10 music albums with Hampshire connections

Cover of Michael Kiwanuka's third album Kiwanuka

Cover of Michael Kiwanuka's third album Kiwanuka - Credit: Archant

An eclectic mix of musical tastes with a link to Hampshire

Kiwanuka - Michael Kiwanuka

Critically acclaimed Michael Kiwanuka’s third album is a modern-day psychedelic soul classic, while throwing in a modern sensibility courtesy of producers Dangermouse and Inflo. Songs flow in and out of each other revealing some brilliant tunes – not least the singles You Ain’t The Problem and Hero. Michael launched the album with a hometown show at Southampton Guildhall in March.


Live in Newcastle - Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Meonstoke-bred singer-songwriter Frank Turner’s new live album, released last month, draws on material from across his eight-album strong back catalogue in unplugged versions with spoken introductions. Frank demonstrated his ongoing connection to Hampshire in April when he livestreamed two 45-minute shows in aid of Southampton’s Joiners Arms and The Railway Inn in Winchester. The two shows raised a total of more than £30,000.


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Born To Do It - Craig David

Southampton’s Craig David career-making collaboration with Artful Dodger Re-Rewind brought UK garage to a wide audience. His distinctive look was parodied by Leigh Francis in the Channel Four sketch series Bo’ Selecta. And recent ITV drama Quiz revealed the part his debut album Born To Do It played in the downfall of ‘coughing major’ Charles Ingram on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Craig’s soulful debut from 2000 features hit singles Fill Me In, Seven Days and Walking Away.


Look Sharp! - Joe Jackson

Joe recorded the first version of his debut album in his Portsmouth hometown circa 1978, before being picked up by A&M Records on the strength of a demo. As well as boasting an iconic front cover, the album is home to breakthrough hit Is She Really Going Out With Him?


Athens Andover - The Troggs

American alt-rock band REM played Love Is All Around by Andover’s The Troggs on their MTV Unplugged set in 1991 long before Wet Wet Wet got their hands on it. Later that year singer Reg Presley and guitarist Chris Britton flew to REM’s hometown in Athens, Georgia, to collaborate with three of the band on the last Troggs studio album Athens Andover. The album mixes Reg’s ear for a memorable riff with REM’s jangling guitars on songs like Nowhere Road and Together.


Running in the Family - Level 42

Mark King’s jazz-funketeers are probably the Isle of Wight’s best-known musical export. This 1987 album which made them into international stars. The album is home to the top ten hits Lessons In Love, To Be With You Again, It’s Over and the title track.


Fire Within - Birdy

Teenage singer Birdy’s eponymous debut following her win in talent contest Open Mic UK was largely a collection of covers. It was with Fire Within in 2013 that the Lymington singer fully revealed her songwriting chops – earning a Brit Award nomination in the process. Lead single Wings has since soundtracked a Lloyds Bank advert.


Ancient Heart - Tanita Tikaram

Having begun her career singing in nightclubs, Basingstoke teenager Tanita Tikaram scored an international success with her debut album Ancient Heart, which went on to sell four million copies worldwide. The 1988 album was home to the career-making single Good Tradition and its darker follow-up Twist in my Sobriety.


The Five Faces of Manfred Mann - Manfred Mann

Portsmouth’s own blues vocalist Paul Jones got his first writing credits on the 1964 debut album by Manfred Mann, with his songs Don’t Ask Me What I Say and Without You. The album eschewed the pop songs like Do Wah Diddy Diddy in favour of R&B favourites including Smokestack Lightning, Bring It To Jerome and Hoochie Coochie Man.


Porcelain - Julia Fordham

Portsmouth’s Julia Fordham started out as a 14-year-old performing in folk clubs across the south. Her second album, 1989’s Porcelain, was the biggest of her career to date, reaching number 13 in the charts and showcasing her unforgettable voice against minimal arrangements.