Artists beginning with F (2022)

A Nod Is As Good As a Wink ... to a Blind Horse
The phrase "good time rock'n'roll band" could have been devised specifically for Faces. Boozy, deceptively ragged-sounding and of dubious moral character, Faces blurred the boundaries between business and pleasure, and recorded the consequences. The two Ronnies, Lane and Wood, are on form here - though it's Rod Stewart's Stay With Me that remains the high point.

Donald Fagen
The Nightfly
The solo debut from half of Steely Dan had all the polish, wit and deceptively easy grooves of late-period Dan. One of pop's first fully digital recordings, The Nightfly is a stereo buff's delight, its songs about postwar optimism (I.G.Y.) and backyard fallout shelters (New Frontier) enhanced by rich detail and immaculate surfaces.

John Fahey
Days Have Gone By
Cantankerous guitarist, inventor of "American Primitive" and unwitting precursor of new age, Fahey makes innovative use of splicing and sampling. Locomotive sounds blend with his acoustic guitar to create a sparse, meditative atmosphere. A wide-open, pan-American travelogue.

Fairport Convention
An album that catches true pioneers at their key moment of transition: about to move away from the influence of American singer-songwriters and into the single-handed invention of British folk rock, as evidenced here by the epic A Sailor's Life. Who Knows Where the Time Goes? is the jaw-dropping work of the late Sandy Denny.

Marianne Faithfull
Broken English
As startling a reinvention as pop has ever produced, Broken English was as much a document of survival as anything else. All trace of the sparrow-voiced 60s dolly bird has been extinguished here; in its place appears a gravel-throated cynic who had lived through drug addiction and infidelity and had harrowing tales to tell.

The Fall
Perverted By Language
How do you choose one Fall album over another? This album is the maverick Mancunians' career in microcosm, featuring one of Mark E Smith's most satisfyingly complex, arch and spookily gothic prose-poems Garden), a clanking, badly recorded slouch epic (Tempo House), and a slogan-packed would-be terrace anthem (Eat Y'Self Fitter).

Ali Farka Touré

Savane (2006)

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Ali Farka Touré, who died in March 2006, was the finest and best-loved African guitarist of his generation. Often described as the godfather of the desert blues, he proved through his hypnotic instrumental work and singing that the blues must have originated from his home country of Mali, where he started out playing traditional instruments such as the lute-like n'goni. Born in Niafunke (where he would later become mayor) on the banks of the Niger river, he moved to the capital, Bamako, and worked at the radio station which then operated the countray's only ­recording studio. With typical confidence, he sent his tapes to France, where he developed a following among the Malian community before establishing a r­eputation among African fans in Britain in the late 80s.
He recorded a series of classic albums, including the Grammy-winning Talking Timbuktu in 1994, but this ­album, released after his death, is arguably his finest. That's certainly the way he saw it. The album was made when he had returned to music after a lengthy period of farming and performing civic duties. He was concerned that young Malians didn't know enough about traditional music so he assembled a band including instruments such as the njarka fiddle and n'goni, played by the young virtuoso Bassekou Kouyate. On the opening track, Erdi, he showed the link between ancient Mali and contemporary blues by matching traditional styles with harmonica and saxophone. He produced some of the most compelling guitar work of his career on the album's other songs, which mixed blues with Celtic-sounding influences or the sturdy reggae of the title track. Robin Denselow

Fatboy Slim
You've Come a Long Way, Baby
Norman Cook's second Fatboy Slim album defined the uplifting, breakbeat-driven Big Beat scene. But it was also a fantastic pop record. Few albums have more than one bona fide hit; in Gangster Tripping, The Rockafeller Skank, Right Here, Right Now and Praise You, this had four real belters.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Mustt Mustt
The greatest exponent of qawwli, the devotional music of the Sufis, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan updated his songs to reach younger audiences, both in his native Pakistan and across the west. On this album, his extraordinary, soulful, rapid-fire improvised singing was backed by guitars as well as tablas and harmonium; Massive Attack rousingly remix the title track.

