One chilly winter’s day, bored out of my mind as I trudged through the traditional pillars of cutting edge music in search of a hummable melody, I chose to acquaint myself with the UK’s Best Selling Studio Albums Of All Time. OK, so Adele, Oasis, Michael Jackson, Dire Straits and Simply Red have rarely, if ever, been a part of my regular listening, but the albums that sell and the albums that don’t have long been a source of fascination to me.

   I’ve often wondered why popularity in itself is such a strange thing. While the albums that sell in their millions should act as engine’s of influence, in reality it’s far more erratic than that. What most of the albums here represent is more cultural phenomenon than widespread, nationwide endorsement. Having said that, only a fool would claim that the likes of Leona Lewis, Dido or The Corrs were cultural phenomenon’s as opposed to minor non entities who got lucky by winning a TV talent show or capitalising on a late nineties/early noughties trend amongst casual, ‘conformist’ CD buyers for the most anodyne artists they could find.  

   Of course, across the decades there have been albums like Rumours and Dark Side Of The Moon that really are cultural phenomenon’s and continue to sell by the truck load as treasured, physical artefacts in the age of streaming. The resurrection of vinyl has certainly enhanced their reputation and maintained their presence in the rankings, sales boosted no doubt by Stevie Nick’s reincarnation as a Barbie doll modelled on the Rumours sleeve and the ubiquitous presence of Storm Thorgerson’s iconic Dark Side Of The Moon artwork.

   While Rumours and Dark Side Of The Moon were two albums I was looking forward to hearing for the first time in years, there were many more that weren’t quite so appealing. Almost half the albums here were known to me in some form or another, either as records once owned by my father, friends and girlfriends, or as vinyl ordered under a false name from Britannia Music Club but never paid for, a common scam in the seventies and eighties.

   Before embarking on my quest I set one simple rule which was to listen to one album per day from the Top 40 rankings listed in (with all the greatest hits, best of’s, soundtracks, compilations and Christmas albums excluded). One thing I did discover throughout the whole process was that a surprising number of albums I’d assumed to be mediocre ended up being rather good. Less surprising was how dreadful, and I mean truly dreadful, those that remained were. But then you probably guessed that already. After all, this piece isn’t called Now That’s Not What I Call Music for nothing!

   Anyway, here they are, rated and reviewed, the UK’s Best Selling Studio Albums Of All Time.  


February 2024


1. THE BEATLES / Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (May 1967)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘A Day In The Life’

More than 55 years after its original release, Sgt Pepper continues to reign supreme as the most well-known pop record ever made. The fact that it’s nowhere near the best pop album ever made, or even the best Beatles album, is irrelevant. Sgt Pepper exists beyond criticism, beyond the opinion of a seventies herbert like me for whom The Beatles as sacred deities is Trad Rock nonsense. Naturally, I did my duty and listened to it again, tapping my foot to all those end-of-the-pier tunes, safe in the knowledge that while it may be the UK’s Best Selling Studio Album Of All Time, I’ve never met anyone in my entire life who has admitted to owning the damn thing, much less liking it. 


2. ADELE / 21 (January 2011)

Rating: 2 / Favourite Track: ‘Lovesong’

My local pub has a regular Sunday afternoon slot for aspiring singer songwriters both young and old. Thanks to Adele, in amongst their inevitable batch of covers, most have a crack at The Cures brilliant ‘Lovesong’. Adele’s version is better than most, what with its gentle guitar and every woman vocals, but not that much better. As for the rest of 21, a part of me really likes Adele’s ordinariness and her ‘girl from Tottenham’ schmutter, but there’s no denying the one dimensional and terminally humdrum nature of her own songs.          


3. OASIS / (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (October 1995)

Rating: 4 / Favourite Track: ‘Champagne Supernova’’

Oasis suggested that the key component of rock’n’roll was its propensity for shifting units partly because by the older Gallagher’s own admission, he had literally nothing of consequence to say. Even so, very occasionally, in the mess made in order to make some easy money, Oasis sounded very nearly great (‘Champagne Supernova’, ‘Morning Glory, ‘Wonderwall’), which isn’t saying much if you consider a cross between Status Quo, Slade and The Beatles great. But there you are. A lot of folk in old Blighty did. 4,940,000 and counting to be precise.


