee Gees remained Main Course quashed them.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £10


Paul – Fopp Covent Garden


Sons of Kemet – Black to the future

This is the group’s masterwork to date, a thrillingly rich tapestry that combines passionate reflections on the meaning of black power, sharpened in particular by last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, with sonic love letters to black culture past and present. The visceral passages really slash deep, the moments of unbridled energy are exhilarating, and the meditative moments reach crescendos of total beauty.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £9  LP  £30


Hugh – Fopp Glasgow


Lankum – The Livelong Day

Released in 2019, this is the best record yet from this Dublin four-piece that are doing wonderful things with folk music. These mournfully sung ballads, A mixture of well-known traditional songs and their own originals, backed with uilleann pipes, a concertina and a harmonium with a droning heaviness more commonly associated with groups such as Sunn O))) or Swans. The results are gorgeous haunting and immersive.


Fopp’s Price:  CD  £9  LP  £30


Dom – Fopp Covent Garden



  • I am surprised Wet Leg’s album has not been recommend as the buzz at the music festivals I have been to so far this year Warrington Neighbourhood Weekender is Wet Leg is the band to see.

    Posted By Wayne Greenhalgh
  • Good picks!

    I’m surprised Matt in Glasgow didn’t mention that the 20 year old Ry Cooder played on Safe As Milk, and went on to do rather a lot since then. Interesting to note also that Zappa & Captain Beefheart met when they were at school together.

    I first heard Hot Rats on 6 March 1971 and I still listen to it every so often. It never goes stale, unlike many of the things I used to listen to. I know the date precisely as it was the day after I saw Led Zeppelin in Belfast when they played Stairway to Heaven live for the first time. I don’t think I listen to that quite so often 🙂

    Best wishes,

    Posted By Bryan

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