26 Oct, 2017
Nigel House is the co-owner and manager of Britain's (or maybe the world's) best record shop, Rough Trade, which is right next door to our sister business Pedlars in Notting Hill. Everyone who works at Rough Trade knows and loves music; but Nigel knows the most and his enthusiasm is infectious. Here are what Nigel considers to be the best records for The Great Outdoors.
The Village Green Preservation Society (Pye, 1968)
Sepia tinted pictures of a summer idyll that may or may not have ever existed. Perfection that personifies English towns and villages.
United Kingdoms (Warner, 1993)
Robert Wyatt -surely the greatest living British vocalist- sings on two tracks of this almost perfect pastoral electronica.
Last (Rabble Rouser, 2011)
Their best release so far with its mixture of minimalist production and pure vocal harmonies. With its roots in traditional folk, this travels far beyond that with its more varied instrumentation.
VAN DYKE PARKS
Discover America (Rykodisc, 1972)
A crazy mixture of calypso, country and exotica. Perfect for long sunny days.
Hotwalker (Hightone, 2005)
If you ever drive down the west coast of the US, make sure you have this on the CD player - tales of grifters, Bukowski, Lenny Bruce, Kerouac and railways.
The Sleeper (Willkommen, 2009)
Wistful and probably the closest we have to a modern Kinks. Blissful.
Astral Weeks (Warner, 1968)
Could just hve easily been Moondance - just such a great mixture of Irish tinged folk and jazz.
Greatest Misses (Domino, 2004)
The only album on which you can find his version of Shipbuilding - Elvis Costello's best ever song.
PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA
Penguin Cafe Orchestra (EG Virgin, 1987)
Their second album, this is the English countryside laid down on record.
Original soundtrack (Warner, 1984)
Ry Cooder's finest soundtrack. Just listen to Harry Dean Stanton's voice. Perfection.
All American Made (Third Man, 2017)
Both of Margo's albums are great - true classics of country music, owing as much to George Jones as Emmylou Harris. Just imagine yourself on those endless midwest plains, or equally the rolling green hills of England. And her live show totally rocks.
Waiting On A Song (Easy Eye Sound, 2017)
Half of the Black Keys and this is just a great set of singalong pop rock that the Keys do so well. Borderline cheese, but there is nothing wrong with that!
Updated from The Pedlars Guide to The Great Outdoors, by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone and Kate Burt.
Photo: Jonathan Cherry