4. MICHAEL JACKSON / Thriller (November 1982)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Thriller was the record that made the mainstream pop R&B album bigger than the classic rock album. Consisting of nine controlled, machine tooled songs by an artist with a seriously skewed moral compass, we fell for it in our millions, neatly ignoring the fact that for all of its professed ‘blackness’ and revolutionary breaking down of barriers, the once necessary sweat of soul had been replaced with the antiseptic smell of soap. No wonder its maker would do all he could to remove his face, his skin and every other outward sign that he was one of us.


5. FLEETWOOD MAC / Rumours (February 1977)

Rating: 8 / Favourite Track: ‘Gold Dust Woman’

As any serious music buff knows, Rumours came out of a tumultuous, year long period of cocaine, alcohol and disintegrating relationships within Fleetwood Mac. At the height of punk it was played everywhere, and if you had no interest in one J. Rotten Esq. you probably brought it too. My girlfriend did just that which was a source of great mirth amongst my punky mates. Ironically, over the course of our relationship I grew very fond of it, so much so that whenever I hear ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Go Your Own Way’ or ‘Gold Dust Woman’ I think of her. If that’s not the sign of a meaningful album, I don’t know what is.


6. PINK FLOYD / Dark Side Of The Moon (March 1973)

Rating: 8 / Favourite Track: ‘Brain Damage’/’Eclipse’

No matter whether you listen to it on the original vinyl album, on CD, an iPod or Spotify, Dark Side Of The Moon possesses a sense of scale and gravity that screams important. I could hear it in 1973 when my Hi-Fi loving old man played it to test his stereo system. And I could hear it at my local beach last summer when I spotted a gang of teens using it to soundtrack their weed smoking. That universal appeal across the decades is what continues to make the Dark Side Of The Moon so special, not forgetting Pink Floyds forte for taking Roger Waters relatively simple songs about madness, ageing and death and hitching them to the grandest cinematic arrangements they could find to produce an album far greater than the sum of its parts.


7. DIRE STRAITS / Brothers In Arms (May 1985)

Rating: 4 / Favourite Track: Brothers In Arms’

Dire Straits were one of those deeply uncool pub rock outfits who seemed to be around a lot in the early eighties. They were for the likes of my brother and the rest of the UK’s long haired, flare wearing, moustachioed, male populace for whom punk never happened. Forty years later those same lads have lost their hair and grown beards while Brothers In Arms still sounds like the overproduced mess of styles and questionable substance it always was. And yet, despite all that, since my soldier son was killed in Afghanistan, the title track has taken on a whole new significance for me personally, although I would also argue that given the current conflicts across the globe, its gentle, seven minute tale of a soldier dying on the battlefield is more relevant now than ever.   


8. AMY WINEHOUSE / Back To Black (October 2006)

Rating: 7 / Favourite Track: ‘Me & Mr Jones’

A prime, 21st Century candidate to join the pantheon of all time classic albums, Back To Black could so easily be the soundtrack to a cool, black and white, British film from the sixties about a girl desperately seeking fame who self-destruct’s the moment she achieves her dream. A bleak, troubling, 35 minutes of self-loathing and hopelessness, I really didn’t want to like Amy Winehouse, but in the end I couldn’t resist, songs like ‘Me & Mr Jones’, ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’ and ‘Addicted’ so striking and believable they made any doubts I had disappear.    


9. MICHAEL JACKSON / Bad (August 1987)

Rating: 4 / Favourite Track: ‘Man In The Mirror’

Back in the late eighties when Thatcher’s Social Security agents were breathing down my neck and money was scarce, in one of my About A Boy, Hugh Grant, Will Freeman character moments, I used to fantasise about how I’d written ‘Man In The Mirror’ for Bad and was able to live quite comfortably off the not inconsiderable proceeds for the rest of my life. The fact that my keyboard playing was restricted to one finger plonking was wholly irrelevant. As were the ten songs I didn’t fantasise about writing which felt curiously manufactured and emotionally cold.      