The Faust Tapes
Faust's story beggars belief. In search of the next big thing, Polydor Germany gave them a sizable advance and installed them in a converted schoolhouse in Wümme, where they made some of the most radical music ever, edited here into the sonic equivalent of crazy paving and eventually put out by Virgin Records for 49p.

Stains On a Decade
Lawrence Hayward's Felt defined 80s British indie as well as any group. They were tortured by obscurity, yet capable of moments of baroque pop genius - the best of which are gathered on this retrospective. Hayward's chart dreams were probably not helped by his habit of giving his best tunes titles such as Dismantled King Is Off the Throne.

Ibrahim Ferrer
Buenos Hermanos
Backed by Ry Cooder's dream team - the jazz bassist Cachaito, the surf-rock guitarist Manuel Galbán and the Blind Boys of Alabama on backing vocals - Ferrer's effortlessly soulful voice has never sounded better: crooning the boleros, rolling his Rs on the salsas and making staggering vocal improvisations sound as casual as clearing his throat.

Pedro Luis Ferrer
A true original and eccentric, Pedro Luis Ferrer is a Cuban singer-songwriter who plays the country's small local guitar, the tres. He is backed here by the powerful and intense vocals of his daughter, Lena, on charming and thoughtful songs that range from the surreal to angry social commentary. Translations are thankfully provided.

Bryan Ferry
The Bride Stripped Bare
After Jerry Hall left him for Mick Jagger, Ferry produced the most emotional music of his career. The Roxy frontman's bleak, contemplative mood fires Sign of the Times and The In Crowd, and makes his third solo set - recorded in wintry Montreux- a rare combination of style, substance and anguish.

Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco's Food and Liquor
With rap supposedly going to the dogs, Lupe Fiasco's debut proved that there was plenty still left for the music to explore. Whether mind-melding his inner-city block into a giant toy robot (Daydreamin'), skewering hypocrisy in the so-called "war on terror" (American Terrorist) or telling tales of skateboard kids (Kick, Push), the Chicagoan's complex songwriting has made him stand out.

(Video) Most popular Artists (2004 - 2020)

Fiery Furnaces
Gallowsbird's Bark
New York siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger concocted that rare wonder: a bloody-minded debut album that sounded like nothing else released in a decade. A volatile cocktail of psychedelia, power-pop and punk, with disjointed lyrics floating like bittersweet cherries, it gets more intoxicating with every listen.

Ella Fitzgerald
Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
For those moments when life just seems drab, you need Ella's ineffably buoyant readings of Cole Porter's ineffably witty, romantic, naughty lyrics. Her voice is so mellifluous, the swooning, swaying arrangements so poised, that the album wafts sophistication like an expensive perfume. Listening to it feels like cocktail hour, every hour.

The Flaming Lips
The Soft Bulletin
"I stood up and I said 'Yeah!'" breathed Wayne Coyne on The Spark That Bled - an apposite motto for this vibrant, expansive and fantastically life-affirming set. The sunshine riffs and queasy keyboards were tremendous; the fecund imagination and candid, yearning humanity made it a modern psychedelic classic.

The Flatlanders
More a Legend Than a Band
A supergroup in reverse, the Flatlanders were the short-lived, pre-fame plaything of Texan country dudes Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Released 19 years after it was recorded in 1971, recording, this is a cheery salute to long-deceased, old-timey styles. Little in country music is as drop-dead gorgeous as the twinkle and twang of Tonight I'm Gonna Go Downtown.

Fleetwood Mac
One of the biggest-selling albums of all time, Rumours captured the sound of a band literally falling out of love with each other: it's a soap opera played out over 40 minutes. But rather than resorting to wracked dissonance, Fleetwood Mac laid bare their lives over guitar pop so shiny, so polished, that one would barely believe they had a care in the world.

