From Yoko Ono to Aaliyah and beyond...

With the news today that Dr. Dre’s classic debut record ‘Chronicle’ had only just been added to Spotify as of today, we thought that we’d look back at what other seminal records have so far neglected Spotify...

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My Bloody Valentine - 'Loveless'

It’s not often that albums come to define whole genres. This was very much the case with My Bloody Valentine whose album ‘Loveless’ came to be the essential guide to shoegaze.

Releases on Alan McGee’s legendary Creation Records, the second album of My Bloody Valentine was the result of meticulous tinkering from Kevin Shields who played most of the instruments himself and wrote most of the lyrics.

It was an inventive record that pushed the boundaries of what guitar music could be and created some of the most beautiful textures heard on record.

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Aaliyah - 'Aaliyah'

The third and final album from Aaliyah and clearly her best work. The artist tragically died aged just 22 in a plane crash.

Her personal life constantly in the public eye due to alleged relations with R. Kelly who produced her debut album ‘Ain’t Nothing But A Number’. Her third record mixed elements of pop, hip-hop and R&B. Her influence is still being felt by artists today, most notably being an influence on Solange. 

The release of Aaliyah onto streaming platforms is up in the air, Blackground Records, run by members of her family faced operational and legal issues. There have been attempts at a re-release, but nothing has yet materialised.

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Joanna Newsom - 'Ys'

Joanna Newsom once described Spotify as, “the banana of the music industry. It just gives off a fume”. Going on to say that, “Spotify is like a villainous cabal of major labels” amongst other labels. I don’t think we’ll see her music on the platform anytime soon, although there is hope as she did allow her music onto Apple Music.

Her music dubbed, “prog-folk” her arrangements are vastly detailed, and the 55-minute album only contains five separate tracks. But each arrangement is vast and complicated, packed with information, each separate listen deciphering something new and ultimately rewarding your patience.

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Yoko Ono - 'Season Of Glass'

Yoko Ono’s collaborative efforts can be found on Spotify but not her own individual projects.

'Season Of Glass' was her first album after the murder of her husband. His presence is everywhere throughout the album, yet never explicitly mentioned. The liner notes on the album even stating that it was not dedicated to him because he was “one of us”. 

But there can be no doubt that the album evokes Ono’s sense of grief felt after the loss of her husband. The art on this album is a direct reflection of life. The album utilises different facets such as dance rock, new wave and pop-rock, with her lyrics spoken as often as sung.

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Frank Ocean - 'Nostalgia, Ultra'

'Nostalgia, Ultra' mixtape was the first mixtape from Frank Ocean after his time with Odd Future and after spending time writing songs for the likes of Justin Bieber, and John Legend amongst others.

The mixtape however is now a rare artefact, after Ocean was caught up in a legal dispute for sampling The Eagles' classic ‘Hotel California’. Only two tracks from the mixtape can now be found on Spotify, ‘Swim Good’ and ‘Novacane’, with the rest unavailable to be streamed.

The significance of this mixtape should not be underestimated with it being a clear launchpad for his stellar albums ‘Blonde’ and ‘Channel Orange’.

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Words: Matthew Pywell

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