10. SIMPLY RED / Stars (September 1991)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Wonderland’

The definition of a champagne Socialist, the more Mick Hucknall lived out his rock star fantasy the slimier he became. Known in the mid-eighties for his role in Red Wedge and railing against Thatcher, a few traces of his lefty leanings remained on Stars, most notably on the smooth but predictable ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Your Mirror’. As for the rest, apart from the stonking ‘Something Got Me Started’, like a lot of the albums here the songs seemed to fade into forgettable nothingness the longer they went on.   


11. ED SHEERAN / ÷ (March 2017)

Rating: 2 / Favourite Track: ‘Eraser’

Ed Sheeran wants us to know that he doesn’t much fancy celebrity and likes to use his fame and fortune to convince us how ordinary he is, which is odd because on every song he sings, Ed Sheeran’s love for himself shines through time and time again. And that’s my main gripe about him, well that and his tendency to steal the style and sound of others, not that I can put my finger on exactly who. Listen to ‘Eraser’, another song with Ed half rapping about how great Ed is, and tell me otherwise.


12. ADELE / 25 (November 2015)

Rating: 3 / Favourite Track: ‘Million Years Ago’

The impact of Amy Winehouse and Back To Black led to a wave of female artists working with the same retro soul accoutrements. At one point there seemed to be dozens of them with Adele the most successful. Her third album 25 was notable for including ‘A Million Tears’, the one Adele song I can bear to hear regularly. Worth three stars on its own and thankfully free of her usual Shirley Bassey bluster, it reminds me of the melancholy, Dusty Springfield songs my father used to play when I was a boy.   


13. ED SHEERAN / x (June 2014)

Rating: 3 / Favourite Track: ‘Runaway’

Ed Sheeran knows which side his bread is buttered and that’s why self-confessed music snobs like me look down on him. Relationship songs, often with an uneasy undercurrent of Ed sounding creepy, are what his whole nice bloke next door image is based on, although x was a little different. Influenced by (God help us!) urban music, the name of Pharrell Williams amongst the eight producers was a bit of a giveaway. In fact, it was his ‘Runaway’ that proved to be my favourite, if only because of its uncanny likeness to early noughties boyband Blue. I kid you not! 


14. SHANIA TWAIN / Come On Over (February 1998)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Honey, I’m Home’

At times similar sonically to Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Shania Twain and her then hubby, producer and co-writer Mutt Lange hit upon a new pop formula with the faintest tinge of country. Paving the way for strong, independent women like Taylor Swift, in Shania’s hands it turned a certain type of man into a slobbering wreck, which was kind of ironic given how empowering songs like 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!', ‘Honey, I’m Home’ and ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ were aimed at those self-same, sexist arseholes.


15. MEAT LOAF / Bat Out Of Hell (October 1977)

Rating: 1 / Favourite Track: ‘Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad’

From the opening pomp of the title track, Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s rotting corpse of an album takes me back to Julie Burchill’s declaration that ‘So many smug saps think they are rebels, but anything that can fit into Rock’s Rich Tapestry is dead at heart.’ Bat Out Of Hell is the epitome of that philosophy, one listen to its bloated, Trad Rock tunes enough to make Ed Sheeran sound revolutionary. While some records from the past have received absolution, hopefully this stinker never will.


16. JAMES BLUNT / Back To Bedlam October 2004)

Rating: 3 / Favourite Track: ‘Wiseman’

For a privileged, middle class, ex-army officer who saw action in Kosovo, James Blunt comes across as a decent, self-effacing fellow so I’m not going to knock Back To Bedlam, which incidentally was roundly ignored by the album buying masses until ‘You’re Beautiful’ took it into the stratosphere. Anyway, as you would expect, while it has little to do with music culture as I know it, if nothing else it excels as a comforting, soothing balm after a troubled, hectic day.   