The Flying Burrito Brothers
Out of the Blue
The aim, as explained by Chris Hillman, was simple: "Young guys with long hair playing country music in the group format of the day." The result shook up the west coast in the late 60s, thanks largely to the collaboration between Hillman and Gram Parsons. This retrospective includes their finest songs: Sin City and Christine's Tune.

Celso Fonseca
Forget Barry White - there are times when the Brazilians have the edge in late-night seduction music. And Fonseca's effortless skill as a guitarist, producer and songwriter means that his originals (Bom Sinai or Meu Samba Torto) and standards (The Night We Called It a Day) sound just as good in the morning.

Roberto Fonseca
After paying his dues with the Buena Vista Social Club, the Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca made this great world-jazz album. He has a gift for melody, demonstrated in tracks such as Clandestino and El Niejo, plus a virtuosity that can hold its own on any jazz stage in the world.

Full Circle
Disciples of the Incredible String Band, this Midlands outfit were more melodically gifted and less scatty. Conjuring up will-o'-the-wisps and Jabberwocky ghosts, songs such as Hawk the Hawker, Graveyard and Bluebell Dance are as close to the songs of Bagpuss as to those of Fairport Convention.

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Forever Amber
The Love Cycle
The songs were written by a vocally challenged lawyer, performed by an amateur Cambridge band he met in a record shop, and recorded in a Hitchin attic. So far, so DIY. But the songs are exquisite, and reside in the same English baroque cottage as the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle.

Four Tops
Reach Out
The Four Tops were diamonds in the Motown crown. This was their last Holland-Dozier-Holland production and their shiniest moment, spawning the hits Reach Out I'll Be There, Bernadette and Standing in the Shadows of Love. Notable also for Smokey Robinson's galloping Wonderful Baby and a jumpy take on the Monkees' I'm a Believer.

Peter Frampton
Frampton Comes Alive
A pretty neat encapsulation of the airbrushed radio rock that defined the musical appetites of post-Watergate America, perhaps best digested in combination with Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. As proved by Show Me the Way, the ex-Humble Pie man wasn't a bad songwriter - and any album featuring something called Doobie Wah can't be all bad. There again ...

Franco and OK Jazz
Congolese music dominated African dance styles for three decades, and OK Jazz were the best-known, best-loved band in the country, thanks largely to their guitarist, composer and singer, Franco Luambo Makiadi. These mid-50s recordings, recorded when he was still a teenager, show his mature, driving guitar work on a typically cheerful selection.

Jackson C Frank
Jackson C Frank
After escaping a fire that killed most of his schoolfriends, the Buffalo-born Frank used his insurance cheque to flee to London, where he recorded his only album. It remains a cornerstone of the 60s Soho folk scene: Carnival and Blues Run the Game are still staples for both Bert Jansch and buskers alike.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Welcome to the Pleasuredome
Frankie's debut hasn't worn well. The high-shine homoerotic electro-pop (produced by Trevor Horn) that once seemed cutting-edge now sounds self-conscious and contrived, and Holly Johnson's yappy vocals grate. But it's worth hearing as a guide to a band who generated enormous controversy for a few giddy months.

Aretha Franklin
Never Loved a Man the Way That I Love You
The title track gave the down-on-her-luck Franklin a hit; Respect and Do Right Woman - Do Right Man made her a feminist icon. Her debut for Atlantic oozes sex, but never strays far from her gospel roots, especially on A Change Is Gonna Come, a poignant homage to Sam Cooke.

Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand
Injecting a welcome dose of snappy pop and Weimar glamour into the post-punk revival, this Scottish four-piece's huge crossover success threw down the gauntlet, challenging indie pretenders to raise their game. The record's feral, wiry basslines, sexually ambiguous lyrics and flirtatious vocals never fail to get pulses racing.

Fire and Water
Home to All Right Now, Fire and Water - Free's third album - is a prime cut of dirty, slow-burning UK blues rock. Only just out of their teens, Free cut rock'n'roll loose from psychedelia with hard-edged ballads such as Heavy Load and Oh I Wept.

