Charnock and Russell’s Top 7 Liverpool Albums of All Time

 December 5, 2008         3 Comments

I asked esteemed countrysmiths Charnock and Russell to compile a Top Ten Liverpool albums article for Liverpool Culture Blog, fully aware that I’d get a list of Beatles-and-Shack-based folksy stuff.

They could only think of seven they particularly liked, so the (shortened) list is in full below. If you’re outraged by the lack of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Badfinger, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Scaffold, Billy Fury, The Real Thing, Deaf School, Echo and the Bunnymen, Might Wah!, Elvis Costello, Icicle Works, A Flock of Seagulls, China Crisis, Teardrop Explodes, Big in Japan, It’s Immaterial, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Dead or Alive, OMD, The Christians, Black, The Lightning Seeds, The KLF, Benny Profane, The Farm, The La’s, The Boo Radleys, Ooberman, Cast, Space, Atomic Kitten, Amsterdam, The Bandits, Tramp Attack, Odega, The Stands, Ladytron, The Little Flames, The Zutons, The Basement, Dead 60’s, Flamingo 50, Zombina and the Skeletones or Candie Payne, then vent your fury below.

If you’re annoyed about the absence of The Wombats, don’t be – they’re terrible.

Top ten Liverpool albums

The Magical World of The Strands – Michael Head

Jazz/folk smacked out brilliance. On first hearing this it may motivate an musician/artist to use heroin as their muse but one must quickly acknowledge that you do not have Mick Head’s genius to pull this off.

Faves are Queen Matilda and X Hits the Spot, something hazily beautiful born out of the fog of addiction.

Help! – The Beatles

People say Gram Parson invented country rock or cosmic American music but do they remember McCartney’s I’ve Just Seen a Face here from 1965, such a country influenced song that genuine American bluegrass legends The Dillards covered it?

More countrification with the Ringo sung Buck Owens cover Act Naturally, a great vocal and due credit to the much-maligned Beatle.

Lennon tries to be Dylan on the stoner song You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away which is always played on documentaries when discussing Brian Epstein so we remember, by subtle implication, that he was a homosexual.

Revolver – The Beatles

Acid rock! The Beatles chiming Epiphone Casinos harmonise beautifully on And Your Bird Can Sing, an “elegantly classical/Baroque leitmotif” (Alan W Pollock ‘Notes on The Beatles’).

Someone said this was about Mick Jagger because his bird, Marianne Faithfull, could sing. But she couldn’t really and surely Lennon would have known this so I am not sure about this anecdote.

This album followed on from Rubber Soul and I think George Harrison said they were like Volume 1 and Volume 2. You can almost smell the marijuana smoke but, like Mick Head, don’t try this at home unless you are already a genius.

Remember, if you are genetically predisposed to mental illness marijuana might just give you paranoid psychosis or schizophrenia.

Greatest Hits – The Coral

As good as Alan Partridge’s Best of The Beatles, these less indigenous scousers write scores of catchy tunes with beautiful country influenced guitar by erstwhile member Bill Ryder-Jones. Jacqueline is lovely and, if she exists, I would like to meet their muse.

Unfortunately, Noel Gallagher’s endorsement of the band is the kiss of death which I hope they survive.

Paul and Linda McCartney – Ram

Hope this still counts as they probably were living on a big farm in Scotland when this was made. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey is another great example of McCartney’s knack for two songs in one, like Day in the Life or Band on the Run. 

This song was used very aptly when Del Boy and Rodney fall out with Uncle Albert and lose him in a Christmas special of Only Fools and Horses, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if John Sullivan wrote this specifically to use the music.

3 EPs (Voot/Cement Mixer/Monkey On Your Back) – Clinic

Not strictly an album but it was the first long playing release from those edgy doo wop punks Clinic. A great two fingers to scouse musicians’ obsession with everything 60s and Clinic don’t even play in Liverpool. So fuck you scousers!

Achtung Bono – Half Man Half Biscuit

Haven’t actually ever heard this album but it beats The White Album to this top ten for the title alone.

Charnock and Russell are not a firm of solicitors but an almost Liverpool-based country rock outfit


  1. Word Ross!

    Get on to HMHB’s Back in the DHSS – the CD (yes CD) includes the Trumpton Riots EP too – ‘1966 and all that’ is special.

    Speak your brain!

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