Media release: National Album Day partners with Network Rail to launch exclusive album artwork exhibition, ‘Sounds of…’


* Due to arrive at Glasgow Central Station, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and London Bridge in the lead up to National Album Day on Saturday 12th October

* Diverse album lists curated by NAD artist champions, Lewis Capaldi, Elbow, Mahalia and Mark Ronson, along with local music critics and independent record stores

* Reflecting the sounds of each part of the UK as well as the albums that inspired each artist

A TOURING exhibition celebrating the sounds of Scotland, the North, the Midlands and London & the South is set to launch next month as part of the celebrations leading up to National Album Day on Saturday 12th October.

The public exhibition will stop at Glasgow Central Station from Tuesday 10th September before travelling to Manchester Piccadilly from Thursday 19th September, Birmingham New Street from Monday 30th September and finishing in London’s London Bridge from Wednesday 9th October.

National Album Day artist champions representing each part of the UK, Lewis Capaldi (Scotland), Elbow (the North), Mahalia (the Midlands) and Mark Ronson (London & the South), have each selected the six albums that have inspired them; these lists will sit alongside picks from local music critics and local record stores. The Official Charts Company have also compiled the six best-selling albums of the millennium in each area.

The exhibition

The ‘Sounds of…’ exhibition will reflect all 24 album choices from these combined lists relevant to each area to present a cross-cultural view of each area’s musical landscape both past and present, from BRIT Award and Mercury Prize winners through to lesser-known acts shaping and influencing the sound of each part of the UK.

Artists highlighted more than once in the exhibition include Amy Winehouse, whose albums ‘Frank’ and ‘Back to Black’ appear on both Mahalia’s list and the London & South best-sellers, and The Cure, who are included on the London & the South music critic list for ‘Disintegration’ and the London & the South record store pick for ‘Seventeen Seconds’.

Other artists to be featured in the Network Rail exhibition include The Streets, Robbie Williams, Black Sabbath, Adele, Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Laura Mvula, Fleetwood Mac, Emelie Sandé, Susan Boyle, Belle & Sebastian, Primal Scream, David Bowie, Take That, Oasis, Joni Mitchell, The Stone Roses, The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Dizzee Rascal, Kate Bush, Dave, Blur and The Clash – who are set to release their reissue of ‘London Calling’ the day before National Album Day.


The general public will be able to visit the exhibition for free at the following Network Rail stations:

‘The Sounds of Scotland’ – Glasgow Central: 10th-19th September
‘The Sounds of the North’ – Manchester Piccadilly: 19th-30th September
‘The Sounds of the Midlands’ – Birmingham New Street: 30th September-9th October
‘The Sounds of London & the South’ – London’s London Bridge: 9th-19th October

The album selections

The lists of albums were decided upon by National Album Day artist champions, music critics, record stores and Official Charts Company chart data:

Scotland – Lewis Capaldi / Fiona Shepherd (music critic, The Scotsman) / Love Music (Glasgow)

The North – Elbow / John Robb (author, critic, broadcaster) / Piccadilly Records (Manchester)

The Midlands – Mahalia / Lyle Bignon (music journalist and Birmingham Music Coalition founder) / The Diskery (Birmingham)

London & The South – Mark Ronson / Roisin O’Connor (music correspondent, Independent) / Resident Music (Brighton)

Sounds of Scotland


1. The Maccabees – Given to the Wild (2012)
2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
3. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977)
4. Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (1965)
5. Kings of Leon – Aha Shake Heartbreak (2004)
6. Bill Withers – Just As I Am (1971)


1. Emeli Sandé – Our Version of Events (2012)
2. Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream (2009)
3. Paolo Nutini – Sunny Side Up (2009)
4. KT Tunstall – Eye to The Telescope (2004)
5. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand (2004)
6. Travis – The Man Who (1999)

CRITIC – Fiona Shepherd (Scotsman)

1. The Rezillos – Can’t Stand The Rezillos (1978)
2. Young Fathers – Dead (2014)
3. Belle & Sebastian – Tigermilk (1996)
4. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rattlesnakes (1984)
5. Simple Minds – Empires and Dance (1980)
6. The Proclaimers – This is the Story (1987)

RECORD SHOP – Love Music

1. The Skids – Days In Europa (1979)
2. Primal Scream – Screamadelica (1991)
3. The Jesus And Marychain – Psychocandy (1985)
4. Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix (1995)
5. Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight (2008)
6. Gerry Rafferty – City to City (1978)
The Sounds of the North


1. Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (1997)
2. Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
3. David Bowie – Hunky Dory (1971)
4. Joni Mitchell – For The Roses (1972)
5. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love (1985)
6. Björk – Vespertine (2001)


1. David Gray – White Ladder (2000)
2. Take That – Beautiful World (2006)
3. Kaiser Chiefs – Employment (2005)
4. Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not (2006) -
5. Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory (1995)
6. Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)