17. THE VERVE / Urban Hymns (September 1997)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘Lucky Man’

Urban Hymns was a Richard Ashcroft solo album in all but name, Verve co-founder and guitarist Nick McCabe only returning to the fold a couple of years after the singer split up the group to get rid of him. In an impossible situation McCabe did his best but in the end only helped out on four songs to finish the album off. And that’s why as a collection of songs Urban Hymns fails to stand up as a cohesive work. Admittedly the three singles, ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ and ‘Lucky Man’ are up there with the best songs of the nineties, but after that there are far too many desperately dull, overlong, mid-tempo ballads typical of the kind of song Richard Ashcroft would base the rest of his career on.  


18. SIMON & GARFUNKEL / Bridge Over Troubled Water (January 1970)

Rating: 7 / Favourite Track: ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’

There’s plenty of singer songwriters on this playlist but none who can match the greatness of Paul Simon. This is another album my father owned so songs like the title track, ‘El Condor Pasa’, ‘The Boxer’ and ‘The Only Living Boy In New York’ have been a part of my life since I first became aware of music. Consequently, it’s virtually impossible for me to be objective about an album that is a reminder of my early adolescence and a period in my life that may have been simpler but was shrouded in uncertainty and unhappiness.


19. LEONA LEWIS / Spirit (November 2007)

Rating: 0 / Favourite Track: ‘Bleeding Love’

Spirit was the biggest selling album to come out of the X Factor, its success guaranteeing a further decade of Simon Cowell puppets being rammed down the throat of a naïve British public. Predictably then, this is not an album that deserves more than a millisecond of your time. That is unless your idea of sonic heaven is a collection of songs by a Whitney Houston clone on which no ballad can be too sincere, no crescendo too dramatic and every lyric is reminiscent of a sickly sweet, puke inducing, Richard Curtis romcom.  


20. MICHAEL BUBLE / Crazy Love (October 2009)

Rating: 0 / Favourite Track: ‘Heartache Tonight’

I always want old music to sound old but I get why there’s some folk out there who want old music to sound like modern pop. I really do. What I don’t get is a singer like Michael Bublé sticking to a big band, swing sound on an album of pointless originals and even more pointless standards that have been covered a million times before. As the NME commented at the time: ‘It’s quite fitting that the artwork resembles the police tape you see at crime scenes, warning the public to keep away at all costs’.


21. DIDO / No Angel (June 1999)

Rating: 2 / Favourite Track: ‘Thank You’

Two stars for gifting Eminem ‘Thank You’. Without him Dido would have been nowhere. That’s not being cynical. That’s a fact.  


22. DAVID GRAY / White Ladder (November 1998)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Please Forgive Me

Unceremoniously dumped by EMI in 1996, David Gray recorded his fourth album in his London flat and released it to the world, an unassuming collection of folk pop songs about love and loss by an anonymous everyman who before too long could be heard everywhere. OK, so there’s an argument to be had that White Ladder selling in its millions offered a ray of hope to every singer songwriter brave enough to bare their soul in a world where dishonesty and deceit are the norm, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily a good thing.       


23. KINGS OF LEON / Only By The Night (September 2008)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Notion’

I witnessed the Kings Of Leon live in 2005 and was astounded. They were the best thing I’d seen in years and their first two albums Youth & Young Manhood and Aha Shake Heartbreak were amongst the best I’d heard. Perhaps they should have split up then because what followed was a gradual evaporation of their youthful powers, Because Of The Times the first indicator that they were going awry. Then came Only By The Night, ‘Sex On Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody’. Adversely influenced by a tour supporting U2, overnight they went from being one of the coolest groups on the planet to bonafide rock giants. I didn’t like it. What’s more, as the law of diminishing artistic returns kicked in, I’m not sure they did either.


24. LADY GAGA / The Fame (August 2008)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘Poker Face’

In 2009 former songwriter to the stars Stefani Germanotta was just one in a series of new pop artists determined to set us free from the horrors of landfill indie by ‘defying all the preconceptions we have of pop music’. Obviously she did no such thing, her synth heavy, R&B influenced pop not dissimilar to an annoyingly pretentious and shallow version of Gwen Stefani. However, the one thing she did do was write some fantastically addictive tunes. The Fame is full of them. And in the world of pop that is the only thing that matters.   


