2fm's Dan Hegarty looks at some of the Irish albums that will be celebrating anniversaries ranging from five to 45 years in 2021. There are many, so here are 20 of them to (re)introduce yourself to.

Katie Kim - Salt (self-released, 2016)

Sometimes time gives us a greater perspective as to how special some music and art truly is. This is certainly the case with the career of Katie Kim. Since starting her solo career in the early 2000s, she’s brought us some quite remarkable and individual albums.

2016’s album Salt may only be nine songs in total, but the sound and imagery that she captures on it makes it something that’s hard not to want to come back to on regular occasions. Day Is Coming is one of the highlights, while Body Break and I Make Sparks sparkle with dusk-like beauty.

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Compulsion - The Future Is Medium (One Little Indian, 1996)

It’s a cliché, but it’s best to listen to some music at a high volume. The Future Is Medium by Compulsion is one of those albums. Let’s be clear though, there is nothing clichéd about the album whatsoever. From the opening note of the first track (the hilariously titled) All We Heard Was A Dull Thud, there is not a dull moment to be found. Released during the eye of the Britpop storm, Compulsion weren’t on the guest list for that party. If you transport yourself back via YouTube to some of the live shows that they at the time, the tracks sounded amazing live; none better than Question Time For The Proles and Happy Monsters.

Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak (Vertigo, 1976)

If you were to listen to Jailbreak today for the first time, what kind of impression would you get from it? 45 years on, you can’t help but pick up on how complete an album it is. When Lizzy wants to flex their muscles, they do so with ease on Emerald, The Boys Are Back In Town and the title track.

It’s not all power though, there are beautiful softer moments here, none better than Running Back and Fight Or Fall. It’s been a source of inspiration to so many over the years, and although it’s deemed classic, it should be placed right up there with the best that Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Black Sabbath brought us.

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Scheer - Infliction (4AD, 1996)

You may have heard music being described as a ‘wonderful noise’, and that description certainly fits Scheer’s 1996 debut Infliction. They’re a band that have been swallowed up by time, and are rarely mentioned these days.

The enormity of tracks like Howling Boy, Shea, and Wish You Were Dead have not diminished over the past 25 years. The album is filled with armour-plated anthems from beginning to end.

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U2 - Achtung Baby (Island Records, 1991)

1991 saw the release of a number of albums that you can legitimately call landmark records; Primal Scream’s Screamadelica, Blue Lines by Massive Attack, and Nirvana’s Nevermind. Two others come from Irish acts; My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and Achtung Baby by U2.

At the end of the Lovetown tour, U2 famously said that they had to go away and ‘dream it all up again’. The results of those dreams were stunning, and now iconic. You can’t overlook what a huge artistic shift that this was, one which most bands of their size wouldn’t have attempted. 30 years on, this album still sounds electric and adventurous; One, Mysterious Ways, The Fly and Even Better Than The Real Thing would quickly grow to become U2 classics.

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Rusangano Family - Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Escape Artist Records, 2016)

Some music goes deeper than just being good or even great. When Rusangano Family started work on Let The Dead Bury The Dead, it’s unlikely that they would have realised that they would create something as powerful, and culturally significant.

The album would go on the win the RTÉ Choice Music Prize, and land them a slot at the prestigious Eurosonic festival. You could put any of the tracks from this album on a playlist with artists like Gil Scott-Heron, Nina Simone, or Massive Attack, and they would sound like they found their appropriate level.

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Gemma Hayes - Let It Break (Self-released, 2011)

It’s easy to overlook albums especially by artists that release striking debut offerings. Many people still hold Gemma Hayes’ 2002 album Night On My Side in high regard, and rightly so, but discounting what she has done in the years that followed would be foolish.

Sorrow Be Gone is an enchanting and heartfelt song that ranks up there as one of her finest. The single Keep Running is another highlight, and it’s accompanied by a video that almost doubles as a five-minute movie. If you’ve overlooked this album, it’s worth taking a listen to

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The Pogues - Pogue Mahone (Warner Music - 1996)

Pogue Mahone isn’t the first album that will enter any Pogues-related conversation, in fact it may be one of the latter entrants. It was the band’s final studio album, and key members like Shane MacGowan and Rocky O’Riordan had departed in the years prior to this.

It isn’t one of their strongest albums, but it’s a lot better than some of the indifferent reviews at the time gave it credit for. Love You ‘Till The End is a track that could and should have taken off, however it did appear in the movie P.S. I Love You, but this came 11 years later.

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MMOTHS – Luneworks (Because Music, 2016)

For a number of years MMOTHS was the performing name for Jack Colleran, an outrageously talented gentleman from Newbridge. He’d been making music since 2010, but it was his 2012 track Heart featuring Keep Shelly In Athens that really gained him a wider audience.

Fast forward another four years, and Luneworks arrived. Sometimes melancholic, sometimes intense, the album is such an accomplished piece of work.

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Ash - Free All Angels (Infectious Records - 2001)

Every album released is a comeback of sorts. After modest sales of their excellent second album (Nu-Clear Sounds) in 1998, Ash returned with this absolute titan of a record three years later. Reviews at the time raved about the album’s energy and songwriting, and they had good reason to.

