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Virgin Records Lost Classics

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Never mind the Pistols…here’s the lesser-known gems you must hear from Virgin’s bulky back catalogue

Since its first release in 1973 (Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells), Virgin Records has always provided an outlet for brilliant, boundary-pushing acts. And Emeli Sandé. Now, as the label celebrates its 40th anniversary with an ace photo exhibition, we’ve selected eight lesser-known Virgin cuts for your enjoyment…

Listen to them all on our Spotify playlist

Captain Beefheart – Upon The My-O-My (1974)

Mad, howling slice of R&B from the avant-garde hero.

U-Roy – Chalice In The Palace (1975)

This dubby number floats the excellent idea of getting stoned with the Queen.

The Mighty Diamonds – Right Time (1976)

Bass-soaked roots reggae classic.

Can – I Want More (1976)

The Kraut-rockers’ only hit single, which landed them on Top Of The Pops.

The Skids – TV Stars (1979)

Spiky little punk gem chronicling notable television personalities.

Magazine – A Song From Under The Floorboards (1980)

“I am angry, I am ill and I’m as ugly as sin.” Gloriously gloomy post-punk.

XTC – Generals And Majors (1980)

Best ever use of whistling in a song? We think so.

Cabaret Voltaire – Just Fascination (1983)

Cold, vaguely terrifying, new wave genius from the band that made Sheffield cool long before Pulp and the Arctics.

‘Virgin Records: 40 Years Of Disruption’ runs until 29 October at Victoria House, London; virgin40.com

(Image: Barry Plummer)

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