25. COLDPLAY / A Rush Of Blood To The Head (August 2002)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘God Put A Smile Upon Your Face’

The polite, pleasant and notoriously middle-class Coldplay’s second album had a bizarre sense of instant familiarity that was wholly down to Chris Martin and chums well-crafted songwriting and a rare aura of wave-your-lighters-in-the-air inclusiveness. Finely wrought and realised yet devoid of the charming idiosyncrasy of their debut, listening to A Rush Of Blood To The Head now the comparison with A-Ha makes a lot more sense; comfortable rather than challenging, varied without being original, yet none too shabby all the same.


26. ROBBIE WILLIAMS / I’ve Been Expecting You (October 1998)

Rating: 4 / Favourite Track: ‘Strong’

This needy, gurning, gimp of a manchild was my wife’s big crush in the late nineties, so I was fully aware of I’ve Been Expecting You before I sat down to rate it. I was even looking forward to hearing it for the first time in 25 years. And yet, five seconds into opener ‘Strong’ I honestly thought I’d pressed play on Oasis by mistake, such was the intro’s similarity to ‘All Around The World’. And from that point on, I was genuinely shocked by how much of I’ve Been Expecting You reminds me of other artists, and how the notoriously big headed Robster was really nothing more than a karaoke Tom Jones with an alarming lack of subtlety, talent or self-awareness.


27. SPICE GIRLS / Spice (September 1996)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘If U Can’t Dance’

I have nothing to say about the Spice Girls that hasn’t been said already apart from Spice exceeding all my expectations, the Digital Underground, ‘Humpty Dance’ sampling ‘If U Can’t Dance’ easily the best song on it. 


28. ALANIS MORISSETTE / Jagged Little Pill (June 1995)

Rating: 2 / Favourite Track: ‘You Learn’ 

A white, middle-class Canadian with a strict Catholic upbringing, quite how Alanis Morissette could sell 3 million albums in the UK remains a mystery. Once again, I’ve never met anyone who admits to owning this dreadful, grunge influenced slice of suburban angst that is the embodiment of that particularly grisly, peculiarly North American genre, ‘Alternative Rock’.      


29. THE CORRS / Talk On Corners (October 1997)

Rating: 0 / Favourite Track: ‘What Can I Do’ [Tin Tin Out Remix] from April 1998 Revised Edition

The worst album here by a distance, I found Talk On Corners inoffensiveness offensive whereas the other albums I rated low were merely boring and pointless. The Corrs were both of those things but much, much worse, their clichéd, tin whistle, Irish folk, pop slop even grimmer than Ed Sheeran’s horrendous ‘Galway Girl’. In fact, so grim was it that the only track I could find that didn’t make me want to run screaming into a darkened room was Tin Tin Out’s remix of ‘What Can I Do’ from the 1998 re-released edition.


30. DIDO / Life For Rent (September 2003)

Rating: 0 / Favourite Track: ‘See The Sun’

As if No Angel wasn’t bad enough, Life For Rent is more of the same but with no ‘Thank You’ for Eminem to repurpose.     


31. TAKE THAT / Beautiful World (November 2006)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘Shine’

Another album I’d heard before, in the land of the boy band Take That are kings and Beautiful World a fine pop album. Always the more ‘alternative’ one as opposed to Gary Barlow’s Mr Showbiz persona, the wonky ELO-isms of Mark Owen’s ‘Shine’ and ‘What You Believe In’ work spectacularly well while the greatest surprise of all is reserved for Jason Orange’s Ringo moment on the acoustic ‘Wooden Boat’, a genuinely affecting song and a suitably fitting finale.     


32. U2 / The Joshua Tree (March1987)

Rating: 7 / Favourite Track: ‘Running To Stand Still’

In 1987 Bono talked a lot about writing ‘real’ songs and U2 joining the pantheon of classic rock greats. It was as if he had swallowed Rock’s Rich Tapestry whole and was doing his utmost to turn his group into a dizzying American mish mash of Dylan, the Stones, Hendrix and Springsteen. It was on The Joshua Tree that his dream turned into reality, but the real fun came in guessing the influence on undeniably great songs like 'Where The Streets Have No Name’, ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’, ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ and the finest of the lot, ‘Running To Stand Still’. 


