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Books, videos and CDs everyone must own...

richard english
 
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four
"Orwell's powerful, complicated and misunderstood masterpiece is an indispensable book. The book about everything that mattered in the 20th century. And now."
Brazil (1985) [VHS]
Brazil (1985) [VHS]
"Terry Gilliam's greatest film is this wonderfully dark industrial satire, that owes a tiny debt to Orwell."
Gershwin: Piano Works
Gershwin: Piano Works
"Beautiful interpretations of one of the 20th century's greatest artists. 'Rhapsody in Blue', 'Swet and Lowdown'...what more could you possibly need?"
Ham On Rye
Ham On Rye
"Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical account of his childhood growing up in Depression-era L.A. is a passionate and immensly sad novel, assuring his place as one of the finest writers of our time."
The Singing Detective: Volume 1 [VHS] [1986]
The Singing Detective: Volume 1 [VHS] [1986]
"Dennis Potter's murky drama is one of the best television serials ever made. Uncompromising, moving and inventive - it set new standards of excellence in television writing. Buy."
The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The Best of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
"The best of's all you really need. Not miserable. Not goth. Not 'foppish' (if that's what you've heard) - just a storyteller doing what he does best with appropriate mood music."
To Bring You My Love
To Bring You My Love
"Polly Harvey's sexiest and creepiest album is awash with gorgeous melodies and a bodycount Nick Cave would kill for (no pun intended). A dark fantasy."
The Definitive Chet Baker
The Definitive Chet Baker
"Chet sings and plays trumpet. A gorgeous little package showcasing some of his best works. The definitive Chet Baker album."
The Day Today - 1 [VHS] [1994]
The Day Today - 1 [VHS] [1994]
"It introduced Chris Morris, Steve Coogan (as Alan Partridge), Doon Mackichan and Patrick Marber to television audiences. It's got something to say, but don't forget it's still damn funny."
Gulliver's Travels (Penguin Classics)
Gulliver's Travels (Penguin Classics)
"Jonathan Swift's satire of human pride is the exceptional work of a remarkable intelligence. After 300 years its relevance is still felt stronger than ever."
Dr. Strangelove [1963] [VHS]
Dr. Strangelove [1963] [VHS]
"Stanley Kubrick's greatest movie is also one of the most important (as well as funniest) war films ever. Hysterical, even though you know it's really not something to laugh at."
Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and other prose writings
Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and other prose writings
"Not depressing like people think, but thought-provoking and complex. Plath's prose flows like her poetry."
Six Feet Under: The Complete First Series [VHS] [2002]
Six Feet Under: The Complete First Series [VHS] [2002]
"Not yet released on video, but I watched it religiously on television. The other greatest television drama of all time. Nice cover, too!"
A View from the Bridge & All My Sons (Penguin Modern Classics)
A View from the Bridge & All My Sons (Penguin Modern Classics)
"Arthur Miller is an often rivalled but never bettered writing talent. His plays buzz with urgency and burning issues. This, like his other works, stands as an eternally relevant piece of drama."
Ligeti: Choral and Orchestral Works
Ligeti: Choral and Orchestral Works
"Got into him through his use in Kubrick's films. Eerie stuff. Great mood music."
Brighton Rock (Essential Penguin)
Brighton Rock (Essential Penguin)
"Greene legitimised crime fiction with this stunning account of gang war in 1930s...you get the idea. Chandler and Hammett come close, but no cigar."
Apocalypse Now Redux [VHS] [1979]
Apocalypse Now Redux [VHS] [1979]
"Coppola's dark study of the inhumanities of war. Lifted from its source novel..."
Heart Of Darkness
Heart Of Darkness
"Joseph Conrad's greatest work, the cornerstone of Modernist literature. Don't let false accusations of racism put you off one of the greatest anti-imperialist tracts ever written."
Raging Bull [VHS] [1981]
Raging Bull [VHS] [1981]
"Martin Scorsese crafted not only the best movie about boxing, but one of the best character studies of all time. Heavy going, powerful stuff."
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
"One of the most challenging books you will ever read and one of the most rewarding. Melville uses an impressive range of styles to express...well, you tell me what it all means!"
This Album's Big Enough - The Best of Sparks
This Album's Big Enough - The Best of Sparks
"As impenetrable as Melville, Sparks deliver luscious pop with a hint of darkness topped with sugared sweetness. Delicious - and if you don't know at least one song you don't like music."
The Purple Rose of Cairo [DVD]
The Purple Rose of Cairo [DVD]
"A movie for movie lovers. One of Woody's absolute best works. Respect the man."
Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics)
Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics)
"Joyce's exceptionally complicated and linguistically intricate novel is difficult to read, let alone understand - but go with it and its a very rewarding experience."
Chinatown - Collector's Edition [VHS]
Chinatown - Collector's Edition [VHS]
"A labyrinthine mystery. Nicholson's greatest role. Polanski's triumph. Dark, demanding and with no trace of hope. A crime masterpiece."
Beyond the Sun
Beyond the Sun
"Great last album from pop's tragic prince. In a world populated by pretenders like Robbie Williams, Mackenzie needs to be restored to the throne."