Chart for stowaways – 9 February 2019

These are the week’s top albums:

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  3. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  4. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  6. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  7. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  8. The Grid – Electric Head
  9. Sébastien Tellier – Politics
  10. Madness – The Very Best Of
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Chart for stowaways – 26 January 2019

Here are the week’s top albums:

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  3. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  4. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  6. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  7. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  8. The Grid – Electric Head
  9. Saint Etienne – London Conversations – The Best of
  10. Culture Club & Boy George – Life

Chart for stowaways – 12 January 2019

Here’s the latest album chart:

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  3. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  4. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  6. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  7. The Grid – Electric Head
  8. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  9. David Bowie – Glastonbury 2000
  10. Culture Club & Boy George – Life

Chart for stowaways – 29 December 2018

Let’s quickly catch up on the last album chart of 2018…

  1. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  3. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  4. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  6. The Grid – Electric Head
  7. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  8. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  9. David Bowie – Glastonbury 2000
  10. Culture Club & Boy George – Life

Albums chart of the year 2018

  1. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  2. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  3. Sparks – Hippopotamus [number 21 in 2017]
  4. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury [number 13 in 2017]
  5. The Human League – Secrets [released in 2001, number 170 in 2017]
  6. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  7. Tracey Thorn – Record
  8. David Bowie – Legacy [number 27 in 2016, number 4 in 2017]
  9. Kylie Minogue – Golden
  10. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  11. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  12. The Grid – Electric Head
  13. Jon Hopkins – Singularity
  14. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  15. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  16. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon [released in 1973, number 11 in 2017]
  17. Gorillaz – The Now Now
  18. Goldfrapp – Silver Eye [number 7 in 2017]
  19. Chvrches – Love Is Dead
  20. Culture Club & Boy George – Life

Chart for stowaways – 1 December 2018

Here’s the latest album chart:

  1. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  2. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  3. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  4. The Grid – Electric Head
  5. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  6. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  7. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  8. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  9. Primal Scream – Give Out But Don’t Give Up – Original
  10. Culture Club & Boy George – Life

The Grid – Evolver

Fans of mid-1990s dance music cannot fail to be aware of The Grid‘s third album Evolver, and the huge hit singles that came from it. Famously named in homage to The Beatles‘ Revolver, this is the album where Richard Norris and Soft Cell‘s Dave Ball finally made their impact on the world of dance music.

It opens with Wake Up,

The second track was also the third single, the adorable Rollercoaster,

The huge hit from this album, and probably honestly the only reason most people remember anything about The Grid, was its second single, the joyful banjo-meets-trance track Swamp Thing,

There’s little else here with quite that same level of energy, but that isn’t necessarily a problem. Throb

The big surprise, in many ways, with The Grid is just how different each of their albums was – 1990 debut Electric Head is deliciously electronic pop, with some underground leanings, and 1992’s 456 is a transitory album, with only its final single Crystal Clear really sounding anything like Evolver. Then after a long break, 2008’s Doppelgänger is pure house.

With that in mind, it’s a little surprising just how unchallenging some of this album’s central tracks such as Rise

Some tracks do stand out though, for all of that, and Shapes of Sleep

Higher Peaks has a slightly different mood, sounding a bit more like a self-help tape than anything else we’ve heard up to now. But this is a long album, and it’s easy to get lost in between the hits.

Finally, we get the brilliant Texas Cowboys, released twice, as both the first and last single from this album, hitting number 21 and 17 respectively. The huge sirens, whiplash samples, and vocals are just mesmerising. This is easily the best track on here – it may not have had the novelty appeal of the banjos on Swamp Thing, but it’s a much better piece of music.

Spin Cycle follows, another huge dance piece, this time built around a rippling electric piano arpeggio. Good, but nothing particularly world-changing. In fact, it’s closing track Golden Dawn that offers the first real surprise here – it’s slower, and a bit less manic, except for a reasonably insane operatic lead vocal that eventually turns up halfway through. Leave the CD playing a little longer after the track finishes, and you’ll be treated to an entirely bonkers answerphone message to close the album out. Odd, but strangely enjoyable.

So Evolver is a good album – perhaps not a great album, and definitely one very much of its time – but definitely a good one. It’s undoubtedly The Grid‘s best known work, but is it even their best? We can debate that another time. Either way, if nothing else, if you’re looking for an hour of solid mid-90s dance and trance, this is a pretty good way to fulfill that desire.

You can still find the original release of Evolver at major retailers.