33. KEANE / Hopes And Fears (May 2004)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Untitled 1’

Like most folk I blame Coldplay, but if you really think about it, the early noughties propensity for sensitive, radio friendly groups trying earnestly to recreate Radiohead’s ‘High And Dry’ goes back to Travis and their brand of maudlin dross. In 2004, Keane were just the latest in a long line of groups to take up the baton, singer Tom Chaplin’s soothing voice on their twelve tender melodies washing over me one after the other until I literally nodded off.   


34. JEFF WAYNE / The War Of The Worlds (June 1978)

Rating: 7 / Favourite Track: ‘The Eve Of The War’

A young DJ friend of mine who spent his youth raving told me recently that his favourite album flips between the Human Leagues Dare and The War Of The Worlds. I was taken aback at first, but then Jeff Wayne’s musical telling of the H.G. Wells classic is not unlike the Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon in both stature and magnificence. Both represent big moments in seventies music culture that have transcended the decades to attract new generations who continue to delight in their greatness. And I must say, having never really bothered with it before, The War Of The Worlds really was an unexpected treat, Richard Burton’s immaculate narration eminently listenable, even when the music began to sound a little dated.         


35. COLDPLAY / X&Y (June 2005)

Rating: 3 / Favourite Track: ‘Swallowed In The Sea’

Their limited charm evaporating fast, I found Coldplay’s third album X&Y impossible to care about, ‘Swallowed In The Sea’ one of several ballads sounding like they had been written for those doyens of seventies easy listening, The Carpenters. Had my father been alive he would have loved it.


36. SCISSOR SISTERS / Scissor Sisters (February 2004)

Rating: 6 / Favourite Track: ‘Lovers In The Backseat’

Struggling to stay afloat in a becalmed sea full of meaningless artists and sonic nothingness, the Scissor Sisters debut proved to be my lifebelt, taking me back to the glitter ball romps and dramatic glam ballads of my teenage. I guess it’s the kind of album I would have expected from a gang of arty New York kids, songs like the unquestionably brilliant singles ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’ and ‘Take Your Mama’, and album tracks ‘Lovers In The Backseat’ and ‘Music Is The Victim’, letting me know that despite their retro influences, they remained firmly in the here and now. 


37. MIKE OLDFIELD / Tubular Bells (May 1973)

Rating: 5 / Favourite Track: ‘Side One’

Another of my father’s ‘stereo’ records, my interest in Mike Oldfield perked up when I discovered he had been raised in Western Elms Avenue, Reading, then a salubrious tree lined road of big detached houses, now a rapidly declining part of bedsit land.  Not that I felt like an album by a talented old hippy from my hometown had anything to do with me. An acknowledged prog rock masterpiece, it remains nice enough if you’ve got fifty minutes to spare but not something I would choose to listen to again.


38. PHIL COLLINS / But Seriously (November 1989)

Rating: 1 / Favourite Track: ‘Colours’

Hearing this atrocity immediately took me back to a time when Phil Collins was the anti-Christ and I wanted him dead for producing songs so cold, calculated and smug that the least offensive thing on But Seriously was the five minutes too long ‘Colours’, if only because it carried within it the faintest ghost of Peter Gabriel and 1974, Lamb Lies Down On Broadway era Genesis.     


39. COLDPLAY / Parachutes (July 2000)

Rating: 7 / Favourite Track: ‘Trouble’

In the year 2000, before Coldplay became the Coldplay of today, Parachutes ten songs had an innocent, down to earth charm, many of them genuinely spine tingling. Flawed yet brilliant, exhilarating yet tender, confident yet shy, once upon a time Coldplay really were quite good. 


40. TRACY CHAPMAN / Tracy Chapman (April 1988)

Rating: 4 / Favourite Track: ‘Talkin’ Bout A Revolution’

Another earnest singer songwriter, in 2015 I reviewed Tracy Chapman’s debut and rated it one out of ten. This time around it sounded better, songs like the socially conscious ‘Fast Car’ and ‘Talkin’ Bout A Revolution’ agreeable enough in her folky, stripped back way. Obviously, I still can’t understand why it has proved so popular with UK album buyers, but then that goes for most of the albums here!