Waxx Lyrical is Australia’s brand new vinyl subscription club – a service aimed at helping lovers build their collection, and to bring together a community of vinyl aficionados and give them the chance to chat, trade and explore an online platform dedicated to all things wax.
Last week we had a chat to Waxx Lyrical’s Sam Flinn about his thoughts on vinyl’s comeback, what we can expect from the service and what it is he loves about wax. Since then they’ve officially launched the club and now we’re eagerly awaiting the very first record of the month, set to drop October 1st.
While we wait, we asked Sam to tell us about those records that inspired such a deep passion for music – and undoubtably, those that Waxx Lyrical wouldn’t exist without.
Sam Flinn, the man behind Australia’s newest vinyl subscription service, Waxx Lyrical, weighs in on his 10 favourite records of all time.
Nas – Illmatic
A genuinely influential album and one considered by many as the best hip hop record of all time, it was a major catalyst behind the revival of the New York/East Coast rap scene and critically acclaimed for Nas’ lyricism throughout. A favourite record of both my brother and I growing up. We had the chance together to see Nas perform the album in its entirety when he toured it celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release back in 2014.
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
I could have picked ten The Smiths or Morrissey albums here but The Queen is Dead is possibly the most rounded of that bunch, Mozza and Johnny Marr both at their absolute peak. It’s vulgar, comical, interesting, controversial, poetic, charismatic and nothing short of genius. If had the chance to have any three people round for a dinner party I would invite Morrissey and throw the other two invites away. I’ve also got a portrait of the man himself tattooed on my arm, not sure if you can tell if I’m a fan?
Stone Roses – Stone Roses
Influenced by The Smiths amongst others, Stone Roses released their debut and self titled 1989 album and with that created a culture which lives on to this day – Madchester. Psychedelic guitar riffs from John Squire, funky bass from Mani, the casually chaotic drums of Reni and all led by king monkey at the front, Ian Brown. Without this album there wouldn’t have been an Oasis, Primal Scream or even Jagwar Ma. Well not as we know them anyway.
Gorillaz – Demon Days
I remember falling asleep in the back of the car as a kid, heading back from family holidays at the caravan park and mum and dad would pop the Demon Days CD on. Although largely a dark and haunting track list, I’ve always found it therapeutic and equally emotional. I don’t think i’ve ever listened to this album in daylight, it suits a dark room with a single flickering flame and a glass of wine. The best virtual band there ever was of course.
Ice Cube – The Predator
RAW. That’s probably the best way to describe it. I loved Cube back in the days of N.W.A and after, when he was angry, fully charged and armed with a message. Released in ’91 in the aftermath of the LA riots this album highlights the atmosphere of the era. It’s tense, anxious and relevant. My love for this album is so strong it’s led to possibly the only arm in the world that features portraits of Morrissey and Ice Cube next to each other (mine).
Massive Attack – Blue Lines
I can’t believe this album is over 25 years old, it sounds ahead of the time even now. 3D and Daddy G with help from Tricky, Shara Nelson and Horace Andy oozing cool and calm. Crossing a multitude of genres from soul, dance, hip hop and blues it gave birth to ‘trip hop’. The great street artist Banksy is widely rumoured to actually be Massive Attack’s 3D, I don’t believe that though, I think there’s more than one talented person from Bristol.
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Hands down Arcade Fire’s best album for me and one that took them to that next level. Bright, over the top and dramatic. It could be seen as a criticism and has been by some but perhaps those people need to appreciate it for what it is and that’s a bloody triumph! Many of the songs may be long but much like the time I went to see The Cure and after 3 hours they played 5 encores, they still didn’t go on long enough. You can never have too much of a good thing.
The Jam – Setting Sons
Again, struggled to narrow it down to just one album from The Jam. The Mod father Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler joined forces to lead the mod revival, a great era for British music. The Jam were played on repeat in our house growing up and I think my parents had every single album. The first gig my parents ever took my brother and I to was Paul Weller at the famous Manchester Apollo in the North West of England. I couldn’t think of a better way to be introduced to live music.
The Housemartins – London 0 Hull 4
An album that reflected lead singer Paul Heaton’s interests at the time, Christianity and Marxism. If you don’t like talking religion and politics, don’t be put off, its jangly indie pop tones are easy to enjoy and if you do like talking religion and politics then it’s even easier to enjoy. Listening to this album now it’s hard to believe that bass player Norman Cook went on to become legendary DJ and producer Fat Boy Slim, although I preferred his days in The Housemartins.
Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
Last but by no means least, Curtis Mayfield is super fly. Let’s be honest, he was the coolest mother f*cker. The album released as a soundtrack to the movie of the same name brought the social struggles of ghetto life to main stream African-American music. Songs like Pusherman and Freddies Dead recounted tales and events from his childhood and acted as messages of anti-drug use and self-awareness. Although Mayfield’s life started and ended in difficult circumstances he’ll forever be remembered as one of the most influential role models and musical social commentators and Superfly incapsulates that exactly.