Greatest albums revisited: does music need a new canon?

About this ThinkIn

Traditionally, “greatest album ever” lists have been dominated by white, male musicians of a certain age. In the last decade, music and the way we listen to it has changed completely. In this ThinkIn, legendary music critic Pete Paphides will make the case that these lists do matter. Along with musicians from genres right across the spectrum – think grime, D&B, reggae, trip-hop, Brit-funk – and of course our Tortoise members, together we’ll have a go at compiling a new canon of “greatest albums” that better reflects who we are today.


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EDITOR AND experts

Liz Moseley
Members’ Editor

Pete Paphides
A music writer, broadcaster and record collector since 1992, Pete Paphides has worked for publications such as The Times, Q, Mojo, The Guardian and Record Collector, he has interviewed The Bee Gees, Beyoncé, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Blur and Radiohead.

Norman Jay MBE
Norman arguably one of the finest and most respected deejays in the world today. His latest book Mister Good Times is the enthralling story of a black kid growing up in a (largely white) working class world; of the emerging club scene growing out of a melting pot of styles.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Sophie’s Instagram Live Kitchen Disco’s during the Covid-19 lockdown were a means of virtual escapism for many, and became weekly moments of united sequinned catharsis for the hundreds of thousands tuning in. Sophie has a new album Songs From The Kitchen Disco, which is a collection of the songs of classic glitter ball staples and Sophie’s own dancefloor-beckoning bangers from across her seven albums, as well as a variety of well-known classics including Our House by Madness and My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music, in a thoroughly domestic Studio-54 sensation for disco divas of all ages.

Sarathy Korwar
Sarathy grew up in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India. He began playing tabla aged 10, but was also drawn to the American music that he heard on the radio and has since established himself as one of the most original and compelling voices in the UK jazz scene, leading the UPAJ Collective – a loose band of South Asian jazz and Indian classical musicians. Korwar released his second studio album, More Arriving, which is an honest reflection of Korwar’s experience of being an Indian in Britain, incorporating rappers from Mumbai and New Delhi, spoken word and his own Indian classical and jazz performances.