With the singles Burn Baby Burn, Shining Light and Candy, it showed that Ash were a lot more than stragglers from the 90s. Walking Barefoot is another standout track, as is There’s A Star.

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Cactus World News - Urban Beaches (MCA, 1986)

With the release of Urban Beaches in 1986, Cactus World News had good reason to feel optimistic about gaining the much sought-after international breakthrough. Three and a half decades on, the single The Bridge sounds an awful lot better than much of what clogged up the charts at the time.

There are echoes of Unforgettable Fire-era U2 on tracks like Church Of The Cold and State Of Emergency. The latter clocks in at over seven minutes, but isn’t a second too long.

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The Fat Lady Sings - Twist (Atlantic Records, 1991)

"Shine like an arclight, Sing like a bird might sing..." If you followed what was going on with music in Ireland in the early 1990s, you’ll already being singing those lyrics aloud.

‘Arclight’ was just one of the tracks that The Fat Lady Sings served up to us on their debut album in 1991. In some ways overshadowed at the time, and certainly overlooked in the years that followed, Twist was and is an outrageously strong debut.

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The Cranberries - To The Faithful Departed (Island Records, 1996)

Album number three from The Cranberries was greeted by some of the media with the type of venom and bile that didn’t befit any album or person. With the enormous success of the band’s first two albums, you could quite easily skip past To The Faithful Departed, but you shouldn’t.

The track list is extremely impressive; Free To Decide, When You’re Gone, Salvation, and one of the band’s best songs, Hollywood. To The Faithful Departed will be 25 years old in April, and it has aged gracefully.

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Gavin Friday - catholic (RubyWorks, 2011)

Gavin Friday’s fourth studio album came 16 years after his previous outing, the outstanding Shag Tobacco. Like every other step of Friday’s career, there was a new twist with this new chapter.

‘The lead single Able was a fitting jumping-off point for a record that manages to have a reflective feel, while keeping an eye on moving forward. Where’d Ya Go? Gone is one of Friday’s finest songs, while others like The Sun and the Moon and the Stars and the pensive tones of A Song That Hurts aren’t far behind.

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Everything Shook - Drinking About You (self-released, 2016)

In the context of what was going on in music in 2016, Everything Shook were happily doing their own thing. The unorthodox beauty of what they created came into full bloom on Drinking About You.

Friday Night and New York FM are two brilliant pieces of dark electronic pop. The potency of these tracks isn’t confined to their recorded form, they transfer extremely well in a live setting.

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Republic of Loose - Aaagh! (Loaded Dice Records, 2006)

Album number two from Republic Of Loose is like a beautifully raucous house party with all the posturing and pomp that you could hope for. It’s certainly not style over substance; tracks like Break! and Somebody Screamed make sure of that.

It has some straight-up anthems too like Comeback Girl and You Know It which makes it an album that could draw in just about anyone. It was brilliantly written, masterfully recorded, and it captures the band’s utter talent perfectly.

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My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (Creation, 1991)

When you think of albums that could be called game-changers, there is no debate needed over the inclusion of Loveless. It’s credited as being the reason why shoegaze started, and its influence can still be heard 30 years after its release.

Sometimes is nothing short of genius, and the pulsing energy of Soon has not dissipated. You often hear people describing it as a timeless album, but in truth is has its place in time, but the imprint that it has left is gigantic.

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Si Schroeder - Coping Mechanisms (Trust Me I’m A Thief, 2006)

If you’re going to try and compare Si Schroeder to other artists, you’d be better off giving up now. He is a creative force who works within his own artistic realm. This all sounds very grand and perhaps over the top, but listen to Coping Mechanisms, and you’ll soon realise the truth in these words!

Tracks such as C4, Eyes Wide, and the exquisite Lavendermist draw you into what is sometimes a peculiar listen, but utterly captivating. If you listened to this album for the first time, trying to place when it was released, would be an interesting task.

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Lisa Hannigan - Passenger (Hoop Records, 2011)

Can music be comforting and thought-provoking at the same time? Yes, it can. Lisa Hannigan’s music has an earthy beauty about it, and in 2011, she brought us an album that comprised of songs that were new, yet they had a comforting familiarity about them.

There’s a freedom to the track Knots, while Little Bird feels like you’re listening to music while cocooned away from the world outside. If you were a fan of her 2008 debut Sea Sow, Passenger was the kind of album that many of us would have hoped for as a follow-up.

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Rollerskate Skinny - Horsedrawn Wishes (Warner Music, 1996)

There are so many touches of brilliance on Horsedrawn Wishes. It’s an album that wasn’t of its time in 1996, but it would be hard to place it at any one point in time.

Buried beneath the contorted wall of sound, there are pop songs. Speed To My Side still ranks as one of the greatest songs recorded, and others like Swingboat Yawning, Cradle Burns and Bell Jars Away shimmer with offbeat beauty.

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Dan Hegarty presents The Alternative on RTÉ 2FM, Mon-Thu from 10pm - midnight - listen back here