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3 October 2014
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Here Comes The Judge

Presiding over Pop on Trial is one of Britain's top writers and broadcasters, Stuart Maconie.

From the Beatles to Blur, from Gentle Giant to Orange Juice, Stuart has a lifetime of musical knowledge at his fingertips, which will be invaluable as he directs the jury to its verdict on the greatest decade in pop history.

Stuart's Albums of the Decades

As well as helping shape the critics' Top 50s, we also asked Stuart for his favourite album from each decade. Here's what he chose, along with a brief Maconie timeline...

The 50s

Stuart and the 1950s did not coincide. His favourite 50s album however is Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, released in 1959, a groundbreaking masterpiece of modal jazz, more melodious than the bebop that preceded it.

Miles Davis
Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis
Released: 17 August 1959

The 60s

Stuart's first gig was the Beatles at Wigan ABC in 1964, aged three, in the company of his mother (who actually preferred Cliff). Though he has no memory of the event, it is clearly embedded in his subconscious. His favourite 60s album is the Fab Four's self-titled double opus from 1968, popularly known as the White Album.

The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles
Released: 22 December 1968

The 70s

Stuart's teenage years were spent in Wigan, where logically he became a Northern Soul boy. He also immersed himself in Prog Rock, before being reborn as a Punk. When Wigan banned the Sex Pistols from playing, Stuart and his friends watched them playing pool in a pub. He spent most of 1977 listening to The Clash's self-titled debut.

The Clash
The Clash
The Clash
Released: 08 April 1977

The 80s

In his twenties Stuart fell in love with the Indie Pop of Orange Juice and Aztec Camera. Then The Smiths arrived, with their romantic celebration of the North of England. This was the first time pop music had spoken directly to him, and spurred him to take up the role of northern correspondent at the NME.

The Smiths
The Smiths
The Smiths
Released: 20 February 1984

The 90s

Stuart rejected grunge and got himself a West Highland terrier. As such his face no longer fitted at the NME, so he moved on to more mature publications. He also began regaling the nation over the airwaves, first on Radio 1, then Radio 2 and 6 Music. His favourite 90s album is a polished gem of literate pop by Prefab Sprout.

Prefab Sprout
Jordan: The Comeback
Prefab Sprout
Released: 02 October 1990

BBC Radio2

On weeknights from 2000 to 2200, Mark Radcliffe is Stuart's partner in crime on Radio 2, with their double-headed selection of sparky tunes accompanied by characteristic wit and wisdom.

Stuart also takes the Radio 2 reins on Saturdays from 1600 to 1830, where he and the listeners conspire to update the Critical List, unearth an Unsung obscurity, and much more.

Plus he presents the Freak Zone on 6 Music on Sundays from 1700 to 2000, and is the voice and face of numerous other BBC shows.



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