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The Free Design
Sing for Very Important People
This New York family band's jazz-sparkled sunshine pop found its natural home in this gorgeous album for children. Bright, sugary harmonies, sprightly flutes and gently skittish drums accompany stories of little cowboys, scarlet trees and bubbles. There are plenty of psychedelic twangs and tics to swing the grown-ups, too.

Von Freeman
Young and Foolish
The Chicago saxophonist Freeman's extraordinary tone derives from an idiosyncratic mashing of Ornette Coleman, his long-time advocate Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins. This set is an example of underrated performers - Freeman and his piano partner, John Young - sounding as good as the biggest stars in the heat of a live jam.

Bill Frisell
Have a Little Faith
Jazz, folk, classical, pop - like a small-town electrical store, Frisell's landmark album has it all. Made with an unusual jazz quintet that includes Guy Klucevsek's accordion, it's a kind of love letter to American music, with John Hiatt's rolling title track and tunes by Copland, Ives, Foster, Rollins, Dylan and even Madonna.

13 Songs
In Britain, the Pistols and the Clash begat PiL and Gang of Four; in the US, Minor Threat and Black Flag begat Fugazi. The "post-hardcore" tag is clumsy, but useful: here was a more musically complex, thematically broader strain of boiling-point punk, with a fascinating split-personality playoff between Ian MacKaye's adrenalised anthems and Guy Picciotto's artsy flounce.

The Score
One of the biggest hip-hop albums of the 90s owed its success to a song that was anything but hip-hop. Fugees' more-or-less straight cover of Roberta Flack's Killing Me Softly allowed them to reach a crossover audience: with that song in people's minds, the album's pop-leavened rap found a huge and ready fanbase.

The Fugs
The Fugs' First Album
Not rock or folk, but rather a scabrous, foul-mouthed, unprovoked assault on both, by a gang of dissipated beatniks. Cheeringly unwilling to let the fact that they could hardly play a note impede the important business of upsetting people, the Fugs sound like punk's truest precursors: thrillingly anarchic, iconoclastic and hilarious.

Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three
In which Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staples flee the wreckage of the Specials, draft in as backup three good-for-a-laugh girls who can't really sing (called Bananarama), and build a debut album around only percussion, horns and a melancholic slant on Thatcher's Britain. Thoroughly addictive, it sounds even more eccentric now than it did then.

Maggot Brain
Mixing hard rock with gospel and soul, James Brown funk jams with Hendrix guitar freak-outs, Funkadelic's music was a kind of post-psychedelic cosmic slop. The title track is a classic showcase for the mind-bending extrapolations of Eddie Hazel, whom bandleader George Clinton ordered to play "like your momma just died".

Nelly Furtado
After the failure of Furtado's folky second album, eyebrows were raised at the news that the clean-cut Canadian popster was working with the super-producer Timbaland on an urban reinvention featuring tracks called Maneater and Promiscuous. Jaws then dropped when people heard it. Very few pop albums are as bold, original and consistent as this.

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Billy Fury
The Sound of Fury
Billy Fury's debut turned the one-time Ronald Wycherley into the British Elvis. The album was written entirely by Fury; its Sun Records sound, aching balladeering and raw blues provided his greatest moment before pop's dreamboat era dulled his fire.

Future Sound of London
Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans became the Dr Strangelove of ambient techno, subjecting acid pulses and fractured breakbeats to strains of devilish experimentation. Their first, most straightforward album was the most fun. Special kudos for their majestic chill-out anthem, Papua New Guinea.


1. TrappaG - We got time
(Trappa G)
2. Stand Up (Drill Beat)
(ProdByRhys Beats)
3. Little Mix - Sweet Melody (Official Video)
(Little Mix)
4. Jazz Hip Hop Type Beat - "High & Low"
5. Tears For Fears - Shout (Official Music Video)
(Tears For Fears)
6. Xalabix - "Magician" (Official Audio)

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