~ Daily Express - 22/10/10 ~

MICHAEL BALL, 47, is an actor, singer, and television presenter who has starred in a string of hit West End shows. He is currently appearing at selected dates on the UK Tour of Hairspray.

Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark (Asylum)

The greatest ever female singer-songwriter in my book. I love pretty much everything she's ever done. This album features some of her finest ever songs – simple but magical, very personal autobiographical songs. The musician's musician.

Barbra Streisand: Guilty (Columbia)

This captures Barbra at her very best vocally and the teaming of her with the Bee Gees was just inspired. The production is just amazing and all of the songs work like a dream. An extraordinary album.

John Martyn: Solid Air (Island)

I'm a bit John Martyn fan – and this is his finest moment. An amazing singer-songwriter who never perhaps enjoyed the commercial success he deserved during his lifetime. A bit of a troubled soul he may have been, but this is one of the most beautiful, most romantic records ever made.

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI)

My favourite Pink Floyd album which I can listen to time and time again. I play this to relax at home, when I'm travelling or on holiday. I just slip on the earplugs, put on the ipod and hit the play button ... and I'm off, transported to another world.

Abba: The Album (Polar)

I'm a major Abba fan and this LP's release coincided with Abba: The Movie, one of my favourite films. I love all Abba's songs, but this album is really special – plus it's got what is probably my favourite Abba song, Eagle. It might not be as well known as some of their others but it's pure genius.

The Carpenters: Close to You (Commercial Marketing)

Packed with the most amazing songs, not to mention their wonderful trademark vocals. No-one has ever sung quite so beautifully as Karen Carpenter. Boasts wonderful production too. A hugely influential if underrated group who were ahead of their time in so many ways.


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