CRITIC – John Robb

1. Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)
2. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses (1989)
3. Buzzcocks – Another Music in a Different Kitchen (1978)
4. The Fall – Slates (1981)
5. The Smiths – The Smiths (1984)
6. Echo & the Bunnymen – Ocean Rain (1984)

RECORD SHOP – Piccadilly Records

1. The Beatles – Revolver (1966)
2. LFO – Frequencies (1991)
3. Pulp – Different Class (1995)
4. Everything But The Girl – Love Not Money (1985)
5. Children of Zeus – Travel Light (2018)
6. Jane Weaver – The Silver Globe (2014)

Sounds of The Midlands


1. Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (2019)
2. Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago (2007)
3. Corinne Bailey Rae – Corinne Bailey Rae (2006)
4. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)
5. Elli Ingram – Love You Really (2017)
6. Amy Winehouse – Frank (2003)


1. Robbie Williams – Swing When You’re Winning (2001)
2. James Morrison – Undiscovered (2006)
3. Ellie Goulding – Halcyon (2012)
4. The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free (2004)
5. Kasabian – Kasabian (2004)
6. Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg (2012)

CRITIC – Lyle Bignon

1. UB40 – Signing Off (1980)
2. The Specials – The Specials (1979)
3. Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left (1969)
4. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels (1980)
5. Laura Mvula – Sing To The Moon (2013)
6. Juice Aleem – Jerusalaam Come (2009)

RECORD SHOP – The Diskery

1. Electric Light Orchestra – Out of the Blue (1977)
2. Duran Duran – Duran Duran (1981)
3. The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)
4. Steel Pulse – Handsworth Revolution (1978)
5. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)
6. Joan Armatrading – Joan Armatrading (1976)

The Sounds of London & the South


1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca and The Soul Brother​ (1992)
2. Gangstarr – Daily Operation​ (1992)
3. Steely Dan – Aja​ (1977)
4. Stevie Wonder – Songs in The Key of Life ​(1976)
5. A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders (1993)
6. The Brand New Heavies – The Brand New Heavies (1990)


1. Adele – 21​ (2011)
2. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black ​(2006)
3. Ed Sheeran – X ​(2014)
4. James Blunt – Back To Bedlam ​(2004)
5. Dido – No Angel ​(2000)
6. Coldplay – A Rush of Blood To The Head (2002)

CRITIC – Roisin O’Connor (Independent)

1. Radiohead – OK Computer (1997)
2. Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (2003)
3. The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
4. Dave – Psychodrama​ (2019)
5. Little Simz – Grey Area ​(2019)
6. The Clash – London Calling (1979)

RECORD SHOP – Resident Music

1. Portishead – Dummy (1994)
2. Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile (2018)
3. The Maccabees – Marks to Prove It (2015)
4. The Kinks – The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
5. Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993)
6. The Cure – Seventeen Seconds (1980)

National Album Day

Following a successful inaugural year, National Album Day is set to return for its second annual edition on Saturday, 12th October. Organised jointly by record labels body, the BPI, and ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association), representing the nation’s music retailers and digital/streaming platforms, and with the active participation of AIM (Association of Independent Music), National Album Day has the backing and input of the wider music community including industry umbrella body UK Music.

The music and artist community will come together with the support of BBC Sounds for a series of events and activities in the lead up to 12th October that will celebrate the UK’s love for the album and the craft that goes into making this culturally significant body of work.

This year National Album Day is themed around the notion of ‘Don’t Skip’, to encourage music lovers to discover albums – both new and classic – in full, as a complete body of work that tells a story. The theme will also serve to highlight the wellbeing and mental health benefits of album listening as a form of musical mindfulness.

A number of the UK’s most prominent artists have already signed up as ‘album champions’ for this year’s National Album Day campaign: No.1 artist Lewis Capaldi, Mercury Prize winners Elbow, BRIT Award-nominated Mahalia, and international musician/producer Mark Ronson.

Each album champion not only represents the current, diverse musical talent that is borne out of the UK, but will also reflect on other artists and albums that have inspired, shaped and defined the culture and spirit of British cities and regions.

BBC Sounds is supporting the day as official broadcast partner through programming and editorial across BBC networks.

Last year’s NAD event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the LP, with numerous artist ambassadors including Paloma Faith, Public Service Broadcasting, Jess Glynne, Novelist, Alice Cooper, and Tom Odell supporting the campaign. It was also celebrated through retail events, Classic Album Sundays artist Q&As and playbacks, and a Network Rail exhibition of iconic album artwork. A social media campaign at 3.33pm on the day saw fans unifying to listen to their favourite album.

Organised jointly by record labels body the BPI and ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association), representing the nation’s music retailers and digital/streaming platforms, and with the active participation of AIM (Association of Independent Music), National Album Day has the backing and input of the wider music community including industry umbrella body UK Music.

For more details, go to

– ENDS –


Kate Etteridge 020 3327 7111
Jordan Shepley 020 327 7180
Sophie Brocklehurst 0203 327 7156
Callum Bracken 0203 327 7176

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