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Shining.

Wendy Carlos - Stanley Kubrick's Clockwork Orange

Classic greats like Beethoven's Ninth Sympony get impeccable treatment by an uncredited orchestra, then are transfigured by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind into jaunty and awesomely complex electronic perfection on this kaleidoscope of an album, which includes the surpassingly weird "Timesteps," a synth masterpiece way ahead of its time.  Erika Eigen's ridiculous folk bromide "I Want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper" with its gurgled coda "How about you?" adds to the fun.  1972

Simple Minds - Once Upon a Time

These striving songs go beyond their straight-ahead arena-rock sound with lyrics that mine a seam of spiritual loneliness and masculine resolve: "Sweet hours to live/ I got no time to kill/ I said hold back those arms raised/ Hold back the bill."  1985

Chumbawamba - Tubthumper

Punky, scrappy, and very well made, this album fuses opposites: drink and church, fight and comfort, harsh melancholy and harmonic grandeur, the bitter alcoholic musings of a betrayed leftist and an Anglican choir. It caused an uproar among purist Chumbawamba fans, who seemed to feel that this band, by recording with a major label, had betrayed some kind of moral obligation to toil in obscurity.  1997  

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